Arsenal face tough Tottenham derby to reignite European dreams

Mikel Arteta carries on indicating that Arsenal can somehow reach the European places via our League position, but that dream is receding into the distance, and if we actually lose to Tottenham on Sunday Arteta may be forced to revise his opinion.

Yes the Gunners are in a rare bit of good form, but Tottenham are flying at the moment. They have won their last 5 games while only conceding once in the 4-1 win over Palace. They also have Gareth Bale coming in to form to add to the danger from Son and Kane. It doesn’t help that we haven’t beaten the Spuds in our last 4 meetings. “The last game, we started really well, we were dominant and the first time they went over the halfway line they scored.” Arteta told Arsenal.com. “That’s the quality, they are a well-organised team, a big threat in every counter-attack situation, great individuals skills and great organisation. You can see the team fights and believes absolutely in what the manager’s ideas are, so it will be a really tough game.”

The striking duo of Son and Kane destroyed us last time we met and our defence will have to be at their very best to keep them at bay. Arteta is well aware of the danger to Arsenal and he knows that they will be very hard to control. “Very difficult because the level of quality, precision, understanding and chemistry they have between them makes them probably one of the most teams in Europe. They don’t need much. They are able to create their own chances, they are able to link as a team. So it’s really difficult to do that, but we’ll prepare the game well to try to stop them, obviously.”

So it will not be easy, but we really need to get all 3 points to close the gap to Spurs to just 4 points. A defeat will leave our rivals with an unassailable 10 point lead, with our next game away at West Ham, who are even higher in the table.

My one bit of hope I have is that Arsenal are more likely to win when they are the underdogs, and I am feeling that very few puntets will give us a chance before the game!

6 Comments

  1. Goonster says:

    Have we ever won against Mourinho?

    1. Gworm says:

      Community shield when Mo gave away his runners up medal to a fan

  2. LtDan says:

    It’s true Spurs are well drilled and have enough technical ability, precision and moreso, fight, drive as well as the use of underhand tactics to overcome us on Sunday.

    If we set up a powder puff team and try to play football against them, we’ll definitely get turned over. It might not be a mauling but we’ll once again show that we can’t overcome them !

    Obviously, much of the success on Sunday will be about the line up we put out against Spurs. We all know the tactics of Mourinho, a hard working, well drilled fighting team whose first task is to harass and interrupt the their opposition by being robust and even a bit underhand. Once they’ve knocked you off kilter and dented your confidence, they’ll keep trying to force you into mistakes and losing possession of the ball on a regular basis. And each time you do……they won’t try to really play through you. They’ll knock it up to Kane and Son who with a small amount of craft but a lot of determination, be clinical. With the team we field, we’ll probably invite them to do just that !

    I thought we were going to get a hammering at City a little while back, especially when I saw the line up which included Xhaka and Elneny and Pepe. Okay, we got beat but not humiliated. That was because City, to a man, unlike Spurs have the exact combination of skill, precision and collective understanding to play open football and invite you to match them. That day, although we couldn’t match them, we were resolute and organised. Spurs on the other hand won’t give us the time or option to play any sort of expansive football. They’ll rely on brute force first and football second.

    The team we set up against them will have to be just as robust. It has to be ruthless in intent, all about attack. Not just keeping the ball for keeps sake, constantly attacking them and putting them on the back foot. Long balls into their box and challenging for everyone of them. I don’t care if that’s not Aubamayangs’ game, he’s a pro, gets paid well and needs to be willing to adapt when called, for the sake of the cause and team ! Challenging not just the second but the third ball, not giving them a chance to supply Bail, Kane or Son.

    Unfortunately with our style of football, the coaching and the personnel we have available to, that might not be possible.

    Even as a one off and to put to bed the old adage of us being a soft touch, it would be a good to see Arteta put out the real fighters in the team and instruct them to win dirty or at least claw back some pride with a well fought scrap.

    I think if Xhaka wasn’t so betwixt and between about who he thinks he currently is as a player. He would fit right into my idea of a scrap. We know he’s reckless, clumsy and a bit of clogger. So why not employ him in that role, let him go round just kicking the piss out of Spurs even if it ends up with a red card.

    Lets face it, three points would improve our position, ever so slightly but might not be sufficient to actually get us into a worthwhile league position. So why not use this game to turn the table on Spurs, boosting our confidence and denting theirs. We can go back to our business as usual type of football in the games that follow.

  3. Trudeau says:

    I know almost every game feels crucial but this one to me really does. We have yet to put in a real winning streak this season and if we can turn over Spurs then this is the time.

    I really feel this squad is close to turning the corner but something is clearly lacking. I think it’s an intangible thing more than it is a different manager or players. Maybe internal belief? A win against an in-form Spurs could go a long way to changing that.

  4. Palash says:

    We can beat Tottenham only if we dont miss our chances in front of the goals.We are not clinical in front of the goal

  5. RSH says:

    I dont expect arsenal to suddenly turn up when we havent done so all season. Chelsea game is really the only game i was 100% impressed with our performance against a side that was also up for it. Spurs will be up for it and will be more clinical than us. They dont struggle to score. We do. It feels like drinking from an oasis after being stranded in a desert every time we score. Slurp up as much as you can because there’s no guarantee we’ll see another any time soon.

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