The story of Carlos Tevez refusing to come on as a second half substitute in Munich didn’t interest me. Not one bit. I smiled knowingly as football writers milked everything they could from the story, tilting it in a this-and-that direction. As they filled up their columns with every angle, rival coaches, present and past team mates had a few words to say too. Still, I remained absolutely unmoved. I expect every avid football fan to be used to sulking players. Cristiano Ronaldo sulked at Manchester United. Thierry Henry and Cesc Fabregas have sulked at Arsenal. Torres sulked at Liverpool. So what’s the drama about really? I won’t even donate more than one line to Titus Bramble, who has been suspended by Sunderland after policemen allegedly caught him with cocaine and also charged him for sexual assault.
What interests me more is what will go down in North London and Merseyside this weekend. The EPL fixture list has thrown up two interesting derby games this weekend. In the first of the two, Liverpool visits Everton’s Goodison Park, both teams have had relatively shaky starts to the 2011/2012 season and although Liverpool sits in fifth position, they’ve already lost two games and drawn a couple. However, it does seem both teams are beginning to find their feet in their last games.
White Hart Lane is where most of the action will go down. Arsenal travel to neighbours, Tottenham Hotspurs for the first North London derby of this season. Of the two teams, Arsenal has had the worse start but three victories in a row in three different competitions should boost the morale in Arsene Wenger’s team. Truth be told, the Gunners have not been in sparkling form and the new imports have had to settle into the team under immense pressure. But when it comes to derbies, neither form nor even injuries matter – the teams fight to the death.
Even before these round of matches, I know Manchester United will sweep pass Norwich City and Chelsea will put Bolton in place at The Reebook Stadium, but there is no telling how the two derbies in England will pan out. What we are absolutely sure of is, the intensity we are used to will increase several notches.