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Arsenal v Spurs - The Wenger Years

Arsenal v Spurs - The Wenger Years

This Saturday sees the first ever North London derby at Ashburton Grove. Will it live up to some of the great contests of the past? Will Arsenal maintain their stranglehold on the fixture? Arsene Wenger has a tremendous record against the neighbours during his decade in charge.

Let`s check it out.

Wenger`s first taste of the rivalry was in November 1996, when Highbury witnessed a typically feisty clash. Ian Wright put the Gunners ahead from the spot after Dennis Bergkamp had been fouled. The equaliser lit the blue touchpaper. With Vieira down injured Arsenal put the ball out of play, expecting the ball back from the throw in. Instead the ball was thrown to Sinton who hit a speculative shot that hit the net via post and the back of Lukic`s head. The response was late, but none the less enjoyable for that, Adams and Bergkamp scoring crackers in the final two minutes to secure the points. The return at the Lane in February ended in a goal-less stalemate.

Wenger`s first double season saw two draws. It was another scoreless draw at Highbury in August, and in fairness to Tottenham they did well to survive the second-half after Edinburgh`s sending off. Ray Parlour struck in a 1-1 Christmas draw in N17.

November 98 saw the return of George Graham to Highbury, this time as opposition manager. He left the happier after yet another 0-0 draw, although in truth the hosts had done everything but score. In May Arsenal hit the top of the league as goals from Petit, Anelka, and Kanu took them to a 3-1 win, Anderton hitting the consolation for the hosts.

November 7th 1999 will be recorded as Wenger's only defeat at Tottenham, who led through Iverson and Sherwood before Vieira reduced the arrears. Arsenal`s attempts to equalise were not helped by the dismissal of Ljungberg for an alleged butt on Ginola. The Frenchman himself admitted there was no contact and that he had been struck by a missile from the crowd. Keown followed in the closing stages for a second yellow. In the return fixture Chris Armstrong had the dubious honour of scoring at both ends in the first half, before Thierry Henry sealed a 2-1 home win from the spot following Taricco`s lunge at Parlour.

A week before Christmas Day in 2000 witnessed a late Patrick Vieira equaliser at the Lane after Rebrov had given Tottenham the half-time advantage. The return fixture in March was a sad affair, and the visiting fans are due thanks for their part in the minutes silence in memory of the recently departed David Rocastle. What followed was a low key encounter decided by goals from Pires and Henry. There was to be one further meeting this season. In the FA Cup semi-final at Old Trafford Doherty gave Spurs the lead against the run of play, but Vieira and Pires took Arsenal to the Final, as Sol Campbell limped out of the Tottenham defence.

Another Arsenal double season followed, and the teams first meeting at the Lane was another red-hot clash as Sol Campbell made his first appearance against his former employers. Robert Pires appeared to have won the game with a twenty yard drive, but four minutes into injury time Richard Wright fumbled Poyet`s volley into his own net and the points were shared. The return saw Lauren clinch the points for the title chasers from the spot, adding to a Freddie Ljungberg strike. Sheringham netted for the visitors from the spot.

At Highbury that November Thierry Henry started the rout in thirteen minutes with a mazy run from his own half and clinical finish. Pires and Wiltord added second half strikes against ten men after Davies had been red-carded. Little more than a month later the spoils were shared 1-1, Ziege and Pires the scorers.

So to the 2003-4 Invincibles season. At Highbury in November Anderton opened for Spurs in just four minutes, but second half goals from Pires and Ljungberg were just reward for a dominant Arsenal. On April 24th Newcastle had earlier defeated Chelsea which left Arsenal needing a point to clinch the Championship at White Hart Lane for the second time. Vieira, after three minutes, and Pires, ten minutes before half-time, got the celebrations under way. Tottenham, to their credit, stormed back in the second half and were rewarded with goals from Redknapp and a last minute penalty from Keane. The home fans departed with pride salvaged as Sol Campbell celebrated his second Premiership medal with his team mates and the visiting supporters.

November 13th 2004 and White Hart Lane witnessed one of the most remarkable derby clashes ever. Arsenal eventually triumphed 5-4 and nine different players scored. Naybet, Defoe, King and Kanoute struck for Spurs but were outdone by Henry, Lauren, Vieira, Ljungberg, and Pires (who else!). The second meeting at Highbury was an altogether tamer affair settled by Jose Antonio Reyes in 21 minutes.

So to last season, and two typically fractious 1-1 draws. King and Pires netting at the Lane, while the last ever clash at Highbury saw Henry cancel out Keane`s disputed strike for the visitors.

So there you have it, Wenger takes an incredible record of ten wins, ten draws, and a solitary defeat, into Saturday`s historic encounter. His unblemished home record of seven wins and three draws is at stake. Will it be another goal-laden thriller, or another tense and bad-tempered affair? Who knows? That`s the beauty of Arsenal versus Tottenham.

Article submitted by FatOldDave.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Tuesday November 28 2006
Time: 10:58PM


The 5-4 at the Lane was one of the most remarkable games ever witnessed. I'd actually sneaked out of work for a couple of hours to watch it, and I'm glad I did. We all like to take the mickey out of Spurs but they really played their part that day. Everytime we opened up an advantage they pegged us back. And excellent excellent game. One thing that is worrying me about this weekends game is our apparnet love for 1-1 draws at home this season. Seeing how many times we have drawn with Spurs over the years I'd get your money on 1-1.
28/11/2006 23:07:00
Gotta to say its gonna be 2-0 to the yid army you have had your day and its about time we spoilt you party and mr winger will see it! im afraid that in you lovely new home we will start a new era of football and that will be blue and white. i know that its gonna be yer yer ***** off to you own site but lets just say this is the voice within you all nagging away thinking what if!!!???!!! your season isnt exacly going great, form not to clever and the new home still haven't lose in but like you have said above 1-1 aint to good or impressive so maybe now is the time. COYS COYS COYS
28/11/2006 23:28:00
Your game at fulham could have a bearing on the w/end,gallas is struggling is'nt he? It's gonna be electric,hectic and mental as usual.I sense you lot are'nt as confident as normal,but you never know.Probably 1-1.By the way keanes goal was'nt disputed by us,only by a 60y/old Whinging Geek!
28/11/2006 23:33:00
I8G - I won't tell you to go back to your own site. I won't need to after Saturday because there will be know way you'll dare come back after a statement like that if we beat you. You just don't have the stones!!! HTG - Gallas won't make it for the game. Henry, Rosicky and RvP are back though!!
28/11/2006 23:47:00
I'm still smarting about missing the 5-4 match. After trying deperately - yet to no avail - to get a ticket, I was making my way to a friend's house by train to watch it with some mates. Some inconsiderate git decided to throw himself on to the tracks about 45 mins before kickoff and I was stuck at Surbiton station for 3 hours! I had no money to get anywhere by cab and it would have taken too long to walk...What a kick in the teeth!!
28/11/2006 23:51:00
I'm going to this game and am well excited! Just hope we get the right result!!
Super Cesc
28/11/2006 23:53:00
we are going to kick ur asss Spuds just like what we have been doing for the last 100 years!!!
29/11/2006 07:16:00
i reckon saturday will be the most exciting game in years, both teams wanting to win badly, and i think AG will prove a too bigger stage for spuds, we all know what happens when spurs get to the final hurdle, they get sick and cry off. wonder if they will stay at the marriot for this game ?
29/11/2006 07:50:00
we're gonna win dis one easily, 3-0 to us, thierry double and king kolo with the third and the spuds off our website, eeeeeeeeyesssssssssssss..
29/11/2006 12:17:00
oh dear ladies great result tonight at fulham with all your stars back, i see luckys_10 that you pop up on the yid site checking out whats what maybe your 3-0 is a bit over the top im still saying spurs to win 2-0 i bet you aint so sure of your prediction are you?????LOL CCCCCCCCCCCCOOOOOOOOOOYYYYYYYYSSSSSSS
29/11/2006 22:02:00
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