The Gunners host Spurs in Sunday’s afternoon’s derby clash at the Emirates Stadium, and whenever these two meet it is usually eventful
Neither Arsenal or Tottenham seem to be in the best of spirits right now, but that could all change on Sunday.
After three north London derbies played in front of no crowds – or very few people anyway – the Gunners and Spurs will be roared on by 60,000 at the Emirates Stadium this weekend for a derby that is likely to have a huge effect on the morale on the side that comes out the winner.
Following three successive defeats to start their Premier League campaign, Arsenal do seem to have turned things around somewhat with back-to-back victories, while for Spurs it has been the polar opposite.
New boss Nuno Espirito Santo led his side to three 1-0 wins at the start of the season, only to now lose the last two in the league.
Which way will it go on Sunday? And will it be as eventful as these games were?
1998: George Graham – The Return
Two league titles, two League Cups, one FA Cup and the Cup Winners’ Cup meant nothing to Arsenal fans in November 1998, as they “welcomed” their former boss George Graham back to the club as the visiting manager in the derby.
Graham – sacked as Arsenal boss following a bungs scandal – would have been hurt by the reception he received but, as a famously obdurate manager, he’d have been delighted with the 0-0 draw he got.
They were like victories to him.
1999: Freddie Ljungberg becomes a naughty schoolboy in front of David Elleray
Arsenal completely lost their heads in a 2-1 derby defeat at the Lane a year later, as Freddie Ljungberg and Martin Keown were both sent off in a match of nine cautions.
It was Ljungberg who departed in the most dramatic fashion though, as he shoved Spurs defender Justin Edinburgh to the ground and then flicked a V-sign at referee David Elleray.
2001: Sol Campbell picks up the ‘Judas’ baton and runs with it
Three years is a long time in north London anger, and whereas it was Arsenal fans who were turning on Graham in 1998, it was Spurs fans against Sol Campbell in 2001.
The centre-back – who had crossed the divide on a Bosman free transfer that summer – made his first return to White Hart Lane just a few months later, and the home fans weren’t kind.
“It was like people wanted to kill me with their expressions, Campbell told FourFourTwo in 2014. “There were men, women, children, black, white, Indian. It was just like, wow.”
2006: Arsene Wenger and Martin Jol go head-to-head
Spurs failed to put the ball out of play in a clash at Highbury despite both Emmanuel Eboue and Gilberto Silva being down injured, and when Robbie Keane scored that was the signal for Arsene Wenger to explode with rage.
He went head-to-head with Spurs boss Martin Jol as things got heated, and although tensions were high, it was impossible not to look at the pair and think of Superintendent Chalmers and Principal “Skinnnnnnnnnner!”
2008: Emmanuel Adebayor finds the target… Nicklas Bendtner’s nose
A strikeforce of Emmanuel Adebayor and Nicklas Bendtner was always likely to be more of a danger to each other than any opposition defenders, and so it proved as Spurs hammered Arsenal 5-1 in the League Cup in 2008.
At 4-1, the pair came to blows when back defending a corner – something we didn’t know they ever did – and Bendtner, who had scored an own goal, ended up with a bloodied nose.
The pair eventually had to be pulled apart by William Gallas, which says a lot about Arsenal at that time.
2008: Tottenham’s stunning comeback produces chaos
At 4-2 down in the 89th minute Spurs needed a miracle at the home of their near neighbours, and then they got one.
Goals from Jermaine Jenas and Aaron Lennon secured a point from a disbelieving Emirates, with one Spurs fan invading the pitch to celebrate with his heroes.
A few stewards joined in, too.
2012: Dressed in black and grey, Adebayor sees red
The most controversial thing about this derby could have been that Tottenham were wearing their weird black and grey away kit, but then Adebayor – now of Spurs and having already scored – went and sliced through Santi Cazorla eight minutes later.
He was red carded, receiving a lovely send-off as he departed, and Spurs went on to lose 5-2.