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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Tottenham Hotspur 2 Arsenal 1

I`ve often spoken of my distaste for this fixture in the past. It`s the only one in the season I actively don`t enjoy. The stomach churning nausea as one contemplates defeat turns your viewing of the game into a tetchy, spiky experience. I have to say, in the past, it`s brought out the negative side in me. The teeth gnash that bit harder, the groans of a misplaced pass pass that little bit louder and a "win at all costs" mentality can prevail. It`s an attitude I`ve made a concerted effort to banish over the years. I`ve tried to concentrate on enjoying the game and treating match attendance as a hobby. A joyous pass time. But the anxiety mixed in with the constant threat of violence makes this fixture one I fulfil out of misguided duty more than anything.

Indeed, some of my best friends don`t even go anymore. People that attend every single other match of the season, but shelf this one. Nevertheless, an unusually glorious October day greeted us and shirt sleeves and shades were the order of the day. I met a friend at Northumberland Park station. She had already seen a boy of six in an Arsenal shirt greeted with abuse from across the platform. In the same fixture last year, she`d had a beer can thrown at her head upon exiting the away end. This is the sort of think I`m talking about.

The game hardly brings out the best in Arsenal fans either. The chant of "It should`ve been you, shot in Angola, it should`ve been you" rained down from the away end persistently whenever Adebayor came near. On an intellectual level, the chant is abhorrent at best. Whatever Adebayor did to us- and he was a prize bellend- essentially saying, "Because you wronged my club I wished you`d been machine gunned to death by terrorists" is not really excusable and a few furlongs away from proportion. We can rightly complain about vile chants aimed against Arsene Wenger. But "he started it sir" is hardly the most sanguine mitigation. Credit to Adebayor, he grinned it off and did not come close to reacting. Unlike at Eastlands, where the lies still persist around the phantom "elephant song" that never aired, I wouldn`t have blamed Adebayor if he had reacted on this occasion.

Though Arsenal began the game well enough, it was Spurs that were gifted the first opportunity through the sort of comedy defending that has irked Arsenal for eons now. Emmanuel Adebayor raced down Arsenal`s left with Kieran Gibbs caught drifting infield. Alex Song committed the cardinal sin of diving in despite having no cover- the same error he and Djourou made consecutively in the build up to Blackburn`s 4th goal a fortnight ago- leaving Adebayor to skip to the by line. The tigerish Coquelin got across well to cover, but conspired only to give the ball away to Scott Parker. When he miscontrolled, Song thought he`d let Spurs have another go by giving the ball straight back to Adebayor. He found Scott Parker, allowing him to go clean on goal, but Szczesny usually saves in these situations by spreading himself and he did so again.

It was once again looseness in possession that would cause Arsenal problems when Ramsey gifted the ball straight to Gareth Bale. The simian looking winger cut the ball back to van der Vaart; who bobbled his effort over the bar. Walcott`s left footed curler drifted just wide of the post at the other end as Arsenal began to feel into the game. That said, the Gunners were grateful to Szczesny once more when Defoe`s left wing cross saw van der Vaart drift past Mertesacker undetected at the front post; but Szczesny made the block with his feet.

But Arsenal began to take hold of proceedings and really ought to have scored just after half an hour. Robin van Persie raced past Younes Kaboul on the left hand side, marauded for the by line and cut the ball back for the onrushing Gervinho- but he couldn`t find his stride, eventually scuffing a simple chance wide. Walcott again tested the ventricles of the Spurs faithful when he cut in from the right and unleashed a left foot shot which flew just over. But Spurs capitalised on more amateurish Arsenal defending to take the lead on 41 minutes.

Kieran Gibbs had once again drifted away from his position as Adebayor took up the ball from Tottenham`s right, leaving Song to come across to cover. This also meant Mertesacker had to drift infield, leaving the back post run of van der Vaart unchecked. Adebayor clipped an inch perfect ball to the Dutchman at the back post; he controlled and volleyed into the far corner. There has been some murmur as to whether van der Vaart controlled the ball with his arm. Maybe he did, but I had a good, diagonal view in the upper tier and I certainly didn`t appeal. Tottenham scented blood and almost doubled their advantage when Gareth Bale sent an arrowing twenty five yard strike narrowly wide.

Half time saw the usual fun and games with chants exchanged between supporters. You often find "Have you ever seen Tottenham win the league?" rather halts the banter. Even the introduction onto the pitch of Trigger from Only Fools n Horses couldn`t inspire a witty riposte to that taxing question. Spurs appeared to resume the tempo after the restart. Gareth Bale`s run and shot fizzed just over Szczesny`s crossbar. But as with Tottenham`s opener, Arsenal hit the gas and scored just as they looked at their most tepid. A succession of Arsenal crosses were half cleared until Kaboul`s header found Song. With van der Vaart wilfully refusing to protect his flank, Song was allowed to gallop into an ocean of space on the left hand side and send in a low cross for Aaron Ramsey to stroke past Brad Friedel. Game on, you felt. I was confident Arsenal would win from this position.

All the threat came down Arsenal`s left with Redknapp`s midfield overloaded with attacking prowess. Van der Vaart makes Arshavin`s attempts at backtracking look meaningful as time and again Gibbs and Gervinho were able to double up on Kyle Walker. As appeared to be the case throughout the game; a golden chance came against the run of play. Bale`s through ball had the Arsenal defence claiming for an offside flag that never came. Adebayor was clean through, but Szczesny once again sprawled his body and got a strong left hand to the attempt. If there is a better goalie in the league for one on ones, I`d like to see his case stated.

But the second half changed on two incidents that arrived close together. Firstly, when Redknapp finally worked out that van der Vaart was more likely to lose Spurs the game than win it and he duly removed him for Sandro- leaving the more conscientious Luka Modric to protect the left flank. That sealed off Arsenal`s only genuine avenue of threat. Then a collision between Assou Ekotto and Sagna saw the French full back sprawled against the advertising hoardings- eventually being taken off with a broken fibula. He will be out for three months. There have been plenty of mistakes made by the club over the last few months. But losing Vermaelen, Wilshere and now Sagna- undoubtedly three of our best players- to injury feels like more of a kick in the swingers than we deserve. Jenkinson had to come on and, because he isn`t close to ready for this level of competition, Arsenal had to bring on Benayoun too to mind him.

The Spurs winning goal- when it came- was a result of further shambles. Ramsey failed to follow a basic instruction from Arteta to pick up Sandro`s run from a throw in. He dawdled into the box and pulled back for Modric. Song blocked his shot and the ball fell to Kyle Walker. Gervinho made the world`s most half arsed attempt to close him down, leaving Walker to hit a clean strike into Szczesny`s bottom corner. The Polish keeper will be disappointed he didn`t save it. But given his form to that point in the game and, indeed, this season. It is hard to single him out.

The atmosphere in the away end for that last twenty minutes completely drained. We all knew the game was up. We sensed the lack of urgency, the lack of ideas, the vain hope that van Persie might just conjure something from nothing and do it all by himself again. We put Arshavin on for Gervinho, but that just meant more of the same. Same formation, same insipid, slow build up play. Mertesacker went upfront for the last 5 minutes. Park stayed on the bench. Chamakh stayed at home. Are we to assume Mertesacker is the manager`s preferred option to our two international strikers? The mind truly boggles.

Spurs really ought to have sealed a two goal victory. A route one ball over the top saw Song yell at Mertesacker to leave it. He did so, but neither spotted Bale lurking on the back post. He put the ball wide when he ought to have scored. Szczesny resolved to beat away Defoe`s left footed effort but it felt of scant significance. Arsenal were well beaten by then. Devoid of character, or of voice. There appears to be only one voice at Arsenal nowadays and he doesn`t play on the pitch. The lack of creativity is easily as worrying as the lack of defensive vigour off the ball. Though the latter is eminently more fixable. Is the manager not telling them? Or are they not listening? Neither one makes particularly good reading.

What is clear is that nobody challenges, the players don`t challenge one another. Nobody challenges the manager. Maybe those two incidences aren`t coincidental. Maybe a quiet team is a by product of a manager that doesn`t want any dissenting voices. Mertesacker made a half hearted appeal for handball for the Spurs goal. Nobody shouted to tell Mertesacker he had left van der Vaart unmarked in the same move. We slinked off through the gauntlet of hate on the High Road and home safely. I saw a couple of Arsenal fans jumped at Finsbury Park by six Spurs fans. A friend confirms he saw an Arsenal fan walk up to a Spurs fan at King`s Cross and punch him, unprovoked. I simply headed to my local for a pint. LD.

13.SZCZESNY, 3.SAGNA (25.Jenkinson '66), 17.SONG, 4.MERTESACKER, 28.GIBBS, 39.COQUELIN, 8.ARTETA, 16.RASMEY, 14.WALCOTT (30.Benayoun '70), 27.GERVINHO (23.Arshavin '75), 10.v.PERSIE(c). Unused: 9.J-Y.Park, 11.A.Santos, 21.Fabianski, 26.Frimpong.

Follow me on twitter @LittleDutchVA

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

The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday October 3 2011

Time: 2:02PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first Incidentally, if you prefer a televisual match report, a good one here from the friend I attended the game with.
Little Dutch
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03/10/2011 14:09:00

Where do we go from here? I really don't know. I just can't see us winning any game we play at the minute. Nobody is scared of us, everyone beleives they can beat us, and the players believe that too. We've got to find a way to break this run of results and restore some consistency.
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03/10/2011 14:18:00

Pretty sure you'll beat Sunderland. They're even worse than you!
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03/10/2011 14:45:00

Spurs fan here, I did think we would win and win easy yesterday, but I was quite impressed with Asrenal, Im sure it's not what you would like to hear, but after I saw ur performance yesterday,I know you will win more games than you will lose, and think the race for 4th is back on between us and you (with a couple good signings in Jan), more than I think Liverpool.
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03/10/2011 14:46:00

ooh good article Tim!!
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03/10/2011 14:48:00

Arteta and Ramsey didn't seem to be on the same wavelength. Not surprising really. Maybe it would have been good to have Rosicky in place of Ramsey in there. The only plus for me was that Mertesacker seems to be slowly adjusting to the game here and Coquelin was immense. I'd like to see him play alongside Song more often as I really liked the way he cleanly was able to tackle and win the ball.
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03/10/2011 14:50:00

Your manager has lost the plot to his stupid blindness and long may it continue ;). Scott Parker was what exactly arsenal needed yesterday. He organized his players when you were having a good spell, he chased all game and he probed for forward passes. I dont know why the hell wenger did not try to sign him.
spurfect one
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03/10/2011 15:09:00

Well put together Tim, nice read.
spu 4 life
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03/10/2011 15:11:00

Why oh why didnt you sign Scott Parker. My mate, a gooner who is a staunch Wenger fan said to me yesterday that if he was French he'd have been at Arsenal for years by now. Im not saying he's even as good as Song or Ramsey but he probably had more desire in him yesterday than the entire Arsenal squad. That was the difference between the sides. Even if you went 2-1 up i'd of still fancied you to buckle.
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03/10/2011 15:22:00

"My mate, a gooner who is a staunch Wenger fan said to me yesterday that if he was French he'd have been at Arsenal for years by now" - your mate's an idiot.
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03/10/2011 15:46:00

He is, ive been telling him for years! But still if Parker was French the chances of him signing for Arsenal would have increased.
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03/10/2011 15:52:00

4th spot looks very very far away, doesnt it? We need something to break the rut.. Some miracle.
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03/10/2011 16:02:00

HY - you know, in all honesty that's probably true now that I think about it; if he was anyhting other than English, he wouldn't have cost Chelsea £10m (back when that was a hefty amount of money). The important thing is not the nationality, it's the cost - not just the transfer, but the wages. 12 months ago he was given a new five year contract by West Ham making him the highest paid player in their history - and we're not going to offer wages like that to a (very nearly) 31 year old midfielder to cover for injuries for three months. Excellent, admirable footballer, but not a good fit for us in the circumstances.
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03/10/2011 16:20:00

Fair point damiano! Although you signed Silvestre and Squillaci at a similar age. On a seperate point i too was amazed when Mertesacker was put upfront. I havent seen a team adopt that approach since Blackburn under Fat Sam and too see Wenger adopt it was really unexpected! How times have changed i guess.
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03/10/2011 16:36:00

I'm sure Squilly and Silvestre must be on relatively low wages, though, eh? Wenger's often bought old defenders that aren't first 11 but can fill-in; aside from the ones you've named we've had Remi Garde, Gilles Grimandi, Oleg Luhzny... very odd to see Merts up front, but we needed a goal more than we needed a centre-back.
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03/10/2011 16:57:00

Tbh I read the 1st 2 paragraphs & wanted to comment immediately. Football can be 1 of the greatest forms of release from the stresses of life, its an outlet where you, your friends & perfect strangers can come together with the same understanding & enjoy.

Rivalry is great, we get to have a heightened level of determination & a added level of embarrassment when we lose or drop points. We get to let off steam & hurl a bit of jovial verbal abuse. Now as long as its done correctly & not full of vile malice then there's really no harm done. Sadly too many are either unaware of their own limits of control or sadder still don't care & purposely use such times to cause as much pain & trouble for no other reason then the sake of doing so. Such people are nothing but animals & are a disgrace to our human race, let alone themselves or their families.

We can all get caught up in a moment of excitement, sure. BUT to hurl abuse at a minor purely coz of the Team that CHILD supports or to throw something at a Woman's head, well disgraceful doesn't even cut it.

Now these are 2 incidents that have occurred to 2 of your fans by ours, sadly we know FAR worse has been done on MANY different occasions to BOTH sets of fans & others. Theres nothing wrong with banter, it makes the game hilarious at times, but why the need for Neanderthal behavior ? Or the need to take chants as a personal attack when all they are is a clever play on words that reflect an element of truth (be it only a players name or a word that can rhyme with it).

Before Ade joined us I condemned his STUPIDITY, when after the horrific attack, Ade did a TV interview & the fool wore a T-shirt with a gun on it ! I was & still am completely unaware if he was trying to be ironic or simply didn't see the sick irony. That act of (in my book) stupidity whilst it is a ridiculously foolish thing to do, is not an excuse for the chants declaring he himself should be dead.

Sadly our nation fails on so many different levels when we really have NO excuse for so much appalling behavior. At times despite our individual stature in our society, compared to the rest of the World even the average working class youths are "poor lil rich boys" in comparison, when you take into account ALL the opportunity we all take for granted or have handed to us.

All this flanel of the "Big Society" please, shouldn't it just be the basic standard of society for a Country such as our "Great" Brittan in the modern day ? We all love our Clubs but I wonder how many RESPECT their Clubs & the people that make our Clubs great, the local neighbourhood & businesses that help make the atmosphere even when not a match-day.

Anyway apologies for the mini article after yours Tim, I haven't commented on your thorough assessment of the match, but I did comment on the match-day article !
True Spurs Supporter
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03/10/2011 17:23:00

"THE RED AND WHITE IS ******** DYNAMITE". Hahahaha, talk about the implosion of your club. "I'd be delighted if Arsenal make top 7 or 6 this season" - Ian Wright talking to SSN. Lulz.
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03/10/2011 17:31:00

True Spurs Supporter - I don't know how these people can sleep at night. Banter's banter, and having a quiet joke with your mates is fine; but thousands of people joining in to be sick, in a public, TELEVISED arena, with the eldery, women and children around? Their parents brought them up wrong.

Crissybwoy - don't take Wrighty seriously. great player, wonderful passion, excellent to watch; but hasn't learned how to think yet, let alone speak. The man's a fool.
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03/10/2011 17:41:00

Well done Tim excellent article, If I may say you are the only Arsenal fan who has posted comments on the match that has not said Spurs first goal was "hand-ball". Most Arsenal fans would have had the same or similar view as you in the South Stand but saw something very different they must feel (Arsenal Tinted Glasses!!). My feelings are Arsenal has gone backwards not even remained where they were three years ago and Spurs have moved forward, better than the season before last when they finished 4th. Arsenal are now very much a "Work in progress club" to continue their record of a CL place for the last 14 seasons.
Ox Yid
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03/10/2011 19:01:00

Spurs were well below their performance against Liverpool yesterday and I still didnt see arsenal winning, the loss of sagna will also be a huge blow for you guys over the coming months.
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03/10/2011 19:06:00

yes you could moan it was hand ball, but what about the 2 blatant free kicks we didnt get in midfield, tweet that little jack
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03/10/2011 19:45:00

Some v.nice comments between the 2 supporters here and its good to see!! my best friend is a gooner and he also lives in the flat below me so when we scored i was jumping up and down and when you lot equalised he was banging his sweeping brush against his ceiling...obviously i had the last laugh...he then came up and we had a cuppa and talked about the game thats how it should be!! Then to read such disturbing acts made by both sets of "so called" fans is just truly wrong and disgusting...i really dislike the Arsenal and always will but to use that to attack another human being is just atrocious and the numb skulls who do it need locking up as for the disgusting chanting these idiots need to be banned its all good having a giggle but when it turns more sinister thats when the laughter goes out the window....But thats just how some people are i guess i dont think itl ever be pushed out of football no matter how much the majority object to it.
only 1 spurs
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03/10/2011 20:02:00

I had posted this on the wahe up article but it is more relevant here. There are several matters all conspiring at once. The lack of organisation defensively has been there since 2004, and I suspect that we have got away with that aspect because the offensive side of the team meant that we scored enough to flatten the opposition psychologically and blunt their attacking edge , whereas now as various have noted on this site before and today everyone believes that they can score against Arsenal at virtually any time. AW has always paid more attention to the technical side of the game rather than the more mundane but overall equally important sides of it ( I remember him saying that the recruitment of Vermaelen would produce interesting opportunities technically as he was left footed when I would have thought words such as presence , aerial ability etc would be more important for a central defender) and since 2004 the personnel available, which to be fair he has recruited and nurtured, have been sufficient to cover over this weakness except of course against the best of the EPL and Europe. But this season there is a big drop in the ability of the players available to him (eg a midfield second only to Barca's in Fab, Nasri and Wilshere has gone completely),and the two factors combined mean that this is at best an 8th to 14th place squad, that only a manager with a different skill set to AW's could get higher. We are in for a very trying and difficult season where I am afraid we will be more interested in the results of Bolton , Wigan and Wolves than those of MU, Chelski or City. I don't want AW to go because he has been an idol of mine for 15 years but I think that this will be his last season which will just fizzle out mid tableish at best. With the injuries and the personnel loss the only hope for the squad this season would be good organisation and plenty of sweat and graft, a sort of Everton type season , except that is not going to happen. Read more:
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03/10/2011 20:35:00

Good write up LD, but no mention of Coquelin? As it is, the positives are few :). He seems a better bet at RB than Jenkinson, for the next 3 months (not an indictment of Jenkinson, but he's just not ready). Perhaps, the biggest negative of the game was not the defensive weakness (which everyone knows we have), but the lack of urgency and ideas in the last 20 mins. Even during the oh-so-poor seasons of 3-4 years back, we knew there was always a slight chance of scoring in the dying minutes, but not any more. There are massive problems all over the pitch (weak defence, a mid field that does not offer support to defence, and an attack that only has RvP as the only man who can make something out of nothing!
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03/10/2011 21:47:00

I've already given up on top 4 - not even sure we'll make top 10.
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03/10/2011 22:03:00

This result pretty much opens wide the door for Van Persie to leave in January. He's not here to gain moral support for a battling 10th-place finish. He's out for a big payday and achievement that only constant CL qualification can offer. With Sagna out, Arsenal face a real challenge now to earn points every week. Injuries might heal in time and allow for a bounce-back second half of the season, but players like Walcott or Arshavin or Rosicky do not possess the quality of character to lift the team in the short term. When VanP leaves, a huge hole will form that will not be filled easily. Good players will not be looking at joining Arsenal. Heck, even promising youngsters will not want to join, or even remain. Atmosphere at the Emirates could easily turn quite sour. Don't overlook the combination of poor performance - no CL to count on - and soft attendance affecting the club's commercial prospects. Shirt and stadium rights deals come up in a couple of years or so and with competitive stadium projects underway in London, could be a very tough sell. Not a good time to be surveying Arsenal's immediate future.
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03/10/2011 22:09:00

A very fair post TSS. Didn't disagree with any of it.
Little Dutch
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03/10/2011 22:41:00

Damiano its such a disgrace fella & thx LD.
True Spurs Supporter
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04/10/2011 03:59:00

Couple of caveats, we have had 2 of our best 3 players injured for this season. We have lost 2 influential and popular players over summer. We have had no chance for the squad to bond because of late buying. Still, the mindset of two players in particular needs to change quickly - Walcott and Arshavin. Memo to Walcott, Messi doesn't play centrally and scores plenty of goals, Henry didn't play centrally in truth and scored plenty, stop talking about your starting position and start impacting games.
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04/10/2011 04:26:00

LD did you not see my question to you on the match article ?
True Spurs Supporter
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04/10/2011 04:42:00

Dein would never be allowed back and nor should he be. He chose to sell his shares to Usmanov, so why should he come back? His role in the club was massively overstated largely due to the fact that Dein, being a good politician, keeps good friends on the media. Fiszman was much more the driving force. Dein just made himself the public face of that work.
Little Dutch
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04/10/2011 09:13:00

Congrats to the spuddies, a well deserved win. About the chainting - The fact is, I don't remember any articles being published anywhere when, for the last 15 years, Sp*rs fans have been calling Wenger a peado etc. Yet, surprise, surprise as soon as Arsenal fans chant something of a similarly sick nature it's all over the papers. How do you spell a-g-e-n-d-a? Two wrongs don't make a right, but this has been going on ever since Wenger joined Arsenal and not a f******* peep from the media anywhere, or Twitchy, but he just cannot wait for his lips to start flapping as soon as Arsenal fans say something. Still, At least we didn't burn and hang effigies of a former player then get caught out singing homophobic chants about him every time he played against them. Did that even get half the coverage of the Arsenal taunts in Sunday?
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04/10/2011 09:47:00

Same old sour grapes from this guy who writes these articles. So now he doesn't like the NLD because it's violent?! HA! Bet he wasn't thinking that way when they were winning all the time. Suddenly he's not young and winning every time, he's getting older and losing.hard ***** for you to chew on I'm afraid pal, get used to it. I bet in a year's time you won't even renew your season ticket, now that the glitz and glamour is starting to fade. Hasn't quite got the same appeal has it, being a mid table side? But then, it was always a bit rubbish and uncouth wasn't it?
Tony Rocky Horror
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04/10/2011 10:11:00

Oh and by the way, I hope that the police prosecute those involved in the viscious chanting directed at Spurs hero Adebayor. Redknapp was right; we won't accept this at our ground and the idiots that did it might have had the common sense to notice the police outlook right above their imbecilic heads. These people have no respect for families that attend matches, or father's with sons and daughters. People who condone it, like LG, allow it to continue by making a relativist argument. Pathetic.
Tony Rocky Horror
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04/10/2011 10:19:00

Mate you're an idiot, LD's always moaned about the violence there, for years, there's a piece about it when we won the league there (for the 2nd time) on this site, read it, absolute plum you are.
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04/10/2011 11:18:00

Tony Rocky Horror - Just where exactly did I condone it you f****** prat? no mention from you about the years of constant racist, homophobic and sexual slurs directed at Arsenal players from the scum faithful, typical. So now we know not only can you not read and understand properly your nothing more than a pathetic, low brow wind up merchant with an oversized sense of entitlement. TRH do us all a favour crawl back under the rock you came out from and die. Slowly and quietly. I'm more than happy to 'chant' it for you if it makes it easier to understand?
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04/10/2011 11:26:00

Wow LD really ? You obviously know your Club a great deal more then I, still I think Arsene's biggest problem is a feeling of isolation. He's 1 of the greatest Managers football has witnessed (hardly the greatest fact for us, but its the truth), now if your sour at Dein for making money & leaving then thats 1 thing, but surely if he returned & Arsene got his mojo back into full swing, well surely it would be acceptable for his return ?

Now whilst its been great for us to recently be the winning Team in the NLD, I only want Tottenham (& it hasn't happened already) to become the stronger side in North London by being better then Arsenal whilst you are still a great Team & not 1 floating around the middle of the League.

We're in a great shape & still developing into a Team, that on this track can genuinely challenge for all we compete in. But if we excel & your Team continues to demise then where can the genuine pleasure come from beating a rival who isn't on a level playing field ?
True Spurs Supporter
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04/10/2011 11:29:00

I'll be honest I only came here to read posts from disgruntled Gooners, no I wasn't going to gloat, karma and all that I'd rather wait to end of season. But to my surprise I really enjoyed the Article Tim, a good read.
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04/10/2011 11:50:00

The truth is we have regressed. The team we had last year with Cesc and Nasri is stronger than this squad and couldn't even win the CC. We should have seriously strengthened last summer and we didn't. Merte, Arteta and Benayoun are great additions only if we kept our players. Sadly, that's not the case. You can talk about handbrakes, hard luck, injuries but the truth comes out on the pitch and the pitch doesn't lie... We are where we belong.
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04/10/2011 11:53:00

Gael-Force - Agreed, the league table doesn't lie.
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04/10/2011 12:16:00

I have to say that I find this North London "love-in" a little disconcerting with everyone being so nice to each other. Even joint statements from the clubs against the "vile" chanting. Yes it was a good article, but the truth is, we're only being nice to you Gooners because we won. Good to see that one or two are still prepared to wind you lot up. COYS and thanks for a good read!
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04/10/2011 13:42:00

ParkLane67 - That is pretty much why we ignored your mob for 20 odd years lol
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04/10/2011 14:01:00

LondonGooner the humanity in me cringes at the way you express yourself. What a wreck of an individual you must be to wish death on another human being, to wish a man be killed! At first I thought you were an idle, gulag-dodging apologist who stands by and justfies the crimes of others by pointing the finger at an enemy's misdeads. But now I see the truth. You are fully paid-up, card carrying, hate monkey. A brute materialist hiding behind the guise of moral ambiguety. The shame on you and your children, you slobbering dofan.
Tony Rocky Horror
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04/10/2011 14:39:00

Rather adofan than a total tit like you and no, I just don't like you and the pompous wind up merchant rubbish you post. So if it meant not having to read your drivel, i'd be very happy to pull the lever myself. End of really.
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04/10/2011 15:37:00

HA! You don't have any humanity in you just ***** and wind....
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04/10/2011 15:40:00

LD mentioned about the team being “quiet”, not challenging their team mates or the contentious decisions and I think that is something worth exploring. The players’ deportment is really odd right now, almost like they are being weighed down by something and it’s been like that for a while. Do you remember at OT when Rosicky walked away from the defensive wall after a Rooney free-kick? Astonishingly, he was totally unconcerned about the outcome – why was that? Where is the indignation at bad decisions, where is the normal vivacity that you would see in a professional football team? Are the players exhausted with all the recent drama on and off the pitch and feeling the vulnerability of the team? Or is Wenger looming so large at the club that it casts a dark and oppressive shadow over everybody (was Pat Rice much more animated on the touchline when Wenger was banished to the stands? Why doesn’t he do that all the time?). Was a bust in Wenger’s honour whilst still “in office” such a good idea bearing in mind the impact it might have on his ego? Perhaps the manager is to blame, maybe, but perhaps the Emirates stadium has had a diametric effect on the financial approach of the board. Whatever it is it’s a serious problem and I fear that something dramatic has to happen to solve it. Things may be getting a lot worse before they get better.
Sir Henry
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04/10/2011 18:18:00

TRH is just a ***** poor wind up merchant. Best ignored.
Little Dutch
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04/10/2011 20:21:00

I hope that Arsenal keep Arsene Wenger for many more years to come. He Is still dining off 03-04 & the goon board are blinded by sentimentality. He Is unsackable ( thank God ) & by the time you wake up the power shift In north london will be complete .
KissMabbutt MBE
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04/10/2011 22:37:00

One year you are favourites to finish above us and you think it's a power shift. Come back when your league title winning seasons footage isn't in black and white......
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05/10/2011 09:35:00

LD - Who would thought that poor ickle TRH is such a sensitive soul? Bless 'im.
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05/10/2011 11:19:00

LG your a sensitive lil soul aint cha 8^P You don't half contradict yourself tho fella ! Im guessing you must have a lot of youth on your side, or else, well...

Im not getting into a slinging match as I can't be arsed. Your double standards do leave you wide open for criticism & being torn a new 1 in a comedic way, so maybe double check what you've written b4 on an article or what you do b4 you post ? NB Saying that you wish death on some1 is VERY easy to say, but to REALLY mean it is another thing all together. So grow up coz your coming across VERY poorly (Oh & if you think its coz your a Goon, wrong again treacle as I talk to EVERY member in the same way if they come out with the type of tripe you did above). Banter yes, stupidity NO. Chow Mein ?
True Spurs Supporter
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05/10/2011 12:12:00

Anyone with any information about the so-called 'fans' who sang chants about an incident in which people were killed, whilst others lost their careers or were traumatized for life should share the information with the police. This is hate speech and these individuals, whether they're Arsenal or Spurs fans should not just be banned from all football stadiums for life, they should go to jail.
Cape Town Spurs
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05/10/2011 13:33:00

Anyone with any information about the so-called 'fans' who sang chants about an incident in which people were killed, whilst others lost their careers or were traumatized for life should share the information with the police. This is hate speech and these individuals, whether they're Arsenal or Spurs fans should not just be banned from all football stadiums for life, they should go to jail.
Cape Town Spurs
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05/10/2011 13:33:00

While we are witch-hunting supporters for 'indecent' chanting, we should be tracking down those scumbag Celtic supporters who chanted 'there's only two Andy Gorams' at Andy Goram, a man who was diagnosed with schizophrenia. These so-called 'fans' made light of a very serious mental condition which has been known to destroy the lives of those who have it and their loved ones. Disgusting is the only word for these chants, and the 'people' who chanted them should go to jail for this. *removes tongue from cheek* Chants of the nature of those sung at Adebayor (the expressed wish being that he had been 'shot', no one said anything about wishing he had been 'killed' in range of my ears, although I'm sure many of those who sang the chant do wish he was dead/had died in the incident) are tasteless, offensive and sanguine, that's the idea, whoever heard of an offensive chant that wasn't offensive? People, including myself, hate the man with a passion, and there are those who will respond with chants towards him that reflect this passionate hatred in the hope of causing him distress (that throws him off his game, maybe). There will be some that find the idea that Andy Goram is a schizophrenic funny, and will mock him for it, the idea presumably being to make him feel hurt and offended, and may make him perform worse. I argue that this is equally as tasteless and offensive, the only difference is it is born out of a quest for humor rather than one to convey hatred. So why is it then that one chant makes it into football humour books on a regular basis for being 'funny', and the other causes moral outrage? I believe that with regards offensive chanting at football, the only acceptable line to take is that of the 'manatees' who write Family Guy. Either all chants of offensive/mocking/hateful nature are acceptable, or none of them are. The two exceptions are chants of a racial or of a homophobic nature, which can never be justified in my eyes.
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05/10/2011 16:23:00

I believe in free speech so I'm not generally in favour of censoring chants at matches. The practicalities of suppressing it are almost impossible anyway where large numbers are involved. The problem is communicating decent standards of behaviour to people who are too ignorant to understand what it is and who lack any sense of proportion. As a Spurs supporter I often log onto our website. Like the Arsenal site, the majority of contributions are reasonable and obviously written by decent fans who are knowledgeable and commited to the game. There are, however, a percentage of neanderthals who are unable to distinguish fantasy from real life and who enjoy the tribalism more than the football. If I may say so, your manager is a moaner and a bad loser and any chant or catcall that points that out is fine by me. But there's a difference between that and calling someone a ****. It is gross and quite obviously untrue and I'm embarassed by those of our supporters who are too stupid and ignorant to know any better. Rivalry, wit and banter are part of the game and long may that continue but there's no place in sport for bigotry and hatred pretending to be humour. I don't imagine that criticism by proper fans will have any effect on the thick *****s from both clubs who behave like that but we should say it anyway. Good luck for the rest of the season.
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06/10/2011 15:52:00

The first censored word has 10 letters and begins with 'p', the second has 5 letters and begins with 't'
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06/10/2011 15:54:00


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