Saturday, August 31, 2013

Arsenal at Tottenham Preview

Under normal circumstances, this derby match would be interesting because these two North London rivals just don't like each other. But even more than usual this early season match-up is significant because: (1) Tottenham came so close (but not close enough) last year to beating out Arsenal for the final Champion's League spot; (2) Tottenham has been spending like a drunken sailor this summer, thanks mainly to the generosity of Real Madrid, which is about to complete an 86 million pound deal to bring Gareth Bale to the Bernabeu Stadium; (3) rumors persist that Tottenham have been slowing that deal to the final day of the transfer window especially to prevent Arsenal from being able to buy any players from Real Madrid, who might become surplus to requirements after the Bale transfer; and (4) Arsenal - specifically, Arsene Wenger, has been so woefully negligent in allowing the squad to grow weaker during the summer, despite (a) promising to sign new players, with (b) more than 100 million in the kitty to spend, and (c) to the point where Wenger is now suggesting that the ridiculous Nicklas Bendtner may actually play for the Gunners this season.

I cannot bring myself to hope that the Gunners are embarrassed by the Spurs - that would be going too far - but I'm not sure that anything else would cause Wenger to finally realize just how negligent, incompetent, and out-of-touch he's become. If Arsenal win or even tie, I expect Wenger to continue whistling past the graveyard.

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