The Arsenal game was a very good marker for us to see how far we’ve come on this year. It was also a good time to play them as they were without Seaman, Adams and Henry, probably their three most influential players, and at a time when we’ve been having some good results.
It was a good indicator for us because we all know that over the last four or five years Arsenal have stretched away from Tottenham. But with our own confidence at a high it was the right time to test ourselves.
I thought we played quite well in the first half, we got right at them, had a lot of possession without creating too many chances and applied a lot of pressure in their half which was encouraging. But there was a stage where they were comfortable in the second half just before they scored.
Another pleasing aspect of our performance was the way we fought back in the last 10 minutes once we did go 1-0 down. Arsenal had been controlling the game for 15 minutes before that, so it was good to see the way we really came back into it and gave it a big push. It’s a great sign that we can do that against teams like Arsenal after going behind.
On the whole, the result was about right even though ours was a slightly fortunate goal towards the end. We deserved to come out with a 1-1 draw, but it just shows how good we’ve got to get. We’re improving all the time but we need to be even better than that if we want to be challenging for honours. We’re on the right path though.
Once that game was out of the way we had to concentrate on West Ham which was always going to be another difficult match. However, we knew it was a game that, if we want to be challenging, we needed to go and get a result which these days means all three points.
A special mention must go to Chris Perry, Ledley King, and Dean Richards, they were outstanding on the day. They didn’t give West Ham a sniff and they deserve all the credit for that.
I thought we played some good football and could have scored a couple more goals which would have made it a more clear-cut result, but having said that the win keeps us bobbing along nicely without anyone noticing. We picked up the three points and that’s all that matters and we’re up into seventh, a nice position to make a push.
Everybody’s losing points to everyone else this year and its going to be a lot tighter at the top of the table. We’ve got to produce these results on a consistent level, that’s what gets you into contention at the end of the season.
It’s great to see players coming back from long injury lay-offs — Steffen Iversen, Tim Sherwood, Stephen Clemence and Goran Bunjevcevic have all returned to action recently.
That just shows the strength in depth we’ve got when we’re waiting on players of their ability to come back into the first team reckoning, along with the likes of Stephen Carr, Gary Doherty and Chris Armstrong who are on the way back.
Chris has had a terrible time with injuries over the last couple of years. I certainly enjoyed playing up front with him in my first spell with Tottenham and I look forward to seeing him playing well in a Tottenham shirt again very soon.
Enjoy the game.
Tonight we look to continue our recent good form in the Premiership following two tough London derbies.