Rob Holding says he can’t wait to play against Harry Kane.
FIne. That’s the only attitude to have in a derby.
But there was something I noticed about Kane’s performance against Inter Milan.
In the first half hour he had suddenly recovered all of his fluency, all of his authority. This was the best I’d seen him play for a long time. He was really commanding, roaming around a big left-central zone, showing for a quick ball from the back, sweeping crossfield pass from the left flank , finding runners.
Tottenham like to dictate the tempo, to seize the initiative whenever they can. To attack and keep attacking, so that even if they can’t open you up, they grind you down and force mistakes.
As the captain of Spurs and England, skipper Harry Kane has been under a lot of pressure this year and he wasn’t in great form in the World Cup or since.
But recently he has been playing a bit better and in the Inter Milan game it all just seemed to click for him.
Kane’s consistency and physicality makes Pochettino’s style of play possible. He can hold the ball up, score from distance, from crosses, from headers, from rebounds, from two yards. He can play people in but he also can win free-kicks and score from them.
No other footballer in the Premier League can duplicate all the things Kane does. Not Aguero or Lukaku, not Mane or Firmino. not Mitrovic or Aubameyang or any other striker.
Spurs are very good at starting at a high tempo and imposing their game on opponents and slicing through for an early goal.
So I think that Unai Emery will adjust his first half tactics to make sure that Arsenal don’t concede in the first 20.
Ian Wright says Arsenal are confident after a run of 17 unbeaten games.
But none of the teams they’ve beaten are anywhere near as good at Tottenham right now. And they were lucky against Wolves.
A week is a long time in football. But my overview of this derby hasn’t changed: I still think a draw would be a good result for Arsenal.
Clearly, a win would be huge.
Tomorrow’s referee is Mike Dean, who has sent off eight Arsenal players.
I was told an hour ago that Matt Scott, a gooner, said on talkSPORT that he didn’t fancy Arsenal without Lacazette.
Matt would not say that if he didn’t know something we don’t.