Live Blogging the North London Derby: Join us for the Big One

The line-ups are in, the espresso’s been pulled and we’re just about set to get going on a big, big (big) North London Derby.  The early kick-off is tough–especially if you’re watching in California as I am this morning.  Still, I did not need an alarm to get up for this one, 4:30 am kickoff and all.  As an extra bonus, my television coverage is in 4K this morning so I can see every straggly hair of Mesut Ozil’s “beard.”  Good times…

Here are the starting line-ups:

Arsenal: Cech, Koscielny, Mustafi, Monreal, Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Kolasinac, Ozil, Sanchez, Lacazette.  Subs: Mertesacker, Wilshere, Ospina, Iwobi, Welbeck, Maitland-Niles, Coquelin.

 
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Sanchez, Dier, Vertonghen, Trippier, Sissoko, Dembele, Eriksen, Davies, Alli, Kane.  Subs: Son, Vorm, Llorente, Foyth, Aurier, Winks, Walker-Peters.

Referee: Mike Dean

So, what do you think?  The Arsenal set up is exactly as I thought it would be.  My biggest surprise is that Theo Walcott hasn’t made the bench.  With Olivier Giroud also out due to injury that leaves not a lot of attacking power in reserve.  The Totts line-up seems fairly aggressive given that I rate Moussa Sissoko as a very undisciplined player who cannot stop his attacking instincts no matter where he’s positioned.  The other Moussa–Dembele, however, is a strong presence in the center of the pitch as is Eric Dier.  Do Arsenal catch a break with Toby Alderwiereld out injured?  Perhaps.  My thought is that our own defense will need to be plenty strong to contain the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen.

Yours?

As much difficulty as Arsenal has gone through in this early season–it all goes out the window when we face the old enemy from up the Seven Sisters.

Come on you Gunners!!

by 17highburyterrace

186 thoughts on “Live Blogging the North London Derby: Join us for the Big One

  • Anybody around? Big game this, IMO…

    Tell me why it takes so long for the seats to be filled in the stadium? Is there a need for an extra beer–even with the noon-time start? Gotta get the nerves under control for the derby, perhaps…

    Players are in the tunnel…

  • I am really surprised Wenger has trusted a returning Mustafi for this game. However, if he can be focused, it may turn out to be the right decision.

    All I can say is COYG!!!

  • I hear the Pastries service at the Ems is rather good and is an attraction in itself. It doesn’t take that long to be in place at kickoff though, so expect a full house when that is.

  • Hey ‘Eris… How’s it going?…

    Mustafi’s been training so AW must be convinced he’s ready to go…

    We have kick-off…

  • Indeed, the seats look full now…

    Hey J-dub… Good to see ya…

    Totts trying to get a feel for the pitch with some passing around the back…and they get the benefit of Dean’s first whistle…

  • Both teams look like they need some time to settle… Plenty of the early touches look not quite as controlled as the players would prefer…

    Everything in the middle of the pitch thus far…

    Kos pushes one up but passes miles behind Bellerin…

  • Oooh, good chance there as Lacazette’s pressing deflects a ball to Alexis. He gives it back and we have numbers but Laca decides to go alone and blasts over… Passing to the streaking Ramsey might have been the better option…

  • Mike Dean is bound to make this about him. How was that a foul on Vertonghen by Ozil?

  • Other end, Kane on our right can’t find a pass so take’s a shot… Cech saves as it’s straight at him…

    Quickly the other way, Vertonghen and Ozil tangle in their box with the former getting the call…

  • Yep, lots of Mike Dean early on… This time a very well placed Kos gets the whistle after breaking up a Totts attempt at a through pass…

    Laca worries his fellow French keeper with more strong pressing from the front… The clear well enough…

  • Can’t underestimate Dean’s ambivalence, nor Alli’s nastiness– as the latter takes a whack at Kos’ ankle early-on.

    jw1

  • Xhaka down the left overhits a cross. From the throw, Dele and Kos have a clash of heads and Totts have to restart…

    More Mike Dean and it’s back with us… Pretty strong work in the box but Laca can’t control Kola’s good ball to the top of the 6yd box…

  • That was a good opportunity for Laca but he’s scoffed his control right in front of goal.

  • Hey Retsub…

    Alexis heads over towards Lacazette but (the other) Sanchez kicks it clear. Both teams look dangerous, esp. when bypassing the midfield…

  • Good defending there even with an offside AND handball going uncalled…

    It does feel like Dean and crew might try to play an outsized role today…

    Totts getting on the ball a bit more but Dele scuffs a shot and Trippier’s cross is headed out by Kos.

    That was a bit of sustained pressure from Spurs…

  • That last bit of pressure by Spurs– requires Laca to come deep to get those loose balls.

    jw1

  • Ramsey gets a whistle and Kos, from it, just overhits a long one past Laca and into Lloris’ arms…

    Kos is playing a big role thus far initiating some nice one-touch football this time but it only gets played back to Cech…

    Totts now play it back to their keeper…

  • Four bodies arrive simultaneously for Bells’ cutback from the right.
    Laca was smothered.

    jw1

  • Ooohh… Another fine chance…

    Ramsey slides a ball behind (but wide) to Bellerin whose cross is good but Laca can’t get a boot to it… Kola following the play can’t get on it either…

  • Alright, J from NYC joins in as well… Hi there…

    Vertonghen whistled for a foul on Lacazette…

    Ozil’s lofted FK is short but we get a corner…

  • Which we keep in… Alexis, popping up on the right, can’t find a teammate with a pair of balls towards the center. Arsenal pressure starting to look stronger and stronger…

  • They might threaten on the break if we keep trying to hold them in their own half…

    Xhaka identifies just such a play and, rather cynically, brings down Rose. No card, however…

    Ozil wins a corner, his cross from the left blocked out…

    Taken to Monreal, top of the box, we make little from it…

  • Agreed, gotta see the derby live, Johnnie… The 4K TV is awfully nice…

    Agreed also with JW that Spurs aren’t quite as bright as they looked earlier…

    Davies, however, gets a good cross in but Kane can only head over…

    Oooh… Lloris has to get off his line quickly to keep Laca from getting on an over the top ball…

  • Perhaps, Ramsey needs to replace his footwear as he’s slipped a few times, when you’ll rather have him on his feet. And Lloris was quicker of his line to deny Laca who was in on goal.

  • Agreed again there J… Ozil looks bright…

    And he and Bellerin combine well on the right. His right-footed cross is blocked out for a corner… It’s cleared but we get another from Xhaka’s deflected shot…

  • Bells to Ozil– and I don’t think Lloris gets Ozil’s short cross to Ramsey without the CB intervening.

    jw1

  • That one is also cleared and Spurs try to break but only barely get into our half. I like the way we’re pinning them back…

    Kola loses possession with a poor back-heel but they can’t build as we keep pressing…

    Announcers making a meal of Alexis frustrated at a Ramsey FK that doesn’t find his run…

  • Xhaka gets the first yellow, Dean gesticulating about cumulative fouling…

    Better from Spurs as Davies finds Eriksen in a bit of space. His shot is just wide of Cech’s near post…

    They come again down the other side but Kane can only head weakly from Sissoko’s cross and into Cech’s arms…

  • Spurs win some MF play but can’t make anything of it in our box. Ozil clears calmly and sets us forward… A big ball from Xhaka to Alexis is only stopped when the other Sanchez hauls him down…

  • From the Ozil FK, Mustafi places his header perfectly back across Lloris and into the top corner…

    1-nil Arsenal…

  • JNYC notes correctly that Alexis’ work to win the FK was very, very strong…

    Now, going the other way, Alexis sees yellow for a scythe on his marker of the same surname…

  • Slight offside on Mustafi there, but who cares? Alexis gets booked for a nothing challenge on Sanchez.

  • Wow, fine defending from Kos sets Arsenal going again, including a fine Ramsey to Alexis pass. Laca can only turn the play back from wide right and it’s back with Spurs…

    Hopefully we can punish them if they come forward now that they’re a goal down…

  • No one will notice but Ozil is putting in some defensive work, from the front and even at the back.

    And it’s 2-0.

  • Ozil, after popping up an intended clearance, does better to win a whistle once the ball’s down on the pitch…

    THERE’S #2!!!!

  • Excellent work from Ramsey and Bellerin sets Laca past the back line. His cross is two touched in by Alexis… The left footed first touch cushioned perfectly to finish with his right into the top of the net from point-blank range…

  • Take another Retsub… 😀

    Great tackle from Kos as Kane looked primed to get on his right foot in a promising central spot…

  • Retsub– the dog has to go pee now.
    And he wants to know how many injury time minutes I’d estimate?

    jw1

  • This time, after a bungled Ramsey turn, Spurs get the ball to Kane who skips a couple of tackles but then shoots weak and wide…

  • Another take down of Alexis who takes his own FK… It’s short and easy to clear, however…

    He’s done very well in this first period. I especially like it when he pops up in different parts of the pitch…

  • First half is whistled…

    2 nil to the good guys…

    Back to the espresso machine for me…

  • Great display lads bloody proud. My only concern is we go down to 10 men. Whilst I believe we could stick about 6 away. I would be very happy if we bored ourselves to death in the 2nd half and won 2 -0

  • Alexis and Mike dean going off the field in discussion. I wonder in what language they are communicating. Lol.

    Well, it’s just 2-0 and still a lot to play for here. It is the derby and we’ve seen goals in this fixture. We need to maintain the intensity and be a bit more efficient with our passing when the opportunity comes to pick them off as they chase it.

  • Jw1. Sadly Oscar (the dog) shows no affinity for my beloved Gunners. But if it gets us goals I will try again in the 2nd half. Lol

  • retsub–
    While walking Runway just now– I thought about replacing Xhaka with Coquelin at the 60min mark.
    Also– while considering that the next goal will be the key?
    That no next goal would suit me even better.

    jw1

  • Gotta start 2nd half like the first, fight for those 50/50 balls. Fight for everything in midfield.

  • With Xhaka on a yellow, anyone think he may choose to preserve the 11 and make an early change? Jack or Coquelin?

    We’ve played well and no one can question the effort. As always, the derby is hard to predict and you always felt with all the talk about some “shift in North London”, we needed to prove a point. We are not that kind of team or I’ll be advocating we get someone to rile up Dele Alli into lashing out, so they go down to 10men. 😀

    Don’t do anything stupid now, lads. We’ve got this under control. Ramsey must cut out the flicks in our area, for God’s sake! He’s playing against a rival and he can showboat at the edge of our box?

  • Alright then… Got that coffee–and even a little breakfast–into my belly… Very nice…

    I like the pressing at the front and 2nd lines but Spurs, Eriksen esp., move the ball smartly if they can break through. Kos and Mustafi have worked very well in tandem to stop them from getting any really good chances. We may not have a big shot total but we created a lot of dangerous situations… Total dominance in terms of corners and FKs too…

    Here we go… 2nd half on…

  • Mustafi, after missing out on header vs Kane, lashes out and sees yellow… The FK looks dangerous but we clear… Or almost clear. In the end, Dembele’s cross is too lofted and Kane can only head weakly to Cech…

    Oooh… Ugly challenge at the back by Kane on Xhaka. That looked bad and Harry goes in the book…

  • It’s getting tetchy and Spurs might sense that a sending off is their best way forward… They might have picked Xhaka as their target, I’m guessing…

  • Another corner won after Ramsey plays Laca through but his cross is deflected out… Cleared to Bellerin but Kos leaves the lofted ball thinking he’d be flagged for offside…

  • Nice run by Laca who goes down getting onto Bellerin’s pass. No call…

    Other end, Spurs look dangerous but Davie’s hard and low cross is well managed by Nacho…

  • Beautifully worked counter attack that was snuffed out at the nick. And then on the other side, great tackle by Mustafi to deny Kane.

  • What a beautiful length-of-pitch break!
    To no good result– as Ozil can’t catch up to Alexis’ through ball.

    jw1

  • Davies’ I meant… he’s now whistled for a foul on Bellerin…

    Getting end to end with Ozil at the center of a very nice counter…Alexis return ball at the end is too heavy however…

    Our end, Kane dives, no call then gets it back to shoot from a danger spot on their right… blocked behind by Mustafi’s sliding challenge…

  • Was that their first of 2nd corner? It bounced around a bit but we cleared it…

    Streaming forward and shifting the ball from left to right Arsenal’s attack breaks down in the right corner. A 3rd would kill the match but we shouldn’t over-commit to trying to get it…

  • Good defending there to allow Dele to have the ball but do nothing with it…

    And now we break through Laca and Alexis… Ozil’s cross is headed behind for another Arsenal corner…

  • Saw that with Ramsey’s studs early-on– likely a tad long for the turf.
    Jnyc– if so, would prefer Welbz pressing to Iwobi.

    jw1

  • Ramsey and Laca almost combine but it’s back with Spurs…

    Whattaball from Kos up to Laca but he’s flagged for offside…

    Winks in for Dembele…

  • Eriksen blasts over from 22 yds and a tough angle… Spurs getting a bit desperate?…

  • Surprised Ramsey has only just thought about changing footwear. Harry Winks on for Dembele for Spurs. It will be a survival of the fittest side now.

  • Laca nips in on Winks but a later ball to Bellerin is too short to start the break in earnest…

    Dele keeps a ball he looked sure to lose, but not at the expense of our positioning…

    Alexis, trying to turn a Kola clearance is pushed down in our box and gets the whistle…

  • Kola tackles a ball away from Eriksen and into touch. Bellerin does likewise on the other side but keeps it in to get us moving on the counter… Doesn’t quite get to Alexis back once it’s reversed again…

  • What was Bellerin doing there? Sometimes, he worries me with his hesitant displays in defence.

  • Nice break there, Xhaka setting the beast forward… Spurs regroup and push us back but Alexis gets another whistle and we’ve got a FK not far from where the first goal came…

  • Spurs clear the corner but we keep it in and work it to Alexis but he can’t find the curler from his favorite spot, blasting high and wide instead…

  • Always takes my breath when Alexis tees one up on the left from 18.
    Just high and wide.

    jw1

  • Oooh, that looked like it could have been #3… Ozil, dancing on the right, set up the trailing Alexis but he scuffed his shot…Easy for Lloris…

  • Good, calm defending all around by Arsenal but Nacho gets a retroactive yellow for a challenge on Dele… Le Coq in for Lacazette. Looks like we’ll shift formation to try and shut up the shop?…

  • Monreal shown a yellow for a tackle on Dele Alli. And Lacazette brought off for Coquelin. Let’s hope he doesn’t cock up one. That will give the crowd and media something to moan about his decision making.

    Dele Alli and Kane off for Son and Lliorente. Whit flag?

  • Sissoko immediately turns Le Coq but Bells cleans up tackling from behind…

    Bit of room there for Dele near the top of the box but Mustafi gets a quick foot in and snuffs out the danger.

    That was Dele’s last effort. He and Kane come out for Son and Llorente. Poch is out of subs now…

  • Ooooh… very nice work by Ozil to find Kola who gets the ball to Alexis. He gets by a defender but the angle gets tight and Lloris is able to smother his shot…

    Spurs keep having trouble and we continue to look ready to pounce…

  • Not sure we needed to take Lacazette off but that’s sagely thinking. Keep what we’ve got and hope we can get one more break. Alexis got one and it should be 3, really, but Lloris makes the save.

  • Eriksen shoots from 24 yards out but it’s an easy daisy cutter for Cech…

    The camera picks out Bellerin, stomped over on the right but slowly recovering…

    Spurs come again but they’ve found no way through, esp. in the middle of the pitch…

    Ozil sent forward on the break but loses out to Sanchez as he scans his options…

  • Rare poor choice there by Ozil, but that was because the options were few, causing him to try to cut back inside on Davison Sanchez who got a vital touch.

    Great save, Cech.

  • Totts get a corner even if Nacho thinks he hit it back off Winks… Played short but headed clear by Kos…

    Oooh… Cech forced into a good save from a Winks header…

  • 84th minute now but Spurs keeping at it. Kos kicks a cross behind for a corner… Nothing doing and Arsenal break… Bellerin’s shot is blocked at the point…

    Ozil comes out to big applause to be replaced by Iwobi… Excellent game, IMO…

  • Iwobi’s first touch is…very poor… Spurs break and Llorente gets a ball over to Son… He probably should’ve scored from there but he failed to wait for the ball to drop and boots it over instead…

  • Getting late now for Spurs… Kola kicks into touch…

    Much better from Iwobi with a long thoughball for Alexis to set us on the break… Ramsey (I think) sets up the Nigerian but he dawdles and his shot is blocked. Alexis picks up another blocked effort (by Kola) can’t work it to anybody on the right to shoot it though both Bells and Xhaka tried…

  • Iwobi is on for Ozil who leaves in a cloud of glory, to rapturous applause.

    That’s where Lliorente can be dangerous. He won a header against Mustafi and but for a scoffed shot by Son, it would have been a nervous few minutes to the end of the game. Phew!

  • More good defending by Arsenal and the pressure is relieved when Le Coq goes down in comical fashion after a (quite legit) Spurs foul…

    90th minute now…

  • We’ve had chances for a third and even fourth but, hey, who cares if we get the win?

  • Alexis steps over the FK but Xhaka’s long left footer is wide…

    4 mins ET, one already played as Arsenal defend and go forward on the break… Bells goes down but no foul…

  • Mustafi heads into touch on Spurs next foray… We’ve missed him, I think…

    Le Coq puts in Alexis with a great over the top pass. Alexis rides a tackle that looks like a foul but can’t score…

    As too can’t Iwobi, well set up but he hits it quite wide…

  • The rain and the singing is coming down hard now… Ooh Son’s shot is deflected out for a final corner… That looked dangerous even if it’s too late…

  • Requires stating.
    P*ss on every know-it-all pundit and commentator.
    On every cocksure Spuds fan.
    And definitely on every whiny Spud on the pitch today.

    Power shift– my fuzzy butt.

    jw1

  • Great game well played boys.. Ozil was Sky man of the match and he was very good. However my vote would have gone to Mustaphi, great goal and he was everywhere.

    One small criticism if I may be so bold. Why do we never score on breakaways? We really could have destroyed them..

  • Very nice… I thought Mustafi and Kos where huge in the middle for us with Xhaka helping to give Spurs just about nothing through the center of the pitch. They had a few dangerous looking crosses but again the CBs were on hand as needed. Ozil? Finally appreciated for running the show in MF and even defending a bit? Alexis also showed his class in several spots. What else?

    You tell me…

  • We came close (on the break) retsub, but yeah, we don’t put them away quite like City (for example) do… Lloris had to make a few good saves to keep us out however. Getting off his line quickly is his specialty and that helps too…

    I dunno… For me, the clean sheet is the best part. We kept Kane, Eriksen and Dele in front of us all day and Cech only had to make the one save. What was the stat on corner kicks? It felt like about 12 or 15 to their 3 or 4….

  • 17HT. The reason we appreciated Ozil today was because he gave his all. If he did that every week the Emirates would love him to death. As would we all, but quite frankly he doesn’t.

    Little disappointed to see Lacazette come off once again. No doubt whatsoever that Alexis was out there today. He was awesome.

  • What power shift jw1?

    North London is Red and will forever be that way.

    I had been a little worried for Xhaka and when Wenger took Lacazette off for Le Coq i was thinking if that decision was right. Luckily spuds could not run into Xhaka and force a second yellow, but that is a risky substitution and we were lucky in the end.

    Mustafi had a good game. Defended well and attacked well. But somehow the lack of height almost cost us, with wayward shooting and a block helping us.

    Good teamwork among the lads and I hope that we get our winning form over to the away form too.

  • Interesting stats. From that perspective it was very close and they had far more of the ball and there passing was more accurate. But from a spectator point of view we slaughtered them. I don’t want to criticise anyone, they all played very well. I can’t help thinking that a if a certain Mr Henry was still around we might have got five.

  • I’m not sure about that, Retsub… To me, Ozil works very hard and very professionally on a consistent basis. The frustration he shows, however, gets picked upon when results don’t go our way. He’d do better to not show it or maybe just figure out a more convincing way of pouting–Alexis, down on his haunches, comes to mind… On this day, however, I think we should salute both of our want-away guys… Their quality definitely helped secure the (much-needed) points, IMO…

    Of course, everybody is entitled to their own opinion… 😀

  • Agreed 17HT .. we’ll sort of.. anyway today is a day we should be celebrating. I am just happy it hasn’t ruined my weekend.

  • To me, it was a fine team effort started with excellent positioning at the back. Two goals down it’s quite predictable that Spurs would have more possession but that’s OK as we looked pretty comfortable, I thought, when they had the ball. Our goals were a bit scruffy and it would be nice if we could convert those breaks. Still, like you say, retsub, the spectators cannot help but believe it was a well deserved victory…

  • OK, I’m spent…Time for nap here at first light… Too tired to watch the other games esp. given that they’re *only* in high definition…

    Thanks for the company this morning… It’s much appreciated…

  • 17highburyterrace says:
    November 18, 2017 at 14:40
    I’m not sure about that, Retsub… To me, Ozil works very hard and very professionally on a consistent basis. The frustration he shows, however, gets picked upon when results don’t go our way. He’d do better to not show it or maybe just figure out a more convincing way of pouting–Alexis, down on his haunches, comes to mind……..

    Agree with you 17ht. I have said it to as many as cared to hear that Ozil does play well in more games than he’s given credit for, mainly because we are wont to seek out scapegoats when the team’s results are not favourable, as more than needed have been. Admittedly, today, he had to put in a greater shift, like everyone else but when you see his stats, you’ll have to say his teammates have let him down too many times considering the chances he’s shown to create game after game.

    And, yes. It is only natural that a good side will have to have more of the ball when 2 goals down, but overall, we peppered them and didn’t allow them into their rhythm. So much for the much vaunted North London power shift. Shame on the pundits/ex-players who’ve written us off. Like I said in the last thread, we were always going to bring them down a peg or two…

    Ozil would get Motm but, Mustafi was immense for us, as was Koscielny.

  • @njk84sg: “What power shift jw1?”
    The perception of one I have to wade through in the press and from commentators– and on other blogs I visit– every day. The one that Robbie Earle just mentioned verbatim on NBCSN here stateside. Could not freaking believe that the first thing that popped out of Rebecca Lowe’s mouth in-studio post-game was– “How frustrated must Arsenal’s fans be?”

    Not with Arsenal. Just idiots like you Rebecca Lowe.

    “What power shift jw1?”
    The one that that the won-nothing-Spurs must now swallow whole with crow.
    You know that NLIR– as do I.
    But propaganda is a powerful force when the weak of mind are constantly exposed.

    jw1

  • Per OptaJoe in-game:
    “11 – Arsenal have won 11 home Premier League games in a row, their best run since winning 13 consecutively at Highbury between February and November 2005. Fortress.”

    Now numbering 12 in a row.
    So whyizzit again? That this isn’t a lede ‘graph (an actual fact!) which pundits finds most interesting?

    jw1

  • Raddy! An all time favorite blogger and writer.

    TA’s faith in Ozil proved correct again. Alexis was fantastic too.

    I thought I was the only person noting Mustafi (but also Koscielny) ..
    I’m glad that njk, retsub and 17 mentioned what i was thinking. In that first half, they came out full of energy and drive as they usually do, especially against us, but the difference maker for us was our defenders, koscielny first, then Mustafi. Monreal, always does his job.

    Not just in flawless defending, but much more so, pushing forward into midfield, overloading, giving us the big edge in that 1st half. That’s why we outplayed them, and had opportunities. It’s always a bit risky, but when it comes off, we could beat anybody.

    Tottenhams cbs defend very well, (Vertonghen is a dirty player) …also because of their always conservative setup and defend at all costs gameplan. They dont have the class of our defenders to pull off that kind of performance. They would be exposed.

    I’ve seen overrated Ponchettino set up with wanyama and dier, sometimes Dembele in big games, leaving 2 maybe 3 creative players.. Just as negative as Mourinho, but media never mentions it about Ponch.

    Credit to Arsene, he coaches all around great footballers at all positions, not just one dimensional players.

    Koscielny and Mustafi men of the match for me.

  • Evening guys

    Only managed to watch the second half and I loved our professionalism to keep out the Spuddies, keep the clean sheet and see the game out. Will watch motd to see the goals. Good to see Mesut getting the recognition today. Of those who watch Ozil live regularly rather than on TV, almost all say he is brilliant. It needs an extra dimension to appreciate his continuous contributions, it seems.

  • Fantastic result, could have been even better, as mentioned above, I wish we were a tad more ruthless, as there was a possible 4-0 win for us on the cards.
    As it was Lloris was Tottenham’s best player, so what does that say.

    Ok Kane was clearly unfit, the heavy strapping on his thigh wasn’t for effect, but he still put in a dangerous header when it was 0-0 and worryingly kept finding space in our box when the Spuds attacked. Dembele looked good for them as well, but the rest flattered to deceive….

    For Arsenal it was a vindication of Wengers team selection, he picked probably the strongest first XI available to start the game, and they duly delivered.
    Consistently for this Arsenal squad, is an issue, because when we play like that it just shows what this team can achieve and makes it more mystifying when they don’t bother turning up and get rolled over. That is where the fans’ frustrations come from. It has been thus for quite a few years now and why we are successful in the cups but less so in the League.

    But I don’t wanna be churlish, no honest, because this was a great team performance and whilst it’s probably unfair to highlight individuals I have to mention in dispatches the enormous influence of Mustafi, straight back into the fire with no games in the tank, his performance was immense.
    He had arguably his best 90 minutes in an Arsenal shirt, it was a captains performance.
    Alongside him Koscielny, whose been a bit hit n miss this season imo, was calmness personified, he cruised around tidying up and basically has Harry Kane in his pocket most of the afternoon.
    Finally Mesut Ozil, he was like a man possessed, chasing down opponents, making challenges, linking play, he was breaking up Spud attacks as if he was a midfield destroyer, well maybe not in the Roy Keane mould but he was equally effective. A complete performance by a complete footballer, we just need to see it more often Mesut.

    It would have been nice to have seen a Jack, but he’s got some important cup ties coming up in the League and UEFA Cup. No Walcott on the bench was a big surprise. When we were leading the Spuds 2-0 Theo would have been perfect to come on and exploit the space the Totts were leaving as they attempted to get back into the game.

    Some great comments above.
    Now I’ve gotta sleep…
    Night All

  • Fantastic result, could have been even better, as mentioned above, I wish we were a tad more ruthless, as there was a possible 4-0 win for us on the cards.
    As it was Lloris was Tottenham’s best player, so what does that say.

    Ok Kane was clearly unfit, the heavy strapping on his thigh wasn’t for effect, but he still put in a dangerous header when it was 0-0 and worryingly kept finding space in our box when the Spuds attacked. Dembele looked good for them as well, but the rest flattered to deceive….

    For Arsenal it was a vindication of Wengers team selection, he picked probably the strongest first XI available to start the game, and they duly delivered.
    Consistently for this Arsenal squad, is an issue, because when we play like that it just shows what this team can achieve and makes it more mystifying when they don’t bother turning up and get rolled over. That is where the fans’ frustrations come from. It has been thus for quite a few years now and why we are successful in the cups but less so in the League.

    But I don’t wanna be churlish, no honest, because this was a great team performance and whilst it’s probably unfair to highlight individuals I have to mention in dispatches the enormous influence of Mustafi, straight back into the fire with no games in the tank, his performance was immense.
    He had arguably his best 90 minutes in an Arsenal shirt, it was a captains performance.
    Alongside him Koscielny, whose been a bit hit n miss this season imo, was calmness personified, he cruised around tidying up and basically has Harry Kane in his pocket most of the afternoon.
    Finally Mesut Ozil, he was like a man possessed, chasing down opponents, making challenges, linking play, he was breaking up Spud attacks as if he was a midfield destroyer, well maybe not in the Roy Keane mould but he was equally effective. A complete performance by a complete footballer, we just need to see it more often Mesut.

    It would have been nice to have seen a Jack, but he’s got some important cup ties coming up in the League and UEFA Cup. No Walcott on the bench was a big surprise. When we were leading the Spuds 2-0 Theo would have been perfect to come on and exploit the space the Totts were leaving as they attempted to get back into the game.

    Some great comments above.

  • Finally, the atmosphere at the stadium was brilliant, the whole place, except for the away section, was rocking, it just goes to show how the fans can feed off of the team if the team put in the hard yards, it reminded me of the atmosphere against Bayern the season before last.

  • Well said Kev, Arsenal supporters can be fantastic. No better place to be than the North Bank Highbury when it was rocking. I think the move to Emirates meant a lot of the noisier characters were split up. its certainly a lot easier for away support to make noise. Particularly pleased for Alan
    Sugar who commented that “Arsenal supporters are so full of respect for away supporters, we always treat them to 90 minutes of silence”.

    Put that where the sun doesn’t shine Mr Sugar.

  • I heard that Kane wasn’t himself and had his leg strapped. Having seen him destroy Liv we were definitely lucky to see him like that.

    And our man marking is just on the spot. And boy oh boy was Kane a frustrated figure when Mustafi and Kos kept him really quiet. And our Cech cech-mate them. Brilliant keeping.

    The media were all like North London is white but as you said so brilliantly JW1 NLIR.

    We were so on top of them that if we were a tad better in converting our chances we would have given them a spanking.

    North London is definitely Red.

  • Hi Retsub, yeah the old North Bank, especially for a night game, smaller crowds than the Emirates but the noise that place generated on big occasions was amazing.
    Mind you I say smaller crowds but I’ve been in 63,000 at Highbury, my Dad experienced 72,000 back in the day, what a wonderful stadium it was.

  • Kev/JK, yes, Kane was strapped around his right (?) thigh but he looked fit enough. His manager even remarked that Kane and Alli had no problem he was aware of and he only took them off to have fresh legs (another way of saying they stank the place up, frankly) and in view of the midweek CL away game.

    After describing how well we played collectively, cutting off supply to him easily and causing him to feed off scraps, there was no way he could have done better, as far as I am concerned. Mustafi and Koscielny were ready to eat him up yesterday. Still buzzing from that result; only blemished by the positive results of our other rivals.

  • 63,000 inside Highbury, officially a 39,000 capacity stadium is amazing. Construction designs of today’s stadia don’t provide for possibility of an overflow (unless additions are made to the structure) and this can affect noise levels. Hopefully, Arsenal is giving consideration to that with the Emirates.

  • So I’m curious.

    The Match of the Day broadcast (on NBCSN here) I’m watching at present (which is featuring Arsenal v Tottenham)– is this the same production shown in the UK? Meaning as far as the studio bits and taped segments?

    Did anyone see a 2-minute prerecorded piece with Ian Wright shown right at halftime?
    Seemed very much a predisposed hit piece based on Arsenal losing the match. Where Wright might have come off looking quite the prognosticator had that been the result.

    Instead it’s desultory– shown on the heels of the best first half of football the club has played in a long time.

    Guess the money is good.

    jw1

  • ^^^ Those numbers represent the difference between seats + terrace standing vs just seats, I’m pretty sure. The change to all-seaters (mostly due to the Hillsborough disaster in 1989?…) created a permanent change to the experience of watching the game. And now there’s the television… In many ways, as I’m pretty sure guys like Kev and Retsub can tell us, it’s a very (very) different game. Though some things never change… Like the (huge) pleasure of winning the derby… 🙂

    Thanks so much, Kev, for your man-at-the-match report… Excellent stuff and I wonder what got lost in the big (first) post… Losing a post sucks, but, in my experience, can also help to hone ideas and focus in on what was really important. Anyhow, like I say, your report is much appreciated. If you’ve got anything to add, I’m all ears (eyes?)…

    The television bit, in fact, is what I’m doing this morning… They’re replaying the match in HD (1080) on our football channel but I’ve got it recorded from the 4K broadcast. It’s a clear (pun intended…) difference, though most notable when they go in for close-ups… The blur of players in motion still has a ways to go… Ah, the glory of technology…

    It all makes me think just how much the game is (or must be…) changing, what with the move from an essentially local, in-stadium (and pub) experience to a global, TV–camera game, with the pub talk (or at least a massive amount of it) now taking place here on the interweb… It boggles the mind, really, and I could (and have, I fear…) go (gone…) on and on about it…

    The cat is out of the bag re: technology and the next step has got to be doing the offside rule via the cameras instead of the humans running up and down the lines with their yellow flags. If you listen to the Spuddies, they’re blaming the linesmen today–just as we did two weeks ago in the city match. In both games, however, the results seem pretty well (exactly?) what they should’ve been…

    The game has to balance tradition–a HUGE attraction and at the heart of much of its booming popularity–with modernization (American spelling…) and anything we can do to increase (at least the impression of) fairness… The technology is one thing, money is another, but nobody needs to hear me go on about that sort of thing again (and again)…

    So, the NLD, in person as Kev saw it, or with the fancy cameras and television as I saw it (and, am watching it again)… well, it all makes for a pretty good Sunday morning…At least when the good guys come out on top…

    More smileys…

  • Haha… Inneresting stuff JW… Sorry I posted my morning musings without seeing your comment…

    The story of Arsenal’s demise is money in the bank for the pundits–on both sides of the Atlantic–I fear… Sad, however, that Arsenal legends feel the need to get on the bandwagon. The inability to give even lip-service to the changes in the game–and the incredibly consistent success at Arsenal over the decades–makes me sad… So many folks bemoan our manager’s role in “the decline” at Arsenal, whereas I see it exactly the opposite. (He’s the guy holding it together in a situation that could spin wildly out of control…) We’ll see what happens when he is gone, I guess…

    As for the match itself–watching it again–the individual and team defending, including clearing the ball really stands out. Mustafi and Koscielny did incredible work, with both heads and feet, to push back the Totts and/or get us going on the break. Yes, converting some of that work into goals would have been (very) nice, but the fact that Cech was really only tested once (the Dier header he palmed away) speaks volumes. Ozil’s work on the ground to get us out of trouble stands out, but Xhaka–and later Le Coq plus the wide guys–Bells and Kola over the entire match–also do a lot of very good things in a similar manner even if they don’t blast forward with the lung-burning runs in such impressive fashion.

    Those sorts of runs ARE impressive (esp. if they result in goals–as they seemed to do more often back in the glory days of the early aughts)… but controlling the space on the pitch is the key to controlling where the ball goes. This is what we did yesterday, and, if the ball goes into the net more often for our side than for yours, we take the points home. Again, exactly what we did yesterday. In the end, I often find 2-nil to be a very satisfying scoreline. Having a laugh at the expense of Spurs would’ve been great, but controlling the match and keeping the clean sheet, even if the scoreline kept us on edge for the full 90+, feels awfully satisfying…

  • Yes, the stadium experience is a lot different now 17tino, I know some of us can look back at things with rose-tinted specs, and tbf a lot of the changes have been for the better, it’s certainly a more civilised experience now, but in general not as edgy and I think that edginess added to the atmosphere.
    With that in mind I am therefore a big supporter of safe standing, where I sat yesterday, everybody always stands, the away fans always stand, the stewards have long given up on telling people to sit down. That’s where the chant ‘ stand up if you hate Tottenham’ originated. I mean what can a steward do then?
    The club and Islington Council, who provide the club with its safety certificate, have had the common sense and good grace to let things on the standing/sitting scenario slide, which imo definitely aids the atmosphere.

  • And yes 17tino, originally there was only seating in the upper tiers of the East and West stands at Highbury. That’s how Arsenal’s record crowd vs Sunderland of around 73,000, back in the 1930’s came about.

  • Finally (at some point I must stop re-watching the match and actually get some stuff done around here…), we now need to consolidate after yesterday’s result (and performance). Away to Koln on Thursday (our Thanksgiving holiday…) should be a good outing for the 2nd team but then we get into the madness of the December schedule with games every three days, most of them league matches. Burnley (away) and Huddersfield Town (home) precede ManU (home) starting a week from today. How many points can we grab from those three?

    After that it’s the final Europa League group game (The Belarus team at our stadium) before the insanity of So’ton and West Ham (both away games) then Toonies, West Ham (in the league cup quarterfinals) and Liverpool before X-mas. Between that holiday and New Years there’s Crystal Palace and West Brom away. We should remember that the latter two matches were the fixtures that buried us last season. It’s a great run of games, which, on paper at least, looks fairly manageable, esp. if we can use yesterday’s match as a springboard for our collective confidence…

    Go on then, as they (or some arseh*le) like(s) to say… 🙂

  • Cheers for the info on the standing/seating things, Kev… Tell me, what did the tickets cost yesterday vs when you first began attending? Terrace (standing) tickets must’ve been cheaper than those for a seat at Highbury, I assume… Then again, the per-mile cost of a cab ride has also gone up, I’m guessing… More smileys…

  • Final (final…) thought looking deeper into the fixture list. The reverse fixture (vs Spurs) will be played on 10 Feb. at Wembley (should we call it the North and West London Derby?…) where we’ve had a lot of success in recent years. 6 matches played, 6 matches won (even if a few required extra time or pens)… Too early to get too excited about it, but it could be one that goes a ways towards helping to settle the “balance of power” discussions…

  • Thanks Kev.
    Always appreciate insight from inside the Emirates.
    (Hope someday to make the pilgrimage.)

    17HT– per the upcoming fixture list? I have less apprehension about the third (ManU home)– than the first (Burnley away). Burnley has quietly made good to the 7th spot at 6-4-2 for 22pts on just 12 GF/10 GA. Suspect a tight affair that could tip on intangibles. So while Burnley isn’t Spurs? The effort should be same. A let down at Burnley could dissipate the positives from yesterday’s thrills.

    jw1

  • Kev. Yep Highbury evening games were brilliant then. I don’t know what the attendance was but I had it in my mind it was huge when Jon Sammels scored that cracker against a very good Man Utd side (best, Law, Charlton etc.. the only time I ever sat down was a match at Highbury when Charlie Nicholas wa on the bench. Paul Marriner was sitting a couple of seats away. Arsenal had just installed one of the first big screens next to the clock on the South Bank. I think it was called Diamond vision. my wife’s uncle (Spurs supporter) was part of the team that installed it and the tickets were complimentary.

    With regard to losing posts. I noticed my avatar appears (puppy dog). All is well. When the default avatars appear, the problems start. Password problems maybe?

  • 17HT I am sure Kev will fill you in on ticket costs. A friend of mine used to have club tickets (free, beer and a programme and use of the private bar at half time). It’s a narrow band of seats about 20 Ross deep above the the seats. His seats were great, just behind the goal at the North Bank. But £100 per game is a little steep for most pockets.
    Finally can someone explain a little mystery for me? Why do Arsenal always kick towards the North Bankin the 2nd half? I know why we would want to , but surely the away side wants to disrupt this by changing things around. It used to be decided at the coin toss and at Highbury anything could and did have happen. I can only assume some sort of gentlemen’s agreement?

  • That’s certainly some run of games 17tino, fortunately all the top teams are also in europe and are therefore in the same boat, Walcott and Giroud are going to be busy as AOL can’t play every game, who knows Jack might even get a start in the EPL.?
    West Ham in the League Cup will be tasty as David Moyes is sure to go with a full strength team and we’ll have a mix n match with quite a few youngsters, that’s gonna be tough.
    I wonder who’ll be the manager of West Brom when we go up there?

  • Wow, not sure what it cost in old money when I first went 17tino, in pounds, shillings and old pennies. For some reason two bob – 2 shillings sticks in my mind, but it must have been cheaper, my ticket yesterday was around £62, you could get a top of the range season ticket for that price back in the late 1960’s.

    I always went by bus and tube (subway) back in the day.
    Only posh people got cabs in the swinging sixties.

  • Your welcome JW, I hope you make it some day.

    Retsub, I’ve seen a game at Highbury from everywhere except the directors box and the luxury boxes at the Clock End, I wasn’t keen on the upper tier in the newer north bank stand it was a bit too steep for me. My favourite was the Clock End, I started there and finished there via the North Bank and West Stand lower.

    Retsub, if I lose a post I never refresh because you lose everything I just use the arrow to go back, you may have to click a couple of times to go back but eventually it recovers your comment in the box.
    Then I cut it, refresh the page and then paste my comment.
    You need to add or delete a word or two to change it from the original, then post it again.
    It usually works for me…

  • Kev: Retsub, if I lose a post I never refresh because you lose everything I just use the arrow to go back, you may have to click a couple of times to go back but eventually it recovers your comment in the box.
    Then I cut it, refresh the page and then paste my comment.
    You need to add or delete a word or two to change it from the original, then post it again.
    It usually works for me…

    It works for me too. 😉

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