You really want to play our reserves?

OPINION: Spurs fans must move on from the north London derby postponement – and Arsenal’s switch over the river in 1913

Thursday, 20th January — By Richard Osley

Arsenal Emirates Stadium

IT is now 109 years since Arsenal moved to north London and became by far the greatest team the world has ever seen, but you can listen to some Spurs fans and believe it only happened yesterday.

They still seem so angry about it, as if it happened in their own lifetime and they can clearly remember with picture-perfect pain the day that the Gunners crossed the river and defecated on their lawn.

Surely there can’t be an Arsenal fan alive that smarts with regret about the fact the club switched from south London in NINETEEN-THIRTEEN! And yet this event – which happened decades before they were born – is still such a robotic hang-up for so many Tottenham fans.

“Of course, it’s not really a north London derby… against the Woolwich,” they will lol on to themselves. It’s as interesting as trying to fill the missing parts in your life by posting your Wordle score to the internet; nobody cares.

Given their scarred anger over events that happened only a few months after the Titanic sank, it was perhaps of little surprise to find Spurs fans sparking up an online petition to get the Premier League to investigate the postponement of their match against Arsenal on Sunday.

The Gunners, like everyone else, gamed the Covid system and got the fixture delayed to a time when, potentially, a stronger squad can be assembled to face the old rivals.

As Arsenal have already clattered Spurs 3-1 this season, you can understand the Tottenham faithful wanting the advantage of playing against a team without any midfielders.

Whether this issue would be repaired for Arsenal if Granit Xhaka had been available is a debatable point, but even he would probably be better than hauling in some YTS. Bring back YTS, by the way. I liked the idea that you could tell a careers adviser in PSE that you wanted to be a footballer and by Saturday be on the bench for Swindon Town.

I digress when I shouldn’t, as Spurs’ comical fury at being unable to play the Arsenal reserves on Sunday needs addressing; we have seen from their inability to move on from events that happened before Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated what happens if one of their grievances is not addressed.

The simple facts are, every team has massaged the pandemic postponement system to try and make things more favourable for them. It may be a little ugly in parts – Arsenal said they didn’t have enough players while also appearing to have a lot of players out on loan – but, get over it folks, all clubs would do the same. North London’s original but far less successful team included.

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