Search

All Guns Blazing: Arsenal’s derby despair was rather fleeting

17:12 11 February 2015

Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur's Kyle Walker and Arsenal's Mesut Ozil. Picture: PA/Adam Davy

EMPICS Sport

In our weekly Arsenal fan column, Alex Bellotti discusses why this season’s race for top four is set to be a marathon, not a sprint.

Well, that lasted long. In the wake of Arsenal’s defeat to Tottenham on Saturday, there didn’t seem quite the same level of fallout we’ve seen earlier this season. Despite the fact that it was a disappointing loss against our oldest rivals, there seemed a muted acceptance that we’d been on a good run and that our standing in the table meant it wouldn’t take too long to get back on top of them.

Fantastically, it took just three days. Such is the life of a Spurs fan – hope lasts the lifetime of a mayfly.

If there’s one lesson to be had from this season, it’s that form is incredibly fleeting. Chelsea are favourites to win the league simply because they’re the only one out of 20 teams that seem able to put a string of results together – and even they have paled compared to the dominance of other league leaders across Europe.

This shakiness is particularly evident in the race for the top four, where no one has really shone enough to warrant any confident predictions.

Manchester United, despite spending the gross GDP of a third world country last summer, still seem to be relying on David Moyes’ guide to long ball football; Tottenham, despite the form of Harry Kane (whose history increasingly seems to embarrass the ‘one of our own’ tag), have followed up most of their impressive victories with defeats; Liverpool still just look a bit rubbish. If you’re going to give the third or fourth spot to consistency, Southampton still, incredibly, look your best bet.

After Arsenal’s glorious 2-0 victory against Manchester City, there was an air of confidence that maybe Arsene Wenger had finally cracked it. Many even asked why we hadn’t approached a game like that before.

Truthfully, the answer was that we had; just look back at the set-up against Chelsea and Dortmund away. Even against Tottenham, the same tactics were employed, but just didn’t work as well on the day because, against top-level teams, it only takes one mistake in 90 minutes to completely disassemble days of work on the training ground.

The unpredictability of Premier League football is why it’s undoubtedly one of the most exciting leagues in the world and the influx of foreign talent into even the smaller teams has only increased the mayhem. It’s great to watch, but it’s making the race for Champions League football more of a marathon than a sprint.

Follow me @alexbellotti

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington Sports News

07:11
Mesut Ozil (left) and Alexis Sanchez celebrate at Vicarage Road as Watford's Jose Holebas looks on

OK Arsenal fans, you can come out now…for the time being at least. The dismantling of Watford on Saturday evoked distant, pre-navel gazing memories of how things used to before Arsenal scrutiny became ‘hip’ in the football industry.

Friday, August 26, 2016
Middlesex bowler Tim Murtagh

With just a month of the season remaining, Middlesex appear better-placed to become county champions than at any time since their last title 23 years ago.

Friday, August 26, 2016
Watford midfielder Etienne Capoue

The match stats team at bettingexpert pored over the recent history of league contests between Arsenal and Watford – who meet at Vicarage Road on Saturday – and discovered that, while the Gunners secured a 3-0 win in the corresponding fixture last term, all of their goals came in the second half.

Thursday, August 25, 2016
Times ABC's Jules Philips. Pic: Dieter Perry

Islington super-bantamweight Jules Phillips is getting ready to go to war – four months after leaving the Army behind.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

London Blitz chairman Henry Charlton-Weedy is determined to make amends for last year’s BritBowl defeat to London Warriors when the teams clash again in the end-of-season showpiece.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Arsenal promo

Here’s your chance to see the likes of Thierry Henry, Robert Pires and Freddie Ljungberg pull on the Arsenal shirt just one more time.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Sandun Dias hit 85 for Highgate. Pic: Max Flego

Highgate hauled themselves out of the drop zone again as the weather helped them to secure a narrow victory at Enfield in Division Two of the Middlesex County League.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Jordan Gregory bowls for North London. Pic: Max Flego

North London skipper Sam Bardon is optimistic that victories in the two remaining games will give his side a good chance of promotion from Middlesex County League Division Three.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now