sport news The inside story of how Arsenal won the Premier League at White Hart Lane in ... trends now
Arsenal will arrive at Tottenham this Sunday sitting top of the table for the first time since April 25, 2004 when we won the league at White Hart Lane. All we had to do to be crowned champions was avoid defeat. And we did.
Tottenham tried to spoil our party. We flew into a 2-0 lead which they pulled back to 2-2 in the final seconds, Robbie Keane scoring in stoppage time. But that draw was enough to ensure Arsenal were champions again.
Now, Tottenham are looking to put a dent in Arsenal's latest Premier League title push and, more importantly for Antonio Conte, turn their own season around in the process.
Arsenal famously won the Premier League against rivals Tottenham at White Hart Lane in 2004
Mikel Arteta's table-topping side will travel to Spurs in the north London derby on Sunday
Mikel Arteta and his players will have to make sure, like we did back then, that Tottenham do not knock them off course. The North London Derby is a game deeply ingrained in my blood.
That 2004 trip stands out as an abiding memory, and I have many of this ferocious fixture. As Arsenal return to Tottenham sitting top, here is the inside story of that famous trip to White Hart Lane 19 years ago.THE BUS RIDE
1.30pm: We're on the team bus, snaking through the streets of north London. Since the 2001 arrival of Sol Campbell from Tottenham to Arsenal, the white-hot reception from the Spurs faithful has been getting more and more aggressive. We were used to our bus being targeted by fans hurling objects at us – stones, cans, bricks, you name it – and today is no different. Yet on board, I feel fearless alongside this group of Arsenal players. All this aggression around us is only fuelling our fire even more. I'm sitting at a table, opposite Dennis Bergkamp and Jens Lehmann, and we love it. So do the rest of the squad. We arrive at White Hart Lane at 2pm and burst off the bus. Kick off is still two hours away but we can't wait. Bring it on.
We were greeted with a hostile reception by Spurs fans but that only fuelled our fire even more
3.45pm: We're in the dressing room, preparing to play the most important match of our season, and a security official is talking to the squad. He's telling us not to celebrate because it might incite the home crowd. If he had told us not to go overboard, then fair enough. But the exact wording was: 'Do not celebrate.' It is a strange instruction to give a team that is one game from being crowned champions. Ridiculous, really. Of course we nod along. But it's not an order we're keeping at the forefront of our minds.
3.50pm: Arsene Wenger's team talk. It's the usual team talk from the boss. It's full of energy with Wenger demanding that we play our football and take the game to our opponent. It isn't too in-depth because we had worked on the detail throughout the week. This game is on a Sunday afternoon and Wenger had named his starting XI on Friday morning. We had already ran through the team shape with the XI and everyone else playing against them in a 10-minute match. The bell rings and it's time to head for the tunnel.
4pm: The tunnel at White Hart Lane isn't the biggest. It's a cramped