It’s hot in this part of the world – and it has been for quite a long, dreary stretch of time. The kind of hot that puts you in the right kind of bad mood for a good old fashioned rant, Third-Gen style.
But first, Arsene Wenger has spoken about the team’s midfield trio of Rosicky, Hleb and Fabregas, saying it is Rosicky’s ‘Pires-like qualities’ and Hleb’s drive that, of late, have seen the club get the goals it needs. The manager says:
“When you get that kinds of vibes out from a team, that means they are all on the same wavelength. At the moment, I feel we can score from everywhere – Rosicky, Fabregas they can score, Hleb maybe scores less, but he makes others score.“
We have certainly seen Rosicky become more integrated and much more dangerous a player in the last few matches. Some may take longer than others, but Tomas is beginning to look like a real Arsenal player with his incisive runs, crisp passing and better finishing. Kudos to those that engineered the improvement.
Speaking of improvement, Emmanuel Adebayor has had quite a bit to say about Arsenal’s title chances, as well as where he got his heralded jumping ability from. It involves balls on string and his mother’s house in Lome, Togo. So it’s bound to be a good story.
Our main pallette of the story today comes from our pesky little neighbours down the road, who have done exactly as they did last season in upping their ticket prices to £74 for a league cup semi. Arsenal wanted to keep their own ticket prices as low as £20, but Spurs insisted that money was their main aim from the draw, and kept thousands of fans out of the door for the Emirates tie.
The justification for the price hike comes from Tottenham’s director, Paul Barber, who says:
“A cup semi-final against our biggest rivals is just about the biggest game anyone could see at White Hart Lane. Our policy is to take the Carling Cup very seriously. We put out our first team.“
Such statements of blindingly low ambition inspired me to come up with ten equally blinding reasons as to why Spurs do the Premier League a disservice into kidding themselves that we are ‘their rivals’. Enjoy…:
- Spurs remain a team with an eye off the ball: A squad so hopelessly obsessed with the mediocre position of ‘4th on the log’ buys fittingly mediocre players in the form of Kaboul and Darren Bent, only to flirt with relegation more times than is healthy, while Everton and Man City fight more realistically for that ‘magical’ fourth spot.
- Their fans demand a racist quota of English players in preference to Arsenal’s ‘foreign legion’: The irony of which is baffling when they continue to worship the new King of Sulk from Bulgaria, and some French youngster rediculously overhyped as ‘the next Zidane’.
- Daniel Levy and his Accountant Ways: Ripping off home and away fans alike with extortionate pricing of tickets? Standard fare for one of the more reviled board members in the game.
- Choker central: the old ‘2-0 up and you f—ed it up’ applies in triplicate here. This team makes the South African cricket team look like men of steel temperaments.
- Deluded, naive fans: How many times do we have to put up with Spurs fans complaining that ‘we did not really put out our second string team’ when we made it to last year’s Carling Cup Final at their expense? It’s a constant, unashamed admission of their inferiority, as if playing our first team against theirs is a crime against humanity.
- The obsession with Arsenal: This has detrimented Spurs to no end. The poor mid-table club that is obsessed with playing their neighboiur’s beautiful football, the quest for the new stadium, and their yearning for Champions League football having not won the league in donkey’s years, is ecclipsed by the act of greatest hypocrisy last season: Zokora’s famous dive in the 06/07 season was quickly hushed up and excused as ‘everyone does it’, flying in the face of years of rubbishing the brilliant Robert Pires as nothing more than a chronic diver.
- What a pretty collection of managers you have there…: Don’t ask me to recall all the managers they have had since Wenger’s arrival, because I cannot possibly recall all of them. Spurs give Newcastle a run for their money in delirium with the arrival of Juande Ramos as ‘White Hart Lane’s Saviour’.
- Get a decent team, please: A sieve for a defence, and blobs for midfielders. No need to mention any goalies, neither…
- “Wenger-bus is coming…”: The most dispicable chant of the lowest standards imaginable. There is no manager that has had to go through more than Wenger when it comes to disgusting, libelous and jealous chants from the Spurs’ terraces. Arsenal fans did themselves no favours with calling Glenn Roeder ‘tumour boy’, and while no fans are perfect, can you compare a once-off (which was rightly lambasted as ‘sick’) to slander that has now run on for so many seasons?
- You’re only rivals for posterity’s sake: A team has to prove themselves to beconsidered a rival to a title-contending team. Arsenal’s rivals are Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, and other teams like AC Milan and Barcelona. Spurs have Everton, Man City or Fulham and Sunderland for company, depending on your slant.
And believe me, if you yourself had just written all of that, you’d feel like there was a good, annoying weight off your chest, let me assure you.
And with that, I’m off for a nice bowl of fried rice. Match previews with all the bells and whistles up tomorrow – I’m getting an absurdly good feeling about the Semi Final just around the corner.
We all know it makes sense.