The North London Derby Must Be BANNED! Remember, Remember…..Don’t Mention the N Word
Come on, admit it, you’re bricking it aren’t you?
The North London Derby; a fixture that has given us all some of the greatest memories of our Arsenal-supporting lives, as well as some of the most gut-wrenchingly painful ones.
Win the game, you’ll milk it for weeks – lose the game and you’ll want to bury your head for months.
The fact that they have truly been in our shadow for the past couple of decades, and no matter how much we’ve laughed at the wheels coming off in increasingly hilarious and spectacular fashion, goes right out of the window when it comes to the game itself.
However the season pans out it doesn’t matter when it comes to the NLD – it’s all about that one game.
I mean, some of them still claim the fact that we didn’t beat them at their place to clinch the league title in a season that we went undefeated as some kind of victory.
Get your replica wall clock here
My Dad is one of that lot, and I remember drunkenly texting him at some point after we’d clinched the title there, and him texting back “you never beat the Tottenham”, or something.
Nah, Dad, we’ve just won the fucking league in your back yard for the second time, but you enjoy the draw that you got due to a ridiculous late penalty and Robbie Keane’s wanky little celebration.
We could have won the treble every season since 1991 but you would still find some twat banging on about Gazza’s free-kick at Wembley, such is the importance of this fixture to both sets of supporters.
Anyway, if you’re anything like me, this is probably how you’re feeling right now:
You’re now at the point where your attention span is shot to pieces, your arsehole’s twitching Harry Redknapp on speed, and the butterflies that have been lingering quietly for the last couple of weeks are now some kind of giant mutant killer butterflies, with razor sharp teeth that are eating away at you from the inside.
You lost the ability to concentrate on anything sometime around Wednesday afternoon.
There is the odd occasion when you forget about it for a few minutes, but then all of a sudden out of nowhere it comes back to you again, and you get that wincing, palpitation-inducing, arse-clenching feeling as it all comes rushing back to you.
The only real treatment for this is alcohol, and even this is nothing but a temporary measure.
And this isn’t just any old NLD either.
No, this is the first time we have played the Spurs Invincibles.
I’m sure there are bound to be comparisons between the Arsenal Invincibles of 2003-2004 and the Tottenham Invincibles of August – November 2016 for the pundits to get their teeth into in the build up to the game.
Don’t worry though, I’m here to help you! I’ve looked into it and come up with a permanent solution to those pre-NLD symptoms. I’ll elaborate more on that a bit later, but first let’s try and take our minds off it for a bit with a brief recap of the last few games.
For the Love of God, Do NOT Mention the N Word!
Up until the Boro game, things had been going well. Perhaps too well. There were of course murmurings about not getting carried away as it’s “only October”, but what we were really all thinking in the back of our minds (even the more positive among us), was what comes after October. The month that sends a shiver down the spine of Arsenal supporters everywhere at the mere mention of its name.
We need to give it a new name, I think.
A friendlier name.
A name that instead of making you crap your pants, makes you smile and feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
How about Fluffywuffywember?
Yeah, that’ll do it. Suddenly, it doesn’t seem so daunting does it?
Anyway, let’s not waste too much time on the Boro game given that it was a couple of weeks ago.
A brief summary: Crap game, we didn’t play well in a game we “should win”, people got worried that this spelled the end of our good run, especially seeing as we have a tough Fluffywuffywember ahead of us (you see, don’t sound so bad now does it.)
As much as that result was frustrating, it was all about how we bounced back from it, and a couple of wins were the perfect answer. It doesn’t matter how you win, or who you win against, you need to head into Fluffywuffywember in the best possible way.
We did that with a League Cup win at home against Reading to put us into the quarter finals, and a win away at Sunderland.
Sunderland might be bottom of the league, and perhaps we should’ve been out of sight before they equalised, but at the end of the day we won 4-1, and again it’s about bouncing back from a setback, be it a week before or during the game. Especially when you have an arsehole of a referee to contend with.
The first game of Fluffywuffywember; 2-0 down at Ludogorets with just fifteen minutes gone after some questionable defending. Our next two games are the NLD and United away. We’ve seen this movie before, right?
We go in level at the break and then with minutes left, Özil scores that goal.
If this movie we’ve seen before, then it’s a “movie” that you used to watch as a teenager when your parents were out; starts off a bit slowly, but you just fast forward it to the good bits, ending in one almighty climax at the end.
I’ve seen a few people, Arsenal fans included, belittle that goal due to the opposition, but if you are at the point where you have criticised Özil so much – however justifiable your arguments may be – that you can’t just sit back and enjoy that goal then that’s your problem, quite frankly.
Hopefully this has helped take your mind off of the upcoming NLD, and as promised, here is my solution to those pre-NLD nerves……
THE NORTH LONDON DERBY MUST BE BANNED!
I don’t know how anybody hasn’t pushed for this already, to be honest.
Even from a football point of view, I mean, well….fuck it, basically.
All that really happens these days now anyway is the game ends in a draw, we get weeks of that “power shift” shite, only for them to eventually Spurs it up and spectacularly finish below us yet again.
We might as well just save everyone the pain and suffering, the nerves, the tension, the ruined underwear and all the other unpleasantness that come with the NLD and stop it altogether. Nobody enjoys it any more anyway.
Take a look at these figures from the Health and Safety Executive website:
• 27.3 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury
• 144 workers killed at work (2015/16)
• 611,000 injuries occurred at work according to the Labour Force Survey
How many of these were caused by NLD related stress? We can only speculate, but is it worth the risk? It might not be the end of the world if some office bloke gives himself a paper-cut while worrying if “this is finally the year….” But it only takes an Arsenal supporter working in a nuclear reactor somewhere to get a twitchy bumhole at the wrong moment to lead to the very extinction of mankind.
There are other factors to take into consideration too.
Alcohol, sweet beautiful alcohol.
Alcohol holds the power to cause you to forget who you are, where you are and where you live, let alone who we’re playing this weekend.
As I said earlier, this can be used as a temporary measure, but we are constantly being told about the dangers of alcohol, not just from a medical point of view, but a social one too.
The term “Broken Britain” is one that’s thrown around quite a lot these days, but do we really want to put the future of this country on the line, simply down to a football match?
There’s something for you all to think about anyway.
Bearing in mind of course that should we beat them, then all will be good with the world, and I’ll put the petition on the backburner until next time.
Let’s hope that’s the case.
Anyway, wherever you are watching the game, have a good one, and be sure to drink lots of alcohol. It does help.
Up The Arsenal
Islington born and bred, Arsenal through and through. Supported the Gunners for all of my 46 years (so far!) through thick and thin.
Clickbait: Life as a Modern Football Fan – released 2019
Currently working on my next book – Over Land and Sea (and Lockdown), Arsenal 20/21 – A Diary of a Season – due for release Summer 2021.
I will back the club I have in my blood to the hilt and I don’t care what you think about that. UTA.
AGAINST MODERN FOOTBALL.