Ben & Rob's preview - Arsenal
Sat 25 September 2021, 13:15|Tottenham Hotspur
N17 Live presenter Ben Haines and Club commentator Rob Daly look ahead to the big one - Arsenal at the Emirates in the Premier League on Sunday (4.30pm)...
Getting back on track after Chelsea with a Carabao Cup win on penalties at Molineux...
Ben: “Big moments for Bryan Gil and Sergio Reguilon smashing their penalties in. For Bryan, that’s an early defining moment, it will do so much for him in terms of his early journey. Having got through on penalties, this is the perfect match, the derby, and everyone has to be on their game. I believe we can go there and win, but the number of times I’ve gone there thinking that and they produce a performance...”
Rob: “The first half performance against Chelsea certainly got lost in a lot of the post-match analysis, so it was great to get the win at Wolves, wins like that in a penalty shoot-out... you saw how much the players enjoyed it, and there were plenty of positives out of that performance. Nuno is always honest and frank, he talked about positives in both of those matches, and there have certainly been spells in those games where we’ve seen what he’s trying to do.”
What do you think of when we say ‘Arsenal’?
Ben: “I remember as a kid being allowed to stay up and watch Match of the Day on the Saturday night, rather than the Sunday morning, when it was derby day. I grew up in north London and lived through a tough period when Arsenal were annoyingly good and dealing with all that banter. But then the little turning points, and you could feel we were turning it around, the moments - Martin Jol’s team at Highbury in 2006, Danny Rose’s volley in 2010, Gareth Bale, Rafa van der Vaart completely embracing it and Rafa giving it some every time he played, and of course Harry Kane, starting with his two goals in 2015. It just feels like everything has completely shifted over the last 10 years.”
Rob: “It’s a cliché, but nothing else really matters in this game. Even back in March, the Lamela ‘Rabona’ game, Arsenal were pretty good that day. They turned up, played good football, turned it around, but they haven’t been able to deliver that consistently. They’ve been below par, that’s undeniable, but they will turn up again on Sunday, and Spurs have to be ready for it.”
Ben: “I remember being in a bar waiting for a date, a friend was going travelling. It was our last chance to meet, and it was the night of Danny Rose’s volley (2-1 win in April, 2010). I got there early, a pub that was showing the game, my friend was running late, there were loads of Spurs fans in there and she arrived two minutes after Danny’s goal, with me jumping up and down, hugging another fan, covered in beer. She suggested we arranged the meeting for another time. I thought, ‘yep, fair enough!’"
Rob: “There was something special about the win at home last season. There were 2,000 fans back in the stadium, Sonny scored that goal and Harry Kane’s goal, it was just perfect. 2,000 fans sounded like 60,000 that day.”
Ben: “That Kane goal was the embodiment of what we were trying to do at that time. They were on the attack, we lured them in, Lo Celso broke, Kane, Son, Kane, then in off the crossbar. Perfect! We now need one of those wins at the Emirates.”
How do the guys think it will go on Sunday?
Ben: “I’m confident. I think we’ll win. I never enjoy this game though, not until the final whistle goes. Even the home games behind closed doors, when we were cruising, it always feels like it’s on a knife-edge. I’ll be nervous until the final whistle and then, if we’ve won, I’ll lap it up!”
Rob: “I’m pretty confident as well. If we can liberate Tanguy Ndombele, get Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg on the ball, win that midfield battle, I think we’ll be okay. I think Spurs can win there.”
Ben: “There is something special about watching Harry Kane score in the derby. He always does.”
Rob: “He’s the all-time record goalscorer in the derby now. So, that does it, Harry will score, definitely!”
Give us a memory from the Emirates...
Ben: “Dele’s chip in the League Cup win in 2018. I was sitting directly in line with it. The ball was in the air for what felt like so long, but Dele was already away celebrating. He’s off to the corner. Harry Kane’s control and pass, just perfect. That was so, so good. We were great that night, Sonny’s goal as well, clinical.”
Rob: “I’ll have to go for the 4-4 in 2008. I also love Dele’s goal in the League Cup in 2018. It’s also difficult not to have a little smile to yourself when you think about what Erik Lamela managed to do in one game last season, the ‘Rabona’, then get sent off.”
Ben: “That was peak Coco.”
Rob: “I’ll go for that and the 4-4.”