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Tottenham Hotpsur 1 Arsenal 4 AET

Tottenham away was quite literally the last draw I wanted in this competition (with the possible exception of Newcastle). With the likes of Peterborough and Northampton still in a trip to an unchartered away ground where the risk of getting my face danced on was not quite so stark would have been a good deal more welcome than once again running the gauntlet on the Seven Sister`s Road. Throw in the fact that I felt Arsenal would field a youthful side and that Spurs would go with their first team, I wasn`t optimistic for anything other than defeat in truth. Upon taking the mammoth saunter down Seven Sister`s Road, it was obvious that the fixture attracted a number of Gooners who had never been to White Hart Lane before, as I would estimate at least 60% were wearing colours, oblivious to the trouble that invites at this fixture. However, despite some ludicrous stewarding (the away turnstile was not opened until 45 minutes before kick off, leaving a gaggle of us kicking our heels outside in case any knuckle dragging mouth breathers fancied a pop. Since I travelled to the game alone, I was left to walk away from the away section alone and hope against hope that the wrong people hadn`t seen me. Cheers for that coppers.) I entered the ground to hear rumour spread that the likes of Rosicky, Nasri and Koscielny were all likely to feature. Suddenly, a game I had previously been quite relaxed about, given that I was expecting a reserve team and expecting defeat, I began to feel the nerves roost in my guts slightly. The pressure was suddenly on again, with a side like that, we had to be winning.

Not least because the fall out of losing and using several senior players- particularly in midfield with Fabregas injured- would have invited criticism for the manager. Indeed, in my own mind, I rapidly questioned the line up; but accepted that these are the sorts of decisions Arsene is paid to make. Spurs meanwhile fielded a similar line up of fringe players, a couple of first teamers and a sprinkling of callow youths. It was pretty much like for like in terms of team selection, even if the Spurs starting eleven did cost significantly more to assemble than ours. Though it appeared Harry was prepared to field wife Sandra in central midfield. Arsenal were also able to field Gibbs, Wilshere and Lansbury in the starting line up, with Eastmond and Emmanuel Thomas on the bench, elucidating Redknapp`s ludicrous pre match assertion that Arsenal only had one young English player. The game began with a minute`s applause for late Spurs forward Bobby Smith. But from the start of the game, the one young Englishman scrotum face had referred to showed everybody what the fuss was about. From the 1st minute to the 120th, he simply dominated it. Always available for the ball when a team mate was in trouble, always took the sensible decision with the ball in possession (whether it be a defence splitting pass or a two yard tuck to a team mate) and he stood up to some heavy knocks from, ahem, heavyweights such as Wilson Palacios. Apropos to nothing, I don`t think for one second Spurs were trying to kick Jack, I just don`t think they could get near him. I`d be interested to see both how much ground he covered in the 120 minutes; I`m told his ball retention was somewhere in the region of 139 passes, meaning he was on the ball an average of every 52 seconds for 2 hours. I can`t think that any player on the pitch matched him in either regard. I wonder how much of a plum Stuart Pearce feels with his big, "look at me, me big boss man" criticism of Wilshere a fortnight ago.

The Gunners took an early stranglehold on possession and were rewarded for their dominance after 14 minutes. Eboue`s gorgeous cross field pass found Gibbs, who touched the ball wide to Nasri. Wilshere moved wide and received Nasri`s pass, then Wilshere fired a low cross across the six yard box which Henri Lansbury was on hand to touch into the net Vieira stylee. Spurs were shell shocked and could only look on like a boxer reeling from a stinging uppercut, as Arsenal popped the ball around the "oles" from the away end. But whilst Arsenal were controlling the game, I was rather concerned that we were not looking to kill it off with a second goal. No side ever controls a game for every second of the match; the key for Arsenal is to snuff teams out when we`re in the ascendancy. We have had the same amount of shots on goal as Chelsea this season; yet they have seven more goals than us. We need to develop that ruthlessness. To prove the point, despite looking insipid for much of the half, a Johan Djourou slip allowed David Bentley to race clear. But with Pavlyuchenko and dos Santos better placed for passes, Bentley allowed his ego to dictate with the Arsenal fans treating him to some invective and blasted the ball high, wide and handsome. Soon after, Pavlyuchenko cut in from the right after out muscling Djourou and fired a shot into the side netting which had half of the stadium mistakenly acclaiming a goal.

But the away side were still very much in control. They almost produced a carbon copy of their opening goal when Gibbs again found Nasri on the left, Rosicky moved into space on the touchline and sent a low cross towards Lansbury again, but Bassong moved in with a vital block. Arsenal should have been allowed to take a deserved two goal lead when Wilshere split the Spurs defence to send Kieran Gibbs clean through, put as the rampaging left back skipped around Pletikosa, the linesman wrongly had his flag erect. Gibbs` performance was also a huge encouragement, I`m struggling to think of anything he did all night that was wrong. The impunity with which he bombed forward put me in mind of, dare I say it, Ashley Cole. If he can emulate the player, but not the flaky, self absorbed personality, we`ve got a hell of a player. Let`s hope his injury is not as bad as it looks. Spurs were certainly grateful for the half time whistle having chased shadows for much of the 45 minutes, but I still had an uneasy feeling. The gentleman next to me guffawed somewhat when I agreed with him that we`d been playing excellently, but added the caveat, "But I bet money they equalise before the 55th minute." Redknapp sent for reinforcements in the considerably flabby shape of Robbie Keane and diminutive winger Aaron Lennon- who runs like a woman in high heels running for the bus.

The change paid dividends as Spurs were level within four minutes of the restart. Kyle Naughton stabbed a ball through to Robbie Keane as the Arsenal back line stepped up and appealed for an errant offside flag that never came. Keane`s tame finish dribbled through the fingers of Fabianski and into the net. Reading into Arsene`s pre match comments ("You get a second chance, but it`s important you take it") as well as his post match comments, ("It was a shame for him because everything else he did well. But it was good for him we won") we might be looking at the death throes of an Arsenal goalkeeping career that at one time promised so much. That was as much as Spurs really offered for two hours. Lennon tried to get at Gibbs without success, expertly marshalled by the fast growing full back. The Gunners gradually reaffirmed their grip on the game, with Wilshere pulling the strings once more. Arsenal ought to have reassumed the lead when Rosicky`s left wing cross reached Vela at the back post, but he craned his neck and headed over. It must be said it was something of a failed audition for the young Mexican who lacked the necessary presence to lead the line and often found himself bundled off the ball by Sebastien Bassong.

Marouane Chamakh was sent for to bolster the forward line and add that missing presence, whilst Andrey Arshavin joined him. Chamakh was in the thick of the action straight away when he glanced Gibbs cross across the face of the Spurs goal. As full time approached, Arsenal pressed on, Lansbury and Denilson stung the palms of Pletikosa with shots from outside the box, whilst Wilshere`s effort was blocked by a last ditch challenge from Bassong. At the other end, Spurs briefly threatened on the counter attack, just as Aaron Lennon made a beeline for goal and had his finger perched on the trigger, Laurent Koscielny denied him with a superb last ditch block. Koscielny was again utterly dominant in the air and on the ground all evening. I`ve enjoyed what I`ve seen of him so far. He had a brief wobble away at Blackburn but looks to have learned from it. More of the same please. Arsenal threatened to deservedly win the game When Nasri`s pass split the Spurs defence again and Chamakh bore down on goal, but Bassong did well to keep pace and put the Moroccan off of a shit from close range. But extra time was required, when in truth, the game should have been killed before the second half even got under way.

But the Gunners applied the killer instinct and finished the game in the first four minutes of extra time. Arshavin looped a ball into the Spurs box for the onrushing Nasri, Bassong tugged his shirt and the penalty was duly awarded. Having been chastised by his manager for not stepping up on Saturday, Nasri wasn`t about to invite another flea in his ear from Arsene. He stepped up and coolly slotted the ball to Pletikosa`s right with the hapless Czech keeper sprawling off to his left. The away end rejoiced, singing Nasri`s name to the strains of KC and the Sunshine Band`s 'Baby Give It Up.` Three minutes later, there was a sense of déjà vu apparent as Wilshere sent Chamakh clear in the area and a fatigued and languishing Stephen Caulker tugged Chamakh back and another spot kick was correctly awarded. Nasri stepped up again and this pea rolled the ball to the keeper`s left. Both of his cool conversions make Nasri`s decision to snub his duties at the Stadium of Light even more maddening. I would have swapped either one of those penalties last night for a conversion in the North East. David Bentley somehow missed a gilt edged header from close range, which could have made for a nervous finale.

Spurs were out on their feet, with players cramping up left, right and centre. Unfortunately, Kieran Gibbs went off with what looks depressingly like another metatarsal break. You`ll recall that prior to his metatarsal break last year, Gibbs bruised the same area and nearly missed the Alkmaar game in which he obtained the season slaying injury. Time for a change of boots Gibbsy. The away side ruthlessly killed the game before it`s 100th minute, Wilshere took a quick free kick with the Spurs defence lumbering and slumbering and Arshavin powered into the area to smash the ball past Pletikosa. The home fans streamed out of the stadium, unable to bear the taunting of their delighted neighbours. "Shall we make a DVD?" came the cry of the 3,000. "`Arry, give us a twitch, 'Arry, 'Arry, give us a twitch" followed. But once we`d seen the Spurs fans were not prepared to our reasoned jibes, we were left to serenade their empty seats with, "It`s so empty, it`s so empty, it`s so empty, at the Lane." Tottenham should have had a consolation when Keane`s shot from Bentley`s corner was cleared off the line by Nasri and Fabianski was out sharply to block the rebound. In the end, the final whistle was a relief to the 12 or so Spurs fans that stayed behind. Our walk out onto the Seven Sister`s Road was untroubled for once with very few Tottenham fans even in the N17 postcode by that hour. The win was much deserved, but had it been a league game, we`d have only got a point from a game we utterly bossed; we simply have to kill teams off when they are in our thrall. I am left to praise the manager`s pragmatism in his starting line up and I think he surprised Redknapp in that regard. However, I am fully aware that I would have been criticising the manager for exposing many senior players at a time when we are beset with injury and have bigger games on the horizon. In the long term, we will probably not win the competition and I would imagine the younger charges will return for the next round to continue their education. But for now, it is impossible not to enjoy dishing out a good spanking at the Lane.LD.

21.FABIANSKI, 27.EBOUE, 20.DJOUROU, 6.KOSCIELNY, 28.GIBBS (22.Clichy '102), 15.DENILSON, 19.WILSHERE, 7.ROSICKY© (23.Arshavin `72), 46.LANSBURY, 8.NASRI, 11.VELA (29.Chamakh `72). Unused: 1.Almunia, 3.Sagna, 40.Eastmond, 41.E.Thomas.

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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday September 22 2010

Time: 11:20AM

Your Comments

There is a fantastic typo in their LD "Chamakh bore down on goal, but Bassong did well to keep pace and put the Moroccan off of a s h i t from close range" :)
well done, you wanted it more than us and showed that ur youth has the upper hand on ours. Wilshire was superb. the only thing i will say is i feel you should have killed the game off long before ET.
I think that Wenger got the psychology of this game right in his team selection but it's also true that we have fewer young players in the first team squad nowadays. Though there were still 6 players in the starting line up that have been through our youth system and more on the bench. It doesn't really matter whether we win or lose in this competition while we are still hunting for the serious prizes but this was a 'feel good' win and as such will hearten players and fans alike. It's far too easy for some of supporters to become negative far too quickly as some of the over reaction to the understandable disappointment of dropping late points at Sunderland shows. This game and the result will serve a purpose in stalling that tendency for a while. In that regard the right decisions were made. Not that the Spuds being expensively assembled total crap didn't help a bit too.
firstly an excellent display for arsenal and a very well deserved win. to be honest I think you wanted it more than us, but also perhaps needed to make the statement that a strong win gave you.
Hold on mate... 'Had it been a league game' you would had took a point before Kick off. I also remember when Emirates went empty after 60mins when Manure wallopped you so it goes to show you talk absolute bias b u l l s h i t.
Yeah so do you FOYS...! you go on and on about your great support but the truth is it's no better than anyone elses. Were they playing "Do do do, lets all do the conga" on the PA system at 4-1 or something?
COYS, my point was that had it been a league game we'd have drawn a game we dominated from beginning to end. And if you're inclined to take the ***** out of our fans for leaving early, then we're equally within rights to mock your lot. "It's so empty........."
Little Dutch
After 5 minutes of extra time the Mrs popped her head into the room, saw the empty stadium and said "Oh, has it finished?" ..... I said "Technically ... no"
Bias? It's an Arsenal blog you moron.
Indeed GM - Those idiot gooner having the audacity to talk positively about a thumping win over Spurs .... and to do it on an Arsenal website of all places. The Cheek!!
When they beat us 5-1 we had an article up saying well done, When they beat us in a league game for the 1st time in 10 years we had an article up saying well done. The biggest away win in an NLD for 32 years and all we get is the internets equivalent of Rabies.
I think Arsene sensed that playing with youngsters in an away game at Spurs like this could well result in a resounding defeat and didn't want to demolarise the players or fans. The sheer amount of ground that Wilshere covered was amazing, he was everywhere it seems. As for Fabianski, I really think Wenger needs to do him a favour for his whole career (not just at Arsenal) and let him go, even on loan, because the guy needs a fresh start and he can't handle the pressure right now.
It's a shame you still get so many scum bags at WhiteHeartLane wanting to kick off EVERY home game. A friend of mine and his 7 year old son were attacked after the 5-1 defeat by a group of c**ksuckers wearing Spu*s shirts he ended up with a broken arm and his son ended up with a broken clavical. Compare that to The Grove where there is little to no trouble at all from the home fans. It kind of highlights the differences between the two clubs perfectly.
@LD and LondonGooner - is it really always that bad at WHL? Was there any trouble at all last night? I can't believe they'd attack someone with a kid, and the kid himself. I reckon Chavski and Spuds have the scummiest fans in the PL.
It usually is , yes. The only times I've got out without being spat at or dodging bottles and coins were a) the 5-1 cos they were all still inside the stadium and b) last night because they'd all buggered off home. But seen some terrible things at that place, it's true.
Little Dutch
G_V, yes normally it is. Last night was the exception as most had gone. When you come out of the away end there is a police baracade, then it just stops and all the yids can watch you coming. I'm sure LD can give a much better description than me! I never wear colours away anyway (avoids unneccessary incidents), but I still feel I'm running the gauntlet when I leave the Lane.
Arsenal took the p1ss last night, easiest stroll ever had in Tottenham manor. Lots of first timers n all judging by amount of shirters.
A warm glow a glass of wine and wonderful feeling after the match only spoilt by see a ten year old spurs supporter crying. Must be getting old but I did feel for him. But thats football. Well written as usual LD.
Way to go Harry - blame Nasri for "diving" when there was no dive. Better still it deflects the attention his team selection, formation, tactics and basic drilling would normally come under. How come he is not called a whinger or a sore loser. In fact, I have only seen Ancelotti, Martinez and the blackpool coach to be gracious losers. Pulis, Allardyce, Ferguson, Hughes are very very sore losers.
He's prob blaming him because..... HE ******** DIVED...
And I thought Wenger was supposed to be the whinger. Well, to rehash some arguments sent our way when our players are ritualistically crocked, "Wel,, s'all part of the game innit, just got to suck it up and stop whingeing." Leaving aside the fact that whether or not Nasri made a meal of it, it's still a foul cos, you know, you're not allowed to pull someone back with your hands when they have the ball.
Little Dutch
Get over it Dazza. If you don't want to give away a penalty.... don't grab another player's shirt! You're boring. The correct result prevailed.
Got to give credit to Dazza. On a day most of his compatriots are hiding under their office desks to avoid meeting their gooner colleagues at work, here is dazza pi5sing into the wind.
Can anyone confirm which team had the youngest starting XI,just to shut a few Spuddy mates up. I believe it was Arsenal who were the youngest by an average of 9 months?
Heh, If Hayley Williams and B.O.B can pretend that airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars then I guess spurs fans can pretend this drubbing didnt hurt and we were playing their 8th team.
A quality write up LD, just to point out the Spu*s GK is Croatian not Czech. Well I didn't point that out, the missus did when she read it, she's Czech :o)
Don't have it to the month but the average age of the Arsenal starting XI was 22.9 years and the spuds 23.8 years. Without a doubt we were still the younger side.
Interesting use of phrase by Harry when discussing the fitness situation of his team after normal time in the game yesterday - "The young centre-half (Caulker) was full of cramp, Sandro was full of cramp.." Harry is so full of it.
"is it really always that bad at WHL?" - yes, Vin, it is -- my intro to an away game in English football was at WHL in 1994. My gooner co-workers told me to be prepared. I wasn't alone, of course, thank goodness. Naively I thought being a female might protect me a bit (it did a few times in South America) but no, it didn't. My 3 friends and I (2 of whom were also female) were on the receiving end of spit, beer and beer cans, a beer bottle and plenty of obscenity. One of us got shoved and fell to the ground and kicked. As she tried to get up with our help, one of them ran by and slashed her arm with broken glass, calling her various obscenities. Also saw various incidents to other gooners returning from the game. I vowed never to go back again but I did because I'm nuts that way. I know spuds are hardly unique but, combined with what they did to Arsene when he arrived in England, since then I've had a particularly intense animosity towards them.
As for the game...I'm still absorbing the whole thing. I really hated drawing Spurs for the CC again and expected us to lose. After the Sunderland disappointment, the worst thing would be to lose to the spuds even it was with the kids. But AW seems to have understood the consequences of losing to the spuds again. I love watching Jack play. The kid has so much intelligence and maturity. I wish we had a kid like him in Brazil for our national team--we don't. Koscielny's turning out to be such a brilliant transfer! After 2 yrs of having to deal with the spuddies and their pathetic "Ar5ena1" gloating, we can now tell them to just STFU.
Gibbs' injury is short-term, no fracture -- so that's all right then, he'll be back maybe in December
jaelle - Thank ***** for that!
insider says
Vermaelen can cover left back when needed in the mean time. I would even consider using him there for the chelski match, now that would be a solid back 4 (Sagna, Squillaci, Kos, Vermaelen).
insider says
I’ve never been to WHL but to hear about the attacks on lads is bad enough but attacks on women and children as well! There can be no justification for it and the people (I use the term in the broadest possible sense) who are responsible should have a good look at themselves because they are truly no better than animals. But hey, they are Tottenham….Tottenham from the Lane.
Sir Henry
insider, i don't think we want to do that, because with our luck Djourou will be the only CB for the next match.
That would be a very tasty back 4 indeed - on paper at least, would be really interesting to see it in action.
@Jaelle - that is truly awful what happened to you at WHL. I'm surprised that so many Gooners still brave it. I wonder why there isn't much trouble at our home games with Spuds, surely their hardcore hooligan following would be there too. PS - LD's comment about Lennon running like a lady running after a bus is hilarious!
I am SO happy about the way Wilshere and Gibbs performed, that was truly wonderful to see.
Apparently, AW dedicated our win over Spurs last night to him -- sadly, he died last week
Gooner Vin your name is based on off field rivalries. And people not going is exactly what they want, please don't adopt that attitude. Jaelle - yes it was dedicated to him, tragic, all too familiar story though, too young.
Did you guys hear what AW said about his touchline ban when a reporter asked him about it? "What I was charged with, I did, so I accepted it." What a man. Many times I want to shake him but mostly I just want to hug him!
And to the naysayers claiming Arsenal doesn't do anything for the English game, i present to you Exhibit A -
BTW, just wanted to mention something re Harry and Sandro. Harry said something crazy about Sandro before the match, that he's like Socrates (a great midfielder/forward of Brazil's 1982 team). Harry said he himself had never seen Sandro play and had relied on reports from Spurs scouts. But somewhere along the line there must've been some kind of miscommunication because Sandro can in no way shape or form be put in the same category as ANY attacking midfielder or forward, whoever he is. He's a basic DM and that's it. Geezus, how can anyone take this man seriously as a manager when he doesn't even know what kind of new player he's just brought in? Interesting stat on Sandro: last night he committed 8 tackles, more than any other Spurs player in any competitive game this season.
Fair play to the very few spuds who have braved it and congratulated the victory...all be it through gritted teeth. This recent argument about "strength in depth"....well I think last night put that one to bed really. As soon as VDV opened his very naive big mouth, I kind of new the boys would make him eat his foolish words. I remember not so long ago a certain Robbie Keane talking trash before a NLD.....and again we did our talking on the pitch.
I love that foto Arsene_Wonder. I get shivers watching the replay of that goal and the fist pumping celebrations from the hardcore arsenal boys Henri and Jack. Makes me so proud. From the foto though it's odd that Lansbury lacks muscle compared to the other two, Gibbsy is rippling and Jack has trees trunk sized thighs. Maybe thats helped them break through so early.
insider says
Gooner vin- Completely agree about fab, he needs a fresh start and a new challenge to rebuild his confidence and reputation....far away from Arsenal. The problem is the more games he plays for us the fewer options he has! He is quickly becoming a laughing stock of Europe. I hope he can rediscover his form....SOMEWHERE ELSE!
insider - one of my all-time fav goal celebrations! the goal was splendid as well, I just hope their confidence keeps on growing.
Koscielny has logged in 390 minutes in 10 days!
Judging from AW post match comments i'd say he's had enough too. Come to think of it, it was quite a good pressure game to test out Fab's mental capability and give him that one last chance to prove himself. I don't think we'll be seeing anymore of him from now on.
insider says
Jaelle Socrates is one of my favourite players of all time, the chancer likening Sandro to him was ridiculous especially given he had never seen him play a competitive match.
jaelle, if my memory serves me correctly Socrates had a beard which looked similar to the one Sandro was sporting last night. It could be a hair thing.
Sir Henry
AW -- that's a great pic
iceman10 - Don't be drawn into the media spin, Harry's quote was "Sandro looks like Socrates. He runs like him. If he can play like him we'll be all right" granted it's a rediculous thing to say then when asked about his style of play he said "He's not a Robinho. He's a big lad, he gets around the pitch, he can tackle, he can pass it and play.He's a box to box midfield player. Maybe an Abou Diaby-type from Arsenal. A big rangy type of player. A Patrick Vieira-type player perhaps. He's totally dedicated to his football. He's not going to go off Samba dancing anywhere." Although for some reason "Sandro is just like Abou Diaby" didn't quite make the headline...
In fact, Sandro’s hairdo does make him look a little like Socrates. Do you think a scout said to Harry that this bloke is like Socrates and Harry bought him thinking that he played like Socrates? Now THAT would be priceless!
Sir Henry
Lol fair play phart, don't let Paul Robinson hear he is like Abou tho, he will have his legs for lunch.
Good picture AW and it is a good piece of evidence of what Arsenal have done for English football, however I am going to trump that with exhibit B -
"It could be a hair thing." -- SirHenry, LOL, loved that! :-) Phartman, fair enuf your clarification of Harry's comments -- I can be generous and think Harry broadly meant that Sandro can "run like" Socrates. But the rest of Harry's comments are at least very debatable. Sandro does very little creating on the pitch, unlike Diaby. Again, I'd have to be generous in agreeing with Harry re Sandro being a box-to-box midfielder like Vieira or Diaby. Yeah, he occasionally gets up the pitch but for the most part he's busy disrupting play and protecting the back 4. I'm not even talking about comparing Sandro to the quality level of Socrates -- I'm just saying he's not that type of attacking player at all. As for Fabianski, damn I really feel sorry for him. There was a time I honestly thought he'd become a top class keeper for us.
LOL, Rocky! Never gets old!
Rocky, why is Terry assaulting Diaby's foot with his jaw?? puzzling behaviour! (great pic!)
For those who into this sort of thing, here's a detailed comparison of our team and the spuds' team last night (transfer price, age, experience):
yes fans left blaha blah, but your fans leavin after 60 minutes after 5-1 smaller version congo then last night
I was sat next to the Spurs fans at the first ever NLD at the Grove .... most of them had buggered off home at half time.
Nice one new screen saver I thinks!....While were on the subject of terry..... Exhibit C: No wonder England were a joke in SA...The wags are just not enough!
LMAO that is fackin hilarious gunnerman76.
English football's guide to the European game:
jaelle - LMAO Although I doubt if an ingerlander could find those countries without sky commentary
Dos Santos and Vela are strange ones. Both have bags of natural ability yet neither will ever make it in English football. They always leave you with a little taster of something great now and again, but its never quite enough. They need to both leave these shores, go to Spain or Portugal and become stars in the way Rossi & Forlan did at Villareal
Good night from our point of view. Citeh and the Chavs are out and Liverpool suffer yet another embarrasing defeat in a cup comp, this time to Northampton on Pens. We may actually have a decent crack at winning this now and the main threat to our cup campaign will probably be Utd's second string now.
Vela is good player to have come off the bench and tuck away good chances as he has done for us already, Dos Santos on the other hand is very ineffective. I didn't even know he played in the match until a couple of hours ago.
just looking at the teams still in the cup ... apart from villa and man yo ... we have very good chance to go all the way.
Gooner SA
Average age of the Tottenham starting line-up: 24. Average age of the Arsenal starting line-up: 23. Spurs fans were calling it there 'D' team? ...This is probably because they only have a 'C' & a 'D' team ;)
Stoke City are still in the competition...and they kikced one more player out of football yesterday :(
And Vela has been banned for 6 months by Mexico nat'l team. I just wish it'd been Van Persie or Cesc who paid prostitutes for a wild party.
'arry is an arsenal agent lol
Gooner SA
Nice picture
5 youngest players from both teams [on Tuesday night]. AFC: cost £6.8m, 154 starts. THFC: cost £18.7m, 8 starts
insider says
HY, good comment re Vela & dos Santos. The two are actually very good to watch on the national team when they play together. I enjoy watching the Mexican nat'l team and I love it esp. when they start together. I like dos Santos when he's on his game. His biggest problem is his selfishness - which Aguirre tried to work on very hard. But I don't think he'll ever make it in England or in a top club like Barca. As for Vela, I was once certain he could make it in England, now not so much. I really want him to and am hoping he'll make a big step up this season. I just doubt he will.
I think Vela lacks the maturity and physical presence to lead the line. He's o.k. next to a van Persie, Chamakh or Bendtner, but looked lost up there as the focal point on Tuesday. Unlike Theo, he already possesses the technical attributes, so he doesn't need to be groomed on the wing a la Walcott, but at the moment he lacks the maturity- both physically and mentally- to play wisely with his back to goal and that's a big part of the central striker's role in our formation. I wonder if it's just his meticulous finishing which makes the boss think of him as a central striker or whether he sees something else there. At the moment, I don't see him as anything other than a wide striker, but I'm sure many people said that about a 20 year old Henry much against Wenger's better instincts.
Little Dutch
HY/jaelle- Have to disagree on this one. When I saw dos santos at Barca I thought this guys got bags of talent, but maybe it was the players around him that made him look good. Lets be honest, when you have messi, iniesta and alike supplying you even I would bag a few! Since he has been at the spuds he is a shadow of the Barca dos santos. As for Vela he has more then shown what he is capable of. I agree with LD....I think the boss sees him as a natural finisher. In the 3 decades I have been following the Arsenal I can only think of 3 players who were born to put the ball in the back of the net....Wrighty, King Henry and Eduardo (pre leg break). I'm talking about the sort of player that's one on one with the keeper, and before he has even put the ball in the back of the net, your already celebrating! Would be interesting to see Vela's goal to shot ratio. His composure in front of goal is of a natural goal scorer, and I would put him in the same bracket as the players I mentioned above......That's how highly I rate him! Goal poachers like him don't grow on tree's. I just think the lad has been unlucky recently with injury's and having RVP in front of him. I think he would be more suited to a 4-4-2 where he would have a wingman and a licence to roam. Before you jump all over me, I'm not saying we should change our system, I'm just saying I think we are very lucky to have someone like him in the squad. I think Wenger sees him as our fox in the box, but who do you leave out? Chamakh?....Walcott? RVP? for now hes a great option to have on the bench and he gives us something that eduardo gave us...(pre leg break)...A nice problem to have I may add.
I've noticed a little more aggression from Vela this season and he seems to have bulked up with gym work. What's interesting is that in tests he's apparently one of the top 3 fastest at the club. Whilst it's important to take your chances when you get them, I don't think you can underestimate what a run of games can do for you, and he's not really getting that right now. Agree that he doesn't look as though he can play at the top of a front 3.
Very true G_V, just look what the recent run of games has done for Jack, he is growing in confidence, not that he lacked any in the first place! I think Wenger rates Vela highly. Its just his style of play doesn't really suit a 4-3-3, or I should say it just doesn't get the best out of him. I think wenger must be trying to work on this with him. He possesses great pace, unbelievable balance, great technique and an eye for goal.....all the right ingredients to be a world class forward. Like you say G_V it would be interesting to see him have a run in the who's expense I don't know, but the more games he plays the quicker he will adapt his game to the 4-4-3.
gunnerman, I didn't say dosSantos is good enuf for a top club, I said the opposite in fact. I said I like him on the national team with Vela, they play very well together. I think he's good enuf for a mid-table team in Spain, tho even there he'd have to change his attitude a bit. I don't think he can succeed in England in any club. I agree entirely with what you've all said re Vela, and I too have seen an improvement in him this season. It's clear he's not good as a lone man up front. My doubts still remain, however. While he can be a terrific finisher, I don't think he's as good as Eduardo was before his injury - tho he might be one day. He's very exciting to watch. But as to his ability to succeed in England at Arsenal, I'm still on the fence.
jaelle- I'm only going on what I have seen of him at club level....haven't seen him play for Mexico so couldn't comment. I don't think Vela would have a problem at another club in England, he wouldn't have Robin or Chamakh to dislodge. Playing week in week out at a top ten club I think he would be prolific. I remember song when he first started to break into the team his performances were very up and down....mainly down, but as soon as he got a run in the team he became a different player....the player he is today. Remember Flamini's first full season of regular games? He was a revelation! Same can be said of Ramsey last year. He just started getting a run in the team and was on fire before he got assaulted! Part of walcotts up and down displays over the last few seasons were because he couldn't get a rhythm going. I'm gutted for him getting this injury so early in the season, he looked hungry for it this year, I really thought he was going to tear up the Premiership this season. I feel it could be another frustrating injury prone year for the young lad but I hope I'm wrong. As for Vela.....I hope come the end of the season your on his side of the fence jaelle ;)
The battle was won by Arsenal, but the war is being won by Spurs. That is a fact that no sane person could deny. Besides, the result was 1-1 at full-time. The fact that our ******** interlopers from south of the river feel compelled to gloat over a meaningless CC match says it all.
Tony Rocky Horror
Wanted to watch the game again, went on the Spurs online store but couldn't find the DVD anywhere?????
Little Dutch
Interlopers? You weren't even a London club until 1965! Great to hear Spuds talking about meaningless CC matches. I suspect they only became meaningless in Spuds minds around 120 minutes after kick-off Tuesday evening - apart from about 80% of the spud portion of the stadium for whom it lost any meaning about 95 minutes after kick-off.
What war is this that Spurts are winning exactly? I'm intrigued? Going by the inane bleatings of Spud fans for the last half century, I'm gonna go with the 100 year war.........
Little Dutch
Funny really...up until a few days ago the CC was the holy grail to spud fans. regardless of the "it was 1-1 at full time" The victory was good but the most satisfying part was the way we absolutely played you off the park, and arrys plan B was to open his Stoke city manual of "how to play long ball....I mean football". As for the War your apparently winning...hmmm.... Arsenal have just announced record pre tax profits....and that's living in one of the best stadiums in Europe, our annual turnover dwarfs that of the mighty spuds....As of April 2010 we are valued as the third richest club in Europe, I didn't see where you were...couldn't be arsed to scroll down that far.....13 titles, not to mention for the last 15 years come May we have been looking down on you.... blah blah blah...I could go on, but I don't want you to feel any worse then you already do. :)
TRH, I see you are still on the beat; taking punch after punch. We missed you too......almost.

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