Normally a North London derby has attracted more attention i recent times, with both teams vying for more than perhaps they are tomorrow. However, it still is special. Now there is still a lot left to find out before the season is done between the two teams. In one corner, a team who’ve failed to play in their stadium for this fixture to take place and wrongfully not punished for it (in this writers view); now face a game behind closed doors in a stadium that is pretty much a replica of the one not so far down the road in Islington. The other. our Arsenal and for them this might just be the most decisive match for a long time.
When you compare the seasons, the both teams have had you could argue both have had the worst one. As we laughed at them losing to Bayern München by more than we ever did (and a superb display for ex-gunner Gnabry to boot), they equally laughed when we lost to a last gasp Olympiakos goal in the Europa League. We had the last laugh though as RB Leipzig won without them even conceding in the knockout round of the Champions League.
The best so far was possibly the humiliation of the whites drawing in the League Cup to Colchester who went on to beat them in the penalty shoot-out in the third round. While Arsenal lost to the bad attitude of Jürgen Klopp putting the academy kids and the manager in charge because of “fixture congestion” for a thrilling match which ended with the kids on top on penalties after a famous five all draw.
In the FA Cup there is still a journey to be had for the Red side of North London. With an unfavourable cup game against Manchester City and a return to Wembley; with previous history in account this match up will be an interesting on to watch. Meanwhile there won’t be any celebrations as the whites ended up losing on penalties to Norwich in the fifth round.
But let’s forget the jokes of both teams trying to out embarrass each other. Both teams have had a mixed bag of results since project restart. Now seems more important than ever for both teams with Europe, pride and bragging rights over the neighbours. After a draw earlier in the season at the Emirates, this game is surely going to be a one to watch on Sunday.
I am hoping that this North London derby lives up to the history. Excitement, drama and no holding back in every challenge. Mikel knows the meaning of these games especially for the fans and I am sure as composed as he normally is on the touchline, he will be making sure that all the players included are pumped up and ready to play or take part when needed to. I am sure it’ll be more interesting that the opposing manager is nothing but an old dinosaur who loves to moan and being bitter, he might even be wishing to relive his glory days and with his added attitude towards Arsenal it will be interesting to see what his plan is (unless it’s more winding up). This is one game that will matter more than potentially the whole season all together.
A football lover from an early age, who began to support Arsenal in my early years. I never got to go to Highbury to see any games or even the tour, something I wished I was able to do. I play disability football as well and appreciate the support that the Arsenal Foundation has given the local community, which I have raised money for previously.