Now for two cup games in a week, in what is a very cuppy month. We're going to be sick of playing Newcastle by the end of next week, so it's nice to precede that with a good old fashioned North London derby. Spurs will probably be fairly confident of passage to the Carling Cup final, and you can't really blame them. Under Ramos, their form has been semi acceptable, apart from losses to Arsenal, Chelsea and Aston Villa. They were pissed off having already lost to us twice this season, and just wanted it more than we did in the first leg. It was reflected in the players and in the fans. Look at our two thirds full stadium compared to their delirious delight at the tantalising thought of getting their first win against Arsenal this millennium, in a game that we don't care about against a youth side. But, each to their own. 1-0, and you fucked it up.
I'm worried and excited about this fixture in equal measures. Same as with every game against Spurs really. You look forward to the tradition of texting all your Tottenham cunt mates at full time, but always have that lingering doubt that maybe, just maybe, they'll get their act together and nick their first win against us in over nine years. I expect Arsene will resist the temptation to use a Cesc here or a Clichy there, and go with essentially the same line up that got outplayed in the first leg, minus the injured Djourou, Senderos and van Persie. Last year he strengthened the Carling Cup side a smidge for the ties against Spurs, but there was no sign of that in the first leg, minus van Persie's triumphant 45 minute return from injury. I'm not really expecting us to proceed, I think Wenger cares little about the competition this year, Spurs will be full strength, in front of a sell out home crowd, with the potential for their first silverware in however many years in their sights. The line ups will be pretty much the same, and it didn't work too well in the first leg. Gilberto and Denilson is especially ineffective as a central midfield pairing. However, this young side has made a habit of proving me wrong this season, at the end of normal time against Blackburn I was certain our ten man youth side was on it's way out, and for the sake of not having the cunts at work wear their Spurs shirts on Wednesday, I hope to high fuck we win. Maybe on penalties, just to make it that little bit harsher.
The current unbeaten stretch in all competitions against Tottenham stands at an impressive twenty one matches. If we can carry it on until November this year, it'll be nine years. God they must be so pissed off. Assuming we don't draw them in the FA Cup this season, the 11th of May is the fifteen year anniversary of the last time Spurs beat us at home. If we hadn't played a reserve team that day in 1993 we'd have already celebrated twenty years. Never mind.
I expect we'll see the same side that played in the first leg, but Eduardo in place of van Persie and Gallas in place of Djourou. Senderos is the other selection head ache, he probably won't be availably after getting a clout against Fulham, so Gilberto or Hoyte will partner Gallas. With no other obvious candidate to play on the right, it'll be Theo there and Eduardo up top with Bendtner, I'd expect. We'll probably have a bit of experience on the bench to bring on if necessary, but Wenger's going to stick to his guns and play the side that woefully underperformed in the first leg. If Hoyte is at centre back, Gilberto will play in midfield with Sagna at right back, and if Gilberto plays at centre back, Hoyte will be at right back with probably Fabregas being drafted into the middle to partner Denilson.
Subs: Lehmann, Clichy, Fabregas, Rosicky, Adebayor.
I expect they'll go for the same team that played well at Ashburton Grove. Hopefully they'll have the same inability to secure a result. Kaboul, Bale and Bent are the main absentees for them. King returns to their line up after being rested in their game against Sunderland ahead of the game against us. What a ridiculous club they are.
Subs: Robinson, Tainio, Huddlestone, Boateng, Defoe.