Dig the New Breed

Following the modern classic that was Arsenal Youth vs Liverpool, we had the small matter of the North London derby, hosting none other than the perennial top 4 gatecrashers. Some interesting team selection from Twitcher brought Rat boy Bentley back into the side at the expense of the injured Lennon, with one time Arsenal target Bassong partnering Ledley King at the heart of the defence for the Spuds, with Woodgate and Dawson covering from the REALLY strong bench.

No real surprises in Arsenals team selection - Almunia's return was an absolute given considering the injury sustained to Fabianski vs Liverpool and the in-experience of Mannone which in recent weeks has arguably cost us goals vs West Ham, Birmingham, and Blackburn, with Bendtner coming into the side in place of Eboue, probably for his aerial qualities.

Early sparring aside, the only real surprise was the lack of any card activity from ref Clattenburg - surely Bentley should have been booked for either or both of his indiscretions commited within the first 8 minutes?? I suspect that had these transgressions occurred later on in the game and spaced by more than 2 minutes he may well have been in line for an early bath.

Apart from seeing Bentley try to re-create last years goal of the season contender (and see it go woefully high and wide) to be honest, Sp*rs fans didn't have a lot else to shout about. Palacios and Huddlestone (thank God HE wasn't on the bench..... I hear those benches are a nightmare to have reinforced with titanium) were clearly tasked with nullifying the Arsenal midfield, and they made a reasonable fist of it. Diaby was his usual... errr.... crap self (sorry for the poorly thought out adjective, my mind goes blanker than Gordon Ramsays testicles when I think of what Diaby brings to the team, other than abject crapness of course), and Song huffed and puffed without looking particularly stretched. Fabregas had the best chance of the first half hour, forcing a great one handed save from the Sp*rs keeper, Gomez. Arshavin was predictably low key as well - he really doesn't look happy at the moment... must be all the income tax he's paying...

The game exlpoded into life on 43 mins, RVP poking home from Saganas low cross. Gomes really should have done better, but who cares eh? Whilst we were wilding celebrating (and I MEAN wildly) Spurs kicked off. Now, normally, a team is at it's most vulnerable when they have just scored, concentration levels dip with the euphoria of going 1 up against your nearest (geographically only of course) rivals. Someone forgot to tell Fabregas though..... cue RVP winning the ball back straight from the kick off, passing to Fab4, and the skipper embarking on a mazy run into the heart of Sp*rs territory. A couple of half hearted challenges were easily navigated, leaving the skipper with only Gomes to beat from 18 yards.... Cesc spanked the ball home, and despite Gomes' going the right way, we were in dreamland!!! YYEEESSSSSSS!!!!!!

To be honest, I was still shouting like a Tourettes sufferer on speed when half time came 2 minutes later or so, and I made the best possible use of the half time interval. Piss, beer, smoke, and several abusive text messages to Sp*rs fans that have paradoxically become friends over the years.

The second hlaf was spent biting my nails in the certainty that Spurs would re-group and we would inevitably concede (as usual), but as luck would have it, my cuticles were saved by a great piece of refereeing by the near faultless Clattenburg in allowing lpay to continue after Eduardo was fouled in the niside right position. Sagna, again, whipped the ball in low, and King & Gomes stole the ball away from the advancing Van Persie.
Hold on a minute.... the ball has slipped through.... it's off Van Persie.... GOAL....3-0!!!
Unbelievable stuff! Thanks Ledley and Huerelho for that early Christmas present!

Cue a stream of Sp*rs fans exiting the stadium, no doubt to either smash up the toilet facilities or to beat up a few "shirts" outside. Tossers.

After the ecstacy, the agony..... of Eduardo failing to score when clean through, not once but twice.... of Diaby thumping a header wide when scoring would've been easier, of Fabregas unlucky not to have claimed his second when Ramsay misplaced a simple square ball, and still time for Eduardo to aim a free header straight at the keeper. 3-0 it finished, could realistically been 5 with only one chance of note for Sp*rs (the Spanish waiter keeping out Rat Boy Bentley's vicious free kick), and yet more bragging rights for the red side of north London. I make that 16 years since the Spuds beat us on home turf (May 1993 I seem to remember the last time, a few days before the FA cup final we played a weakened side featuring legends such as Scott Marshall, Paul Dickov, and Mark Flatts and were unsurprisingly beaten 3-1 - still, we did win the FA cup though...) And to close just a quick word of thanks to Robbie Keane for providing the team with all the motivation they needed to up their game. Stronger squad than Arsenal Robbie??? Better luck next year Robbie - ever thought of trying some lucky heather????