The North London derby is a fixture that for many of us is the first one we look for when the fixtures are released. Whether any of us enjoy the two subsequent encounters is something else entirely. But one thing unites us, we must win. Despite the circumstances of tomorrows fixture that is still very much the case.
I won’t ever believe that tomorrow’s match is more important than Thursday’s, despite it being that lot tomorrow and despite us carrying a 3-1 lead into Thursday (with away goals counting). I won’t ever believe that a derby without fans is much more than a heated game of football. But I also won’t ever believe that tomorrow doesn’t matter. Over the years I’ve been crushed by goals they’ve scored and sent into that sheer elation when we’ve scored. Only those who have been will know what I mean. That explosion of pure adrenaline when the ball hits the net and for the next x number of seconds instinct takes over and when it finally subdues you’re left gasping for breath, the adrenaline still coursing through your veins but the initial moment slowing. Tomorrow won’t be the same but it’s the game both sets of fans are still desperate to win.
I’m not going to go into tactics and line ups because it’s irrelevant what I or you, dear reader, thinks. Tomorrow the one thing that counts is that, no matter where you are, you believe in the team and you believe we will win. In whatever way you can tomorrow get behind the boys.