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SV Gunner: Arsenal played a thrilling North London derby, and it’s not all doom and gloom

Posted on October 03, 2011 by Nitesh

Another North London derby, another derby loss and, predictably, a load of doom and gloom predictions against Arsenal. If you have read my previous posts, then you will know that I am a largely optimistic supporter. Today, however, I do not feel I am being optimistic but simply realistic.

I was going to write an article midweek about how we should have a reality check. Just as I try not to get too pessimistic after a defeat, I try not to be overly optimistic when we win. Today, however, the doom and gloom foretellers have found their voices again. I find it unbelievable how negative some people can be (I don’t mean Arsenal fans in particular; I’m mainly pointing at the media).

I think that today was another top North London derby which Spurs edged. I don’t think that it’s indicative of the change of power in North London. And I definitely think that we will get somewhere this season with these performances. People love to take signals from the game, to take our performance and predict how bad the rest of the season will be. But I honestly believe that we played quite well today. We are being heavily criticised for ‘fragility at the back’: what fragility? Yes we let Sandro (I think it was him anyway) run unmarked from a throw in which then eventually led to a cracking strike from Walker and a goal, but apart from that, we kept their attacking players relatively quiet. I know that most take crunching tackles and body on the line stops as great defending (and it is) but this is actually living on the edge and is indicative of a stretched team. True top class defending is, as a team, not offering them these opportunities in the first place.

They have many top class players such as Modric, Bale, van der Vaart and Adebayor, so limiting their opportunities is no mean feat at all. I think that Gibbs, on the left, had a great game and is the reason why Van der Vaart was so quiet. The centre backs, while not terrific, were (in my opinion) solid. Mertesacker kept Adebayor largely in check and Song was composed, while also getting a very handy assist. All in all, we gave them only three clear cut opportunities: Parker (who never looked likely to score), Adebayor (who produced a superb save from Sczcesny) and Bale at the end, who got the better of Jenkinson. And, when talking about clear cut chances, we had a few of our own: Gervinho’s gaping miss and Walcott’s curler which went over the bar. Our problems came from the right back position, when Sagna was replaced by Jenkison. I feel for the lad, as in the two EPL matches he has played in, he has been up against Ashley Young and Gareth Bale, two world class players. I think that it’s ironic that their two goals came from possibly their two most difficult opportunities, the strike which Sczcesny, perhaps, should have done better with and Van der Vaart’s finish.

This brings me something which most have overlooked. I know that this sounds like griping but the Van der Vaart goal was a debacle of refereeing. I can understand that the referee might have missed it but the linesman? That’s poor, especially when you consider that a deliberate handball is, by the rules, a second yellow, which would have had the man sent off. I see it as a Thierry Henry vs. Ireland incident. If this wasn’t bad enough, the referee then refuses to book him when he celebrates with the fans, which should also have resulted in a sending off! A sending off for celebrating with the fans is probably very harsh but the rest of it is perfectly legitimate.

We should also not forget that this defensive performance was with three CBs missing and our DM filling in. Though I think that Coquelin had a good match, can you imagine how much more secure we would have been had there been another natural CB with Mertesacker, and Song covering them? But I think that Song will learn from the experience and come back as an even better player for it.

The defensive display was especially good when you consider that Liverpool went to the Lane just two weeks ago and were hammered 4-0. And yet people still think that they are bigger contenders for fourth spot? This doesn’t quite sit right.

In conclusion, I think that our defensive display has been misread and that the mistakes that we did make in the game have been blown out of proportion by the media. Furthermore, I don’t think that our display means anything great for the future (though, of course, it is a disappointing three points dropped and we must get back to winning as soon as possible). There is also a strong case for uneven footing in the game, the odds being tilted towards Tottenham, for two reasons: we had two first choice CBs injured as opposed to their one second choice CB injured and also because I believe that they scored one illegitimate goal and should have had a man sent off. I, for one, will be accepting the defeat and moving on and looking forward to the rest of the season. This after seeing my Arsenal looking sharp again, playing football that is nearing our best and being just edged out of a thrilling North London derby.

by SV Gunner

11 to “SV Gunner: Arsenal played a thrilling North London derby, and it’s not all doom and gloom”

  1. McTavish says:

    SV Gunner, you’re a madman if you think that there are positives to be taken out of this. Well, actually Coquelin looked half decent. And as for the handball, it was at most a 50-50 call. Wake up and smell the fucking coffee. Wenger’s stubborn pride has destroyed the dynasty which he could have and should built. Defensively we were dreadful. It’s not about confidence. It’s about buying players who make the team better. F**k, look at Scott Parker yesterday. Can you imagine how much better we would be with him in the team. Wenger has f****d it and he should go immediately. Personally I’ve been saying this for five years. And I was laughed at then. But now? This is what I saw coming. And if you want proof, look at the parallels with Wenger’s last season at Monaco. Gooners should be united in getting rid of this (ABUSE WILL NOT BE TOLERATED!!—–Nitesh)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

    • SVGunner says:

      We would improve with Scott Parker but not by as much as you think. He is great player and would add to our strength in depth. But he is actually better at breaking up play than creating it. We have Song for that. Parker is used because of his work rate and he can also contribute a bit to the attack. We don’t need this. We have attack minded players in Ramsey, Arteta and Wilshere, with Song mostly staying back. In our squad, Parker would only be used in the case of several injuries.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. diamond dave says:

    wenger is dillusional and so is gazidis and the rest of the arsenal board, frank mcklintok, george graham, the list goes on and on, have all said this is the worse arsenal squad they have seen in a long time, how right they are, when you sell fab and nasri and clichy you have to replace them with the same quality, and lest be honest what he bought was bargain basement buys, what the idiot wenger can not see what everyone else can is there are major proplems with this squad there is no depth or quality, and lets be honest a club that hikes prices by 6% want us to watch this? wenger has destroyed this team with a philosophy that has not worked, in any job you are accountable for your actions and he needs to go, how many drk clouds does he have to keep trying to peek through looking for excuses, we all knew by the squad we had we would not be winning any trophies, and a majority of arsenal fans have been cosistent that we will be fighting relegation, and by the performances to date that shows to be the case to only get 7 points from 7 games, yesterdays game showed the defensive frailities, it also showed with nasri and fab gone we can not finish a game, yer it is fine having 60% of the ball but the game is won on scoring goals, wengers comments irritate me, because he comes out with the worst verbal diarohea i have ever heard, and wenger should go before he causes more damage to this already weak and fragile team, and kroenke needs to stay in america and follow the sports out there he has no clue about football, and gazidis comments, last week i want to build a bigger fan base and build succes on the pitch, well another idiot if he calls this success then woolworths should have never gone bust, you have bought players that are just average, and there is a saying what you pay for is what you get, and that has been shown in the results, wenger needs to stop the rubbish talk and the promises and become realistic, and come off planet zorg, and get back to reality, and start by doing that by leaving and take gazidis and kroenke with you, you have taken this club backwards, and in a perilous situation, all just to line the pockets of the shareholders, here is a question for the idiots at arsenal, how will you fill your stadium if we get relegated? you will find it will be a struggle to survive, you destroyed this team and it is about time you all walked.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

    • SVGunner says:

      Actually mate, its you who should walk. Whether you WANT Wenger out or not, you cant think that its actually going to happen. Doing the stuff you are doing, like booing at matches, will only dishearten players and spread discord among the fans.

      I am actually helping the team by cheering at matches and showing my support generally, you are demoralising them …yet I am the one who should walk???

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

      • Raj says:

        Mate you are still not recognizing the root of the problem and still looking the short term. Support is needed when you somebody fails occasionally. Your kinda support will create a paralysis, which will lasts for years. Getting adjusted and being foolishly optimistic will take us down. We have to show vociferously that we supporters can not be taken for a ride.

        I really hate Arsenal Board’s guts. We have not won anything since we shifted to Emirates and still they increased the ticket prices by 6.5%. Why should I pay more? to see more pathetic display then what I used to see last year. Somehow I’m getting the feeling that everything happening with the club is not correct. We have lost our way long back and not we are happy just being wayward.

        Btw IMHO It doesn’t matter what we would do this season, coz this season is gone. We should start planning for next year and get rid of AW ASAP. Let’s give new coach some time before start of the next season, so that at least in next season we can compete for Top 4.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  3. Igwe14 says:

    Another person watching the game i watched, having to deal with someone like daniel amokachi saying how crap our defence was, when even in his hay days he won’t get pass me for real.
    The game showed media bias when to me parker was being schooled by coqeulin how to be a defensive midfielder with ease.
    Surely, Arsenal is on the rise again

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  4. Long Island Gunner says:

    A very positive post Nitesh. I think the doom and gloomers go too far negative and your post is a welcome change of pace, but some additional realism should be injected.

    Defensively, I’m about 80 pct with you. But we must recognize several fundamental failings that are not being considered. Our defensive presentation does not seem to instill a sense of group defending. Watching VDV goal, you could see that Sagna was more concerned with Bale out on the far (Totts left)touchlinethan he was in providing cover and balance to the two CB’s trying to close down at the point of attack. Now maybe the def think that run in the channel is for a mid to cover, but the mid wasn’t there so you defend with the players in the best position to shut down the final ball. A ball to Bale is dangerous, of course, but does not result in a shooting chance after the first touch so the VDV run must have the priority in our defensive choice there. That “bad choice / bad decision” is one of the fundamental problems across the bcack we have been dealing with for on about 3 – 4 years now and regular observers of the team simply do not see it being addressed any time soon. If you don’t believe you have a problem (I.e. Defending in isolation by design) then you can’t take the first step to fix it.

    One more added point and a player observation and they are interrelated perhaps- our movement at the top of the team goes completely static far too often. You see Arteta or Gibbs looking for a pass in the front third and other than RVP checking, the rest of the team is standing there. No runs, no check out and go. No nothing. And the interrelated part is that – let’s be honest – Ramsey can not maintain possession at the level that AFC are supposed to be playing. He’s just not there yet and, even if his decision making improves (really can’t get much worse than passing the ball to the opponent some 10- 15 times), his foot speed is so far off the pace he may be limited to a supporting role off the bench for a mid-table side. Finally, We have had a big “bank” on Theo anticipation in the side and, on the evidence of the past 6 months taken as a whole, he is not going to be the player – a la Pires or Lundjberg – that the club thought he would be.

    So that is my injection of reality into where we are at the moment albeit in more agreement with you than not. Getting Kos back into the side and TV should help enormously. Jack and Sagna in the New Year sometime and hopefully some performances from Ox, Coq (I thought he was VERY good yesterday given Rambos defensive shortcomings), Frim (right back, anyone?) Miyachi and – Please God – could we see one match with Park this year, please.

    Well here’s to some f the boys having a good 2 weeks training and on t Sunderland.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  5. clockender martin says:

    we have become the laughing stock of london thanks to those eton school boy w—— and silent stan i pay a lot of money to now watch a second rate team it will take time to repair what is happening at our great club but things need to change SACK THE BOARD

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  6. gooner4Life says:

    I agree with your post I think we had a decent game.Got punished for not taking our chances.I think one of arsenals main problems is in attack we forget the best defense is attack. Many teams that play against us sit back and allow us to hold the ball in the midfield and wait for us to lose the ball with a wayward pass and counter. we have lost a great passer in cesc and ramsey tries to pass it arnd but fails our two wingers can’t seem to cross decent balls in for rvp so we are limited in the way we attack. We never have enough players in the box to cause problems for the opposite teams defense.Our lack of creativity and wayward shooting causes us to be fragile at the back we cause we don’t worry other teams midfield to make mistakes in their own half. The other problem is our team fails to defend as a team its rare to see rvp or gervinho stealing a ball from the back or making a tackle.We can only get better let’s hope we can work on these problems and come back firing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  7. hate akb says:

    U akb morrons,u and ur love for deluded wenger is dragging our great club to its knees

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  8. nickw says:

    You’ll be telling us that black is white and Saddam Hussein won the gulf war next. Good defensive display my arse!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1



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