The Shifting Sands of the Enemy

Originally Posted on Goonersphere

Current Affairs is a wide and constantly evolving topic. I do enjoy a quick dip into the droves of stories that whizz by in this ever-changing genre. The main parameter that separates itself from its news peers is the fact it is time-dependent. As the title is CURRENT Affairs – this signifies it centres on what is currently doing the rounds during every lunch break.

On social networks regarding our beloved club, it has been rivalries.

What has stoked the fires of discussion is the fact that two of our rivals will be doing battle for the Capital One Cup on March the 1st. Chelsea and spurs will be duking it out for the first piece of silverware of the domestic season and it would seem suddenly we can’t unanimously decide who gets to receive the wonderful gift of our vociferous vilification.

The contenders for our abhorrence have rap sheets that signify why Gooners aren’t exactly fond of these London-based clubs. Let’s have a brief recap shall we?

spurs

Ramos spurs

Became our enemy since our shift from the barren lands of south-East London. They resented us plucking fans from the area and also the Henry Norris Debacle that isn’t as scandalous on our former Chairman’s reputation as history suggests ( Read Jon Spurling’s fantastic ‘ Red Letter Days‘ to find out the truth ). Since then, our intense loathing has grown stronger with each passing year. Being in our vast shadow for the best part of twenty years has also rendered spurs fans more occupied with hating us than with concerns over their own failings. So much time passed with a severe lack of Vitamin D has led to a deficiency that is irreversible. No amount of Capital One Cup wins will erase the fact that the greatest player to emerge from that hovel in the last generation jumped ship to us and proceeded to rub their nose in it. We hate them. They hate us. Some say with spurs star on the wane for so long, this has weakened the explosive nature of North London Derbies – much like when Sir Alex Ferguson faced off against his old nemesis Arsene Wenger in the latter stages of Fergie’s career. An adversary that used to push you to the limit but now cannot reach the level you once fought at is a pitiful sight.However,  for evidence that the NLD has lost none of its spark need only look at the social networking input from fans of both clubs. Surely we cannot forget that this team has its own chant dedicated to how much we loath them?

Chelsea

Chelsea-Cesc-Fabregas1

The veritable new kid on the scene. Armed with a swagger of confidence and an air of invincibility. Before Abramovich sauntered into the UK with nobbut a dream and several billion pounds sterling – Chelsea were floundering in the big pool with the big kids. Ken Bates gamely invested money to compete but no amount of Italian imports could help them leap the enormous chasm from wannabees to contenders. Then Roman slipped a crisp cheque down the underwear of Bates and quicker than you can say ” Drowning in oil ” the Blues from West London had a shout of glory. Resentment from teams that grafted their way to the summit has hounded them, but after winning the League 3 times and capturing the Champions League – the simple matter is that they don’t care. They flaunt the FFP rules thanks to neat sidesteps and loopholes. They do not grow teams, they build them like pre-fab houses. They attract F.A interventions and suspensions thanks to their thuggish antics but lessons are never learned. They represent a lottery winner treating himself to a slap-up meal at the Ritz but with table manners worse than a warthog with worms. Which also has an odour problem. And a large family that share the same traits. They haven’t exactly earned the welcome mat.

So how can we overlook the many years of vilification we have shared with spurs? How is it possible to ignore the inherent feelings that are shared by every Gooner? For we hate tottenham, we hate tottenham. We are tottenham, haters.

For objectivity’s sakes though – the last few years have really brought the repugnance of chelsea bubbling to the fore. Every whinge from Jose, their arrogant and sometimes disrespectful manager. Every stamp and scythe from one of their players. Every player currently stockpiled to avoid any talent going elsewwhere, wasting away in footballing purgatory with Vitesse Arnhem. Every moral code that hasn’t already been broken by the current crop of primadonna players that has been mercilessly hacked down by representatives of that club. This is why it is such a close call.

In the 90’s, especially the early Wenger years – saw a respite in the North London hate-fest. We had bigger clubs to fret over. Since Martin Jol and his bulldog-visage brought in a revival at White Hart Lane though – which coincided with our own fall from grace – we have had to keep more than an eye on these upstarts with ideas above their station. A combination of lasagne, a crafty chef and Lady Luck saw us through what was potentially the season where they would end the hoodoo and finally finish above us. It wasn’t to be and whilst they have come close on other occasions, we have maintained our foot on the submerged head of our neighbours in white. We are aiming upwards.

That is exactly where Chelsea lie in wait. It could be argued that spurs are on the up but it is the boys in blue that hold what appears to be our seat at the table of contenders. That is what irks most Gooners I feel. The fact we should now be in the position Chelsea find themselves in. Now that the shackles of stadium debt are more manageable we should be snapping at the heels with a view to replacing them at the summit. The moment Abramovich walks out of Stamford Bridge will be the moment Arsenal fans stop hating on Chelsea. This is because they will no longer be rivals for honours. They will be unable to manage the debt that Abramovich currently holds at bay and even if they can, the astronomical wages will surely swamp the club. At the moment though, they have the capacity to dine at the top table for years to come.

So currently, I’d say it is pretty even. If in our deep subconscious we ask ourselves – ” Can I bear it if Spurs win the COC? ” – then the answer I suspect will be no. I would like nothing more than to witness Jose bemoaning something completely random that was the downfall of his team, but for spurs to end their hunt for coruscating trinkets such as the COC after us receiving so much stick for our own dearth of shiny objects? I’d very much like that to continue. We may be able to keep the head of spurs underwater right now, but we could lose our grip and the tables could be turned.

Growing up in Scotland, you were brought up to hate one Glasgow club or the other. Nevermind if you didn’t like football. You must simply choose. Green or Blue. While the rivalry is not to the same extent – a local rivalry that has a river of history that rages through the heart of all arguments is more pure, more organic, than a detesting of a revolting club that has benefitted from nothing more than a lucky break with a massive interest rate.

For every positive, there is a negative. For every hero, a villain must be present. Batman, meet Joker. Spiderman, say hello to Venom. Harry Redknapp, roll down your Range Rover window and greet the taxman. Well, spurs are our antithesis. Our nemesis. Plus, I’ve just been shown that bloody Harry Kane winner for what feels like the eighteen-millionth time. I feel nauseous.

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