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The Battle For North London’s Midtable.

Good morning all.

At 4.30 P.M. Arsenal take on Spurs in the battle for the best midtable team in north London. We are 10th and just 7 points and 3 league positions behind them with 11 games to go. It’s a sorry state we find ourselves in but today is an opportunity to start putting thing right. Ok, if not right, a bit better and this particular game means more than 3 points, it always has. If we lose, our bitter rivals will have done the double against us for the first time in 30 odd years. Pfft.

Fans are clinging on to the idea that “the process” is bringing about an improvement, but many are struggling to hang on to this hope, and a slapping for us today could easily turn the tide against “the process” and those in charge of it. So, it’s a huge game for Arsenal, because there will come a point where fans with goodwill will say enough is enough and with the prospect of fans returning to the stadium it could get ugly very quickly.

Unfortunately for us Spurs are on the midst of a mini revival, while we are up and down like a fiddlers elbow. Home advantage seems to count for nothing this season, for all teams, so any advantage that would bring is absent.

The good news is that Arteta has a fully fit squad to pick from. Quite who he will pick is anyone’s guess. Beyond Xhaka, Bellerin and Leno, it could be anything, any set up and any tactics.

I feel we need a win and a good performance today, as much, if not more, than any game for years. We have the players to do it and I think those players do have the spirit that will be required.

No need for me to bang on about silly mistakes being cut out, that’s a well trodden path across all media platforms, and those platforms are enjoying battering us with this new stick, so every individual error will be highlighted by gleeful critics.

Just win lads, please, pretty please. We need you today, not sure we can take another kick in the nuts

Pedantic George

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75 comments on “The Battle For North London’s Midtable.

  1. I know football is a funny old game, I know derbies are levellers and I know anyone can beat anyone else but I am less confident about today than at any time since we’ll probably anytime.
    I would be happy if we went with a GG team made up of defenders and defensive midfielders with maybe a Giroud type striker to occupy their back line. Oh for the boring days.
    We do however have some great players and on our day we are capable of beating anyone so just win today ARSENAL COYG.

    Like

  2. Yes.. Please win Arsenal.
    No need at all to re-write a 30-year record.
    Though it seems just for bragging rights.

    I’m not quite sure who’s going to start at CBs, RB, LW, AM, RW and CF today considering Olympiacos will be at the Emirates on Thursday.

    Absolutely prioritizing freshness could see Holding+Mari, Cedric, Pepe, ESR, Martinelli and Lacazette all start, but that seems highly unlikely. Whoever gets the nod just needs to give their all and remind the Totts of their rightful place in N. London.
    Here’s to a great game.. 🍻
    COYG!!!

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  3. Will we finally get to see what all the fuss over Partey is about, I know he has transformed our midfield, as twitterati have deemed it so, but for me its much the same sort of transformation that klopp performed on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

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  4. Arsenal: Leno, Cedric, Tierney, Luiz, Gabriel, Xhaka, Partey, Saka, Odegaard, Smith-Rowe, Lacazette

    Subs: Ryan, Bellerin, Chambers, Ceballos, Pepe, Holding, Aubameyang, Elneny, Willian

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  5. spurs: Lloris, Doherty, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Reguilon, Hojbjerg, Ndombele, Moura, Bale, Son, Kane

    Subs: Hart, Lamela, Dier, Sissoko, Alli, Aurier, Winks, Davies, Vinicius

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  6. It’s a much more attacking line up then usual from a visiting Mourinho team.
    Understandable rotation from the Gunners though of of course Xhaka and Saka are Key players, and one at least one of ESR and MO, and they all start.

    Ignoring the errors and Leno’s passing form, It’s the battle between the CMs which will be key, how much either team can support and link with their CMs.

    COYG.

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  7. Arteta says he’s dropped Aubameyang for disciplinary reasons. Wouldn’t elaborate.

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  8. David Ornstein
    @David_Ornstein
    ·
    3m
    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang dropped to bench for Arsenal’s visit of Tottenham after captain reported late when squad met up earlier today. Believed not to be the first time & falls out of line with club’s matchday protocols

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  9. Traffic was heavy in n.london this morning!

    So far much better then in the reverse fixture heh but seriously good control of the game with some flashes in attack after five mins. Tottenham yet to form an attack so ignoring their line up Mourinho remains true to form, they are playing on the counter in this early phase of the match.

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  10. ESR shot from edge of the are hits the bar with the keeper beaten

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  11. lamella on for son who seems to have a hamstring injury

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  12. Wonderful stuff from ESR nearly a goal to cherish along with other great long range NLD strikes.

    Given the number of minutes he’s played in the PL he’s impressed me and I’m optimistic for his future.

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  13. Clarke’s plunditry in the build was as so often on the money:

    “Test Loris with long range strikes but perhaps not from Partey” heh.

    He also noted that Oliver awards a pen a game! Yikes.

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  14. for fucks sake, dominate the game completely but now find ourselves behind to a wonder striker from lamela,

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  15. Looks like Auba will be on before the match is over!

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  16. we are still missing chances

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  17. Lacazette with a great chance after Cedric smashes the ball against the post and nearly knocks it out the ground!

    Spurs could not complain if the Gunners score.

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  18. HT: Arsenal 1-1 Spurs

    we really should be at least a couple of goals ahead, lamela scored a worldie against the run of play, and Odegaard got us level late on, we have missed several great chances

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  19. A scuffed finish to meg the CB whilst taking a deflection to beat the keeper is the perfect riposte to Lamela’s finish!

    Saka being targeted now.

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  20. Good end to the half.
    But Whatever crime Auba has or hasn’t committed, suspect we need him in this game.
    We are the better side but Spurs seems to have a slightly better conversion rate than we do these days, though we are rather excellent at hitting fairly narrow bits of woodwork

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  21. I am sure we have a Spurs dive in the area to look forward to as well

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  22. Looks like I was wrong although if Auba had not been disciplined would ESR have played?

    Similar to the Chel$ki game when he played because Willian was more available.

    He certainly has done well so far.

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  23. Pepe on for Saka for the second half

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  24. How does Lamela avoid a yellow there? On the lino’s side too.

    We all know the answer!

    COYG.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. penalty to Arsenal

    VAR checking it

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  26. Lacazetteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee 2-1

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  27. lamella finally booked, should really been off by now

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  28. lamella rightly sent off

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  29. our play has gone to bits since the sending off

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  30. kane scores, but offside flag saves us

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  31. lee dixon sounded so disappointed that the kane goal was ruled out for offside

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  32. we are hanging on since the sending off, we have just stopping playing

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  33. Elneny on for Lacazette

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  34. we’ve retreated into our shell, and are giving away a lot of freekicks, kane has just hit the post with a freekick, the ball had gone through the wall,

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  35. into 5 minutes of stoppage time, the way its going we will be lucky to keep our lead

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  36. another freekick for spurs on the edge of the area, well into stoppage time, kane hits it over

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  37. FT: Arsenal 2-1 Spurs

    Odegaard and Lacazette goals give us the win we fully deserved, lamela scored for them and was rightly sent off with 15 minutes to go, after that was the only period of the game that spurs looked dangerous. we retreated into our shell and invited pressure

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  38. spurs fans will be fuming at both lamela for his sending off, the guy really should have been off twice over in this game, and also jose, as they were so negative till they went down to ten men, then they had a real go and had us rocking, the face Arteta took off attackers did not help us keep the ball up the spurs end either though.

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  39. Not bringing on Auba as no other striker was available for an exhausted Lacazette had an impact on the last phase of the game but fortunately the Gunners held on to the lead.

    Pepe’s interception and pass is a highlight and also the performance of the three behind Lacazette in the first half.
    I felt the Arsenal defenders were perhaps in each other’s way or too tentative for Lamela’s goal but perhaps like Clarke they just knew Oliver’s record on pens.

    Big boost before the next euro game.

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  40. A bit scary at the end, we got what counted. And good for the players to get some muscle memory of a win against them, I have a strange feeling our paths will cross again this season.
    A well deserved win, but surprised how limited spurs were for most of the game, apart from a brilliant/ freak goal, they did very little other than rotational fouling until a man down. I am sure losing Son didn’t help them, but they really did not look that great to me. Still who cares about them.
    Interesting substitutions from Arteta but worked out in the end.
    The high points , the result, ESRs performance, KT maybe, and even a referee prepared to make big calls on a media darling…eventually… , there were clearly things that can be improved on as well, but will leave that to Arteta and his coaches, don’t want to dampen a very good result in a difficult season.

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  41. Here was me thinking Auba breached some Covid thing, but some rumours he had a little time keeping issue

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  42. Mixed emotions. Happiness of win, and a good performance till late on, superb game for Emile, Odegaard good, lot of hard work through team, and yet, even on day they had man sent off and we got pen I would never expect us to get in VAR era, still disturbed by some of the crap from officials.

    Warning Hojberg to indicate 5 fouls and you can’t have any more?! The way they seemingly went along with Lamela’s best efforts to draw someone into a reaction with his endless off the ball fouls, not stopping play for that disgustingly dirty shoulder barge from Kane (but giving free kick for gentlest of pushes in back from Cedric). There was loads of it. Watched Oliver watch Reguilon grab hold of Pepe and throw him to floor.

    We got the win, we had some really encouraging performances, and we even got that big call, but generally that bullshit will place such a handicap on us and anything we try and build.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. some are reporting that when Oliver booked Lamela on the first yellow, that when questioned about it by one of the spurs players he told them “it was his 4th foul”, when do any of our players get to a 4th yellow worthy challenge before getting their first yellow.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Should say well done to all players for keeping their cool and not reacting to the provocation, but also there’s a part of me that hates seeing us be essentially bullied- not just whacked at every opportunity but taunted into response- and not hitting back with like for like stuff.

    Still though, definitely feel better than I would had we given them what they want on that front, and Xhaka did put in comfortably the strongest clean challenge of game on Doherty.

    Kane,though,and Lamela, so badly want to see someone absolutely smash them.

    Like

  45. OptaJoe
    @OptaJoe
    45 – Spurs have dropped 45 points from winning positions against Arsenal in the Premier League, the most of any team against a specific opponent in the competition. Spursy.

    and lets not forget they are still have one EPL win less than Arsene Wenger got with Arsenal

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Liked by 1 person

  47. Arteta reveals that Saka was taken off cos he felt pain in his hamstring

    Like

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