This game really summed up Arsenal’s season for me.
Arsenal were very poor and lacked the passion and quality that we should have contrasting to Spurs who looked really up for it and simply had better in form players than us. This is so hard to admit for me but it’s true that they are better than us at the moment. How long will it last though?
In terms of the team selection Wenger stuck with 3/5 at the back which I agreed with as we had won every game using it but the players he chose I really disagreed with. Why Gibbs, Ramsey and Giroud started I will never know as they offered very little and Holding, Bellerin/Elneny and Welbeck would have been much better options. Surely Wenger must know this?
So the game kicked off and for the first time in my life I was really not confident and thought we would lose in my head (obviously not in my heart which was pure optimism and hope!)
The first half was similar to the City game at Wembley in that we were very defensive and soaked up a lot of pressure without attacking and creating much ourselves but it somehow stayed 0-0. Spurs really should have scored twice with two open goals from an Alli header (the Ox just did enough to put him off) and Eriksen who volleyed his shot against the bar. I did think this might have been our day at this point!
We did also create a few chances but never looked as dangerous as Spurs. Ramsey tested Lloris with a shot from outside the box but this was probably our best attempt.
So we managed to hold on and I was thinking we could have still won in the second half if we brought on Welbeck in particular and maybe Walcott. Having Giroud on the pitch was basically like playing with 10 men and Özil once again went missing in a big game but he wasn’t the only one. Even Sanchez couldn’t really get into the game but at least he keeps running and looks like he’s giving 100%.
The second half unfortunately was a different story for us as Spurs got the goals they fully deserved through Alli and a penalty from Kane. Alli’s goal was poor defending from us as he managed to get another open goal chance and this time he didn’t miss and the Ox perhaps should have stopped it.
Kane’s penalty was probably the right decision as Gabriel did make contact with him and brought him down but there was a debate on social media about it. It obviously didn’t matter about people’s opinions though as it was given and Kane confidently put it past a static Cech.
So we were 2-0 down and the worst thing was that it was virtually one after the other in a period of minutes. We just completely collapsed and left ourselves with a mountain to climb. We should have dug out for a bit longer at least after conceding the first goal but we couldn’t and the game was over for me. Their defence which is the best in the league wasn’t going to concede 2/3 in one half against an under performing team like us.
We did try and get once back but Spurs were too solid at the back and we struggled to create any real chances. Cech also made a couple a great saves to give us any chance in the game and he was Arsenal’s man of the match by far as it could have been embarrassing if it wasn’t for him!
We couldn’t even get a consolation goal as the game ended 2-0 to Spurs. Our players looked very dejected underatandbly but Spurs were better than us in every way in this game and this season. It now means we can’t finish above them (no St. Totteringham’s day) for the first time in my lifetime and for 21 years.
I was embarrassed by Arsenal’s perfomance like I have been for many games this season and to lose against our arch rivals like that is hard to take. Wenger definitely hasn’t won any fans after the game and it just plays into the Wenger out fans hands even more. The players should be embarrassed as well by their performance and it really needs to change for us to have anything to cheer about at the end of the season.
I suppose it is an achievement to consistently finish above them for so well long and they can have this one season. We just need to make sure we’re back next year which will be hard. Other good news is that last night West Ham beat Spurs so this virtually means they won’t win the title at least.
The question is with Spurs is that they haven’t actually won anything for a very long time (I know they won the Carling Cup in 2008 but does that really count) and is finishing above us really an achievement for them? If they talk about a shift in power in north London then they will have to finish above us for a lot more years as well as win some silverware.
So the result leaves us five points behind Man United in 5th with a game in hand and we also play them this Sunday so a win is a must. We are more importantly six points behind Man City with a game in hand and we really need to catch up with them. Liverpool are also nine points ahead of us with two games in hand but they have an easier run in so should be ok. Can we catch Man City?
Next up for us in Man United at home on Sunday which I have come back from university to go to and a win is a must if we are to stand any chance of finishing in the top four!
Will we beat Man United? Can we still finish in the top four? Can Wenger finally beat his nemesis and rival Mourinho?