First up was last season’s clash at the Lane, where we played some of our best football of the season in the first half, went 1-0 up via Ledley King’s header only for Robert Pires to level it up as it finished in a 1-1 draw.
Forward toApril and arguably our best away performance of the season in the final derby at Highbury, where, with Teemu impressing centrally and Aaron Lennon on song, we dominated for long periods and led 1-0 until the arrival of Thierry Henry off the bench – he scored and it ended 1-1 again.
This season’s first encounter at the Emirates is best forgotten, but there was more agony in the Carling Cup semi-finals when we again sparkled at the Lane and led 2-0 before Arsenal hit back for 2-2 and eventually won the tie in extra time after another 1-1 draw in the return leg.
So what would it mean to beat them at the Lane on Saturday? “It would mean everything,” said Teemu. “We’ve had some disappointments this season, especially because we didn’t manage to get to a cup final, including against Arsenal.
“That was close, but not close enough. I thought we were going to win at home last season and at Highbury, but we didn’t. We’ve been close so many times and this time we have to make sure it’s not just close, but that it’s done.
“It’s good we’ve had a full week's preparation before Arsenal, everyone knows how important this game is, we need the points and it’s a must-win game for us.
“Everyone knows how good Arsenal are and if you give them the space, they will punish you because they have a lot of skilful, technical players. We will look to start brightly again and I feel confident that we can do it.”
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Teemu Tainio admits he's fed up of being so near yet so far against Arsenal.As we prepare to meet our rivals in a vital Premiership clash at the Lane on Saturday (12.45pm), Teemu reflected on a number of near misses against the Gunners in his two seasons at Spurs.