North London’s Finest held to a draw.

The fact that we feel as frustrated as we do by yesterday’s draw just goes to show how far we have come and just how big the gulf is between the two clubs. Maybe I am underplaying this: dropping two points to the knuckle draggers from N17 is kick the cat around the living room annoying. Those points are not for sharing; they are ours and I, for one, want them.

As far as action in the first half goes there was little of it. We were the best team by some distance but the best chances fell to spuds, who were wasteful. We had one decent break which saw Wilshere powering though the middle but he played it behind the on coming Ramsey rather than Özil who was better placed to his left. That is it as far as action and my memory goes but as we all know the talking point was the fact that we managed to loose our entire midfield to injury: Arteta, Ramsey and Wilshere. It is testament to the depth of our squad that we were almost seamlessly able to replace them.

Many may argue, in fact, that Flamini, Cazorla and Özil are a better midfield triumvirate. Well, maybe not Flamini who is spending today on the naughty step for giving the ball away so poorly that it led to spud’s goal but the other two are a very good idea.

The good guys started the second half with much more purpose, driving forward which almost brought a goal within five minutes of the restart. The ball seemed to stop on spuds goal line; we had to wait a good ten minutes before the goal-line technology decided that it hadn’t gone in, good to see that working so efficiently. They obviously waited until they were absolutely certain that it wasn’t a goal before they showed it to us, I doubt they would have even bothered had it crossed the line.

Spuds goal was not only against the run of play, it was against nature, it is just plain wrong that they score against us – ever. It did, however, focus the collective mind and Özil responded to the rallying cry magnificently, the man orchestrated the rebalance with the authority of a future captain. I almost wrote a post about three weeks ago entitled ‘Can someone remind me why I thought Özil was so good’ now I want to write a post entitled ‘How could I have possibly doubted Özil?’. The German was brilliant and Man of the Match again by a country mile.

I can’t remember how our goal came about, I know it came from the left but I have no idea how the ball got itself across the goal mouth but I do remember Welbeck’s embarrassing air shot before Oxlaide-Chamberlain powerful struck it into the roof of the net. Cue pandemonium, relief and every other wonderful emotion that can possibly be felt.

Some may say that a draw is better than a loss which it is of course but I still feel slightly deflated.

Oh well, we shall just have to wait to beat them at their place which is, of course, even more satisfying. In the mean time we remain unbeaten, so that’s something, onwards and upwards. Enjoy your Sunday.

Written by LB

67 Responses to North London’s Finest held to a draw.

  1. Rasp says:

    Thanks LB, as usual, a very fair assessment in the cold light of day.

    This was my ‘still smouldering’ comment from earlier ….

    …… That was a typical AW/Arsenal performance of late. We get a different performance at every game – you never know which Arsenal is going to turn up, there is no consistency. The team is weaker than the sum of its parts. AW over complicates the game. We need wide players, strength in midfield and creativity in the No.10 spot. Instead of that we lack power in the central midfield and are congested in the No.10/AM area.

    We have clever meaningless possession in parts of the field from where we can’t hurt the opposition. We give them time and space to compact their defence and then cannot break them down.

    I stand by the my assertion of a week ago. AW buys players because he admires their talent and hopes they will adapt to somehow form a team. He does not buy specific players to perform specific roles (apart from the obvious CB/keeper) hence the boring square pegs assertion.

  2. LOLpundit says:

    We could not even beat spurs at emirates. Why did Ox and Jack start ahead of Santi and Sanchez? Pure obsession with English Players costing us valuable points

  3. Rasp says:

    LOL, I don’t know where you got that from? The Ox was probably our best player and the usual criticism of AW is that he is biased towards the foreign/French players …. think again.

  4. arnie says:

    Nice one, LB. As positive as one can be, under the circumstances. I have two points though.

    First, we played a boring boring sleep inducing game. Yes, a draw at home against the Spuds is a BAD result. However, I would not even mind so much if we had lost if we managed to play an exciting game. In the event, it was a fairly boring draw,

    As Rasp says, plenty of useless possession in Mars and none where it matters most. Our formation was too narrow. We played four in the middle but still, except for The Ox, everyone else drifted into that magical G-spot in the middle and crowded each other out.

    Second, Ozil was not poor, but certainly not as good as what I, and I suppose we, expect from him. No, if we really had to do a MOTM, it would be a toss up between The Ox and Kos for me.

    Why was Ozil so ineffective. Because, he did not get the space around him that he needs to work with. In my view, Ozil is brilliant against opposition that do not press (like Villa) or in combination with other MFs who take away 2 or 3 opposition henchmen and therefore leave some space free (like Alexis).

    In the event, none of this happened. Except for The Ox on the right, and later on Santi on the left, all our MFs drifted into the centre and crowded each other out.

    We need to sort this out.

    Finally, LB, well done on your prediction that Alexis will not start. But, IMHO, this does not work for us. We need and deserve better.

  5. arnie says:

    Well, maybe, it was more Alexis than Santi on the left. However, the point remains that the centre of our midfield is too crowded. Sometime I feel we would play better with 10 or 9 players than we play with 11. 🙂

  6. aizedlittlemozart says:

    good post LB.

    every dropped point is hurtful, no matter what, where or against who.

    but i’d take the 1 point & live to fight another day, especially with a zero on the loss column

  7. aizedlittlemozart says:


  8. aizedlittlemozart says:

    my worry is our players dropping like flies after an insecticide spray.

    our unbeaten run will mean so much more to me if we have it intact after next weekend. suddenly even our midfield is looking threadbare. its scary!

  9. Big Raddy says:

    LB. Great stuff.

    Like you I feel offended if not insulted that Spurs left the Emirates with a point.

    The fact – and it is a fact – that none of the Spurs team would get into ours is an indicator of how poorly Arsenal played.

    How many chances did we create? How many saves did Lloris make? Not enough is the answer.

    One can point out that Spurs came to park the bus and hit us on the counter but we have overcome such tactics in the past and will have to do so throughout the season.

    Of course the injuries were costly. Would Arteta have been caught in possession as Flamini was? Would Wilshere have played on with a crocked ankle had Ramsey not got knocked?

    Mr Wenger must believe that we cannot start with both Ozil and Alexis together, or is it Ramsey & Alexis or perhaps Wilshere & Alexis? 😀

  10. BR

    I think it may be the Ozil/Sanchez combination that is causing Wenger the problems. Sanchez does a lot of running off the ball, moves about a bit too much and this in turn causes Ozil problems because he doesn’t know exactly where Sanchez will be at any given moment. Ozil likes to know if he puts a ball through a defence, his attacker will be there. That’s why I think Ozil/Welbeck will work better until Sanchez slows down a bit.

  11. Rasp says:

    I hate to say it but chelski/Maureen have it about right. They will win the league at a stroll unless they suffer significant injuries.

    They identified the areas of their side that needed improving and then signed the 2 best players they could for those positions = Fabregas and Costa. But more than that, their side is well structured, disciplined, organised and drilled. They have a strong spine – every player is used to his strengths, knows his position and what is expected of him …… and they are all expected to give every ounce of energy for the full 90 minutes – no strolling back from midfield if they lose possession.

  12. GoonerB says:

    Thanks LB, and my respect to you for standing up and doing the post on what could be a tricky morning. I think we will see a split between those that are disappointed but not overly concerned about yesterdays draw and those that are more concerned.

    I am afraid I sit in the latter camp but less so on this one result but more how I see things unfolding generally at present.

    Rasp’s comment at 10.46, (brought over from the last post), perfectly sums up how I feel about AW at the moment. I generally think he has a collection of very talented players but with many being too similar and he doesn’t know how to line them up the best way. I think Ozil almost fell into our grasp at the last moment and that added to the congestion of similar players. Having said that I do feel he is truly class, if used correctly, so IMO he should play his best position when he is starting a game.

    Rasp’s end bit about the boringly repetitive statement of square pegs in round holes cliché is very true. I actually used it yesterday and stated that if the team lines up in a square pegs in round holes formation then we will give them a sniff in the game. That is exactly what I felt happened, so this term is likely to be used until he get’s it right.

    I stated my preferred choice of line up yesterday. AW didn’t go with that one. I don’t expect him to stop and listen to me individually, and who is to say that my preference is better than what he is trying. He is the man with the knowledge and experience after all, but then that has to be reflected in how we play, that it shows that he does know what to do with the plethora of talent he has at his disposal.

    I say that last bit because I feel we have a top class squad (maybe with 1-2 areas needing addressing). We have brought in world class players and we have developed (IMO) world class players which is testament to AW’s sublime skill in this department. All that is left is to blend these talents into a finely tuned unit which, let’s face it, is a huge remit in the managers job description.

    If that means being ruthless in certain ways then so be it. Arsenal football club and it’s performances and results are all that should matter. If one player gets upset at being slightly side-lined then so be it. Does Arsene have that ruthlessness in him though?

    I am not really placated by the unbeaten tag. I haven’t focussed on who has said it, more just that I am aware it has cropped up a few times, so please no-one think I am aiming this at them. I thought Bayonne Jean perfectly summed this up yesterday by saying :

    All of this “still undefeated” chat is getting tiresome. Would take four wins (two at home over City and Spuds) and two losses rather than two wins and four draws. Why? Simples — 12 points better than 10.

    It struck me that theoretically we could have another invincible’s season and get relegated on 38 points. Too many draws can be as damaging as defeats, and with the squad we have we shouldn’t have had so many draws and dropped so many points to date. Two more draws in the next 2 games (still undefeated) would leave us on 12 points. If other results go against us Chelsea could be on 20, Utd and Spurs on 14, and Liverpool on 13. Things would not seem so healthy then.

  13. GoonerB says:

    Rasp your 12.32 is also exactly how I see it. You’re not crawling around inside my head are you?

  14. Rasp says:

    Morning GB, sorry to steal your thunder …. we’re both singing from the same team sheet 😆

  15. GoonerB says:

    If you are moving around inside my head Rasp watch out for the bearded bloke in the stockings and suspenders and frilly Basque. He is to be avoided at all costs.

  16. LB says:


    Thanks for the tittle tweek, it needed something I just couldn’t work out what is was.

  17. VCC says:

    Rasp 10:46……..Spot on as usual. Especially the last paragraph.

    The very reason I have limited my blogging.

    I am getting repetitive in my comments, always saying the same thing, over and over. As Wenger, keeps doing the same thing over and over.

    Yes, we all know he has worked miracles for our beloved club, keeping them in the champions league and hovering around top four for many years, and Yes, he should get an Arsenal Knight hood.

    But IMHO, he has gone stale and needs to either freshen up and take his head out of the sand or we seriously look towards the future without him, as hard as that may sound.

    I’m now waiting for the Sabres to arrive….. 😦


    Cheers LB

    Not beating them is the only time I get genuinely upset.

    Invoking horrible images of skinned cats, women with moustaches, and old men walking faster than me, but the worst is a recurring vision of Steve Archibald doing a thong only photo shoot.

    However, after putting my psychological problems, and irrational but very enjoyable hatred aside, we should have beaten the F*uckers five nil.

    We were all over them. They got very very lucky. I accept they defended well, but on another day they would have been spanked.

    There were plenty of pluses. The Chamberlin, Chambers combination down the right side could be the rebirth of Rocky/Dixon, and Wilshere was great.

    The biggest bonus, and I agree with you hear LB, was Ozil. The guy was different class in the 2nd half

    The weight and intelligence of his passes was a joy to watch.

  19. Sav from Australia says:

    Good match report.

    Its funny. ESPN had segments last week on their TV show – whilst baiting Arsenal ‘fans’ with Stewart Robson – about Arsene Wenger being ‘stale’ and Arsenal ‘needing change’. I found it quite amusing. The formations are evolving. There is nothing stale about it. I have faith that when it clicks it will be unstoppable. As others have said, the team did pretty well despite only sharing the points.

  20. Big Raddy says:

    Thinking it through I guess we were due a downturn against Spurs.

    Can you recall our win at Shite Hart Lane last season when Mozart rifled in our only shot of the game and then we were completely under the cosh for 80+ mins?

  21. Eddie says:

    Thanks LB, great report to read! you know how to capture moods and expectations (unfulfilled on this occasion).

    You don’t remember our goal?? That was the best of Welbeck I have seen so far – his pass to Ox was sublime! He actually pretended to fall to deliver it, genius 🙂

    I noticed and the TV pundits noticed too the Chamberlain Chambers duo playing together – developing into awesome pair.

  22. LB says:

    Big win for Poland today Eddie, great race, congrats.

  23. Eddie says:

    LB – I didn’t even know!! Thanks! Going to phone my mum now to find out the details

  24. The Cockie Monster says:

    Got to agree with Rasper and I don’t want to put words in his mouth, but it sounds like he thinks we need a new manager and that woman he wants is probably, Maureen !.
    We are still a million miles away from winning either the EPL or CL and only 3rd/4th and a minor cup is attainable until we go back to having a fcuking hairy ugly muvver DM, holding midfielder, what ever you want to call them, basically someone as hairy as transplant and as ugly as VCC and as plot lost as me !. hahaha

  25. Gööner In Exile says:

    Nicely summed up LB.

    We clearly haven’t clicked yet and some are rightly concerned. The fixtures are coming thick and fast and we have played some tough games, next week at the bus stop will be more of an eye opener or closer to where we are heading this year.

    Let’s not forget we were the early season pace setters last term but the burnout happened.

    Costa and Cesc are our Ramsey and Theo of last season, an injury to either or both could see their season unravel a bit. Such is Maureen’s concern of Costa he is not playing him 3 games a week. As they don’t want Remy leading the line for the rest of the season.

    We have a good spine and a getting to know you forward line, if we can get through to end of November not playing well but still in the top 4 what’s to say we can’t kick in from there.

    Funniest comment of the day goes to Troll Lol.

  26. The Cockie Monster says:

    Serious question and one that Kelsey would probably know !.
    Knowing we had first refusal on Fabregas and that they still ( correct me if I`m wrong ) owed us money for him, how much would the transfer fee been to get him back had we taken our buy back option ?.

  27. Eddie says:

    cockie – Cesc didn’t want to come back to Arsenal, so the money is irrelevant

  28. The Cockie Monster says:

    I think you`ll find, e va va vonne, that it`s Arsene who did not want Cesc and no doubt he will make Arsene pay for it next EPL game !.
    Anyway, just curious to know what he would have cost !.

  29. Big Raddy says:

    Less than Alexis and more than Chambers.

  30. Gööner In Exile says:

    £200k per week, plus £2m signing on fee, the transfer fee is in reality irrelevant.

    When Cesc came to us he already had Chavs offer on the table, anyone think we should’ve matched it?

    And if we already had too many similar players did we really want to add another one? The only way I could see it happening was the departure of Santi and possibly Özil.

  31. Gööner In Exile says:

    To expand further first refusal is just that, Barca decided to sell him, Chavs wanted to buy him.

    Does anyone think any footballer is worth £10m a year?

    I mean really it’s just ridiculous. I find it hard to cope with the fact that relative youngsters at Arsenal are on £5m. I know the modern game has made it so but to me it’s just crazy when you actually stop and think about it.

  32. neamman says:

    I don’t think we have got past 2nd gear in any of our games this year. We need to start clicking soon or else we will be left in the dust. There is certainly no fear factor when playing us.

  33. Pesa_Africa says:

    Kgooner here,

    Been a while since i made a comment. I always read the posts and its great to see the AA community continue in its tradition.

    A good mix of comments. I’d like to add that we are better mentally compared to last year in terms of coming back from 1-0 down. Its a positive I am embracing in these past results. Considering we have a new CF, RB and Sanchez it is still early to throw out the throw the baby out with the bath water. The game at Chelsea will tell us a lot more about where we are compared to last year. We can pull off a draw (at least).

    Keep up the great posts people!

  34. Hi guys I have my concerns. The goal scored by the spuds highlights two of the weak link I the squad. Centre half and defensive mid.

  35. Gööner In Exile says:

    Looks like our midfield three for Galatasaraays visit will be Flamster, Özil and Santi as both Arteta and Ramsey are out for at least two games and Jack is doubtful too.

    That also means wears going to have to change shape quite a bit for Chavs away.

  36. VCC says:

    GiE, it will be interesting to see how Wenger sets his team up against Galatasary.

    As Wenger is obsessed with the champions league I think he will play his strongest side and hope they get through and rest a couple for the chavs game.

    We may see a Rosicky run out even.

    Possibly =






  37. Big Raddy says:

    It also means that Arteta will be out yet again for a run of matches.

    When he first arrived the man seemed invulnerable, perhaps he has been returned to action too soon. Fans say he is getting too old for the team but he is only 32.

  38. Big Raddy says:

    VCC. No Flamini?

  39. LB says:

    I believe Flamini’s contract comes to an end at the end of this season but does anyone know when Arteta’s comes to an end?

  40. mickydidit89 says:

    Morning all

    Thanks LB for the post.

    Interesting comments, and I certainly agree that Arsene has worked out how to get the best out of so many talented players. Our real problems lie in the final third and the lack of chances created.

    However, I do not understand the conflict with playing Mesut and Alexis, as to my mind, they are made for each other.

  41. Eddie says:

    Aha, DidIt 🙂 Did you see my comment yesterday that my friend from Poland got rid off moles in her garden? All you need is Kelsey and your pigs

  42. mickydidit89 says:


    Do you want a free copy of Cycle Sport every month? It gets sent to us, and it looks like your cup of tea, what with it being about tight clothing and very pointy saddles.

    I thought of offering it to Raddy, but they won’t forward for free to communes with overseas postal codes, and quite rightly, I suspect his bike has a wicker basket on the front.

  43. mickydidit89 says:

    Eddie, morning.

    Sadly, I have to report the pigs are no more. An un-curable lung virus got them. Very sad.

  44. mickydidit89 says:

    Do we have a post for today?

  45. Eddie says:

    oh no 😦 that is sad news indeed 😦
    will you get a dog now?

  46. arnie says:

    Motning all.

    Micky. Agreed. However, would we be discussing this is we did not concede at least a goal in almost all games? Well, that would be because we send all our defenders over to attack.

    However, then. We put 10 men in attack and produce little in the final third. The problem is that all the 10 men know how to pass the ball in the MF, but have little skills in the final third.

    OK maybe other than Welbeck. Still maybe I do not have the right glasses on, but I am a bit underwhelmed by Danny. The dummy on Saturday was funny though.

  47. mickydidit89 says:

    My Darling Daughter has never stopped going on about a dog, but I know who’ll be walking it every morning and night. Problem being, we like to up sticks and clear off for weekends, and cats can be left alone.
    Dogs are a serious commitment and we already have skips full of those fellas.

  48. mickydidit89 says:

    Didit @ 8:31

    Arsene has NOT worked out how to get the best out of…..


  49. mickydidit89 says:


    You’re in the Crystals Camp about not conceding, but as I keep saying, you must score two goals and the mystery against Spuds, was how with all the possession did we create so few chances.

  50. VCC says:

    Big Raddy 07:47…..after Saturdays performance I wouldn’t pick him. 🙂

    Your quiet right, sorry. Revised line up






    For some reason I thought he was injured along with Ramsey, Arteta, Wilshere. ?????

  51. Eddie says:

    A small dog can travel with you 🙂 I always feel sorry for kids that love dogs and cannot have one. They are being denied company of a most loyal friend and a wonderful companion. And walking dogs is better for you than it is for them.

    Ok, so you only have Kelsey or rather his hair. Apparently moles hate foreign smells and especially human hair for some reason. You get a sack of it from the hairdresser and stick clamps down the tunnels. The dog running around produces vibration that they hate. I suppose you can run around every now and then.

  52. Eddie says:

    I am reading about Southampton and are more and more impressed. I didn’t realise that it was a Big Frau who owns the club. She seems to be doing sterling work. They always seem to find some unbelievable players, how? It is Pelle now, 6 goals in 5 games

  53. Morning all

    Mr DidIt – the cupboard is bare so if you have an idea for a post it will be gratefully received.

  54. arnie says:

    Micky. My views are closer than you think. By definition, we need to score more than we concede. If we are playing 10 in attack, understandable perhaps that we concede.

    Then the enigma is why do we create so few chances! 😦

  55. Rasp says:

    Morning Micky, sorry to hear about the pigs 😦

  56. Gööner In Exile says:

    LB I thought Arteta also expired at the end of this season, hence pre season rumours discussions about his departure.

  57. GoonerB says:

    Morning all. The last bit of Micky’s 8.31 is how I feel about Mesut and Alexis. Maybe that should be today’s post. It seems that many of us have different ideas about which player doesn’t play well with another. We could just discuss that.

  58. Eddie says:

    arnie – you will find that we created twice as many chances as the Spuds, yet scored as many as they did. We need Theo back and then everything is going to be fine

  59. arnie says:

    Evonne. I dont remember any chances, only shots from the distance. 😦

  60. Eddie says:

    arnie – just checked – we had 16 shots to their 6, almost 3 times as many and 1.5 as many on target

  61. Big Raddy says:

    Dogs are an essential when a) living in the country and b) growing up. Micky being a flat-cap wearer I can easily see him with a faithful Jack Russell.

    Eddie. Love the Polish method of mole removal.

    Micky. I agree with your match analysis. Not enough chances created.

  62. GoonerB says:

    I am starting to think that a couple of injuries to the midfield areas may not be such a bad thing. I don’t think he knows how to set up at the moment with the players at his disposal and I still think he is prioritising getting all his favourites out there regardless of where they play rather than prioritising the teams balance. A couple of injuries narrows down the options and we may see players played in their best position more.

    That feeling doesn’t transfer to our CD’s. I get a shiver down my spine whenever anyone goes within 5 feet of Per, Kos and Chambs.

  63. mickydidit89 says:

    Right, ok. Give me 10 mins.
    And yes, GB, that’s the topic I was thinking of 🙂

  64. mickydidit89 says:

    Ok, post in

  65. mickydidit89 says:

    Are you implying that Arsene will fluke the magic formula by chance?
    Because, if you are, then I agree 🙂

  66. ……….. New Post everyone …………..

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