Opposition View: An Arsenal fan on the North London derby


Who are you, and why oh why are you an Arsenal fan?

I am an Arsenal blogger that goes by the name Mean Lean. I have been writing my Arsenal blog since the 2005/2006 season. I became an Arsenal fan mainly because my friends who followed football before I did, were all Gooners. I went to my first Arsenal game in 1992 against Crystal Palace at Highbury and ever since then I have become obsessed.

I feel a little lonely and vulnerable over here, I will have to trust that this is not a Spurs ambush :-)

You had a bit of a stutter on opening day but three wins in a row must make you more optimistic about the season?

To be honest I am usually pretty optimistic about our chances but I think I am even more so given the group of players we have. It is certainly a very small group, too small to compete properly on all fronts (at the moment) but I do like the fact that we have ditched the slightly rotting apples and have a collection of hungry and talented players. Our end of season run in last season showed our character and it is now about showing that from the very beginning. Well beginning minus Aston Villa *Grrr*

There’s been a lot of media talk about Wenger’s purchasing over the summer, or lack of it more accurately. Which positions do you think need strengthening before the window ‘SLAMS!’ shut?

Now there is a question right there. Time is ticking and quality additions are needed. A lot of Arsenal fans have differing opinions on what positions we need. A back up for Arteta was needed and although resigning Flamini has under whelmed many, I am ok with it mainly because he has the right attitude.

For me, I have been hoping for another top quality striker, someone who can spin off a defender, receive a pass and finish as well as winning games on his own with individual brilliance. I am not sure if we will be able to get a player like that so late in the window.

Another defender could be on the cards, someone like Micah Richards who can play both right back and centre back would be quite handy.

With Lukas Podolski and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain both missing with medium to long term injuries I think we could do with a wide player who can make a difference and given that Arsenal and Spurs have such a friendly relationship, it would be nice if you were going to do us a nice favour by selling Bale to Madrid so they can give us Angel di Maria. I jest, I jest.

What did you make of the efforts to get Suarez into the squad? Asking for trouble surely?

The Suarez debacle troubled me greatly I must say. Namely because I don’t like the fella in the slightest but also because he is just the type of striker I described above. Anyway, I have dusted that to one side now but still hoping Arsene Wenger can pull a striker out of the bag rather than a fluffy rabbit.

Are you aware of the Black Scarf movement? How are their campaigns and activities viewed by most Arsenal fans do you think?

I am indeed aware of the black scarf movement. Arsenal fans have so many little divisions among ourselves that I am sure there are many differing opinions. When you speak to various people associated to groups like the black scarf, there are fluctuating views in that very group. Each to their own I guess.

Have you been keeping an eye on the wheelings and dealings at White Hart Lane? That Paulinho looks a player in case you’ve not noticed.

Yes we’ve bloody had an eye on the ins and outs at your lot. A lot of Arsenal supporters are up in arms that you’ve been to work while we have failed thus far. Credit to Levy and AVB though, you knew that Bale was going and you have spent well and decisively. Paulinho seems to have hit the ground running, in fact your midfield looks impressive, although I wonder about your creativity in that area. That said, I think Christian Eriksen could do that for you.

What form is Theo in? Has he been playing well or is he saving his best for us like he normally does?

Theo has been improving steadily, he is actually playing well right now just not scoring the goals just yet but that is not a problem. One thing Theo will do regardless of his form is score goals. Sunday would be a great time to start.

Ramsey’s been getting good write-ups I notice?

Ramsey’s form started in the run in last season, this season he has stepped up a level. I said during our first pre season game that he had a glow about him. He is proving a lot of people wrong right now and I’m proud of him. One thing is for sure, with Ramsey in our side, your midfield won’t get time to settle on the ball. In fact I think the midfield battle will be very interesting.

Looking forward to Sunday or like me, do you see it as more of an endurance test?

It is certainly an endurance test, especially so early on in the season. Clubs are only jockeying for position at this stage but there is no doubt that a positive result for either side will give them a much needed psychological lift for different reasons perhaps.

And a prediction for the big game please.

Predictions? I think this one is too difficult to predict mainly due to Tottenham being somewhat of an unknown quantity at the moment. Perhaps I am being biased here but I see all your changes as an advantage to us. Well that is my hope at least. We started last season with a pretty new attack, Giroud, Podolski and Cazorla having to fit into the way we played as well as the new league, it took time for sure and we did not click for a while. We are only seeing proper fluidity today so I am hoping that is the case with your side.

Needless to say, I hope we win but I also hope for a good entertaining game of football. These games between us usually is.

Have something to tell us about this article?


  1. That's the kind of competitive spirit that I like to hear from both sides, no nasty's between each other – just a poke or two ;-)

    Well done! COYS!

  2. As an American Spurs fan, I found your responses very honest and straightforward, something the media could learn! I know we will be looking for different results, but I agree, the match should be great. Perhaps this time, no red cards and a Spurs victory………..at least that's my hope. Good luck to Gunners, but not good enough to be on top of Spurs.

  3. Yes nice bit of banter to make a nice change. I'm a gooner it will be tight especially as you have brought and brought well., but I think we edge it 2-1 in the end.

  4. Good article. I think the game hinges on the midfield battle. Arsenals small mobile players against Spurs big scarey beasts. I think Sandro, Capoue and Paulinho will need to outmuscle Ramsey, Wilshire and Cazorla and close them down. It’s something we have done to good effect so far this season. In attack we need to get the ball on the deck for Soldado. We need that killer pass from the centre of midfield. Should be a good game. Hopefully a comfy Spurs win. COYS.

  5. Hopefully there won't be a biased ref this time like Spurs hater Howard "I send people off for trying to win the ball" Webb

  6. I found this article far too sophisticated and amicable.

    I hope you pissed in his soup while you entertained him.

    Come on Spurs let's turn these goons over in their own back yard.

  7. Yes its true spurs hav bought well but the problem is are they premier league standard? Arsenal young squad have blend very well and i think our midfielders are one of the best in epl it will be a hard game for spurs bcos they will find the ball and they will not see it, if this fixtures is supose to be later in the season i would have giving it to spurs but as it stands spurs players dnt even knw there follow players surnames so i give it to ARSENAL. 2 ; 0 spurs, and i see ramsey out shined his opponent. U can’t buy CLASS

    • Arsenals problem is they cant buy anyone. Two free transfers to bolster a squad already paper thin. If you knew anyhing about European foot you would know that players like eriksen lamella and chadli are some of the brightest young talents around. Getting kabul and sandro back is like two new signings too. Spurs can boss any midfield and will do so on sunday. The defence still creaks a bit …..if anyone gets that far…..but expect a 3-1 spurs win. And at least one red card.

  8. Spurs will need a few games to start settling in so it'll be a tough match for us to win – the talent is there though.
    Let's hope for a good game and refereeing decisions don't ruin it.

    My wish is for both teams to qualify for the champions league and meet in the final where Walcott scores two own goals and Spurs win 6 – 0 ( Dawson scoring a goal by intercepting a pass in the spurs penalty area and sprinting the length of the field. The best attempt at a tackle coming from Soldado who was determined to complete his hat-trick).


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.