Morning all. Alex here fresh from a fantastic night at White Hart Lane. There aren’t many better feelings in sport than watching the worst player on your team smash it top bins TWICE in a derby and celebrate in front of the rival fans like an absolute bastard. It’s a moment to cherish.
I went to the game with a Spurs supporting friend and had the opportunity to experience everything Tottenham has to offer…
Even I wasn’t expecting the stadium to be as much of a toilet as it turned out to be. As you approach it, it looks like a really shitty office block. You wouldn’t know you were next to the home of the Sperz if it wasn’t for all the burger vans and sad looking people. You also have to walk through a car park to get to the gates. An actual car park. It’s quite apt that the stadium is so underwhelming because the brand of football our North London rivals are looking to produce somehow manages to distill underwhelmingness down to its purest form, bottle it and then spray it in your face until you choke.
Danny Rose, Nacer Chadli, Eric Dier. They’re all just a bit “pfffftttt.”
Not that our starting line up was anything to write home about. Ospina, Gibbs, Arteta, and Flamini are all prime candidates for the bin in my opinion. To make the whole occasion feel even more like a deflated balloon, the Manager opted for Debuchy and Campbell – two players no one has seen for a decade. And look I totally get I’m being spoilt, the Carling Cup is exactly where you should be playing these players. But when your A team are already playing like a bunch of dicks, it’s hard to get that enthused about the players who are standing in for them.
Despite that we started fairly well (note I don’t have the benefit of replays or highlights so forgive any inaccuracies). And I thought had the better of the chances in the first half. The greatest striker in the world was muzzled quite well by Calum Chambers and I thought Ox looked pretty dangerous while Ramsey and Giroud ran around a lot to little effect.
The first goal came as a result of some poverty defending from Spurs, giving the Ox about ten minutes to dance around their defence and get his shot off. Vorm could only parry it back into the danger area into the path of Monsieur Flamini who was channeling Pipo Inzaghi for a vintage poacher’s goal. Absolute joy. The Flamster took it up a notch by celebrating for a good five minutes in front of the home fans. I had to try my hardest not to let out a little “yiiiiirrrrssss”.
The second half Spurs looked a lot more threatening and had one goal ruled out for offside while Harry Kane found his fraud form from last season and had a worldie volley cleared off the line by Gibbs. A goal felt inevitable and so it came after Debuchy got done by Chadli at right back and the cross that was fizzed in was turned into the net by Chambers. Realistically I don’t think there was much Chambers, who was excellent last night, could have done about that. The real culprit was Debuchy who looked unsurprisingly rusty.
After the goal, Spurs’ fans and players found their voice and they started to ramp up the pressure. Luckily their poverty front five of Kane, Son, Alli and Eriksen, N’Jie only has enough quality to run around a bit and shank shots into the corner flag. It took the Flamster to show them what real class looks like.
Flamini’s volley from outside the box may be one of the best Arsenal goals we’ve seen scored at the WHL, if not in terms of quality, then certainly in terms of the fact that a player none of us really like was able to redeem himself for one night by shitting all over our rivals. Its fairytale stuff. He also managed to get booked for a total arsehole foul on Danny Rose. Don’t tell me you don’t love him.
It means we are into the next round of the Carling/Capital One/Milk/Coca Cola Cup to face Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough. Should be doable for us and hopefully our second string can pull off another magical night similar to last night. Looking at the other fixtures, none of the big boys are against each other, though there is potential for Stoke to do over Chelsea. Let’s wait and see.
In terms of player ratings:
Ospina – 7 – fairly solid from the man with so little to offer
Debuchy – 5 – Looked slow and rusty and was dead on his feet by the end
Gibbs – 7 – I thought he was garbage but that’s because I don’t like him anyway. Marks revised up due to peer pressure and his goal line clearance
Chambers – 8 – Played well despite OG
Mertesacker – 6.5 – Fairly anonymous
Arteta – 6.5 – Same
Flamini – 12 – he’ll never forget this night
Ramsey – 6.5 – likes to run
Ox – 7.5 – Most good things came through him
Campbell – 6 – looked average and in need of game time
Giroud – 6.5 – worked hard all night. Still can’t score
Alexis – 7 – immediately raised our game when he came on
Right that’s your lot from me. I expect Pedro will be around later to give you his thoughts. You can follow me on twitter @aldo_doel
Have a good one