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.


Cheers for reading,

Be Happy