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Written by Mean Lean on Sunday, 18 November 2012 02:00

I am starting to really appreciate our little plucky neighbours from down the road. When you are low on confidence, things are not going right or you generally need a pick me up then just invite those lot round and after 90 minutes of playing around, life just feels so much better afterwards.

I wonder what the odds would have been for us to reproduce last season's result against Tottenham. There were no surprises in the Arsenal line up and as usual all the injured Tottenham players appeared in the starting line up.

I loved Bacary Sagna totally ignoring Emmanuel Adebayor in the tunnel and rightly so. I wonder what his reasons were as only moments later he gave William Gallas a big hug.

Tottenham started brighter than us, we looked nervous and cagey. What our defenders were doing for the Tottenham goal, I will never know. Jan Vertonghen was allowed far too much time to stride forward and loft his pass over the top, half of our defenders ran out to play offside while Koscielny stuck with Adebayor playing their forwards onside.

Jermaine Defoe ran in behind and he shot off the palm of Szczesny and into the path of Emmanuel Adebayor to tap in from close range. Thomas Vermaelen may have got back to challenge but had stopped running for some reason when Defoe had shot.

Watching Adebayor run around behind the advertising boards and then dance made me sick to my stomach.

Luckily for us, Emmanuel Adebayor has somewhat of a screw loose in that annoying head of his. His challenge on Santi Cazorla was unnecessary and high so his red card was totally deserved. Idiot.



Certainly that was the turning point and we do not know where the game would have gone had he stayed on the pitch given the way Tottenham were playing in the opening exchanges. Before Adebayor's dismissal Aaron Lennon whistled a shot narrowly wide of Szczesny's far post, it just shows you how matches can change on small margins. Had Lennon's strike found the net then Adebayor would not have been in the position to get sent off and we could have all been feeling rather differently today.

As it was an Adebayorless Tottenham handed Arsenal the initiative and we started to play our football again. Per Mertesacker had yet to register his name on the Arsenal goalscorer's list since he joined the club so a goal in the North London derby is as good a time as ever to get amongst the goals. Theo Walcott's cross was perfect, absolutely perfect but it was the step-over to make space for the cross that impressed me most. Gallas stood off the big German to power in a wonderful header into the top corner.

The momentum tilt on both sides was obvious after that goal and we smelt blood. Tottenham looked like a team that had seen this movie before. Lukas Podolski put us in front with a turn a shot that clipped off agent Gallas' heal and bobbled past Hugo Lloris before Oliver Giroud scored our third at the near post. Oliver Giroud is a proper striker who loves the near post it seems. Many of his goals have been in that position. It was all Santi Cazorla's work to set him up though. He collected the ball in midfield and drove at the Tottenham penalty box, he was fouled on the way but bounced back on his feet and continued on his travels. Many would have stayed down and waited for the free kick but not Santi. His left footed low cross found the outstretched left foot of Giroud and his impressive run of goals continues.

It is utterly amazing that Giroud was written off and labelled a flop after a handful of games. Giroud is coming into his own now, winning pretty much everything in the air, linking with his team mates and showing composure for his goals. He could have scored another after a Sagna cross found his powerful header but his countryman Lloris was equal to the effort.

I am loving this new dimension to our game, a dimension that we probably have never seen in Arsene Wenger's reign. It certainly makes us a much more unpredictable team and that can only be a good thing.

After half time the next goal was always going to be very important given our recent habit of throwing away leads. Tottenham had started the second half as they did the first, stronger. But it was Arsenal that punished poor defending. Giroud towered above his marker to win a header in the middle of the pitch, Theo Walcott who had abandoned his right forward spot collected it on the inside left and he fed a motoring Podolski, the German who has already shown excellent quality for the low ball in the box found an unmarked Santi Cazorla to slot in at the far post. Who said this derby stuff was difficult? All three new boys all scoring in their first match against the old enemy.

Santi Cazorla who had lost a bit in recent weeks was back to his best yesterday. I just love watching him play and the way he makes everything look so simple. Wilshere mentioned it recently but he doesn't just pass the ball to his team mates, he serves every pass up with its own unique identity. He plays with his own built in x button, passes are nearly always weighted to perfection regardless of the pressure he is under before making it.

At 4-1 up we should have been home and dry and I guess we were in the end but it felt differently when Gareth Bale having absolutely no joy once again from Sagna moved into a central position in far too much space he drove at the edge of our box, his right footed strike found the corner and I for one noticed the warmth and smell in my underwear. It felt like one of those come back moments and perhaps recent memories are playing tricks on me.

Moments later Bale found his way into our penalty area and drove just past the post as Lennon had done in the first half. Jermaine Defoe wasn't best pleased but we certainly were. I don't want to imagine how the rest of the game would have felt like that gone in. What was pleasing though was the way from that point onwards that we used our brains and took the sting out of the game completely. Passing the ball around and keeping it away from Tottenham. They had their chance to get back in the game and we were not going to let them have another bite of the cherry.

Chamberlain came on and raced into the box late on, he lifted up his head and picked out Theo who had replaced Giroud as the center forward and his finish was clean and well executed for a repeat score line of last season.

Theo Walcott's performances both please and sadden me right now. From what we have seen this season he is starting to look like the player I thought he would become in time once he puts his game together. Not the most talented player in the world not the most skilful but one of the most effective. He is not making mistakes of yesteryear at least not so far. He is not running into defenders, he is not misplacing so many passes and is not ballooning crosses over everyone's head and out for throw in's. He is doing all the basics right and is scoring and assisting for fun. I am pleased that he is reaching his potential but very sad that it looks like it could be without us.

Anyway, the end result was very pleasing and a number of players played very well. This was the game that gave us a great platform last season, if we can do that again this time then this could well be the most important victory of the season to date.

Manchester United losing at Norwich after the International break ey? Chelsea also failing to beat West Brom. It has made for a rather interesting week of football but the key is we improve on our weak points, mainly defensively and continue to score goals like we have done recently.

Anyway got to get ready for my daughters kids party, the parents are expected to turn up at around 5-2. Boom boom.

Well done the Arsenal.

Comments (11)

  • Mainoo  - Waiting 4 Rosiscky
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    Cant wait to see a Tomas Rosiscky and Carzola partnership...hope he is back soon...wat a comeback dat wud be.
  • MeanLean
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    Same here Mainoo. Rosicky of last season would be utterly fantastic right now, an improvement on Wilshere at present (understandably)

    However we do not know if Rosicky will return to that level and if he does, how long it will take. I have my fingers crossed.
  • frank  - pervert
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    your pervey metaphor in the title is worrying
  • MeanLean
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    You should indeed be worried.
  • Passenal
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    I agree - I would love to see Rosicky back at his best in this team. I also agree about Theo - if he was staying he would have signed by now. It's a real shame but clearly it's about the money because if it was about the game he would stay where he has a manager who supports him and who will help him to develop further. It's not like he's approaching his last contract and needs to maximise his income with retirement around the corner.
  • indoGooner  - Arsenal united ?
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    as a gooners, of course, last night was one of the greatest match for me, and as usual, when Arsenal win, I go to all highlight, and watch the highlight again and again…. For last match performance, I want to highlight 1 condition, I hope this is not right…. I wonder, when Giroud scored, Cazorla the assist-giver, just went to the left, not celebrate it with the others, and when Cazorla scored, Podolski also not celebrated it with Cazorla, what happen with them ?
  • M ARSENAL FAN  - OHH YEAHHHHH!!!!!!!!
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    Yeahhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! its my Arsenal!!!!! we win it...win as the fortune came to help Arsenal...like me to say...we will back on track now...forsure after this...the next games to win is montpellier games...how will we play it...of course, we will fight for everything because the next win will boost more morale in Arsenal team......oh yeahhhhhh!!!!!!

    Firstly, let me say it one more time, this time is the same time that our ex-captain being the best thing, and this time Arsenal will back as it used to be......thanks God.....the more important thing we hope is szcesney come back.....and then, he will be there for end season.....

    Secondly, we will announced our starting best now with 4-3-2-1 formation... its our giroud-podolski-walcott-cazorla-arteta-wilshere-vermaelen-koscielny- mertersacker-sagna-szcesney......

    Thirdly is...our player are getting better and better now, with giroud play more fluidity and cazorla put games on high string...every player played well, but several player will show more and more improvement on next games...its our captain 1st, in scond he show more vocal as captain, and he play some good games, keep work especially to face against winger type,the more he saved and blocked opponent ball, the more morale we got for our team...koscielny is looking better now, and keep work guys, you are almost there to be the best from last season....for wilshere, for me he is just 50% on his displays and its great to see he improve more and more to gain and show who is he....after that......for sure, we will have Three General Midfield (spanis type).....come on wilshere, we want you as soon there.....and the more player we want to play mush now is giroud.....we want to use him more on second playmaker on his way because his assists can beat our ex-captain.....if he can be more fast than now, sure he will has more supreme play next time.......szcesney, we sure happy to have you back, but better keep your work hard because we want see more from you as saviour.....take norwich goalkeeper, ruddy as player you must beat, because he was the saviour on his games.....being back and better from last season, and we will has something special this season......forsure guys......

    Then, keep work back more on our passing games, happily to see our passing has been back last games, but still not enough......we wanna see more square angle on our passing............keep work guys......then, who are our next epl opponent, no i means, we will see no team weak than us, because the thing we want to put for Arsenal player is, we will fight like we have all important games, all them was our enemies now, our enemies....means we will fight from now, with all our heart and will, to beat them all.....

    Last time we said we are come back for Arsenal.....fortune back to Arsenal, we kill all ex-captain has, we kill almost many team to hold before Arsenal.......and once again as us said, we are on TRACK now.....this is our beginning.......we will reshape all we have......and to see as something we could has this season......just wait guys....and mr.wenger......we want to see more defndable and attackable like you are doing on your word.......rise more your team morale because this time we are on your back......keep work back and believe that we only has wengerball, but this time little bit evolution of wenger ball........if you dont believe, we believe it..............

    So now............we will choose any player we think we can win, not is exceptional......so, for our subs, show more, and the starting will know how to hold your starting or lose it without mercy..........so, lets us back on track.........stand on your track, looking forward, and get ready to make more speed now............one more time, ONE MINUTE IS VERY PRECIOUS TIME FOR ME IN TERM OF ARSENAL BEAUTIFUL PLAYING......

    See you next games, we are together now...........lets win with proud and pride................ARSENAL OHHH YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Then, as we announce our best back4 now, next game is to create back cleansheet now, because i just remembered what mancini said, we cant be champion if not have many cleansheet....yeahhhhhhh......
  • Joecarbonuk  - Just what we all needed
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    "I for one noticed the warmth and smell in my underwear" ha ha good one mean lean! I too was pleased I'd donned the brown trousers at that moment.

    Quality game and great to get a fine win under our belts again, lets hope this gives us the momentum we need to build a good run going into the new year at least. The table doesn't look too bad right now either.
  • David
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    Great win but still some faults on show - the lack of closing down on Bale for his goal was shocking. However, not many blogs have mentioned it but the way we closed out the last 15 mins was very impressive considering how nervy we look at the back and in possession in recent weeks. Time will tell but just as Poldolski is not a left wing-forward, Arteta is not a deep-lying/holding midfielder - teams get at our backline too easily and over time it may cost us. Walcott is no better than Adebayor in that he is trying to kid us fans into believing he wants to stay when he does not hae any intention of doing so; yes he has improved but the way he fluffed the one-on-one at 4-1 proves he is not worth £100k a week (and I almost forgot the injury-time chance in Schalke last week) - I can't imagine a certain ex no.14 missing that chance(s)! This tosh about wanting to play centrally is disguising his ego and greed; the club are wholly justified in not caving in. The Ox will inprove, and another right forward can be purchased. Oh and Gnarby & Eisfeld don't look too bad either as prospects. Yes he is looking the part now but so many often do when they seek to run down their contracts.
  • richie
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    @ML Unfortunately Sagna didn’t snub Adebayor at all.
    They were in fact the first to shake hands and embrace, it was just that it happened before that video clip that someone posted actually started. The truth can be engineered to look different from the reality simply by starting the clip from a different point.

    http://twitpic.com/be9n19/full
  • richie
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    Can anyone have imagined the headline before the game “Arsenal have Ade Buymeforloads to thank for helping to kick-starting their season.”

    Could it have happened to a nicer character? Gooners hate the Barndoor, but now so do spuds. Reality is far stranger than fiction. This was one of those games where the manner of the victory wasn’t as important as the end result. Gooners have now enjoyed their weekend! Yet again there was evidence that this team only needs to gel a little more because the ingredients are there in the pot all we need is for Arsene to season the broth and bring it to boil. Santi & Jack Theo & Sagna. Great finish from Giroud, and maybe a slight bit of a lucky deflection for the Pod but he was in the right place to poach a goal from another rotten character in Gallas. (You couldn’t have written a better script).

    With Thierry and Sol looking on and although I didn’t see him it seemed Bobby P was around, it seems like all our stars were in alignment, now to push on, wasn’t it just the icing on the cake to see a few results go our way in the table. I agree with you guy’s about getting Rosicky back. What a midfield! Its mouth watering Arteta, Jack, Cazorla, and Rosicky. Play them together and I’d love to see their stats against any midfield in Europe. I’d like to think Diaby might return sooner rather than later too because when fit in that midfield line up we would be unplayable. (I say this despite knowing it must now be confirmed he is injury prone, unfortunately). If only he could stay fit long enough to get a run together.

    What a wonderful “Groundhog Day” with the spuds again.
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