Deep down, I knew that Arsenal stood no realistic chance of winning the Premier League this season even before the painful defeat in the North London Derby last weekend. The frustrating draws to inferior teams (Tottenham being one of them) earlier in the campaign put pay to our title hopes months ago. However, I enjoy being optimistic so was clinging on desperately to the belief that anything is possible and we would somehow end up as Champions come May. My bubble soon burst when results didn’t go our way and I had to finally admit that the dream was over for another season.
Losing to Spurs hurts because they are a small club but it has only happened eight times in my life (out of a possible 49) so it’s not a feeling I’m used to. It’s more discomfort than heart wrenching pain. I don’t want to sound soft but I kind of feel sorry for them. They’ve had very little to celebrate since 1961 so it’s understandable that when they do occasionally beat Arsenal, a DVD is released along with an open top bus parade. Saturday’s win was crucial when it comes to Champions League qualification as well as Tottenham’s one and only aim of usurping the Gunners as kings of North London.
Or so everyone thought…
Just like my belief that Arsenal could win the league, the celebrations down at White Hart Lane were cut short a few days later. It wasn’t the most convincing display against Leicester but the most important thing (especially after a defeat to Spurs) is the three points and that’s what we got. Hence why I was confused as to why most fans were leaving in a despondent mood. Another reason to be joyful was that Tottenham lost and normality was restored. At the end of the night, we sat two points above our nearest and dearest with vastly superior Goal Difference.
The Spurs defeat was, as I predicted whenever someone tried to taunt me on Saturday, completely insignificant following Tuesday’s Premier League fixtures.
By Glen Shorey