Arsenal 4 – 4 Sp*rs: Self destruction at the Emirates, as calls for Toure increase…

What a pathetic result and what a bad defensive performance. It was almost comical. Silvestre was woeful and today Almunia seemed to be wearing the opposition colours. Some awful goalkeeping and some even worse defending where Silvestre was shocking saw us go from 4-2 up with 1 minute of normal time to go to 4-4 at full time.

Arsenal 4 – 4 Tottenham Hotspur

Goals: Bentley 13, Silvestre 37, Gallas 46, Adebayor 64, Bent D 67, Van Persie 68, Jenas 89, Lennon 94

It was a crazy game where it was “who could score more?” and the answer was both of us.

We started a little cagey, trying to contain the away side, only to go 1-0 to an awesome goal by Bentley. An outgrageous strike from 40 yards, with Almunia slightly off his line and couldn’t keep it out. We plied away at the Sp*rs defence and our pressure was outstanding. It seemed like only a matter of time until we scored the equaliser, and it came from a corner with 8 minutes to go before the break when a corner from Van Persie saw Silvestre nip in before the Sp*rs defence to head the ball into the back of the net. It remained 1-1 at half time and we came out in the second half determined to win the game.

A foul on Van Persie saw a free kick on the right and Gallas did well to tower above Woodgate to head it past the keeper, 2-1 to the Arsenal. We defended well after the goal and an excellent break saw Adebayor score from close range. Bent got one back soon after when some poor defending and even worse defending saw Almunia parry into Bent path. 3-2.

But literally a minute later, a bad bad pass from Hutton saw Adebayor capitlise on it and square to Van Persie who smashed it into the back of the net, 4-2 to the Arsenal. We did well to contain Sp*rs and Arsene took Van Persie and Nasri off and put Song and Diaby on. A defensive tactical switch that should have seen us play out the game and it remained 4-2 until the 89th minute. A slip from Clichy saw Jenas score a curling ball round Almunia, once again badly positioned. 4-3. And Sp*rs sensed an equaliser. We had chances to go to the corner flag, but we insisted on attacking and it was to prove to our deficit as Modric found himself out of the D and took a shot. It deflected, hit the post, Almunia couldn’t reach it and it cannoned off the bar. Lennon was first to it and suddenly it was 4-4.

You can’t take anything away from Sp*rs, but you can point the finger at our defending and goalkeeping today. In any sense of the phrase, this was two points thrown away.

Match Facts

Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Silvestre, Gallas, Clichy, Walcott (Eboue 75), Fabregas, Denilson, Nasri (Song Billong 88), Van Persie (Diaby 81), Adebayor.
Subs Not Used: Fabianski, Toure, Vela, Bendtner.

Booked: Diaby.

Tottenham: Gomes, Hutton (Gunter 79), Corluka, Woodgate, Assou-Ekotto, Bentley, Modric, Jenas, Huddlestone, Bale (Lennon 55), Pavlyuchenko (Bent 65).
Subs Not Used: Cesar, Zokora, Campbell, O’Hara.

Booked: Assou-Ekotto, Bentley, Huddlestone, Jenas.

Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[I'll keep this short - Almunia had a stinker, which is out of character as far as recent form goes.

    I also don't think, upon reflection, that Arsenal's defence was that bad. Sp*rs scored 2 wonderful goals last night - and capitalised on two bad goalkeeping mistakes. Clichey was technicially at fault for their third but you can't blame him, behind RVP he was our man of the match.

    More distressing was that goats quim Jamie Redknapp last night crowing like a smug twat. A tosspot of the highest order I was amazed at his unproffesionalism on Sky - watched the game with three neautrals who were equally amazed at his behaviour.

    Credit to Sp*rs for taking their chances, but really Arsenal threw it away. I'm pretty sure, the league is still open, but we can't afford to lose another game. We're above ManUre and no one's writing them off just yet. Liverpool were dire last night and Chelsea looked amazing, so if anything Chelsea look like they'll take it this year.

    Champions League or bust!!!

    :)]]>

  • die hard arsenal fan

    This team makes me exhausted. I can appreciate if we are totally out played but not getting the result when we are winning so easily it hurts. I appreciate the Hull loss but this draw hurst the most of all the results so far this season. Clichy needs to learn not to make these mistakes and Alumina need to give up on catching cuz he cant seem to so push wide. I can see another fruitless season. We need a solid big defender.with experience.

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    Clichey slipped. On the floor. It happens all the time, and is was incredibly unfortunate to happen where it did when it did. But he slipped – it wasn’t a tactical error, bad positioning or a mistake.

  • Maxi

    < ![CDATA[Kiere ur refusing 2 accept de reality of de situation.? U cant keep defendn dis team. this season may still be our worst ever in recent years. 4 -2, after 4 minutes injury time 4-4.

    The team is too fragile, a little pressure from an oppostion dey concede. Its shameful and unfortunate de team cant grow up.

    Wenger shd clean up this mess bfor it ruins his reputation.]]>

  • Vince

    woeful… am absolutely devasted

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[Reality:
    1 – We are 3rd in the league. Above 17 other teams.
    2 – We are in Europe’s premier competition, about to easily qualify for the next round. We are one of only four English teams to be in this situation.
    3 – We are in the FA Cup.
    4 – We are in the Coca Cola cup or whatever its called.
    5 – We didn’t lose last night.

    How is this a mess? Yes last night was a shocking result. We should have won. It was criminal to throw away 2 pts and a two goal lead!

    I’m sorry, however upset you are (you can’t even speak properly in structured sentances) – you can attack me all you like but I’m not going to sit back and watch you attack the manager of a team who are third in the league. Its stupidity.

    I know what we should do, sack Wenger and bring in Ramos. Just like Spurs did last season after their best start in 15 years – look how that ended up? Would you be happy then?

    Yesterday I got a letter from the bank telling me my mortgage has gone up £150. Its Xmas and I have no money for presents. My jobs on the line due to the recession and my car is due for an MOT which it will likely fail. There are more important things in life than whinging about a man who has provided the PL with some of the best football its ever seen.

    Still I go to football every week because I believe. Don’t come here and tell me I’m wrong to do that because we drew to a team that scored four goals. Arsenal didn’t deserve to win after their final 10 minutes performance – but you know what? It was a brilliant match. 8 goals. Sure it would have been better if we won, but I’m proud to call myself an Arsenal fan.

    How much longer before you’re singing for Lampard and wearing blue?]]>

  • Fo

    < ![CDATA[I don't think we have to over-react about this, but it's pretty unforgivable! In my opinion, Almunia had a 'mare - and you're right - why did Silvestre start ahead of Toure and Djourou? Criminal selection there, proved very costly!

    During the season, as Arsenal fans, we should always be prepared to accept a draw against the top four and NL derby, as these games sometimes go against form.

    I do admit however that I felt like I'd been stabbed in the knee when the 4th goal went it :-(]]>

  • Maxi

    so close mate.

  • Paresh

    < ![CDATA[This is not the only day I have felt bad about football. Like when we lost to Wrexham in the Cup - I can still remember the feeling the next morning. Took me days to get over that.

    Or when we lost 6-1 to Manchester Bankrupt (or Manchester U as they were known in those days). We were (I think) 1-1 after Henry scored, and then it fell apart, with Grimandi desperately being pulled out of all positions and having no central support. Apparently Wenger went utterly spare at half time - and I suspect he did as well last night.

    I felt just as bad when we lost at home to Leeds, and so lost the title. That turned out to be one game before the start of the 49 run as far as I remember (contrary to popular belief I don’t sit at work surrounded by my Arsenal handbooks so I can’t look it up).

    Strangely I had a similar-ish feeling when we drew 2-2 with Bolton in the Unbeaten Season itself. Bolton were playing a terrible game of rotational fouling and Fat Sam was on the touchline just below my place, screaming as his players to get stuck in.

    So, last night, it was the same. Great joy turning to terrible sorrow - and the lovely article which I thought was a real scream having to be scrapped.

    It was stupid playing - Clichy buggering about and falling over, Eboue thumping the ball up the field from whence it came back straight away. You remember how Henry used to take the ball into the corner flag and hold it there - where’s that gone?

    But on the positive side -

    a) we have no problem scoring goals

    b) we do have a solid midfield and defence

    c) Almunia had a really bad time of it, but that is rare - he is a good keeper who has saved us over and over again.

    d) What we lack is discipline and organisation - and if there is something that Wenger can instil in players in discipline and organisation.

    So when it comes down to it, what we lacked was discipline and organisation, and those can be instilled. Maybe it needs a bollocking and a half. Maybe it needs a new captain. I don’t know, but then I am not the manager. But I can tell you, it is much better to be in this position than in a situation in which the obvious answer is that we should be buying a new team.

    What we, as supporters, have to do is accept that we drew, try not to look at the league table for a moment, and ensure that we give them everything against Stoke, and then have another celebration of football in the Euro League.]]>

  • Debs

    < ![CDATA[i went through all the emotions last night and was totally gutted! It felt like we lost and it was definitely 2 points thrown away. I think the team sort of switched off cos it was 4-2 and we were like yeah, Sp*rs r dead and buried, but credit to them for coming right back in it. After the first half of the second half I was actually happy considering the fact that both our goals at the time came from setpieces- where we've always conceded goals so it felt god to get them from setpieces! Also, the 2 goals were scored by defenders who we've been blaming all season but then I dont know what happened! It was like complete brain freeze at the end! I'm still in shock! We're six points behind 'Pool and we haven't even played the others in the top 4 and the goals seem to be leaking like crazy! I wonder what Wenger's next move's gonna be.
    Sorry about the incoherency of all this but yeah, I'm just really gutted!]]>

  • Sam

    < ![CDATA[I can understand our frustration. We'll all feel better in a few days...
    We have scored 44 goals so far this season in all competition, that's just wonderful. The problem is our leaking defence. We simply shouldn't expect more when Arsenal is buying Chelsea & ManU's old, tired and unwanted defenders. Silvester was bought for small change in today's prices, and his performance can't be expected to be any better.]]>

  • Paresh

    < ![CDATA[Sometimes in football you witness games where logic goes out the window and all hell breaks lose. Liverpool’s 5-4 win over Alaves in the UEFA Cup immediately comes to mind as does last year’s ridiculous 4-2 loss to Liverpool in the Champions League.

    Last night’s 4-4 draw with Tottenham was one of those games.

    Before I pick through the bones of an indescribably frustrating result for Arsenal I just want to say what a pleasure it was to witness a game like this. This was a game which represents why football is such an amazing game and why I - and so many other people around the world - love it so much. Both sides gave it their all and tried to play attacking football while avoiding the play-acting and pettiness which is so prominent in the modern game. Poor result aside, this was a reminder of what a great game football is and it was a privilege to witness.

    Dreamy romanticism aside now and the result begs Arsenal fans to ask the question: what exactly went wrong? Well in my opinion, three things. One, Manuel Almunia had a poor game. Two, Rottenham well and truly had their shooting boots on. Three, our team’s mentality was hopelessly wrong in the last 15 minutes.

    First up, Almunia. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more sorry for a goalkeeper than I felt for Almunia last night but the simple fact is that he had a poor game. I can accept him being lobbed by a shot as audacious as David Bentley’s opener. I can accept him spilling the shot which lead to Tottenham’s second goal. But to have both of those moments happen in the same game was really tough to deal with.

    The sad thing is that there will be plenty of people calling for Almunia’s head after this match. Proudly, I won’t be one of them. Goalkeepers will always spill a couple of shots each season, it’s part and parcel of the position, and to spill a shot at 3-1 up is a lot better than doing the same thing at 0-0. Almunia has been great in these last two seasons and although his performance has hurt us tonight, I still feel he deserves the fans’ respect and support. After all, he was not at fault for the final two goals and it’s certainly not his fault we eventually drew the game.

    Secondly it has to be said - and it’s something that I think a lot of pundits and bloggers will overlook - that Tottenham’s long-range shooting in this match was superb. All four of their goals were scored as a result of long-range shots and much as it’s hard to accept it, well-hit shots from long range are impossibly hard to defend. As a defender and a manager you’ll always be happier seeing a side taking shots from 30 yards out then having chances in the shots. The problem was that in this game those shots from 30 yards were deadly.

    Moving onto the team’s mentality in the final 15 minutes now and I have to make it clear that I believe this was the main reason Arsenal did not beat Tottenham. The words ‘naive’, ‘panicky’ and ‘misguided’ immediately jump to mind. Why on earth the player’s attacked with such verve at 4-2 and even 4-3 is beyond me. We have the individual ability in players like Adebayor, Nasri and Fabregas to attack with verve without committing everyone forward, yet we continued to do so. I know we were only a whisker away from slotting a fifth on a number of occasions, especially in the last minute or two but the simple fact is that if the Arsenal boys had chosen to play a little dirty, to play keep-ball then we would have won.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for romantic football. I would hate to see our team sit on one or two-goal leads with 30 minutes left on the clock when it is smarter to continue attacking. But 4-2 or even 4-3 up with only a couple of minutes to go was not the time to keep searching for a fifth or sixth. It was the time for a cool head to take the ball to the corner and waste time, to pass sideways instead of looking for a killer through ball, to give away a yellow-card for timewasting instead of rushing back into formation.

    These players - and indeed the manager - are all old enough to know when is the right time to play great football and when is the right time to dig out a win and they made a huge, huge mistake today. As such, they absolutely MUST learn from this game or quite simply they will not be celebrating any great successes at the end of this season.

    And that’s all there is to say really. A bitterly disappointing result after a thrilling 85-minute performance from the lads. Unfortunately though, a game lasts 90 minutes and if the manager and the team can’t wake up to the fact that they sometimes need to compromise their beautiful football then it’s going to be a very, very frustrating season.]]>

  • Debs

    It’s a bit annoying that ppl always score fabulous goals against us! They’ve been a few goal of the season contenders already! That’s saying something, isn’t it?

  • JDD

    < ![CDATA[LUCKY YIDS
    GAME SHOULD HAVE BEEN DEAD AND BURIED BEFORE JENAS SCORED THERE 3RD.I DONT UNDERSTAND WHY NASRI AND VAN PERSIE WENT OFF .WE SHOULD AHVE CONTINUED ATTACKING WITH 10 MINUTES LEFT INSTEAD OFF TRYING TO HOLD ONTO THE BALL.SILVESTRE INSTEAD OF TOURE CRAZYNESS]]>

  • Derek

    < ![CDATA[heard the result on the radio, with the news of a big bomb in Kabul, made it easier to take, reminding myself I am not involved in something like that , but reading the match report, it seems we shoot ourselves in the foot a lot. Here is what I believe we should have done.
    1. start Djourou and Toure, Gallas and Silvestre only fit for bench
    2. start a five man midfield with Song, Diaby and van Persie in for Denilson and Walcott(bring him on later when Hutton is tired)
    3. be more resilient, put it in the corner falg, and do not be afraid to just defend well
    4. Injure Modric?
    5. sign players who can help us here, Whilst Almunia was amazing against Fenerbahce, Manuel Neuer may be more suitable. Sign him, Ryan Babel, Amr Zaki(why not) Dorin Goian(Steaua Bucharest, six feet six) and Torsten Frings. I know we will never sign them all, but we could use some of them
    6. Finally, despite Arsene being brilliant, it is time he yelled at his players and got them going, make them all take a cold shower, and run laps until we win ten in a row
    Before the game I thought seeing as Tottenham would be really up for the game a point would not be the worst result ever, realisically it is not, but based on what happened we should have won. We are third, so don't get depressed, but now we need to Focus on Stoke on Saturday and improving. I think a win at White Heart Lane is in order....]]>

  • AJ

    It is just depressing we went up 4-2 and threw it away, I really do hope Wenger buys some expierenced players after watching matches like this.

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[a few things have got me confused.

    most of the fans on various forums seem to be complaining why we were looking for killer passes and why we were attacking in the final few minutes instead of just passing it sideways or taking it to the corner flag etc.

    and then you hear wenger's post match conference and there he says we were playing a 'negative passing' game. he says we wernt looking to play the ball forward which is what cost us in the end. he sed we should have gone for the 5th and 6th.

    and from what i remember we were doing exactly what wenger said we were doing but then explain this to me mr wenger. how do you expect to keep playing that attacking game after making defensive substitutions by taking nasri and vanpersie off and bringing song and diaby on ??

    song was absolutely horrendous. his attitude was disgraceful. he's strolling onto the pitch pretending he's at a f* summer camp, giving denilson a high five. to him the match is already over. stoopid cheapsh*t. as it is he doesnt deserve to be part of the team. he's too slow. sluggish. lazy. doesnt look like he's got any talent at all. diaby's lazy too but at least he's got a hell of a lot of talent keeping the ball. getting past players when it looks impossible.
    the 3rd goal where clichy slipped was song's fault cuz he didnt giv him the passing option. he's just standing there (right behind lennon so that theres no way clichy can pass to him) waiting for clichy to magically get the ball forward. jackass. and then he takes almost a whole second to realize that clichy's slipped and that lennon's taking the ball forward. so lennon's pretty quick, but doesnt song know that ? shouldnt he already know that and counter and stand closer to his centrebacks than he was. after all he's supposed to be the defensive midfielder. what a complete idiot. but again, maybe he's too young to play at this level. this is the price we'l pay for refusing to get proper experienced players and being stubborn unnecessarily and relying on kids in a man's game.]]>

  • debs

    zohaib I think you need to take a really deep breath cos you sound really upset. one thing I know you know is the fact that Arsene knows best, and all we can do is trust him! :)

  • debs

    Oh by the way, Gallas is ‘injured’! Yeah right! Let’s see what we can do against Stoke! Hope we’ll not be back here talking about dropped points! And hopefully Sp*rs can do us a favour and at least draw with ‘Pool since they should be ‘full of confidence’ now!

  • zaheer

    omg if we drop points against stoke i will seriously destroy something.. but yeah if spurs draw to liverpool and if we win against stoke we’l be back to within 4 points of the lead again… sigh we have Man Utd and Chelsea this month.. i reckon this month will make or break us..

  • sammy

    < ![CDATA[Personally speaking, I’m gutted about the result, but lets put things into perspective. It will be a lesson learned, and I would doubt that the players will make the same mistakes twice. As for Adebayor having the sheer nerve to gob off about his team mates needing to have the killer instinct to be champions, watching the match, he should’ve capitalised several times, most notably from the cross that evaded the defender and he hopelessly put wide, which is story of his season. His head is clearly still not in the game, as he has played in a woefully disinterested fashion all season so far. We should’ve killed that game off, and there are definite things to be looked at, but its time for everyone to take a step back. Remember the old days where we were mid-table, and stop calling for Wenger to sacked (who would replace him), criticising his tactics, demanding big money signings, and generally being moany fans. Adebayor needs to work on his shooting after his pay increase, and sort his head out. Stop being a negative influence. Arsenal will bounce back. Get behind the team.

    Final point, one thing that Wenger needs to do … stop the players from talking to the press. If what was reported was true, Fabregas, Adebayors, Gallas’ comments, they just helped fire spurs and other teams up. Please keep your mouths shut, let the manager talk to the media, and focus on playing!! We need to settle. The media is not their friend, it is destructive and manipulative, and doesn’t help the unity of our side.]]>

  • swan

    < ![CDATA[I think it’s time we put this match behind us. It was a freak game and while there’s no denying the mistakes we made, it won’t help if we keep dwelling on it. It is in this context that I find Ade’s comments frustrating. It means that the players are still hung-up about the game.

    The important lesson was that a game can easily change in a matter of a few seconds, and one can never be complacent about it. If you thought we were hard-done in, spare a thought for Bayern Munich who lost to Man-U in the 1999 Champs League final where the cunts scored twice in injury time to win 2-1 after Bayern had led for 85 minutes.

    Fans had started the celebrations, and Bayern Munich ribbons had been stuck to the trophy in anticipation of the victory. Some players famously broke down on the pitch.

    So if you guys think that that Tottenham draw was the worst thing that could have happened, its not true. Things have been far worse for others in the past. The important thing is not to keep the thoughts of this hanging in our heads and learn from the mistakes and move on.]]>

  • Raj

    I’ve watched the goals from the game and there were several beauties there. I found Jenas’ the most pleasurable. Bit of an over-reaction from fellow Arsenal fans, though expected. We already know deep down that (1) we aren’t going to win the league this year and (2) we have a defence that basically means the game is never actually put to bed, so we are all nervous from start to the final second, even if we are 2 goals up, and sooner or later we were going to get bit in the bum. Anyone watching the Fenerbace match in its entirety could see that one having ended at 5-5. It was going to happen sooner or later…and it will happen again. We are good enough to win a cup, we are good enough to influence the outcome of who will win the league, we play some amazing football, but we aren’t actually going to win it. All that said, Spurs know they were lucky, very lucky, and we are by far and away the superior team (old adage, the table doesn’t lie).

  • devday

    < ![CDATA[As you know, I'm not a fan of Gallas or Silvestre. I admire Toure for what he brings to the team in terms of raw want, desire and aptitude. I've been saying this all season and it was proved to us all on Wednesday.

    Toure and Djourou are my partnership, both have the humility required, both are pretty damn awesome. Leaving Toure out for Silvestre IMO was the biggest faux pas.

    In reality, I don't think any Arsenal or Sp*rs player or fan would have thought they'd score 2 in the last few minutes. If the Modric shot had gone wide. If Silvestre had tackled Jenas. It would have taken a series of weird events to make it happen, and that's just what happened.

    So basically, head's down, Toure restored, a win against Stoke and Man United and we'll be feeling much better.]]>

  • zohaib

    i agree with you there dev. i’v also had a feeling toure and djourou are potentially our best CB partnership. djourou doesnt have the experience yet but he’s got more quality, balance and control on the ball than either one of gallas silvestre or toure. okay maybe he isnt known to shoot rockets from range like both toure and gallas but having one (toure) out of two aint that bad. he (djourou) just needs some grooming and he could become as good as rio ferdinand. he needs a couple more yards of pace and confidence injected into his dna as well as games obviously. which he keeps missing out on despite being the most consistent defender in the first month or so of the premier league this season. he was replaced by gallas wen he got back from injury if i’m correct. it wasnt because djourou dropped his level of playing. and you gota feel for the guy. wat does he have to do to stay in the team.