By Tony Attwood
It was quite a move by the Daily Telegraph to publish its “kick them” article when speaking of how Tottenham could try and beat Arsenal. And there was some of that, but it was the elbow of Wanyama that really caused the concern.
We could see Theo holding the back of his head, and I guess it must really have hurt the second time, since Theo isn’t normally one of the guys who reacts.
Mr Wenger speaking of the offender said, “He was very lucky to stay on the pitch, of course. There were a few fouls, the elbow on Walcott for example. But the referee makes the decisions and we have to cope with that. Nobody stopped us scoring a second goal.
“It is two points lost. It was a game of high intensity and in the first half we’d always looked like we could score every time we crossed the halfway line. But in the second half we were a bit more flat, physically, and less sharp. Technically the level dropped in the second half.
“We couldn’t find creativity around the box and all the vision we are used to. Our level dropped. We were a bit too stretched as well and not compact enough and, when you are too stretched, you run more.
“Was there a mental blow when they equalised? I don’t know. I cannot question the spirit but we looked a bit flat. We gave absolutely everything but we lacked what we are strong at – the fluency of movement, vision around the box – and we usually play better from the back. There was a lot missing and plenty of aspects I did not like. The desire was there, but we were too nervous.”
“We cannot complain about that. There’s a little physical advantage for sure, especially after European weeks, but we have to deal with that. It’s not an excuse for today. And, even if Liverpool and Chelsea are in front, it’s a small difference after 11 games. Tottennham go home happy today and we are not happy because we wanted to win the game. But overall it is not mathematically a disaster….
“We couldn’t make enough of our corners and missed some opportunities. So, while the desire was there, maybe the result was fair.”
But those Tottenham supporters who wrote in seem happy enough to be fifth, and by and large from what I’ve observed its the Arsenal supporters who walked away a bit fed up.
I also noticed a little gaggle of empty seats in the corner of the West Stand and Clock End. I am sure that eagle eyed Telegraph cameraman will have spotted them and be showing that we can’t even sell tickets for the local derby. But really the atmosphere is so febrile, I too am beginning to wonder if it is all worth it.
Still, a 100 mile drive up the A1 can do wonders in terms of head clearing and the dance in Long Bennington was very good. And that’s really my conclusion. After a Tottenham game one needs something physical. Just to calm down a bit.