Arsene, well played last night. We’ve been calling for you to take the Cups more seriously for three years, last night you did and you delivered stunning victory to fans all over the world. Pride has been restored since our defeat last year and we own the bragging rights in the office today.
Did you hear the fans singing the whole game? Did you see the Spurs supporters exodus after the third goal? Can you now see what it means for us to win games like these? Forget what people call the Carling Cup, it’s a trophy and we all love trophies! I hope you take the rest of the competition this seriously because we want a Cup this year and a day out at Wembley!
Eboue Kozzer JD Gibbs
Rosicky Wilshire Denilson
Ekkoto shoving over Lansbury just outside the box was the first big talking point. It wasn’t a penalty, but it was a perplexing decision as to why the ref didn’t give a freekick?
The game wasn’t being played at a high tempo which was unusual for a derby. The fans looked more charged than the players!
Things spiced up after Eboue played a super low cross field ball to Rosicky who waited for the Jack Wilshere run, rolled the ball into his path, the Englishman looked up, slide a defence splitting ball into Lansbury who drop it into the empty net! Sublime.
Englishman to Englishman… it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to say that… in fact, I can’t remember ever saying that?!
Wilshere was crunched by Livermore who received a yellow card, moment later, Sandro crashed into him clumsily. You sensed Spurs frustration at not being able to get near us.
Denilson smashed a freekick from about 40 yards. Normally I’d moan as it was a pretty silly place to strike from, but it’s not the scoring, it’s the shooting that counts!
Jack Wilshere was running the show in the middle of the park despite Spurs crass tactics. The thing I like about Jack is his fight. The more he gets bullied, the more he wants the ball. A superb character trait.
JD was looking a bit rusty. I suppose you would after a whole career out injured. Lansbury was doing all the basics right, it was a promising half from another player who has suffered in the physio room.
Jack Wilshere threaded a sublime through ball to Gibbs who is judged offside incorrectly.
The first half finished with us leading. It was too easy, far too easy. Surely Spurs wouldn’t be this flat in the second half?
The second half started, Keane and Ratboy came on and immediately shook things up. Keane was played in and adjudged to have been played onside by Gibbs, he looked to the lino, bounded into the box and tamely struck a shot at Fabianski’s near post, the Pole spilt the ball into his net embarrassingly.
Has there ever been a worse Premiership goalkeeper?
My Spurs sparring pal Dave took time out to text me..
‘This could be a DVD game in the making….’
The ref allowed another brutal challenge on Jack Wilshere go unpunished. When it’s clear a team is rotating fouls on a key opposition player, the cards should come out instantly to stop it.
Arsenal managed to get on top of their game again. Eboue had the chance to slide Nasri in but went for a ridiculous shot. Rosicky crossed a beautiful ball into the path of Vela who could only head over. Shame Chamakh wasn’t on the end of it.
Vela didn’t seem to be making the right runs. He was either too deep or in the way. He’s got a long way to go before he can play that central position on his own. I can’t imagine what we’ll do if Chamakh gets injured…
Arsene was struggling to communicate with the bench. Every time Sky focused on Pat Rice and the gang, they looked like a bunch of lemons. Arsene’s technological naivety exposed… you never get reception in a stadium during a game Arsene!
Samir Nasri continued to cause Spurs problems with his intricate running and his nack for popping up in the right places. Eboue was now finding his feet and a lot of the good play was coming through his daring runs.
Kieron Gibbs fluffed the offside trap for real this time allowing Ratboy in, Kozzer slid in to deny him a shooting opportunity with a superb last gasp tackle!
Our boys always seemed half a second off the pace when pulling the trigger. A goal was coming, which way it was going was still very much up in the air!
Wenger brought on Chamkah and Arshavin and the threat was instant, Chamakh grazing a header just wide.
The Scum were tiring… their fitness nowhere near our level!
Eboue won a freekick in the last minute, the cross was flapped at by the keeper but no one could turn it in!
Extra time it was…
After one minute, Nasri was played in by a first time Arshavin ball, his pace was enough to force Bassong into a clumsy challenge. The ref had no option, penalty. The superstition of French players not taking penalties if they win them was clearly lost on Nasri who stepped up and buried it. After the game, Wenger told Sky that superstition was based on fear and that he’d told the Frenchman to get over it.
The goal pleased me for two reasons. First it was a goal. Secondly the last thing we needed was Fabianski winning us a penalty shoot out and all the AKB’s telling us that he should stay and be our keeper for 15 years.
Moments later, another penalty was won after Chamakh was felled chasing another Arshavin through ball… Nasri stepped up and struck an even better penalty for his second!
3-1 up! No chance of a penalty shoot out. The editors for Spurs DVD suppliers could go to bed now, there was going to be no miracle tonight.
The home fans had a cheek sarcastically applauding a free-kick. They wouldn’t even be in extra time if it weren’t for a crap decision.
A quick word for the away fans… exceptional, a credit to the club. If only you were allowed to make that much noise at home!
The game got even better as Bentley headed wide from about 4 yards.
Gibbs went off injured without his boot in hand… It’s rumoured it might be another metatarsal injury.
Arshavin popped up with a superb final goal latching onto Wilshere through ball and buried it into the bottom corner.
This was a spanking. Worthy of a DVD? Not likely… we’ve got proper aspirations!
Keane had a shot cleared off the line by Nasri. It looked like it crossed the line, I hope it did, it’d make the victory even sweeter!
Fabianski: Had nothing to do all game bar save a tame Robbie Keane near post shot… and he let it slip through his wrists. Awful goalkeeping but not surprising. How many more chances does he get? Has a keeper ever made so many mistakes? He’s almost on an error a game and that is unforgivable at this level. Promote Chesney if he’s good enough or buy someone who can cope with the mental pressure. 3
Eboue: I thought he played like a headless chicken in the first half, not sure whether he was right back or right midfield. He grew with the game though and his attacking presence and superior fitness shone through in the second half. 7.5
JD: Shaky start from the Swissman (?). He was caught out of position a number of times and he made a few clumsy challenges. He grew with the game though. His calmness is reassuring and I think he’ll be a much more able deputy than Senderos. 7
Kozzer: A very solid game considering it was his first north London derby. He won everything in the air, he didn’t cave to the physical challenge and he made a few vital tackles. A great performance. 8
Gibbs: Unlucky that the lino missed the blatant offside for the Spurs goal. He was the last man and he wasn’t in line with the rest of the defence. I thought he was sloppy at times tonight, mainly in a positional sense, I put that down to youth. His second half was much better, he had Ratboy in his pocket, so much so, the Spurs man ended up swapping wings! I think he’s got a big career ahead of him for us, lets hope this injury isn’t serious. On that point, why is he still wearing those flimsy boots? Can’t Nike provide him a leather model? 7.5
Rosicky: I thought he was superb in the first half. He didn’t let that penalty miss bother him linking the midfield and attack nicely with some clever passes and tireless effort. He looked like he may have picked up an ankle knock after being crunched by someone from the scum (Sandro I think). 7.5
Nasri: Great listening to Nasri articulate his thoughts on Jack Wilshere after the game. He was solid in the first half without really impressing, the second half he came into his own popping up all over the park, playing the ball into space, running at defenders and generally causing a nuisance. He took responsibility for both penalties and did well to convert under pressure. I feel like his game is about to explode on us… I’m looking forward to seeing that happen! 8.5
Vela: I think he struggled to play in up top on his own. He’s only young and not really suited to playing the loan striker role. He needs to learn the position and develop this year. He’s better out wide or as an impact sub. 6
Denilson: We saw the best and worst of Denilson. His decision making is bad at times and sometimes his positional play is poor. Overall though, I thought he did well, playing slightly more advanced that Jack most of the time but mucking in to help out with the defensive duties.7
Wilshere: Reckons that getting kicked is part of playing for Arsenal. It doesn’t bother him. What a champ. Great response, superb performance! His vision and maturity in the middle of the park was exceptional today and he was a dream to watch. Superstar in the making? I think so! 9
Lansbury: Popped up with the first goal which was a great moment for a boy who has been with the club since he was a kid. His passing for the most was crisp and he didn’t really make too many mistakes. I like him, he doesn’t set the world alight, but he’s a very capable player and hopefully his confidence will grow as the season goes on. 7
Arshavin: He came on to change the game and he certainly did. He might look lazy at times, probably because he is, but his two through balls won us two penalties in the space of 5 minutes. He justified his salary tonight. 7.5
Chamakh: He made the run for the second ball and his hard work tired the Spurs defence even more so than they were already. A few sloppy touches and dodgy passes, but nothing to worry about. He came out of the game unscathed which is the important thing! 7
Clichy: Didn’t really have a lot to do! 6
P.S. If you like reading other stuff, check my Tatty Nut Nut article out here.