This might be just enough to scare off one Gareth Frank Bale, who could use the £40m said to be on offer from Real Madrid to buy about 50,000,000 such cakes for friends and well-wishers. I’m not much of sweet-tooth, but I wish him well–and actually prefer that he stay with Spurs. There. I said it.
Seriously, though, the rivalry is good for both teams, and his departure would diminish that rivalry significantly no matter who Spurs could bring in with the money Real would apparently pay. Even if they signed a scorer as prolific as Bale (this year), it just wouldn’t be the same. Like it or not, we define ourselves against each other. While many Gooners might be glad to see Spurs plummet so far as to get relegated, I for one think we’d end feeling a little empty inside. Sure, there’s still Chelsea and Man City and Man U, but it’s just not the same. It’s just not the symbiotic, mutualistic relationship each fanbase has come to depend on.
Ah, whatever. We’re in the Champions League; they’re in the Europa. Thierry Henry himself put it well when he said, not in criticism but by way of explanation, the following:
People gave [the players] a go about the pictures and the celebration, but I can tell you I think it was more the fact for any Arsenal player, when you really feel the shirt and really play for that club, putting Tottenham out of the top four–and I do hope that is what they were celebrating because that’s the only thing you can celebrate if you’re an Arsenal [fan] through and through. That is like winning something for me. I said it when we did it to them in 2006; it wasn’t the fact that we qualified for the Champions League. It was the fact that we kicked them out and went in again.
There. It’s been said. There really ought to be a St. Totteringham’s Trophy, an offical one, that goes back and forth between the two clubs (let’s be honest, though. It may visit White Hart Lane from time to time, but its home will always be with Arsenal). American college football is full of this kind of thing–rivalries between two teams marked by some random trinket that goes to the winner each year. Maybe Arsenal should buy up this cake, have it bronzed, and make it an official trophy. If nothing else, we’d be all but guaranteed a trophy every year.