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Tottenham Hotspur 3 Arsenal 3

Having decided to book a well earned week off of work, the build up to my least favourite game of the season was actually rather pleasant. Lunch with an old friend in Belsize Park rather took the mind off the torment that was about to ensue. Terry, Young Tim, Sean and I took the edge off a little further with a few pre game nerve settlers in the Euston Flyer. After that, it was time to brave the tube to Seven Sisters and the long walk up the Tottenham High Road amidst the buzz of police helicopters in the clinging early evening heat.

As always, the atmosphere was white hot. Predictably we were treated to the extended disco version of "2-0 and you ***** it up" by the home faithful. There are quite a few teams that can sing that to us nowadays! Meanwhile, a most amusing "Happy Golden Jubilee" banner was unfurled from the upper tier, along with an amusing rendition of "Champions League, never again." North London derbies are usually either completely sterile or exhilaratingly bonkers affairs with little in between. Since Redknapp took Spurs over and turned them into a more enterprising outfit, they tend to veer towards madcap more often than not. Within five minutes, we knew we were in for a rollercoaster. Abou Diaby- who has rather summed up his Arsenal career to date by playing three excellent games in a row before going off injured- won the ball from Tom Hundredstone, before releasing a pass to Song. Song quickly found Fabregas, who turned inside Modric before delivering a through ball for Theo Walcott, sending him racing away on goal before calmly slotting beyond Gomes. That was his 12th goal of the season.

But the lead only lasted 90 seconds, Corluka found van der Vaart, who had raced beyond Djourou and Diaby to fire inside Szczesny`s front post. But it took the Gunners only 5 minutes to reassert their lead when Nasri drifted in field and found Diaby, Diaby teed Nasri up who let fly from outside the box, firing low past Gomes for his first goal since 19th January and his fourth against Spurs this season. Is he following in the tradition of Pires and Adebayor of becoming Tottenham`s bte noir? The game rather settled down a bit, but still provided barnstorming end to end entertainment. Arsenal nearly asserted a two goal lead when Cesc found van Persie, whose flick once again sent Walcott careering into space, but his low shot flew agonisingly past the post. But the away side eventually did stretch their lead when Gallas miscontrolled Sagna`s cross, Walcott was alive to the ricochet and spooned a lovely cross into the box for van Persie, Gomes saved his initial header, but van Persie was on hand to smash the rebound into the roof of the net for 3-1. His 16th goal in 16 games now.

You rather had the impression that we needed to hold out until half time with the two goal lead intact. But there is obviously a confidence issue with holding onto leads at the moment because the periods in which we were the least assured seem to culminate from us scoring. Assou Ekotto`s cross was flicked on by Crouch; Cesc had the opportunity to get a good up and under on his clearance, but his connection with the ball was poor. His attempt went straight to Tom Hundredstone who hit a rather sweetly hit first time volley past Szczesny from the edge of the area. A quite sapping first half. When the teams came out for the second half, I remarked that I wasn`t sure I had the energy to watch, so one can only imagine what it was like to play in. Tottenham slowly began to assert themselves in the game as the half wore on; Modric played a deceptive reverse ball to van der Vaart, whose shot was tipped wide by Szczesny.

Arsenal were then denied a legitimate goal when Fabregas` raking pass split the Spurs defence and Gomes flapped van Persie`s volley into the net, only for an errant offside flag to go up. Though I think there is a reasonable argument to be made that Gomes might have made a better fist of the save had the whistle not long since gone. Tottenham had to push on, but Walcott`s pace always creates uncertainty in the opposing team and so it proved when Walcott received Wilshere`s pass, raced beyond Dawson but dithered with the cut back and instead sent a low cross which was too pacy for Fabregas on the back post. But just as Arsenal had begun to look comfortable, Spurs found an equaliser. Assou Ekotto`s slide rule pass cut the Gunners rearguard to ribbons, finding Lennon in behind Sagna, Szczesny made a rash decision to come out and took Lennon`s legs. Van der Vaart did not err from the spot.

From here it was anyone`s game with both sides showing an admirable proclivity to attack. It was like watching a bare knuckle boxing match at times; with two hardened fighters wearying, yet somehow finding the resources for one last desperate punch. Van der Vaart`s back heel sent Kaboul racing down the right, his low cross was met by Modric who looked to have scored but for Szczesny`s trailing leg. Szczesny saved well again from Crouch`s header. Meanwhile, Gomes tipped Fabregas` long range shot just round the post. Luka Modric then found substitute Sandro with another clever, deceptive reverse pass. Sandro moved inside Djourou all too easily, but Szczesny saved with his manhood. One save with his knackers and he injured Gareth Bale with his face. Hard as nails.

In the end, a draw was probably a fair result, with Arsenal having the better of the first half and Spurs shading the second. The first thing to say is that it was a fabulous match by two teams committed to playing the game in an attacking, stylish manner. A fantastic advert for the top flight in England. Spurs had 17 shots, Arsenal had 15. That says it all frankly. From our point of view, it`s telling how little surprise there is that we managed to chuck away another two goal lead. We have now lost seven points from two goal leads this season- which only Blackpool can trump. There is clearly a confidence issue because every time we take the lead at the moment, we explode like rat bags and panic ensues. It`s a vicious circle, it`s clearly an issue in the player`s minds, which makes them uptight and leads to them tossing the leads away. They need to relax, but it`s easier said than done. Ultimately, that probably does do us for the title race and now we are left to fight for second place. After the match, we had to run the usual gauntlet of hate outside, which the police did their best to stoke up by preventing Arsenal fans from crossing onto the High Road smoothly, leaving us a terrifying few seconds staring down the barrel of a few knuckle draggers. My next task is to rattle off a letter of complaint to the authorities for some of the most irresponsible policing I`ve ever seen. The positive is that the creative element of Arsenal`s game appeared to be alive and kicking with Fabregas looking fit and in gear again, but the panic needs to stop.LD.

53.SZCZESNY, 3.SAGNA, 20.DJOUROU, 6.KOSCIELNY, 22.CLICHY, 17.SONG, 2,DIABY (19.Wilshere `53), 4.FABREGAS(c), 14.WALCOTT (52.Bendtner `81), 8.NASRI (23.Arshavin `81), 10.v.PERSIE. Unused; 13.Lehmann, 16.Ramsey, 18.Squillaci, 28.Gibbs.

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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday April 21 2011

Time: 4:40PM

Your Comments

@Sajit, @Londongunner and others who call themselves ARSENAL SUPPORTERS are a FAT JOKE. You are all arsenal admirers period. After yesterday games, which fans do you think has supported their team better? The Spurs did not win the game AT HOME but they have given their players a psychological advantage to go to next match thinking they are very good. On the other hand, Arsenal so call "supporters" and the media have now given their players the psychological battering that Bolton is now thinking they are better than us and will give us a good game after losing 5-0 to stoke. Guys, we were all disappointed, so the manager and the players for not wining yesterday's game but SUPPORT is the most essential thing needed that has been missing since febuary.
was a great game to watch, wish i was a neutral then i would still have some finger nails left today. after the match i turned over to watch some more football cos i was gagging for some more high tempo beautiful football. barca vs real madrid " el classico " i was bored after 2 mins. not a stitch on the NLD lol
If we can get the media and fans battering off, the psychological mechanism that is needed to overcome a pain or a loss will what this team needs. We are six points away from ManUtd, but it seems we are 16points apart psychologically. Since Carling cup loss, the wait of dissapointment of these players is so heavy and magnified that Westbrom, Sunderland, Blackburn all played us thinking they've got a shot. Sunderland has not won a game before and after they played us but they did not come to the game thinking we were better. The problem is not footballistic guys and in the head created by Carling cup loss-> British media-> Arsenal fans. Can we give them at least 2 weeks of praises in the media and by the fans and see if there will be changes in BELIEVE?
i dont see why your fans are so upset either arseniger, i think you would have all taken the position you are in the leahue at the start of the season. you are not under achieving your still in with a shout of the title with 5 games to go. dont beleive the media hype just support the club
*Typos everywhere. did not proof read, just posted
I have very good QBs in NFL that were very good in college, on getting to the NFL become so bad that they never recovered especially the younger guys. Their first game usually comes with mistakes as expected and the opposing team are energised once they know you are young and new to the craft, but if you make look like a whimp by criticizing them, they never recover. If you make them feel good like Westbrom, Sunderland, Blackburn coming to play arsenal, they think they are a Top 4 team. Blackpool tried it but failed. Spurs are making a stride but the believe the british media, fans have given them like saying Bale is worth 80 pounds like Ronaldo, they are a top four team has helped tremenduously. Even Liverpool has gotten the psychological position over us but footballistically we are miles above them. We have 64 points, Liverpools has 49 but it feels as if they are better than us in the media before and after the game.
Quality game! I just wish instead of drawing Spanish giants that we met in europe instead, it would have been electric! Next season maybe!
The problems are not footballistic? Really? Thats funny because after the Barca home leg praise rained down on this team from all and sundry yet they still lost the Carling cup final. Go to Vital Chelsea and read some of the criticism that has come their way over the past few weeks and from the media (Laughing at Torres etc) has this stopped them putting a run of wins together? Seems you want to stop debates by calling people out for not being real fans Arseniger (What is a real fan anyway, can someone provide a check list for me). Without differing opinions these sites dont need to criticize people for their views.
To answer your questions. 1) I said after the carling cup loss, they have suffered psychological problems not before. 2) When Chelsea was being criticized they kept losing point until Torres was used as a sacrificial lamp. They blame shifted to Torres and he is still suffering that but Drogba, wanting to prove that he is still the man, has started scoring, same as Kalou. Out of trying to out do Torres, they are playing better. Example is Djourou and Squillaci. When Squillaci started the season, he was ok but got injured and Djourou took over, he is not out playing Squillaci who is yet to recover from the bullets of arsenal fan. Same as the little teams coming to play us as if we are on the same level but of the psychological situation we are. A real fan will do what Spurs fan did at Real Madrid, after suffering 4-0 in the first leg, they were singing and praising the team before and after Crouch brain fart. Real fans will do what Portsmouth fans did in their last premier league season. Support even with bad mgt. Praise them when they are going thru the worse situation. A typical arsenal fan will be complaining. Wenger is crazy, Eboue is stupid, Clichy should be sold, Time to change, pump money to the team, Arshavin is the laziest player they've ever seen, RVP is an half season player, Cesc has outstayed his time at arsenal, buy, buy, buy. etc. I have had so much from our fans that even Villa, Everton fans will be glad to be in our position
I truly hope we don't meet in Europe next year HY, not because I'm scared you understand, just that if this were to happen it would mean we haven't qualified from the CL group stage and have slid incongruously into the footballing meh of the Europah.
*king of typos, but i hope the idea is passed on
Oh Niko, my dear old mucker, it sooooo could happen!!!
Tony Rocky Horror
As ive said Arseniger go to Vital Chelsea and check their moans, manager out, which players should be sold etc etc, yet they still manage to win games. People having a moan on the internet is not going to affect the players performances and if it did then their famous mental strength doesnt exist. The media being on our backs is nothing new, it happend in our championship years and again if the players cant hack that then they are mentally weak. Good to see you have picked out Spurs as being real fans,the same people who sang vs Real were probably the ones singing child abuse songs at our manager.
I'm loving the idea of the sacrificial lamp Arseniger :0
Over at VS I believe they have such a thing as a sacrificial lamp post ;)
Yeah I see Crouch gets a lot of stick Iceman
Oh please spare me this incredible BULL***** crap that blames the FANS and the MEDIA for our failures, just stop this fantasy, Arseniger. When Man Utd were struggling from 2004-2007 there were FAN PETITIONS TO GET RID OF FERGUSON. Utd Fans were on his back and the players' backs all the time. By your logic all the teams that win trophies have fans who always support unquestioningly during the good times. By your logic, Chelsea, Utd and Barca fans are superior supporters to Arsenal fans. You're absolutely CLUELESS. If you think Barca and Real Madrid fans are a superior supportive fan base to ours you need to have your head examined. And just who the hell are you to tell anyone they're not a real supporter?
That's what the poll says Niko.
I understand where you're coming from Arseniger but at the same time i'm going to have to disagree. When supporting clubs which have heavily featured in top-flight success there's a massive weight of expectation. No-one should feel compelled to blindly follow their club and rightly should feel aggrieved when things aren't going their way or when something is bothering them. Criticism is what allows people and players to improve remember. No-ones loyalty for a club should be called into question, in fact, those who do question an event tend to have the clubs best interests at heart, they look to strive forward and improve.
I may be wrong, but i believe what the players that gathered 64points, better than Liverpool, Spurs, and even Chelsea are facing is more than just getting on the field of play and taping the football. There is a huge psychological beat down and if we truely want this trophy, they need us more than we need them. We can not eat our cake and have it. Try telling someone how weak they are and if they internalize it, the result is never good even when they are better than what you called them. These guys are 6 points behind ManUtd but it feels like 20points behind. While teams like Spurs, Pool are 5th and 6th with 16 and 21 points behind ManUtd respectively, if feels like they need 3-4 points to be on top of the world
Can you imagine Harry telling us, the title is out of our reach and that is all over the news media. What happened to his own title challenge? He claimed he can win it after week 6. Now everybody is trying to beat us down psychologically before they play us and we the suppossed fans are helping them. We need to make them feel we can still do it, not tell them it is over when mathematically its not over. If they lose 2 matches, the race is open again.
Yes Arseniger but you still have not explained how Chelsea with all their bad media coverage, people telling them their title challenge was over and fans sniping have managed to win games. If the players internalize people calling them weak then guess what......they are weak, Dealing with pressure is part of football if they cant hack it then this club is too big for them, they can go and play pressure free football at a smaller club.
Arseniger for what its worth I agree with you. But one thing you need to learn 'the other fans can have an opinion but we cannot have an opinion'. jaelle so if anyone disagrees with you they need their head examined, Wow I must also join that group. People on this blog have rubbished Amos and LD, just because they have a different opinion. I generally agree with some of your opinion but need we go down the road of abuse against individuals. Great to say I disagree but I just can't some of the nonsense on our team written by so called fans. To say Arsenal didn't play well and the crap about losing a two gaol lead. In my very humble opinion we have a great team and the best manager ever. We are very lucky to have very informative fans such as LD and Amos, and long may they stay.
PS I don't always agree with them but I would rather read their opinions than some of the crap written by other so called fans. Remember that is IMVHO.
arseniger, we have given wenger 6 years of unwavering support telling ourselves 'in wenger we trust'. have we won anything? talking about psychology, 3 weeks ago, everyone knew we were in a better position to win, looking at man u congested run in against tougher team. by logic, man u were more likely to bottle compared to us. how is the situation now. mark my word, even if man u were to lose 3 games in a row, we will still not catch up because we would keep dropping points. weaker teams play better against has nothing to do with the media & fans. we were just inept tactically and too gutless. how would saf or mourinho react if their teams throw away 2 or 3 or 4 goals lead? players would at least get an earful and those who were mistake prone would most probably not play the next few games or transfer listed the very next summer. how would wenger react? the pitch was no good, the linesman missed something, the referee was bias, the opponent were too rough, the team was unlucky etc. we have heard enough
Why do Spu*s have some of the scummiest, most aggressive fans around? Complete f***ing mouth breathers. You simply do not get that level of violence or nastiness at The Grove.
Arseniger - Who the **** are you ****head to decide what type of fan I am? I am a season ticket holder and have been for over 12 years, I go to home games and roar on my support as always. Has this team made progress on the pitch these last 6 years? No and If I decide to point that out that is my business and I don't need an armchair fan 1000's of miles away to tell me what kind of fan I am. Because my posts are not full of joy right now at how completely mediocre we have become these last few years (relatively speaking) am I supposed to be banging one out every time we throw away yet another lead against an even more mediocre team or worse, get beaten by such ****** as WBA/Newcastle/Braga et al? Mind your bloody own.
Great pair of posts there LG. One complaining about agressive fans followed by another with a pretty hostile and abusive attack on another fan for expressing his opinion. :)
There's a world of difference between swearing on a board in response to someone insulting you and seeing a friend in hospital because he and his 7 year old son were attacked outside WHL by a gang of Spu*s "fans" who left the lad with a broken collar bone and prowl the Seven Sisters road whispering "Oi Gooner!" and whomever turns around usually gets attacked. if you think my posts make me like that then you are a complete and utter fool.
Just pointing out the apparent paradox between the two posts LG. I can understand your disgust at those thugs (who no doubt also think they're entitled to act as they do) but though not on the same scale your hostility and abuse doesn't provide a great example either.
I was only responding to someone insulting me, the problem with that is what? Am I supposed too let some ignorant armchair dweller take a liberty?
There isn't a real problem for me just some amusement at reading your two posts in sequence. Arseniger was just making a point about the concept of support that's all. The geography doesn't qualify or disqualify anyone's opinion as a supporter. Jaelle looked to swap insults too but did at least try to make a point at the same time though it didn't amount to much more than other teams have some crap supporters too. Your response ignored any point made and just focussed on attacking the person but if that's all you've got then that's fine I suppose but, on the same principle that you've employed, there's no reason why it can't be pointed out.
I just love reading you gooners having a go at each other... yes spurs fans do support our players no matter how badly the game is going for us... Real Madrid were ahead and won 1-0 and we still gave all the vocal support we could. even Murhino said we have an incredible crowd... again the same when you were 3-1 ahead... the noise from your fans at home or away are but a mere wisper in comparision....
Block D Spurs
Oh do stop talking bollix block row D sp*rs, a quick trip to vital swamp after one of your defeats and see the brilliant support for your players, Hang that useless freak Crouch, garrote Gomes, Duff up Dawson, p155 on Pubplayerchenko and on and on it goes a relentless outpouring of bile at whatever chump clangered it up for you so please spare the holier than thou crap because it's blatant billy bull5h1t. Cheers ;)
nikol.. not nearly as the crap and bile from your own fans and players about wining all the cups and league .. !!! what I am referring to is the TEAM / CLUB support, DURING A GAME and not individual players after the game... and yes you are right beanpole crouch, defoe , Pav. are failures so far, by not scoring a shed load of goals. Our manager has made errors by not playing the russian in every game this season, as he scores goals. So lucky for gooners otherwise we would have 9 points min. more and be above you..
Block D Spurs
Sure you would, he's crap like the rest of your strikers. If we'd stop persevering with Bendtner on the right wing and stick the lump in the centre we might have had a few less goalless draws and a few more points here and there but it's all speculative pointless guff, the table doesn't lie and there you are 10 pts behind.
True... but there again we have disrupted your season beaten you at home, now you will win nothing again... your captain will be a Barca player this summer... and we went further in Champions League than you did. So we are now closing very fast on you.
Block D Spurs
lol disrupted our season, you haven't been watching us much then we're quite capable of doing that ourselves thanks. I think Modric and the chimp have a greater chance of jumping ship than fabregas actually, i think nasri has a greater chance of doing one than Cesc, i think Barca are going to play the spurned lover and feign disinterest and hard to get this summer maybe even sign nasri to spite him who knows? You'll only close the gap if you requalify for CL which is far from a given, if you don't.....well let's just say Modders can say he loves you as much as he wants but him, Van der faart and chimp will have the lifeboat lowered faster than Harry can twitch! :)
Block D Spuds keep going out 5-0 on agg and you wont be singing so much. You popped ya cherry CL wise thats why you was so happy. Iceman we at Chelsea are used to the bad media etc, as for Torres being the sacrificial lamP, Ancelotti has too many ego's to placate and playing him for 90 mins now things have changed does'nt seem likely plus Ancelotti still has'nt really sussed how to play him, if people on VC are moaning its because they are newbies, cyber fans. I've moaned at Ancelotti's inabillity to get out of a 2 month slump myself perhaps we have become complacent..A serious question Iceman...are you still 100% behind Wenger???
springy you have been following our spurs site more than i thought... Just have to see what happens over the next few games. If we do sell anyone it would be VDV. Bale would need to go for 50m + player exchange, Modric 30m so a good 90m there to get in 3or 4 top players, pay their wages..
Block D Spurs
I do confess I pop over when results haven't gone your way block d- not to troll you understand merely to give meself a chuckle :) As you know full well it's easy to sell the top players you have but a lot harder to attract them without the carrot of CL footy, would VDV have come without it? doubtful. Every fan of every club worldwide would like 3 or 4 top players to augment and complete their side it's become a footballing mantra, we'll be saying the same over the summer months but most will be disappointed. There are very few top notch world class players around and when you have the wealth of citeh and chelski plus the allure of utd, real & barca snapping up the cream first for extravagant silly money I think you lot would be better off following our example of making instead of buying stars.
niko, true.. we have been saying there should be a few youngsters in our team.. but Harry likes older players, and not to take chances...We have a new stadium to build as well...
Block D Spurs
Wow, and it all started out so positively,,, hahaha guess that's football! A draw didn't suit either team, but, despite the tense situation; you guys chasing the Holy Grail of a title, us the Holy Grail of 4th, most other teams would have played out a dull-as-dishwater 0-0, too scared to play real footy and attack! But not in the NL Derby, what a game! We really have the best derby in Britain, any other derby would have called that high scoring, but 6 goals is about par for us! Not a high scoring game like the 5-4, or the 4-4. With everyones disappointment at not winning, could we all remember fans of any other team would dream of seeing their team play like ours did in this match
The Horses Mouth
Springy, I think he needs to change his policy and be ruthless in the summer.
Amos - You are the most patronising, sanctimonious fence sitter here, yet you accuse me of not having "anything more"? I didn't once mention geography, you did, at least get your facts right. I have provided many insightful comments on many occasions and now some armchair dwelling dickhead decides to question how I 'should' support my team you somehow think patronising your way through another few posts that they don't deserve it? You are not much better, except Arseniger doesn't have a fence pole up his arse wrapped in the page of a book marked statistics.
I suppose if personal abuse is all you have then that's all you can give and when you do you rather make my point for me. Referring to an 'armchair fan 1000's of miles away' just has to have something to do with geography now doesn't it! All Arseniger was doing was questioning the concept of support - whether his view is practicable or reasonable given the way the game has gone is matter of debate. You seem so precious and sensitive about any imagined slight on you as a supporter that instead of engaging in that debate you use hostility and abuse in the mistaken belief that you're defending a point. I suppose a fence pole up the arse might not be too comfortable but at least it's still possible to see - not quite so easy for you with your head stuck up your arse though.
iceman. yes I think so and agree, but he's showing so much angst and stress. its clouding his judgement.
Nice to see reasoned and lively debate alive and well on VA.
Wyn Mills
Strange thing is, you admit being a man with no opinion. I am certainly not precious, just hate indulging patronising, wannabe know it all morons, make of it what you will.......Maybe I should sit on the fence and see what the view is like? Sounds boring to me. Still it is only my opinion eh and that is what it is all about, well according to you.
Where and when did I admit to being without opinion? You'd have to be bereft of all your senses to reach that conclusion. You don't need to sit on a fence to gain another perspective. But if you're incapable of standing in a different place you'll never be able to see anything other than what you see rooted in the one place.

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