Three Things We Learned during Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Spurs

Alan Alger’s must-read Three Things We Learned as Arsenal prove North London Is Red: Again

Three Things We Learned during Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Spurs

A strong ref and a dose of maturity matters…

I thought the game was reffed impeccably by Craig Pawson yesterday. It might be easy to say that as we sauntered to a 2-0 success in a local derby, but overall he produced a fair game for both sides. Consider the disgraceful penalty decision that knocked us out of our stride in the same fixture last season, when we had started brightly. Pawson had a handle of the game from the start, including the repetitive fouls from Tottenham’s defenders as our intricate passing had them chasing shadows. He even booked a player for fouling Bukayo Saka. Now there’s a novelty! Our young-winger was also the embodiment of a new level of maturity that seemed to emanate from our squad during a tough afternoon. One of many of our top performing players that took the battering and punished the opponents the right way. We let the ref do his job and we did ours!

We’re odds-on favourites for the Premier League title…

Winning this game coupled with Manchester City’s loss in their derby the day before ensured that we are now odds-on favourites for the Premier League title. Whatever happens from here on in, it’s some achievement to receive that accolade from the bookmakers before we’ve even reached the half-way point of our campaign. Essentially they’re saying that we have a better than 50% chance to be lifting the trophy come May. On the basis that some of us would have taken a scenario that had us as a greater than 50% chance to get a ‘Top 4’ finish at any stage of the season, this is some advance on our ambitions and, in-turn, expectations. Are the team ready to be tagged as the favourites? They of course have no choice. But in the coming week if Tottenham do us a favour against City and we beat United we are going to have to own the size of that expectation.

 North London is (and always will be) red…

Yeah we all sing “stand up if you hate Tottenham” and we’re all eager to give the four-letter reply to the question “what do you think of Tottenham?” but do any of us have the real visceral kind of hate their fans reserve for us? I’d say not many, if any! Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure none of us even remotely like them, but their take on the rivalry is filled with a violent anger – as those who have ever taken a trip to N17 as an away fan will testify. This reared its head again yesterday at the end of the game when one of the Tottenham fans decided to kick Aaron Ramsdale in the back as he collected his water bottle after the final whistle. This braindead action will cost him future visits to watch his team – and yes it’s an obvious, but brilliant, joke to say a bigger punishment would be to force him to watch every game home and away. This kind of anger builds up in ‘that lot’ down the road because of the huge frustration in seeing us looking as if we’re returning to former glories, ones they can only dream of. Their supposed period of dominance lasted about half a decade and resulted in a handful of home wins and a Champions League runner-up spot. Granted they finished above us a few times on the trot but, deep down inside, they’ll know they wasted that upper-hand and will return to being noisy but lowly neighbours again very soon. No wonder they lash out

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