Arsenal vs. Tottenham: 5 Things We Learned in North London Derby

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Arsenal vs. Tottenham: 5 Things We Learned in North London Derby
Clive Mason/Getty Images

If you're looking for answers following a mind-boggling North London Derby, consider the wisdom of the ancient Chinese philosopher.

The Tao is like a bellows:
it is empty yet infinitely capable.
The more you use it, the more it produces;
the more you talk of it, the less you understand.

Seriously. The next time someone tries to convince you they have Arsenal or Tottenham Hotspur or the English Premier League—or even football itself—figured out, just go ahead and quote some Lao Tzu right back at them. You won't be sorry.

Recall, if you can, the peaks and valleys of the roller coaster Arsenal currently find themselves riding. Barely more than three weeks ago, Arsene Wenger's Gunners demolished Blackburn 7-1 at the Emirates. Wenger earned some relief, Gooners found some release and the assault on fourth place seemed inevitable.

Then came the comeback win over Sunderland—thanks to a late Thierry Henry goal in his final Arsenal game, for now—followed quickly by soul-sucking losses at AC Milan and the same Sunderland squad.

In the eight days separating the second Sunderland match and Sunday's showdown with Spurs, the world of football media joined together in unison for one major Arsenal freakout. Arsene Wenger was done, on his way to being done or completely incompetent, insane or indefensible, they said.

Well, then.

After Sunday's stunning fightback, some of the boo-birds will fly away. But maybe they shouldn't go too far. Any observer of Arsenal's full season would agree that the critics have been right about a few things at least.

It's too soon to tell how much, though. It's still possible the critics were right about everything; and it's equally plausible that Arsene has known all along. In this schizophrenic Arsenal season, it's nearly impossible to know, and Sunday's 5-2 win over Spurs hasn't changed that.

That won't stop the pundits from making bold claims about Wenger's competence between now and May. But if this season has shown us anything, it's that the more you talk about it, the less you understand it.

Thanks, Lao Tzu.


Follow Mike on Twitter: @MikeCummings37

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