The North London derby is upon us again, and in all objectivity, Spurs are looking pretty good.
They may not be playing the best football aesthetically, but they are looking very solid, sturdy and organised. Just as Jose likes it.
Kane and Son are proving their world class talents and status yet again, and even some of Spurs’ lesser lights as Aurier, Dier, Winks, and Sanchez are doing well.
So it’s a no-brainer to say Spurs are favourites going into this game on online-betting.org.
But to use the old cliche, form goes out the window in derbies.
I loathe giving praise to Tottenham in any event but I feel Mourinho is getting a different tune out of his side. The performances haven’t been stellar necessarily – the WBA win wasn’t, nor was the Burnley win. And the Europa League saw a loss to Antwerp (whilst we haven’t lost yet…hahaha). Though in fairness, Spurs should still qualify and we could yet meet in the latter stages, who knows?
Hojberg has been sound since coming in, and I feel it’s more a case of the usual siege mentality/f-you attitude Jose has. And also, Spurs are desperate to win, and Jose is a winner. It seems like a perfect match, but then we will see if they can win their first title in nearly two generations this season.
That said, and in all objectivity of course, Spurs look strong, and it’s only the deluded Gooners who don’t see us as underdogs.
The danger men of course are Kane and Son, and Kane these days is more of a neo-Teddy Sheringham in how he drops deep and creates. Son’s pace will test our back line and everybody knows we’re not the best in this setting.
Spurs will look to dominate the midfield by using Hojberg and an improved Sissoko. Even Alli, who hasn’t shone much for the past couple of years, may be used here.
We have players to cause Spurs issues at their back, but I’m surprised Aurier is improving considering how average he has been. A certain Spurs Youtuber named Expressions Oozing calls him “Power Serge Aurier” – well maybe his circuits seem to be sorted now.
Overall, Spurs are not top by accident. They may not be as good man for man as Liverpool or City, but definitely are the most balanced side at the moment. It will be a test for Arsenal, no doubt.
Well, where do I start? Our fans aren’t happy, as normal. We do have high standards, understandably. But then for one, I want Arteta out. Yes, he won us a trophy (something you lot haven’t won since Lineker and Gazza’s heyday….sorry, I couldn’t resist it…) and I’m grateful for that. But giving him the job was a mistake, given his inexperience.
He also is tactically weak, and continually gets schooled by other managers. I’d have preferred Benitez and still would want him as he’s too good for China IMHO.
We’re not creating chances, and our defence has not really stabilised.
In midfield, the loss of Partey to injury is key, and our recent form (bar Europa League) has been very poor.
Ozil has been shut out, mostly for political reasons let’s be frank, and our star striker Aubameyang isn’t firing. Auba has won more trophies in his career and bossed both the Bundesliga and Premier League but Kane on form this season is winning the debate this time. Things are looking dire, to say the least.
The bright sparks though are Gabriel who has done well, and Saka IMHO is still performing.
I’d say the best chances for us here are to get match Spurs in midfield and be as resolute at the back as possible. Maybe we will go to a back three/five.
If Spurs have a weakness, then I feel it is targetting one of their defenders. Aurier can still be caught out one on one, and Lloris can be error-prone.
I hate giving Spurs any credit for anything. But I’d be a fool to say they aren’t favourites. Even with 2000 fans inside, they will have home support, and the form book as well as Jose’s experience and tactical nous points towards a Spurs win.
If there is any solace for us, people didn’t expect us to win at Old Trafford and we did. And even when Arsenal were way ahead of Spurs under Wenger or Graham, no NLD was ever easy. Let’s remember the old cliche – “form goes out the window in derby fixtures”.
So yes….I’d say Spurs 2-1 Arsenal, or a 2-2 draw. Can Arsenal win? Maybe. But it does admittedly look good for Spurs.
Written by Chris, an Arsenal fan who has a weekly column for gunnerstown.com.