As you’ve no doubt seen by now, Arsenal’s opponent in the fifth round of the Carabao Cup is none other than our sort-of neighbors, Tottenham Hotspur, who are spending a semester abroad while their new house is being completely rebuilt because the builder effed it up so bad the first time. It’s fine, though, because the time and material overrrun is only costing them an extra £237 million, bringing their total costs of their stadium to well over a billion pounds. Who knew it was so expensive to build a stadium?
Anyway, after Arsenal beat Blackpool yesterday, and after Spurs beat West Ham, it seemed sorta inevitable that the ping pong balls marked “Arsenal” and “Tottenham” would be pulled out of the machine together, and so it is - Arsenal will welcome Spurs to a fully built, wonderfully executed, and responsibly financed North London stadium sometime during the week before Christmas.
Despite it still being a North London Derby, I hope Arsenal play the kids again; the Carabao Cup is great exposure to top-flight competition without all the expectations that come with a league or even FA Cup game, and since Arsenal have a pretty crowded calendar, it doesn’t seem necessary to burn through another start full of first team regulars in a game that could easily be seen out by the kids. Tottenham will probably take a similar stance, so if nothing else, it’s a good chance to see how the two teams’ youth ranks compare to each other.