Cheer up, this day was always bound to come
I did not want to react to the result until I had watched the match itself.
It would’ve been easy but stupid to come out with a knee-jerk reaction so it was wiser to look at the game and make a conclusion on whether this defeat was down to lack of dedication/performance or perhaps fortune. I feel it was lack of fortune, really.
I missed the game and just finished watching the recorded version. I must say Sol Campbell was impeccable out there and put in a performance worthy of a captain.
He has not had such a fantastic game since his second coming. And it came at the most ironic of places too (or maybe not so ironic – he must have been spurred on by Spurs’ boos). Not to mention, he could have had two goals to his name.
The team did not have all guns blazing but you just cannot call this a below-par performance. No one was really well below average out there (if not Bendtner perhaps or Denilson). In fact, the closest to a blunder anyone actually committed was either Almunia’s punch or Silvestre’s positioning in the respective goals we conceded.
Everyone else; Rosicky, Nasri and Diaby kept the ball incredibly well and the only thing we lacked was the usual killer instinct.
We dominated Spurs and it seemed like they lived off successful counter-attacks. We ended the first half with 7 shots and just 2 on target while they shot 4 times and had all 4 on target. Possession was also 57% to 43% in our favor at the end of the match.
Looking at the result, it would be easy to come out fuming at the players but after watching the game itself, I don’t have much to bemoan than our fortunes. First a freak goal, a freak injury to Vermaelen to allow the involvement of mistake-prone Silvestre before odds-on goals from RVP are denied by ridiculous saves.
Oh well. This thing is not over yet though. We will find out this weekend.
And finally, it is never welcomed to lose to Tottenham but for those who are just gutted about this reuslt because it ended that unbeaten record against Spurs, know that this day had been coming since 1999 anyway.
If you have actually turned up to watch a North London derby before, you will know that it is always 50/50. No matter what the final scoreline is, there are twist ad turns in the game and either side has a sniff at victory during the match. No team ever has a divine right to avoid defeat.
It was just incidental and impressive that Arsenal always came through these derbies unstuck but that did not necessarily mean we were rolling over Spurs everytime we faced them since 1999.
Indeed, I am sure you can confess that every year, there is that one derby game in which you felt we came close to being beaten.
So, if you thought today was the first time Spurs inflicted a defeat-like feeling on us, you are wrong because…
1) there was that 2-2 draw in 2007 when Jenas scored a late equalizer with the last kick.
2) don’t get me started on that 4-4 draw last year. The only thing that wasn’t defeat-like about it was the scoreline.
3)Carling Cup kids or not, they got one over us well in that 5-1 drubbing two seasons ago.
So technically, this is not the first time we tasted ‘defeat’ against the old foe since 1999.
There is a lot to be disheartened about from today but please don’t let the end of that unbeaten record be one of them.
First time being outscored by the sc*m in 11 years, yes, but definitely not the first time being mentally defeated.