Am I mad not to fear Tottenham???
This is kind of like a preview-preview, so to speak. It’s still a little while before we play that lot, but as a Gooner I detest that lot with a passion. So I’m relaying something I’ve been thinking of late.
For now, I want to ask this.
Am I weird or mad for not fearing Spurs?
This is the best Spurs team to visit us in Premier League history. That seems hyperbolic, but I think it’s true. Man for man though, they are not a better team than us.
Despite them being more gelled than we are, and more cohesive as a unit, they are pretty much without the successes we have.
Cech and Lloris are pretty much on the same level for me, but then Cech has had a far more glorious career. Lloris is as prone to making errors as Cech, though he has done better at international level (Euro 16 final).
Alderweireld, Verthonghen, Rose, Sanchez, Trippier, etc. are all good defenders. As a unit, they are arguably the best out there in England currently. But individually, Kos, Per, Mustafi, and even Holding and Chambers, have achieved more. Per has won the World Cup, as did Mustafi (and Ozil of course). Koscielny like Lloris was a Euro 2016 runner-up. Holding/Chambers were in the recent U21/U23 England successes. Individually then, are they really better?
Our midfields hold different configurations and strengths. Ours is designed for technicality, whilst theirs is rooted in strength, power, and pressing. But in terms of career/achievements, Xhaka, Ramsey, even Elneny and Wilshere, are the betters in many ways of Dembele, Wanyama, or Sissoko. They are a midfield better suited to the contemporary nature of the Premier League, but they are not better in terms of their scope in the game.
Attack, well – Sanchez (despite him going soon) is world class. Ozil on his day is, and Alli this season has been as erratic. Eriksen is decent, granted, as is Son. Though even Iwobi has been named as the Young African Player of the Year, and Elneny reached the AFCON final (losing to Cameroon). Kane is the best English striker, without question. Lacazette is not far behind, and doing well in his first season. Giroud is pretty much second choice now, but has done well for France. Welbeck too, bad finishing notwithstanding, is no slouch let’s be fair for club or country (whether Arsenal or Man United).
Our squad is better, let’s be frank. And their manager, despite not winning anything in his career, is more progressive and hungry than Wenger.
So…..are they really better? Better is relative, but “better” here is not rooted in success, achievements, or overall quality.
Tottenham in a way is like Arsenal under George Graham. We had many good players, but in some ways we were more than the sum of our parts. Pochettino has done well, considering Spurs’ comparatively smaller budgets, to get a decent (and comically trophyless) team.
But this hysteria of how they will “smash us”, or “demolish us”, is pretty weird and odd in my honest view. They are better coached/drilled, but man for man not superior to us. We CAN beat them, and their results/performances have not been that better than ours.
The Champions League in fairness has been good for them. But the league has been mixed. They’ve struggled in some games, and haven’t always been at their best. Their fellow top-six results have been mixed too. They smashed Liverpool, but then lost at “home” to Chelsea, and away to Man United. We have a draw at Chelsea, mixed with defeats at Liverpool and City.
So it’s on a par. And this “Tottenham love” from GOONERS of all people is pretty pathetic, and sad (in the colloquial and Standard English senses). Yes, they are the best they’ve been for a generation. But they are the enemy. And they are not perfect. They struggled to beat Palace. They drew at home to Swansea (we didn’t, did we?) They lost to Chelsea (we didn’t). And they lost at home, with a decent first eleven, in the League Cup to West Ham (whom we face of course soon).
Kane is their major, though not sole, threat of course. But they are NOT perfect. And they can be beaten.
And look, it’s been a while since we beat them in the league. It was the Rosicky wonder-goal at their old place, which was the last time in the league anyhow. We are perhaps owed a win, or it will be our time due to the law of averages. And if we’re on it, we can do it.
And they’re not fools. They know their record at our place is shit. They’ve only won at Arsenal (both Highbury and the Emirates) three times in over THIRTY YEARS. Yes, it’s true. We’ve beaten them at their place far more times than that, in both league and cup, over the same period. They also know that Lacazette, Ozil, Alexis, and our entire team are a threat. And that Wenger is NOW starting to be tactically able. He messed up at City, but did formulate a plan all the same. He did such successfully at Chelsea, and I’m sure will look to improve in coming games.
So let’s not lose heart. To end on a positive, Pochettino may be the darling, but Wenger despite his detractors still wins things. I wonder if Poch would trade his media love for an FA Cup or two. Or I should say seven, since the darling of the media has no legendary FA Cup stats like our “past it and maligned” manager does…..