NORTH LONDON DERBY – THFC GOING BIG, CAN AFC HANDLE IT?

by .

It’s North London Derby Day eve and I’m feeling pretty bullish about the home game we have tomorrow. On The Arsenal Opinion, we mused whether Big Ange would keep doing what he’s doing, or revert to the safer option of a dirty deep block so they could catch us in transition. Well, the very nice Aussie Spurs manager who always says the right thing… said the right thing about how he wants to play tomorrow.

“How do you know if you want to be that kind of team? That’s the question. If you want to be a team that challenges, you know you have to play that way irrespective of the opponent.

“There’s no point not using a game like Sunday as a measure to see where we’re at.

“If we shy away from it, don’t play our football, manage to get a draw and survive the experience, what have we really learned? Apart from surviving 90 minutes of football? Nothing.

“The players already know that’s what will be my message to them. We’re going to go out and play our football.

“If we’re short, we’re short and we need to make it up. If we match them it’s great isn’t it (because) we know we have a long way to go and we’ve already established ourselves and on the biggest occasions we’ve shown we’re prepared to play our football.”

This is the type of attitude I like to see in football. Tactically, it’s a risky roll of the dice for Ange. Spurs aren’t anywhere near the level Arsenal is, they are away from home, they haven’t had any bad luck this season, and they’re playing one of the best teams on the planet.

‘Do it out way’ vibes could lead to a spanking… but he has no choice. He’s a new manager with sexy football ideas – if he backs away from his vision of how the game should be played, it tells the players he doesn’t really believe in them. You can’t get away with that when you’re a manager with a small reputation – you have to be militant about your vision, just like De Zerbi has been with great success at Brighton.

It is interesting though – Mikel Arteta was an absolute pragmatist when he joined Arsenal. Our football wasn’t free-flowing and interesting for a while. His first job was to address the lack of structure; then he added bits to the playing style as we built out the side with better equipment.

Remember, it wasn’t that long ago that people were saying things like ‘he plays drab football because he was a drab player’ or ‘I honestly don’t think he’s capable of setting up an attack.’ These were moronic statements from clueless people, but on the face of it, the football we were playing was sad… but it was because Arteta was always very clear about the capabilities of his team.

Big Ange saying ‘fuck it boys, let’s have a go’ is great news for Arsenal – but only if we’re disciplined. PSV tried to come at us in the week and we sprung a trap. Spurs will try the same thing tomorrow, but they have better weapons going forward than most Champions League teams. Son will start as their loan striker, they’ll have Kulu in the system who has caused us issues in the past, and Manor Solomon will start with two assists to his name. That’ll be backed up by James Madders, who is on fire this season.

The key thing we have going for us? We’re better than them. By a long way in a post-Kane world.

Spurs are scoring more goals than their xG suggests they should be and they’re conceding less than their defence should be. You can say you don’t believe in xG and I’ll allow it… but every club in the world with professional coaches uses it, so we have to accept its existence and relevance to the truth. Teams always revert to the mean with xG. United were 13 points better off than they should have been last season, now we’re seeing the slow death March of EtH. Spurs play very nice football, the passing is sharp, and the desire to move the ball at speed is admirable… but they get wrecked through the middle often. Milk and honey to our players.

I don’t know how our luck is going to ride out. There are rumblings on Twitter that there’s another injury in the mixer. It’s quite nice that our ITK crowd these days aren’t revealing names because they know it’s part of the Arteta strategy to keep things to himself. Regardless, it’ll be annoying to lose another player.

Mikel was keeping his cards close to his chest regarding Martinelli, I would guess he’ll not be about. But we have plenty of options to come in behind him. I could imagine a surprise move in the front three against Spurs. Maybe Kai gets a run as a 9 after impressing in the week, perhaps we see Gabi Jesus take up a wing option, or maybe Luther Van Tross as a false 9.

The only thing we know for sure is Arteta likes to keep people guessing and there’s no reason to think he’ll stop this weekend.

There’s a 95% chance David Raya starts in goal. He’s not put a foot wrong so far and we can all innately feel what he’s offering to the team despite not really seeing him tested yet. I’ve been over this, but the clarity I have on the upgrade is unmatched right now.

He claimed double the high take crosses of Ramsdale last season.

Aaron Ramsdale doesn’t dominate his area consistently and sometimes he hasn’t looked as confident coming for corners. There was a period last season when teams were shooting from corners. I don’t think you’ll get that with a man who has trained with Brentford for half a decade. Raya is in the top 97th percentile for crosses stopped – Aaron is in the 18th.

Raya was 4th for saves last season

We’re yet to see Raya be heavily tested in a goal-peppering day out – but last season, after facing more shots, he save percentage was a whopping 10% higher than Ramsdale. No way Arteta hasn’t looked at the ‘conceded from the first shot’ stat and not thought hard about why that is.

Launch Passing

Under pressure, Aaron Ramsdale puts the short to midrange passing in the bin, and he goes for the launch. This puts us under pressure because he’s not that accurate. David Raya is in the 97th percentile for launch pass completion in the league – Aaron is in the bottom 10%.

The more you look at what David Raya offers the team – the clearer it is that this is a big upgrade we’re making. I don’t see a way back for Aaron, even if there’s a howler tomorrow. There’s more confidence in every department of Raya’s game. It’s a shame, but I guess that’s the type of club we are now… you get a chance to improve, if you don’t do it fast enough, there will be an upgrade.

Our keeping department has seen a lot of turnover – and at some point, someone is going to point the finger at the person coaching these players. Aaron Ramsdale started strong, then faded. We’ve also seen Martinez, Runarson, and Bernd Leno pass through the club and 2 of them got better (Bernd one of the best in the league last season). David Raya absolutely cannot fail at Arsenal without there being a deeper question as to why everyone falls out of favor and tanks in form under the current regime.

The game should be good tomorrow – Spurs can’t defend but they can attack. The first goal will be very important, but both teams have goals in abundance. Is Ange more than good press clips? Are Arsenal able to move past the emotion of a derby game? Can Arteta spring a surprise and another tactical masterclass? We’ll see.

Ok, bit of a long one today. Let’s hope that the game is a BANGER. We’ll be LIVE on the whistle after. It’ll be a BIG one. Cannot promise we will be sober!

Check out our before the whistle podcast below.

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Samesong

hi

Samesong

1ST

Samesong

Hoping for 3 points

GX IS GOD

Trophy

F you bankz

TheLegendaryDB10

From previous post BobN16 If I am honest, I would think so to. Nelson’s cameo’s so far have been excellent. He genuinely deserves to start.Arteta’s coaching and getting players go a level above what we thought they could do is absolutely phenomenal. Cf Øde and Marti. I really hope that ESR steps up./And this is my stance re Aaron and Havertz.As long as they respond well to his training regimen, we will either see a beast come out of this or a flop. I said this after the game re Havertz. With time he will be either be that player… Read more »

TheLegendaryDB10

Pedro

Fuck Spuds. We’ll do them in!!!

You are right re GK coach. You’ve mentioned it before.

If we do see a dip with the “Iceman” Raya, we’ll know whom we should be pointing the finger at.

Obuche Achiel

Top five after reading, wow

Northbanker

COYG

Matt B

Great post Pedro and completely agree with your point about our goalkeeping merry go round. It’s sad about Ramsdale and I don’t doubt he’ll leave at the end of the season and then improve elsewhere (he actually got worse with us)…

jwl

It is not a question of believing xG or not but it does have limited value because it doesn’t differentiate between teams/players so Haaland/mancity gets judged the with same metrics as Morris/Luton Town which is dumb.

And being a keeper under Arteta is like being a drummer in spinal tap, it is very hazardous position.

Gazza

Rodri out of Arsenal game

Dissenter

Leno stated in his interview that it was Inaki Cana, the goal keeping coach who told him he has to find another club in the summer of 2022.
For all we know, Arteta may just be totally delegating the goal keeping decisions to his goal keeper coach . He’s the one who’s driving the key decisions about Raya.

Dissenter

Rodri finally got a red card in the game against Forest …..66 games too late

Gommit

Can’t wait for the game

Dissenter

We won’t have a better opportunity to beat city at home , with Rodri out

Guns of Hackney

Can’t see this going any other way except a big spurs win. I think we’ll have a massive comedown after the PSV game and complacency will set in.

I fancy spurs taking this 3-1.

Dissenter

C’mon Forest
Get one goal and pile on the pressure

Dissenter

Guns
Struggle to fathom that any gooner would write something as numb-fuckingly daft as what you just posted above

If you need attention, get a puppy, don’t come here and post to make people angry.

Guns of Hackney

Lolz.

LoveSausage

Forest are absolutely useless. But Rodri getting a red card is as good of an outcome from this game as we could hope for.

LoveSausage

Sid,

In the same way that Elneny can play the role of Rice. Not exactly the same level.

TheLegendaryDB10

Diss

GoH just did a wee bit of trolling here methinks.

The expert misanthrope has struck again!

I genuinely think we will be tearing the shite down the road a new one.

Spurfect One

“One of the best sides on the planet”. The delusion from Arsenal fans after finishing 2nd after finishing 8th 8th then 5th is something else.

Markymark

It’s attention seeking from GOH. Life in the East Midlands can be dreary

Dissenter

Origi is thoroughly useless
I wonder why Forest took a chance on him after his Milan debacle

Agreyman

Rodri is out for three games – until City appeal his red card and money changes hands…..

Dissenter

Rodri prolly just needed a break, he’s been complaining about being overplayed.
Man just wanted a breather .

bacaryisgod

Nuno’s disaster class against City probably drops his transfer value down to Rob Holding levels. No way he gets back in the line-up once he returns from injury. The usual issues (falling asleep on defence, sloppy in possession) outweigh his strength, speed and engine.

LoveSausage

I haven’t watched any Luton and Sheffield games yet but out of all the teams I’ve seen this season, Forest is the worst by a margin. Absolute farmers. It’ll be a travesty if they manage to stay in the PL.

Habesha Gooner

“”you get a chance to improve, if you don’t do it fast enough, there will be an upgrade.””” That is the way it should be at a top club. Huge fan of Ramsdale but even I must admit he has regressed in some departments. His distribution when he started was mesmerizing to watch. No I rarely see those line breaking passes on the ground. He also launches it poorly now. And those high profile mistakes haven’t helped his cause. Being likeable isn’t enough. Your standards should be high. The good thing is, if we wanted to sell, there will be… Read more »

Veira

Pedro, why is Guns of Hackney allowed to post on here ?

MidwestGun

I agree with Pedro.. if Spurs try and play football with us, they will lose. We have the ability to play teams off the park. It’s the physical low block teams who quick counter, we struggle with.

jwl

If Ramsdale been declining in ability since he arrived, why have arsenal increased his salary and extended his contract five months ago. Who going to pay premium transfer fee, and his annual salary, for a keeper who regressing in key metrics and can’t get a game for us. ———— Arteta in May 2023 – “We’re all so happy that Aaron has signed a new contract. The way Aaron has developed over the past two years has been exceptional, with his performances, contribution and overall adaptation to the club. “It’s great that we’re continuing to build our future with our biggest… Read more »

jwl

Why are you allowed to post here, Veira?

MidwestGun

Oh.. and it’s about time Rodri got punished for being a complete dickhead.

T

Methodical and structural are what arteta is all about. We won the FA cup with a practiced play out from the back to auba.. even now sometimes when teams try to press us hard on out 3rd the team still uses the same positions, passing lanes and running lanes to get out of trouble and launch a counterattack. Every season mikel has added a new tactical scheme along with a few new players.

Postecoglou is playing with fire if he doesnt make sure the basics are done right.

Veira

Jwl I don’t write much but read you Guys regularly as I support the team and expect to read on here either solidarity and loyalties or constructive criticism. Guns has been fucking irritating consistently and deserve longtime ago binned.

MidwestGun

As long as there wasn’t an injury to Jesus or Zinchenko in training yesterday.. think it wouldn’t be a big deal.. whomever it could be, if anyone at all. Twitter isn’t exactly reliable.
But Zinny and Jesus are the most irreplaceable for the style we want to play in most games.

Samesong

Rodri prolly just needed a break, he’s been complaining about being overplayed.
Man just wanted a breather .

That’s what I was thinking Diss. Citeh is still a dangerous team. Another mental battle we need to get over with this team.

Dissenter

Who knew that all the while, when Ashley Young was diving all over the past 20 odd years, he was really prolonging his career

Amazing that he can still perform at the top level when he’s 38 years old.

Dissenter

Mid
We need Trossard tomorrow. He’s on form at the moment and seems to have at least two goal contributions in him every game
Trossard provides a different type of goal threat, it’s like having two Jesus on the field when he’s next to Gabriel

Nigel Tufnel

Pedro… I think Raya claimed 51 last year compared to 17 for Ramsdale. Those are the numbers I’ve heard. Triple. And 3-1 is how it’s felt watching him do it for 2 full matches. This is the main measure that makes him a clear upgrade. Ramsdale is an excellent shot stopper, but that can’t be proven with statistics. Unfortunately for Rambo, I think it’s looking like Raya is even better at distribution, even thiugh Aaron is very good… But then again, if Raya continues showing this quality in his passing, I will be saying that he’s equal to, or better… Read more »

jwl

Gooners twitter say Ethan Nwaneri has been seen with team at their hotel tonight before tomorrow match, maybe nwaneri going to experience some nld action.

Dissenter

Doucoore is playing like he’s on steroids

MidwestGun

Diss-

Trossard would make us better for sure.. hope it’s bs. If it’s him.. But we could cope without him. If Zinny is injured though… with Partey out as well we would be screwed. TT or Kiwior change the dynamics hugely. And we have seen the downgrade in team flow of Jesus v Eddie.

Doucoure is volley machine today for Everton… a little shocked they scored actually scored a goal.. sometimes the goal gets in the way of a shot.

Oops 1-1 now.

Dissenter

That’s offside

MidwestGun

Nah they drew the line at the wrong time.. ball had already been released.

MidwestGun

That’s the issue with var offside calls sometimes .. totally depends on when dude draws the line..

MidwestGun

Shocking miss there.

Zacharse

DissenterSeptember 23, 2023 16:30:44
posted aboveIf you need attention, get a puppy, don’t come here and post to make people angry.

bad call diss. GoH come here to talk shit, don’t ruin a dog’s life

Zacharse

mid i wouldn’t mind seeing kiwi come in.

MidwestGun

Zach… I’m not mad at Kiwior .. but not for the NLD… Like him better on the right side too.

MidwestGun

Not very impressed with this Beto dude.. not for 30 mill or whatever Everton paid. Anyhow not sure how this ended up as the national game on NBC this week.. haha

Dissenter

For all the talk about the most exciting league in the world. I reckon that 80% or premier league games are worse than watching white pain dry.

Mulerise14

For the love of everything you hold Dear….if someone needs attention, you know, silence would kill them right?if you wanna troll at least use guile…the intelligence displayed by some on here can be placed on the head of a pin and still leave plenty of space for angels to dance on….😎

MidwestGun

What do you know… Everton might win a game.

rollen

GOH you joker, we are trashing your lot 3- 0 or 4: 1.

LoveSausage

Brentford looking pedestrian without Toney.

MidwestGun

LS… and Raya. 😀

LoveSausage

Midwest,

Yeah, that too. Their new GK was doing his best Ramsdale impression on that Tarkowski goal.

Northbanker

City will be without Rodri when they play us!!

MidwestGun

I’m really just hanging out today,.. to see if the Ten Hag meltdown continues..

Here’s hoping.

Chaz

Guns of Hackney has a point…. the spuds aren’t mugs…. You can’t just ban people from having a view different to the author or readers…. I personally think we will not lose … A draw is the worse that couod plausibly happen. I imagine a tight 2-1…. I expect a penalty…. VAR controversy…. A win would be a huge statement and following the Rodri Red card….I make it 50/50, anyone’s game at home against the Citeh wash-shop. However, MORE IMPORTANT than anything and we can all agree, if the fans turn up as they have, LOUD, PASSIONATE, SUPPORTIVE, ENCOURAGING, AND… Read more »

TheLegendaryDB10

Chaz

We’re the North Bank, the North Bank, the North Bank of Highbury!!! 😀

/

I can’t wait for tomorrow. Looking forward to a win vs the scumbags.

Mind the gap!!!

Dissenter

United looking like shite against Burnley

Dissenter

This peacock live feed has the audio 20 secs behind the video
It’s doing my head in

MidwestGun

Burnley should have scored. Dude snatched at the shot that went off the post just had to roll it in.

MidwestGun

Ya Diss. I tried to figure out how to complain… but couldnt.. so gave up and hit mute.

Nigel Tufnel

When all are fit, I’d like to see more sharing of time between Martinelli, Trossard, and Reiss. If Arteta had been doing that, maybe Gabby wouldn’t have pulled a muscle. There is no doubt in my mind that Trosaard is the more productive player whether its in goals or assists. That should not ever be ignored.. Gabby is still great, with our best pace,, but I prefer Trossards goal threat and constant productivity. Nelson is another that offers more variety and threat than Martinelli, but we don’t know how he’ll be over 90 minutes. Certainly looks very good in 20… Read more »

MidwestGun

Damn.. oldest dude out there scored. They probably figured he couldn’t still jump that high.

MidwestGun

No goal… saved by var.

Zacharse

hi i’m ten erik five and i think pissing is like crying through my genitals

Kpankulu

Who going to pay premium transfer fee, and his annual salary, for a keeper who regressing in key metrics and can’t get a game for us. [@jwl]

Because Aaron Ramsdale is going to be the England goalkeeper sooner rather than later, for one.

Dissenter

They are really slicing United up into bits
ETH is yet to impose any pattern on United, all they want to do is get the bal, to Rashford.

Ange on the other hand, is very simple…and brave in a very simple primitive manner

MidwestGun

I think we would get premium.. for Ramsdale. soooo many teams need Keepers. And all these teams want to play out the back now… and many have Keepers that are kind of shit at it.

Anyhow.. Peacock is having a meltdown.. about as bad as Ten Hag.

Chaz

“TheLegendaryDB10”

“We’re the Clock-end… We’re the Clock-end…. We’re the Clock end of Highbury!!!” 🎶🎺

I love the fact these last two seasons we have slowly dispelled this ol’ idea that we resemble a library!

We are slowly becoming the Premier League’s most intense atmosphere…. what a brilliant achievement and long may we continue to enforce that growing belief!

WengerEagle

Big Kompany a flat-track Championship bully? He definitely ain’t enjoying the PL so far

Dissenter

Hojlund shows more fight than quality
He also goes to ground far too easily for the big man that he is

Nigel Tufnel

Gabriels Jesus and Magalhães in the Brazil squad for World Cup qualifiers next month. Martinelli isn’t which probably gives us a truer picture of his injury.

From Tim Stillman on twitter.

Nigel Tufnel

Kpankulu,

If the Pep England rumours were true, Ramsdale would be number 1 on his first day.
Any other progressive manager would do the same. They should hire Wenger.

TheLegendaryDB10

Nigel

That doesn’t sound good for Martinelli.

Lets hope this is a precautionary move from Arteta to have him not play for Brazil and get him back in the squad ASAP. 🫰

Samesong

Burnley are garbage 🗑️

Dissenter

The Pep for England rumors are just nonsense If Pep wanted to coach a national team, why would he settle for England when his Spanish National team can do with a quality manager. He got almost 50 caps for England. Lies of ifs and buts about Ramsdale becoming England number one. He can’t do that without starting for his club. He has to get past Raya to start for Arsenal. If that’s not possible, he has to move to another club and who knows how that will go. Go ask all the young talent that’s moved to Chelsea how it’s… Read more »

Nigel Tufnel

Watching Burnley for a few minutes and it looks like Kompany really has them trying to play Pep-Teta ball…. they just don’t have the talent in their personnel…. not to compete at this level..

Arteta was more pragmatic and tried to play according to the players he had at first..
That’s why the long, painful clearout was necessary.
Some of you were kicking and screaming the whole way as he built slowly adding Gabriel, White, Ramsdale, Partey, … even Ødegaard… Grovers crying “he finished 8th!”

Dissenter

Nigel
You’re back on the vindication tour again?
Gee…I told you so!

When’s your open bus parade expected to end?

Dissenter

** He got almost 50 caps for Spain **

Samesong

You’re back on the vindication tour again?
Again??

I spend so much time away from le grove these days reading some of this nonsense, puts me off. Be back for the derby tomorrow.

TT

Nigel, your constant whining and finger pointing is really pulling this comment section down. Is there a slight possibility that you might keep your mouth shut for a day?

Ken

Oh wow look, who could have seen this coming, regular normal non-bellend people think Nigel is a stain on the comment section. I am so very surprised.

rollen

Nigel, we were really shitty under Arteta for 2 years, it looks like it was worth it, but stop pretending like anyone was Arteta fan boy during those dark times as even Pedro give up at some point.
Stop it you are lame.

Matt

Guys

Nigel isn’t real. He is a Pedro alter-ego invented to stir up debate.

No actual real person is as self righteous and condescending as that!

gnarleygeorge9

Cor Blimey! ange is the Zelenskyy of footie. The msm love ange, & the footie elite seem desperate for him to succeed. Angie’s wife will probably do a big Vogue front page shoot & spread next like Zelenskyy‘s shiela did.

On October 14 we the people are going to dump on australia’s elite. For Arsenal supporters we get the chance in a matter of hours to shove it up spurs & their lovies 😝

Come on You Rip Roaring Reds. Give’em both barrels💥💥

GD4

Nigel getting on people’s nerves?
What a shocker

MG42

Ah so that is GD4, looks like Nigel got that one wrong too, no surprise here.

Nigel Tufnel

Dissenter, You never want to respond when people mention your actual horrible takes on players and management decisions. But you love attacking people who have in actuality turned out to be right.. like AFCforever, Rich, Pedro. The balls to smear people who were right, but you hide under the covers and pretend not to see comments directed to you, about ridiculous opinions you’ve held. Was Rice too expensive? Has Arteta assembled one of the best squads you could ask for? I held up my hands and told Pedro I was wrong about Raya being planned as the number 1, and… Read more »

MG42

GD4
Nigel insisted that I was posting under a new moniker, please set the record straight here. As many other also here have noticed Nigel is loosing the plot way too often.

Nigel Tufnel

Wow giant coincidence ! Gd4 and MG42 both show up at the same time…
We’re supposed to believe it couldn’t be the same guy now LOL.

Brilliant and bizarre.

MG42

Nigel
“But keep talking shite about brilliant contributors.”
Since you can’t distinguish who are the different posters, how in the world will you be able to keep interpreting their comments.

Kpankulu

Grovers crying “he finished 8th!” [@Nigel Tufnel]

They still are…as if ANYONE could have led them to the title or the top 4 that season. I believe it could have been worse. Just a blunt stick to beat Arteta with for their narrative.

Nigel Tufnel

Kp,
The cynics pushed a TWO 8th place finish narrative as if Arteta didn’t take over at new years in his first season, and the team was somewhere in 10th-12th place.
He should receive a medal for the transformation of the club.
The culture as much as beautiful football and a brilliant squad, convincing players like Rice, Jesus, Timber and Ødegaard to join… just to name a few.

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