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Sep 222010

I have quite a few thoughts on this game. I didn’t put them forward last night because I needed the night to recover from what ended up as a pretty depressing experience. It was just the scoreline more than being knocked out of the cup. It looks as if God was still on his Jewish High Holy Days and therefore unavailable to help out that particular night.

Redknapp fielded an extremely inexperienced team, but in it were the more experienced debutants in Stipe Pletikosa and Sandro. Wenger, being his usual self-even from the directors’ box where he was serving a touchline ban-fielded the same kind of team, adding the senior players as the game went on.

It really was a game of two halves. Spurs’ first half was terrible. Let’s face it, please. I’ve heard of Total Football, but their movements were Total Crap. I could see it from the Upper North Stand. There was no structure and no organised forward passing movement. Players were running anywhere and everywhere whilst having no end product from it. Arsenal’s passing was more concise and they kept their formation better.

Worst of all, Spurs kept giving the ball away unnecessarily, allowing Arsenal to continue domination of possession and grab the first goal through Lansbury. Arsenal’s new boy got on the end of a well-placed cross that flashed past Pletikosa leaving the net wide open, sending the rather large collection of Arsenal fans into raptures. That was arguably the loudest cheer that we’ll ever hear from them for a while.

Spurs from then just seemed to be waiting for half time to be called. Score was 0-1 to Arsenal.

In the second half, Spurs came out with more gusto than when they began. Keane entered the fray in the place of Giovani Dos Santos who wasn’t as involved in attacking as I expected him to be. Spurs finally had a player upfront to pass to.

Keane got onto a through ball and struck low to the right to equalise. Arsenal’s goalkeeper-Lukasz Fabianski-got a firm hand on it, but it slipped through like his hand was a swinging door from a Wild West movie. Keane’s equaliser not only lifted the roof off the stadium, but for me it stirred a memory or two of his heyday; a period where his finishing ability was second to none and he relished every goal he scored for us.

Lennon (in place of Jake Livermore) missed a GOLDEN-and I mean GOLDEN-opportunity to put Spurs ahead when he was put through on goal by Keane. All he had to do was strike first time, but he dawdled on the ball and was subsequently well challenged by Koscielny.

A last-minute 20-yard strike from Samir Nasri forced the first important save from Pletikosa.

The score was level at full time, so extra time was on the cards. Never a dull moment with this club is there, apart from being convincingly knocked out of a cup by Arsenal of course. Both teams threw on their big guns at this point. Andrey Arshavin and Marouane Chamakh replaced Tomas Rosicky and Carlos Vela while Spurs brought on Niko Kranjcar for Sandro.

Two penalties in the opening minutes finished Spurs’ League Cup campaign prematurely. Nasri went down in a heap as if he had been zapped with a tazer, but strangely had the resilience to pull himself to his feet and slot home his penalty. Chamakh went down in the same fashion and Nasri slotted that penalty into the same place as before to put Arsenal completely out of sight.

Bentley and Keane had chances to get Spurs back into the game, but both their shots hit the outside of the post. It was over before we knew it. Arshavin nailed Spurs’ League Cup coffin with another goal later on in the extra half-hour of play.


As I said earlier, the first half was embarrassing, but the second half looked to be a bit more respectable and almost champagne football compared to the first. I mainly wrote this article to give my opinion on our debutants and which players did a good job for us despite the heavy loss.

Arsenal were definitely the better team because they wanted it more (first piece of silverware in five years and all that). Funny how the entire away seat allocation was filled for this match yet the Arsenal fans generally, up until beating us, didn’t give a monkey’s about this trophy as they thought they could [easily] win any of the other three out of the FA Cup, Champions’ League and the Premier League.

They are a funny lot.

Sandro was IMMENSE; a no-nonsense player who won the ball every time. He already looked like someone for Palacios to look up to I think. Naughton looked comfortable taking up a sweeper role, but needs to be careful not to let too many opponents flood the empty space.

Caulker – Eeeeek, still young and needs a bit more work; looked very nervous at the back.

Pletikosa was fine, made a few good saves, but nothing really for him to work for so to me he’s still an unknown quantity at the Lane. Wouldn’t mind seeing what he can do against West Ham. Could become a hero over the course of Saturday afternoon…we’ll see.


Bassong really stepped up for us and put a good shift in barring the penalty conceded. Kudos to him.
Nasri trips over his own shadow and so does Chamakh.

I also think (prepare yourself for this) Lennon lost his spark. His attacking mentality wasn’t there, or at least it was shut out for a long time. The wingers all floundered too much I’m afraid; and it reduced attacking options dramatically.

Pavlyuchenko had a terrible first half. He isn’t a good holding player like Crouch is upfront. Long balls either came to nothing or ran away from him. If you’re going to play Pavlyuchenko, you need 4-4-2, otherwise he’s no use.

Final Thought:

Don’t worry, I’m not about to go all Jerry Springer on your hinies.

The North London Derby is about bragging rights. Arsenal have the majority of these rights for now, but I guess that we can still brag about scoring one more than Arsenal in a romp 😉

To all Gooners ready to brag, all I have to say to you is, ‘meh…’ we played our reserves and don’t care about this trophy as much as the others. Sound familiar? Oh yes it does.

  17 Responses to “League Cup: Arsenal Drain Spurs’ Reserves in 4-1 Humbling”

  1. Was an Arsenal reserve team plus some good subs.

    Can argue easily there were no first teamers starting.

  2. Gooner here – fair article, no complaints. TBH, I’d happily swap the 5-1 and this game, as an appearance in the final is worth more than a 3rd round progression.

  3. forever in our shadow

    St. Totteringham’s day 21.09.2010

    Twitcher was in full flow

  4. Balanced article, although you still failed to mention that the Keane goal was a yard offside, we had Gibbs through when he was incorrectly flagged offside and should have had a penalty.

    Oh, and it was Chamakh who was fouled the first time, Nasri the second.

    Other than that ( 😛 ), decent article.

  5. There was the match you won 5-1 where you scored your first 5 shots at home. Yesterday should have been much more than 4-1 of course… but crucially was at your own ground. Where we have won the league.

    Bragging rights are much much more than a single goal scored at home.

    Balanced article on the whole though.

  6. However well the arse played and however poor we responded does not detract from the fact nasri is a nasty little cheat he should not be allowed to get away with it and I hope the lane does not forget that when he returns.when you can have a good game there is no place for this type of cheating it does both the arse and there sad fans no favours. and yes arse boys I have looked at both again and yes he is a cheat.

  7. Starting line-ups
    sp*rs 23.8 average age
    Arsenal 22.9 average age

  8. Erichero – Excuse me, but Arsenal need to GET to the final first.
    Best of luck. West Ham have your number ;D

  9. @Watchme

    Wow, somebody should really be watching you. Somebody from a medical institute.

  10. I also thought the article was fairly balanced…as an arsenal fan I thought that last line was good, it made me smile….it’s true that is a familiar line, and I found it a comforting thought when we have been knocked out of the league cup in recent years.

    Just a question for “Watchme” – Are you sure you watched BOTH again??? Positive?? It’s just that only one of the two incidents involved Nasri!! Doesn’t say much for your observation skills or ability to analyse football I’m afraid my friend.

    I really did look at the incidents again. The first penalty was soft I’d say, but there was about as much contact as when Keane went down earlier in the game and then asked for Koscielny to be sent off. Unfortunately it’s part of the game these days, better get used to it as you’ll see it but 10x worse in the Champs League when you play an Italian or a Spanish side.


  11. Sorry, I just didn’t get last night, We are playing at home and we go 4-5-1. Pavluchenko didn’t get a kick, Arsenal bossed it all night. Palacious is supposed to run those games and didn’t. When Harry plays the big games he plays four or five straight across the middle and it appears tells everyone not to get out of the straight line. So we pass in straight lines across the middle all night of hoof it up field and give it back to them. He did this at Liverpool and Man utd last year and was going to do it against Man City in the last game but the coaching staff persuaded him not to. If we tried to win that game last night I am Barbara Windsor. There is something missing this year so far and West Ham won last night so the weekend will be trouble except that maybe Modric will be back and as we all know we struggle big time without Luca.

  12. Not a bad article……..yet somehow you missed the penalty that should have been given for the foul on Lansbury and the fact that Keane was offside when put through. Oh, and Keane’s decision making and shot was appaling….most would take a pace or two, make the keeper commit and then finish. However fortunately he was facing ol’ flap hands (gawd knows why you think Fabianski got a strong hand to it. I’ve seen stronger lettuce leaves).

    Nasri DID go down easily. ’nuff said. I wouldn’t have given that one. But Spurs were so completely outplayed on the night, and you have to admit that. Poor old Bentley is filled with so much bittrness that he played greedily in an attempt to get on the score sheet……..perhaps your ol’ twitcher is even starting to realise why Arsene let Bentley go.

    And it looked like ‘Arry Twitcher has been applying too much credence to the Stokes and Boltons of this world. Even Steve Claridge on 5 Live pointed out that Spurs were trying to disrupt Arsenals fluid play with niggly fouls. Hilarious! I can just imagine ‘Arry telling players like Sandro to “stick it up ’em”……….

    I’m afraid ol’ Twitcher was exposed as the throwback dinosaur he really is and that wonderfully strong Spurs squad as a shambolic mess.

    • To be fair to any Arsenal fans, you played the much superior football last night, and the scoreline didn’t even flatter you. None of our players staked a claim to be in the starting 11 week in week out, yours did. You deserved it for coming to the Lane and taking the game to us and playing us off the park.

  13. worst game from spurs i have seen for a long while. No heart, no movement, no passing, no communication, no gameplan. it was like highschool football from us. How can people still finding excuses to make themselves feel better? Only a born looser will say ” this is not important, we dont care if we lose”. Please dont say they put out 6 first timer etc etc, a lose is a lose no matter how u put it.

  14. Take into account we had RVP, Cesc, Theo, Sagna, Song, Verminator, Squillaci it was a decent game and great experience for LANS and Gibbsy.

  15. This is actually a well thought out post, thanks.

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