KING OF THE NORTH
The North London derby may have proved to be the top 4 decider between Spurs and Arsenal. Although, some may argue the case that Arsenal had their destiny in their hands going into the Monday night’s game away to Newcastle at St James Park. The eventual outcome was not welcomed in the Red half of North London.
Arsenal were outclassed by a rejuvenated Tottenham side who were tipped by pundits to finish the season ahead of their rivals and clinch that all important fourth spot. You could forgive Spurs fans if the result had gone the opposite way as too often Spurs capitulate under pressure. However, with Antonio Conte at the helm, the mentality has shifted. Spurs hit 3 goals against Arsenal thanks to contributions from Kane (2) and Son (1). They later secured a one nil victory over relegation strugglers Burnley, putting them in pole position for a return to the Champions League.
Arsenal meanwhile will no doubt reflect on a great opportunity missed. A draw against both Spurs and Newcastle would have probably sufficed, however it wasn’t meant to be. Newcastle played well and thoroughly deserved the victory as the game ended 2-0 (nobody saw it coming). The players seemed lethargic and just didn’t play with the same energy and drive we had witnessed in matches against the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea (games Arsenal won). In fact, they won those games back-to-back and also beat West Ham in that run also (It certainly made Spurs fans hella nervous). Arsenal at one point in the season looked destined for relegation (FACT!!) but they managed to turn things around.
So why has it gone wrong for Mikel Arteta and his young Gooners? Was it a lack of leadership? Multiple injuries? Failed recruitment in the January window? The list could go on. I think it’s fair to assume that it was a combination of these factors but having said that, when you have the opportunity or rather, when the opportunity presents itself, you have to take it. The reality for Arsenal fans is that their beloved team failed to deliver when it really mattered and that’s the legacy for their 2021-22 season. Or, could there be a final twist in the season going into the final game of the season against a Premier league safe Everton and dependant on Spurs losing to relegated Norwich. Is there a glimmer of hope for Arsenal? NO! Europa League football awaits!!!