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Arsenal 5 Spurs 2: Match report

FROM GOODPLAYA AT THE EMIRATES

THE BLAME GAME
Blaming a red card for everything that subsequently follows is a tactic beloved of many a football loser. “X (where X is something for which the winners can be attributed no credit) decided the game” is how the argument goes and because one can’t prove otherwise, the notion gains a lot more credibility than it really deserves.

Except in the instance of the Emmanuel Adebayor sending-ff we have a reference point that kind of demolishes that theory. It was nine months ago, Arsenal were not one goal down, but two goals down to Spurs in the same fixture. Further to that we had no man advantage. And the result? Exactly the same. 5-2 since you ask.

So while the red card was undoubtedly followed by an improvement in our fortunes, I simply don’t buy the idea that at the very least a watered down version of what happened wouldn’t have happened anyway. They did, after all, concede four goals without reply and pretty quickly at that.

THEIR GOAL
Of course, we remain defensively porous. Collectively, our defenisve line was woeful for their opener. I’m not sure Szczesny could actually have done much more than he did but quite why Vermaelen seemed to give up tracking Adebayor I don’t know.

THE RED CARD
Was a shame because my preference is always to see 11 v 11. I also didn’t think Adebayor’s intention was to hurt (it hadn’t been that kind of game). But the tackle was reckless and the red card decision was clearly the right one. Off he went to a sea of red season ticket-holders being waved.

I’VE NOT HAD MUCH GOOD TO SAY ABOUT THEO WALCOTT IN THE PAST…
But it dawned on me a few games ago that he really had improved of late and his cross for our equaliser was his first contribution to another excellent performance. It seemed to take an eternity for his ball to reach Mertersacker but when it did the header was immense. 1-1.

OUR SECOND…
Reminded me of Louis Saha’s deflected goal in the same fixture last season. Lucky, yes. But also the kind of luck that can be decisive when you’re eight yards from goal in a shooting position.

THE THIRD…
Was beautiful from Cazorla. Fouled in the build-up, he kept going, running towards the corner where we sit. I could sense he was about to make something happen, so much so that I turned to my brother sat next to me and said: “He’s on one here”. A beautiful pull-back and a smart Giroud followed.

IT WAS ALL ABOUT CAZORLA’S AMBIDEXTERITY…
For the third he had pulled it across with his left leg but for the fourth it was his right that he used to finish off a flowing move that seemed to take in all our attackers.

I REMEMBER THE SIGHT…
Back in February of Spurs fans going home after 68 minutes. Our three goal buffer arrived a little earlier on this occasion and there were no more than a handful of early leavers. Then after they scored nobody else left, so much so that in injury time all parts of the ground were still full, mindful of the 4-4.

THEIR SECOND…
Was nicely done, though Mertersacker and Koscielny probably should have got better challenges in.

WE SETTLED…
Eventually and Theo got the goal his performance deserved. Something has changed with him and it is welcome to see.

THE STARS…
Were Walcott and Cazorla, who was a godsend at the end as we kept possession.

DID WE LEARN ANYTHING?
No, but then I don’t think we were ever going to. We knew both of these teams could attack and we knew they were both very brittle too. You do sometimes wonder if Spurs exist to make us feel better about ourselves. Or perhaps they are a shadow, puppet organisation in fact run by the Arsenal board, with the express aim of always finishing that little bit beneath us. It would certainly explain where our money is.

IN TERMS OF THE SQUAD…
We had no striker on the bench on Saturday, which is frankly criminal.

8 Responses to “Arsenal 5 Spurs 2: Match report”

  1. slc gunner says:

    Have been waiting for this blog so that I can finally post something positive about the Arsenal. We haven’t been playing well, and with recent history in mind, you can never be comfortable as an Arsenal fan, even at 4-1. However, it’s always good to beat the Spurs and brings a little of that feel-good factor back. The derby always seems a one-off of course and this in particular must be the highest-scoring derby in recent years.
    As for the game, Spurs had the better of things for the 1st 17 mins for sure, but AVB must be delusional if he thinks his team “controlled” the game from start to finish. We dominated after the red card (agree on it being a red), and bar 10 minutes after half-time and maybe 2 or 3 minutes after the Bale goal, we dominated. Granted, it was against 10 men, but having watched a 10-man Fulham give as good as they got today, I can say we were far more dominant than is often the case in 10 v 11 situations.
    Agree that Vermaelen was slow to react to Adebayor, but it was mostly Per’s fault. What he was doing in pushing up, I have no idea. That caused a domino effect with Kosielny dragged across to Defoe and likewise Vermaelen to Adebayor.To be fair to Per, he made it up for it big-time. He really should be scoring more given his height in the box. Tony Adams would have been proud of that goal.
    Theo has been good in recent weeks, thought he was excellent yesterday. Took the game by the scruff of the neck. Loved how Cazorla stayed on his feet for the 3rd – not all continental players fall over and dive! Liking Giroud’s improvement game-to-game. I was dubious at first, but he’s a much better player than Chamakh. He’s no RVP, but there are very few of those on the market.

  2. Dielle says:

    No strikers on the bench? We clearly do and he is AOC. In Arsenal, all wingers and strikers and all strikers are wingers. No doubt about that.

  3. owolabi says:

    Santi santi santi…..really proud of him,i think all arsenal players were outstanding for d victory.and i am very sure we will see more of this

  4. Wallace says:

    totally agree re Theo. he’s still maddeningly inconsistent, but behind the increasingly impressive Giroud he’s our most likely scorer, and he does set up a lot of goals. maybe in the long run OC and Gnabry will be better players, but right now i don’t see how we can afford to let him leave.

    also, Jack seems to be playing higher up the pitch than he did previously. i’m not sure if that’s on instruction, but he and Cazorla do tend to get in each others way.

    re – no strikers on the bench. i’m a little surprised Chamakh hasn’t featured more after his goals in the CC.

  5. Elvis says:

    Spurs were clearly the better team until Adebayor pressed the self destruct button. Thereafter they showed how massive their inferiority complex is against us. Only with Celtic and Rangers is the gap in class as big for a British local derby. Maybe your theory is correct Goodplaya! As you say, it would explain a lot.

    It was a feel-good victory and, hopefully, it will propel us to a winning run like last season.

    I agree that Walcott was very good. How typical that we wait 8 seasons before he finally fulfils the potental we all knew he had – and then he buggers off on a free transfer. If he is still an Arsenal player this time next year I will eat my hat.

    After an indifferent spell for our three summer signings, they have all hit form again together. Our first choice keeper has returned. And Jack Wilshere is back. Happier days ahead hopefully.

  6. PD says:

    Great stuff. No point going on about issues in the squad – we all know what they are & we all know what it will ultimately mean for our season. We just need to enjoy this one for what it is – a wonderful humiliation of the old enemy.

    My 2 highlights :
    - Jack pre/post Adebayor’s sending-off. The boy’s passion is magnificent to behold. He’s the future of this club.
    - Santi’s finish. His finishing’s been rubbish to date & the only thing that’s looked like stopping him from being great. Hopefully he can kick on & score a few more. (and yes I know he’s scored a couple of screamers but they’re not really good finishes as such & his one at Anfield was just awful goalkeeping)

    But there were plenty more I’m sure & (for once) totally open to being told I;m completely wrong !

  7. MDP says:

    How nice it is to be able to talk about something positive!

    Tottenham were better in the first 20 minutes because their creative players in Lennon and Bale settled quicker and Sandro gave their midfield a bit more bite. Sandro eventually got booked after about 7 fouls and then faded out of the game. I think it could have been closer had Adebayor stayed on the field but once Arsenal got their foot in the door they were pretty much in control.

    The three new boys, Cazorla, Podolski and Giroud all put in great performances. Jack is simply the player that Arsenal will be built around and a nailed on captain for the future. He has that pride and passion that exists in all great players. The Cazorla, Wilshere, Arteta midfield is mouth watering…

    Theo has surpassed all my expectations this season and is in the form of his life and can get better. It will be a shame if he decides to leave but I think the whole central striker thing is mostly a front. Maybe he realises so much of his game is reliant on pace, that his career at the very top could be short lived and for whatever reason wants to cash in. Alternatively, maybe the form he is in will convince him to stay and play wherever suits but it doesn’t look good. If he does go, it has to be in January and for me AOC can more than cover his wing play and maybe a player like Demba Ba can come in to score goals and give us more cover up front.

    The defence showed signs of some improvement despite several mistakes. They are not alone this season as Utd and Chelsea have also shown themselves to be vulnerable at the back. I think the difference with Chelsea and especially Utd are they are more equipped to bounce back mentally. Arsenal need to find that mental strength and consistency in the coming weeks and there is enough in this squad to do it.

    I also hope to see a return to form for Vermailen who seems to have found the armband a bit of a burden over recent weeks. He’s a player capable of being a bit more vocal and driving the team forward, I hope to see that side of him a bit more.

    Montpellier are up next. A very winnable game that should see us into the group stages with a win.

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