Arsenal vs The Tiny Totts. The preliminaries.

By Bulldog Drummond.

Thus we have two derbies.  One in north London and one in the north west.  Three of the four teams would love to have a new stadium.  One of the four has one.

Brendan Rodgers has said that Liverpool is “broken” because he has lost the core of players who had become familiar with his principles.

It makes him sound a bit careless, going out and losing players like that.  As for blaming the decline of the team now synonymous with the dangerous habit of letting off flares and smoke bombs, on the loss of Suarez, one might say – it was always going to happen.

Daniel Sturridge is also going to be missing in the northern reaches, and it is the sort of stuff that Arsenal cope with week in week out, amid screams of annoyance at the manager, daily talk of crisis, and so on.

So he approaches the local affair where one flare and smoke bomb team is playing another flare and smoke bomb team by talking about “refocusing and reintroducing principles,” not to mention compulsory purchases of houses, forcing people out of their homes through regional degradation, and a building site to come.

“Apart from the Tottenham game,” quoth he, “we have moved away a bit from that. Our game is based on a fast, pressing game and a real high intensity and also the speed of our football.”   Ah well, you can’t play Tottenham every week.

Just like you can’t go on buying players all day long as if FFP doesn’t exist, because you expect to be able to tell porkies and get out of it.  I mean, of course you can buy a vampire and Mario Balotelli but then what do you do?

But let us leave the north west, and instead talk about something altogether different.

Not everyone likes the games against the Tiny Totts, even though we win most of them, not least because of the throwing of stuff at ambulance men that we saw last year.   But unpleasant though that was there are some amusing chants to be had.

Remember, “It’s happened again, it’s happened again, Tottenham Hotspur, it’s happened again” last spring to celebrate St Tots Day.  And “Are you Tottenham in disguise?” which we had last year.

Or “North London is ours, North London is ours, fuck off to Stratford, North London is ours.” which we had in the days of the Tinies going to the Olympic.  Quite how we get “Milton Keynes” to scan in that song is still a mystery to me, but I am sure I will see how to do it by tomorrow tea-time.

Mauricio Pochettino thus far seems like a thoroughly decent sort of cove which means that he will probably be relieved of his duties by next week.   He also says that he dreams of building a dynasty in the High Road, Tottenham (which is where they play, not that WHL place) in the same way that Arsène Wenger has done at Arsenal, which is a worthy, if not improbable thought.

So we must mention that MP is the 12th “permanent” manager that Tottenham have dragged kicking and screaming into the club and then thrown out in the same manner since Arsène Wenger’s 18 year with us has been underway.

I know Untold has run the list before, and I am tempted not to rub salt into the gaping wound that is the High Road, but… oh well, I like temptations…

  1. Chris Houghton 1997-1997
  2. Christian Gross 1997-1998
  3. David Pleat 1998-1998
  4. George Graham 1998-2001
  5. David Pleat 2001-2001
  6. Glenn Hoddle 2001-2003
  7. David Pleat 2003–2004
  8. Jacques Santini 2004–2004
  9. Martin Jol 2004–2007
  10. Clive Allen and Alex Inglethorpe 2007-2007
  11. Juande Ramos 2007-2007
  12. Clive Allen and Alex Inglethorpe 2008-2008
  13. Harry Redknapp 2008-2012
  14. André Villas-Boas 2012 – 2013
  15. Tim Sherwood 2013-2014
  16. Mauricio Pochettino 2014-

Actually MP hasn’t started very well, saying, “Tottenham, for me, is a big job and it’s a dream to stay here like him, to have the time that Arsène has had at Arsenal,”

But sorry chum, that is not the way chez the Tiny Totts.  You are supposed to pretend we ain’t here.

“We have a good relationship,” said Pochettino of Arsène. “I have full respect for him, he is a great manager, who has done a great job at Arsenal. An 18-year stay in charge is not easy and it’s a big gap with me at Tottenham!”

He also said the right sort of thing about Chambers…

“Calum is a great personality and he has great talent.  He deserves his moment now because one year ago, at the start of pre-season at Southampton, he was playing in the development squad. Step by step, he won his place in the first-team. It is not only because he has talent but also because he has great character.”

Like I said, he seems like a decent bloke.

Actually MP said something else, which I think lost a little in translation.  Now I am very aware of my deficit in most languages, so I don’t make fun of anyone who is a non-English speaker, but who has had a go at speaking in our tongue.  But I just like this phrase.  “We try to arrive as far as possible.”

As do I, MP.  As do I


More on this weekend’s game soon.   Meanwhile there is an index to the Arsenal Anniversaries on this day, and a guide to lots of other stuff on our home page.


19 Replies to “Arsenal vs The Tiny Totts. The preliminaries.”

  1. Hands up if reading UA puts a smile on your face 🙂 Why can’t all these other rags just be half as good. Pleasant read. COYG!!

  2. So Diaby is supposedly to be “transformed” into a holding midfielder and that is why Wenger didn’t sign one this summer? According to his wife, it’s because we had no money left and that’s why we also could not sign a central defender. You see chaps, there’s no money left- we’re skint! As for Diaby being played there, what a load of nonsense. Is this pre-season, or are we on a Far East post- season jolly? No, we supposedly want to make progress in the two premier trophies, not start another “experiment”. But that’s what it would be- just because Henry, Lauren and Toure learnt new positions, there’s a ridiculous idea from Wenger that everyone can change. Diaby is unreliable and should not still be here. Not only has he been injury prone for most of his career here, but when he has played for five or six games, he’s excelled in one and been distinctly average or poor in the others. He is not the greatest tackler, gives the ball away far too much, and makes the wrong decision in both boxes by and large. To entrust him with this absolutely crucial role is another sign of pure madness and I can just see Wenger doing this at Stamford Bridge. Mind you having Arteta there is almost as bad! I’m with a number of others here, I’d much rather Coquelin play there, that’s his natural position, not a laid back Diaby- what’s happening at this club, we’ll have Giroud providing cover at centre half next when he returns from injury.

  3. Mika,
    take a deep breath.
    This is terrible for your health. Relax, try to stay calm, inhale exhale inhale exhale inhale exhale….

  4. There are 3 basic steps to a Mika’s post. 1. Take all suggestion of positivity; 2. Shoot it down; 3. Blame Wenger. Nobody is suggesting Diaby is the answer at DM, nobody is suggesting he is being relied upon to fill the role, nobody is suggesting they believe he will be injury free. You have just imputed that so you could shoot it down. Shameless

  5. The debate on Diaby is an interesting one. Naturally there’s mixed reviews on Wenger’s ‘transform’ article. Does everyone recall the first 5 games of the 2012/13 season? Diaby played in the holding role and was outstanding, at Anfield he did play like Vieira. I honestly believe if we can keep him 100% fit for the rest of the season and he performs consistently with the raw talent he has, we can compete with Chelsea and City until the end. But I believe more so the odds of that happening are the same as Arteta and Flamini doing the macarena on the pitch. Wenger may not have signed a holding midfielder but at least by coming out with this ‘transform’ speech he’s sending a message to Arteta saying improve performances or no contract extension next summer, so there’s at least some signal of intent to change that area. Makes you wonder if Arteta was retrained there to cover for Diaby, start of the 2012/13 season he was playing as Song’s replacement and after 5/6 games, he gets injured then Arteta’s retrained. One year on Arteta’s doing an ‘adequate’ job, Wenger needs more cover, Flamini’s available on a free. That may be well and good, but Diaby’s 28 now, now or never scenario, and the defensive midfield is so alarmingly bad (6-0, 5-1, 6-3) we can’t afford to take gambles (most of which aren’t calculated) anymore. Everyone knows (albeit Welbeck progressing as an out and out scorer) defensive midfield is the last area to have a complete team, to be able to break the top 2 barrier so hopefully plan A for Wenger is Diaby going uninjured, plan B being a January signing (Khedira no contract extended, Carvalho must be itching to leave). Nevertheless I sincerely hope Diaby’s injury problems are over

  6. Guys, i really find it hard to believe that with a world class defensive midfielder(DM) we could have avoided those drubbings. You simply cannot expect your DM to hold fort when your attacking midfielders loose possession on the half way line with the full backs out of position. Defence will always be left exposed in those situations against the top teams. If the team attacks as a unit without relying on one player then it should also defend as a unit without relying ion a DM to mop up.

  7. +1 Saundy, well said.

    I don’t believe AW intends on having a DM who acts as simple “destroyer” a la Makele. He believes in having a team of players capable of making plays. Diaby can help in this regard with his talent and experience in playing in a more offensive position. Plus, playing him further back theoretically reduces the amount of running he has to do which may aid in limiting his exposure to situations where he gets scythed down.


  8. Watching the Galatasaray game. They were just given a penalty on a shameful dive…hope we don’t see this next week. Poor call by the ref.

  9. I really dont care where we play AD, for the sake of his sanity I want him to succeed for Arsenal. He’s been through hell.

  10. well. ….I think we all agree that arsenal need a lasting DM solution and if we’re talking abt player injury history….even sami may not be our best bet….I won’t be surprised if AW doesn’t make the “expected” signing during the January window… my fellow gooners….. let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope that le professeur would make us happy

  11. Diaby did pretty well playing Southampton. Still off sync with other players but proved maturity comes with age. But I’m upset the fact Arsene didn’t play a better DM in Mika though. Wenger out!

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