Welcome back to yet another trip down memory lane, as we look back at one of the many Premier League encounters between bitter rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. The North London counterparts were both battling it out for 4th spot in the top flight, and as this game proved, there was very little to separate the sides – although you could sense that Tottenham Hotspur were a team on the rise.
In the midst of the hustle and bustle following Tottenham Hotspur’s loss to Juventus, it was easy to miss some of the comments made by Wojciech Szczesny.
The Juve keeper, who spent many years on the books at the Emirates, had some fascinating things to say to The Guardian regarding the support of the North London club in the wake of The Old Lady progressing to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League.
“There were a couple [of Tottenham] fans – very vocal – next to my bench, who went missing after the 80th minute, so yeah, I enjoyed it. Plus winning at Wembley is always special.”
St Totteringham’s Day, also known as the annual holiday where Arsenal supporters celebrate finishing above their bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League, is likely going to be cancelled for a second consecutive year.
The Gunners find themselves thirteen points behind Spurs with just nine games to go, and when you consider that Mauricio Pochettino’s men are comfortably positioned in fourth spot, that also means Arsene Wenger only has one realistic chance of securing Champions League football at the Emirates next season.
Ironically enough, however, that route could also serve as the perfect foil for Tottenham’s plans of entering Europe’s top club competition in 2018/19.
As Arsenal fans continue to come to terms with what is becoming a disastrous league campaign, Jack Wilshere has taken to Twitter in order to try and somewhat restore the team’s image with an apology.
This isn’t the first time that the 26-year-old has been forced to explain himself, although this time, he seems to agree with the fans regarding the recent criticism of the club.
The tweet, which was put out in the early hours of the morning, said the following: “I’m sorry to the gooners out there. You deserve better. Thats all i have to say. I know its difficult at the moment in this difficult period we are going through as a team but we need you. We will do better but please stick with us”.
Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere has stated that coveted midfielder Jean Michael Seri will not be sold when the January transfer window opens. The 26-year-old was close to a move to Barcelona in the summer before the deal broke down at the last minute. The Catalans have since signed midfielder Paulinho and seem content with their options in the engine room this season.
Arsenal and Tottenham, however, remain interested according to reports. The Gunners have recently welcomed back Jack Wilshere who can provide creativity and ball retention in midfield, but his injury record means he’s unlikely to last the entire season fit. Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka has been the familiar partnership of late, but Seri would be an improvement on either player.
OGC Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivère has revealed the club will sanction two more sales to raise more for incomings, which could mean Arsenal-target Jean-Michael Seri could be available this summer, reports the Metro.
Believed to have a £36m release clause, the Nice midfielder could yet be on his way to Arsenal after the latest revelations. “There should be three or four more arrivals, and two departures. We want to finish these as soon as possible, but certain cases take more time than others,” Rivère told L’Equipe.
According to the Mirror, Arsenal have entered the race to sign Manchester City attacking-midfielder Jadon Sancho. The 17-year-old has attracted the interest of a host of clubs this summer and is yet to commit his future to the Sky Blues. Tottenham are believed to have had an approach rebuffed for the coveted youngster.
Sancho, who is being monitored by Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Bundesliga side RB Leipzig, was a standout performer at the U17 European Championships in May, winning the Golden Player award – previously won by Toni Kroos, Wayne Rooney and Cesc Fabregas.
According to the Daily Mail, Tottenham Hotspur are looking to steal OGC Nice midfielder Jean-Michael Seri from under the nose of fierce rivals Arsenal this summer. The 25-year-old has attracted interest from AS Roma and Barcelona, but Tottenham are believed to be pursuing the Ivorian heavily and may have edged themselves in front of Arsenal in the race to sign him.
Nice are holding out for £35m, the player’s release clause, and rejected a £20m bid from Roma recently. Seri has enjoyed a standout season at the Allianz Riviera, scoring and creating 16 goals in 34 Ligue 1 games while making 74 chances and boasting 37 successful dribbles (84%). He looks set for a departure this summer as a result but he’s still undecided about a destination.
Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka was one of many players who under-performed in Sunday’s North London derby defeat against Tottenham Hotspur, but his showing has been symptomatic of the Gunners’ problems this season and why they have been so easy to beat in 2017.
The former Borussia Monchengladbach man made just one tackle and interception in his 64 minutes on the pitch before being brought off for Danny Welbeck, losing the ball in his challenge. He was also beaten twice by his opposition in the game and made the joint-most fouls in the side.
Sunday’s North London derby will pit Arsenal against a formidable Tottenham Hotspur midfield – Mousa Dembele and Victor Wanyama. However, the latter could have been an Arsenal player this season for as little as £12M had the Gunners pursued him. Instead, Arsene Wenger spent three times the price on former Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka – a move heavily criticised. So why did Arsenal overlook Wanyama?