Goaly North London derby ends in a draw. Shock.

April 21, 2011 10 Comments by Sian

*stares at screen*

*rubs forehead*

*whistles*

Hm. Where shall we begin? Matches between Arsenal and Tottenham are often high-scoring and there was no doubting how up for it both teams were last night. Both of us had a lot to play for and, in the end, both of us came away disappointed.

Might as well get the whinging out of the way first, so that was another two-goal lead lost. It’s really quite unbelievable how predictable our scoring and conceding pattern has been this season. How on earth no fans have won themselves a fortune by betting on goal-to-concedation (totally a word) times thus far is beyond me. Perhaps bookies aren’t that stupid. We are the Arsenal, we score a goal then head off for a little kip, allowing a leveler up the other end only minutes later. Buggering bollocks.

Our first came early which, this season, must always mean a reaction of “YYYYYEEEEEEEEESSSSSSS GETTTTT INNNNN YOOOUUUU BEEAAUUUUTYYYYYYY- OK we might as well let them get their equaliser out of the way now, it will be less painful.”

And so sure enough, two minutes after Theo Walcott’s 5th minute sexy-as opener, the Spuds pulled one back through Rafael van der Vaart. Muggy celebration there, dickhead, but a great goal. If one of our main gripes on Sunday (and always) was our refusal to ever take those just-bash-it attempts, Samir Nasri was obviously listening. I’m going to call his 12th minute goal a screamer because by our tippety-tappety-doop-dee-doo standards, it really was. So, it was a screamer. Why can’t they do that more often? Our third was another one we’d have undoubtedly missed on Sunday, from Robin van Persie. His header was unfortunately saved by Gomes, but his second booted attempt was not. Anyone who wants to suggest van Persie shouldn’t be at the club is nothing short of stupid, or peddling the idea for their own ‘I don’t like him anyway’ agenda. Fourteen goals and six assists in 20 (Premiership) matches is decent by any standards.

So at 3-1 up most teams would be looking to break down the bar, take the nozzles off the beer taps and put the little hatty things on the bottles of liqueur. But no that’s far too conventional for Arsenal. And so in the 43rd minute, Tom Hundredstone got himself on the scoresheet, meaning RvP, Theo, Samir and van der Vaart had to squeeze right up in order to accommodate him. We went in at half time feeling edgy.

The second half was not as good as the first, Player of the Planet was replaced with Corluka for Aaron Lennon and Kaboul. We scored again through RvP, but it was called for offside. Controversially so, according to other fans but having only seen the replay once last night, I’m not sure. In the 70th minute Szczesny, who was otherwise brilliant, gave away a penalty which van der Vaart put away. I need to stop seeing penalties and thinking “He is going to save this”. The last time I was right was Fabianski against Partizan Belgrade. We also brought on Arshavin and Bendtner and Jack, but none of them looked up to much.

Overall it was a good performance from both sides. Of course there is the (massive) complaint that we lost another two-goal lead but people behaving like we should have trounced them make me laugh. Yeah, they’re Tottenham and we hate them but they weren’t just going to roll over. The two-goal lead lost is a nice little summary of our season so far and is the main issue that needs to be addressed next year. But those saying the boys didn’t show any passion or desire are talking bollocks. Last night’s performance was the kind of performance needed against West Brom, against Sunderland, against Blackburn, even against Liverpool. So yes, be angry at them for not putting it in on those occasions, but last night can’t be criticised for this particular reason.

Cesc’s had a difficult week, what with newspapers mistranslating/misquoting/miscontexting/misdoingtheirfuckingjobsproperly an interview he did with Spanish publication Don Balon, but he was brilliant last night. It’s very fashionable to have a go at him for so much as breathing in an unacceptable rhythm at the moment, but he can’t be blamed for last night.

**UPDATE: Cesc has just tweeted this: ‘@cesc4official: Personally i didnt feel as goos as yesterday since the day i got injured vs Stoke. Hopefully it can continue till the end of the season.’ One can only assume he means ‘good’ and not goose-like, but this is great news for the remaining games. He played like he was feeling good. A Cesc that feels good is always good news**

So for the past few matches our defence has been great and our attacking has been arse. What a 180. Both sides scored goals that should not have been conceded yesterday. The only thing worse than this is that Chelsea have now gone second while we’ve dropped to third. The season seems to be ending in the way it’s ended so many times before and it’s sad and it’s bad and we’re all disappointed.

I know this blog is often criticised for not being critical enough of the team, but there are probably more Arsenal blogs out there than all the other teams put together. You want criticism, you’ll find it on one of those. Or on Twitter. You’ll find death threats and ‘I’m-a-bigger-fan-than-you’ battles on Twitter too, go and have a look if you fancy a laugh/horror show.

I may be in the minority here, but I really feel for Wenger at the moment. And no sod off that does not make me a AKB or whatever the latest in vogue acronym is. Honestly has it got to the point where we have to group ourselves into subsections of supporters? If the dressing room is half as arsey as the support is at the moment, we want to worry about more than finishing in the top three. Wenger looks knackered and pretty broken at the moment, and I’m not surprised factoring in the fact that he shelters the boys from so much criticism so often.

Anyway, let’s wrap this one up as it seems to be going nowhere. Good performance, bad result, the beginning of the end of a long and disappointing season. Come on Arsenal.

10 Comments

  1. FootballFarrago
    2261 days ago

    How did newspapers mistranslate/misquote/miscontextualise Fabregas’ comments? What I read in the Guardian was basically just him saying that the team lacks leaders, older players like Vieira and Henry who he looked up to when he was younger, and now Fabregas and van Persie are the senior players, so they feel a lot of pressure. Is that not what he said/meant?

    Reply

    • Sian
      2261 days ago

      Did you miss the whole shenanigans? He wrote on Twitter about how twisted it had been. I read the Spanish version and thought “Cool, only minutes before it’s twisted.” I forget the exact headline of the Guardian, but it was turned back on him as ever. ITN’s report last night also ended on “… maybe he just wants to be back in Barcelona”. There was no way this conclusion could have been reached from reading the actual interview.

      Reply

      • FootballFarrago
        2261 days ago

        I thought the Guardian’s report of the interview was quite fair, didn’t feel like it had been twisted or anything, just that he was questioning Wenger a bit – but not particularly in a bad way, just asking the same questions Wenger’s probably asking himself. I dunno, I think he was just saying what every player is feeling, didn’t strike me as anything shocking, whether it had been twisted or not.

        Reply

        • Sian
          2261 days ago

          These were exactly my thoughts on the Spanish version. Best interview he’s done in a while, which is why it was a shame the headlines made it something bigger. You’re right, the actual quotes were generally OK. Maybe I should edit the blog to “misheadlining”.

          Reply

          • FootballFarrago
            2261 days ago

            I’ve read many pieces, some in broadsheets but usually from tabloids, and afterwards said to myself: where they hell did they get that headline from? So often the quotations don’t match their spin on the story whatsoever. Even happens in local papers. I think you and I can see through it, just annoying so many readers can’t.

      • Joss Bennett
        2261 days ago

        It was completely twisted..

        The Guardian article was something along the lines of: “Fabregas: Arsenal must decide if they want to win things or not”

        Of course, inevitably, people on twitter etc. claimed that meant he wants Wenger to be sacked.. what he actually said was that IN SPAIN – they have presidents who have their own elections and therefore there’s more pressure on managers. If a team didn’t win anything for 3, or 6 years (*AHEM* BARCELONA 1999-2005), the manager would have been sacked.

        Wenger also said that he was angry with the original source – the club allowed the interview and seem to have accepted one version before the published another version..

        Spot on re: RvP (OK, he gets injured a fair bit – who doesn’t? – but he’s also one of the best strikers in the world at his best) & the AKB crap.

        Ignore those idiots on twitter – I know how it feels.. it seems being positive is a crime nowadays which is never cool.

        Reply

  2. Simon Barnett
    2261 days ago

    I wouldn’t get too downhearted at the apparently vast number of idiot fans at the moment, Siany.

    In my opinion, its just that the hordes who usually spout their pointless bile on message boards are finally discovering Twitter and spouting on there instead.

    The only way to treat such people is to either laugh at them or ignore them.

    Reply

  3. 1NilToTheArsenal
    2261 days ago

    “Good performance, bad result, the beginning of the end of a long and disappointing season. Come on Arsenal.”

    That about sums it up perfectly I think. I haven’t really cared about the title or our ever fading chances for about a month now. I just wanted us to SHOW-UP for ONCE and play at the level everyone expects of this team.

    And they DID last night. A performance to be proud of but far too late to build on, UNLESS Man U miraculously drops six points in the next few weeks AND we win all our games. UNLESS…(Drat! That hopeful sense of optimism just refuses to go away despite my best efforts…)

    Reply

  4. AGG4L
    2260 days ago

    It was great to see the team show some fighting spirit last night. Don’t think Jack should have come on so early in the second half as Diaby did a decent job of covering for Sagna when he ventured forward reason Lennon was able to win the penalty plus our passing game was much better.

    I think the comments Cesc made in the Guardian were for Stan Kroenke as the 20/30 million WengerI has to spend every season has to cover the players wages as well.

    It’s been six years since we won a trophy but Arsenal are trying to build the same infrastructure as Barca which took them 6 years. In my opinion it might take us another season or two but we play in a tougher league. Hopefully Stan can inject a bit more cash to be spent on players but 2 or 3 max and a few players need to be given the boot.

    Our defence will sort itself out The Verminator has been out the whole season, Man U with no Vidic have a shaky back four.

    I just want to see the players give their all in every game like last night.

    Reply

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