Thursday, October 30, 2008

4-4 in the North London derby

"Just a joke. Be a draw at best. Like how many honours has Fabregas won with Arsenal? Then again, how many Arsenal players have won anything with the club in general, period?! Lol. Lose tonight, never be lived down and the struggle for 4th begins...."

- Glebs, a poster on the gunnerblog forum; a very funny guy

My link to the Arsenal-Tottenham game's just died on me. It's a shame because we're leading 2-1, Adebayor's missing simple chances, we could be 2 points from the top of the table if we win... and because it's the North London derby. I'm not sure why it's got a hold on me. I'm not a Londoner, so I've no real parochial ties to this fixture. 

Adebayor's just scored. 3-1 and the game's as good as over. 

Anyway, I'm not sure why, but there is a visceral thrill to see Tottenham mired to the foot of the table, four(?) points off 17th. I've been to the stadium and I've sung the songs and watched the Arsenal play live -  and somehow, I've caught that bit of parochialism that dictates Tottenham to be a side that is hated, loathed and despised. Schadenfreude as well, I suppose. 

I've been in Brasov for a couple of days - enough to make an opinion of the place. And I don't like it. When I first read about the place, I imagined a nice, pretty town like Cesky Krumlov. What I found was a medieval town square surrounded by the sprawl of a grimy, booming industrial city. There's still quite a lot of the 14th century town left, and it's interesting to poke around the narrow laneways, but it's half drowned out by the evidence of progress and the smell of cigarette smoke and dog faeces. 

It's a bit sad because there's so much of the old town that needs to be preserved. But as development encroaches on the town, I don't think much of what's left will survive. I suppose it's the fate of all little towns - get swallowed up and become an irrelevant, touristy backwater inside a much bigger city.

As I'm scouring the sites for a live feed (it's 4-2 to the Arse now, if you believe it), I'm wondering whether the North London derby will go the way of Brasov - to be swallowed up by something much larger than it. Maybe the days of the local derby are limited. I'm sure it's important for fans from London, and especially for those who actually know their way around Islington, or can point the direction to Seven Sisters, but for the rest of us, it's increasingly become a case of one team against another. 

When I think of our great rivals of the Premier League, I think can barely think outside of the Top 4. We've history against Man Utd and we've history against Chelsea. These are rivalries of the current age, the ones that decide trophies, the ones that really matter. 

And Tottenham?

Well, they're a bit like the old town of Brasov - a backwater side in the biggest booming league the world has ever seen. It's a pity, because it's apparently a cracker of a game, but them's the breaks in this globalised world. 

I think it's safe to call this one now: 4-2 to the Arse. 

No wait, Jenas just scored. 4-3 to the Arse. 

Wait again - Lennon scored in the 93rd minute. 4-4 draw. Bloody hell - what the fuck is going on over there? Bloody fucking hell. Gelbs was right.


ArseNole said...

Absolutely gutted...don't know how you can blow a game any better than that. My stream was f*cking up on me as well but I got to see the end, although I didn't really want to after the fact.

Connolly's agent said...

There's going to be a replay on Romanian TV during the day. I can't bring myself to watch it. The anger's gone, but it's replaced by a resigned disappointment - we're not going to challenge for anything, this year. Better just hang on for 4th, and hope Mark Hughes doesn't get things right in January.

We need some character at the back. And we need to splurge big on a goalkeeper, a centre-back and a defensive midfielder.