Arsenal 2 – 3 Tottenham: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis

Absolute Shambles.

I don’t know how a team can concede one, leave alone three, against a Spuds side as toothless as this one was. But as it is, Arsenal have gifted their bitter rivals three soft goals to throw away a two goal lead.

That old enemy, losing concentration and desire midway through the game, came back to haunt the side that looked like it could run away with the game and score 4 or 5 in the process. I’m not furious we lost this game. I’m incensed that a 5-0 turned into a 2-3.

The only credit I can give to the Tiny Totts is that they had quality in the final third and took their chances when the gifts were presented to them.

The first half started brightly. Spuds got a corner early on and Bale attempted a lame back-heel that was easy for Fabianski. After that it was all Arsenal.

Nasri’s opener came from a delightful ball over the top by Cesc that found the run of the Frenchman. Nasri’s first touch was not perfect but Gomes couldn’t control it and Samir was able to nick it away and squeezed it in from the narrowest of angles.

Arsenal created a number of half chances after that. The best one fell to Cesc who shot wide when he had a clean sight of goal.

The second goal cushion arrived when a quick break allowed Fabregas to run at the Tottenham defence. He found Arshavin on the left and his ball was turned in by Chamakh.

After this Chamakh had another golden chance when he was clean through. But instead of taking charge of the situation he waited for a foul or for a teammate. Neither came and the chance was missed. The Moroccan would go on to make a similar mess in the second half.

In the first half you could see Arsenal were completely on top. The Tiny Totts were limited to set-pieces and couldn’t create a single clear chance. Arsenal players maintained a good shape, read their attacking moves well, never allowed Van der Vaart or Bale any time on the ball, and kept finding spaces in the Spuds half.

You could sense that the first ten minutes or so of the second half would be very crucial. If Arsenal can maintain the same discipline they should not have any problems despite Redknapp bringing Defoe on for the ineffective Lennon. If anything it should have opened up the midfield for Arsenal.

Five minutes into the second half disaster struck. It’s known as the classic Denilson disaster. Arsenal were camped in the opposition half for a set-piece. Assou-Ekotto launched a long ball forward that was won by Defoe whose flick-on found Van der Vaart. The Dutchman was allowed to control the ball and roll it to an onrushing Bale as Denilson simply jogged alongside. Even Sagna was guilty of ball-watching and not putting enough pressure on the only real creative player in the opposition. Once the ball went past Denilson to Bale he had a clean run on goal and there was very little Fabianski could do.

Arsenal lost their composure for a while but it seemed like the players regained it around the hour mark. Once again it was simple football with neither side creating much except the chance for Chamakh.

The second disastrous moment for the equalizer came out of nowhere. First Dowd gave a dodgy free kick just outside the penalty box. Then, inexplicably, Cesc raised his arm in the wall and the ref pointed to the spot. Now there can be an argument that Fabregas was not looking at the ball and his arm wasn’t above the head of Chamakh so the ball would anyway have hit Chamakh. But the simple fact is that there was no need for raising his hand in that extended manner and if you give the ref a chance to screw you, he will.

Van der Vaart put the spot kick away with ease and it was anyone’s game now. I call this the classic Arsenal disaster. Unlike the one with Denilson where the Brazilian does something stupid or shies away from a key challenge, this one is spread across the team. Any Arsenal player is capable of making a rank amateur mistake in the penalty box. That’s the classic Arsenal disaster. That’s why Arsenal need clear focus on defensive training and a tough, new coach who can freshen the drills and bring some belief in the way Arsenal defend set-pieces. Just putting numbers in the box doesn’t always work.

We saw the dreadful impact of this five minutes from time when the turnaround from complete domination to abject surrender was finished. Koscielny fouled Bale as the Tinies were on a break. I thought Spuds stole 10-15 yards for that free-kick. This gave Van der Vaart a brilliant angle to deliver. His ball found the back of Kaboul’s head as Van Persie made a lame challenge. The ball, as we all feared it would, snuck into the corner of the net.

Between the second and the third goals Arsenal did create a couple of chances. Gomes kept a Cesc strike out with a brilliant save and Koscielny missed a golden chance as he headed over the top with the goal gaping.

After the third goal Arsenal couldn’t really muster anything as the team lost all composure and ended up hoofing the ball all too often.

A number of recurrent problems were again highlighted by this game.

First was the lack of a leader on the pitch. Arsenal heads dropped every time a goal went in and they took a few minutes to recover. After the third goal we wasted 10 minutes as no one was there to take charge of the team and bring some order to the chaos. It’s difficult to criticize most of the players because you could see they were trying hard. The problem is, when the Arsenal system is broken, the players can’t do much even if they work like donkeys.

Second was the lack of tactical substitutions and decision making, an area where I’ve always maintained Arsene needs some help. The first goal gave the Tinies a lot of belief and we needed a substitution by the hour mark at the latest. Denilson should have been taken off, Walcott brought on the wing, with Nasri coming in the middle, Cesc dropping deeper, Song sitting in front of the defence with discipline. We had a man advantage in the middle anyway. It should have been used. Denilson was completely useless in the second half. Arshavin should also have been taken off around the hour mark.

I thought Van Persie, Walcott and Rosicky were the right players to bring on but the latter two came on too late in the game. I don’t pretend to know more than Arsene but we see the impact of substitutes in many games and for Arsenal it’s not as strong as it should be given our bench. A good reshuffle would also allow us the moment we need to take a breather and get the composure back.

Finally, there was the case of Denilson. He just gives up. I don’t know what to say to that and why we haven’t sorted it out. If he is a good reader of the game he should have put a slide in to intercept the ball from Van der Vaart. There was only one pass for the Dutchman and it wasn’t that difficult to read. There are times when it seems Denilson thinks that just by running back and being in front of the box his job is done. That is not acceptable.

Individual Analysis:

Fabianski: Didn’t have much to do and couldn’t have done much for the goals.

Sagna: Was superb against Bale for most of the game. The Welshman was hardly in the game until he was gifted the goal. Can’t fault him for the defeat.

Squillaci: decent for most parts. Read the game well, swept up everything that came in behind Sagna, should have contributed more on set-pieces at either end. Conceded some needless fouls around the box.

Koscielny: very similar to Squillaci. His foul led to the third goal but it was really high up the pitch so can’t really blame him. Should have scored with the free header.

Clichy: had Lennon in his pocket. Defended really well. Spuds rarely had anything down their right. Can’t fault him for the performance.

Song: excellent work on the right flank, especially in the first half. Passing wasn’t very good in attacking areas. Should have stayed deeper when the team lost its composure. Showed a lack of maturity and decision making at those moments.

Cesc: Completely ran the game and was head and shoulders above everyone else on the pitch. Gave away the penalty in a moment of madness. Couldn’t bring the team’s focus back when a leader was needed.

Denilson: I’ve said enough in criticism but he was decent in the first half as he is when the opposition isn’t putting us under pressure. Not good enough.

Nasri: Scored a great goal, worked really well on the right, couldn’t have asked for more except better deliver on set pieces.

Chamakh: scored a fantastic goal, made some superb runs, excellent work rate, but bottled it at big moments.

Arshavin: had a couple of sparks, created the goal for Chamakh, tracked back often enough, but I thought it was the wrong choice to start with him.

Subs: Van Persie’s delivery on set pieces was good, his movement was quality, but he didn’t get the ball often enough. Rosicky was energetic but his decision making wasn’t very good. Walcott didn’t have the composure in tight areas.

As I’ve said in the past, there is no point talking about title chances after every game. There will be good runs and there will be games that are complete disasters. At the end of the season we will see which is more. Right now the disaster column is leading.

Wenger really has to get a grip on things. Right now his players are not delivering to their potential and the buck stops with the manager.

100 Responses to Arsenal 2 – 3 Tottenham: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis

  1. LondonGunner says:

    Desi I was passionately waiting for your article. Good analysis but I disagree Tottenham are no mugs they played brilliantly and 2-0 is like touching the hornet nest, for the first time I blame Arsene for introducing Theo, what was he thinking of taking Nasri out in the last five minutes Theo had 3 chances nasri could have killed both of them, Theo is not good enough, Chamakh needs a rest and we need to make the emirates a fortess once more . Credit when credit is due it was a great derby Tottenham weren’t brilliant nor were we but effective yes they were

    • desigunner says:

      I’m sorry if it came across that I’m saying Tottenham were mugs. Arsenal won 5-1 against Shakhtar and I did say post game that Shakhtar were not a bad team. Similarly, Arsenal could have won this won by a similar margin without it implying that Tottenham were mugs.

      The Tinies worked hard and took their chances. Credit to them for doing that. But those chances were gifts and we cannot deny that. If you can recall a single move where they opened Arsenal up with a great pass please remind me.

    • Manav says:

      Spurs were NOT brilliant. When a team plays brilliantly it dominates the game completely. They did not do that. Yes, they were efficient, took the few chances they created with assistance from some of our men.

      Quality-wise, the north London derby has always been head & shoulders above the Manchester derby.

  2. True Gunner says:

    Arsenal need a good left footed central defender, whan vermaelen is out there’s no one to cover for him. Djourou, Squillaci and Koscielny are all great but they are not left footed.

    • WC says:

      Please don’t buy into this left foot and right foot defender myth. Sol Campbell and Kolo Toure – both right footed and formed one of the best central defenses in the past decade for the club. Alex/Terry – both right footed and are arguably the best defense pair in the league right now. Ferdinand/Vidic – right footers who have the record for number of clean sheets set a few seasons ago.

      There’s absolutely no evidence that a right foot and left footed central pairing is necessary. That is some wacko concept Arsene invented. If you’re defenders are skilled, composed and quality it doesn’t matter what foot they use.

      Squillaci is not strong known to be a strong defender and he’s slow. Koscielny has had a mixed bag so far – statistically he’s been sub-standard and he fouls people, alot.

      • Gennie says:

        Still, what has that (i.e.left footed or right footed defenders) got to do with yesterdays loss to Spurs? The Arsenal back five were brilliant, Spurs couldn’t open them up. All goals as Desi says were gifts due to lack of discipline and pressing during the second half. Please read the article, plus get some football brain.

    • aniruddh says:

      Koscielny is left footed

  3. arsenalist says:

    wellcome to the NEW EPL version 2010 2011….chelsea lost against birmingham….this year we can wait for everything…lets keep the faith

    • Manav says:

      True…but more than Chelsea, I’d love to see the Glaswegian Growler’s (courtesy: Piers Morgan) side lose/draw. I have a grudge against the Red Devils. I’m sure everybody here remembers The Battle At Old Trafford, Pizzagate,…

      Chelsea’s lack of depth is beginning to show. We’ll need more slip-ups from them & Manchester United but most importantly, we need to take our chances, & if necessary, win games the way we did at The Molineux & Goodison Park, hold on firmly even when not playing to our level best, not like what happened at the Stadium Of Light. And for all this to happen, we need better tactics. Let’s face it; Wenger isn’t the best when it comes to altering tactics mid-way through a game. Neither do his substitutions make any significant difference.

      • Manav says:

        Honestly, I don’t know how anyone can affect a tactical change without the manager sanctioning it. I just wish Wenger would do a lil bit of introspection on his own, minus the squad.
        We shouldn’t have lost the way we did.
        And he understands it as well as anyone else.

  4. arvind says:


    THis year we cant wait. this was an utter disgrace. The midfield defending was horrible. Song was on the ground more than upright, Cesc had a brain fart of epic proportions, Fabianski was shaky, it fell apart in the second half due to lack of focus, defensive crap and not finishing easy goals. Kos has missed 2 point blank headers this season, walcott cannot get past his man if his life depended on it…he uses his speed and running with the ball to get behind defenses. Chamakh while a hard worker is too passive in front of goal… he needs to shoot on sight. This was a disgrace and now that Chelesa lost I dont know if I feel better or worse! Wenger as usual making excuses …. Id love to hear Cesc past match comments

  5. Dan says:

    Keep the faith? Do you know how bored I, and many others, am of hearing that expression. Wenger is far from a God. His inability to counter twitchy’s tactical changes at half-time was the reason we lost today! I’m also bored of this boll0cks 4-5-1 formation that we play at home. Wenger needs to get his act together and perhaps if he could conduct himself with a bit of dignity it would be good too.

  6. Prabal Rakshit says:

    saving grace.. Lee Bowyer sinks Chelsea. But I guess Utd will not be so generous. SAF would be rubing his hands in glee..

  7. Mark says:

    I can’t agree with you enough. Except on the ‘toothless’ Spuds. These days they’re certainly no more toothless than we are.

    I just want to add one thing…

    I thought Chamakh should have scored at least two more goals (the chances you mentioned) and I was cursing him as I watched him squander those opportunities…
    However, I feel Chamakh is a guy you should keep on for the full 90 minutes if you can afford to. He just has so much presence in the air – and without him the whole team becomes useless on set pieces.. Not just attacking, but also defending. And he’s a guy who can pop up and score at crucial times in the match. Not something I’d say for everybody.

    I really have to question bringing on Van Persie for Chamakh. Van Persie is alright as part of a 4-4-2 with Bendtner or Chamakh, but with him as a lone striker I think we’re less incisive. Also, the team defending suffers heavily. Kaboul’s goal may not have happened if Chamakh was there to make that challenge instead of RvP.

    It was a sad and shocking second half performance. Maybe they’re not ready to lead league just yet.

    • arvind says:

      Koz had the best chance… point blank!
      There was something missing today with this team…
      the second half we completely vanished.

      we make this game 3-1…we win.

    • Gennie says:

      My thought exactly on Chamack and van Persie on the game. Besides, RvP has not played for ages. he is not sharp, he takes hours just to turn to his left foot. At present he is not to come when you are losing a match, where was Bendtner? At least he is close to Chamack and the last time he played he was on fire.

  8. DC Gunz says:

    Great analysis.

  9. Kannan says:

    It was simply complete carelessness.

    1st Tiny Totts goal:
    a. Why the hell were so many people forward for a set piece when we are leading 2-0 ?
    b. Assou Ekotto gets the ball. Song / Clichy ( not sure who ) has the chance to close him down and make the hoof up the field difficult. Clichy / Song just stood there and gave him the chance to hoof it up the field.
    c. Why did not any one make a cynical foul on VdV and take a yellow card ?

    Tiny Tott Goal 2:
    What were Chamakh and Fab thinking ?

    Tiny Tott Goal 3:
    Kaboul wins the ball against Fab and RVP. WTF. Why was it not Kosc and Squillaci against him ? And Spurs had only 3 people in the box. And one was Defoe. And still Kaboul is against Fab + RVP. Disgusting.

    Are we cursed at the Emirates this season ?

    Formation weakness :
    As soon as Totts went 4-4-2 we struggled to create chances. Totts play 442, we lose. Newcastle play 442 we lose. West Brom play 442 we lose. WTF ?

    Formula to beat Arsenal – Play 442 with one big striker and defend in 2 banks of four. Game over.

    I am super pissed.

    And Chamakh had 2 chances to go one and one with Gomes and he panicked. Bring back Bendtner. At least he will swing his legs a few times.

    RVP cannot play in a 433. He cannot fit in anywhere comfortably. He can play on the wings but that will be wasting him. If he plays up top, he somehow ends up deep or in the wings and there is no one to cross to in the center. Even if we get a cross in, he is no Bendtner / Chamakh when it comes to heading.

    Thank God Chelsea lost to Brum. Formula to defeat Chelsea : Maim Terry and Lampard for life. Any hit mans ready to do the job ?

  10. Steve Palmer says:

    Come into the web said the spider to the fly
    hopeing to catch him and put him in a pie
    the spider closed behind him & the fly flew to the wall
    little bit like Tottenham and Arsenal got fuck all

  11. DINO says:


  12. Tim says:

    Gutting though this result was, I’m not sure we learned much new. We are brittle and alarmingly prone to switching off, but we knew that already.

    We do desperately need stronger leadership. For now, that means Vermaelen. Squillaci and Koscielny are both too passive when things get difficult, dropping deep and making life even tougher for our midfield.

    I know Chelsea’s loss means we missed an opportunity to go top, but at least we are still in this. We do not perform this badly very often, and we can – and must – get better.

  13. winston says:

    It was noticeable at end of first half Nasri,Fabregas,Sagna,chamak all looked tired as they were walking off.If I am not mistaken they all played full 90 min in mid week friendlies.It was even more so when the second half started.Spurs as expected showed urgency and played high up.We by contrast appeared lethrgic and were kicking the ball around.I felt trouble was brewing around the corner and sure enough things started to go wrong.I feel changes should have been made at half time given key players seemed tired, but What choices do we have to do this? Wallcot while he was poor Perhaps may have created some concern with his pace if he had been brought on early.I have to agree with a lot of people who have written here that some how when it comes to it we cant seem to grab the buiscuit!!This game was there for the taking and we blew it.Simple as that.At the beginning of the season I felt we will finish in the top four.Anything else will be a bonus.I dont see anything to change my opinion

  14. arvind says:

    At one point, I was screaming… Thierry suit up suit up!

    I hope he gave the team a real lasing in the locker room afterwards…. bring back Bergy, Adams and Henry to help coach…. there is where the real mojo was… get back the spirit and guts…

  15. gunnerberry says:

    I hope after today wenger sees tht we need a top quality striker chamakh scored a brilliant goal bt he really bottled when he was thru
    Keep the faith come on arsenal we still in this

    • santori says:

      Chamakh needs to be instructed that his primary role is to shoot at goal. No need for any fancy complicated moves, just bundle the ball in.

      It is also abundantly clear that Chamakh still lacks sufficient pace to get by the last man.

      I would think it would be sensible for Wenger to keep an eye on Benzema at Real particularly with Bendtner making noises.

      We could really do with an injection of pace and threat right up top (ala Monsieur Henry);)

      • dan says:

        Well Santori, I’m as frustrated as anyone, and Chamakh missed chances, but if you’re talking pace and overall effectiveness he’s the best we’ve got. Benzema?, it should be obvious that Chamakh is the faster player though perhaps not as clinical, that said Benzema, goal v England notwithstanding is not lighting up la liga either.

        Chamakh has ten goals thus far this term? He is far from useless. Instead of looking at missed chances or different options upfront, granted they are not proven world-beaters, I believe we should be looking at our midfield which lacks dynamism, discipline, toughness and quality to grind out results.

        It was a bit of quality from their midfield that gave them confidence and turned the tide in the end. Van Persie and Schneider made and excellent point recently – Van der Vaart. For six million, he was the steal of the season.,22162,8689_6514280,00.html

      • santori says:

        @dan…we don’t have a deficiency in quality in midfield.

        We already have 4 World class playmakers in Fabregas (Spain), Nasri (France), Arsharvin (Russia) and Rosicky (Czech)

        We don’t need VDV.

        What we lacked was team discipline and Wenger did not address our drop in performance with a timely substitution.

        As for Benzema, just because he isn’t fully working out in Spain does not negate his obvious quality ( a reminder to us with that goal against England).

        I’m not saying we need another striker but if one of our striker does for some reason want to force an issue, some one like Karim (IMO) would better suit the PL and might add that pace we need right up top to keep the opposing defense firmly on the back foot.

        After all, Chamakh wasn’t exactly banging in the goals in such frequency before coming over to us. Who’s to say Benzema would not be the next ‘Henry’ for us (And I say that with a large pinch of salt of course):D

      • dan says:

        Santori, don’t get me wrong, Benzema would be an excellent addition, but Chamakh would be the last striker I would trade away to get him. Rvp – injured, Bendtner – whatever, Chamakh is pacier, provides great plan b, plays well within the team and is a relatively reliabe option. For us, he’s the best we have, Rvp has qualities but two fantastic goals a season that can win a game and then months on the treatment table is not what is needed. Chamakh is the best we’ve got right now.

        The point about van der vaart is about quality, that extra bit that can change a game. Correct, we don’t need van der vaart but we do need more quality, if we are to win something, esp if that affordable, he’s their best midfielder at six million and he changed the game for them.

        Of the midfielders you mentioned which one of them pays sufficient attention to defensive duties? My take – NONE. Sure sometimes they do, but 2-0 up and they can’t close it out. Song? Which song is going to show up on match day? the one that bombs forward trying to score or the one that remembers what his first priority is? Even if he does remain withdrawn can song be expect to handle all the midfield defensive responsibilities all the time? We do not have sufficient quality in midfield, who cares if they are nationals, they can’t defend to a man consistently, close out games, stand and be counted on. The evidence is all around you, but you seem satisfied that teams can run through our midfield at will. Used to be that opposition would be a wee bit more nervy when crossing halfway against us because we had blokes who could make their presence felt, not so the current crop.

        So while I agree we could use enforcements up top, the midfield is packed with ‘show ponies'(to quote another), and the results are telling, 2-0 up and lose at home? Not good enough, everyone deserves some stick, but the midfield is the most to blame. Oh, and having many small players doesn’t help us on set pieces either. I wouldn’t make a point of this if the players would genuinely fight for the cause because age and size should both be irrelevant, but unfortunately there is a lack of fight in these boys. Pleased that no one is suggesting that if only we had diaby(the next vieira) playing we would have won bollocks.

      • santori says:


        …who said anything about trading Chamakh?;)

        I’ll just leave it at this, I’d prefer Benzema to Bendtner as an alternative to the Morrocan (or RVP, whom I think might be better played in the hole as a second striker ala Bergkamp)

  16. Maximilian G. says:

    Denilson is not at fault for this loss , ridiculous; the bulsh@@t ‘tinie tots’ talk, abuse of Gallas who is a problematic person but was nothing but a warrior for us many a time, is below the level of intelligence of this good blog (to whom are you catering here Desi, and more and more??) and some of this rubbed off on the pitch no doubt to explain this arrogant and frail, arrogant because frail, in this unbelievable giveaway.

    • santori says:

      But he was flat after the half and adds nothing going forward.

      Wenger should have switched Nasri in field, with Walcott out right as an outlet for our counters and to keep watch on Bale.

      Fab would sit deeper with Song.

      I think I mentioned this before as I wasn’t convinced with the way we closed out the game against Everton.

      At 2 goals up, we need to have sufficient drill to close shut the game down. It’s not rocket science. 2 banks of 4 with Nasri in the middle supporting either of RVP or Chamakh up front and Andrei and Walcott on either flank ready to pounce.

      We have yet to develop this part of our game.

    • desigunner says:

      abuse of Gallas? Not sure when I did that.

      I’m convinced Denilson is partly at fault for this result but not solely responsible for the loss.

      Arrogance is an interesting point. I think Arsenal need arrogance, right now we are hesitant and unsure. Will cover this in another post.

  17. kelsey says:

    Nasri was our star man and litterally ran out of steam, which was understandable.
    None of our subs really made an impact and Rosicky disappoints time and time again.Where are his shooting bots.
    If we have to think we need a three goal cushion to win a game,something is drastically wrong.
    We have no real leader and the one who could do that job,Vermaelen is out indefinitely.
    It hurts literally to throw a game away against a good spurs side who looked extremely vunerable in defence especially in the first half.
    Why don’t we shoot more often,especially against Gomes who was having a nervous time.

  18. Maximilian G. says:

    However the more important and really painful thing is to admit that Arsenal ball does not work well precisely where we try most to execute it. At home. How explain the losses at home against teams with moderate display, with 1 , 2,3 chances on goal. not the Chelseas and the Manu, why we loose at home AND win away these days? . The simple truth is that away we learned to concede possession stats , play english, while taking our chances in opportunistic moments in the match based on the individual superiority of our players,in a few moments of the game, terrible passing, a lot of brawn and physicality living dangerously half the time against the ropes with good team spirit,, but not playing our ball with precision and domination like we try at home. The English game really.
    While At home a sublime display in moments is undone A) by lack of kill-finishing that is not going to go away!!! . with chances we create we should always outscore the opposition. always .{Chamakh should see a sports psychologist, seriously I mean it, there is no doubt some trauma there , something to overcome, that makes him freeze when STARIGHT on goal, at least couple of times EVeRY game.A shame, great touch strength etc. but a rabbit in front of goal with his feet }. In this formation The midfield should score a lot but Nasri is now the only consistent contributor of goals from the ATT.Mid).Song could have been a bonus but not when you realize he is making up for Fab, who is manifestly physically not fully fit( no doubt about it) and Arsh who is 30 now,his running the wing will come to an end, while also is not played to his strength ( btw how many of hgis great runs are totally ignored or not even perceived by the others?).

    B) the second thing ,the same frailty of our CentralDefensive unit(y) when playing arsenal ball ( at home) is played with the high shape, as always. Kosc is not another gem, not really , and Squil is very big improvement over Silvestre but not a dominant Center back, never that. that is it. Btw To undo a working partnership with Djourou ( height strength) for this game was wrong too.
    Speaking of leadership, Wenger, he must be the only manager I have ever seen who never ever seem to direct, conduct,cajole , instruct his players from the sidelines, ever. Rice screaming godknowswhat, yes, But Wenger, petulance and grumpy weak mentality that cannot but rub off and cannot be helpful to the players, if they even notice.

    • santori says:

      I was 50-50 on Koscielny starting. He has speed on his side and made some timely interceptions but I wonder if it would have been better for Djourou to have started purely on familiarity with Squillaci at the moment.

  19. gunnerberry says:

    Absolute shambles
    Its the same mistakes
    The january transfer window will either make or break our season
    Wenger has to realise that we need at least 3top quality players
    I felt today we got our tactics wrong in the 2Nd half
    We allowed spurs back in the game
    We needed a leader out there today
    N unfornately cesc didn’t provide that
    Some ppl mite kill me for saying this
    But letting fab go to barca won’t be such a bad thing n move nasri into more of a central role
    Bring in samuel eto upfront
    Gary cahill n scott parker to partner song
    If only it was so easy

    • santori says:

      No amount of new players will help if we don’t get fundamentals right.

      We need a new assistant that can :

      1) Give Wenger options
      2) Do some solid shouting at the lads

    • Maximilien de R says:

      Fab is a leader alright, but a crocked one, the only other leader on the pitch we had we gave a way to Spurs.

      • santori says:

        We don’t need him though… remember, at some point, he is liable to pout and sit in the middle of the pitch.

        Vermaelen and Nasri. Between them, you have 2 players who do not seem to take losing particularly lightly.

  20. james says:

    “Denilson should have been taken off, Walcott brought on the wing, with Nasri coming in the middle, Cesc dropping deeper, Song sitting in front of the defence with discipline. We had a man advantage in the middle anyway. It should have been used.”

    Exactly what I expected and hoped for when both RVP and Walcott were warming up; as expected, these players don’t have the mettle to win the league and till they stop being allergic to 1st position when its open, we’re in for another long season.

  21. geoff reid says:

    Play jet who wegner refuses to acknowledge–denilson should never be ahead of him, even lansbury he scored at spurs last time out–BLAME WEGNERS LACK OF TACTICS always subs to late in the game and the wrong players brought off.

  22. santori says:

    Wenger is a brilliant manager but has his limits tactically.

    I’ve been saying this for some time now, he really ought to get himself a new assistant. Pat Rice won’t do. He is too close to the manager to “call the Emperor’s New Clothes”

    First five minutes of the second half (before the Spur’s goal), you could tell we were flat. I actually stopped watching thereafter as I had a sense we were going to thorw it away.

    Wenger simply waited too long to pep things up and we payed the price.

    With the amount of space we had towards minute 30 in the first half (and with Spurs reeling), I thought Walcott should have come on to really punish their soft centre. Even so, it took Wenger ages to put Walcott in by which time team dynamics had gone down the toilet.

    Can he not sense these things sitting in his dugout?

    The correct thing to do IMO being that we were dominant in the middle of the park was to (as Desi points out) sit Fab deeper with Song, pull Nasri in to the middle and have Walcott come on.

    There was a complete lack of desire on our part to go forward with any conviction as the second half drew to a close. I would have thought a half time pep talk (hair dryer) would have forged a different attitude but we came out even worse in the second half.

    Full marks to Spurs who kept going.

    We need to really seriously consider getting a new assistant to actually do some shouting and provide Wenger with options he is not seeing.

    On that note, United are now level up top and unbeaten, despite the frailties of their squad at the moment. Food for thought…again. For us it’s one step forward one step back!:P

    As an aside, I agree with Desi that we are thoroughly lacking in leadership on the pitch. I think short of Vermaelen, Nasri is our man for the passion he displays. Fabregas is not a natural leader.

    • arvind says:

      nice post. agreed on cesc and not a natural leader… also agreed on pat rice. watching him and wenger together is almost comical… like a laurel and hardy team…hahaha

      • gregory says:

        This is a very difficult defeat to take. However, it does a lot to expose the weaknesses in the team. I will point out a few that I have noticed.
        1. The team is talented by lacks fighters. It is a long time since I last saw an arsenal player playing as if he is ready to die for the cause. One reason why our games against Man United are no longer as intense as before is that we have lost the competitive spirit.
        2. There is a clear lack of leadership on the pitch. There is no one urging others forward.
        3This team simply lacks the killer instinct. Chelsea would have gone on and hammered Spurs by five or more goals. Clearly, we allowed Spurs back from the dead in a game in which they did not show anything special.
        4. The formation and tactics needs to be revisited.
        In the final analysis I think we lost because we did not want it badly enough and took the game for granted after going 2-0 up. It just complicates matters because by now Arsenal should be running away with the League.

      • santori says:

        And I think we’ve been getting away with it this long because of the quality we have at our disposal in the squad, and not the other way around.

        We (Wenger) really need to have a good look into the way the coaching set up is at the moment.

  23. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Governance Director, EpiKnightz. EpiKnightz said: DesiGunner: Arsenal 2 – 3 Tottenham: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis: Absolute Shambles. I don’t… #Arsenal […]

  24. All3 says:

    I’m not happy about the result. I seriously don’t point out any for this loss. It’s football. What you guys are doing in this site or any site for that matter is not helping our team in anyway. Everyone is sending out negative vibes, venting your frustration.
    Try to accept that these things happen. chelsea lost today. anyone can give a reason for that? over confidence never spoils anything. we also din’t take foot off gas at the start of 2nd half. we weren’t complacent. This result is one of many things which you couldn’t give any reason.

    • desigunner says:

      Broadly speaking I agree with you. I don’t think we should get too negative. But I also can’t imagine a world where fans don’t get to vent their frustrations. Surely doing it on blogs is not as bad as doing it on the ground, like booing the team.

      There is a problem with negative vibes no doubt. At times I feel just like the fans think we’re going to throw away a lead, the players also feel the same and it affects the way they play. I’ve not way to be sure of this so it’s just a thought. For that reason it’s important for the fans to generate a positive atmosphere, something I thought was lacking even when we were 2-0 up.

  25. Finnish Hit says:

    It seems that the derby loss in such a shocking way has made many of us unable to think clearly. I normally agree with most things desi says (that’s why I moved here for my third daily blog) but not today.

    As Kannan noted, for the first Spurs goal it was disturbing to see so many players forward, including the centrebacks. I got up on my chair because it made me anxious. That was more to blame than Denilson or anyone else during Tottenham’s counter-attack.

    Denilson has been of good quality in his invisible-seeming role this season. If he made one mistake in the first goal so be it.

    Cesc took a risk with his hand and got caught out.

    Our team play was not unified enough when the players got tired (and I think our players looked more tired than theirs which is not normal – the internationals fault?)

    It will be made in the media to seem that Redknapp outfoxed Wenger because of the result. In fact, this was just one of those days when Tottenham got a bit of luck (at last, let’s be honest) in their counter-attacks.

    It’s a game of two halfs and today more than usually… This is football, this is life, and it looks like a really interesting season!

    I was amused at the idea of geoff reid to play JET ahead of Denilson. Not defending Denilson now, just asking would JET be good in that role. 🙂 JET will be immense, by the way.

    Van Persie didn’t change the game. I wonder if Bendtner could have? We’ll never know.

    4-4-2 vs. 4-3-3. You can succeed and fail at both against the other. Real football is not Champ Man.

    Finally, I would really like that everyone outside of North London would stop on this “Tiny Totts” thing. I understand the rivalry and name calling for the locals, but for the rest of us it’s bordering on ridiculous. I’ve always liked the way Tottenham plays and don’t feel I have the need to belittle them. I even liked Chelsea before the Russian sheikh shook things up (now I hate them more than ManU).

    What’s more, calling them Tinies makes losing to them lose your senses. 🙂

    It wasn’t our day, now get over it. I recommend that everyone who threw their toys out of the pram to calm down, get drunk (or whatever preferred method of relaxation), wake up tomorrow and look at the league table and the forthcoming fixtures. That’s the only way we can go.

    • desigunner says:

      Nice post.

      I think we will have to agree to disagree on Denilson today. To me he does only a handful of things so such mistakes are not acceptable.

      Central defenders go forward for set-pieces. We know that. It was not a surprise. The full-backs and Denilson were there to deal with the counter. They didn’t do their jobs right and IMO Denilson was the biggest culprit followed by Sagna to an extent.

      I use the term Tiny Totts or Tinies just for fun. To me personally, they’re not relevant and I think of them just like I’d think of Everton or Newcastle or other such teams. Following the game for close to a decade in India, I don’t think I ever came across a single Tottenham fan. Thats the reason I don’t feel strongly about them but Tiny Totts/Tinies is just hilarious.

      Of course I know the importance of the game for the people in London and I can respect the feeling of the fans who go to the games but that doesn’t mean I’ve to share the resentment/hatred. In the same vein I don’t see why I can’t have fun with the name.

      There is a lot Arsenal can achieve this season. But these losses are affecting the belief within the squad.

  26. Finnish Hit says:

    re: Santori: “We need to really seriously consider getting a new assistant to actually do some shouting and provide Wenger with options he is not seeing.”

    Now this is something that I agree on, nothing against PR but a tactical observer and recommender could be good. Who’s the 40-something guy sitting usually on the second row of the bench? I don’t remember seeing him in previous seasons. The way he looks at the game played sometimes makes me hope that he is in there for some tactical analysis.

    • santori says:

      Is that you Finnish Fox?

      Seems to me Wenger could well do with someone to groom ( God forbid Pat Rice being our future!)

      Dixon’s been spending his time meticulously dissecting our games on MOTD (particularly defensive areas).He ought to really consider getting a coaching license and be of service to the old badge.

      I don’t know the 40-something you’re talking about but evidently the entire coaching set up is due for change. In fact Wenger had mentioned this at end of last season but evidently, nothing has been done.

      Aside from a new Assistant Coach, we could also well do with 2 other specialist (much in the way of goalkeeping coach) in support of :

      1) Defensive issues
      2) Finishing.

      Otherwise, we are yet again liable to commit the same errors.

      • Finnish Hit says:

        “Is that you Finnish Fox?”

        No, that will be someone else. My nick is just a dumb wordplay. :9

        Dixon could be a good idea. But Steve Bould is already working with the Under-18’s and is a step ahead.

        Many of us think that we should do this and that; I would like the idea of better specialist coaches.

        Then, on the other hand, we see shambolic defending from all Premier League teams. They must also be doing something wrong.

        I guess it’s just that the players are human after all. In football, goals are conceded in one way or the other.

      • Phil23 says:

        I was also wondering if it was Finnish Fox but then again he comments on Soccernet which is kind of embarrassing… I have also been saying for a long time about Arsenes tactics but peoples calls for a change of formation are wide of the mark. The 4 2 3 1 formation is modern genius. It gives a very solid base to build on, with equal threat coming from the wings as well as the middle. Where we go wrong is by not committing to having creative/dangerous players in deeper positions. All it would take is to drop Fabregas deep, play Gibbs or Eboue (who I think should go as he is obviously not going to improve beyond Sagna so is therefore not creating adequate competition. (I hope to see Van Der Wiel come in within two seasons) Vermaelen is another player who attacks from deep but obviously he is out. A deep threat is so important because they are the players who often find themselves unmarked and get more time on the ball. This is evident in teams like Barcelona, Inter, Bayern, Madrid, Chelsea, United, etc. When Alves is on form Barcelona are unstoppable but without him some of the best players in the world (Messi, Villa, Xavi, Iniesta) find themselves unable to beat an organised defense. Maicon, Lahm, Ramos, Cole and Evra provide similar threats for their teams. When this is taken in to consideration, we are often seen as predictable and that is because our main goal scoring threats are higher up the pitch and therefore get no time on the ball with a packed defense. If a front four of Messi, Villa, Xavi, Iniesta can’t break down a La Liga defense, why should our top four be expected to break down some of the toughest defenses in the world every single time? We are and offensive team that plays with four offensive players and then there are normally two others in support but these two are never expected to do anything special or to be a game winner. Therefore I believe that Arsenal need to grow some balls and play both Jack and Gibbs a lot more. In a game such as last night, Fabregas should have been sat deeper. In case nobody noticed, he is like a god when it comes to long balls.

      • santori says:


        I’m also for 4-2-3-1 which I think keeps us more discipline.

        However when we sit back (defensively) on a 4-2-3-1 (essentially switching to a 4-4-1-1), I believe Nasri is the best player to take the hole just behind the striker.

        He has the penetration and pace to link up with the CK and do the damage.

      • santori says:

        Sorry…I meant CF not CK (Calvin Klein’s not on our roster is he?):D

  27. Wilsheres dad says:

    This loss today could just be what AW & the squad needed to wake up & get some long standing basic issued sorted so that we become real title challengers.
    Wengers first loss to Spurs at home will be a bitter pill to take, and especially the manner of the defeat. He may say that he doesn’t understand why the players threw away a 2 goal lead to a Spurs team that was being easily contained, but as others have stated
    we witnessed some familiar problems today defensively & tactically. I thought the gung-ho whole team attacking was a thing of the past, but the first goal we conceded was as bad an example of this as I can remember.

  28. samir nasri says:

    heartbreaking, gutwrenching. one of the worst days i’ve had with the arsenal. i wanted to break shit, believe me.

    but with chelsea losing. i say we just need to toughen the hell up, focus is a goddamn tricky thing.

  29. Dan says:


  30. samir nasri says:

    i’ve got a serious question for you desi. do you want wenger ousted? that was just awful to watch no doubt, but we’re 14 games in and tottenham is a better team then they have ever been

    • desigunner says:

      No way! I’m surprised you’re actually asking me that. I guess somewhere along the line I might have been guilty of using some of the words used by the Misery Brigade.

      I’m open to discussion about all kinds of problems at Arsenal and don’t mind criticism of the manager or the players. But there is a big difference between saying someone made a mistake or should have done better and saying they’re useless and should be sold/sacked. Sadly, on the internet this distinction is often blurred.

      I’ve no doubt Wenger, while not perfect, is the best out there and sacking Wenger would be the dumbest thing the board can do. I have no doubt plenty of top clubs around the world will be hoping Wenger is sacked so they can sign him!

    • santori says:

      What Desi is saying is that Wenger is a brilliant manager. In terms of buying and managing talent, there is barely an equal out there who can do it for the budget he operates with. He has also been consistent in keeping us in the Cl through his tenure.

      Where he has some deficiencies (and I’m not saying he is a bad tactician) is in tactics.

      Nobody’s perfect and Wenger could remedy this by recognising it and getting himself better counsel.

      Even is replacing Pat Rice is too much for him, in very least, he should consider bringing in :

      1) Specialist defensive coach
      2) Specialist finishing coach for the strikers/mids

      It will :

      1) Assist in his workload
      2) Specifically target our common ailments
      3) Groom us coaching/managerial alternatives for the future (He can then weigh these asst coaches against Pat and maybe get something better out of Mr Rice)

  31. samir nasri says:

    and i’ll just make it clear, i’m fucking pissed. 100%, absolutely bemused. i still have faith, but with villa around the corner this team has to work

  32. JP says:

    Why do we continually try and hold a line on a set piece/free kick. We cannot defend long balls, period. It is shocking that we have been so incompetent at defending set pieces for so long. My suggestion, do away with holding a line and put men on the post to help Fabianski. Yes, it is an elementary tactic but that is what we have to do. As we defend like elementary school boys when it comes to that. How long will we continue to be out done by set pieces? For a team of our stature it is simply amazing that we have been lacking in this area for so long.

  33. brian says:

    Could somebody explain to me why our centre backs both go up for every corner yet almost never achieve anything and then amble back.If only one had gone up to-day{remember we were 2 up at the time}then Bale,Van der Vardt and Defoe would have been confronted by more than Clichy,Sagna aned Denilson.

    • Phil23 says:

      What a stupid question.

      • JP says:

        Just because someone suggests that both center backs should not go up for a corner at that stage does not mean it’s a stupid question. Yes, center back score goals but I could support having one stay back under these circumstances.

      • Finnish Hit says:

        Like JP says, y problem with the 2-1 goal is exactly the one moment they did it. The second half had just started, Spurs had changed formation to attacking and it really shouldn’t be a surprise that they would try a long ball counter attack immediately if our CB’s are in their box.

        They did.

        At other times, as with most teams, it’s normal.

  34. nikkogunners says:

    I think Wenger must regroup. It is time we kept Chamak and RvP together in the same field. We may need to revert to 4-4-2. I believe we can vary to play all out left right flanks or kill one side flank or play four central midfielder s, depending on the opposition and the dynamics in play.
    What advantages will we derive from the system? First Walcott and Bendtner may get some more time on the striking role when there is a rotational policy and also as substitutes.
    We will not have non-strikers meddling with opportunities and missing the target every time. Great players in the bench like Eboue, Rosicky and Ramsey (returning soon) among others will get more roles to prove themselves.
    Chamack. He needs to get supported and his confidence on the ball to grow, that can easily be helped by playing alongside a player like RvP
    Arsenal are the kings of goal creation. They are the weakest goal converters from chances created. I believe if the two form a goal hunting duo we can get ourselves the chances converted into more goal. One more goal in Emirate toady would have killed off hotspurs. We are good at tormenting but very poor game killers.

  35. Pele says:

    Well, Arsenal played a good game first half and a bit suffered in the second, but from what I saw, and I’m not a regular Arsenal fan, the team depends too much on selected players. Nasri and chamakh are both excellent, but taking them off the pitch won’t help–the logic is simple when you’re losing you don’t play defence nor do you take your best striker–to me whether they were missing chances or whatever, you keep them in the game if you want to keep your chances. In fact, any of the two could have mad up for the misses–last and not least, they’re the only scorers in the game, so logically it doesn’t make sense to not let them play the 90 minutes. Coming back to Chamak he’s an exceptional, in fact rated the second best sriker in the league, so all what Arsenal needs is to know where’s effective and use him, but don’t expect him to change his style and become somebody else so he can push the ball in the penalty area, rather put a player with him who can do just that and then feed him in the center. The saying goes, don’t train a lion to be a wolf, then you won’t get either. Just some few words from an American fan 🙂

    • santori says:

      Problem is the team switched off mentally following our second goal.

      You could tell that there was no urgency to go forward rather they were playing to the final whistle (30 minutes in)

      Wenger should have recognised the complacency as soon as the second half started and introduced Walcott on the flanks. With Spurs chasing, there was sufficient gaps behind the Tiny Tott’s defense for Theo to exploit with his speed. It will have also afforded the option of sending Nasri centre where his recent pace and penetrative powers could do some damage.

      Alas, Le Boss is too slow to make tactical changes and yes some of his decisions are baffling. Why take off Nasri, the one player showing passion and leadership out there?

  36. IndianGunner says:

    Just gutted with the performance.
    If i recollect correctly i read somewhere that defending is easier than scoring goals (maybe it was here). How come then we end up doing the tough part and really screw up on the easy part
    I believe the team does not have a strategy in place for each game or for that matter any game. What i mean is consider various scenarios
    1) We are leading the scoring and are comfortable in possession with no serious chances for our opponents: This was evident today. So what was the plan for the second half? Just try to huff and puff in their half and try to score 5-6 more or try to be cautious and try to protect the lead and score on the counter
    2) We are level and are finding it difficult to score: Do we wait patiently without making any mistakes or throw caution to the wind and attack mindlessly
    3) We are trailing: Do we do damage limitation and try to nick a draw or go all out to get the maximum?

    I guess i don’t see a consistent plan or strategy to deal with the scenarios above
    Now i am not saying we cannot lose. Of course if the other team plays well we should just raise our hand and admit to being beaten by a better team. There is no shame in losing to a superior enemy. (I didn’t feel bad at all when we lost to barca last year)
    But i cannot accept and forgive complacency and lack of effort.
    As a professional, the least you are expected to do is to give 100% out there. I can accept 1-2 bad days but this is becoming a habit.
    I don’t know if this is just a rant or there is any thought process in the comments. just venting out whatever is crossing my mind right now

  37. Ajinkya says:

    1.Koscielny shouldn’t have started, Djourou is more stable and makes less mistakes.
    2.How can you let Defoe win a header?
    3.Why should you hold out your hand to stop the ball?
    4.Chamakh does not know what to do with the ball.
    5.Van Persie is unfit, where’s Bendtner?
    Both of our goals were to some extent lucky, according to me. We were gutless when they began pressing us in the second half. And Denilson shouldn’t be played anymore.
    By the way, you have to give credit to Gallas, the guy just doesn’t lose his cool, defended really well.
    Bad game.

    • MSL says:

      Why Nasri came off I will never know. He looked fit and hungry. While we are it, get rid of Pat Rice. He is not upto the mark. Just not. I know I am calling for heads and it may seem too much but we do need a revamp.

  38. Raghugovind says:

    Great analysis Desi. Even I felt that Walcott should have come on for Denilson. I think one fact that Arsene discounted was that Spurs are essentially a second half team . Most of their goals this season have been in the second half. But we have to say that they played well in the second half even though it is very painfull to accept .

  39. MSL says:

    I thought Song was very poor in the final third today. I don’t have the guts to watch the game again to look at it again. This game was in our pocket and we manage to throw by performing every classical Arsenal mistake like you mentioned.

    The first goal was a disaster. The CBs need to track back quickly. They were jogging. I think we missed Djourou today. Denilson has never been reliable as a holder. I don’t understand why he was screening while Song wasn’t even in our half of the pitch. I have wanted Denilson out since I saw him last season(my first full season ever). He gives up way too easily maybe he doesn’t like screening the back four. Sell the guy. He has enough competition in the ranks and if that doesnt motivate him, I dont know what will.

    I wonder how many fans felt comfortable with a 2-0 lead. I wasn’t and prayed to be proved wrong. FSM was too busy.

    • santori says:

      2-0 is comfortable if we are able to shut shop, which we aren’t.

      IMO, we need to practice defending in a 4-4-1-1 and be able to absorb pressure, take the opposition on the counter.

      At the moment (ideally), dropping Fab deeper and putting either of Nasri (or poss RVP) in the hole behind Chamakh in a 4-4-1-1 would be our best choice.

  40. Manav says:

    Since I’ve already had more than my share of negativity doing the rounds of the Arsenal blogosphere, I’ll start off commentary on my compatriot’s blog by saying that I was left highly impressed by the performances of our two wing backs- Monsieurs Bacary Sagna & Gael Clichy. Sagna had rendered Bale ineffective in the 1st half to such an extent that i was saying to myself, “Gareth Bale who??”. Same can be said of Clichy, who ‘guided’ Lennon out of the game. I’m not one of Clichy’s biggest fan but yesterday he gave me enough reasons to support his case. Juventus can wait.

    Denilson…….well, I think he did a fine job in the 1st half with some important tackles to break up play but then, as you very rightly point out, he’s not the most inspiring mid-fielders to have on the pitch when the pressure is on us.

    Kos spilled a great chance in front of the goal. Club this with the sitter he missed at Stamford Bridge and you know he lacks that poaching instinct in front of the goal that…..well, that a certain eccentric French defender had.

    I hold the opinion that Chamakh could’ve done better on 2 occasions in front of goal had he shown more confidence in his finishing skills.

    I missed Diaby sorely in this game. I firmly his presence would’ve made a significant difference. Wenger could’ve deployed him upfront alongside El Capitan while Song should’ve been given clear instructions to stick closer to Seb & Kos.

    I got a few questions that remain unanswered:
    Why was Nasri substituted (I think that’s inexplicable)?
    Why didn’t Rosciky start instead of Arshavin. Not that I’m unhappy with the Russian. It’s just that the floating Czech would’ve been a better choice against the old enemy.
    Why wasn’t Djourou played at the heart of the defense instead of…?

  41. Manav says:

    I request DG to come up with a detailed analysis of this defeat.
    I need some more heartache.

    • Manav says:

      Even the boss has admitted that ‘It’s difficult to understand how we lost’.

      • santori says:

        It’s not difficult.

        I switched off my Tele the moment we slipped that first Spur’s goal but I could see us dropping our performance toward the last 10 minutes of the first half.

        You don’t expect to play an additional 45 minutes in a derby on automatic without being punished somehow.

        Wenger needs a hairdryer which alas he does not possess. The next best thing is to outsource that function, have someone drill it into the players’ thick heads. Play 90 minutes with full commitment.

  42. critic says:

    what goes around comes around.(ref to whl win in carling cup when ppl went crazy)

    by the way, arsenal fans deserve this. U don’t get behind ur team when they are down and only support them when they win is no way a behavior of fan.(reference here is to sites like legrove and some morons at emirates etc. and not u). I read sumwhere a person commenting after nufc defeat that he is boycotting arsenal home games and already has 5000 other fans with him. Now, how disgraceful was that for arsenal to have such fans.

    Wenger is doing everything rightly and still it’s not happening for him. U have to feel for him. The man has given his life to arsenal and still it’s not enough for some moronic fans. Besides he was the only man showin frustration yesterday.

    That said i think he loses his composure more easily nowadays may be that’s reciprocating in the team’s display. U have saying for this since last year arsenal need a new defensive coach or something that can make them protect a 2 goal advantage. I agree to it completely. Arsene needs some1 to do the tactical thinking.

    The most frustrating thing is that now some ppl(FANS) will say i told u so and wenger don’t have balls or even tots are better than us etc.etc. And they call themselves fan…..disgraceful utter disgraceful…

  43. critic says:

    and one more thing…arsenal ur alone and on ur own at emirates.

  44. Sad says:

    Damn it man! You don’t need someone to coach yo to not handball I the area. This was a classic CESC disaster. Not a classic arsenal one. AW cannot save the players from themselves. Nobody els handbells in the area. No defence coach would change that. Ant5 year old knows this. That handball turned the match.

  45. Realistic Gunner Fan says:

    A very difficult time to be a gunner. I am still very concerned that 3 of our four losses this season have been at the Emirates stadium and I cannot help but wonder why we cannot just simply make a fortress of OUR HOME GROUND or if there is something else going on here. May be something attitudinal about the players when the match is to be played at the Emirates.

    As “good” a manager as Wenger is “aclaimed” to be, I really think his choices of when, where & which regarding substitutions is really faulty. It is just a very few times of note that AWs so called tactical changes have really altered or preserved the outcome of games. You look at his face sometimes and he really seems confused and out of ideas.

    And to all the “Arsene knows best” fans, I hope I am wrong.

    • critic says:

      it’s b’coz of fans who think they know more than wenger, and our team is full of morons.
      It wud be better if they don’t go their at all.
      man who brought 7 silverwares in 14 years which otherwise took 2-3 decades, and ppl don’t appreciate him.
      No one is above club….bulls**t…manager and his vision makes the club.

      • santori says:

        I would think you might appreciate though that there is a difference between constructive criticism and criticism for criticism’s sake.;)

  46. Ajinkya says:

    OK! So I have cooled off now.
    Koscielny creates unnecessary troubles for himself and the team, we saw it against Newcastle and again.
    We nevertheless did well in the first half.
    But in the second half, Defoe came on and they began to work extremely hard, pressing, to win the ball back. Still, sometime into the second half we successfully kept the ball.
    Center backs I think were standing way too much in front to give spurs chances to break in. Quite a few times I saw, Clichy standing where there should have been Koscielny, and our left side completely open. They did not enter from there though.
    I strongly feel we should start shooting long. We are not always going to be in a position to score textbook goals which we want to.
    Regarding Denilson, I think center of mid-field is too responsible a position to play him. You can put any one of our big group of mid-fielders there, Rosicky may be.

  47. Realistic Gunner Fan says:

    I really do hope the deluded ‘Arsene knows best’ fans have fully awaken to the real world. Simply put, the decline started after the Unbeaten season. Replacing very good, skillful and technically gifted players with a bunch of ordinary players who tend to have a good game occasionally. These bunch of players have given a lot of the fans a reason to rightly question their quality, potential, mentality and attitude. It was never so with the likes of Henry, Bergkamp, Pires, Viera etc. I cant remember the fans ever being divided or ever questioning their quality or mentality.

    Mr. Wenger replaced quality with potential which is still costing us till today. We all know that going for potential (Bentley, Amaury Bischoff,Lupoli etc – AW rated them all highly, where are they today? )is a lot of gamble and most of the time doesnt materialize.

    I also think that team selection should be strictly performance and merit based (not based on AWs perception of the players potentials) and not that some would player would just glide back into the starting line up.

    I still believe there is a fundamental flaw in the way Arsene prepares for matches. I remember reading this a while back by Cesc “Here they give us much more information than they do at Arsenal, definitely. At Arsenal we don’t really look at anything from the other team, we look for ourselves and that’s it. Here, maybe two three days before the game, we start looking at some videos, we know more or less the starting eleven that is going to play… we know nearly everything about them.”

    • santori says:

      We have flattered to deceive principally because of the quality of the players. That is not the problem.

      Our problem is tactics and discipline. Wenger needs to take it up a notch if he (we) stand a chance of winning.

      He can’t possibly do everything so he really needs to consider improving the coaching set up and (if possible) have a drill sergeant (ala Martin Keown) by his side barking orders. 😀

      United still grind out results despite some mediocrity in their team. Principally its because of the fear factor (SAF). I don’t want to use any carrot or stick analogies (because it ushers in all sorts of innuendos)BUT Wenger must walk softly with a BIG stick whilst holding out the carrot;)

      That would include the threat of replacing non performing players always.

  48. […] Arsenal 2 – 3 Tottenham: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis Absolute Shambles. I don’t know how a team can concede one, leave alone three, against a Spuds side as toothless as […] […]

  49. Arsenal4 says:

    Heart breaking. Such breathless first half wiped away by the clumsy 2nd half.
    typicall Arsenal losses, attack minded but left huge hole at the back, particularly show cased by the goal from Bale. I keep saying i would welcome any win like wolves and everton any week. Tottenham wasn’t even attckig like wolves or everton in this case, yet they got 3 goals. This Arsenal team needs to show winning mentality, in reality we need to grind every win, such mental attitude in 2n half dont cut it. A 6-0 blackpool is a one of, we need to have the mentality that No team is an east meat, even after leading 2-0. The only scant consolation is Chelsea loss too. Not even HP7 can brighten my gloomy weekend.

    • Manav says:

      The way we dominated the 1st half made me think that this was our big chance of slapping Spurs 4-0 but if I had had the slightest idea of what was gonna come in the 2nd half, I would’ve been more than content with a 2-0.
      Harry’s ploy to get 2 men upfront should’ve seen Wenger reacting with a suitable tactic; tell Song to stay closer to Seb & Kos, watch out for that long ball. With Bale’s acceleration it’s always difficult for defenders to track back when playing a high line. More so when they’re needlessly trying to set an off-side trap for Defoe/Pavlyuchenko.

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