Wembley Sabotaged Tottenham: Good News for Arsenal Before London Derby

Robin SAnalyst IApril 12, 2010

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 11: Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp talks to his players before extra time during the FA Cup sponsored by E.ON Semi Final match between Tottenham Hotspur and Portsmouth at Wembley Stadium on April 11, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Tottenham had to suffer a morale-sapping defeat at the hands of struggling Portsmouth in the FA cup semifinal and now it looks like the Wembley turf has caused some serious headaches to the manager Harry Redknapp. His side played on this hard surface, which he declared as a "skating rink," for two hours and ended up losing some key players as though the defeat wasn't enough.

Previously, even Sir Alex Ferguson had a similar opinion about the Wembley surface after their Carling Cup final against Aston Villa and blamed the surface for the injuries suffered by his team then.

Back to Tottenham, Redknapp lost Nico Kranjcar with a suspected fracture to his shin. Also, Vedran Corluka is most likely to miss the clash against Arsenal, who played with an ankle injury against Pompey and "successfully" managed to aggravate it.

Wilson Palacios picked up his tenth booking and followed the path of Alex Song for a two game domestic ban.

These three players were part of the regular eleven and are hard to replace. An FA cup semifinal might have cost Tottenham the Champions League spot, we have to wait and watch. With Manchester City winning their matches convincingly and Liverpool playing for relegation from the Premiership, it's a matter of time before Manchester City eventually achieve what they've been striving for the whole season.

The only hurdle for Manchester City was Tottenham, but now crippled with injuries, fatigue, and the anguish caused by the defeat to minnows Pompey, there's no way back for the Spurs.

Arsene Wenger will be licking his lips ahead of the midweek clash at white Hart Lane. This away fixture couldn't have come at a better time. With Manchester United drawing against Blackburn, this game is vitally important for Arsenal to play catch-up with Chelsea, for that matter the Gunners must win all their remaining games to overhaul Chelsea and become the champions for the first time since 2004.

Recently, Arsenal had to endure a tough game against Barcelona at the Nou Camp but this FA cup semifinal gave them enough time to get their focus back on track and if Arsenal win the title come may, no gooner should forget the contribution of Tottenham.

Even with a depleted squad, an easy win is on the cards for Arsenal and should the Gunners win, Manchester United will find themselves at third position before the Manchester derby, which they're going to lose anyway. So, finally the title race is cut short as a two horse race, like Ferguson said in the early part of the season, but the two horses are Chelsea and Arsenal with Manchester United being the "dark" horse.