The north London derby awaits for Arsenal.
A match that is always the first one to look out for when the fixtures are announced is now, as much as it pains us to admit, one where there is a clear favourite. This season *sigh*, it’s impossible to deny that T*ttenham are a better team than Arsenal.
With that being the case, any nudge in the right direction for the Gunners is most welcome, with news coming to light that Toby Alderweireld is set for between a two and four-week spell on the sidelines, thus ruling him out of the December 5th clash.
This is Arsenal, mind you. Whenever players are due to be injured for fixtures against the Gunners they seem to miraculously recover in time, a la Harry Kane or Sergio Aguero. This one does look like being a miss for T*ttenham though, as Mourinho said in his press conference (via the Daily Mail).
"“He has a muscular injury but not as big as we initially thought. He’ll have his time to be out but not like a month, which was immediately what we thought. So I would say between two and four weeks but of course not playing tomorrow.”"
Alderweireld is the slowest of the options Mourinho has in central defence, who could have faced Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, thus it might actually be to Arsenal’s detriment. However, you can’t ignore the importance of experience in these fixtures, or discount the Belgian’s quality both on the ground and in the air, as Arsenal found out last season.
It is a desperately unwelcome position to be in for supporters. Seeing Sp*rs top of the Premier League and scoring for fun is deeply, deeply painful. How long-term any success is – they haven’t done anything yet – under Mourinho is another factor entirely, as we’re all well aware of the cycles he goes through with the players he signs at whatever club.
Still, at this moment in time, we’re going to need to see a colossal shift in style and a vast improvement in performance against Wolves to start thinking positively about the NLD. They say that the form book goes out of the window for these matches, which to a degree is true, but fans (and some form) play a big part.
Alderweireld being absent is a boost, but Arsenal can’t take any solace from that.