1) What did you make of our line up and approach to the game?
@gunnerpunner - Going into this game there wasn't much choice thanks to Ian Dury & Daniel Agger. The only real question was Arteta or Flamini and I guess it made sense to go with the side that finished against Bayern, with Gibbs coming back in. I felt that our approach was very much a hangover from Bayern. We'd clearly worked hard at keeping things tight defensively and breaking quickly, and the team were comfortable playing like that, so it wasn't too surprising that we lined up the same way today. The early goal made it even more logical.
@JamesRaulStokes - Arsene deployed the line-up pretty much as expected. Perhaps the omission of Flamini was a touch peculiar given the 'blood and thunder' nature of a NLD. I thought we lined up to ensure that we retained as much of the possession as possible and the game plan was to take the game to them.
@onearsenewenger - Was very surprised to see Gibbs fit and Poldi starting. Obviously the first few minutes were most joyous, but it quickly became a nervy affair. Ox in the middle did not work today, we needed his pace wide to hurt them with an outball. It simply looked a matter of when in terms of them scoring... the contra to this being their total shiteness.
@Tomthegunner - Line up made the best of what we had at our disposal, and I was pleasantly surprised not to see an Arteta-Flamini pivot - something which I had begrudgingly accepted. However, our approach didn't really match up with the players, I can't remember the last time that I saw so little passes being strung together, and this was even more shocking considering we had Arteta, Rosicky, Cazorla and Chamberlain, all brilliant passers of the ball.
2) Who was your Arsenal man of the match and why?
@gunnerpunner - Laurent Koscielny and Bacary Sagna share this for me. Sagna went to war today and showed Danny Rose what he should aim to achieve in life once he reaches adulthood. Sagna & Koscielny both also bailed out Szczesny after his bizarre fumbles early in the second half. Koscielny was imperious today. He reads play well but I've been equally impressed with the physical side of his game this season, and he stood Adebayor up on a number of occasions without much trouble. His save on the line was also pretty special.
@JamesRaulStokes - Per Mertesacker, by a country mile. The BFG was essentially a giant ball magnet the entire game. Both he and Koscielny worked tirelessly to prevent Spurs from making a breakthrough and it speaks volumes when you consider the only clear chances the home side received were due to Szczesny having some of his more calamitous moments. The less said about that, the better.
@onearsenewenger - BGF, just immense... pretty sure he won every ball in the air. Could easily be his best ever performance in an Arsenal shirt.
@Tomthegunner - Laurent Mertesacker - yes you read that right. I don't think I could choose between the two, it was hard enough to exclude anyone from the defence, they cleared everything that was sent their way and both handled Adebayor well enough. Koscielny's goal line block could edge it, but Mertesackers contributions have a habit of going unnoticed, so I'd have to tie the two. Bacary Sagna is often overlooked because he is always at such a brilliant level, but he was fantastic today and left Danny Rose on his arse more times than I can remember.
3) Who in the Arsenal side wasn't at his best?
@gunnerpunner - It's hard to judge, given we didn't have much of the ball and defended well. I felt our problem today was keeping the ball, but I think an element of that was that we were trying to be much more direct than usual. I felt Gibbs looked a bit injured still and wasn't great on the ball. I also think Chamberlain is rightly getting a lot of praise at the moment, but he's a bit too all-action for me. He just needs to learn to get his head up a bit more and not to be so rushed at times.
@JamesRaulStokes - I love Olivier Giroud, I think his contribution to the team is often overlooked by those who favour pointing out he isn't as ostentatious as previous incumbents of his position. However, when isolated up front whilst the rest of the team defends, he can often be maddeningly ineffectual. Today he looked a touch lethargic and his control, which is usually very good, let him down on numerous occasions. Also, The Ox was jarringly profligate in front of goal, and I'm still yet to decide what he was trying to do when put clean through. A crafty dink? A pass? It was bloody awful. I know that much.
@onearsenewenger - Giroud. We know all about his lack of pace, but he does have a wonderful first touch and can layoff balls like a number 10 on occasions, but today he had nothing in the locker.... looked so lethargic. Could have used Sanogo energy in the final 15-20.
@Tomthegunner - Lukas Podolski - but when is he?
Olivier Giroud also had a very poor game. I genuinely can't remember more than 5 of his contributions in the match, but his constant battling with the defenders allowed us to temporarily relieve pressure.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain showed bursts of the brilliant player we know, but when his big chance came calling he hit it wide. Not a poor performance per se, but below the standard which we have become accustomed to - he really needs to develop the defensive side of his game, especially his defensive awareness.
4) What impact does this result have on our season if any?
@gunnerpunner - It gives us three more points than we had before the game and leaves Tottenham hilariously far behind. More importantly, we're now a point off Chelsea if we win our game in hand and right in the mix. A bit of luck with injuries and we should have a chance all the way into may. Games like this give the team a lot of confidence in our defensive ability, and the last 3 games (Everton, Bayern, Sp*rs) should give us a lot of encouragement going into the last few games.
@JamesRaulStokes - The result can have a huge impact on our season. For all the attacking verve and swashbuckling that typifies Arsenal, winning ugly with our backs to the wall is equally important. Previously, away games haven't brought vintage displays and given how poor we have been on our travels, a victory today might do us the world of good. Plus, it was in a huge derby against those grubby pretenders, which always heightens the enjoyment. With Chelsea losing and Liverpool beating Man United, 3 points was essential to keep up the pace.
@onearsenewenger - Got to be a big lift, and we need it, as I don't think we are playing all that well as an attacking force, actually we are a terrible attacking force right now, lack of pace is allowing opposing sides to really push up high and squeeze the life out of us. They have no fear of Theo on the break. Thankfully our 2 rocks in the centre of defence are getting better and better. Would like to see Gnabry get more minutes, he has the pace and tricks to make some magic happen... we are a little devoid of that lately (Rossa goal aside!)
@Tomthegunner - It means that top four is almost a dead-cert, which is in lovely contrast to the last few years. It also means that we firmly have our foot in the door of the title race, which, although I think it's lovely to be in and provides a big boost for the players, I think we will fall short - and who could blame us if we do? We are without Theo Walcott (last years top goalscorer), Aaron Ramsey (our most complete midfielder), Mesut Ozil (best #10 in the world) and Jack Wilshere (a luxury player, but one with passion).
5) Three wins against Spurs out of three, how much credit does agent Sherwood deserve?
@gunnerpunner - I have to say he's doing an excellent job. He's doing what every Arsenal fan grows up dreaming of doing. I was slightly worried today, if I'm honest. Tottenham were set up well and Tim's decades of following Arsenal made him well-placed to set up a side to beat us. Luckily he spent too much time trying to get Sagna's autograph than anything else.
@JamesRaulStokes - I think 'agent' Sherwood deserves immeasurable credit. Since his infiltration of enemy lines, he's steadily stripped away Spurs' ability to do anything other than run around enthusiastically. It was good to hear the Arsenal faithful chant his name. he deserved it.
@onearsenewenger - In the wise words of Thierry Henry... "Once a gooner... always a gooner"
@Tomthegunner - Not much, I always believe that Arsene plays to his teams strength and not the other teams weaknesses. For reference, Sherwood should be demoted as soon as the season ends, he's out of his depth.
6) Any other thoughts?
@gunnerpunner - £110M HA HA HA HA HA.
@JamesRaulStokes - Final thoughts; I'll take a win at White Hart Lane any way I can get it. The performance was poor offensively, but, thankfully, coupled with great defensive resolve. Also, I might add what a pleasure it was to see the consistency with which Danny Rose tumbled unceremoniously through the air when on the receiving end of a firm tackle. It couldn't have happened to a more irksome footballer. Except maybe Phil Jones. Or John Terry. Or Arjen Robben.
Best of all, folks; that absolute howitzer from Rosicky. That flew in. I am not at all ashamed to admit a little bit of wee came out when I saw that.
@onearsenewenger - Please Arsene, bring us a mobile striker in the summer.
@Tomthegunner - Whilst it's lovely basking in the happiness of beating our rivals, I can't help but think that if we perform like that again this season we'll be punished. We need to adapt our game now that we are without so many stars. Plus, Aaron Ramsey can't return quick enough, such an amazing player and if he returns in the same form as he left us I could find myself eating my words about our title challenge.
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@JamesRaulStokes - thearmchairgooner.co.uk