Arsenal best since peak Wenger, NLD conclusions and the Klopp seven-year itch

Date published: Sunday 2nd October 2022 3:48 - Editor F365

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka celebrates his goal

Arsenal are the best since peak Wenger, Spurs fans lick their wounds and should Liverpool fans be concerned about Jurgen Klopp?

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NLD conclusions
Spurs fan since 1976 and that was a great Derby, regardless of the result.

16 conclusions
3-1 to Arsenal, I’m betting this result won’t matter at all and it will boil down to the return fixture in January when we will once extinguish Arsenal’s top 4 hopes.

Kane scores again in the North London Derby, first touch and a goal, what a legend

Kane must be the dirtiest player never to get punished, the amount of fouls he gets away with is incredible

You won’t see a more relieved person than me that Richarlison plays for us, he’s such an asshole that it must continuously rile up his enemies; however, he’s also an absolutely disgusting piece of garbage for a human being, he’s one of those people that would eventually accumulate enough bad karma through maliciousness to get hit by a random truck while crossing the road.

Richarlison was still the best Spurs player on the pitch and his expression at being substituted says it all, he must feel his teammates just aren’t up to his high standards

A fellow Spurs fan mentioned awhile ago that our form was even more sustainable than Arsenal’s; I’m sorry to say, that simply is bollocks. To maintain momentum you need motivation, desire and unity within the team, Arsenal is bleeding those traits whereas Tottenham continuously shows just how disjointed and broken they are as a team; Spurs have been winning purely due to Conte’s brilliance, it’s not going to last and reeks of short-termism

Spurs’ tactics are pretty transparent, maintain shape, defend, then counter and force set pieces

Dier has been the most improved Spurs player this year, he was immense even when Spurs have been abit shit.

Lloris has been consistently shit for us for awhile now, and he will be the reason why France won’t have any chance at the World Cup this year

I get that Conte needs one of his lieutenants in the team, Perisic fulfills that role, but Perisic has been garbage whenever his athletism is exposed, he’s just not fit enough for the EPL

25m. What was the point of buying Yves Bissouma if we don’t let him start?
Can we buy Tierney from Arsenal? That poor sod can’t get proper minutes and is still an absolute beast

Can I just say how incredible Xhaka’s transformation from pariah to key player has been? he’s so consistently good now. moving him away from Arsenal’s own penalty box seems to solved the problem
Martinelli is simply unplayable when he’s on fire, Conte’s mistake was to try and kick him off the pitch, that motivated him and sealed our doom
Saliba just exudes calm, somebody rile him up!

Arteta must be the most annoying manager to watch on the sidelines; Zinchenko mirrors this by continuing to over celebrate everything minor on the pitch
Stuart Randall Griffin, THFC (the real one)


READ MORE: 16 Conclusions on Arsenal 3-1 Tottenham – Saliba, Xhaka, Royal and an answer to our Spurs question


More conclusions…
(from a Spurs fan’s point of view)

1. Once again, we started the match lethargically, letting Arsenal’s high press bother us more than we should, and not defending with enough energy in our bottom third, which ultimately lead to Partey’s goal – passes made with too much time, and though the shot was from outside the box, it was too easy with no pressure on it.

2. After that, we woke up, and this turned into a proper derby. Arsenal look the real deal (until they find a way to trip over their own feet again), but so do we. We started to give as good as we got, and the move that lead to Kane’s cheekily middled penalty highlighted both Son and Richarlison’s skill and tenacity – that’s a handful for any defence.

3. Towards the end of the 1st half, all the fouling from both teams, tactical and otherwise, threatened to get out of ref Anthony Taylor’s hands, but he rode the wave and got the match under control, hats off to him for that.

4. The second half seemed to go the way the first ended, and Jesus’ pinball goal, lucky even if earned by hard work, didn’t feel like the end, there would be a way back for Spurs.

5. And just when Spurs looked like finding the way back, such a deflating moment. Emerson Royal’s challenge was needless and stupid, and the way he caught Martinelli’s ankle warranted a red card. Still, if he just happened to catch another part of Martinelli’s foot or leg, it would have been at most a yellow. It’s just so random, and the punishment feels more to do with the consequences than the crime. It’s not as if Emerson knew what he would hit. He rarely does.

6. I just hate red cards. Even when it’s the opposing team getting them, they just make the game worse. If the team in the lead gets to play with a man advantage, they can just control the game so much more easily, and if it’s the other way around or even at the time, it’s just parking the bus after that. There has to be a better way to punish the misdeed. It doesn’t even make for good television. A moment of drama, but all drama’s out of the window after that.

7. Arsenal took advantage of our disarray, and that was that. Damage limitation, but nice to have Conte try the 3 man midfield, which did calm things down, and absolutely great to have Oliver Skipp back again!

8. Conte has been oddly reluctant to try anyone else than Emerson Royal at right wingback, but this forces his hand, and I’m looking forward to seeing someone else there. I have no idea why anyone thought replacing Serge Aurier with such a similar player was worth it. And why Conte, who reportedly values attacking prowess in his wingbacks, has persevered with him is even more of a mystery. Or maybe he’s just seen stats that ER gets the ball in good attacking positions often – come on Antonio, surely you realise it’s just that opponents let him because they know he’s next to useless there!

9. At least losing this way shouldn’t have any damaging psychological effect, and it could even be the reverse. Come On You Spurs!
Samuli, THFC


Best since peak Wenger
I write in recently saying that the process IS working. I saw nothing in the derby to dissuade me of this notion. They might not win the league, but this is the best Arsenal since peak Wenger.

Imagine if we didn’t have Harry Kane. It’ll be be like pre Jol all over again. Appreciate him whilst we have him folks, and tip your hats to Arteta…Arteta knows.
Jon, Lincoln

Easy peasy
I just want to check with everyone who has been along in and in the comments section (mostly spurs fans) commenting on Arsenal are yet to beat a decent side. Have they beaten one today? Because I’m not quite sure…

Penny for the thoughts of Barry Fox and RICH who have been saying how much they’ll love it when they beat us this weekend. Keep dreaming lads.


Boys, I’m as big an Arsenal fan as they come, but let’s hold the celebrations till we’ve beaten a decent team please.
Hats (Gibraltar)


Hi Stewie.
Philip Walter 

The Klopp ‘seven-year itch’
Well if that result, as well as their season so far,  isn’t one of the best examples of being ‘Spursy’ then I’ve no idea what is.  When we were bobbing up and down the divisions, I used to think that following ‘Typical City’ was the epitome of suffering for your support (I know, I know, others have suffered far worse).  But Holy Lillywhites Batman, has any so-called ‘Top Six’ team  repeatedly promised so much and delivered so little?  Being a Spurs fan, and I say this without the slightest hint of sarcasm, must be utterly gut-wrenching.  Always the bridesmaid etc doesn’t begin to cover it surely?

Secondly, are any Liverpool fans genuinely worried that the Klopp ‘Seven year itch’ theory might actually be a thing?  Just asking.
Mark (Has anybody seen the so-called “Barry Fox”?  Tee Hee)  MCFC.


Top four target for Liverpool
For the first time (I think) i am disappointed with Klopp.Surprised Nunez did not start, the guy needs game time however Firmino made me look daft. But then to wait until the 89th minute to put on Nunez, giving him no chance to get into the game and let his confidence drop even further makes no sense.

Today showed why I rate Alisson higher than anyone else in their position. Could’ve been 6 from Brighton with this defending.

On to the next. The goal surely now has to be top 4 (11 points behind Arsenal already, could be 10 behind City) plus a cup run (CL or FA).
Nik (my expectations have been significantly lowered for this season), Munich


Who could replace Klopp?
Here we go, the Klopp-out brigade are at it again, hyperventilating all over YouTube and posting toys-out-of-the-pram level tantrums in comments sections.

Replacing Klopp is some astrophysicist-level thinking, I must say. The kind of logic that gets you a Brexit. Or an idea so stupid it might’ve been dreamed up by Liz Truss. Honestly, it’s so bonkers it’s like the work of one of Putin’s Internet Research Agency trolls on a lunch break from the cyber war.

Sack Klopp? When we just came within a pubic hair of winning every competition last season and being the most successful club side in the history of world football?

Yeah, the best-before-date on this squad may have arrived earlier than anyone expected. And it may be that the world’s best manager has a decision or two to make to freshen up the side. But who besides Klopp would you trust to make those decisions? Pep maybe, but he’s busy grinning in the background of Erling Haaland hi-lites. Any other ideas? Poch? Tuchel? Stevie G? The return of Brendan?

Seriously, calm down for god’s sake.


Super Frank
I think the lazy media shouts about Frank being the first one sacked can stop now.

We’re getting better and better.  Get in a top drawer striker who isn’t always crocked and we could start thinking about the top half again.
TX Bill (Maupay may be a pr$&k, but he’s our pr$&k) EFC


The Manchester derby
With the Manchester derby this weekend its our turn to face the Jotunn in blue. Despite City having no trouble beating us twice last season without him surely the primary concern for Ten Hag is how to stop or at least restrain Haaland. I can see only two approaches to achieve this, I’m sure both will be used but to what degree will ultimately depend on how much risk Ten Hag is willing to accept.

The first and more passive method would be to limit the supply to Haaland. Obviously with the quality City possess in all positions this is no mean feat, but by playing a higher line, compressing the midfield, and having his front 4 press like lunatics it could starve the big lug of any decent service and thus reduce his opportunities to score. Using this as the main tactic would probably mean playing a similar team that which beat Liverpool, McTominay and Eriksen as a midfield 2. I think this would be Ten Hag’s preferred option because if its executed properly it also offers the chance to win the ball high up the pitch in attacking positions. However this would be incredibly difficult to maintain for 90 minutes and as we’ve seen Haaland is quick enough and strong enough to exploit the space behind that higher line.

The more direct method would involve a change in formation and is probably more likely if Rashford is not passed fit for the game. Here Casemiro comes in alongside McTominay and Eriksen to create a flat midfield 3, Bruno probably plays right wing and Anthony as the striker. McT then basically man marks Haaland when City have possession in the final third, or simply drops in between the two centre backs to deal with crosses. If you look at Haaland’s touch heatmap for the season nearly everything he does is between the posts directly in front of goal up to 25 yards out. By packing this area or putting a combative player directly on him the hope is to deny him the time and space to shoot effectively. Problems here are two fold, it virtually cedes control of the game to City, they’re going to have it anyway but this makes it easier for them and restricts even further our opportunities to attack. Also if this is effective City could just choose to ignore Haaland, use him as a decoy to attract defenders then exploit the space with their other attackers.

Safe to say I’m not confident of a United win or even particularly for any points gained but I don’t believe it will be the mauling I’ve expected in the last few encounters. This United side surprised me against Liverpool and Arsenal so perhaps they could do it again but City are a different animal.
Dave, Manchester


Premier League XI
I read John’s email with anticipation of seeing a great XI of stars from throughout the ages, I ended up being given (not even, imo,) the best XI that are playing right now. I can only assume John started watching football in 2010ish. I would like to humbly submit my personal premier league all time XI:
P Schmeichel


De Bruyne


This is just based on my personal taste as a fan. I understand that no one will agree 100% with anyone elses list, but I’m pretty sure if we had a time machine and constructed this team, Bill and Ted style, from all their best years, this XI would go toe to toe with anyone elses.
Andy, Guatemala 

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