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Arsenal vs Spurs

As some of you may know from the comments section, I live in a house full of yids. It’s just a fact that I am one Arsenal supporter surrounded by spurs fans, my mum, stepdad and younger brother are all yids. My family is from Peckham but seemingly all of them support the team even those (women) just vaguely aware of football feel the need to support the club that has been passed down through our family lineage.

Thank god then for my Aunt’s now ex-husband (shock horror) for slapping an Arsenal shirt on me and taking me to Highbury when I was just about walking. From that moment on I have been in love with Arsenal FC, I’ve felt every high and every low, the wonderment of winning trophy after trophy, the disappointment of losing the Champions League final. I’ve seen the league shift and change, title giants like Liverpool fall away to be replaced by Chelsea who rose from obscurity on the back of twenty pound notes thrusting them into the limelight like a papery magic carpet.

For years though a constant of Arsenal life was that our North London ASBO neighbours have firmly lived in our shadow. Anytime they tried to poke their whiskers out and smell the fresh air we’d slap them back into the void of empty dark that is our turbulence.
However this year it seems someone has left the door open and our mischievous little pet has been frolicking in the garden, exposing itself to anyone who’ll dare to look at it. Van Der Vaarting wherever it pleases, showing it’s Bale’s to passing children. Filthy little creature.

The sudden (and possibly temporary) rise of Tottenham from our shadow is something that got me to wondering, what would a North London FC team look like? Who from either side would make the grade and who would be a casualty?

So:

Goalkeeper: Brad Friedel VS The Schez
For me the Schez-man has this one, he’s young, confident, a good commander of his box and makes excellent reflex saves. Sometimes he gets a little hot under the collar, but then so did Brad Friedel – 30 years ago.

Right Back: Kyle Walker VS Bacary Sagna
Arsenal go 2 nil up here as for me there really is no question as to who will take right back. Walker has impressed thus far this year but Bacary is levels above him.

Right Centre Back: Ledley King VS Per Mertesacker
Tottenham gain a point back here as Ledley makes the starting eleven. Since his arrival Mertesacker has done…ok. Not brilliant, not the rock we were all hoping for but ok. His reading of the game and size makes up for his complete lack of any sort of pace and his rather panicky demeanour on the ball. 2-1 Arsenal.

Left Centre Back: Kaboul VS Thomas Vermaelen
3-1 Arsenal, Thomas is the obvious choice again, excellent going forward, excellent defending, great in the air, cannon of a left foot and has the same desire in the first minute as he does the ninetieth which is a mirror for his desire over a season. Great player. Spurs fans it is key to point out this isn’t me saying Kaboul is the opposite, just that he’s not as good a player as Vermaelen.

Left Back: Assou-Ekotto VS Kieran Gibbs
The zany Spurs left back takes the position from our fragile, hit and miss youngster every day of the week. I said Wenger was wrong to bank on Kieran and I’ve been proved right, his constant injuries and lack of focus on the pitch will cost us if he tries to make Gibbs the new Cole. Assou-Ekotto may be a touch on the bizarre side (odd boots and all that) but he is a great player – just sort out the hair.

3-2 Arsenal as we move into the middle of the park. For the purposes of this exercise we will envisage that both sides are playing a 4-3-3.

Right Middle: Luka Modric VS Aaron Ramsey
Tottenham level things up as without doubt Modric far exceeds the Welsh captain. I don’t think there will be an Arsenal fan that will argue this one.

Central Middle: Scott Parker VS Alex Song
This was a tough one, Song has had some great games this years, but then he’s also had some stinkers. For me Tottenham take the lead and Scott Parker takes the holding role. A player I was desperate for Wenger to fork out the poultry sum on and bring to our club and he’s shown why a lot of pundits thought the same. He’d have been ideal at the battling heart of our team. Great professional.

Left Middle: Rafael Van Der Vaart VS Mikel Arteta
I might upset a few people here but Arteta stops Tottenham from winning the midfield battle completely. His industry and willingness to get stuck into everything has made him a real asset and most any premiership middle would welcome him. VDV has had a few dodgy games and can go missing occasionally. But again for £8 Million Ol’Twitchy did excellently here.

We go into the forwards department tied at 4-4.

Right Forward: Aaron Lennon VS Gervinho
The Lille man makes it 5-4 to the gunners, his pace and ability to get at defenders really shone through against City at the Etihad and it’s really that game that decided it for me. If he could add finishing, boy he’d be a player.

Centre Forward: That Bloke VS Robin Van Persie
6-4

Left Forward: Gareth Bale VS Theo Walcott
Another no question decision here. Theo Walcott…I jest. Gareth Bale takes the spot over the English winger every single time. He has pace to burn like Theo but scores goals as well (as we saw yesterday) and has good end product, can think in tricky situations and retain the ball for his team by drawing fouls in dangerous areas.

So if my math is right and it usually isn’t, that’s 6-5 Arsenal. But a decision here or there, Van Der Vaart instead of Arteta and you’ve got a different outcome. Tottenham have bridged the gap considerably, I do though, honestly think we’ll finish above them, their legs will go come February and they’ll start to struggle to hold onto 4th but, they’re still above us right now.

If they lose Modric or Bale (less likely) in January it really is over for them, both players are so important. Arsene must look to an example like this and address it, we want an 11-0 whitewash but we need a Modric and a Bale. Gotze and Hazard would be nice – everyman can dream.

Here’s hoping we get over the blip against Wolves, buy some decent talent this coming month and charge all the way to May.

Happy New Year everyone.

Article written by SuperCesc

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Arsenal to take a leaf out of Tottenham’s book

I’m often frustrated by the Arsenal fans who are unhappy with the overall performance of our team, and our chances of winning trophies under Arsene Wenger.

We’re the only team in England with a chance of silverware on all four fronts (Premiership, Champions League, Carling Cup and FA Cup), and we’re sitting in a nicely placed position in the Premiership having played the toughest fixtures of all our rivals.

This is why we should attempt to emulate the Tottenham fans. They are a great example of how to appreciate what you’ve got.

They battle for a top 10 finish year in year out, and they’re over the moon with that.

They also fair relatively well in the cups. They’ve qualified for the Champions League for the first time in history, and they treated it like they won the World Cup. It must be wonderful to appreciate the smallest things, something Arsenal fans have taken for granted.

In my lifetime, they’ve won three FA Cups, two League Cups, and even a UEFA Cup. 6 trophies in 35 years, that’s one every 6 years or so, and they are absolutely ecstatic with that. Fair play. They appreciate their team because they know they’re never going to be one of the big 5 on a consistent level, and that is what I respect about Tottenham fans.

The last time they won the league was 1960-61, almost 50 years ago. This is why other teams want to emulate them.  Since their last league championship, Arsenal tried to emulate them but only went on to win 6 championships. This is not good enough.

Tottenham are from North London, so we decided to emulate that, and try our luck with a move North of the river. We did just that, and we’ve been living in Tottenham’s shadow ever since. Sure, we’ve won a lot more trophies than Tottenham, we play better football, and we continuously finish above them, and qualify for the Champions League. But this is not the point; everything points to them being the better team. But Tottenham fans never get complacent.

Now, let’s try to emulate the Tottenham fans, and be appreciative of what we have. For every £5 we spend, they spend £1m, and it’s paid off, as they are one of the top 100 teams in Europe, and rightly so.

I take my hat off to you Tottenham fans.

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The deluded Liverpool fan from London

Before the season started, I posted an article claiming that Livepool fans are just like Tottenham fans, they are deluded. The post can be found here. I’m talking about the Liverpool fans down South, as I don’t believe that the real fans are as deluded as the London bunch.

At the time of posting this article, I was ridiculed by many fans, not just Liverpool, as I claimed that they had made a step backwards and will not finish in the top 4. It’s just not going to happen.

I’ve just witnessed them play Man United at Old Trafford, and I can honestly say that they are atrocious. Regardless of the 3-2 scoreline, which was flattering for Liverpool, they were poor. They are absolutely dreadful, and the 1-1 draw at Anfield against Arsenal will be their best result this season.

Firstly, the signings they’ve made, and the players they’ve lost.

They have signed Paul Konchesky, Joe Cole, Raul Meireles, Christian Poulsen, and Milan Jovanovic. Of those five players, Meireles will be the decent signing, the others are a step backwards. Poulsen in particular is a terrible player. He’s a Danish Lee Cattermole, an absolute headless chicken.

They’ve lost Yossi Benayoun, and he is a better player than Joe Cole. They’ve also lost Javier Mascherano, and he was their most important player, much much better than Poulsen. Two weaker replacements.

Fernando Torres is absolutely diabolical. Shockingly bad.

Liverpool fans, especially the ones who piped up on the post I mentioned earlier, are you still confident that you’ll finish in the top 4? Don’t bother answer that question, I have answered it for you.

This is why you’re the new Tottenham fans in disguise. Both deluded. If Tottenham think losing to Wigan at home, and Young Boys away is ‘on the up’ then you really are absolute retards.

Based on the first few games of the season, it’s all about Arsenal and Chelsea this season.

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Tottenham v Arsenal: Starting line-up and match prediction

I don’t actually want to say too much about the game tonight, as I’m afraid I’ll give us the kiss of death.

On paper, we should absolutely terrorise Tottenham, but we all know that rarely happens in a North London derby. The best team generally wins, which is why Tottenham haven’t beaten us in about 47 years.

Good news for Arsenal is that Palacios and Lennon are out. This will be a huge blow for Tottenham. We have loads of injuries to cope with as usual, but the inclusion of Robin van Persie, albeit as a sub, will be a huge confidence booster for the rest of the team ahead of kick-off.

My predicted line-up would have to be as follows (mainly because of lack of options):

Almunia

Sagna     Vermaelen     Campbell     Clichy

Denilson      Diaby     Nasri

Eboue     Rosicky

Bendtner

I’ve got a sneaky feeling we’ll get a draw, but I’m going to have to plump for an Arsenal win in my prediction, so I’ll go with 2-0 with goals from Diaby and Bendtner.

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Man United slip-up could pave the way for a London showdown

With Man United dropping an unexpected couple of points against Blackburn, Arsenal are now in a great position to capitalise on the slip-up if they beat Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Wednesday.

Chelsea face Bolton at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night, in which nobody can really see anything else apart from a victory from the leaders. This will put added pressure on Arsenal, who could be 6 points behind Chelsea before facing Tottenham. If we draw or lose, then I’m afraid we’re out of the race. We win, it’s all back on.

A lot of fans believe that after Tottenham’s defeat to Portsmouth in the FA Cup semi-final yesterday, a lot of the players will be suffering from fatigue and tiredness ahead of the Arsenal game. Personally, I think this is absolutely nonsense. Players train every single day, and I’m sure play 5, 6 or 7-a-side games in those training sessions. 120 minutes of football three days before a game isn’t going to make a single bit of difference. These are finely tuned athletes. One thing that will affect Tottenham is their confidence going into the game. Losing to the newly relegated, rock bottom side could be a large psychological boost for Arsenal. But to be honest, I think everything goes out the window for a North London derby.

My arsehole is already going, ahead of the game on Wednesday night, and it will be going from the moment the whistle is blown to start to the moment the whistle is blown up to finish the game. If we beat Tottenham on Wednesday night, then this is going to make for an exciting ‘all London’ two-horse race.

Can you imagine where Man United would’ve been in the Premiership if Rooney was out for 6 months? People talk about Arsenal having a thin squad, we’ve coped nicely without van Persie, but Man United are struggling without Rooney.

In other news, Martin O’Neill is fuming with the tackle that should’ve seen John Terry receive a straight red card. Make up your own mind. Interesting if it would’ve been an Arsenal player making the tackle. The press would’ve battered us! Probably because the player involved would not have been English. The press are wankers, Terry is a wanker, we should live with it.

That’s it for me. Goodbye for now folks.

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Arsenal still in the hunt for the Premiership

Arsenal were torn apart by the sheer quality of Argentine sensation Lionel Messi, who underlined his status as the best player in the world with a breathtaking performance – scoring four goals to single handedly end Arsenal’s Champions League written.

Much will be written about the match, but none of this should be Arsenal’s concern. The simple fact is there is no shame in losing to the European Champions, let alone without key men such as Fabregas, Gallas, Arshavin, Van Persie and Song. Barcelona are better than Arsenal, as they are better than the rest of Europe and so the Gunners must quickly put the tie out of their mind and focus on the very real possibility of winning the 2009-10 Barclays Premier League title.

After the exertions of Europe, the Gunners are fortunate in that they will be inactive this weekend due to the FA Cup. No such luxury is afforded to fellow title contenders Manchester United, who face a difficult tie away at in-form Blackburn. With a tough game at home to Bayern Munich to play tonight and doubts over Wayne Rooney’s availability, this will be a very tough game for United and any slipup could be a major boost to Arsenal.

However, with Chelsea already three points clear with an uncatchable goal difference, the reality is that Arsenal are going to need to take 15 points out of 15 if they are to win the Premiership title.

While this is more than possible, the toughest of the 5 remaining fixtures occurs next Wednesday when Arsenal travel across North London to face bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur. Arsenal have a fantastic record at White Hart Lane, but Harry Redknapp’s Champions League chasing Spurs side will likely pose the toughest threat to Arsenal’s long unbeaten run against their neighbours since Steffan Iversen hit the winner way back in 1999.

As difficult a tie as this will be for Arsenal, the bigger challenge is arguably recovering mentally from the Barcelona tie. While in recent years this is something which the Gunners have struggled to do, with one setback generally opening the floodgates, the first leg fightback against the Catalans and recent late winning goals against Hull and Wolves has underlined the increased strength of character in the Arsenal squad.

It will be tough, but I am predicting a Samir Nasri inspired win at White Hart Lane and with Robin van Persie hopeful of returning before the end of the season, the title could just be swinging Arsenal’s way yet!

Written by Danny Watson, a sports writer who blogs about Arsenal shirts.

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ONE TEAM IN LONDON

I sat, well up in the dizzying heights of the emirates stadium, looming over the Tottenham supporters below dropping my arm toward them like a guillotine screaming ‘who are ya? Who are ya?’

Over fifty-five thousand of my favourite people in the world crying out with me in the thralls of victory, the smell of success abound, the look of dismay evident of the spuds below.

The atmosphere inside the emirates was electric, the Tottenham fans knew (if they hadn’t already when they crawled from whatever hovel they were living in that morning) that they were away to their great rivals, the mighty Arsenal.

It must be something like having an older, better looking, more respected brother, whose shadow you constantly find yourself walking in.

Robbie Keane’s comments in the week about Tottenham being as strong as Arsenal were put under the coldest of lights as Cesc Fabregas slammed home a great goal, seconds after Robin Van Persie had lit the fuse of the Arsenal fans with a snappy goal.

I hugged the Arsenal supporter next to me, unaware of his name having only exchanged pleasantries minutes earlier, it didn’t matter. Every single person in that ground was united on Saturday afternoon.

The gulf in class appeared wider than ever, even with players like Rosicky and Walcott injured.

Arsenal at times were scrappy, and the home fans began to feel this could be a tight thing before Robin Van Persie decided it was time for the team to move out of third gear and leave the Yids a quivering wreck having suffered a quick goal and an explosion of noise from the supporters.

Cesc Fabregas heaped on the misery and the scenes from inside the toilets, betting kiosk and eating areas at half time was one of jubilance and song.

We did much more than simply give the Yiddos a good old-fashioned whipping on Saturday however. We showed ourselves to be real title contenders, able to demolish a team that in many people’s eyes are top four contenders.

Solid performances were abound throughout the team and in truth; the score should have been at least double the final result. Eduardo alone should have bagged a hat-trick!

Arsenal however look a terrifying prospect for any team at the moment, but we need to focus on the game against Chelsea at the end of November. Win that, and we could easily be leading the pack come Christmas.

And with Chelsea losing several key players to the African Cup in January, Manchester United looking flat and Liverpool providing the comic relief this year, we are in with a very, serious shout.

But enough drooling and fantasising. My score for the players on Saturday.

  • Almunia – 7.5 – Didn’t have an awful lot of taxing work. But when he was called upon looked good. Seemed as if he were laying claim to that No. 1.
  • Clichy – 7.5 – A more attacking game from Gael. But most certainly picked up his game today.
  • Vermaelen – 8 – This guy is insane, made about five tackles in a row before being unfairly booked. Already a real favourite, judging from the chatter in the ground. An absolute machine!
  • Gallas – 8 – Clearly enjoys life with the Verminator, both were solid and gave Keane and Crouch nothing.
  • Sagna – 7.5 – Gave relief and pace down the right. Whipped in some excellent balls and is having a great season so far.
  • Diaby – 6 – Most of the groans from the fans came from Diaby mistakes. Still ‘hogs’ the ball for far too long and makes rash decisions and frequently misplaces passes. But the will does seem there. Almost like the spirit is strong but the flesh weak.
  • Fabregas – 8 – Rough opening but quickly grabbed hold of the tempo and dictated to Tottenham. Fantastic run for the second goal and made some eye-watering passes.
  • Song – 7.5 – Solid. A bit too rough on occasion but I’m not complaining, he’s been one of those players that’s made the difference this year.
  • Arshavin – 7 – Not the greatest of displays and had a couple of chances I thought he’d bury. Tottenham however frequently went from white to brown when he was on the ball. He seems to already have a menace about him in the premier league that veteran players would kill for.
  • Bendtner – 7 – Unfortunately injured but looked like one of the best out there for the short duration he played. Held the ball and picked out good passes.
  • Van Persie – 9 – Great game for the Dutchmen. A brace and always a threat, star player for me today.

Great win, bragging rights are ours. Now let’s press on, Carling Cup at Eastlands and continue to storm through the premiership!

Article written by Super Cesc.

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