Monday, 9 February 2009

Spurs 0 Arsenal 0 - Next time, yeah?

144th NLD
Spurs 0 Arsenal 0

So close yet so far. Should have, could have, would have won it yesterday. But alas, our eternal depression against Arsenal (as highlighted by a banner in the away end which disappeared when the Arsenal fans realised they might not actually win) continues that bit longer. We’ll have to wait for next season and hope they are suitably weaker if starved of Champions League before we can finally thrash them 1-0. My back will be waxed for space for the celebratory tattoo cometh that day.

Back to the present and arguably it’s not exclusively just our depression anymore. Rights appear to be subject of a sharing agreement between ourselves and the enemy in red. Both clubs with different immediate goals, and both struggling to get there. Arsenal, dare I say it, are currently closer to ordinary than invincible. We remain frustrating. Decent now and again, mediocre or worse more often than not.

I'm disappointed we didn't win it. More chances more possession. Palacios immense in central midfield, showing some of that much needed determination and spirit we so often lack. Modric pulling the strings, dealing with the physicality with comparative ease. Bit more end product there and you could get away with muttering ‘world class’ when describing the Croatian playmaker. But we'll suck that in for the moment and use it when its geniunely warranted (which won't be too long).

Arsenal (bless ‘em) defended well and retaining two upfront when they had Eboue sent off was rather clever tactics on their part as it stretched us rather than allow us to push forward in numbers had they resorted to all out defending.

For all the chances we had, none of them were clear cut, although Pav should have done better and if Modric had played the ball into the box instinctively rather than waiting a second too long at the death of the game (nice cameo by Taarabt), then Bent would have won the game in the final seconds. So maybe the chances were as good as being clear cut if we managed to get them on target. Close enough though to allow for shaking of heads despondently, and sighing if’s and onlys a couple of hundred times on the journey home.

Arsenal only ever looked dangerous when we allowed them to push forward thanks to the odd mistake here and there and in the final 15 minutes or so when the game opened up. Set-pieces our only other main concern, but all dealt with rather comfortably. One or two scary moments, but otherwise, the South London club lacked anything in the way of the usual textbook swagger that usually sees them score a goal or two against us.

The turning point should have been that Eboue incident that all made us laugh out loud with giddy joy. He got his marching orders for kicking out at Modric, who was booked for his part in the scuffle (and I use that word lightly because Modric didn’t really deserve a yellow anyway).

Arsenal are pretty much accustomed to playing with 10 men regularly so it was never going to be a given that we’d win. We lacked that extra bit of ruthlessness needed for such an occasion.

Robbie Keane was not really involved in the game as much as we'd have liked to see (not surprising considering where he was a few weeks back – he’ll need another game or so to regain full match fitness) and Pav had one of those days where everything went a mile to the side of the goal. Lennon was busy and tenacious but should have had more of a go at Clichey. If he could strike the ball with power and place it to the side of the keeper, we'd all be laughing. End product is also something that needs improving from the little man. Still our best player this season.

Dawson not far behind him with his no-nonsense defending. Bit of revelation is Daws, as not too long ago, one or two fans half expected him to be pushed out of the club (as he only ever played well with a fit King by his side and his form appeared to dip substantially in a Kingless defence). His current form has been outstanding. Jenas appears to have divided opinions. Some say he was not effective at all, others say he gave a lot of effort. Personally, I think he had an off day. Was expecting him to roar as he always fancies these matches. I say stick with him for now, and allow him and Palacios to gel in midfield, with Modric out on the left free to cut in and cause havoc. If Palacios does all the grating, we might finally see JJ smash it up, box-2-box, like he has always promised to do but never quite graps the consistency and belief.

I'm kidding myself, aren't I?

Vot va voad vof Vollocks.

Talking of Wilson. Wow. What a great home debut. Big, strong, hardly gives a free kick away. Tackles superbly well. Is all over the pitch. A player who actually values the concept of winning midfield battles. And probably serves as an inspiration to others around him to up their game and passion levels to match his performance. Proper player? Hell yes. FAO SPURS PLAYERS - This is the type of application required. Not just in Derby games, but in every single game left in this season. Suddenly I’m shrugging at the £14M price tag. Well worth it on this evidence.

So, generally, it was a good performance, with just a bit of the rub of the green missing. Arsenal failing to score against Spurs? Staggering that. Been a while since we've had the pleasure. Cudinici did well, Almunia superb in the oppossite goal.

Obviously, if you witnessed this in WengerVision then you would have seen Arsenal dominate the match, boss the midfield and create an abundance of opportunities including a dead cert goal disallowed and a player sent off when he shouldn't have been (because his first yellow was not deserved). Ah, WengerVision. What would we do without it?

Arsenal never really turned up, plain and simple. Hardly tested Cudicni (who had maybe one or two saves to make, the best from Bendtner) and were very much not Arsenalesque on the day. The 'goal' was not a goal and therefore should not be classed as a disallowed goal. The ref blew his whistle and signalled for a foul before the ball was stroked into the net. It’s irrelevant what you do after the ref has blown. Play no longer exists. Bit different if the ref blows AFTER the ball crosses the line. Yes, I know I'm being pedantic on this, but the little push and trip-over was exactly that, as soft as it looked. And Ekotto appeared to stop playing when the ref blew his whistle, though I can never quite tell with him.

All hail SpookyVision.

Humourous that he (Wenger) managed to watch that incident three times on tv and couldn’t see why it wasn't a goal but didn't bother watching replays of the Eboue incident. That’s Wenger logic for you. You wonder whether he actually believes half the crap he spouts post-match. Was Robbie Keane fouled and denied a penalty? I'm certain if that was a player in red and white going down inside the area, Wenger would have a post-match fit screaming "referee conspiracy!"

Two points dropped? Yes. You do feel that if we had Defoe up front or if Keane was a little more fresh, we would have cracked them. Instead, we're 2 points off the mire instead of 4. Arsenal are 5 points off the Top 4. Disappointment for the both of us then. But it's more likely that we will avoid relegation than they will finish 4th. Unbeaten against the Cartel (Man Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal) this season in the Prem. Shame our record against ‘lesser’ opposition remains shit. One win in nine is still not great, and the home games are the ones we need to be winning.

Laughable that certain quarters are suggesting that Wenger outfoxed Redknapp tactically. Yes, Arsenal retained decent shape when at 10 men. But they gained a point only because of our indecisive finishing. The team might have a bit more about them after this game going into the next league match.

If you don't agree with any of this, and you prefer WengerVision, feel free to pick yourself up a copy of The Standard, that bastion of unbiased journalism, for a more traditional write-up of the game. Or track down Piers Morgan who probably thinks Arsenal won the match.


Anonymous said...

Great write-up spot on. Most of us saw it like this, apart from Wenger who only ever sees Arsenal cheated out of a win.

West Stand Bagel said...

Wilson was brilliant. Very impressive performance. More please. Don't agree Jenas should partner up with him though. Prefer to see O'Hara stuck in there for additional steel. Or Adel.

Yes. Adel.

There I said it.

Anonymous said...

Arsenal will be just fine once Walcott and Fibreglass are back. Add to the mix Arshavin and bob is tragically your disowned uncle from Woolwich.

They will recover.


Anonymous said...

Luka, Luka, Luka.

What could have been.

Anonymous said...

Good performance hard not to disagree Wilson wasn't the best player on the pitch. Excellent display from him. Makes you whimper with embarrassment we had Didier in the middle.

Anonymous said...

First of all, Spurs really did not deserve anything out of this match. So you had more possession; big deal. Arsenal only had 10 men, and were able to create just about as many chances as you were. There were two clear cut chances in the match: van Persie's solo act and Modric's chance in stoppage time. Otherwise, it was a toothless display against 10 men. If you were ever to beat Arsenal, this was the day, as it was surely the poorest Arsenal side that will ever visit WHL, and, of course, they had 10 men for 70 minutes.

Second of all, I find it funny how you call Arsenal a member of a cartel with United, Pool and Chelsea, considering the statistics in these two articles:

Although judging from your writing you would not dispute this, I will throw it out there anyway: Your lot is undoubtedly pound for pound, quid for quid, the worst football team in the entire world.

While you sit here writing articles about "Wenger Vision," just imagine what your club would be if it was managed by a man with Wenger's vision.

Anonymous said...

In Wenger's own words we'd be facing "financial Armageddon". Everton are only 4pts off 5th, the Highbury flats aren't selling and, desperate for cash, Arse will be forced to sell their best players. Imagine that.

Wem-ber-ley, wem-ber-ley...

Oops said...

And the Gooners bite.

The Cartel Spooky refers to is sadly a reference to the most dominant clubs in the Prem. It's a backhanded compliment, nowt to do with money spunked.

Anonymous said...

Spurs did not deserve anything? Fuck off mate.

Anonymous said...

Spurs spend £15M on players who aren't very good, most of the time. Arsenal steal players before the club they steal them from can tie them down to a pro-contract and sell them onto a club in the future for £20M.

Wenger is a genius alright.

Andrew said...

Palacios is an absolute savage in the middle.

Anonymous said...

I'm an Arsenal fan. You should have beaten us, you didn't and tbf I was happy with it in the end. We didn't create and that was just about the worst we've played in a Prem match against you lot for as long as I can remember. Maybe next time? Maybe. If you're still in the Prem.


NB Bazza

spooky said...

"Your lot is undoubtedly pound for pound, quid for quid, the worst football team in the entire world"

And proud.


Oh Bentley we love yooooooooooooou....

Anonymous said...

You've got to love the gooner Lemming fans. Wenger says they played for 70 minutes with 10 men, so a lemming puts this down as fact. If I remember rightly, Eboue was sent off in the 37th minute.

But of course the ar*e created just as many chances says said lemming. Funny that as all the stats I've seen showed us with 5 shots on target and 11 off. The goons had 2 shots on target and 4 off. How in even the most blinkered world of stupidom do those figures match?

As for the pound for pound worst team. Glad your unbiased 5 year trophyless club can balance their books, errr NOT. No Champions league, lack of sales down at the scumbery site and low and behold, the doom mongerers of the ARse Board state big financial trouble ahead. We again have figures that look healthier than a suntanned Page 3 girl.

The blind optimism of W#n#er et al is something I wish to continue. Not able to see your own faults is what is dragging them down into the also rans and wannabees. Long may it continue...

The Machine said...

We never took our chances. Had we done so, and had Arsenal take theirs, we'd have won thanks to the fact that we created more efforts on goal. As witnessed by all who watched the game. Apart from one man who only sees he wants to see. The senile old fool.

Shelf Side Warrior said...

Arsenal fans. What a vile creed of scum. That 'eternal depression' banner got turned round by their fans after the red card and Adebayor went off injured, displaying something like 'Arsenal' or 'Come on Arsenal'.

Sums them up. Even with their success over us and in general, they still only sing when their winning.

Eternal depression my arse. We might not have beaten you but all of a sudden you don't seem capable of beating us.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Spurs have spent so much money. And have probably made just as much in return on selling their pound of pound shit players.

Rejoice the money-go-round!

Not everyone can go around stealing other clubs academy players.

Toxic said...

Did he really cite the Daily Mail as his evidence.

Dear god how retarded is your average ARSE glory hunter?

Scalytomato said...

Dear oh dear. What planet do these Gooners live on. Amazing how Wenger sees 'goals' but does not see blatant incidents involving his players or team. We are used to that, but please don't patronise me and say Ar5ena1 deserved to win that game. They got the best they could have hoped for.

Palacios!!! what a player. I hope he does what he did on Sunday week in week out. He has definitely paid back some of his £12m (or 14m depending on who you believe) transfer fee. If every Spurs player plays with his application and drive, we would definitely stay up and be in good position to challenge for things next season ( but we'll not get too excited - this is Spurs, remember!!)

Anonymous said...

To briefly respond to the comments that followed mine:

22:38 - Arsenal always sell all of their best players yet have finished ahead of you every season for what seems like centuries. Currently 19 points ahead with a goal differential 18 goals superior to yours. Last season, we finished 37 points ahead and had a goal differential 38 goals superior to yours.

P.S. Your match at Wembley is the Carling Cup. We're laughing at you for bragging about it.

22:44 - Thanks for the compliment. It's truly amazing how far we're able to punch above our weight, init?

22:47 - I must have missed the goal you scored. Again, you deserved nothing. You came close to scoring ONCE! Against 10 men!

22:49 - It's not stealing if it's legal. And it's not our fault that our club makes kids all over the world dream.

22:50 - Agreed. Palacios was immense. I wonder how you found out about him? (Arsenal reject)

22:51 - Agreed. 11 against 10 for all that time against the worst Wenger side to ever visit WHL. Oh dear.

22:52 - I knew you were a realist.

22:54 - Throw in the stoppage time and it's nearly 70 minutes. Hey, if you can say you nearly finished fourth, and nearly signed players who say they will only sign for big clubs, the definition of nearly is pretty wide.

F*ck the stat sheet. What did you see with your own two eyes? A toothless 60 minutes (is that better?) of Spurs football.


By the way, our finiancial numbers dwarf yours in every way, and you've been predicting our demise year after year after year.

Isn't it getting a bit boring?

Wouldn't Fulham make a better enemy?

06:57 - If Arsenal took all of their chances over the past 5 years they'd be champions of the galaxy.

But again, you really didn't have many chances. Modric's late effort was the only clear cut chance.

09:53 - You'll never beat the Arsenal. I'd say you closed the gap a little, but then again, you're struggling to stay up while we're struggling to make the top 4. You'd kill your own children to switch positions with us.

13:10 - The grass is always greener on the other side unless, of course, you happen to be an Arsenal fan.

13:42 - I posted two links which have conveniently compiled lists showing just how poorly your club has been run. Are you trying to suggest the numbers are wrong? You're reaching for straws here.

17:41 - We put the ball in your net. Did you put the ball in ours? We had 10 men, how many did you have?

To sum it all up...


Anonymous said...

You mean Eboue kicked the ball away after the referee had blown up? Should have been sent off then.

Anonymous said...

Nothing like a few FACTS to settle an argument

Tottenham Hotspur / Arsenal

0 / 0

Shots on Target
5 / 2

Shots off Target
11 / 4

Blocked Shots
1 / 0

6 / 4

14 / 15

4 / 2

Yellow Cards
1 / 1

Red Cards
0 / 1

Passing Success
74.2 / 69.3

33 / 36

Tackles Success
66.7 / 58.3

56.2 / 43.8

Territorial Advantage
57.2 / 42.8

Anonymous said...

20:42 - You mean the referee should have been sent off for calling that a foul.

20:50 - Thanks for the FACTS. Wow, you were playing 11 against 10 for 2/3 of the match and had a whopping 56% possession. We had 65% in the match at the Emirates 11 on 11, but I guess that was a deserved draw, right?

My only question now is:

When does the DVD come out?

"Scoreless Glory at the Lane: The improbable chronicle of the guile, bravery and sublime skill that allowed 11 man Spurs to hold 10 man Arsenal to a scoreless draw."

The only FACTS that matter are these:

'37: Eboue sent off

Full time: Tottenham 0 Arsenal 0

These FACTS are a bit relevant as well:

Arsenal's Premier League results against Spurs this century:



Now if those FACTS don't settle the argument, I don't know what will.

Anonymous said...

The cycle is coming to an end, and in a few years your facts is all you'll have to hold onto.

Spurs, as shit as they are, still almost beat Spurs.

Mental strength wise, Wenger and his players have lost it.

It's ok. It's not that bad down here. You'll get use to it in time.

Anonymous said...

Hey Spooky,

If you're still looking for an agent for your book, try Cat Leger. She is Jim White's agent, and he wrote 'Are You Watching Liverpool' about United's treble season.

While a book about Spurs' 08/09 season hardly figures in the same league, she might have some ideas for you.

Her number?

What the fuck is Google for?

Anonymous said...

23:45 - Fabregas, Eduardo, Walcott, Arshavin and Rosicky will all be in the team shortly; we'll be just fine, thank you.

As a side note, I've been having a look around this website and this really is a superb blog.

Props to all of those who put it together and keep it going, even if you are a bunch of Yid scumbags.