The North London derby is upon us again and inevitably, indeed, quite rightly this is one of those games that even the most casual observer will use to gauge who’s who. A single point separates these two sides and our hosts will be mindful of the fact that they won their last two games at the Emirates against us and if they can come out on top this time around, then it will be three of a kind for the first time in nearly a decade.
BT Sport is broadcasting the game, which is Saturday’s early kick-off, so we’ll have the team sheets for you at 1130am, and you can keep up to speed with the action via Tottenham live scores.
It’s said that the form book goes out the window on occasions such as these, but it’s probably nearer the mark that it’s some players’ grip on reality that goes AWOL, with any luck the international break, and its trusty ability to comatose football media will allow this game to pass without any need for handbags or red cards to ruin the occasion. Show me how passionate you are by outplaying the other lot. I’m not some 16-year-old who’s sent giddy by grown men pretending to square up to each other.
It won’t sit well with fans of a certain vintage that Antonio Conte has been mumbling unconvincingly to the press about Mikel Arteta having enjoyed the support of his employers. By contrast, Tottenham might have been better off playing down their £150million investment. For one, the club itself never said anything that suggested ‘war chest’, that was the children in the press room, and for two, the players that have come in have been a mix that on balance one might best term frustrating. Disagree? Then ask Conte why certain new players are struggling to pick up meaningful minutes. And while you’re there, ask him what his plan B might be. The schedule of any Premier League season routinely gets messy, and every Christmas we see the same faces participating in the same pantomime. Except for this year, the World Cup is going to make everything worse. So not a great summer to buy players that are so clearly a punt for the future.
Or maybe this Christmas, the good fairy atop the THFC tree will wave her wand and make Ryan Sessegnon less wet, and make Pape Mata Sarr recognizable to any Spurs fan that might bump into him in the street.