Is Santi The Submarine To Sink Spurs?

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It went thataway – Ray Kennedy’s header finds the back of the net in 1971

As Andre Villas-Boas and Arsène spoke of their belief that tomorrow’s match will be won by the opposites of emotion and calm focus, Santi Cazorla surveyed the English game, agreed with both, proclaimed us all mad but he loves it,

Compared to Spain, the football here is less tactical, but more fun to watch and play. There’s too much technique in Spain and they are held back by it. This makes the match more boring. There’s a better pace in England. There’s also more space, especially for footballers like me, and more time to think. Teams always want to attack and score goals in England. In Spain they are locked down by tactics. And the atmosphere here is just amazing.

The choice of words in describing Spanish football is interesting, similar to those used by Italians and others to describe Serie A as its dominance of European club football declined. He also underlines why English clubs struggle at times to adapt to the world game; unless buses are parked on the pitch, the lack of pace in the matches undoes them. But that is for another day, tomorrow’s North London Derby will see the pace of the English game ratcheted up as Tottenham seek the win that in all likelihood would see them finish above Arsenal in the league for the first time since 1995, the ignominious end of George Graham’s reign had passed in tatters to Bruce Rioch via Stewart Houston. That is an object lesson for anyone who thinks that this squad is too good to do any other than finish high in the league. The infamous back five, Wright and to a lesser extent, Alan Smith were a good set of players; you can have as much talent as you want but it does not mean that the whole is going to perform.

Cazorla’s form has been encouraging for his first season in English football, already his most productive in front of goal with 11 surpassing his previous best during his short spell on the Costa del Sol. His abilities drew praise from Lukas Podolski – and a superb sense of humour from the headline writer – and reflect the importance of the Spaniard to Arsenal. In tandem with Jack Wilshere, there is an urgency introduced to the play, more of an appearance of intent behind their actions. Perhaps it is the scurrying style across the turf that brings on that view, an insistence that the ball be given to them in order that the pair might move the attack forwards. Wilshere certainly drew praise from his teammate, being described as a Spanish-style of player is high praise at the moment. When that nation’s moment has passed, I suppose we will be ascribing Teutonic or Samba characteristics to our most talented individuals.

Either way, the pair alongside Walcott, Podolski and Giroud offer a different attacking threat than Tottenham have faced in recent seasons; variety. Perhaps for the first time since 2007/08, Arsenal arrive at White Hart Lane unreliant upon one player, a possible reason for the poor run of results at that ground. You cannot have everything though, unbeaten for nine seasons from the turn of this century is a record that at some point will come to an end as did the enviable unbeaten record against Chelsea. Football is cyclical at every level.

Cazorla though is not standing for any notion that this game in unimportant,

This is a very important match for us with regard to the Champions League. If we lose it would be a difference of seven points, too big a gap.

His 100% winning record at Tottenham is not something he will want to surrender tomorrow. I would not agree entirely that seven points is too much, especially since the run-ins are markedly different with Spurs have the tougher games ahead of them. Considering that they are unbeaten in the Premier League since December, to be only four points ahead of Arsenal must be preying on them mentally, if not the players then certainly the supporters. Perhaps it is a defence mechanism which makes them still think they will finish below Arsenal. Or is our defence mechanism to still believe that Arsenal are superior. Both points of view have historical substance.

’til Tomorrow.

63 thoughts on “Is Santi The Submarine To Sink Spurs?

  1. “It is the obvious question ahead of the north London derby. Who is going to tame the man of the moment, the outstanding British player in this country right now? Who can stop him from winning this match single-handedly through his rare ability with the ball at his feet?

    But enough about Jack Wilshere. I will get round to him in a short while.”

    Alan Smith

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/competitions/premier-league/9903581/Tottenham-v-Arsenal-Jack-Wilshere-can-win-derby-but-only-if-Tottenham-star-Gareth-Bale-is-kept-in-check.html

  2. Sorry, YW!!:)

    I just saw it and had to share with the ACLF faithful.
    Great, isn’t it!

  3. There’s not way that was going to stay under wraps for another 24 hours!!

    Don’t be bitter!;)

  4. Is Santi the submarine to sink the Spuds?

    …maybe but I’d rather Jenks or Nacho score the winning goal if Rosicky &/or Arshavin don’t get to play…(call me cr*zy or whatever)

  5. I expect us to lose tomorrow and for the storm of negativity surrounding the club to grow. But here’s where I take of my pessimist hat and put on my Barbara Streisand in the Prince Of Tides ass-masking therapist pantsuit – I think we will go on to claw back the gap finishing on equal points with Spurs but a better goal difference, just scraping CL football.

    OK, enough of the giddy, unrealistic positivity, let’s get ready to lose and feel sad!

    I’ve started by watch lots of youtube clips of us being great, in the past.

  6. “Perhaps it is a defence mechanism which makes them still think they will finish below Arsenal. Or is our defence mechanism to still believe that Arsenal are superior.”

    Actually its our defence that gives me any doubt to our superiority!

    Actually, no. I do believe we are superior but that doesn’t mean very much in the context of our performances, and theirs, this season.

    If we turn up properly prepared and ready for a scrap, we will win. If not…

  7. It would be great West Brom could get something out if their game with Chelsea; it could take the pressure off a bit and in reality, we are just as likely to finish above Chelsea as we are Sp*rs.

    Hopefully having two teams within catching distance increases are chances of surpassing one. I know that mathematically it probably doesn’t make too much sense, but 3 teams into 2 places is better than 2 into 1, right?

  8. I’m not sure, Aman?

    I was just saying that I don’t care who scores for us so long as we win.

    Santi sinking the spuds is more to do with is influence on the team, not necessarily scoring a winning goal, no?

    Recognising that someone is likely to be influential in a match is not wishing they will be.

    So in that regard, no, I don’t give a shit who the submarine is!

    COYG

  9. Crumbs.

    Just watched Gervinho doing “Team Mates”on Soccer AM.

    First thing of note – he conducted his answers entirely ‘en Francais’ – which was mildly surprising. Boff, je pense peut etre un petit peu, non?

    So, through the power of babel fish, I have learned the following –

    Sagna is the vain one .

    JW works as hard in training as he does on the pitch – he treats both exactly the same.

    Poldi is the comedian in the squad.

    He doesn’t think we have any ‘hard men’ at Arsenal – but a few players are physically at their peak – Kos, JW, Vermaelen.

    Bacary is also the best dancer, a rampant narcissist AND the ‘longest’ in the shower.

    This is all important information.

    It should now be quite clear to AW that, among other necessary additions to the squad, we need a ‘proper hard man’ (preferably with a giant cock).

    Also it is clear that Bacary has too many roles in the team – no wonder his performances have stuttered.

    In conclusion we MUST resign Eboue immediately – I can tolerate the lack of a ‘hard man’ (insert own joke here, etc) but it’s a dark day indeed, when the team’s source of ‘comedy’ is a bloomin’ German!

    Achtung!

  10. mgk,
    neither do I just interested in adding a new color to the crayon of scorers.
    Wouldn’t it be “fresh” if Jenks or Nacho scored the winner (aka 1st goal for Arse) in the NLD tomorrow?

    …it would add an unexpected wave of belief to the squad & strike additional fear in the hearts of our competition…

  11. Aman

    I hear what you’re saying, but if pushed, I’d prefer one of our goal scorers to get their name on the score sheet.

    Giroud scoring the winner in the NLD would be a massive boost to his confidence, Theo has been a bit quite of late; Cazorla seems to have re-adjusted his radar on target so another would only help his aim for the closing run of games.

    I’d rather Jenks and Nacho concentrate on keeping out goals at the other end.

  12. Jonny

    I watched Gervinho on Soccer AM, too. I have to admit that I cringed a bit that he was unable to mention a hard man; being “physically at their peak” is something I would have hoped could be levelled at most of our players. Even on my Saturday team (no game today btw) I reckon everybody could name one or two players who stand out as being the no-nonsense types, and we don’t even train!!

    I’d love us to have a hard man in the middle; someone that makes the opposition gulp when they line-up against him, and I don’t mean some club-wielding neanderthal who prefers breaking bones to kicking footballs, but a fast, powerful, dominant, athletic ball winner.

    Song, albeit derided for his lack of discipline (not by me, I should add, was a real presence in the middle. Opposition players would just bounce off him: he relished in the combative elements of the game.

    Jack, Santi and a hard-man in the middle would be quite something!

  13. This is a match we have to win if are to get into third place let alone second place. We can’t any more brain farts. We don’t have the luxury to allow stupid goals. check out bobby gee word press.

  14. Lets face it Duke, he’d get licked in most bar brawls.

    Still he’d pile in, even with that knowledge.

  15. Do we have a player atm that can emulate bale and become our “new van persie” if you like?

    Bale was after all created by Tottenham, he came from southampton yes, but Tottenham made him.
    The only way to get players like that if you dont have peto dollars is by creating them yourself.

    So do we have anyone that has the potential to rise and become the next big thing?
    I wonder, as im sure that if we are to enjoy a new RvP we have to do it the same was as last time. Create him ourselves.

  16. @jonny if you look at teammates form a year back or so Vermaalen was always pointed out as the hard man though. His form has been crazy this year though, and not in a good way.

    You know its bad when Verthogen is prefered by every pundit out there.

  17. Poodle – JW and Cazorla for me.

    Perhaps Ramsey and/or Theo.

    Never can tell who will, surprisingly, find another rung.

  18. Podle – I remember that but it was not a hard man per se but a body & soul player. He plays with his heart and puts his body on the line.

    I love that. Just a small refinement from being exceptional.

    The margins are SO fine.

  19. It is simple thouhg, tomorrow we cannot loose, not because its tottenham but because if we want CL next year we need to beat them.

    Hope that is more interessting to the players than the fact it is tottenham we play

  20. I wonder if we will use Coq tomorrow though. I reckon coq is our Phil Jones. And Jones nullified Bale for United. Im sure le Coq can nullify him too…

  21. could well see cazorla in the attack tomorrow..

    away from home… rambo in the lineup hopefully the days as a striker are done and cazorla on the left..

    you missed parlour and merse off your list yogi

  22. Right I’ve had enough poodle. It’s lose, Not loose…..getting right on my tits now.!! 🙂

    Poodle are you wondering if wenger will try to stop the opposition, no chance …bale with a hatrick…in a tight 6-5 win.

  23. I hate Mann utd but i can’t help but admire them, their directness and effiency in front of goal.

    4 or 5 one touch passes and next thing you know it’s a goal.

  24. Never thought Id ever be happy to see Mourinhos win. But fuck am I happy they stuffed Barca again.

  25. He may not seem an obvious choice for that ‘hard-man’ thing, but Mikel Arteta takes no prisoners. He’s just rather laid back about his firmness.
    And Tommy V is hardly a wuss.

  26. Given time I think both coq and crimp can be very hard…. Especially frimp, they guy is insane:-may not make the ranks though. But coq is a true fighter IMO. He does lash out some pain too…

  27. i wouldn’t mind seeing a 442 with caz on the left and the podgerooooo up top. obviously, where else would they be.

    no way in hell would i trust francis with the responsibility of bale. goes to ground way to often and is too rash. he’d be off before half time. tackling doesn’t seem to be something this team enjoys bar francis but no.

    second best defense in the league, fancy that.

  28. Poodle

    Well having said that, we’re actually duller to watch now. When we’re off our game which is often this season, we are incredibly boring to watch.

    Man utd are dull but they get results, we’re dull most of the time and end up losing.

  29. Personally i would have francis coquelin over Ramsey any day, nothing against Ramsey but i bloody love Coquelin.

    He has this verve ,energy and quality i like. He has abit of an unknown quantity but he is a catalyst, he just needs to reined down his tackling style.

    I would go as far as to say i would take Coquelin with abit more maturity over arteta.

    Call me crazy but meh.

  30. If I was going for the point at Triffid Park, Eastlands or the Allianz I would probably have Le Coq in myself Moe – more bitey

    Tomorrow though I fancy the better attacking quality of Aaron and he is taller which I think we will need under bombardment from the air

  31. I fear we may lose le Cog if we dont play him. He is a fine player and if he keeps developing like he has will be a damn good player.
    I rate him higher than Ramsey at the moment, and Ramsey is probably my favorite player at the club right now. I have a soft spot for the lad.

  32. anicoll5

    Come now, when do Arsenal ever win headers? 😉

    Pistol

    That’s my fear too, he is too good a player to be sitting on the bench in my opinion. And he will leave, you can already tell his frustrations in an interview he did earlier this year.

  33. I reckon it’s lies, something like this can’t just come out of nowhere like this.

    There was not even a hint.

  34. Daily Telegraph – who knows? Would not lose any sleep about Stan selling. Could do with an owner that shows he cares at least a little bit about the club. Seems quite a lot of detail. It’s either the biggest story at Arsenal since the stadium move or the biggest amount of garbage written about the Gunners since Stan said he would be actively now he was the largest shareholder. Only time will tell.

  35. Stan’s been seen a round a bit recently Moe.
    To me it sounds like Uzbeki opportunism and definitely his PR spin..
    Though what a f**er if it’s true, a big fat golden goose lands on our lap just as FFP kicks in

  36. Who knows if it’s true or not.
    There is certainly plenty of money and ambition in the UAE and elsewhere in the region.
    If it was true, well it would be positive.
    I am sure the defenders of the status quo would be all a tremble, but Kroenke would happily pocket the profit, and the rest of us would grapple with the moral question of whether we would accept winning in this non Arsenal way!

  37. Agree.
    I honestly don’t believe it.
    Emirates are Dubai based. So can’t see Qatar royals getting involved.

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