Eric’s Dire While Son Dives Can’t Stop Arsenal Win

Arsenal 4 – 2 Tottenham

Arsenal turned around a 2 – 1 half-time deficit to take three well-deserved points in a throwback North London Derby. A brace from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, one from Alexandre Lacazette and the most popular goal we’ve scored this season with Lucas Torreira’s first for the club did the damage. A fight and fighting spirit we haven’t seen for years capped an excellent day’s work.

Amid the euphoria is a tinge of sadness and bitterness. The vile spectre of racism reared its ugly head with a banana peel thrown onto the turf after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opened the scoring.

It would be easy to condemn Spurs, the club, for the vile actions of one monstrously ill-informed mind. That’s to deflect responsibility for the cretinous behaviour of an individual. It’s nothing to crow about in terms of tribal loyalty, it’s something to be condemned by everyone irrespective of which team you support.

No-one can rest easy until this insidious evil is eradicated from football at every level.

Aside from the fifteen minutes before half-time, we were rarely in trouble and most of that was of our own making. Leno fumbled Dire’s header into the net for the equaliser, with the goal celebrations sparking a furious reaction from the subs warming up in that corner of the ground.

It was heartening to see anger from the players. The kind of passion for the game which we’ve missed for some time. More importantly, aside from this spell of the game, we stood up to Tottenham and imposed ourselves physically on the match. The visitors’ midfield trod heavily while our energy gave us control for long periods of the game.

6.0, 5.9, 5.3, 5.8, 6.0

It was heartening to see anger from the players. The kind of passion for the game which we’ve missed for some time. More importantly, aside from this spell of the game, we stood up to Tottenham and imposed ourselves physically on the match. The visitors’ midfield trod heavily while our energy gave us control for long periods of the game.

The opening ten minutes of the match saw both sides trade jabs. As Arsenal emerged the stronger from this spell, Vertonghen’s brain-fart saw him handle unnecessarily. It was too important an opportunity to miss and Aubameyang coolly slotted home from the spot.

The only surprise was that the linesman’s flag wasn’t raised for offside. I can’t think of another player flagged offside so often since peak Adebayor.

Unai Emery prowled the touchline incessantly, ignoring his technical area to the chagrin of some. The Spaniard seemed pleased with the way the match progressed as we continually put Spurs on the back foot.

Yet, as is so often the case with us, we needed a second goal to rest a little easier. It didn’t come; we paid the price.

Back in 2002, Robert Pires found himself the target of a concerted media campaign which blamed the Frenchman for the scourge of diving in the Premier League. This from a league in which Jurgen Klinsmann played.

The question is whether hacks will be so keen to start a similar vendetta against Son Heung-min whose pair of first-half dives changed the course of the North London Derby.

A warning came when Son tumbled at a whiff of contact on the left. The ensuing free-kick was glanced goalwards by Dire. Nine times out of ten, Leno saves it. Comfortably. This, however, was the one and he palmed it into the net.

Dire decided runing around the edge of the pitch with the “shhh” celebration before coming face-to-face with a posse of Arsenal subs. A good old-fashioned melee followed with Ramsey squaring up to Dele Alli. The over-rated England midfielder saw his abject performance level drop even further from that point on. Ramsey, a second half substitute, grabbed two assists as Alli completed two passes in the same time.

Forgive Us This Day, Tom Daley Said

The triple pike back somersault combination which won the penalty was by the far the worst. Rob Holding didn’t touch the Korean but the Swamp Dweller needed no encouragement to hit the floor. Mike Dean bought the act although he looked far from convinced.

Police, meanwhile, issued a wanted poster of the sniper in Row Z who shot Son for him to go down. However, at the time of writing no arrests have been made yet. It was an accurate shot and impressive given we had a white-hot derby at that point.

Kane scored and Son’s diving put Spurs on the way to gaining maximum points. Or that seemed a distinct possibility as we wobbled and lost our way.

Half-time changes are a speciality of Unai Emery. Pulling Iwobi and Mkhitaryan, who were largely anonymous, and replacing them with Ramsey and Lacazette provided a spark. That and a few choice words from the boss, I’m sure.

The equaliser came from Aubameyang ten minutes into the second half, a snapshot from the edge of the area. Ramsey again provided for the third, flicking the ball into Lacazette’s path whose shot deflected off Dire past Lloris’ flailing dive. Shhh, indeed.

What could top off the afternoon at 3 – 2? An Aubameyang hat-trick? A Lucas Torreira goal? It was the latter, a fine finish having beaten the offside trap to run beyond the static Tottenham defence. We may as well stop the polling for Player of the Season right now.

There was still time for more comedy defending from Vertonghen. Over-running the ball, he stretched to make Spurs retained possession. He stretched too far, following through onto Lacazette’s ankle and receiving a red card for his troubles.

Big? Very Big? Man, It’s Huge

“Mike Dean, overall, had a decent game” is not a phrase I thought I’d be using after that game but he largely got decisions right. The test of that would be whether he’d change his mind about the free-kick or penalty from which Tottenham scored. We’ll never know and nor today do I care.

Unai Emery called it a “very big victory”. Before he gets stuck into preparing us for Old Trafford, presumably without Mesut Özil. Emery didn’t know when the German got backache and it felt like it was an arseache for him to talk about Özil. It was about the players who were on the pitch he said, and indeed it is.

Speaking about the melee, Emery said, “The heart is fired a lot, and we need to be calm also.” They got it spot on yesterday throughout the 90 minutes.

Bravo gentlemen. More please, if you will.

’til Tomorow.

61 thoughts on “Eric’s Dire While Son Dives Can’t Stop Arsenal Win

  1. Excellent 2nd half from the team, excellent response to going behind by half time! Emery is going a magical job and long may it continue.

  2. Lovely lovely lovely

    That really was an inspired finish by Auba for the equalizer. Really was just a half chance and quite far out.

    Lacazette was a bit lucky and a bit greedy maybe but hey I’ll take it and shirt off derby finale was perfect.

    The Rambo/ozil plot thickens again…but all credit to Emery picking his team regardless. He is basically picking it around a LWB!

  3. Thanks for feeding us hungry readers so early, Keeper Yogi. Much appreciated under the circumstances.

    It’s rare that your pieces have a fevered character to them – usually they are the very essence of cool – but today’s understandably reminds us you are as hot-blooded a Gooner as they come. I hope the fever passes slowly.

    I loved the sniper image – that will come in handy in future – but you lost me with the ‘6.0, 5.9, 5.3, 5.8, 6.0’. Is this the famous score in a North London Real Tennis Derby I’m supposed to know about but missed? If so, more details please.

  4. A great match, and as Cbob said yesterday it really is good to care again. After years of meh, the players and subs showed what the match meant to us.
    Highlights were many, but for me Pea’s 2nd goal and Torreira’s goal celebration did it for me.
    Just hope we can do the same to Utd and i would be happy to see an 8-2 to us.

  5. On another subject related to yesterday, this is from Keith Hackett, former referee and head of PGMOL:

    “On first view I thought it was a penalty, as did Mike. Holding slides in front of his opponent and appears to catch him. Mike was excellently positioned, took his time and pointed to the spot.

    However, television replays showed Holding did not touch Son, with the Tottenham forward going to ground far too easily before further attempting to deceive the referee by claiming he was injured.

    But what makes this decision so difficult is that you could argue it is still a penalty even though no contact has been made. Law 12 states that a direct free-kick (which is a penalty if committed inside the area) is awarded if a player makes a challenge “considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force.”

    Nowhere does it mention contact must be made to commit an offence. We have seen players sent off for two-footed challenges where they make no contact but the intent is clear.

    Holding’s challenge was desperate and, as a result, careless, which officials judge to be when you show “a lack of attention or consideration when making a challenge, or acting without precaution”. He made no contact because Son took evasive action rather than because he took any care to avoid his opponent.

    From next season we will have VAR to review these decisions, and I am not certain the technology would have overturned Mike’s initial call. While we could see no contact has been made I think Mike would have been able to argue that the carelessness alone made it worthy of a spot kick. Equally, if he hadn’t given it then VAR would not have overturned the decision.

    So while Son has clearly made far too much of the challenge it could well have been worthy of a penalty in any case. Physical contact between players is important in the decision to award a free-kick or penalty but not a pre-requisite. It is a distinction not many know.”

    No wonder divers prosper. No contact means a penalty? FFS. It’s this kind of loose interpretation of the Laws of the Game which is wrecking football. Careless and reckless both refer to endangering the health of an opponent. There’s no way Holding fulfilled either of those conditions.

    That Son chose to feign injury tells you everything about the incident. And that is that he is a cheating toerag.

  6. This is unreal, so you just hope not to make tackles as a defender just because the player is in the 18 yard box? So what about the actor feigning injury ? Isn’t simulation not a card worthy offense ?

  7. It felt like yesterday was the first real big moment under Unai and he has made a bigger impact that people expected more quickly than people expected much like when Arsene took over. I also remember a 3-1 win v Spurs in 1996 really stamping Wenger’s influence on the team much like yesterday did for Unai.

    Its like a fog has lifted from our club and passion and intensity have finally replaced the apathy of the last few years. Even Xhaka and Mustafi have improved and finally have the man in midfield that we have needed for 10 years in Torreira. I cannot understand how nobody else was in for this guy. He started out as a number 10 apparently and can pass and shoot. Kante is a wonderful player but Lucas has a much better all-round game. £25m for him must be the bargain of the summer. Who would have thought that 2008 Matt Flamini would take 10 years to replace?

    The fact that Ozil was absent amid rumours of sulking after being dropped was significant. Unai won’t indulge him like Wenger did.

    Auba was a force of nature yesterday and has to play at CF maybe in a 4-4-2 with Laca.

  8. YW,

    Firstly, I am delighted that it is really you

    Nextlylyly, I totally agree. What a crock of shit. So Every time a player goes to ground anywhere, anyhow, he is out of control, so this rule can be enforced.

    Spuds primary tackle is a two footed ball contact. Seen it countless times. Straight out of Poch the Cheatin Bastards locker. There was a good example yesterday , where Aurier I think won the race to the ball with Iwobi I think, two footed clearance, Iwobi, naturally ,didn’t compete….. ffs . No foul given by Dean. No Intent provable. Hackett is a media gimp. Says what he needs to say to keep all sides happy and his pockets lined. Arsehole.
    COYG

  9. So essentially unless a player completes and submits a full risk assessment prior to making a tackle it’s a foul then?

  10. lari03,

    It is, or is it ain’t?

    Either way the cheating prick should be shot. Or at least Chinese burned….. no pun .. I know he’s Korean….

    They aren’t keen on post match sanctioning, even though it’s been 2 years in force. But Would be icing on the icing upon the hundreds and thousands etc ad nauseum, for a retro caution for the rolling about mollarky.

  11. ferkov:
    lari03,

    It is, or is it ain’t?

    Either way the cheating prick should be shot. Or at least Chinese burned….. no pun .. I know he’s Korean….

    They aren’t keen on post match sanctioning, even though it’s been 2 years in force. But Would be icing on the icing upon the hundreds and thousands etc ad nauseum, for a retro caution for the rolling about mollarky.

    Chinese burn……now THAT takes me back to school 😂😂😂😂😂

  12. Emery does it again.

    Wonderful day out. Haven’t seen an atmosphere like that in the ground or the local pubs for many years.

  13. The Spurs’ “penalty” incident was right in front of where I was sitting yesterday.

    Son fell over. On the way down he looked back at Mike Dean then started to wince and hold his leg. It’s cheating plain and simple.

    Son took the turf role in the first half and Ali in the 2nd. Cynical tactics from Pochetino.

  14. Thanks YW.

    Getting past the first two fixtures, it looks like UE is at his best when he can come up with a plan for the opposition. The bigger the side, the better the performance. Might explain why we’ve been a bit scrappy against some of the smaller teams, as if he needs to watch the first half to know what they’re about. Bodes well as the season progresses though

    There’s a place for Ramsey in his role yesterday – as a sort of false nine. He’s always been more of a striker than a midfielder, odd as it sounds.

  15. I’ve just rewatched the entire 90 minutes and i have to say, that’s the best 90mins i’ve seen us play under Emery. Such control but what really struck me was the passion showed by EVERY player, not just the ones who have played in a NLD before, from Emery vamping up the fans, Soktatis celebrating tackles with Holding, Holding celebrating tackles with Mustafi and Bellerin, Guendouzi and the subs celebrating the goals with the team and even the little fight after Dier scored…i’ve felt that it was all missing in the last couple of years. Even the 5-2 at home, when we scored it was just like we’d scored against any other team but differences in the fans reaction to our goals was almost chilling, one of the first times i’ve heard us so so so so loud during a game and the flares, whilst obviously illegal just set the tone a bit, we needed atmosphere and the players and fans both delivered.

    Xhaka is out for United game, however they’re also missing Young, Sanchez, Lindaloff and potentially Shaw and Lukaku. So the question is simple: does Ozil come back into this team and deliver a captains performance to regain his spot, or does Maitland-Niles or Guendouzi come in for Xhaka before Torriera.

    I honestly can’t believe Lucas Torriera only cost us £26 million, i feel we should go back at pay them an extra 30 million for the inconvenience of taking such a player so cheaply. I’ve not seen such a passionate, commanding performance from an Arsenal midfielder in a NLD in YEARS! Talking since Cesc or Viera were in their pomp

  16. Damon,

    Unfortunately, regardless of where they are in league or how they’re current run of form is, Man u tend to turn up against us. The injuries and suspensions they have are limiting, but Rashford, Lukaku, Lindgard always seem to have a worldie against us. That and Man U love ending our unbeaten records….

    And with the intensity of how we played yesterday, the lacklustre performance they put in vs Southampton we can already tell the game is going to be completely different. I think we’ll see a slow controlled start as opposed to a hit them with 100% as our players will tire easily and they’ve got the gears needed to hurt us as they’ve got an extra days rest.

    From looks of things, Pogba might not even be in their team after the altercation with Jose with the latter calling him a virus. But no doubt he’ll play a worldie as well

  17. Is it me or should we be off loading Mikhi rather than Ramsey?

    Great game from our boy’s but we need to roll up our sleeves and do it again as Utd won’t be happy with their draw against Southampton and will look for retribution in their next fixture. To be honest it was a result I wasn’t expecting. The way the Spuds tore apart Chelsea I was expecting a hiding to nothing. But credit to the player’s, the coaching staff, the management (after all they finally had the insight to get rid of AW and appoint UE and they got it spot on) and the fans. Intensity and passion is back at the Emirates.

    As for Son, well he’s a good player. Great skill and ability. He went down too easy, anyone can see that. But I’d have to agree, I’m not sure VAR would have over ruled that decision. And before you all go off on one, it’s not like we haven’t benefited from a dodgy decision in the past. It swings in roundabouts. We won, that’s all that matters and on to the next game for UE and the team. Hope they have that same intensity and passion, as I can’t stand Utd or Mourinho.

  18. Brilliant result and lots of jumping out of the armchair down here in Devon! That was the passion we haven’t seen in an Arsenal side for years. It was largely all over the park; Kolasinac looked like he wanted to fight everyone, the terrier nipped ankles, Bellerin was up for some pushing and shoving, and Auba celebrated like a man possessed.

    It all made Xhaka appear rather level headed for once.

    So I’m not sure how the languid body language of a technical genius like Ozil fits into this.

    The team reminded me of United back in the mid/late 90s. Pace and power; Keane, Scholes, Giggs, Cantona etc. Therein lies one of the major differences; Cantona had a nasty edge about him to go with his technical skill. I’m not sure Ozil has that edge. He certainly doesn’t have the physical presence and that may be why the EPL isn’t for him. Although I’d like to be proven wrong.

    On to Wednesday, where I hope Emery’s Arsenal ram some long overdue retribution down Moaning Jose’s throat. We owe them a thrashing.

    We are in a race for 3rd.

  19. Well done Yogi.

    Bellerin and Sead were brilliant up and down the flanks defending and attacking was a joy. Torriera MOTM but not by much because Aubameyang was sublime.

    That 10 mins spell aside, we bossed that match. I mean, its even to the point now were we are a true threat on set pieces. Also loved the fact that the first player to have a go at Dier was Lichtsteiner. It did seem like everytime there was a confrontation on thr pitch, Sead Hulked up and Sokaritis seemed to be in thr middle of it.

    Full credit to Emery though who time and time again just seems to get it and make the right decision. Refreshing to see a manager make every tackle, cover every blade of grass, make every pass, etc. with his players.

  20. MesutsLeftFoot,

    Not just Torriera at £26m but Leno(the Dier goal aside) at around £26m, Aubameyang and Lacazette for around £60m and £42m. That is some brilliant bit of business.

  21. Regarding the Son incident, surely any interpretation of Holding’s action might well conclude, as I did, that he was attempting to block the shot that surely anybody would assume son was a out to make?

    The fact that Son, instead of actually trying to score like a proper footballer, chose to betray his inner rotten soul and dive, could not have been expected or risked by Holding.

    Son should have been booked. Any other decision is bollocks.

  22. Why not Torreira and Ramsey if Xhaka is banned? No reason that I can see why that wouldn’t work.

    I liked the way (as highlighted on MOTD) that the two forwards pulled their men wide in the second half leaving the space for Ramsey to surge forward into. Forget the personnel, it’s that style of play that I prefer rather than the modern #10 orchestrating behind the striker(s). More goal threat and more difficult to counter IMO.

  23. I know Ramsey is rightly get praise for his assist for Aubameyang’s goal, but that line breaking ball from Bellerin was absolute quality. Its great to see Bellerin getting back to his best and also backing down from nobody and demanding more of the winger playing infront of him.

  24. C,

    Unlike you to miss a trick C. But it was Holding that initiated it, with his half volley to Bellerin, when Xhaka was pointing for him to play it back to Leno.
    Or was that the other goal.?.?

  25. Morning all, agree that match was god damn electric. I feel like this Son character has done us in before, did he scored against us last year? I mean that guy is a skilled player but we made him look like Messi out there on the wing. He was getting in way too easy in-between Bellerin and Mustafi for the first 30 minutes of the match.

    Think the first goal, it was very soft foul but Sokratis should have just let Son keep going. No need to nibble at his heels. As soon as we gave away that cheap foul in such a good spot I had a feeling it would cost us.

    Dire is a big ol twat haha. He looks like he wants to be a UFC fighter. Hopefully he is on twitter, i will hop on there today and spew some vitrol at him instead of typing away at work. Nobody likes Kane, and he gets all of his goals from dives & penalties but he knew what to do when we scored. Just run off and turn around to celebrate with your teammates. I think Dire actually sparked some flames in both our team and the fans. It was personal after that point and we sure as hell took it to them.

    If anyone was sushing, it should have been torreria putting his stamp on the game, what a finish man.

    final thoughts — ramsey super role fits him. when he plays full 90 he hasnt affected this much. Auba is dangerous , offsides a lot. Maybe the offsides are warranted because he is always sitting on back shoulder, we are actually playing balls over the top which is refreshing. I think Laca can be effective anywhere on the front 3 honestly.

    Could keep talking for days but will let you all get on with it. Enjoy this RED monday, and f**k off you spurs diving pieces of shit. You could see on the slow mo replay that there was no contact with holding yet nobody on broadcast called it a dive.

  26. Pains me to read about how Kane has scored so many goals against the arsenal. Most of them are probably penaltys after sunovabtich dives like Son. Funny i’m reading thru some match reviews online and not one single person has mentioned that Son went down easy.

    Also i had to go and search up , Sherwood/Merson did indeed pick a ‘North London’ XI and i think it shows you how out of touch these guys are, or how biased they are. Or maybe they just want to have a ‘hot take’ that generates tweets/comments etc. Either way they both look like idiots. Anyone who has actually watched Arsenal knows that Torreria is bossing midfield.

    Heck Merson even picked Ozil in his team haha. Where are you Mesut? Really it doesnt matter anymore, this performance showed we dont need him. Now we just need to figure out that 300,000 / week contract and get him outta here. Thanks for the tricks Ozil it’s been fun but we need hard workers.

    Also I think on form Ramsey is a super sub. Not sure i totally trust him though he doesnt do this for a full 90 minutes. It’s like when we had Giroud as super sub. He provides such a contrast that when he comes on late game, full of energy, he can really impose himself on the match. Similar feelings with Rambo.

  27. consolsbob: Regarding the Son incident, surely any interpretation of Holding’s action might well conclude, as I did, that he was attempting to block the shot that surely anybody would assume son was a out to make?

    Yes, it was clear every time they re-played it. What, you’re supposed to let the players score?
    Son is a talented player but a cheat. No wonder one of the announcers called him “Tottenham’s Neymar” and I don’t think he was referring to the talent part.

  28. Excellent copy as always YW. I was not totally sure We would win yesterday.

    I can’t help asking If this Team could turn up in the 1st half how good would We be?

    The form of Miki is worrying. Since arriving at Arsenal can anybody really say he’s been on it?

  29. This match really marks the beginning of Emery’s era as we can safely say the man is doing a very fine job of a difficult assignment to take over after AW’s long reign. He made this team his in a decisive way today. He is proving to be a flexible and pragmatic manager and acute tactical mind while still playing positive and progressive attacking football. I am really delighted that he hasn’t rigidly adhered right now to just one lineup, formation, and approach (playing out the back and pressing high) but has a plan to maximize comparative advantages and nullify the other team without sacricing good attacking play.

    I have been saying that 3 CB’s and two central strikers would suit us very well in big matches, what we played in the second half: 3412. Against weaker teams we can go 442 in various ways and play versions of 433 and a base 4231 as well depending on personnel, form, opposition. But the idea that we to stick to some style and approach and formation never made sense this season. I am delighted and relieved that Emery seems to have started to find s good rhythm now and knows his players better and adapts to his opposition.

    It worked a treat and Emery completely outcoached and outclassed the much heralded and celebrated Pochettino, who has yet to win anything. This has been thoroughly under emphasized in post match punditry and analysis. Emery schooled him; gave him a caning (Kaning?)!!

  30. Tremendous atmosphere came through on the broadcast. I am very much looking forward to taking my son to the LC quarterfinal derby, which I am in town briefly for. That should be electric as well.

  31. I see both sides have been charged with failure to control their players and I really don’t care a jot. After all this is supposed to be competitive sport not a sewing circle for Christ’s sake. In fact I loved it.

  32. Evening YW et all,

    just popping in to very briefly say……
    …………get the fuck in there………

    its still early, but emery is doing really well and if the last 20 fixtures and yesterday is anything to go by, i cant wait until this guy has his own squad built.

  33. Rambo could help C’s nan across a road and he’d still give him short shift. Rambo would have to turn water in to wine for you C to give him any credit. Let’s hope Unai realizes Ramsey can thrive in this team.

    The passion is back at the Emirates.

    Unai Emerys red and white army.
    Unai Emerys red and white army.

  34. Great review yogi

    Great review and a great result yesterday. We have seen about a 1/2 season false dawn every year during this decade but hopefully this is different. It would be great if we can consolidate our position with a result in Old Trafford

  35. Love how Emery was directing traffic on the touchline….And to my surprise, players were moving the ball exactly where he pointed.

    The man needed to take a breather when the game was won and he was knackered.

    This is a man who shows he wants to succeed……RIP Wenger, I think we gave way to much time to go stale.

    Let’s hope we didn’t give it all in the Spuds game to be too tired in the Mancs game.

  36. Dukey,

    Good to see you too Duke!

    I actually gave him quite a bit of credit during the match and after. Now if he could turn water into moonshine 😍

  37. Great write up Yogi. I didn’t watch the match but read sky sports’ preview of the game afterwards. I don’t know who wrote the preview but he called the penalty incident a foolish tackle by holding. Watching the highlights, I failed to see his point. I was very happy for the fact that the entire team now turn up for these kind of battles. I do hope that we find the right combinations to mount a challenge for the title next season.

  38. Too early anyway. Body snatcher conspiracy would’ve gone crazy.

    YW:
    Another 7am kick-off, ladies and gentlemen. Another 7am kick-off…

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