Arsenal 5-2 Spurs | Papering over the cracks

When we beat the old enemy 5-2 in February we did it on our own with a brilliant, passionate second half that blew Spurs away. This time we needed a reckless moment from Adebayor to rescue us from what was shaping up to be another poor performance.

For the first 17 minutes we were second best and Spurs should’ve been 2-0 up. Mertesacker was guilty of slack play when he allowed Defoe’s movement to flummox him and when Szczesny parried his shot, Adebayor reacted quicker than Vermaelen to tap in the loose ball.

Shortly afterwards more hesitancy saw Defoe and Bale combine well and the Welshman found Lennon, who dragged his effort inches wide with Szczesny beaten. Alarm bells were ringing.

We were completely lost defensively, unable to cope with two fast, tricky wide players and the movement of Defoe and Adebayor. Andre Villas-Boas’ decision to play two up front and go for it was proving to be an astute one which Arsenal had no answer to.

Luckily for us Adebayor then went in late and high on Cazorla, catching the little Spaniard with his studs and earning a deserved red card. The game changed immediately because although Spurs’ defensive shape was still intact, they could no longer keep the ball when it was cleared and Arsenal started to enjoy total dominance.

Emmanuel Adebayor is sent off against Arsenal

Thanks Ade, you nasty scumbag. We needed that

Cazorla and Giroud went close before Mertesacker headed in a Walcott cross. Then a fortunate ricochet off Huddlestone allowed Podolski a shot at goal which struck Gallas and trickled apologetically into the net. We were getting all the luck.

That being said, we had now found our rhythm and were working Spurs hard as they chased seemingly endless passes, trying to counteract our man advantage. Wilshere and Walcott looked good once again, but it was Cazorla who caught the eye, especially when he put in a low cross for Giroud’s clever finish right on halftime.

Spurs brought on Dempsey and had a go in the second half, but on the hour mark Podolski found Cazorla on the counter and it was 4-1. The killer goal, surely.

This being Arsenal, we let Spurs back into it on 71 when Bale was allowed time and space to fire home a terrific 20 yarder. What followed was 10 minutes of nervousness from the home side as Spurs went for broke. If Bale had given Defoe an easy tap in instead of going for glory it could’ve been 4-3. Ditto if Defoe hadn’t miskicked from five yards out following a corner.

But Arsenal weathered the mini-storm and Wenger brought on the Ox to run at the tiring backline. In injury time he fed Walcott to put the icing on the cake and allow the home fans to enjoy two 5-2 wins over their rivals in the space of a year. Incredible!

Wenger was keen to stress that we don’t know what would’ve happened if Adebayor hadn’t been sent off, but on the evidence of the opening 17 minutes it was more likely that Spurs would’ve run out 5-2 winners instead of Arsenal.

I feel a bit silly writing a mainly critical report after a 5-2 win over our bitter rivals, but I can’t shake the feeling that nothing has changed. We are not suddenly a brilliant side — we just papered over the cracks that were glaringly evident in the first 17 minutes.

Personally last season’s 5-2 win was much more enjoyable. Of course I am pleased we won, but today doesn’t feel as magical because deep down I know we are going nowhere as a club and our squad has been on the decline for the past few years with no sign of change on the horizon. Indeed, today’s Man of the Match was Walcott and it sums us up perfectly that he will probably be allowed to leave in a few weeks. Where is the ambition Arsenal?

So we leapfrog Spurs in the table, but can we stay ahead of them? I can’t see it. We only started playing today as Adebayor trudged off the field and that’s worrying. Maybe this will revive our season as it did in February, but the difference this time around is that we don’t have van Persie.

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  1. niko

    I cant say you are wrong but let’s just enjoy the 5 beautiful goals form Arsenal today.

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  2. Les

    So, we now have 2 strikers unlike last february? two striker who wanna play for us and scored? we have a winger that wants to play striker but the other strikers have scored 5 goals in the last two games? We beat our nearest rivals? We got more points than man you and chavski this weekend?

    Christ, what is a good weekend for you?

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  3. Indra

    Get a life.

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  4. SharpSpooner


    We are not suddenly a brilliant side as you mentioned. 11 v 11 and we probably would’ve had the crap kicked out.

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  5. Wombledin

    Just enjoy this oh so sweet result. Who could’ve asked for more than a successive 5-2 dicking of spurts with Adebarndoor sent off in disgrace. And the blue mincers and mancs also losing. A dream weekend for gooners.

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  6. RK

    Yes, but we are not as bad as you say we are. The struggles that we are going through are also mental. Hopefully this will help in that regard. I also think that we will get better as Giroud, Santi, and Jack get more used to one another and when Gibbs+Diaby return (yeah I know, they might play 3 games and then disappear :-( . Certainly am looking for the return legs against MU & Chelsea.

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  7. Philbet

    You really should give up, you are not a fan you are just a critic, if you think people just want to hear how crap there side is and how when they win its just cos they get lucky,you must live in a strange place,if you find the place where we win 10-0 every week and all the players are superstars please tell us!! Unfortunately it is not in this (or any other) world,If you cant face reality then football is not the thing for you
    Goodbye Phil.

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  8. Shelfaidejan

    Good to read an honest appraisal of the game from the opposition. I don’t think there’s a lot between the two clubs, a twist of fate changed things relatively early and made the difference. I do, however, think there’s a fair few more twists to come this season and that both clubs will be in the mix come the end of the season. Indeed there were a few unexpected results this afternoon. Of course I won’t go as far as to wish you good luck, you had plenty today already. COYS!

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  9. Lobster

    The day I can’t fully enjoy watching my team thrash the enemy 5-2, I would call it a day on called being an arsenal fan. Seriously, are u spuds in disguise?

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  10. tissiam

    you are right you should feel silly!cant you enjoy the moment for once,and please get yourself a dictionary mate &stop using cliches like paper over the cracks seriously ,anyway mate you can still redeem yourself with your next article :)

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  11. Willo

    Ooooh to be a Gooner……well you never know, one day you might be.

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  12. Zgunner

    You ARE silly… sillier than AVB who claims the twats outplayed Arsenal today…

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  13. Wenger

    I also claimed we were the better team when we lost to spurs 5-1, so I know what AvB means

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  14. Shanzuman

    I am quite amazed how all the indocrinated, fanatical cocky fans such as Indra, RK, Philbet, Lobster, tissiam, Willo, Zgunner………come out to criticise and be flipant to the writer for writing such a concise report. Where were you when this blog debated the unacceptable results of the past weeks? Of course we rejoiced in beating our number one enemy, as much as any other fan did today but the writer is correct in saying that we are still the same team lacking in having a stronger squad, tactical play and playing players out of position etc. Yes a great result but the next test is how well we do away to Aston Villa and Everton and of course next Wednesday in the Champions league.

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  15. OMGArsenal

    It is hard to accept such a defeat 5-2 to the spuds….WAIT! Itwasn’t a defeat, wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I wanted my Arsenal to lose to the Totts so I could continue to be a critical,negative whin er…..oh well there’s always the next game to hope for a defeat.

    Those cretins who say this is an honest opinion are toitally anti-Arsenal clowns. Adebuywhore got sent off, the Spuds couldn’t handle it…we thumped them again 5-2, how many tim,es do we need to do that regardless of the circumstances for moaners and pessimists to admit that AFC are coming together???

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  16. Skinnie

    not yet a huru though, but we must still savor this mo’ for we had been starved of it for so long;and to do it against spuds was the best part of it. We all do know that all this team needs is a few additions and we would be gun blazing. A lot had been tagged to the sending off of Ade-to-yo(crown that slipped)but we have seen teams that had won with 10 men overtime, atleast we did it too. It means spuds haven’t got the spine. Ade only overacted the script as he always does when he plays against and d overzealousness got him the matching order. A tale of good riddance to sumptous win for Arsenal.

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  17. Jim

    Excellent and well written and not hiding beyond anything other then the truth! I wonder if all the posters so happy to criticise you for being so honest and truthful, for taking the diabolical liberty of reporting the realities of the game, will be just be as forthcoming to agree with all the serious points you raised when it all comes home to roost.Just goes to show that a win over a London rival can seriously blinker the realism of were our football club is now! Don’t believe all the Wenger spin, he can work so many of our fan’s like a political spin doctor!

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    • Gooner Steve

      Thanks Jim — it’s amazing how many people either don’t want to or are unable to see the bigger picture.

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