Arsenal 3 – 1 Spuds
Well what a treat that first half was for us, hey?! A well deserved NLD win that was was easy on the eye and will offer us hope for the Arteta Revolution. The first half was simply sublime and Arteta seemed to show mercy in the second half when, just like Guardiola often does, he asked his team to control the game and sit back to do so.
Eight quick observations:
- Not a single player played below an eight today. This is the really big point to take today: they played like a unit, with a plan and with a level of cohesion we have not seen for a long time. Emile is the official MOTM and I think that was the correct decision, if indeed you would have to pick one. But everyone was just brilliant and what a team performance did we witness at the Home of Football: they totally blew me away. It was like the players realised that they were now all part of the a single jigsaw and all pieces were in place at last.
- Ramsdale is possessed with excellence. Think about the companies you worked for and how rare it is to have an employee like Aaron in your midst: someone who will give their all and set themselves and others the highest standards. It is infectious and you can see how the others are warmed, and sometimes even scared, by it. We have a leader from the back who is obsessed with clean sheets and it is totally amazing how Aaron has settled into the team. He pulled some great and crucial saves today and it just looked like he has been with Arsenal for a decade already.
- Tomiyasu was also playing like he’s been with us forever. Such a quick thinker and passer: one touch, no nonsense. Crucially, twice he was there to pick up the rebound from a Ramsdale stop before anybody else could get onto the ball. Takehiro anticipated really well and had no problem at all with the Spuds’ physicality. He was solid and as a result Saka could play higher up the pitch which was vital today. Tierney was also great on the left and together they were very important weapons of attack today.
- Ben White stood tall and formed a great partnership with Big Gab. Understandably, there were some doubts about giving Ben a start in this NLD, but he looked at home alright. White uses his head well and he will be the calm leader in our defence before you know it. There is a bit of Mertesacker in White and I can now see better why Arteta was so keen to get him.
- Partey-Xhaka partnership was king all game long. They really made it look like the Spuds had no midfield and would not let anybody through their gate as long as the game went on. They were both at the base of many attack and Xhaka was involved in all three goals. Partey perhaps produced the pass of the season which was only spoiled by Auba’s loose first touch. The double DM-pivot in big games like these is still a formidable weapon for Arsenal and today it worked a treat.
- Key to our mobility was the free role of Odegaard. Time and again, Xhaka or Partey would find him from deep midfield and then the magic happened. This really was key to our success and although ESR and Saka got the big stats of goals and assists today, I thought Ode was equally as important. We have a special young trio in Bukayo, Emile and Martin at Arsenal and they will find each other better and better going forward. Such a joy to watch today.
- Auba was a fab captain today. He ran and ran and created so much space for the other attackers. On top of that, he scored a good goal himself. It was good to see Pierre back to his best, and happy and what a contrast he made to the Spuds’ CF.
- The other really big point to make is how much balance we had in the team, based around a number of very good partnerships with complementary skill-sets. I really don’t know how Arteta managed to get us so balanced for this game. This line-up just worked a treat with a midfield that protected the back four really well, a defence that was just calm and solid for most of the game, wings that were very effective and an attack that was simply dazzling.
45 thoughts on “Arsenal v Spurs 8 Observations: The Green Shoots of the Arteta Revolution Have Arrived”
One game against a poor Spurs team performance and Arsenal think there world beaters – crazy behaviour.
Fact is that any team playing against spurs and that performance today would have whipped them. Palace and Chelsea put 3 past them without conceding a goal.
And as you correctly stated, Arsenals midfielders played against spurs as if Spurs had no midfield. Spurs didn’t. Hoijberg and N’Dombele jogged around the pitch with very little urgency and Dele was played in a position he can’t play. Spurs had a better second half but they couldn’t of been any worse than the first half and actually, spurs probably still could of taken something if they’d converted their chances in the second half. It wasn’t that Arsenal controlled the game the second half, it was spurs had be better and give it a go.
Point of this is, that the game made Arsenal look so good because the opposition allowed it. Could of been a conference side play spurs today and they’d of lost the same playing the way they did in the first half!
Yes Jay the battle was lost in midfield but I refuse to accept that this is a poor Spurs team. Mourinho did a lot of damage and Nuno will need time with the squad to get it going again, but this is not a bad squad.
Still buzzing* from watching that game. Everyone played their part and you could see Laca appearing to enjoy it with his teammates, sitting as a sub. The team spirit is growing and pressure will now be transferred from Arteta to Nuno and from our club to the Spuds and ManU. Bliss. Anyone know why Arteta embraced and appeared to be lauding our club photographer as they both went forward to clap the fans? That is real humility and a fine gesture on the part of the boss as he tries to build a “team” of playing and non playing staff.
The late save Ramsdale made off a Lucas Moura attempt was very important at the stage it came. Other than a few moments when he reacted a bit late and allowing Kane shoot or make attempts at goal, he was very good too; great positioning and appears to sense danger well. Well played, young man. Xhaka and Partey did look calm at times and controlled things well, like the seniors they are for the team.
Ode ESR and Saka were fantastic; love ESR for not being fazed by the big occasion. Ode was movement personified as the Spurs midfield found it hard to pin him to a location, resulting in some tasty tackles by Hojbjerg on him. Auba did what Auba does and scores from a scintillating counter attack which started after a misplaced pass by Ramsdale to Xhaka; thank goodness he made the most of the bad situation, released Auba who played in ESR and joined him to sidefoot into the Lloris’ goal for a lovely second. We do underestimate what Xhaka does (and focus on his shortcomings- mostly media generated) but there’s got to be a reason every manager wants to pick him when he is fit and available,
An unbiased view by the Guardian:
**Oh shucks! I had intended to refer to Ben White with the second sentence in the second paragraph of my penultimate post.
Ode and Auba did some great pressing to force errors or hasty hoof balls by the spuds defenders and keeper.
Thanks for that Total and yes, Jay might actually have a good point because when Tottenham were top and Arsenal were bottom it was, at the time, really just food for the funny gifs and memes, but really everyone knew it, even Spurs fans knew it, that that was a false position because Arsenal weren’t really that bad and Tottenham obviously weren’t that good – it simply wasn’t going last and therefore we have the rebalancing we currently have at the moment with both squads in mid-table.
The question we need to ask is which squad has the most potential to evolve and develop into a top six and maybe even a top four squad and which will remain, well, in mid-table?
From what I saw today Arsenal have a squad that is really morphing from a squad with no personality into one with a clear sense of how to play and a culture of playing in a certain way.
Meanwhile Tottenham just look, well, simply dysfunctional.
Spurs manager NES looked flummoxed on the sidelines as Arsenal’s slick movement made his players look like statues and even if he was responsible by his tactics for the 1st half malaise the Tottenham response in the 2nd 45 after that shambolic 1st 45 wouldn’t give me too much to cling to, but feel free to do so Jay, fill your boots. I certainly wouldn’t want to be where Spurs currently are because they’re on the edge of a major dive into mediocrity.
I’ve gotta say that I’ve not felt as optimistic as this after a performance for about 10 years, there is real progression in our style of play and also from a tactical perspective.
Happy days to come.
Good comment Eris. I always keep drumming on about Granit because I think he is really important and thrives on being appreciated. Managers do this and so should we the fans.
Sensible commitment, Kev, and I share your enthusiasm.
Eris good article from the guardian on Xhaka, thanks. Confirms that the injury looks bad. I’m guessing ligament damage. Now I’ll go read TA’s post.
Jay I see right through you…., so you’re either a loser Tottenham fan in disguise trolling Arsenal blogs, or one of the self haters from le grove.
Either way, from your comment it’s obvious that you know nothing about football. So respond if you want, but I have no time to humour children’s mentalities. So don’t expect me to read it.
For your Tottenham, completely irrespective of today’s result, or Nuno’s short tenure, the future is bleak. For once, you and your boy,, slickster Levy played yourselves. Spurs peaked at that Champions league final, and the players felt it. Alderweirald recognized it, and so did Erikson.
The team stopped playing for Poch because they knew the moment was over and its downhill from here. Gorgeous stadium I hear, will be the best by far in the EFL. No, seriously, i don’t expect any relegation near for you, but real, meaningful levels of sad mediocrity. Why almost half a dozen managers turned Levy down before settling for seventh choice Nuno.
The best part, genius Levy, who worked Madrid like a master on the Bale transaction, then blew it all on worthless players. It’s worse now. Meaning, Levy overplayed his hand with Kane, now he has an aging, rapidly depreciating asset. If you think he was unhappy last season, watch as lack of motivation makes him worse and his price will continue to drop as the contract goes a year further and stats fall.
He was at his height of value in the summer. It’s all downhill from here. Levy screwed over his most important player and most valuable assets. He’s not trying to play badly, but he is obviously miserable.
I love to see it.
TA and all nice comments all around. Don’t forget that Arsenal Women trashed Man C 5-0 and go on top of WSL leapfrogging Spurs. So north london is surely Red.
I was thrilled to watch the first half but the propensity to take the foot off and let spurs play on the second is drought wiht danger. On another day , the challenge of White on Kane would have been a penalty and Mouras shot would have been a goal. So it’s not enought to just paly in first half and I was thinking about our match last season with West Ham. Why give opponents any chance to stage a come back.
Xhaka committed many fouls, the pass from Ramsdale on the second goal was short and Xhaka stuck his leg and on another day that would have been given as a foul. Arteta picking Xhaka paid off today not so sure taht in this group of young footballers he is the future.
Everyone did excellently but the front four were fabulous. ESR was just exquisite what a kid. He has now scored two in two games. Long may it continue.
But the main problem still persists, majority of our players are passing behind the runners instead of on to their path. Other than Partey, I could not find any player who is playing passes to run on to..
Spot on observations with fine comments.
I could only challenge the one about White, and not because Ben put a foot wrong, but the impotent Spurs attack left little chances for him (or Gabriel) to shine.
Still, I could live with the limitation every game that our defense had no room for self-actualization. 🙂
Thanks for the link, Eris. That article was a real gem on how to appreciate Xhaka. I wish he would shoot from distance more…
Hey, TA, how is your quest going on the Arsenal Woman correspondent?
After defeating the champion Chelsea by a fine margin in the first round, last night the ladies have obliterated their arch nemesis Manchester City. Even though it was only the 3rd round, that 5-0 victory shows a quality there that was difficult to find against top teams in the past years. So if someone could analyze that, I would appreciate it.
Good one, J. ⚽
99/100 teams would have done what Arsenal did in the second half. Its to do with dealing with an almost unbearable lightness of being. Hard to stay grounded when you are flying, so the team make effort to hold themselves back.
Yes with more luck the Spuds could have scored a couple more, but so could Arsenal. That’s just football.
Shame you still don’t see the pivotal role of Granit. You may sadly soon if he is seriously injured for his unavoidable injury…
For = from
No luck yet with finding a reporter for the women’s matches, PB. Will keep trying.
They are indeed flying ✈
Well PB, you will have to ask Eris how White played yesterday as he was apparently keeping an eye out for him.
Morning All, it’s pouring down heavens hard outside so not a good day to queue for petrol (derv) so I won’t, but it’s a great day to bask in the sunshine of our NLD and I’ve just been catching up on some interesting banter from yesterday’s Le Grove.
And with that the sun breaks through. 🙂
Yes J, although Gabriel, again, did a job on Kane, the Spud Gooner still should have scored two goals yesterday and that shows his quality, but the edge is missing from his game. All the same I did notice that following his mistake in giving the ball away (leading to our third goal) that it was he who chased back the length of the pitch to actually make the challenge on Saka, how many forwards would do that? The fact that his efforts unluckily led to his tackle setting up Bakayo are not the point, he’s still a great forward (words get stuck in my throat) but I agree, Levy missed the boat in terms of maximising his value and he now has a deeply unhappy player on his books – in fact Son looks equally pissed off!
If Levy has half a brain left then he’d take his medicine and sell in January but getting north of £100m is really like pissing in the wind. If they get £80m they’ve done well…
Anyway, forget about them.
A delivery van has pulled up outside of next door, looks as if they’re delivering a mattress, yes, it’s a thrill a minute around here I don’t mind telling you, I can barely keep up with the excitement, anyway I digress, I felt really sorry for Ramsdale because the team let him down for the Spurs goal, it wasn’t a great goal was it?
No, the Spuds didn’t tear us apart we just made a mess of clearing the ball and Xhaka was down, Xhaka actually looked wasted before that as he’d put in so much effort and I felt that Arteta was slow in bringing on a Lokonga. Maybe he was looking to see how Saka was as he’d taken a heavy challenge just seconds before but I was screaming at him to make a change because a few of our players were blowing out of their backsides.
Anyway Ramsdale was left exposed but still got a good hand to the shot, on another day he might have put it wide.
A new mattress is a great gift/treat for the cold months, Kev. A happy neighbour also goes a long way.
Yes Kane is a good CF but I don’t necessarily agree the Spuds have done the wrong thing in keeping hold of him for now. I guess they will make changes in January.
I guess it all depends on what Man City actually offered Total, we read a load of old guff from the usual suspects but in truth we don’t really know, did Levy want £120m and did he initially want £150m knowing that City could afford it and what figure were City prepared to go up to on the back of spending £100m on Grealish? So yeah, you could be right, if the deal wasn’t acceptable then Levy did the right thing, all the same I can’t help thinking that last summer was the time for them to maximise the England captains full value and I’m glad they didn’t…
Changing tack slightly it seems that Miguel Azeez is coming along nicely at Portsmouth under the watchful gaze of the Cowley brothers, it’s just a shame that we couldn’t send them two or three players at the same time for them to develop for us.
The current system utilised by Kevin Betsy seems to be slowing the development of a few of our young stars from last season. Taylor Hart, Cottrell and Hutchinson were three of our best performers in 2020/21 but in 21/22 they’ve all been sidelined recently. Of course you can’t argue with the results that the U23’s have been delivering I just worry that it’s at the expense of some of our brightest talents.
TA, iam ready to give Sambi or AMN time to develop in place of Xhaka just as you are ok to give time for Arteta to develop. I ready for a xhaka less Arsenal whatever it might bring.
Maybe the issue was that they could not find the right replacement, Kev, and with the new ground they need stars to keep the fans happy…
I respect your view, Madhu.
Tomiyasu what a signing, probably steal of the transfer window. He has already justified his transfer fee. He won all his duels with Son. Tomi is a for guy as well.
Noticed how Tierney is not our get out of jail card for attack. It’s more central due to Ode taking that position and orchestrating all attacks.
I think we all saw the difference… night and day… with Saka on the right. He was unstoppable. This is the second time in 2 seasons we’ve seen his game lifted dramatically on switching from left to right. I couldn’t explain it even if I wanted to. I hope Arteta makes the connection as to the change, not just assuming everyone was better for the derby.
When Pepe starts, he needs to be on the left. I wouldn’t move Saka for anyone or anything.
I noticed Tierney in our box defending first. That is how it should be, with occasional forays into attack. What a defense with him and Tomiyasu. I want to call Tomi our great wall of Japan but I think that might be politically incorrect.
He seems to be an incredible one on one defender. One of the best I’ve seen, from what we see so far. I might get his shirt.
Oh what a day it was it really was……………………..!!!
Here are last weekends results:-
1st Madhu with 3/6 plus 1 correct score plus a 3 way share of most correct predictions = 6.33 points
2nd Total & PB with 3/6 plus 3 way share of most correct predictions = 4.33 points
4th Eris with 2/6 plus 1 correct score = 4.00 points
5th GN5 with 1/6 plus i correct score = 3.00 points
6th Kev & OX10 with 2/6 = 2 points
Season to date :-
1st PB with 41.33
2nd Eris with 35.33
3rd GN5 with 31.00
4th OX10 with 30.33
5th Madhu with 27.66
6th Total with 21.33
7th Kev with 20.00
These are the selections for the coming weekend:-
Brighton v Arsenal
Manchester United v Everton *
Burnley v Norwich
Wolves v Newcastle
Liverpool v Manchester City *
Brighton Ladies v Arsenal Ladies *
Brighton v Arsenal – A
Manchester United v Everton * – 2-0
Burnley v Norwich – H
Wolves v Newcastle – H
Liverpool v Manchester City * – 1-2
Brighton Ladies v Arsenal Ladies * 0-3
It’s such a treat reading all of the crisis articles about the Spurs going “Spursy” .It’s about time it shifted to the other end of Seven Sisters Road.
I recognize that the NLD affects all Arsenal fans but to GN5 it has really deep meaning.
Growing up around Highbury and Islington in general the whole football conversation surrounded the two North London teams and it was so entrenched that it split neighbours and even families. .Losing to the Spuds was as bad as it could get and beating them was as good as it could get.
I hardly ever missed a live game at Highbury but I rarely got into the Cockerel coop.
Yesterday may or may not have been a one off performance, but what matters the most to me is that in the first half we played the caliber of football that we have not witnessed for many a long year – long may Total’s “green shoots” flourish and thrive.
J, I think Arteta knows that Saka works better on the right but he has Pepe for that position already. who does not do much better on the left or right. It is a dilemma for him.
Congratulations to Madhu, well played, Sir.
Thanks for all your efforts, GN5 ⚽
Brighton v Arsenal Away
Manchester United v Everton * 2-1
Burnley v Norwich Home
Wolves v Newcastle Home
Liverpool v Manchester City * 1-1
Brighton Ladies v Arsenal Ladies * 1-4
Brighton v Arsenal A
Manchester United v Everton * D 2-2
Burnley v Norwich H
Wolves v Newcastle H
Liverpool v Manchester City * A 0-1
Brighton Ladies v Arsenal Ladies * A 0-4
I totally agree with Madhu about Tomiyasu. Others may have played slightly better than he did on Saturday but what a signing he is. Most players coming from other leagues take a while to settle in but Tomi hasn’t and fitted in straight away. As others have said we are no longer lopsided and he is a real upgrade. All our new signings have integrated well which is to Arteta’s and the squad’s credit. Aaron looks like an upgrade too. You can tell that communication and commitment at the back have improved with him between the sticks. I’m sure that his very vocal approach and enthusiasm is part of the reason.
Sunday’s result and performance don’t mean that we are world beaters yet but they were so important for many reasons. You could see how much it meant to the team (including those not on the pitch) as well as all the coaching staff. They’ve given us a glimpse of Arteta’s vision, shown what they can achieve and, for the time being at least, shut up the haters.
I’m buzzing like N5 but not just for the win. We showed we have the passing game and fluidity that’s been missing for almost 2 years. It wasn’t luck Sunday, it was talent coming together after just a few weeks together.
Objectives for this week, continue that forward passing, and try to go back to clean sheets.
Any word about Xhaka injury?
GunnerOX10, all agreed, re Tomiyasu. He took the duel against his fellow Asian as some sort of battle, and we all know who came out the winner, despite Son finding room centrally to pull one back for them. What we would require now is him (as with our key men) staying fit for much of the season. Very few will get past him with the ease we’ve come to see, with our RBs (no names mentioned). That’s what we needed.
Again, it wasn’t just the coaching staff who enjoyed it yesterday. I saw Stuart MacFarlane, the club photographer, on the pitch at full time, taking hugs from the players. Even Arteta gave him a big hug, ushered him towards the fans and appeared to request he be applauded. There must be a story in there and it is one I am dying to find out.
Jync, you could see how frustrated Ramsdale was when he conceded that goal. You can tell he had started to enjoy the string of clean sheets (and this gets crucial in building from the back as it gets to become a target the defenders and keeper strive for) and looked forward to another. The way we played, God knows we deserved it.
No word on the Xhaka injury. Do we assume that no news is good news?
I just watched Palace v Brighton. Both looked tougher opponents than Spurs. Not joking, really. Spurs look awful this season.. The Man city result was pure adrenaline from them.. Wolves looked superior, but spurs were lucky.
Plus Palace might be extra motivated against us for their manager. This league is battle after battle.
Thanks TA and GN5 for your efforts in running the competition. PB is motoring ahead and set the bar so high. Congrats mate.
Still buzzing but we have to get a result against Brighton on the weekend to get to International break. The break gives Arteta the oppty to work with majority again. If I remember only a handful will go on international duty and the rest will remain. Tomi, Tierney, Partey, Xhaka, Ode, Saka, Auba from the first eleven will go. Leno, El, Sambi will also go for the international duty but the rest of them will probably remain. Hoping that ESR will not be called for under 21 duties so that he can rest and train for 2 weeks. Defence will get more time to Gell with Ramsdale.
No pressure but are you up for writing a succinct post titled something like ‘What to expect from Brighton on Saturday’? Just a thought. 🙂
New Post 🙂