25 February ~ There is never a bad time to beat Arsenal. Oh, apart from the 2000s. That was clearly a dreadful time to beat Arsenal, judging from Spurs' overpowering and unwavering reluctance to do so. Tomorrow, however, would be a wonderful time to beat them. It would more or less complete our role reversal. We are not just playing for pride any more; they are. We do not have to get ourselves up for the big game and rely on a derby descending into a battle or a lottery; they do. We are not delaying the inevitable day when it becomes mathematically certain that we will occupy a lower berth in the league; they are.

We are not concerned about an average squad with one overstretched superstar we will probably lose; they are. And we are not embroiled in civil war about the future of our manager; they are.

If we win tomorrow, our anxiety about finishing above Arsenal and in the top four will be over, and the debate about Arsène Wenger's future will reach, to borrow a phrase, fever pitch. Here is the twist, though, the inevitable Tottenham twist: we will probably lose our manager before they do. Almost certainly, in fact. Honest Harry is surely a shoo-in for the England job. And what then for the Premier League's Most Exciting Team?

There has to be a good chance that players such as Gareth Bale and Luka Modric would use Redknapp's departure as an excuse to depart for gigantic pay packets. Unless of course, we do something special. If José Mourinho comes – and there are as many Spurs fans who recoil from the prospect as there are who relish it – arguments about style and success aside, at the very least those top players would concede that the appointment would be a massive statement of ambition. 

Win, lose or draw the derby, both north London clubs will face bigger challenges this summer than they do this Sunday. Dave Roberts , Such Small Portions

Comments (2)
Comment by donedmundo 2012-02-27 16:42:08

Ah well. Back to the drawing board.

Comment by hugogreen 2012-03-01 17:56:08

Your squad looked distinctly average on Sunday.

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