NLD Aftermath

Spurs 2-1 Arsenal – Doesn’t make for pretty reading does it..

A very strange game of football, where we eventually came out second best to the enemy. On chances created alone, we should of lost. But on the pattern of play, we where very much in the game. We just didn’t take the chances that did arise for us. The game turned out to be a battle of high lines, and whom ever played the right passes in behind would be victorious.. There is not exactly any major differences between the teams, mind you. they have a seven point lead and have a high flying Gareth Bale..

The game started off very cagey. The nerves where very clear to see on both sides. We dominated the very early stages and things looked promising. We created a very early chance (By our standards anyway) 10 minutes in, Giroud was put through and was bearing down on goal. With a lovely ball over the top of the Spurs defence. But the very impressive Jan Vertonghen caught him and the chance went begging. It was to be Spurs who broke the deadlock 36 minutes in. Bale, with a well timed run and a very acute finish. Adebayor dragged the Arsenal defence leaving space for Bale to exploit. Sidgurdson was left with the simple task of finding the unmarked Bale. Diabolical Defending. 1-0. Shamefully, it only took Spurs three minutes to double their lead. With an almost identical goal. Lennon was slide in, rounds the very lonely figure in Chesney. 2-0. Halftime couldn’t come quick enough.

The second half begins, very similar to the first, Arsenal possession, not leading to much penetration of the spurs back line. We managed to get our goal five minutes into the second half. A Bale own goal. I could give it to Mertesacker but a Bale OG just sounds better. After some very tenacious work from Ramsey to win a free-kick right in the spurs half, near the corner flag. Walcott swung in the eventuall free kick. Mertesacker with the flick on, straight onto Bale’s head with the ball ending up in the Spurs net. 2-1. Game on. Or so we thought. A few minutes later the ball broke to Monreal who was free at the edge of the box. The Spaniard shanked his left footed shot into the White Hart Lane crowd. We continued to attack the Spurs end. Jenkinson broke down the right-hand side and just before reaching the by-line. He swung in a beautiful cross. But the very impressive Lloris intercepted and gathered perfectly. But to then only spill the ball…unfortunately our frenchman was caught napping and too engrossed in his usual ‘celebration’ of disappointment. 59 minutes in, Bale should of made it 3-1. A well timed crossed ball from Sidgursgon before Bale skied it. A let off. Again Spurs should of finished the game. Sidgursgon through on goal and unselfishly tries to play in the again unmarked Bale, only for Mertesacker to intercept. A minute later Defoe drags a half chance wide of the goal. Another let off. The 80th minute was our next major, and final chance. Ramsey was slide in, the welshman was on the corner of the box. But with a very tame effort, he misses the target. FT. Spurs win the bragging rights, for now..

It’s really difficult to analyse and understand why we where defensively an absolute shambles.
To quote Arsene Wenger

“We were not efficent in the zones where it mattered (At either end). We were not dominated. it was a strange game to lose”.

We where in the game. We just didn’t have enough on the day. A boring and dull cliche, but true. We just couldn’t answer the question that where asked of the team. The game was very similar to our previous encounters with an AVB team – Chelsea (5-3) springs to mind. High lines and defence splitting passes. As I mentioned before individuals let us down, not the pattern of play. What has been a very worrying about this team this season – Every big game this season we have thrown away. It points to lack of quality, as well as the dreaded, ‘mental strength’. Too many poor displays from the major pieces of the ongoing Arsenal puzzle. The better players on the day have to carry to team. You can’t conceed goals like we do and expect a miraculous come back – Im surprised we don’t get more back injuries…

Personally Im very, very bored of seeing the same mistakes never being resolved and the surprise of the club, when they resurface. We are very poor (By Arsenal AND Arsene’s standards) where it really matters. Arsene seems to be really struggling with everything – Team Selections, tactics, substitutions. If you look at the enemy. Firslty, our decline is their gain. But credit is due because they have taken advantage of that. Im not saying Spurs have a Champions League place wrapped up, but ive seen enough enough of Spurs this season to tell me the managerial change was the correct decision.

The Board. The Manager AND the current approach isn’t working. This can’t continue much longer because the tend is backwards…

Cheers for reading,

try and enjoy your week,

As usual – Be Happy,

Ben

The North London Derby

Morning Gooners,

I not sure if you knew, but we have a game today.. Its only the biggest North London derby in recent history..

Possible Starting Line-ups

As it stands, Bacary Sagna and Kieran Gibbs are definitely out. Abou Diaby is rated at 50:50 to play, no sleep lost over that news. Whilst Spurs number first choice striker, Jermain Defoe, ‘has a chance’ of being available for the game, probably coming off the bench. Also the American international Clint Dempsey remains out with a calf strain.

Arsenal – Szczesny – Jenkinson Mertesacker Vermaelen (C) Monreal – Arteta Wilshere – Ramsey Cazorla Podolski – Walcott (4-2-3-1)

Spurs – Lloris – Walker Caulker Vertonghen Assou-Ekotto – Parker Dembele – Lennon Bale Holtby – Abebayor (4-2-3-1)

Previous encounters

What a day the 17th of November was…To jog your memory, incase you forgot, we won 5-2 against the 10 men of Spurs. The scoreline doesn’t tell the whole truth about what actually went on that day. Some of the press / fans, built up our attacking prowess. Our closing down and our work rate, but theses are things I expect in every game, let alone the North London Derby. Spurs dominated possession in the early stages and created a very early chance and they SHOULD of scored. The pressure eventually lead to the early Spurs opener. Chesney palmed Defeo’s shot into the path of Adebayor whom broke the deadlock – His 100th club goal. A dream start for AVB’s men… Well, until hero Adebayor turned from hero to vilian within seconds. With an x-rated challenge on Cazorla. The Togolese striker gave the referee no option. From that moment on, Spurs where always going to have an uphill batlle. We then went on to put five past spurs, with five different goal scorers taking the spoils – Mertesacker, Podolski, Giroud, Cazorla, Walcott. Totteham’s second scored by Bale was the most worrying – A sign of things to come today ? …Bale galloped through our midfield to finish with a fantastic strike, he drove the ball into the bottom corner of the net.

Team Analysis

To continue with Bale for the moment – He played on the left-wing during the previous encounter. Granted he had one of his ‘off’ days, but he still showed flashes of brilliance. (That sentence can sum up his season in my opinion) Later on in the game, once it was psychologically over.  AVB changed his role, he sat just off the striker. Taking a more central role. A free role if you will. This was just a little offering of things to come from the Welshman. Personally, I don’t believe his future is for the conventional number 10 role, even tho he has been very impressive. Currently he is Spurs’s match winner and using a school yard mind-set it makes sense to give him (your best player) free rain. The ability he has striking the ball is out of this world. As we have seen in recent weeks, his goals have been the difference between one and three points. Also the difference between 4th and 5th. That’s why I believe he has been given the role of a so-called number 10 – Goals.

I’m really caught in two minds if Ramsey will start this afternoon. In previous big games, Arsene has opted for the Welshman, to help with possession and recycle the ball. But, when has he ever gone with the trend. Spurs have two very good attacking Full-Backs in Kyle Walker and Assou-Ekotto – Defensively is both their downfall and our golden ticket. Neither Podolski or Cazorla have been known for their defensive play, which leads me to think Ramsey may start.

Another possibility, may be the ‘usual line-up’ – Because of Theo’s lack of build up and hold up play as a central striker, which leads to a lot of pressure on our already shaky midfield. Putting Cazorla central will allow (hopefully) Arsenal to pass around the Spurs midfield. If we can get in behind Scott Parker (Spurs last man in midfield), the mayhem should begin..

Arteta will be key in what happens today – He will be tasked with his usual ‘defensive role’ – The space between the lines will need to be very limited. If he can keep his game simple and sniffs out all the danger – Keeping Dembele and Bale as quiet as possible, We may just grab ourselves three points today *squeezes arsenal shirt*.

What ever happens with the starting XI, the main thing is we start quickly – As a unit. Preventing an early goal for ‘them’. Hopefully we can break the trend, the ‘Arsenal way’ of conceding early goals in big the games… See you on the other side.

COME ON YOU ARSENAL, GIVE THEM HELL !!

Cheers for reading,

Be Happy

Ben