The North London derby between Arsenal and our great enemies Tottenham is now less than 24 hours away, but I am already feeling the butterflies. This is probably one of the most even-matched derbies for a while on current form, with Arsenal only losing two games in the League so far, but Tottenham bettering that with just the one defeat in their opening game against Man United.
It’s not just the fans though, it is the players themselves. Here is what Matthieu Flamini had to say: “It is a power, an energy, an electricity and something that drives you crazy,” he said. “Some people jump from a plane to get this adrenaline, others go to the stadium. It is something you want to experience, not just see on TV.”
LOL Matthieu, I expect you will have a ringside seat, but I doubt if you’ll be playing. But Arsene Wenger, who has watched like nearly 50 of them, is also feeling the pressure. “It’s a special game because it’s always special between the two north London clubs,” Wenger told Arsenal Player. “It’s a game with a big importance in the table and psychologically it has a big meaning. It is always a special game and a game where you want to come out on top.
“I agree about the power, energy and electricity around the game. It’s more the feeling [that stays with you].
“I remember when we won the championship there, and our last game in the League Cup was a frenetic game. But the energy, the intensity, the commitment, the happiness when you’re [winning] – that’s what remains with you.”
“You want to keep a cool head as well,” he said. “At the end of the day, you want to control your nerves and you want to focus on playing football. That’s always the best way to win a game.
“There is respect because it’s two teams of quality, it’s always very tight and because, over the years, [the question was] always: will Tottenham finish above Arsenal? Many times we had to fight with them for a Champions League spot. It’s always had a special meaning.”
Yes but they never actually BEAT us to the Champions League spot, and we really need to make sure that thought is erased from their minds tomorrow with an emphatic win. I can’t help feeling the butterflies though…..