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After the match, Arsène spoke about the big regrets he and his players will have at the full time whistle at White Hart Lane. In other circumstances it is quite conceivable that Arsenal could have picked up a very important three points at the Lane but for a rash mistake from Francis Coquelin just after half time. 

Arsenal had been made to ride out the early Tottenham storm, largely thanks to some excellent goalkeeping from David Ospina. I saw an image on Sky before the game with Ospina's stats last season and this was confirmed by The football fortresses graphic from Bet Hut, he does come in for an awful lot of criticism but I'm not sure it's always warranted. 

But we held on without conceding, something we haven't managed to do during the critical moments in matches for a number of weeks now. We stayed in the game and managed to strike first against the run of play. Welbeck fortuitously received the ball down the left, he rolled the ball into Hector Bellerin outside the box but the Spaniard had the presence of mind to pass back inside to Ramsey who was inside the penalty box, his back flicked finish was instinctive and sublime. 1-0 to the Arsenal.

We are often criticised for not shooting enough and making the extra pass so it is worth highlighting the reasons why we play this way when it works. Hector Bellerin could have had a wild speculative shot over the bar or dragged his shot wide of the far post and the move would have been over, no goal and no advantage. Instead he saw a player in a better position and his pass was accurate and decisive. Why shoot when you have less chance of scoring instead of finding a man in a better position to score?

Speaking of Hector Bellerin, it is quite interesting to note that he left the match with two assists to his name at a time when Aaron Ramsey was pushed back to the right side of the attack rather than a central position.

I noted in this piece just how productive Hector Bellerin was earlier in the season when Ramsey was stationed on the right and it's no coincidence that Bellerin's output has dropped since Ramsey was moved back into the middle of midfield.

Personally I have been hoping for Elneny in the middle and Ramsey wide for a few weeks now, think it gives us the best balance with our available players and I thought it was largely a success. 

Elneny was the man needed to use only a few touches to recycle the ball and his engine along with Coquelin gave us a good defensive balance. Ramsey had a free-ish role from the right which allowed him to roam between the lines without disrupting the structure of the midfield. It also gave us more passing options, I would have been interested to see it tested out over the full 90 minutes

Unfortunately Francis Coquelin made a mistake and went for a ball he thought he could get and missed. Harry Kane played his part by falling over the outstretched leg and Michael Oliver sent off the Arsenal man. 

Players like Laurent Koscielny and Francis Coquelin are aggressive, front footed defensive players who make tackles and interceptions by force, we take it for granted when they do their jobs well so unfortunately this is the other side of the coin. It was rash and ultimately snatched a chance to win the game out of our grasp but some of the frothing has been a little overboard in my opinion. 

It wasn't long before the home side took advantage of the extra man. What is it with the back post at White Hart Lane? Harry Kane had a shot excellently saved by David Ospina, it was from a very similar position to where he scored his first goal last season.

Unfortunately lessons where not learnt and this time Toby Alderweireld was left free to drill the ball past Ospina from close range at the very same post.

Minutes later Mertesacker was left wrong footed by a Dele Alli back heal into Harry Kane and the former Arsenal youngster produced a sensational curling right footed shot past Ospina and into the far corner of the net.

I couldn't have been the only one who thought getting anything from the game from that point was just a dream. But credit to the players and the manager for his positive substitutions.

Oliver Giroud replaced the impressive Mohammed Elneny and we went for it. 

On 76, Ramsey's pass found Bellerin on the right and his early pass released Alexis into the box and his finish was early and past the outstretched hand of Hugo Lloris.

Tottenham should have been reduced to 10 men with 12 minutes to go after a blatant Dier tug back on Oliver Giroud, still unsure as to why that wasn't given but that is out of our control unfortunately. 

When I see Alexis doing that, I still wonder what would happen if we gave him a stretch of games as our centre forward rather than on the flank. Absolutely loved seeing Bellerin's crazed reaction when Alexis scored!

Even with 10 men and an attack heavy side, I was a little disappointed to see Danny Welbeck go off for Flamini, but had we lost the game, we would have heard comments like 'if you can't win it then don't lose it'

Tottenham looked like they would concede if we applied any real consistent pressure to them. In stoppage time we may have won the game when Alexis sent Ramsey through on goal but he did not have the speed to escape from Alderweireld and his left footed shot was blocked. Perhaps another back heal was the better option as Giroud was lurking behind him unmarked. A last minute winner would have been so, so sweet! Ahh well.

With Welbeck as centre forward and Elneny in the midfield, have we found a team that can click back into life? 8 points behind Leicester, it may well be a little too late. 

The only way to be sure is to go on a winning run and see where we end up. 

But can we go on that run? Over to you boys.

  • 15 Sep 2015
    So let me stop reminiscing of days gone by and let me focus on our Welsh wonder. Let me start off by saying that I think it is quite obvious that Aaron Ramsey is better in central midfield. His partnership with Mesut Özil, his running from deep and his underrated ball winning ability makes him a ...Read more