Tottenham: The Taunts Before Getting Down To Business & From The Vaults: 1975

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Sire! Sire! The vandals are at the gates!
Calm yourself.
But Sire, they will surely be through if we do not act!
There is nothing we can do about it.
But we must man the ramparts, ready the archers and oil
I am sorry it has come to this but Premier League rules dictate we must play Tottenham at home once per season…

Butterflies kicked in yet? It’s a long day of tingling excitement for the teatime kick-off in the North London Derby. You can ready yourself with today’s playlist, Stick It To The Man, which can be found here or if you have the Spotify desktop client, use Dad’s Jukebox on the right sidebar.

Football has almost gone retro today with Liverpool and Everton meeting today. Get the Party 7 out alongside the dry roasted peanuts and bombay mix; Babycham and Snowballs for the ladies. Double derbies work wonders, work wonders…Those of a certain age now have Burton Pale Ale’s advertising jingle running through their head.

Last season was something of a pause for breath in the meetings between the two sides, three fixtures mustering just four goals between them. This from meetings that had twenty in the previous four to those. It didn’t matter as Arsenal won the trio of matches without conceding, something that is as pleasing as hitting five in consecutive seasons, just in a different way. Losing one-nil is a painful defeat; the hope of salvaging something remains until the last-minute before being extinguished as the referee’s lips the purse one last time.

Anguish is something that Tottenham are used to, according to Arsène, whilst they build their new stadium. No, wait, they will have to get to used to. It’s all relative, I suppose. Wenger took the opportunity to build the portents of doom in their minds whilst they contemplate the impact funding can have. It all depends on your outlook but with a multi-billionaire owner, it is surprising that they are contemplating external borrowing beyond that which the government has already pledged. Then again, that Joe Lewis is flirting with American hedge funds indicates his long-term view on the club.

It’s interesting that Arsène considers it to have been a stressful time in the club’s history. That suggests he feels more relaxed now which may be more due to winning the FA Cup than the future of the club. Wenger was a victim of his own standards; judgements passed are based on what he has done rather than aspirations. Arsène had a rich vein of success in the first half of his reign and I wonder if he would have changed the period from 2006 to 2012.

We all would, of course, make different decisions with the benefit of hindsight and I suspect he would not have neglected the FA Cup to the extent he did on occasion; exits at Blackburn, Sunderland and Stoke probably wouldn’t have happened whilst stronger teams may well have been fielded against the likes of Chelsea and United. Like I said, hindsight is easy and as long as we learn from those mistakes and progress, that is all anyone can ask for. That includes squad depth, the whole gamut of footballing experience. If the majority shareholder can learn that taking money of the club is a relatively easy process, I am sure the manager will adapt quickly to having a big transfer budget.

Speaking to the media, Arsène suggested that the line-up for this season is not yet settled despite the improved performance at Villa Park. For this afternoon, to me, it is relatively straightforward; a little tinker with the right side of the team but nothing more. The return of Per Mertesacker means Wenger will switch Chambers to full back and being at home, Santi Cazorla’s invention wins over the pacey directness of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Whilst Wenger prefers to consider Mesut Özil’s role in the side on a game-by-game basis, it is clear that the understanding between the German and Danny Welbeck is building.

Playing Özil centrally allows him the option of drifting wherever the space is waiting to be exploited. Put him on the wing and he can be crowded out on the flanks with the only solution to move into more traffic in the middle of the pitch. For that reason, it is curious not to play him there more often where he is harder for opponents to neutralise without creating space centrally.

Tottenham Hotspur (H), Premier League, 27th September 2014

The temptation to bring Jack Wilshere into the side must have been strong for Wenger, to take Aaron Ramsey out of the limelight and offer respite. Doing so just swaps one set of pressures for another. That he will not make the change was indicated by a robust defence of the Welshman. Wenger agrees with many that Ramsey has not been at his peak although Arsène prefers to indicate this by highlighting his charge’s overall contribution. What is clear that having been chastised as he grew up in public, expectations have moved rapidly in the other direction and the judgements just as harsh.

He played poorly by his own standards this season – or is that compared to last year – and this is noticeable because the goals haven’t been as regular. It underlines what regularly scoring can do for confidence but this season his dangerous presence is known so the constant reinvention that players who reach the top of the game must undergo, begins again. The speed of that development cycle in his game determines those who move from being considered very good to world-class.

The latter is thrown around like confetti on a wedding day but the players who stay in that class show the footballing intelligence quickly. Ramsey will do the same and you sense that Arsène wasn’t too far off the mark when he noted that the player was too consumed with the scoring aspect of his game. Becoming comfortable with the balance between the various parts of his game will allow Ramsey to relax on the pitch and improve his form. It’s an easy game on paper, isn’t it?

A win is vital for Arsenal. Results last weekend went our way, this weekend will not be so clear-cut. Even at this early stage of the season, it is important to stop a gap from opening, especially with the visit to Stamford Bridge next week. I know Southampton and Villa are there now but I wouldn’t expect either to be around the top four next May. If Arsenal are to make progress from last season, remaining unbeaten and winning is the key. Keeping that going this afternoon is vital and as a nice benefit, offers bragging rights as well.

From The Vaults 

I know what you are thinking. You’re expecting a home tonking but I think this match report from Arsenal’s visit to White Hart Lane on 27th September 1975 might just be the most honest you will ever read. And one of my favourites. Tottenham did finish above Arsenal this season, with Bertie Mee’s final season. How they would have laughed. Shouldn’t have really; the following season, 1976-77, saw Terry Neill cross north London to take the vacant Arsenal job and Tottenham finish bottom of the old First Division and relegation.

Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it.

’til Tomorrow.

06 Tottenham Hotspur 27091975

153 thoughts on “Tottenham: The Taunts Before Getting Down To Business & From The Vaults: 1975

  1. The only thing that makes me angry is the fact we are so incredibly stale and blunt in attack.

    Leicester City attacks are more dynamic and dangerous than ours.

  2. Another draw – not because we’re a poor team but we’re a team playing poorly.
    Spurs got a point because they came for it and we didn’t do enough.
    Absolutely amazed by comments that we were good in the first half. We were mediocre all the way through.
    OK consolsbob, over to you – your negative title is under threat.

  3. Quite attractive and friendly, Cbob!

    Not a bad point but better for Spuds. Ox was a bright spot, finishing a chance.

  4. Two more points gone. Wouldn’t it be ironic if Wenger now starts spending money we fell out of the CL places? Man for man we’re significantly better than Spurs yet we’re handicapped by tactical ineptitude from the off. It’s been said before but a good manager builds a side that’s greater than the sum of the parts. We look like a collection of individuals.

  5. Moe: that may be “the only thing” but it’s the be-all and end-all. It’s what the game is mainly about. And we’re not good enough at it.
    It’s not the end of the world but it’s another two points lost against an average team and it points to another disappointing season unless something gets sorted out.
    We miss OG.

  6. We had some late chances, just not clear enough for us to finish. Sanchez might have done better earlier when it was more open and end to end. Just no space later when they sat back for the draw.

  7. Well next week is Chelsea at the bridge. No Rambo or arteta. The one thing that is positive is that atleast next week we will play 4-2-3-1. I am extremely sceptical of the bullsh*t 4-1-4-1. Its simple really, Ozil, Rambo and Wilshere shouldn’t be played together in a 4-1-4-1. Whenevr we play 4-1-4-1 we play well not soo good, however the result is mostly bad.

  8. We certainly don’t look that ready to go and take points from Chelsea. Hopefully v. Galatasaray we put together a more fluid attacking performance and control the midfield to prepare for Stamford Bridge.

  9. No Ramsey or Arteta weakens us tremendously in midfield. Good time for Diaby to suddenly be a dominant force again and maybe kick JT in the head again. We are short in the center of dynamic and physical players. Flamini looks quite ineffective at the crucial moments as willing as he is.

  10. Tactics and selection were off again, not enough pressure strength and pace. Horrible feeling Chelsea are going to destroy us so that’s 3 points dropped again no doubt

  11. He’s supposed to be the hard man, Moe. What’s happened to him? That own goal knocked the stuffing out of him?!?!

  12. I agree with Andy. The team at present is just a collection of individuals. Maybe its the tactics/formation or that still the team has not gelled properly. But I would side with the fault in tactics. We are not direct, sometimes pass too much and are vulnerable on the counter. You just knew inspite of all the pressure in the first half, in the back of the mind that there is a goal(from a counter or set piece) coming. It’s the same old story. Jack was bad IMO. Ox the best arsenal player on the pitch. Chambers and Kos were good too. Santi looked lively when he came on. Welbz became anonymous in the latter parts of the second half. Arsene, I know dude that you are stubborn but FFS drop the 4-1-4-1 sh*t. It is just an abysmal formation, it limits our capabilities as a team. It is not about putting the best players on the pitch but the best team and JW10, Rambo and ozil just cannot be fitted in the same lineup whichever way you try.
    RANT OVER!!! Like JW10’s dribbling and passing I AM OFF!!

  13. No, fair enough dkg.

    We were poor overall but down to the approach, not the players. Odd how Welbeck faded to obscurity after the first half and, yes, Flamini is a busted flush.

    Those barmaids, limestone. I bet you won’t be taking your wife there too soon.

  14. LSG

    He’s very fiesty in the tackle, but when he tries to stand up when shouldered he just cannot do it, he’s either too small or he just doesn’t have the strength.

    Compare him to someone like Diaby, he is injury prone and made of marshmallows but Diaby is very strong in possession, really hard to tackle him standing. I’m not advocating Diaby as a DM, but you can see what size and strength give you.

  15. 2 points dropped at home against a team which we should have beaten. 6 points back after 6 games is not a great start.

    I don’t think the problem is tactical. The problem is the same one we had last season and the season before, we just don’t have enough goal scorers. Now that Aaron Ramsey has misplaced his shooting boots, there was no one in our starting 11 that you would have been expected to score. Any goals would have to be nicked on a deflection or a scrappy goal after a couple of deflections which is what happened. Its early in his arsenal career but Welbeck never really looked dangerous. Looking at our starting line up, perhaps our best chance to score was one of our CB’s on a set piece. If you looked at the squad this summer is was hard to imagine Ramsey could maintain the scoring pace he had last season and after him our next best scorer was Giroud and that is never going to be enough. Sanchez was a huge signing but goal scorers are your match winners and we needed a couple more. its not a matter of tactics. even the best tactical genius can not do much if you don’t have the match winners in your squad.

  16. For a team with a higher wage bill than Chelsea there is some thing fundamental wrong at our club.

    2 points dropped at home.

  17. Bill

    We can add all the goalscorers we want mate, but it won’t change the fact that by the time we are even in their box they have all of their players back and defending.

    Why? Because we mess about in midfield going from side to side, short pass to short pass as if that makes any difference.

    The whole point of attacking is to have an advantage in which you catch your opponents out of position or all over the place. If you see other teams like Chelsea, Man City and even Liverpool at times they play a quick type of football that always catches the opposition defence out of position.

    The other thing is structure, you see Arsene has a way of playing, he wants his players to be inventive and make chances from their own invention. Unlike say other teams who at times have well coordinated attacks, he pulls away here, he comes here, the ball is played into him and goal. Not all their goals are choreographed but at least they have a plan, a weakness to exploit , a way of playing or a structure.

    We don’t. The reason we look clueless in attack is because it’s all off the top of our head, we are making shit up as we go, when you have players like Fabregas, Nasri and Van Persie, they have that ability. But we don’t, yet we play this tiresome passing football that does nothing but give the opponent time to organise.

  18. I agree that our build ups are to slow but that does not change the fact that if you look at our starting lineup in this game, now that Ramsey is struggling there is no one individual that you would expect to score a goal. It’s a lovely notion that if we got the tactics spot on then we would start getting these beautifully worked goals coming from all over the park but that’s not a realistic expectation. Last year we complained about lack of pace and width but that was never really the biggest problem. This year we have much more of both yet we continue to struggle to score goals because we don’t have scorers in our line up. Sanchez can’t play every game and even if he does he can’t score every game. After him who would you expect to score?

  19. I get that, but my point is, be more direct, get the ball as quickly to the wings as possible, stop the nonsensical passing in midfield. We move the ball so slowly.

    I can guarantee that if Sanchez or some of our midfielders were playing for a more direct team, they would be scoring.

    Add that to the fact that we narrow the pitch, i have no idea if it’s the players or instructions from Arsene but very damn players come inside, even our wide players. Only doing the running today was the Ox.

    Furthermore, we play about 4 CMs, so the team is unbalanced.

    For me everything rests on Monsieur Wenger, he likes this possession football and encourages slow build up. It’s incredibly stale. Not only that but it’s also highly inefficient, the idea that having the ball stops the opposition from getting it is good, but it becomes rather silly when we don’t do anything with the possession.

    Finally 4-1-4-1 serves no purpose and has actually made us weaker in almost every department.

  20. Goal scoring should come from your forwards. In the last 10 years we have replaced players like Henry Pires Bergkamp Van Persie and even Adebyor and Eduardo with the likes of Bendtner, Arshavin, Chamakh, gervinho, park, Podolski and Giroud Sonogo Welbeck, Campbell etc etc etc. Probably the only forward we have signed in the last 7-8 years that is worth getting excited about is Sanchez. We have not added the match winners upfront that we need to take us above the level of a 4th place team.

  21. Fair enough Bill.

    But here’s the thing, i’ve seen managers make a goalscoring team out of an average side. My only issue is (and I’m not exaggerating) our attack is pitifully weak. How many moves broke down today? It’s incredibly bad.

    For me a better manager with a better system (Example, Dortmund’s high pressing wing play) would get better results and attacking performance from this team.

  22. Moe.

    Believe me, I agree completely that our tactical approach is stale and that certainly contributes to our paucity of goals. I also agree that the biggest problem is Monsieur Wenger but it goes deeper then tactics and IMO the biggest problem is that he has not brought enough match winners into this squad. Other then Ramsey’s unsustainable outburst last season none of our midfielders has averaged more then 5-6 league goals per season throughout their entire careers. Sanchez is the only forward on this squad right now that you would expect to score in double digits over a full season. No matter how good your tactics you don’t usually turn non scorers into scorers. Perhaps Theo and/or Giroid will help when he comes back but that a lot to ask from someone who is coming back from a long term injury. We needed to invest in more match winners last summer.

  23. Bill

    You’re right, take away Ramsey’s goals and we weren’t really that good even last season, so maybe because Ramsey is no longer scoring we are actually seeing the true face of this team in terms of goals.

    Hopefully Sanchez and Walcott will bring the goals soon.

  24. Moe.

    Compared with last season we have added a lot more width and pace and Sanchez has replaced the goals Ramsey was scoring but we are still not a team with the firepower to score a lot of goals. Our success last year was built on the backs of our defense leading the league in clean sheets. This year we only have one league clean sheet in 6 games which is why we have had the stuttering start. Hopefully the defense will find the form we need to shut out chelsea and at least get a point. If we lose at Stamford bridge we are in danger of dropping out of the race by November.

  25. Bill

    I have no faith that we will beat Chelsea. Mourinho has Arsene’s balls locked in a tight vault somewhere.

    Galatasaray i think we should be able to beat though.

  26. A disappointing result against a very poor Spurs side. No wonder someone called Dire plays for them.

    Unfortunately our `transition` from defence to attack is almost always laboured. It`s as if everyone has to have a touch before we have an attempt on goal. When we do play more direct it makes a huge difference.

    The injuries were unfortunate , particularly as Flamini was at fault for their goal but at least Ozil could get more involved & I thought he had a good second half.

    Chambers is a natural. I can already see him as a future captain. Maybe by Christmas if we carry on getting injuries.

  27. I will stick with Welbeck and the new signings, I like the way we are playing, but we are a million miles away from winning the league, Chavs will walk it!

  28. At least arseblogger has given me something to smile about:
    “Alexis fed Cazorla who hit a left footed shot which rebounded across goal. Danny Welbeck cleverly dummied it, allowing Oxlade-Chamberlain to lash it home from close range…”
    “Cleverly dummied it” – priceless.

  29. So unbalanced again and so slow to move the ball up the pitch. For all of our possession we did not have a threat bar one shot from Ozil in the first half. When they scored we finally clicked into life a bit, but unfortunately a dog fight is just not the kind of game for Welbeck. When it’s all a bit rushed and the ball is pinging around the box he just does not have the composure to bundle the ball into the back of the met. His appalling swing and miss which ended up being a dummy for Ox’s goal is a prime example. Welbeck should be burying those, not taking air shots.
    At one point in the second half we had Sanchez, Cazorla, Ozil and Gibbs all playing down the left, but the crazy thing is that our CBs were trying to play the ball down the right. Just crazy, there seemed to be no thought to our build up play at all. What was really disturbing was the quality of our crossing both in open play and from set pieces. We just seemed to throw the ball in without any thought and no attempt to actually pick a player out. Just pinging the ball into the box and hoping to find the player is just not going to work. And not having a serious threat on goal from 15 corners is pitiful.
    I thought Ozil was pretty good today and was involved in a lot of our movement across the pitch despite starting on the left.

  30. I remember this summer we talked about the new fitness coach being our most important signing but so far it does not seem to have made much difference in our injury situation. The idea that our medical team was somehow responsible for our injury problems and that it could be fixed by a new fitness coach was a flimsy straw to grasp at in the first place.

  31. Lets get real, Man city and Chelsea apart
    We are not going to win the league, we will be fighting to finish in top four again
    Lets face it, we are in Evertons company ha

  32. A) is our wage bill really higher than Chelsea ‘s? That would be appalling.

    B) I thought the PL introduced goal line technology. Shouldn’t it have determined whether the ball passed the line?

  33. Moe:

    On the TV replay they showed it did not look like it went over the line and the goal line technology should have indicated if it actually had gone over the line.

  34. LSG

    We do indeed have a higher wage bill than Chelsea, so one more excuse out of the window..

    Bill

    And i’m not sure about the picture, i saw it on twitter and thought it was legit. But maybe someone edited it

  35. we were robbed
    the ball crossed the line after it span from lloris initial save..the hawkeye thingy only took it from lloris initial save..didnt show what happened after the spin..

    ox had a good game everyone else was bolloxed by wengers divvy tactic of slowing it down in the final third and leaving us open on the counter about 8 times in one game…good job spurs are shit..

    but thats 4 big games already this season and weve won zero…

    chelsea will fuck us.. terry and co will be stood yawning watching us playing it about to ourselves for half an hour before deciding to take it off us and launching it uptfront for cesc and costa to rip us a new arsehole with half the pitch free to do what they want in…

    and if the players had anything about them they’d start telling wenger to shove his training regime up his arsehole if it can fit alongside his head..

    how many more have to drop like flies before someone tells him hes clueless and to let someone else take over..
    then again…
    with his 2million games and 40000 billion substitutions and everyone else is shit attitude, like he was ever going to let a guy whos just walked through the door tell him what to do with his players in his club..

    and weve got another 3 years of this…

  36. jj

    Forget three years , i don’t think i can make it to December. But i’ll have to because Arsene is going nowhere.

    The thing is, we will still probably plod into 4th place and then begin another torturously stale campaign next season.

    It’s like a cruel cycle of mediocrity.

  37. I agree with JJ (Maybe for the first time) the ball went over the line and the funny thing is, they didn’t complete the goal line technology replay…….I can only think, they didn’t show it because the game was meant to finish a 1-1 draw and this mishap was not in the script.

    This season quickly shaping up to be a transitional season, like many. We are already out of the League Cup, not that we care but it’s a start. Let’s face it, by the time we wake up, it will be barely time to make 4th….and we will celebrate then.

    I seriously see our FA Cup win last season as a gift from the other big 4 or 5 clubs to save Wenger. The way them all went out of the race was too good to be true and our big losses to them in the league games seemed to be a pay back.

    I know many of you will rip me a new one for this, but there is more going around than just football, or the old saying: may the best team wins.

    Football is no different than any other venue where big money is involved, FIFA is the most corrupt organization in the world and above any laws because there’s huge money. Big Corporations are running a mock in the world because there so much money involved. Wars erupting everywhere because there are huge military industry with trillions of dollars involved.

    Football is no different the any of them, we just fall for it because we want to believe there is something there to believe in.

    Learn to enjoy the games “marked” for us to win, and wait for your turn to win a trophy.

  38. Are they just told to stand in their positions when we have the ball. I can’t believe how static the players are when we are in possession. The number of times a player was surrounded by white shirts with no one moving to give them a passing option. It almost seems that players are told to try to play themselves out of trouble and then find a player. When Sanchez came on we started to get some movement off the ball, but it was all too late by then. Sanchez, Cazorla and Ozil were pinging it around between them when we worked out where they were. I just wish Sanchez would learn how to find a player in red and white more often. He’s trying passes which would work in Spain, but those balls are just not going to get through a tight Prem defence.

  39. I agree with most of what you say, G4E but football is not bent to the extent that you beleive.

    I’m sure that there are dodgy results in international matched occasionally and elsewhere but not regularly and the league does not run on tramlines or a predecided course. Who does that? FIFA? The FA? A consortium of bookies?

  40. This seems to be a failing of the Hawkeye system when there are two incidents in quick succession. Although I thought it was meant to automatically pick up when the ball crossed the line. When a goal clearly goes in such as the one scored by Ox does the system also tell the ref its a goal, or does the system have to be checked to see if its a goal? If the officials have to request the review it seems that they got a response from the wrong part of the incident. I’d love to see the whole thing again in slo mo.

  41. Chambers looks like he will be the real deal. Altogether a very commanding and intuitive player and with shots and distribution like that maybe he should be our new DM.
    Rather a defensive player with shots and passing skills, than an attacking player with some aggression like Flamini or Arteta – surely they are just infilling until we get the right player.
    Unfortunately even if logic brings the gaffer to that conclusion, we have no cover at the back so could not do it anyway. We are light all over the back, which is odd because we sent Jenks out and sold Vermaelen.
    Two guys out and one in to cover both – that is light, especially when you consider that we ran out of substitution slots yesterday before we ran out of CMs; 2 more on the bench and we still had 5 on the pitch.

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