Patience game key to taking three points at Spurs

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Iconic Gesture

I found myself invited to a curry yesterday lunch time. I’d never done this before. It didn’t feel right. The setting was pretty decent, but it still felt that no matter the sophistication, I was doing something wrong.

Totally blitzed my night… like starting the day with a roast dinner. Indian cuisine is not meant for the day. Only bankers can get away with things like that… still feeling pretty shaky about what I did right now.

BUT I NEEDN’T BE

Arsenal play in the NORF LANDON DERBY in a couple hours. That should unsettle the stomach in a far more enjoyable way!

We go into this game celebrating signing Coquelin to a new deal. He’ll no doubt sit at the heart of our midfield later on. That’s a great signing. He’ll not be buying into the PR Arsenal are pushing out around him. He’ll know the manager wanted him gone. But that’s good. It shows the rest of the kids coming through that there’s a way back if you work hard. It shouldn’t be easy to get a chance here. If you’re offered it, you throw everything on the line to make it yours.

He’s done that… bless his cottons.

Today, he has to personally repay all of our recent love for him with a couple of sly reducers… am I right? God damn it I’m right.

This game is massive. Spurs are on the up. They have a fantastic manager. They’re on form. Harry Kane is a GOONER and scoring lots of goals and generally making a nuisance of himself. So the stage is set…

I’m not sure Spurs are quite as good as some of the their form makes out and I think we can really get at their back line. I’d like to see us play a smart game. The temptation is to wade in gung-ho… but I think as with most away games, we should be looking to keep things tight for the first half and hit them hard on the counter. We have so much speed in the line up, you kind of feel that the most sensible type of play we can offer today is the patience game. Our chances will come, we just need to make sure we reduce their opportunities…

Eriksen is a key man for Spurs, the tricky little Dane will open space and he’ll strike if you don’t move in close to him. We should treat him the same way we did David Silva a few weeks ago. No space, no time, strangle the feeder… His freekicks have been outstanding this year, so I’d imagine Spurs will look for fouls around the box. Dembele, if he’s starting has also started to play to his potential in a more advanced position. Lots of danger in that side if they click.

The big question mark for us is still Alexis… will he or won’t he play? The boss reckons he wants to play and is willing to defy the medical staff to earn a game. Tough call, get it wrong and we lose our spearhead when we need him… by dropping him, the most you’ll suffer with is a sulky player. By playing him, you could be looking at a 6 week injury. I’m not sure this game merits that sort of risk when we still have it all to play for.

Front three of Ozil, Giroud and Theo would work for me… Midfield of Coq, Ramsey and Santi. Back four of Bellerin, Mert, Kos and Monreal. Keeper is Opsina. That’s working for me and that’s more than enough to do the job.

3 points here and we really will be on a roll. Third is a very realistic target this season. We need to put as many points on the board as possible before Champions League restarts, because looking at that competition, there’s a very good chance we’ll progress to the quarters and if the draw is kind, even beyond… a full Arsenal squad to pick from and we’re a match for most teams.

Right, that’s me, off to microwave an onion bhajji!

P.S. WHAT A GAME AT THE RUGGERS. Well done England, superb performance. One thing I’ll mention, the RFU put on an incredibly spectacular pregame show… really revved the crowd up. We should do that for Champions League games. Whip everyone into a frenzy.

 

938 Responses to “Patience game key to taking three points at Spurs”

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  1. Emiratesstroller

    The outcome of yesterday’s game was not because we played at 12.45 or because
    Owen [one of the many ex liverpool players who seldom have a good word for us]
    was in commentary box.

    The stats tell you everything. We have played 9 games this season against other teams in top 7 and we have won just 2 games. If you have serious ambitions in the EPL then you need better results than this.

    Players are of course responsible for their performance on the pitch, but the
    Manager is responsible for the personnel that he recruits and then selects.

    Arsenal are a fairly lightweight and brittle team/squad for all their technical
    ability and unfortunately that is obvious when we play the top teams. Wenger
    is incapable of changing that because of his ethos.

  2. Jeff

    TYAG,

    I don’t know. You’re probably right. I’m not usually that bothered when we lose these days as we have no chance of winning anything major but we were coming off the back of a big win against City and having annihilated Villa. I didn’t expect us to just lie down and die like that – especially against Tottenham and even more especially as they would go above us into fourth should we lose. We kept on with the same mode of play almost through to the end. Then he brought on Akpom with a few minutes to go. Despair – what is he going to do in 5 minutes?

    We were just back to square one in many ways. And that is what hurt the most.

  3. tunnygriffboy

    Total over reaction after City win. Total over reaction after spurs loss !

    We are a good side. We are a bad side, we are not a great side. The team is slowly moving in the right direction.

    Played same tactics v city. However two key personel missing. Sanchez and Ox are great for that system. They have high energy , are physical and work hard, tracking back and closing down space. In attack the are able to dribble and drive and carry the ball upfield. Yesterday we couldn’t get in their half. Passes went astray and first touches wete poor. Yet again we had to play a different attack

    Santi played his worse game in months yesterday. Ramsey and Giroud were poor and Welbeck left Bellerin a bit too exposed and Ramsey didn’t help when kane constantly pulled next to the fullback

    We have 9 of the bottom half of the table to play in remaining 15 fixtures. Totts have 9 of the upper half starting with lpool away tuesday. They won far and square yesterday but there’s hell of a way to go. Southampton scoring in 94th minute yesterday was a bummer.

  4. Emiratesstroller

    I want to make one additional point.

    Yes we beat Man City, but frankly despite their current position in league I felt
    from the beginning of season that they were past their best. Their squad has now an average age 2/3 years older than all the other teams at top and they have been heavily dependent on 2 players i.e. Yaya Toure and Aguero for their results.

    Yesterday’s performance against Hull reinforced that view.

    The main difference is that Man City will almost certainly offload their manager at end of season and throw a huge amount of money at buying players in
    next transfer window.

    We will do neither.

  5. GuNZ

    Oh lordy, lordy, lordy. just progressed from the red wine to the brandy – this is what Arsenal have done to me. I try to be a rational being and react in an impartially analytical way to whatever The Fates and the goddess Fortuna chuck in my direction but when it comes to the Arsenal I lose the plot. Especially with Giroud. It must be a tribal thing or a disease or something. I mean, poor old Giroud, he’s just an OK striker who’s had the good fortune to wind up at a top Premiership club at a period when that club’s demands of their number one CF are not that high. I am just left asking why? Why are we having to make do with a Giroud. We have an outstanding stadium, an outstanding pedigree, we have the money, the backing, the auctoritas in the dog pack, we have the mana, the mojo, the stentorian presence to be worth more than a tired old fella in a grey cardie who keeps getting beaten at tactical dominoes and a CF who’s more interested in preening than proving himself. There was an NZ movie called ‘Once Were Warriors’ that encapsulated the fallen soul of a once proud racial spirit in the drudgery of an urban environment. Maybe, for Wenger, it’s a case of ‘Once was a manager.’

  6. Jeff

    Tunny,

    Yes, we are a good side but good for what is the big question? Are we good enough to win the league? No. Are we good enough to win the CL? No. Are we good enough to finish top four? Yes, probably. Are we good enough to win the FA cup? Yes, probably – especially as almost all the other big teams are out.

    But that’s really no different to any year you would care to choose in the last 8 or 9 years. We don’t appear to have moved an inch from that situation. Still scrapping for fourth, still putting all our hopes on a domestic cup, still expecting to be knocked out in the CL soon as we meet a worthy opponent.

    Nothing appears to have changed over the last decade.

  7. Emiratesstroller

    GuNz

    Giroud is not the problem with this team. He is a better player than you seem to think he is. Of course he is not a world beater, but realistically how many players in EPL and Europe are. On the whole he gives good value for money.

    If you had watched Athletico Madrid and Real Madrid game yesterday you would have thought Mandzukic was world class and Ronaldo a complete dud.

  8. Wallace

    for Leicester i’d like to see –

    Ospina

    Bellerin – Mertesacker – Koscielny – Monreal

    Coquelin – Rosicky

    Walcott – Ozil – Sanchez

    Giroud

    if Sanchez doesn’t make it move Rosicky up on the left and bring Cazorla in alongside Coquelin. don’t ever want to see Ozil stuck out on the left again. Ramsey needs to locate some form before he’s allowed back into the side.

  9. GuNZ

    Stroller

    Point taken (although I don’t analyse Ronaldo week in week out) but what I was trying to communicate (now, unfortunately, through the medium of too much brandy) is that Giroud epitomises what is wrong or, at least, what I feel is wrong, at Arsenal which is making do in a spirit of hopeful optimism when the club has the resources to acquire assets that would place that optimism on a surer foundation.

    There is something rotten in the fitness/physio department, that’s for sure. There is something terribly wrong in the relationship between Bould and Wenger, that too is evident. And yes, I would like Arsene to step down, gracefully and with dignity if at all possible, and feel a fresh wind blowing through the Emirates. I used to take the piss out of a West Ham supporter mate of mine that all he ever had to look forward to was the excitement of the annual relegation battle. Well, we have been doing the same at the other end for 4th place for the last several years and, at the end of the day, apart from the excitement of a round or two of CL, have been no better off, trophy-wise, than West Ham were then.

  10. tippitappi

    Wallace….Ramsbottom (who he becomes when out of form) WILL play & Ozil WILL start wide left as far far left as you can humanly get arse knows best

  11. peanuts&monkeys

    For me this is another Arsenal loss. Never mind if its to Spurs. I am not from England, this anti-Spurs alignment does not work on me. Had it been against ManU i would have boozed all night.

  12. GuNZ

    Does everyone get that oriental lady in the red dress and great charlies come up to the right of the posts telling us about ‘Asian Women Seeking Love’ or is it just my settings?

  13. tunnygriffboy

    Jeff

    I think we’re moving slowly in the direction. Tomorrow was a set back undoubtedly but we’ve been on a good run. The injuries we’ve had have been worse than ever and they’ve bound to have affected our performances and number of poits gained. Any team with those injuries would suffer surely ? Even yesterday the two forwards with dynamism and really tenacity were ruled out ( not toexcuse the inept performance yesterday)

    We get everyone fit and we are capable of going on another run. Have we lost 2 in fifteen ? Bit more physicality in the summer and a better handle on our injuries and we’ll improve again.

  14. SpanishDave

    At half time Wenger could have changed the shape of the midfield and strenghthened the right side
    But hes lost the plot and expects the players to self adjust.
    To keep the subs only on the same 68th min shows how stupid he has become. Games dont suddenly always change at this time.

  15. Keyser

    “We are adorning the team with better and better players and seem to be doing less well for it.”

    This simply isn’t true, this is what people need to understand, we’re still replacing players we’ve lost over whatever period of time you want to look at.

    Seriously go back through the comments and I’ve pointed it out for years, unless we kept the players we had we were going to have to fight the tide each time, again and again, and that’s what’s happening.

    There isn’t going to be a sea-change, I understand why people are frustrated but missing out on the Champions League just makes it harder for the next manager, it’s purely masochistic.

  16. tippitappi

    none of those positives will happen if wenger remains though tunny why would it. I thought after the City game rumour had it the players may have wrestled some kind of control but after yesterday the lunatic seems to have taken back the asylum .wenger showed his true colours of any desire to win back in January2008 that’s when any board worth their salt should have sent him packing

  17. GuNZ

    Tunny

    The last 15 game stats lend a misplaced air of optimism as they include cup games all of which were against either dometic teams we really were expected to beat or international teams that had little to play for or whose form (Dortmund) had taken a dive. The last 15 Premiership games make less good reading: 9 wins, 1 draw, 5 losses. Top 8 form. maybe, but not top 4. Oh fuck, I hope this all turns around soon.

  18. tunnygriffboy

    Gunz

    But a fair few of those loses were when we had half a team missing. Now we have players back, Ox and Sanchez soon and hopefully things will pick up. Do you believe that the constant long term injuries we’ve had has hampered us somewhat ?

    Yesterday was disappointing, spurs out played us, as they did Chelsea. However we’re 7 points off second with 42 pts to play for. Do you think we can go on a run ?

  19. Keyser

    WiG – I don’t really know what to say to you, you’re simply ignoring what I say.

    Sanchez cost 35 million, and he hasn’t been perfect, we’ve given him a lot of freedom and he was relatively anonymous against Citeh and Liverpool, that’s 80 million worth of talent between him and Ozil.

    You seem to think we’re going to get every buy right, every buy will fit right in, what sort of teams are you looking at where this has happened ? So the point is you need the sort of talent Ozil has to move forward but you also buy a lot of risk.

    That’s why other teams and players matter, because there’s a comparison to be made.

    Suarez had Sterling, Coutinho and others, Toure has Silva, Nasri and others, now flip it on it’s head, does Ozil have a Suarez or a Toure ? No.

    You’re putting too much onus on one player, when we’ve hardly got a team built around anyone, it’s also going to take time.

  20. Thank you and goodnight

    Thing is keyser with Wenger and kroenke at the helm of Arsenal we will never reach the time where the team is right. We will always be 1 or 2 or 3 players short. As much as people blame Wenger, kroenke is to blame as well. You only need to look at his other teams to see the future of Arsenal under kroenke.

  21. tunnygriffboy

    We have to play Man u away, Chelsea liverpool and west ham at home. 9 points from those would be great. Rest of the fixtures more or less are teams in the bottom half.

    We have the fa cup to look forward to and a winnable CL tie. There has to be something to look forward to there.

    Lpool v spurs on tuesday. Southampton play west ham Wednesday and their next game after is lpool away.We beat Leicester and Palace and we could be in fourth on the heels of man u who have an awful run of fixtures end March and April.

  22. GuNZ

    Tunny

    I don’t think either West Ham or Liverpool will be in the mix after the next few fixtures (West Ham almost definitely not). As far as I can see it’s going to be a striaghtforward shit fight between us, Spurs, Southampton, and Man. Utd. for 3rd and 4th (provided that Man. City’s slump does not continue in which case positions 2 through 6 are a lolly scramble). The premiership is Chelsea’s to lose. If we don’t ‘lose our confidence’ against Leicester, and have a decent run at the games once the CL kicks back in, we are in with a chance however the Everton. QPR, West Ham on consecutive weeks run worries me somewhat as they are all teams we are more than capable of dropping points against.

  23. Emiratesstroller

    Gunz

    I don’t think that fitness is the problem at Arsenal. If you look at many of this season’s games we have come strong in latter stages of games and the stats prove that we have scored the most goals at end of games.

    What is wrong is that our team lacks combative players in areas that count. As
    usual we conceded a goal from a set piece for first goal and then Koscielny was
    beaten in the air by Kane for second goal.

    Moreover whilst Coquelin may have improved marginally our defensive shield in midfield the fact is that he cannot do it on his own. I have also to question why Bellerin was so often out of position when Spurs attacked. In previous games where we defended he was positioned much better than appeared to be case yesterday. Was that just inexperience or poor instruction from more experienced members of defence and the bench?

    My dilemma when watching Arsenal is not the quality of the players on our books, but the balance of the team when we play and in particular in games against better opposition. Yesterday might have been a good game to have introduced Paulista in the right back position, where I was led to believe that he
    has played quite a lot.

  24. GuNZ

    Stroller

    My concern is not so much with fitness levels as soft-tissue management and a training regime that does not turn every strong tackle into a game of potential injury Russian roulette.

    So, I am assuming your world class backbone positions that are missing are GK, DM, CF, any of which (but preferably the DM) is a potential leader/captain and shape-holder?

  25. Keyser

    TYAG – No, you don’t, things will change, they are changing but it’s going to take time and we’re in a precarious position, we don’t qualify for 4th and then players will leave or start questioning where they are, it’s not ideal but that’s how it is.

    It’s basically like people who are frustrated point to 8 years of frustration, well if it took 8 years to get to that point, it’s going to require time to move away from it.

    I don’t think this will change any much sooner no matter who’s in charge now unless they get lucky.

  26. tunnygriffboy

    ES

    Agree Coquelin was left isolated and Bellerin had a tough time. ( Ox would have helped him ). Main problem yesterday was giving the ball away. Santi had his worse game for months, Ramsey was poor as were Giroud and Welbeck. We missed the drive and energy of Ox and Sanchez who could have drbbled at them as our passes were going astray. Also they appeared to want it more which reflects badly on some of our players.

    Spurs have a huge amount of fixtures to play including a cup final and Europa league. I’m looking for a better end of the season as Sanchez and Ox will return and we can have a crack v Monaco and fa cup and have players to rotate as the injuries are clearing up.

  27. GuNZ

    Stroller

    Sorry, I meant to add that I, too, was very surprised Gabriel was not introduced at some stage yesterday at right-back, especially as that’s where there appeared to be gaping holes at times.

  28. Thank you and goodnight

    @Keyser

    For it to change mate we need an owner to come in and splash the cash a la Abramovich as that’s the only way we’ll catch up, but neither kroenke or Usmanov are that type of owner. Otherwise it will always be a case of so near yet so far, then our better players leaving for silverware and having to replace them again and again.

  29. Keyser

    TYAG – That’s simply not going to happen now, and if FFP works then it won’t happen in the future either, but hopefully it means other teams can’t do it agai and that’s something at least.

    New post.