Arsenal 5 – 2 Tottenham: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis

Given the way Arsenal were playing in recent games, Spurs were always going to score a couple of goals. The first half-hour or so was ominously miserable for the Gunners but the script had a twist! To be fair and honest, the best I expected was a 2-2 draw but Wenger and his players have put me over the moon. Nevertheless, the rest of this article will try to follow Le Boss’ cue and not attach any special meaning to the big score (to the extent possible!).

The opening exchanges were predictable as was the pattern of play after that. Spurs came out with high intensity and pressed the ball all over the pitch. This forced some mistakes from the Gunners and they had to stretch the game in order to resist this pressure. It opened the centre up for the visitors and they exploited Arsenal’s weaknesses twice. On Both occasions they had far too much space in the central area in front of goal and there were a number of mistakes from the Gunners for each goal.

Earlier in the week I’d done a detailed piece on Arsenal’s defensive issues. You might want to check that in case you’d missed it but it’s over 6500 words to go with a bunch of snapshots, so please do so only when you have the time and if you have the interest. The goals conceded weren’t exactly like the examples but many of the observations mentioned in that piece were again visible. Anyway, I don’t want to dwell on them to take anything away from this moment.

On the positive side, it wasn’t that tough to see Arsenal scoring in this game. Even in the opening exchanges when Spurs looked the better side, the Gunners were still creating some chances and were looking like they could score. For instance, RvP went really close in the 15th minute and Rosicky forced a big save. Tottenham too have a number of defensive frailties and they were always going to concede.

The game turned on its head after the second goal which resulted from a soft penalty won by serial diver Gareth Bale. I haven’t seen the incidence carefully enough to comment on it with conviction but it seemed to me the Spurs winger played for the penalty.

Credit to the Gunners for not letting their heads get down. Spurs had started dropping deeper after the first goal and completely went into a shell after the second one. Big mistake. It allowed Arsenal the ability to control the territory and get bodies into the box.

Redknapp had two strikers up front but they were completely isolated and it also left them a body short in midfield where they got overwhelmed. Walcott’s positioning and movement in the first half was very good even if he looked completely bereft of confidence when he did get the ball. This sucked Assou-Ekotto inside and allowed Sagna to push up and play as a winger. Bale was forced into an auxiliary left-back role which made him ineffective in attack and defence. He was nowhere near Sagna when the full-back attacked the ball with great determination and desire. That goal reaffirmed the belief that Arsenal could come back into this one and jolted the visitors out of their undeserved stupor of superiority.

That goal came through sustained pressure and excellent combination play. Arsenal had taken up positions to lay siege around the Tottenham box and that made the difference. First an intricate flick from Theo set up Van Persie for a shot which hit the post. The Gunners were able to retain the ball and had the composure to find the cross and finish. Song, Walcott, RvP, Gibbs, Arteta, and Sagna all deserve credit for that goal.

This is something Arsenal usually lack when they struggle to create chances – combination play involving multiple players in a manner that after one shot on goal the pressure isn’t eased and the second attempt follows soon after against a disorganized and stretched defence.

The equalizer came a couple of minutes later. This time too the first ball into the box was cleared, albeit in a risky and lazy manner, by Assou-Ekotto. But Arsenal had a man lurking on the edge of the box, and Van Persie took full advantage of a defence that was just getting back to shape after dealing with the first attack. His strike was superbly placed and gave Friedel no chance.

It’s important to note that the first ball in behind was for Theo to run on to. Walcott’s positioning and pace were the reason the opportunity was created. Rosicky’s presence high up the pitch put pressure on the left-back and was also a factor in his error.

A minute later the Gunners could have taken the lead but Gibbs, after skipping past a couple of players, narrowly missed a teammate with his pass in the box. Theo too missed a half-chance when he couldn’t effectively latch on to Kyle Walker’s naive attempt to chest the ball inside his own box.

At half-time Arsenal had all the momentum. Redknapp made a couple of substitutions in order to get more bodies in the middle. He brought Sandro on for Saha and Van der Vaart on for Kranjcar. That should have given the visitors more of an ability to control the ball but they were set up to play the long-ball/counter-attack game and never really got hold of the ball despite a change in personnel. For their part, the Gunners deserve plaudits for denying their opponents any time or space on the ball. It was Arsenal’s turn to raise the intensity.

The third goal was a sensational counter-attack from the Gunners. Spurs were pushing men forward and were trying to replicate the kind of pressure they’d created at the start of the game. Vermaelen won the ball just outside the Arsenal box. Song and Gibbs played a one-two in a tight space and both did superbly to resist the pressing. Once a side pressing high up is negated with excellent technical play, they can be caught at the back. Song picked out and unmarked RvP around the halfway line. De Kapitein played it wide to Rosicky who played the second delightful one-two of the move with Sagna. The full-back’s cross was a tad scuffed and there was a bit of luck with the deflection of Assou-Ekotto’s leg but the finish was just sublime as Little Mozart had a very narrow gap to thread with the outside, just had to be, of his weaker foot.

Arsenal had five men in the box against Tottenham’s back four. It was good to see them make different runs instead of getting in each other’s way. It stretched their defence and opened up the angle for the cross/pass from Sagna. Walcott’s movement, in particular, opened the gap for Rosicky’s unmarked run.

The game was open from the start but became more of an end-to-end encounter after that goal. Spurs were pushing bodies forward but bulk of their creativity came from wide areas. In that sense they were a very limited side. Arsenal were rarely in complete control at the back but the defenders worked hard to ensure the worst they did was to concede corners. They also won most of the balls that came into the box and found a block or two when it dropped to an opponent.

At the other end Theo fired a warning shot in the 57th minute when he got in behind and went agonizingly wide of the far post.

The fourth was another phenomenal counter. Once again a number of players were involved. Gibbs won the ball inside the Arsenal penalty box with a neat tackle on Bale. Benayoun was just behind to collect and move it forward. His punt toward RvP was won by Kaboul but Rosicky was first onto the second ball. RvP ran in behind and Little Mozart found him. Kaboul got back to chase and along with his central defensive partner, King, he slowed RvP Down. But Walcott had made a sensational run at the other side of the pitch and arrived at the right time to receive the pass from the skipper. His first touch was a poor one and second a tad fortuitous, but you can’t take anything away from the finish.

A couple of minutes later it was time for a second for Theo. Song’s chip put him in behind with Kaboul the guilty party in defence as he was deeper than everyone else. Walcott’s finish was again excellent as he hit the corner.

Subsequently, Arsenal eased off but Tottenham were a broken, demoralized unit. The best they could do was muster up some pointless long range efforts. Their destroyer-in-chief, England’s next great hope, and the man who should have been Arsenal’s saviour according to the hordes of the clueless – Scotty Parker – was sent off late in the game for a second bookable offence. It was a small detail but this game found Parker way out of his depth.

This wasn’t a bad Spurs side by any means. Undoubtedly their best for years. But it was no match for the ruthlessly purposeful and clinical Arsenal team.

In the pre-match press conference, ignorant hacks pestered Arsene with questions about a shift in power in North London and about his players letting him down. Well, Thank You folks. That might have served as a good motivating tool for Le Boss.

One must remember though, Arsenal’s real treasure hunt is for the illusive jewel called consistency. Little victories along the way will mean nothing if that hunt isn’t successful sooner rather than later.

Individual Performances:

Szczesny: Not sure why he was so far off his line for the first goal. Should have read the pass and come early to collect the ball before Bale reached it, which showed poor decision making for the second goal. That pass was made from inside the centre circle and the ball travelled up to a few yards inside the penalty box. Made the saves he could make, distribution remains shaky. Was the weakest link in the side.

Sagna: Excellent goal and a wonderful assist. Worked the flank diligently and had Bale in his pocket for most of the game. Also pushed the Welshman back effectively. Needs to get into the box more often but wisely as he did on this occasion.

Koscielny: Struggled against Adebayor’s movement and physicality. Bad slip in the build-up to the first goal. Wasn’t able to win much against the striker but defended resolutely in the second half and did a good job in a sweeping role winning back possession most often in the defensive areas.

Vermaelen: His positioning and decision making was suspect in the opening half hour or so. But he was a monster when it came to individual battles, winning all 11 of the tackles and duels. Quite like the Vermin Eater gobbling up the pests. Also made the most clearances.

Gibbs: The youngster had a very good game in attack and it seemed he had clear instructions to push up the pitch. More than anything his presence provided width even when Benayoun came inside. That exposed the flank to an extent and he might have done better to read the threat for both the goals but he’s coming back to the highest level so deserves some leeway.

Arsenal were far from assured in defence but the effort was commendable. The problems have been well documented and are clearly not individual issues. That doesn’t mean players in the back four don’t make mistakes or don’t have any weaknesses, just that the more serious problems seem to be in the structure of the team. Once Arsenal get that right, the defenders mostly find a way to keep the ball out of the net. Better is needed if the holy grail of consistency is to be reached but that’s a discussion for another day.

Song: His positioning wasn’t ideal for the first goal as he tracked back into an ineffective area. Also worth checking if he  could have anticipated the pass from  Modric and intercepted it to prevent it reaching Bale in the box? He was close enough to the path of the ball. Excellent game from that point on. Very strong in possession. Played a number of vital passes and, apart from the assist for the fifth, was crucially involved in the build-up of the first, second, and third goals. Also made the most interceptions and won back possession most often in the midfield and attacking areas. MotM in my book despite a few errors.

Rosicky: His bullet header from a corner early in the game set the tone for an excellent outing from Little Mozart. He was able to play higher up the pitch as Tottenham dropped back. That helped. His finish was superb and general link-up play was a throwback to the old days. Apart from setting up and scoring the goal that put Arsenal ahead, he was involved in the second and fourth goals as well.

Arteta: Mr. Efficiency produced another quality effort. Completed more passes than any two Tottenham players combined. Excellent composure and awareness for the assist to a goal that gave substance to Arsenal’s belief. Rarely lost the ball, won 4 of his 5 tackles, and 8 of his 11 duels, and created a good chance for Benayoun.

The midfield wasn’t positioned well enough to handle the early pressure. That put extra load on the defence and opened up the centre. But they were nearly perfect once Spurs dropped back and it was good to see the vice like grip on the game wasn’t loosened despite a number of goals going in. A mature and calm performance from the trio in the closing minutes.

Walcott: Was involved in all the goals, if not as a scorer than with his presence in and around the box. Has his set of weaknesses that won’t go away any time soon but deserves applause for holding his head high and delivering despite negative pressure. Finishing was clinical.

RvP: Had a lot of efforts but didn’t hit the target often enough. But boy was that a finish! Excellent hold up play for the assist as well. Hit the post, set-piece delivery was good, and was always a menace for Tottenham’s central defenders.

Benayoun: He wasn’t in the picture often enough when the big events took place but he had a decent game. Was sturdy on the ball and only made 2 unsuccessful passes out of 31. Offered a good work rate on the flank and his tracking back was integral to the fourth goal. Tested Friedel with his shot early in the second half but could have done with more power.

The choice of the front three had a surprise. Benayoun over Gervinho or AOC was not a choice many would have guessed. Is Wenger going back to picking a technical player on the flank? I believe that’s the correct choice as two direct players has put tremendous pressure on the midfield but we will have to see how it develops because Arsenal don’t really have to players to pull it off on a regular basis.

Benayoun had a decent game but was a yard or two off pace, especially in the early period when he should have been available for receiving a pass more often as the players at the back were under pressure. Theo can’t do it anyway and that isolates Van Persie because the Gunners can’t bring the ball out well enough. Grew into the game though and can play a big role if he gets a chance to develop.

Subs: Jenkinson was efficient, Oxlade-Chamberlain made a number of poor choices on the ball but it didn’t matter, Gervinho barely had any time on the pitch.

Wenger: Deserves credit for lifting the players after a couple of major setbacks. His team’s defending can be disastrous but they can also redefine life as we know it when they’re on song. Loved the way Arsenal mastered Spurs at their own game of counter-attacking while outplaying them on the pitch with the ball.


60 Responses to Arsenal 5 – 2 Tottenham: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis

  1. Tim says:

    The defensive issues remain – Spurs’ two goals came as a result of us being too keen to attack and leaving gaping holes for through-balls – but this was as cohesive and confident an attacking performance as we have seen all season. Credit to the boys for never allowing their shoulders to drop, and in particular to Rosicky and Walcott for some spectacular contributions. I thought it was Rosicky’s best game in an Arsenal shirt, energetic and direct throughout.

    Let’s hope we can build from here.

    http://thearmchairsportsfan.com/2012/02/26/arsenal-tottenham-comeback/

  2. Northbanksy says:

    I wish the team could show that level of desire every week & that the Emirates crowd could support the team in the same way each week. At 2 nil down the crowd made the difference today. Magnificent effort all round. ” Adebayor..what’s the score” … priceless!!!

  3. Metalhead says:

    1. The key to today’s victory was the pressing in midfield which was perhaps fueled by the desire to win this one desperately, which makes me wonder why we don’t press as hard as this in other games? Due to this pressing, during the latter part of the game the defense hardly broke a sweat. Clearly, defensive duty is not something that is incumbent only on the back 4 but the whole team. This is a prime example.

    The way the midfielders ventured into the penalty box was similar to the invincibles (I remember how Vieira, Pires, Freddie, Henry and Bergkamp all would line up to receive a cross) When Rosciky scored there were about 5 Arsenal players in the penalty box. I’m just used to seeing just one or two trying to meet a cross.

    Harry clearly wanted to adopt the Milan strategy, the only problem is they didn’t defend half as well.

    2. The last time Walcott was so deadly was when Chelsea adopted a high defensive line. Clearly, the high defensive line adopted by Spurs in the second half was one of the reasons why he was so dangerous. Walcott, I feel should be used as an impact player, during the second half when teams are more likely to ,maintain a high line

    3. Mertersacker seems to be able to marshal the back 4 better with Koscielny than Vermaelan even though Vermaelan is the better defender 1 on 1

    4. Finally the worst Arsenal team in 20 years beat the best Spurs team in decades, 5 goals to 1.

  4. Metalhead says:

    Can anyone please tell me where I can locate stats similar to what a the Guardian Chalkboard previously provided?

    • GbG says:

      Second that query. Anyone knows what happened to our beloved chalkboards? Desi you use them often, can you still access them? My bookmark redirects to some other page now.

  5. king james says:

    The reason why wallcot was more a threat toady was because he was playing more central, the guys finishing today was that of a world class striker in the making

    • Davi says:

      I think he moved more centrally towards the end, when we were looking for goals on the break. Started slow, like everyone else, but did great overall, and his movement contributed massively to the score, as desi mentioned. Even in the first half, he had that really nice touch on to RVP, when he hit the post before Sagna’s goal. That’s a side to his game that has been particularly criticised, but he does have that in his locker, just doesn’t do it often enough – which is his major problem overall, imo. Let’s hope he can continue this form.

    • Charlie says:

      He plays well when the opposition are chasing the game and push up leaving space behind them. Also when his full-back is spending a lot of time on the attack. He is anonymous when the full-backs play defensively and the opposition sit back. It’s obviously more difficult to break down a defensive team but if Walcott cannot get in behind he doesn’t have the skills to take the ball past his full-back or the crossing ability to set up goals from the flanks against a fully populated defense. He should be used as a tactical substitute and the club needs someone with a totally different set of skills to rotate with him (such as Eden Hazard). He certainly has a role to play but he’s a player with very specific talents and major weaknesses (as mentioned in the article). Don’t mean this to seem like a criticism because he is exceptional in the right circumstances.

  6. RockyLives says:

    Good analysis as usual Desi.

    I would just point out one important fact: Apart from the Milan defeat this was the first game where we have been able to start with two orthodox full backs since we beat West Brom on NOVEMBER 5th.

    The fullback crisis has had a massive impact on our consistency and now that we have Gibbs, Sagna and Jenks back I expect our overall form to improve significantly.

    In the Milan game Sagna and Gibbs were newly back from very long lay-offs and Verm was playing CB for the first time in many games.

    • GbG says:

      Hear, hear. The full backs are a vital cog in the Arsenal machine. They are like the gears. We need them to go forward and while retreating, and when they are not in peak condition our movement suffers.

    • Dhruv says:

      I agree that those FBs are very vital. Arsene could afford to play Yossi on the left because the team could use Gibbs as an attacking outlet.

    • rohit says:

      also milan had a shit pitch….

  7. Tony says:

    Incredible stuff the result against spurs. Desi i would like to pick your brain on the defence issue. Personnally i felt you missed the key when you looked at the defensive errors only the problems are largely linked to attack. Arsenal after the invincibles was designed to attack and to attack with flair. The defence is only exposed when the attack fails (u know the usual interception and quick counter). This is even made worse by our frequent failure to prise open deep seated defences (you know those situations where you need precision, incisiveness,and composure.). Attack is backbone if it fails the gunners are in a mess. Liked the defence piece though

  8. Essien isaac says:

    Gud work by the players. Am scared though. I hope wenger hasnt seen an excuse not to sign.

    • Dhruv says:

      Well Essien, there are still quite a few games to go before the season ends at which time we will have a clear picture. Until then, enjoy the sunshine.

  9. deebayuu says:

    well A really great victory considering the stick Arsene Wenger and the boys have recieved over the past few weeks Tomas Rosicky was Magnificent not only was he able to get into good positions, his ability to go down into tackles helped Arteta and Song tremendously. Walcott did so well but he still lacks the skill and composure to be able to unlock tight defences. hope he will develop the confidence going forward. Overall a good performance from the gunners, more of the same please!

  10. nickinportugal says:

    A great display and a thorough analysis Desi. I hope Wenger is emphasizing injuries to ensure they miss international duty, we need to keep the same defense for at least the next two games which are key. I would rest key players against Milan. Liverpool were rubbish today, all long ball, we usually do well at Anfield, Newcastle will be difficult at home but we owe them one. Benayoun criticised by me was very good today, my man of the match has to be Sagna but Sze is beginning to worry me………

    • Dhruv says:

      I thought Rosicky-Benayoun axis was quite effective. Yossi might have been a tad slow but he did put in a shift. Wonderful example of high pressing which we would like to see more of. Arteta was fantastic in keeping possession. Only thing I would have liked to see were a few long range efforts from the likes of Verm and Arteta.

  11. Wombledin says:

    Well that was unexpected. The worst Arsenal team in years thrashes the best spuds team, lol. Wonderful display flattered by Harry’s clueless tactics.They were abysmal, playing right into our hands. Rosicky superb, always a pleasure to watch on the ball. Wally’s a sharp-shooter for sure but only with loads of space and time in front of him. Tough trip to Anfield next, will our bipolar squad go from heros to zeros again?

    • santori says:

      We aren’t that bi-polar, we are capable of decent spells. We won a string of matches just before Christmas which hauled us back out of the abyss. NO reason to belive we can’t string another from now to season’s end.

      Tell you waht, a strong finnish into third will really help our cause in signing the likes of a “Hazard” in the summer or maybe even retaining an “RVP”.

  12. Chikezie Chinke says:

    I don’t really want to talk much, I will start by saying great game, great character, good composure. Come to think of it, where is KK? I’ve not seen your write up dude, probably you have not come out of the shock yet, so much for Bale. With so much talk on double teaming Bale, i’m sure the whole thing must have irritated Sagna and he must have said ‘bring him on, i will solely make him ordinary’. And boy didn’t he just do that. great game from an experienced defender. For my man of the match, it should be either Sagna, Walcott or Arteta. I must say i was highly impressed with Benayoun and Rosicky, their work rate was highly commendable. Big up Wenger, shoot on Gunners, Tottenham down, Liverpool and New Castle to go. Wish you all, the best of luck.

  13. Davi says:

    I think it has always been assumed that having pacey players like walcott would automatically make us good on the counter attack, but what we’ve really missed has been the precise and intelligent passing that is required to release people on the break. Pires was magic at timing the forward passes for Henry and others, and that contibuted massively to our being a great counter-attacking side at the time, but since they’ve left, we haven’t been so good on a consistent basis. Too often we make simple-looking mistakes when it appears we have a good chance to counter attack, but today the passing of Song, Arteta, Benayoun and particularly Rosicky made much better use of Walcott’s pace, and as a result we had a lot more chances. That said, Theo had one of his good games today, so that helps. He, and the aforementioned midfielders, have got to do it on a consistent basis, however. Really great win today, but it will mean nothing if we can’t continue this in the coming weeks.

    • WafflingWenger says:

      I agree to an extent, but if the opposition doesn’t come out and play in a positive way against us there isn’t really any space to counter into. The standard way to line up against arsenal has been to sit deep, play conservatively and counter with fast, direct, powerful football & teams like ManU in particular have crucified in this way in recent years. I’m always far more (ie very) confident of a victory, & so particularly at the emirates when teams genuinely try to have a go at us and a cocky Tottenham were always going to do that today.

      In a similar vein, it was an interesting role reversal at Chelsea earlier in the season when Boas tried to play the proactive, pressing passing game and we tore them apart with exactly the kind of classic counter attacking tactics we typically suffer.

      Thanks for the write up as always desi.

  14. Phil23 says:

    Walcott’s movement was outstanding from the first minute. He was my player of the match and gave me hope that we would overturn them even at 2 – 0 down. In one game he showed how sheer determination and effort can turn around a players form in just one game.

    As mentioned above, Sagna made Bale look like a school boy and even kept him quite while scoring goals and playing winger. Other than those two and of course Rosicky for his brilliant effort, Van Persie, Song Arteta and Gibbs were all outstanding.

    Imo Arsene has always wanted to have a technical player on the left with a pace player on the right. Sadly for him we lost Nasri (who was better on the right anyway) Arshavin was in his slump and Beneyoun is slightly slower than the required standard. Let us not forget that we were very close to signing Hazard who would have fitted the role perfectly.

    I said to some friends before the game that this was one of the biggest derbies in our history. If we lost this game it was plausible to suggest that Spurs could attract the players that we ourselves need. Hazard, Gotze and other top players will have watched that performance. Surely they were impressed. We will attract our world class technical player to replace Nasri. Luckily for us, we already have a world class replacement for Fabregas lined up – Jack Wilshere.

    • Dhruv says:

      Well I did mention before the match that Walcott could be the key. He is not the most technically sound winger but his two quick goals did break the back of Spurs players. After that Spurs had no fight left whatsoever. Well played

      • santori says:

        Granted we will have to make sure this doesn’t go to waste but you should also learn to savour the moment otherwise life will be rather bitter.;)

  15. 037 says:

    There definitely is a correlation between the positiveness of Arsenal’s result and the speed of which Desi’s analysis goes up 😉

    Now I hope for a miracle against Milan!

  16. Aussie Jack says:

    Missed the match but saw the highlites and read your report Desi. From my limited observation I`d say this is becoming a familiar pattern for Arsenal and that elusive corner is yet to be turned. Let`s see if we can make it back to back against Liverpool then I , along with many others I will be more convinced.
    Wonder what Wenger has in mind for Wednesday, what`s your opinion?

    • santori says:

      Absolutely right that we have to not let this go to waste but you should also learn to savour the moment a little, otherwise life will be a very bitter thing.;)

  17. JJ Pittman says:

    In the reverse fixture, Sagna was lost for months crashing on the sideline. Positive karma that he scored the goal that sent us on our way. He is the best RB in the EPL, bar none!
    Still, my MoM is Rosicky, aided by Spuds tactics. Halftime subs by Harry killed them. This is next England manager?
    Scouse undefeated at home this season!? Hope they celebrate their guaranteed position in Europe and their silverware(Careless Cup?)
    Every week a challenge, 4th place not silverware, but will keep us alive. After Chel$ki won 3-0, who would have thought we would still be in 4th tonight?
    After Milan and Sunderland losses, this is the best tonic for all of us long suffering Gooners!

    • santori says:

      Well, it’s those wet blankets that are complete losers.

      Giving up on the team before the season is over.

      Extremely pleased with the fans yesterday and the atmosphere at the stadium. A 12th man at last!

  18. kc says:

    Defensively, I thought we were poor in the first half, except, Sagna. But, Ver and Kos, who should be our first choice CB pairing, slowly but surely, learnt to play togither and were very solid in the second period.
    Sagna, after his injury, had become faster and his crossing improved tremendously. Strange.
    Rosicky was my man of the match.His drive and enthusiasm was key in motivating the fight back.
    Maybe, by getting rid of the last of the Shrikers, Vela, Bendtner, Denison and now Ashavin, has a lot to lift up the fighting spirit.

  19. Chinke Chikezie says:

    KK where are you? KAAAAAYKAAAAAY I say where are yoooouuu? You this Bale, Lennon, Modric, Adebayo, Tottenham misled fan. Still hiding, huh! When Arna made his popular speech “say what u want, write what u want, read what u want on sunday:
    Arsenal 2 Spurs 0”. I thought it was one of those Arsenal fans wish that we all normally have, but i didn’t know that Wenger and the Players had something better for us. Although in my write up i was optimistic, i only expected a one goal difference judging by Tottenham form this season. They blew my heart out although i was really scared in the beginning.
    UP GUNNERS!

  20. Tony says:

    Tomas Rosicky has had many good games so far,it’s just that he didn’t score on those occasions that people forget how good he is.. My MOM..

  21. Aussie Jack says:

    Wednesday is Milan day. The question is which is more important, Milan or Liverpool? Fo me it`s Liverpool and we don`t need more injuries.
    With this in mind is it time to give our up and comings youngsters a taste of the big trime? Miquel, Yennaris, Coquilen etc.? It sounds like I`m a defeatist but I`m not, we can beat Milan with our young lads who make up for lack of experience with sheer enthusiasm just put some old heads amongst them and we`ll do fine.

    • GbG says:

      Milan is after Liverpool. Let’s see how things are next weekend. Will have some hopes for the Champions League if we can be the first side to win at Anfield. Injuries are also a big concern. Already Arsene says TV and Gibbs are doubtful for Saturday, although that could be a smokescreen to keep them out of the mindless midweek internationals.

      • santori says:

        Nothing to lose there. We are ‘as good as out’.

        MIght as well play for pride, go for broke and you never know if we can rattle them score another 4 goals.

        What we need to be careful though is defesively. One away goal is all it takes for them to hurt us.

        But if we consider it a write off, then we may as well just have a good go at it.

        And Wenger will have to use our assets properly. Go at MIlan at this sort of pace using the wings and they will find it very difficult to contain us.

  22. GbG says:

    Amazing team work and spirit from the lads. Wish we see more of this every week. Hurts to think we could so easily have been above the scum but for some excruciating performances.

    Was just wondering if it would be worth re-signing Adebayor. He wasn’t that effective in this game but is still a brute who can be very effective when used in the right manner. Will be a big improvement on Chamakh and Park and will give us a plan B.

  23. The Tactician says:

    Great win…! And very well captured ‘minutes’ of the game Desi…

    Yesterday we saw Arsenal play the beautiful game with some conviction and clinical finishing… the style of football we Arsenal fans love to watch…

    Dont know if you have seen, but I commented on your article on defense issues yesterday stating that we just have to capitalize on our strength which is attack… And boy, am I glad our team played the way they play best…!

    Highlights of yesterday’s game:

    1) Silly / dubious opposition goals (I have come to accept that these are inevitable in our game)

    2) Our meaningful possession and runs into the box causing panic

    3) Midfield tracking those runs and sending chips into the box

    4) Focussing on attack in spite of defensive frailties

    5) Finally, the determination as a single cohesive unit to outscore the opponent…!

    (One or two more goals would have been good for our goal difference, but hey, I am not complaining…!)

    Here is to wishing more of the same… Cheers 🙂

    • santori says:

      HIghlights yesterday, 5 GOALS to us!!!

      And a brilliant Spurs team who are at the moment ‘better than Arsenal”.:D

      • santori says:

        What I really liked about our game yesterday was the way we did not panic when they closed us down and simply passed ourselves behind them when space invriably opened up.

        We did simple passes but executed them quicker and got behind them time and again.

        I mentioned that Song was critical. He started poorly but then clicked into gear and was massive for us

        Why anone would prefer Scott PArker to Song is beyond me. In addition to being tenacious in winning the ball back, he put in another exquisite assist. Can Parker do that? Looked a little out of depth to me.

        The other side of Song is Arteta. He was brilliant closing down players and playing the simple passes.

        + our movement was excellent. We made ourselevs available for the player on the ball.

        It also helped that Rosicky, Gibbs, Sagna, Benayoun were willing to run at the defenders and take them on thereby opening up space for us.

        Not difficult. More please.

  24. Yang says:

    Nobody give credit to Arsene It seems, I say team is mentally well prepare for this game and AW actually change few things, press high up and Use Rosa and Beni to make Spur guessing.

    Fixture look very tough from here, don’t lose head and let’s keep grind out result.

    • Dhruv says:

      Ok Yang. Well done Arsene! Please prepare the team to give such performances more often. Good decision starting with Yossi but more importantly believing in Walcott.

      Look Yang, purely based on yesterday’s performance, Arsenal should be number 3 in EPL, however, there is a big “if”. If the team could be more consistent, if the team could be versatile, if we could get a result when the opposition is imposing, if we could play in all type of conditions…… then only the team can go places.

      We could have won the Carling Cup which is now with Liverpool. Now Liverpool cannot play like Arsenal did yesterday but still they are doing well. They are still in the FA cup.

      Praise Wenger by all means but dont lose track of the situation. We have to finish 3rd or at least 4th in the PL to get that CL spot by any means and Wenger has make sure that we get it. More praise for Wenger then.

      • santori says:

        Personally, I don’t mind us being trophyless if we play the way we did against Spurs, blow teams out of the water from here on till the end of the season, that would included Liverpool and Newcastle coming up.

        No reason to believe we cannot respond and go on another fantastic run of 7 -10 unbeaten games like we did before January.

        if we can sustain a strong charge to the end, there is every reason to believe we will be celebrating St Totteringham’s day…again.

        They play United next so we have a good chance to cut that gap further down to 4. Come on Arsenal!!!

  25. Kayciey says:

    Really thought Arsenal was going to get thumped by spurs but thankfully i was wrong. I just really hope we can produce another exceptional performance against AC Milan and check out Rosicky today, didn’t think he had it in him. I really hope Arsene doesn’t look at this performance and think that his squad don’t need tweaking because it really does…I’m a massively happy Gooner today

    • santori says:

      Was hoping for 4-0 to us against Spurs but I guess 5-2 will do.:D

      Maybe 4-0 against Milan (RVP hatrick and Ibrahimovich OG + we beat them on penalties):D

  26. Borntobeagunner(btbag) says:

    Late comment but i need to offload this from my mind, and where is the better place to do that than here. Yesterday morning i mentioned how our high or low zeal will be the determinant factor of the match outcome, and here it is. Spurs lose 5-2 from winning position by being 2 goals up, what did the media says about this. I like the red cards that the fans shows that scotty parkky, what a stylish support. Break Mike Dean jinx, prove many wrong, put spurs to where they belong. Desi once again well done for your efforts put together, well said Desi.

  27. TT says:

    What was the ref doing toward the end of the 1st goal? It looked so strange! If you haven’t seen it, please look for it. There is a side view shot where the ref remained in view as the ball took a deflection and bounced into the goal. The ref appeared quite emotional about the trajectory the ball took. What the heck!

    Later in the match, I didn’t see him becoming quite so emotional when Van Persie curled his shot.

    Would be quite sad if he was really doing what he appeared to be doing.

    • santori says:

      Mike Dean is inconsistent to say the least.

      Hopefully this performance will inject some belief in the team that we can play through poor decisions and that we are the masters of our own destiny.

      A lot of pundits were on about how we beat a poor CHelsea defense and only because of that that we won 5-3.

      Well, no one mentioned that the Spurs defense was rubbish before this game.

      Coupled with an unlucky goal, a dodgy penalty, that we could score 5 and come back to win simply proves nothing is beyond us (Sadly that also covers our own self doubt and collapse)

      But the point to drive home is we can affect our own destiny because we can always outscore the opponents.

      Now if we work on our defense a little, who knows? 4-0 to us against Milan isn’t as impossible as it seems (3 goals for RVP and an Ibrahimovich OG. We win on penalties):D

  28. 8 inch knob says:

    The combination and understanding between Rosicky, Benayoun and Arteta was perfect. They played as if they were possessed.

    Best game I’ve seen Rosicky play (MOTM in my opinion), reminded me of his abilities when he was playing with Fabregas and Hleb (all the way back in 2006 I believe?). Bamboozled the opposition time and time again and left them chasing shadows. On this kind of form, Rosicky is the undisputed No.1 choice for CAM.

    It was pleasing to see the team play narrow, with Walcott and Benayoun consistently cutting in. This is our strength and not wasting the pace of Walcott by getting him to deliver crosses from the byline.

    Kozzer is a monster defender. He is fast becoming indispensable to this team.

    And if they can play like this against Milan then we have every chance of turning the tie around.

    Well done boys!

    • santori says:

      Really really pleased with Rosicky.

      he has been playing with more grit since coming back from injury but hadn’t quite found top gear.

      Recently his movement (the way he turns and runs at the opponents) has been getting better. HIs distribution is also crisp and faster.

      This has been an excellent performance.

      Who Modric? Who Van de Vaart?

      Keep playing like this and he may be well worth keeping for a couple more seasons yet. What an excellent shift.

  29. Siva says:

    Theo’s run for the fourth was a delight. He covered more than half the pitch after RVP held the defenders. Great finish. He has no footballing brains … Wtf?

    • santori says:

      Theo is best when he isn’t thinking too much and that ususally comes when he is at what he does best, running at the defense at speed and 100% coommited.

      His first half was poor to appaling. He did get into soome reasinably good positions as pointed out by Desi but then simply gave up as if he lacked belief.

      I’ve said it before that Theo is a player who needs a bit more aggression. He’s the classic sort you need to psyche up for a game, have him play with a little anger.

      That first half recpetion from the fans must have gotten him riled up a bit and he played with more edge second half (Helpful that SPuds came forward to look for goals too I suppose)

      But excellent finish by Walcott and good work rate to close down Spurs.

      There have been many clamouring for CHamberlain to start ahead of Walcott.

      I don’t think so.

      Walcott is still tactically more experience and Chamberlain has a lot to learn.

      BUt Chamberlain is full of confidence where Walcott is easily tortured by self doubt.

      Hopefully this performance will ‘spur’ him on to end of season with a good run and more goals. He’s in a way almost Owen-nesque at the moment.

      Excellent way to show the finger at your critics Walcott. Really happy for him.

  30. santori says:

    1) This team lacks character.
    2) No leaders in the team.
    3) We are a one man team.
    4) Spurs are on the ascendency.
    5) Scott Parker is what we need.
    6) Walcott is useless.
    7) Spurs has a stronger bench than Arsenal.
    8) Spurs has a better midfield than Arsenal
    9) Arteta is a panic buy
    10) ‘Arry for England.

    …nuff said. 😀

    • cupsui says:

      you forgot to add Gareth Bale doesn’t dive…

      the crickets in the forest are making more noise than the anti-foreign, racist, anti-arsenal british press

      WHAT A GAME!!

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