NLD Mailbox: Sorry Spurs, Arsenal are still superior

Date published: Sunday 19th November 2017 2:00

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Praise for 16 Conclusions
Did someone beat you with the angry Tottenham stick?

It was a poor performance there’s no disguising that but the article resembles the ramblings of an Arsenal fan after 8 pints of Stella.

At least we can afford to play the second X1 at Dortmund next week and who would’ve thought that at the start of the season? But that’s not progress or success is it?


After reading the shambles of 16 conclusions, I’m glad Phil Neville on Match of the Day cares that it wasn’t a foul, said that it changed the game, and that the resulting header was offside too.

Let’s just forget about it. I’m not in the least bit bothered by other decisions either – Lampard vs Germany or Maradona in 86. None of the decisions made the slightest bit of difference to the game and obviously made no difference to the result.
Dave, Winchester Spurs


Grudging respect from a Spurs fan
So I have to specify that I’m a Spurs fan, and yet I do not begrudge Arsenal their victory. They were better today, a bit more incisive and worked hard throughout the game.

I could complain about the foul that was called on Sanchez (which obviously wasn’t a foul but a fantastic defensive tackle), I could complain about the offside goal. Actually, let me complain a bit, I understand that on the second goal it’s nigh impossible to spot a player’s shoulder slightly offside. But in this case, it was a set-piece, where there’s a well formed line of defenders that helps the linesman. And yet he missed it somehow. How much easier does it get? So it was a goal that came from two refereeing errors, and in a game like this a goal certainly changed the balance of the game and the style of play. Arsenal deserved the breakthroughs they got though because they worked hard and their intention was to attack, which is what football is all about, sometimes you have to get lucky. So, well, done and it’ll feel especially good to spank you back at Wembley in February (You know we will).

The game got me thinking though, I felt far more frustrated about losing to ManU a few weeks again, why? It’s because of the style of football. Arsenal worked hard, they tried to attack, they treated the game as it should be at home against a simlar srength opponent. In other words, they tried to show Spurs who’s home it is. While at Old Trafford we saw the embodiment of cowardly football.

For that reason, Mourinho will always have more trophies, but Wenger will always be the more repected manager as far as football goes. I pay to watch footballat home or away to be entertained to some degree, or pay for my subscription (or maybe not, thank God for streaming, bwahahaha).

So, in other words, we lost to a team that played slightly better than us – fair enough. Get up and keep winning other games, not disheartened by it. The refereeing standard really has to improve though, but not sure how.

Btw, did anyone notice how Sissoko is starting to look pretty decent? He’s starting to look like the player we saw when he played for France at the Euros. His running with the ball and the power were pretty impressive at times.
Patrick (THFC), keep going – we can play better and we will play better – hold referees accountable for simple mistakes or use video review


Arsenal are still north London’s finest
Reading the paper on Friday, there were two articles on the same page about today’s derby. Firstly Tony Cascarino predicted that Spurs would soon be a “bigger club” than Arsenal. This was partnered with a (completely non critical) report of MoPo’s presser in which he stated he wouldn’t trade Spurs’ “progress'” for Arsenal’s recent trophy haul.

Today’s game was a clear indication that for all of Spurs’ excellent football over the past 2 years, on their day, Arsenal are still the superior team. Similarly MP’s apparent contempt for actual trophies (the game is about glory…) has again demonstrated why Spurs will remain perennial also-rans. Both Mourinho’s first Chelsea team and the mid noughties Utd (who’d gone 3(?) years without a trophy) have spoken of the importance of bagging the first trophy (league cup), yet Poch seems to consider this beneath him and his team.

Arsenal are far from perfect but they remain North London’s finest.
David, gooner


False dawn, but still
What a performance by Arsenal. While our record against the bigger teams hasnt always been great, we have seen an improvement since we have changed to a 3-4-3 formation. Yes, we lost embarrassingly against Liverpool, but we’ve beaten Man City, drawn at Stamford bridge, beaten United and Spurs at home. We even somewhat competed against City 2 weeks ago. This is a stark improvement from previous performances. We have 4 points from 4 games against the rest of the big 6 (3 away games as well).

We started the game like we have against the big boys (bar Liverpool). We were aggressive, created chances and put pressure. After the early intense minutes, we started to gain control of the game. Yet, before the goal Spurs had the better chances.

This may not be the most popular opinion, but Mike Dean and his assistants need to be praised today. I think they got most of the decisions correct. Firstly, it was a foul on A. Sanchez by D. Sanchez. Mike Dean was consistent here, because he penalized Ozil for the exact same thing on Vertoghen earlier in the game when the German was through on goal. As for the offside, if you take out Mustafi’s arm, he looks to be played slightly onside by the shoulder of the spurs defender right behind him (Sanchez I believe). As for the second goal, Lacazette’s arm is offside, but the rest of his body isn’t, so again that is the correct decision. Both decisions are very tight, and we can’t begrudge the referees for allowing the goals if they are not sure.

The whole team played well today, especially in the middle of the park, but Ozil and Mustafi were absolutely immense today. Ozil created chances, tracked back and won a few challenges. I don’t know how many clearances Mustafi got today, but he was always there. What a difference it makes when all your starting centre-backs can play.

Wenger replacing Lacazette with Coquelin was also the right move. Many groaned at the change, but coquelin was effective enough to counter Winks, and Spurs were rarely able to threaten Arsenal bar that Son chance.

Honestly, what does this mean for Spurs. Losing at both Old Trafford and the Emirates isn’t shameful, but the title already looks to be gone. Will Kane stay an extra year if Madrid come knocking this summer? Will Pochettino still be here as well? They are an excellent team, but it seems like it will be tough for them to win a title which Arsenal fans know too well how teams are judged.

As an arsenal fan, I know this means nothing for the future. We’ve seen too many false dawns (I still remember an excellent article being written about Arsenal’s future after we knocked out AC Milan 8 years ago). But that doesn’t mean we can not enjoy this amazing victory.
Guillaume, Ottawa


Wenger has been following the news
And has coaxed the team into an emphatic response following Zimbabwe’s demonstration of a bloodless coup to topple a seasoned dictator.
Tiny Dawn Gunners, Pig and Swizzle


I hear lots of talk about Ozil and Sanchez putting in great performances, and a solid defence and hard-working midfield, but nobody has thanked me yet for making Kane my fantasy captain.

Also, was Wenger having another dig about his weight when he called Alexis a heavyweight?
Adonis Stevenson, AFC


Cheers, Troy
Troy Deeney has transformed this team with his scathing assessment of Arsenal a few weeks back – Özil was a man possessed. Thanks Troy, appreciate it!


Hotch Poch
I wonder will Pochettino be scrutinised for his tactics and performance at the end of a poor result as much as say Jose, or Klopp, or particularly a certain Mr.Wenger? Three defeats against Top 4 rivals (and two London rivals to boot) already, but I can hazard a guess that there won’t be the same level of criticism fired his way. The same goes for Harry Kane and Dele Alli. Imagine the narrative had Lukaku blanked against Arsenal of all teams! Pfft…flat track bully.

But then again, Spurs are for some reason the anointed “neutrals favourites”, so get afforded more leeway in the press than others.
Brian, Wexford


Wreck the Mike
Just got back from Arsenal vs Spuds. Joyful as it was, as I was leaving it was odd how despite the celebrations the main theme of the chat was how utterly abysmal Mike Dean was, multiple times being ‘helped to the right decision’ by his less myopic assistants and generally getting most big calls wrong while showboating and booking every Arsenal player. Then on the tube home to my mixed (Gooner 45%, Sp*ds 40%, Chelski 10% + random Uniteds) Barnet homeland I overheard some sp*ds fans also bemoaning his performance. Then I was reading your ‘5 derbies that mattered’ article and the dodgy penalty awarded in our glorious 5-2 comeback win a few years ago was awarded by… Mike Dean.  Of course I will also mention the infamous Gabriel/Costa debacle. There was a petition against him refereeing Arsenal games a few years ago, and protests this week too. When both supporters leaving a classic North London derby mainly want to talk about how crap the Ref was, there IS an issue. Good refs should be invisible, I only wish Mike Dean was.

Mike Dean might be a referee, but certainly shouldn’t officiate the north London derby. We feel we beat 12 men, Sp*ds feel they lost to 12. That just can’t be right.
David, North London


Waiting for the inevitable article listing how many wrong decisions Spurs seem to be on the receiving end of in every match officiated by Mike Dean.

Care to write one Sarah or are you too busy? Oh well, you’ll always have your article about Spurs’ opponents receiving 90th minute red cards to fall back upon.

Its irks me so much seeing mainstream media writing this sort of article. One thing is arsenal fans mouthing off in twitter but when reputed sites like yours start repeating their words one way or another, it’s bound to affect the refs who must follow the football news/media and see these sort of false allegations.
Nabil, THFC.


Congratulations to Arsenal’s Mike Dean on a superb performance for the Gunners. Was the real deserving winner  of the MOTM award.
A non bitter Tottenham supporter


A neutral’s view
– I really thought Arsenal were good even in their defeat against City.  Yes, some marginal calls went against them, but attitude wise they were good.  Wenger’s mistake of not starting Lacazette, Sanchez and Ozil was the mistake which gave City the edge.

– However, Wenger did not make the same mistake last evening.  Lacazette represents the typical Wenger signing.  Technically adept player, has a good first touch, can interchange and play in more than one position and basically not a *specialist*.  When you put him along with Sancez and Ozil, two similar talents what do you get – a brilliant front 3.

– The key to last night’s game was how the front 3 pressed Spurs and played without the ball.  I don’t know what to make of Ozil frankly as sometimes I feel he’s a victim of his body language than actual lack of work rate.  He was comfortably the man of the match.  He ran the game.  When he had the ball, Lacazette and Sancez made those off the ball runs that terrorized the Tottenham back 3 and even without the ball, Ozil put in some shift!

– If I were an Arsenal fan, I would definitely look for an upgrade at the Aaron Ramsey position and relegate him to the bench.  He gives the ball away too much and sometimes, leaves a gap in that central midfield.  Make no mistake, he’s no Frank Lampard.  And high time he realizes that.  Think Pochettino made a mistake in not exploiting Ramsey’s runs leaving behind gaps in midfield last night.

– Speaking of Pochettino, I thought Spurs were mimicking Pep’s game plan by asking Sissoko to do what KDB does, move to the right, overload that area and play make from there.  Only thing, it was hilarious.  In my opinion, Sissoko’s best position is a box-to-box midfield player unless something’s drastically changed.

– Some words on Koscielny and the Arsenal defense.  I believe Koscielny has been one of the best center backs in the division for some years.  It’s a pity he played for that Arsenal team.  A lot of what Arsenal achieve this season would depend upon him being fit.

– A final word.  When there’s no pressure, Arsenal and Tottenham are comfortably the best sides to watch in the world perhaps.  You’ll find swagger, goals (a lot of them), silky passing moves and name it all.  However, when there’s pressure and weight of expectations, both teams choke spectacularly in their own levels.  Unless both teams can prove mettle under pressure, I won’t take them seriously.  They can be the neutral’s favorites for all I care!
Aravind, Chelsea Fan.  


Another ‘neutral’…
See Spurs, the new most dominant team that’s never won a f***ing thing, are only a point ahead of Liverpool and Arsenal.

Maybe wait til you win ANYTHING before you act like the Billy Big B*ll*cks after a few matches, lads?

Prediction: They won’t finish above either this year. Back in your box of mediocrity.
Kris, LFC, Wirral

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