Spurs Preview: Cup of Good Cheer?

Craig Bellamy barely contained his glee; Manchester City face Burton Albion for a place at Wemberlee. A flustered host quickly cut in; the draw takes place tonight. Too late. Tin foil hats catapulted into the night sky, a hot air burst of “It’s a fix!” fuelling their ascent. EFL archers arced the Arrows of Integrity with the Flames of Truth charring the hats to give a metallic ticker tape for the crowd below. 

Bellamy’s outburst left the EFL in a pretty pickle. Social media inquests will follow if Manchester City draw Burton Albion, with the stain of corruption never fully removed no matter how many wash cycles it goes through. Which leaves them with one option: make sure Burton Albion don’t draw Manchester City.

In other words, to stop cries of fix, they must indeed fix the draw…

The real world sees Arsenal face Tottenham in a quarter-final match that half the fanbase doesn’t think worthy of the name. But this is Tottenham; it’s a North London Derby, the 127th North London Derby to be precise.

Of course, the two sides met more frequently than that but the first 50 or so were just Arsenal versus Tottenham. The Swamp Dwellers love to call us interlopers but history puts them on the wrong side of the argument; we arrived in North London 51 years before them. To that point, Tottenham were just a Middlesex pub side.

And you lot try to convince me this match doesn’t matter…

The Premier League meeting a fortnight or so returned to the news with the moron who threw a banana onto the pitch fined £500 and banned from football grounds for four years. Not much of a deterrent for a racist lifestyle. Add a nought to the fine and a lifetime football ban for deterrence.

And So The Match Preview Begins…

Whatever your views on the occasion, both managers called for respect. Pochettino, the manager of a club whose fan threw a banana onto the Emirates turf, demanded that Arsenal show Tottenham respect.

Meanwhile, in reality and not the cloud city Pochettino inhabits, Emery points out the line-up we field shows respect to their opponents. He selects a team to win the match. The players, in theory, play to win the match although Sunday tests that belief.

The Spaniard put the boot into the Pochettino to Manchester United argument:

They are also in a better position in the Premier League than Manchester United

Unai is catching on to this English football manager malarkey quickly. And quite nicely, too.

He further underlined that assertion by taking a pop at the Swamp Dwellers:

Tomorrow is different because it’s Carabao Cup and we want also to show them we can come with a big performance and can win. They will come with a very big ambition too because after the first derby they need to show us and their supporters a big performance.

In other words, they were a bit sh*t in the Premier League match.

He then turned his attention to those who want to win the trophy with kids:

I think is a very good match for the supporters, a very big match for the players and a very big match for us, the coaches.

We can use some young players because we think with a big performance, they can help us win.

So, expect the likes of Sokratis, Koscielny, Lichtsteiner and other miscreants to play. I do think we’ll see some of the youngsters but it’s match he wants to win and recognises that kids probably won’t do so on their own.

Getting There…

With Sunday’s defeat still fresh in the mind, Emery will be looking for a reaction to that. A win dusts those cobwebs away while providing evidence of the mental strength the manager believes (publicly) we possess.

Burnley proved obstinate against Tottenham last weekend and Emery will have half an eye on their visit to the Emirates on Saturday lunchtime. I can’t for example see Lucas Torreira playing tonight nor Mustafi, Sokratis and Koscielny although two of them is entirely possible.

Up front, Alexandre Lacazette rather than Eddie Nketiah to lead the line makes more sense. It keeps the Frenchman’s match sharpness in a way substitute appearances never can.

Which leaves the line-up:

Cech; Lichtsteiner, Koscielny, Sokratis, Jenkinson; Ramsey, Xhaka; Saka, Ozil, Iwobi; Lacazette

Three at the back seems unlikely but if that’s the case, Koscielny drops out and Mkhitaryan comes into midfield.

We shall see. Whatever the case, winning is all that matters so, gentlemen, if you please…

Elsewhere, Manchester United appointed an interim manager to succeed the hapless Mourinho. And there’s me thinking they were going to appoint Zidane or Blanc, both of whom are unemployed so there’s no need for an interim if they are on the case.

What it does point to is that Arsenal got it right in the manner of managing Wenger’s departure. Ivan, for all his schmoozing faults, for once walked the talk and he deserves credit for that. 

’til Tomorrow.

49 thoughts on “Spurs Preview: Cup of Good Cheer?

  1. C says:

    Anytime we get the chance to knock Spuds out of competition we need to. Emery says he will play a strong team and with that, I hope to see Maitland-Niles.

    Hiw great would it be, even if its the Carabou Cup, that Emery wins a cup and Spuds continue to not..

  2. HenryNorrisDialSquare says:

    So what’s the “Ghost of Mars” Zombies got to do with anything? Please enlighten YW.

    C

    “So a £500(135 of which were essential court costs) fine and 4 year futbol ban….he said there no racial motivation behind throwing a banana and this little jewel:

    “He has not been charged for any racially aggravated public order offence,” his solicitor, Leila Rasool, told Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court.

    “He was arrested for that but no action has been taken in respect of that matter.

    “Police directly told Mr Panteli they accepted his account and didn’t think there was a racial element.”

    Such a shame..”

    YW called it C, add a nought and a life time ban and we are getting close to deterrent. I wonder what the defence was for a banana skin not being racially motivated!? Remind me to hire this law firm should I ever need one!

    Absolute joke

  3. HenryNorrisDialSquare says:

    Score draw and penalties tonight anyone?

  4. Bill says:

    Great preview yogi.

    We are fortunate to be able to play this game at home and I think we will win. It will interesting to see if Ozil starts or on the bench as a potential impact sub.

    As an aside, I agree with you regarding the importance of playing a strong lineup of our first team regulars and I also agree that using inexperienced U21 players would decrease our chance of getting a result. If that concept is true today then logic suggest it’s true in every game we play even against the weaker teams we play during our league schedule.

  5. HenryNorrisDialSquare says:

    C what do you reckon on these potential CB captures in January?

    Maximilian Wober at Ajax
    Nick Viergever at PSV
    Djene at Getafe
    Cabrera at Getafe

  6. C says:

    HenryNorrisDialSquare,

    Spot on mate! I mean he was not only arrested, literally EVERYBODY else in the world knew it was racism except that group of people. I mean, I don’t get it.

  7. C says:

    HenryNorrisDialSquare,

    Haven’t seen the Getafe CB’s but Wober is one I would be interested in seeing developed under Emery. He is a big lad at 6’2 but has plenty of pace and quickness. I have seen him make some absolute quality tackles. Not only that but you know technically he is good because he has to be playing for Ajax and in their system the CB’s have to be ball playing.

  8. LSG says:

    I hope for a strong team but one filled with the youngsters is ok too as I know they will play hard and care a great deal having come up through the academy. I am excited!

  9. C says:

    Its odd how excited I am for a Carabou Cup tie.

  10. C says:

    Cech, Maitland-Niles, Sokarits, Xhaka, Nacho, Torriera, Ramsey, Mhkitaryan, Iwobi, Aubameyang

    Bench: martinez, Lichtsteiner, Elneny, Kos, Willock, Lacazette, Nketiah

  11. Bill says:

    Emery certainly wants to win.

    Ozil does not even make the subs bench. Looks like Xhaka as CB again.

  12. LSG says:

    That is one strong team! Great—my first NLD in the stadium, so hope it is s big win!

  13. ferkov says:

    Let’s see Papa push Granit around tonite. Never know ,he might be ‘like a new signing’. At least if Fat boy plays, we shouldn’t be bothered by pace.
    Headers …. no more headers please.

  14. consolsbob says:

    LSG,

    You are there, LSG.

    Excellent, have an orange juice on me!

  15. C says:

    Iwobi certainly has all the traits to really be a top winger, if he can find that consistency.

  16. C says:

    FUCK ME, ALL HE HAD TO DO WAS SQUARE IT TI AUBAMEYANG!!!!!

  17. consolsbob says:

    Those spurs players really need to grow up.

  18. C says:

    How the fuck does that happen?!?! Sokaritis should NEVER NEVER NEVER lose a headed duel with Lucas Moura. There in is the other difference between Cech and Leno, Leno attacks that as a sweeker keeper, Cech sits back on his line.

  19. consolsbob says:

    Ramsey trying to be too clever there.

  20. C says:

    Lacazette to come on at halftime to play with Aubameyang.

    Ramsey with those FUCKING back heels in space with time to just turn and take a shot

  21. consolsbob says:

    To be honest, I would say thatweare less than the sum of our parts.

    Many seem to be playing pretty effectively but not all at the same time.

  22. consolsbob says:

    C,

    I am beginning yo understand your point abut Cech.

  23. consolsbob says:

    Our defence is just horrible. Too many players just fitting in, or not.

  24. Welsh corgi cardigan says:

    consolsbob,

    I think Kos should be back a colney for more practice. You know, holding the line, putting people offside and these things.

  25. consolsbob says:

    Second best tonight. No doubt about it.

  26. C says:

    Outside of Iwobi, we really did lack creativity

  27. consolsbob says:

    Agree with that. A real lack of creativity and little semblance of team dynamic.

  28. SV says:

    After a short confusion, the opponents realised that the old remedies still work just fine against us. The weaker teams kick our midfield and attack in the air. The better teams wait for our mistakes and take us apart on a counter. After the new manager’s boost factor wears down, Emery will have to decide, what his vision for the is, and radically rebuild the squad accordingly. He should have as much time as needed, setbacks notwithstanding.

  29. Bill says:

    CBob

    We have been playing as more the sum of our parts all season. Full credit to Emery for what we have done so far. However, a regression back to the norm in the second half of the season is the most like outcome. The real problem is the sum of the parts that Arsene left for Emery needs some significant upgrading.

  30. Bill says:

    C:
    consolsbob,

    Exactly.Needed Ozil or a #10

    Emery said in his interview that dropping Ozil was “tactical”. He was dropped because he has not been giving us any creativity this season and in reality he has not been very good for the last 2 1/2 seasons and he is not getting any younger. I don’t think Ramsey or Mkhitaryan and the short of long term answer. We have been doing well this season without getting much creativity from our attacking midfielder but if we really need more creativity then we probably need to buy someone. We also need a wide player who can give us some end product. Iwobe looks good for parts of some games but he is not the long term answer. We need at least 1 new CB and we will need to get a replacement for Nacho at some point. That would be a good start to rebuilding the sum of our parts. What do you think?

  31. LSG says:

    I enjoyed being there but the second half was dead. We just couldn’t overcome the ref, the game-killing tactics and smart game management after their second goal. I really didn’t understand going to back 3 and Xhaka doesn’t seem to pass as effectively from that deep. We needed him in midfield and to go 442. Anyway, at least we are spared 2 legs of a semifinal.

    2 straight losses—crisis!!!!

  32. LSG says:

    Bill,

    I have to agree that we need a wide player who has the attributes Iwobi has on the ball and with physical strength or better yet pace who can score 10 goals and make 6 from that position. LB a big need. Same at CH.

  33. C says:

    Bill,

    We lacked creativity and it wasn’t just about direct assist but a player able to create space for others as well as breaking the lines which we were not able to do. Ozil provides that ability, despite what you think, he might not always get that assist but he has that ability even if its just a moment. Iwobi was creative but the problem is, if he is creating and others aren’t, managers can adjust on the fly and Ramsey is better at getting on the end of things than creating and Mhkitaryan gets in the right positions but a rush of blood and it all goes to pot for him at the moment. With both Sead and Bellerin out, we lacked what they have provided which is FB’s getting up and down the flank and putting in quality and a variety of balls into the box. I get why he dropped Ozil tactically given our defender situation and him wanting to be more solid defensively but it didn’t work, lets see what happens.

    As far as what we need, well a CB but I think more than anything we need ti get fit. A winger would be great but I also want to see us get back to playing Aubameyang and Lacazette together with Iwobi on the other flank. LB, well sure because Sead when fit helps but he can’t seem to stay fit consistently. A CB would be great, lets tap Juve for Benatia for that more senior CB to phase out Kos or Wober of Ajax to give us that young but experienced talent.

  34. Jonnygunner says:

    C:
    Bill,

    We lacked creativity and it wasn’t just about direct assist but a player able to create space for others as well as breaking the lines which we were not able to do.Ozil provides that ability, despite what you think, he might not always get that assist but he has that ability even if its just a moment.Iwobi was creative but the problem is, if he is creating and others aren’t, managers can adjust on the fly and Ramsey is better at getting on the end of things than creating and Mhkitaryan gets in the right positions but a rush of blood and it all goes to pot for him at the moment.With both Sead and Bellerin out, we lacked what they have provided which is FB’s getting up and down the flank and putting in quality and a variety of balls into the box. I get why he dropped Ozil tactically given our defender situation and him wanting to be more solid defensively but it didn’t work, lets see what happens.

    As far as what we need, well a CB but I think more than anything we need ti get fit. A winger would be great but I also want to see us get back to playing Aubameyang and Lacazette together with Iwobi on the other flank.LB, well sure because Sead when fit helps but he can’t seem to stay fit consistently.A CB would be great, lets tap Juve for Benatia for that more senior CB to phase out Kos or Wober of Ajax to give us that young but experienced talent.

    C….in all my years (like many others on here)…I know what I see.I may not have the perceptive abilities or nowse of some but trust me(and keep this for the future to throw back at me-just in case)-but Alex Iwobi is not good enough for Arsenal.He isn’t on his own either-but his first touch is that of an un-polished shoplifter.
    His passes are ‘just’ over or under….he really,really fucking frustrates.
    That is not to say that he is solely responsible for our abject performance tonight but he’d be at the top of my ‘on you go’ list along with several others.
    Ramsey doing the ‘Hollywood’ nonsense …again.
    Miki looked improved compared to recent outings.Big Pete,Kos,Nacho….nope…tata.
    Unai will make big changes I reckon-funds allowing.He’s worked with a hand me down team and the same Wenger traits are there for all to see….to the point that if the camera didn’t pan to the touchline you could and would believe that Arsene was still there(certainly tonight).

  35. Bill says:

    C

    You can’t still believe that Ozil has been doing something that really helps the team that only you can see and does not show up on the stat sheets. Our manager has extensive experience and a whole coaching staff who presumably watch thousands of hours of film and if Ozil was really having some sort of important postive influence that I am just not smart enough to understand then Emery would have figured that out and he would not have dropped Mesut for tactical reasons. No?

    Jonny

    Iwobe is a nice player who has a reasonable level of eye catching technical skill but he has been an on and off starter for 4 years and there has never been end product. You can’t be a regular starting forward on a team that hopes to challenge for league titles when you don’t produce end product

  36. Jonnygunner says:

    Bill,

    Nope-my point entirely.
    We’re long suffering here at Arsenal aren’t we?

  37. consolsbob says:

    Jonny, Bill, agree with all of that.

    The second half of the season may not be pretty but we are just paying the price for several dead years.

  38. Ras says:

    Defeat is never nice especially against the Spuds.

    No Ozil again hier soir there are ” issues” behind that Emery / The Club have to deal with the Player. I saw a stat Ozil has completed 90 minutes 5 times this season

    No matter what way you look at it This is not value for money.

  39. HenryNorrisDialSquare says:

    It’s apparent we lack personnel in certain areas of the team. I think our youngster’s struggled with the physicality of Sissoko and Alli in midfield. They were well drilled defensively to hit us on the counter and I think Emery needs to take some of the blame for this defeat, as he should have known that they would take this approach to the game. What the best manager’s in the world do and say what you will about Mourinho, but he would of set the team up not to lose. To be a defensive unit at home rather than all out attack and flamboyance. He didn’t change his tactics from the first NLD were we won 4-2, not realising that they would analyse that game and come with a different approach. There is nothing wrong in playing like a Sean Dyche with Burnley at home. It frustrates other teams as they think, well why aren’t they coming at us!? Then you manage the game, when the time is right, bring on the super sub that can take advantage of those tired legs. I can see why Europe’s elite are interested in Pochettino. He’s a very good manager and he got it right last night. Emery didn’t and Xhaka does not work in defence. Kos shouldn’t be anywhere near the first team and Nacho isn’t fully match fit. AMN and Guendouzi struggled and Iwobi not enough intelligence to deliver the final ball. Torreira was the only player not to embarrass himself. It’s the EFL, I’m over it. Onwards and upwards, Burnley at the weekend and let’s hope we can get back to winning ways.

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