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The North London derby dissected in four tweets

Leela Prasad
1.71K   //    04 Mar 2013, 11:08 IST

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect that of Sportskeeda.

Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal - Premier League

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 03: Opposing captains Thomas Vermaelen of Arsenal and Michael Dawson of Spurs clash during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal FC at White Hart Lane on March 3, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

A cheeky but rare pun from the Daily Telegraph journalist Henry Winter. His tweet pretty much sums up Arsenal‘s defence at the moment.

Arsenal’s defence was so lifeless that they wouldn’t even have flinched if they were to have been showered with pigeon droppings. Especially Arsenal’s two centre-backs, who resembled tall stumps of wood.

The two first-half goals Arsenal conceded was the cue for the commentator to drop in one of his many cliches about ball-watching.

Per Mertasacker played Gareth Bale on-side and he scored with a calm finish. And it almost felt like Thomas Vermaelen was drooling at Jan Vertoghen’s Man of the Match performance at the other end when Aaron Lennon tip-toed behind him to latch on to Scott Parker’s through ball and score Spurs’ second.

And Arsenal’s winter signing, Nacho Monreal, must shoulder some of the blame for Aaron Lennon’s goal. Lennon gorged on Nacho and Monreal made a meal out of marking Lennon.

Overall, their defence was poor today and it is a concern for the fans knowing that their season expectations rest on a piece of wooden furniture with four wobbly legs.


Eurosport-Yahoo supervising editor Tom Adams couldn’t have said it better. Tottenham stretched the lead over Arsenal to seven points and the two Merseyside rivals Everton and Liverpool are playing catch-up with Arsenal. For long, Arsene Wenger stood his ground despite Arsenal’s trophy drought, by driving home the point that he took Arsenal to the Champions league in the last 16 seasons. But the ground is fast sinking under his feet, and any failure in qualifying could result in his sacking.

They had Robin van Persie last season, and none of the current Arsenal strikers have the feet that match Persie’s shoe size. While Arsene yo-yos between using Theo Walcott and Oliver Giroud as forwards, their chances of Champions League qualification seems to become a tall mountain to ascend.

It is hard to find fault with Giroud’s performance against Spurs. Nobody pumped crosses into the box hoping that Giroud will stick his head above Michael Dawson. And he usually scores only in those matches where Arsenal are winning by a decent margin.

Arsene has to make a decision on whom to use as his front man. With 10 games left, this should be Arsenal’s wake-up call; maybe even finishing fourth will not be enough to knock the dents out of Arsenal at the end of season.

Paul from tweeted this right after Bale deflected Mertesacker’s header into his own goal.

Bale scored eight times in the last six games he started and he opened the scoring in today’s North-London derby. His free-kicks today were wide off the mark but he had a decent outing playing behind Adebayor and later Defoe.

Gylfi Sirgudsson made no secret of Spurs’ game plan in the first-half when he tried to find Bale, who was jogging in front of the defence before making a dash for the ball behind them. And a similar move resulted in a goal in the 37th minute: Arsenal tried playing a high defensive line but failed to stop Bale from scoring.

Bale came close to scoring in the second half when a glorious low-cross by Benoit Assou-Ekotto from the left found him inside the box, but he sent the ball into the stands.

Arsenal’s handicap was that they do not have a player like Bale to counter Spurs. Piers Morgan summed up Arsenal’s situation in this tweet: “Imagine. All the players in Wales and United got Giggs, Spurs got Bale… we got Ramsey.  #worldsshorteststraw

Andres Villas-Boas was right in downplaying today’s result over Arsenal. Tottenham blew a 13-point lead over Arsenal last season and finished fourth, which eventually cost them a place in the Champions League. But the circumstances today are different from last season. The then manager of Spurs, Harry Redknapp, was distracted by the vacant seat at England‘s national football team.

Villas-Boas faces some tough opponents in the next six games. And he also must make the difficult trip to the San Siro to face Inter Milan in the Europa League, while Arsenal maybe knocked out at Munich on Wednesday and concentrate on finishing fourth.

Tottenham qualified for the Champions League in the 2009-10 in spectacular fashion by defeating Chelsea and Arsenal in the final few league games before trumping Manchester City at Etihad for fourth place with a game to spare.

A similar challenge beckons Villas-Boas this season. They currently find themselves two points behind City, and their wafer-thin squad will be tested as the season draws to a close.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect that of Sportskeeda.

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