This weekend’s north London derby will not be a special occasion for the players or fans, Back of the Net can reveal...
Tottenham and Arsenal have announced that Saturday’s game will be carefully policed to prevent the prevalence of clichés that have marred past encounters.
The phrases have been widely seen as inevitable when two rivals meet, but the clubs are hoping they can usher in a new era free of tired, hackneyed sentiments with a cliché-free game at White Hart Lane.
The message has been delivered to players ahead of the routine Premier League fixture and seems to have hit home.
“It’s not a particularly big or small game and I’m in a hurry to get stuck in,” Harry Kane told FourFourTwo.
“The fans won’t be a factor and we’re not expecting the atmosphere to be in any way electric. I know the players will all give at least 80 per cent, which is pretty much the most you can reasonably expect.”
A statement signed by Spurs and Arsenal has declared that, for the first time ever, no bragging rights will be awarded to the winning side whose fans will be expected to display humility and an understanding of the game’s irrelevance in the grander scheme of things.
Furthermore, there is no plan to throw the form book out of the window and anyone seen to be doing so will face disciplinary measures.
“These are the games you dream of playing in growing up,” Theo Walcott begun, before receiving a warning cough from a press officer. “Sorry, all I meant was that if you can’t psyche yourself up for this then what can you... all I’m saying is the fans have been looking forward to this...”
“We know it’s a big ask, but we want to keep this one cliché free,” Spurs chairman Daniel Levy explained. “I’m sure the fans appreciate just how much this would mean to the football club. They can be our 12th man.”