Afternoon fellow Gooners, and yesterday was my first away game in quite a long time. To be honest, my Emirates season ticket has kind of spoiled me… a large ground, loads of space everywhere… a nice turnstile, a brilliant foyer and an excellent seat… nice facilities… and space for my feet. Down at WHL, I was given a blast into the past and once again reminded why the ground has been called “Shite Hart Lane” for so long… Even Highbury was ten times better than this place, and even that wasn’t good enough for us..
One of the funniest things on route to the stadium is that their official Sp*rs shop is actually a Petrol station…
Can you believe it?
There is such a contrast to the two stadium’s it’s unbelievable! When I was down at the Emirates last week, our Arsenalisation of the stadium, was absolutely amazing, actually, it was breathe-taking!
But back to the game, and it was a very passionate game – kudos to the away fans (including the WOAers), for the loud loud noise and continuous atmosphere and banter being created it was amazing…
Sp*rs 1 – 4 Arsenal
Lansbury 15, Keane 49, Nasri 91 (pen), 95 (pen), Arshavin 105
The line up was:
Eboue – Djourou – Koscielny – Gibbs
Denilson – Wilshere
Nasri – Rosicky – Lansbury
It was the strongest team we’ve sent out in the competition in recent times, but still boasted 8 changes from the team that drew up at Sunderland. And it was Arsenal from the off – our team wanted to win this and that was clear from the outset. We went into the lead courtesy of an Henri Lansbury finish after some excellent play from the team as a whole, but especially Jack Wilshere, who flashed the ball in front of the goal at pace, for Lansbury to slide in to make it 1-0.
In all honesty, all I could see what a comprehensive Arsenal victory but the changes Sp*rs made at half time – Robbie Keane and Aaron Lennon on, did add a little bit more guile to the home team, who got back into it straight after the break with a dubious offside decision, with Keane finishing a pass from Lennon. Could Fabianski have done better – yes… should we expect him to? Probably not… I think with every game Fabianski plays, he edges himself further out of the pecking order and closer to a transfer…
The goal didn’t set us back and we were in total domination midway into the second half – Keane and Lennon did make Sp*rs look a little more dangerous on the break, but nothing the excellent Koscielny couldn’t handle. Surely he’s made the first team slot next to Vermaelen his own? But Sp*rs defended in numbers, often having 9 or 10 men behind the ball. But Arsene wanted to win this, and added Maroune Chamakh and Andrei Arshavin to the fray, but within the 90, it remained 1-1.
Extra time was a whole different story, with a huge territorial advantage to us, and Sp*rs showing that we are far superior in the fitness department resulting to two obvious challenges in the box, both resulting in penalties, which Nasri put away and then the icing on the cake with a clever, and quick free kick allowing Arshavin through on goal to make it 4-1 to the Arsenal…
A quick mention to the away fans, who I have to say were amazing… Even the Sp*rs fans were saying that it was deafening to them and made them feel so upset… Perfect… with a personal favourite chant being… “Shall we make a…. Shall we make a…. Shall we make a DVD???? Shall we make a DVD….” at 2-1 up… classic!
Arsene spoke about the results after the game and said:
The game was enjoyable. We played well in the first half but we were only one goal in front and after that Tottenham came back. We were for a few minutes a little bit in danger but slowly we took over again and in the final 20 minutes it looked that would could score, but we didn’t. Then we got these two penalties which in my opinion were penalties and that was the turning point of the game. But overall we played very well.
And took time out to talk about Jack Wilshere, who had a pretty awesome game and was a key component to the win…
He was outstanding. I am a bit cautious with him because you do not want to get too quickly too early all the praise. In the first half I think he has shown a little bit of everything you want from a football player. He got some stick and he could take it, he didn’t respond. He played, tackled, won the ball and tactically his position on the pitch was always good. He had an outstanding first half. He is fearless.
And one final snippet from the gaffer was about Henri Lansbury – a player who he compares to Ray Parlour and a player who could seriously make it down at the Emirates and go on to become an International too… he’s got it all…
He has not played for a long time and he is a bit like Ray Parlour – up and down, fantastic engine, good attitude. He smells when you have to be in the box. He is a player who is always in there when a cross is coming in from the other side. He always scores goals.
So, Arsene has finally taken the Carling Cup with a bit more seriousness than before – considering he could have started with JET and Eastmond if he really really wanted to play the youth… and that’s an interesting statement of intent. We’ve got WBA at home next, and we need to kick on in all competitions. Arsene knew was a rollicking to a very young team would have down for our team and confidence, so kudos to the manager.
And finally, Carlos Vela has been banned for 6 months for Mexico – for apparently partying after a win early this month. Good for us in my opinion. No more long trips to the middle of nowhere, no more fatigue from International games, he’s Arsenal through and through for the next six months, so that can only be a good thing…