10 reasons why Arsenal will beat Spurs + starting XI

  1. Tottenham are the most overrated, over hyped team in English football history
  2. With just 2 League Cups in 26 years, they have almost no recent success to shout about
  3. Which is probably why they celebrated progression and putting the pressure on like it actually means something
  4. Not only have they not win the league since 1961, last season was just the 1st time they had finished top 2 since 1963
  5. They have won just 2 of their last 32 games in Islington
  6. So embarrassed were they of their North London inferiority, they tried to move to East London to be closer to their real rivals, West Ham
  7. Their fans celebrate records such as highest home attendance and most expensive British player sold
  8. Yaya Sanogo has won more in English football than Harry Kane
  9. Spurs fans boast about half of the English national team being made up of Spurs players. England are not very good
  10. They are a joke of a club

Predicted XI:

Cech

Koscielny Metesacker Monreal

Bellerin Xhaka Wilshere Kolasanic

Sanchez Ramsey

Lacazette

Keenos

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Do you “need to know what it means” when it comes to the North London Derby?

Modern day players, they just do not know what it means to play for The Arsenal. They see the club as an employer, they do not love the club, they do not have passion for the club, they have no loyalty. It is just about a pay check.

I completely agree with the above statement, but the reality is, on the pitch, does it really matter?

In 2004, we had a team that had one local lad in the starting XI. Ashley Cole. And look how he treated the club. We went invincible with a team, a squad full of foreign players.

Look at Manchester City this season. A team of expensive imports. Not a single one from Manchester in their first team squad. And they are running away with it.

Whilst I would love a team full of XI local lads, showing passion for the shirt, winning things, the reality is, knowing what it means to play for the club is overrated in the modern game.

Look at Spurs. Harry Kane is a boyhood Arsenal fan. He watched the 2006 Champions League Final at a friend of mines house. Wearing his Arsenal shirt. He cried when Arsenal lost. He might play for Tottenham, but he is certainly not one of their own.

Passion is often bought up when it comes to the North London Derby.

Lee Dixon joined Arsenal in early 1988. He joined a team which contained the likes of Tony Adams, David O’Leary, Kenny Sansom, Rocky Rocastle, Paul Davis, Paul Merson, Michael Thomas, Martin Hayes and Gus Caesar. A lot of local lads who knew what it mean to play for the club. Knew what the North London Derby was all about.

Compare that to today.

You look all over the pitch and wonder does anyone actually care. The answer is no. The likes of Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud, Aaron Ramsey, Granit Xhaka, Theo Walcott, Hector Bellerin,. They are not Arsenal lads. None are London lads. And only one is English.

The 1986 team knew what it meant to play for The Arsenal. The 2017 do not.

PLOT TWIST

So Lee Dixon joined in 1988. He had 8 years at the club, under George Graham then Bruce Rioch, playing alongside players who knew what it mean to play for the club. Playing in a team that won 2 league titles.

Then Arsene Wenger came along and changed the club. Less local boys every season, to a point where there have been plenty of occasions in the last 15 years where not a single Englishman has been on the pitch.

We then have the last 8 years. A team of underachieving, over paid mercenaries who do not care about the club and have not even been near to winning a league title, let along achieve what that 1988 team did.

So it is then interesting that Arsenal’s record in the last 8 years home & away and in all competitions against Spurs is actually better now that it was during the more successful period when players knew what the North London Derby meant.

Showing passion on the pitch, and having local boys coming through, is good for the fans, but means nothing if it does not translate to results on the pitch.

Keenos

Wenger facing selection headaches ahead of North London Derby

Giroud v Lacazette

The £50m man against the old trusty horse. A friend of mine message me on Wednesday;

Lacazette scores two goals against Germany last night. Back on the bench on Saturday though I bet.

I responded;

Giroud scored against Wales last Thursday. Back on the bench on Saturday I bet.

My point being that Olivier Giroud usually starts ahead of Alexandre Lacazette for his country.

Giroud and Lacazette are both very good strikers. But also both very different strikers.

Each players brings something different to the table. Giroud is class with his back to call, can hold the ball up, and is powerful in the box. He is not going to run clean through. He benefits when defences play deep,

Lacazette, meanwhile, is quicker, can spin in behind, and finds space in the box like the fox he is. His build up play is not the best, and he does struggle when teams defend deeper.

The key is playing the right man against the right team.

There is no point playing Olivier Giroud against Manchester City, who defend on the half way line. He would be more suited than Lacazette, however, playing against a side like Leicester, who tend to defend deep.

Against City, Wenger decided neither was his preferred striker and went for Alexis Sanchez instead. I understood the decision, that Wenger felt it would take individual magic to score a goal and Lacazette was his man. But we only started to look a threat when Lacazette came on.

So who is the best man to play against Spurs? Giroud or Lacazette?

Then thrown Danny Welbeck into the mix.

Sanchez and Ozil

Does Wenger stick with the contract rebels, the two best players in the team, or does he say to Mesut Ozil and/or Alexis Sanchez “lads, time for you to F off”.

It would be pretty pointless to do the latter. I see some on social media saying if they are not prepared to be part of our future, they should not be part of our present. In theory, I do understand this, but then we should have sold both in the summer.

If we are going to drop the pair now, we should have shipped them both out in August no matter if we had replacements lined up.

Not playing them now is denying ourselves of our best players and not getting a transfer fee for them.

Both seem to be going up and down with their moods. The pair were brilliant against Everton, but have then been awful against other sides.

Do you maybe go the mid-ground and only play one at a time?

Solve the Lacazette / Giroud conundrum by dropping Sanchez or Ozil and go 2 up top? Or push Ramsey higher up the field alongside one of them. Or even Wilshere.

Sanchez seems to have overtaken Ozil as peoples favourite to not play at the moment. His sulking at team mates is annoying people. But then he never went on international duty over the last two weeks, whilst Ozil played (and assisted brilliantly) in the 2-2 draw with France.

Alexis will be fresh.

Play the pair and they are in the mood, we win comfortably. If they are not in the mood, we might as well be playing with 9 men.

Jack Wilshere

Another 2 weeks training under his belt, Jack Wilshere is getting stronger.

Against someone like Spurs, we need pride and passion. And he has that. But is he ready to be thrown in at the deep end in what is one of our biggest games of the season?

Tottenham’s strength is in the two men behind Harry Kane.

Dele Alli and Cristian Erickson run the show. They have goals and assists in them aplenty and, if given the freedom to operate between the defence and midfield, they are deadly – as Erickson showed midweek against Southern Ireland.

Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka have looked average defensively this season. Defending is not Jack’s strength, so would it really be improving things by playing him?

Maybe the better bet would be to play Francis Coquelin? Put him on a man marking job on Alli. Get him under Alli’s skin?

Or do we fight fire with fire, play Wilshere, and try and exploit the space Spurs leave between defence and midfield. The best form of defence is often attack.

Another option could be to go for a solid 3.

That would mean sacrificing one of Ozil and Sanchez, but is certainly an option.

 

Wenger certainly has a few selection headaches coming up for tomorrows game.

Get it right, and we win, get it wrong, and the pressure will increase further.

Keenos