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Matt King on Tottenham v Arsenal


"The first game my dad took me and my brother to was at Arsenal. I was 10 and I hated Highbury, I remember watching the clock and thinking it was like something from a shopping centre. He later took us to White Hart Lane. I loved the atmosphere and the electric-green of the pitch. That sealed

it for me, I was Spurs. My brother, though, was Arsenal.

"Our dad let us decorate our rooms, so I painted mine blue and white with a massive Spurs crest above the bed. My brother used red and white and put a cannon on the wall; it may as well have been the Berlin Wall, there was a door between us that was like Checkpoint Charlie: freedom and democracy on one side, fascism and evil on the other.

"Our house in Hertfordshire backed on to Tottenham’s old training ground. My brother closed his curtains and denied its existence.

"Our best recent meeting was when we beat them 5-1 in the Carling Cup (above). It was made even sweeter when Emmanuel Adebayor and Nicklas Bendtner went for each other. That’s Arsenal all over, they’re like children.

"No matter what game they’re in they look like miserable b*stards.

"Their fans aren’t much better. In 2006 we both went into must-win games and our squad had been hit with food poisoning. I was watching in a pub where both games were on and all the Arsenal fans, despite the fact they were winning, came over to watch us losing. To them, it’s all about other people suffering.

"I tend to go a bit mad when watching matches in the pub, sliding down the evolutionary scale, letting out guttural roars. I missed our win over Inter, so got updates from Gooner Alan Davies who said we were amazing; I’ve never heard him say anything nice about us before. I’m worrying that we’re getting too good. I’ve started to miss the heartache, the pain and the food poisoning."

Whites is out on DVD on 22 November


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