Tottenham v Arsenal. Injuries, team selections and weird statistics.

by Bulldog Drummond

Here’s a good headline from the BBC:

  • No Premier League fixture has seen more penalties scored than the north London derby – 19 have been netted in total.

So that sets the scene for a game of leg breaking.  Here are the men already injured…

Calum Chambers
Left knee. Ruptured anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee against Chelsea on December 29. Rehabilitation post-surgical repair continuing and currently progressing well with running and gym work. Will not be available for the remaining 2019/20 matches.

Bernd Leno
Right knee. Sustained moderate ligament sprain during Brighton & Hove game. Progressing very well in recovery. Aiming to return to full training before the end of the season.

Pablo Mari
Sustained significant sprain to ankle ligaments during the Manchester City game on June 17. Has had a successful procedure to the injury and is now in the early stages of his recovery. Aiming to return to full training in September.

Gabriel Martinelli
Left knee injured during training on June 21. Successful arthroscopic procedure undertaken to repair a lesion in the cartilage of the left knee. Will not be available for rest of this season.

Eddie Nketiah
Suspended for three matches following red card against Leicester City during match of very lopsided refereeing.  Available again for Aston Villa away on Tuesday, July 21.

Mesut Ozil
Being assessed ahead of Tottenham Hotspur following back soreness.

So what else do we know of late about Arsenal?  Well, one story doing the rounds is that “only Liverpool have lost fewer matches in the Premier League than the eight Arsenal have this campaign.”

Which is true, but the gap is pretty big.  Here is how the League table looks in game lost order.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 35 30 3 2 76 27 49 93
5 Manchester United 34 16 10 8 59 33 26 58
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 35 13 14 8 45 37 8 53
8 Arsenal 34 12 14 8 50 42 8 50
2 Manchester City 35 23 3 9 91 34 57 72
4 Leicester City 34 17 8 9 64 32 32 59
6 Sheffield United 35 14 12 9 38 33 5 54
3 Chelsea 35 18 6 11 63 49 14 60
10 Tottenham Hotspur 34 13 10 11 52 44 8 49
The one point about this statistic is that it does take us back to the fact that just five more goals would have put us in the Champions League group.  (Arsenal are just five goals from being top four.)

We are also told that Arsenal could win three successive away games in the league without conceding for the first time since May 2013.

But perhaps more noteworthy is the notion that Bukayo Saka has 12 assists in all competitions this season.   OK, that makes him the player with the third most assists but considering that he has only started 19 games this season, and a lot of those have been at full back, that is extraordinary.

De Bruyne is way ahead of him with 19, but we should remember he has played all these from an attacking position, he is playing for a team that has scored 41 more goals than Arsenal this season, and he is 29 years old, so a lot more experienced than 18 year old Saka.

With these sorts of figures, if Saka plays attacking midfield throughout next season, he could easily overtake De Bruyne as he enters his dotage (well, reaches 30).

As for the team…

The increasingly bizarre TalkSprout has the headline “Tottenham vs Arsenal LIVE: Confirmed team news” and then gives us the Arsenal provisional squad: Martinez, Macey, Bellerin, Soares, Sokratis, Luiz, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac, Tierney, Xhaka, Guendouzi, Torreira, Ceballos, Maitland-Niles, Willock, Ozil, Nelson, Pepe, Aubameyang, Lacazette.

Not much help, so we move on… to the Express which gives us a Tottenham line up but nothing for the Arsenal.  Hmmmm, this is taking the raging anti-Arsenal bias a bit far…

Sky has “Live match preview – Tottenham vs Arsenal 12.07.2020” and then has no team news.  The Metro goes down the same approach.  It’s a tactic that is spreading.

Football London has the “Tottenham predicted team” but nothing for Arsenal.

The Standard do however have a predicted team…


Mustafi Luiz Kolasinac

Bellerin Ceballas Xhaka Tierney

Saka Aubameyang



iNews go with exactly the same team.  As do Squawka.  But just to end the tedium of everyone saying the same thing Just Arsenal go with


Holding Luiz Kolasinac

Bellerin Xhaka Willock Tierney

Aubameyang Lacazette Saka

And Arsenal Station do also manage to give us something new



Mustafi Luiz Kolasinac

Bellerin Ceballos Xhaka Tierney

Pepe Aubameyang Saka


The win will only take us up one position, as we by pass Wolverhampton Wobbleyou, but it would leave us just one point behind the equally wobbly Sheffield Untidy who surprisingly have had three wins and a draw in the last four games.

Manchester City will be told at 9.30am on Monday what the result of their appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against a two-year ban from European competition for “serious breaches” of its financial fair play rules.  That will tell us a lot: how well Manchester City’s unique style of “sue them into the ground” diplomacy actually works, and whether the 7th team in the Premier League can apply for a place next season.

The Untold view is that missing out would not be a bad thing.  It would give time for the youngsters to grow into the team, and increase our chances of making it to the Champions League the season after.

18 Replies to “Tottenham v Arsenal. Injuries, team selections and weird statistics.”

  1. Great goal by Lacazette. Good hustle!!

    Then…a dire pass by Kolasinac to draw Sp*rs equal

  2. Pepe absolutely bowled over…nothing given to Spurs…
    Lacazette given a yellow albeit deserved…colour blind Oliver

  3. So many Arsenal players pulled back by spuds and Oliver takes a while to see the foul and more often lets it go without a card.

  4. soft card on Pepe

    egregious pull backs by Sp*rs and not even a talking to

  5. Mustafi is tiring. He played well the first 75 minutes but he doesn’t have the speed to mark their forwards.

  6. This is a typical Mourinho result. Outplayed, tactics, largely negative and get a result because of a poor pass and indifferent reffing.

    On the other hand, I can see an upside to our play. Our lads were learning out there…how to break down a team that parks the bus. Theirs…not so much.

    Keep your chins up boys. The future is red.

  7. Sad to lose but not ashamed. For any team to be able to play the way Arsenal have to with officials sloping the pitch is truly a demonstration of excellence.

    Proud to be a gooner!!

  8. Disappointing but typical Mourinho.

    Apart from one foul on pepe that he let pass I can’t really fault Oliver.

    We gave away the first goal and then did the same with the second.

    Our corners were awful as were our free kicks.

    Although ceballos was ok he simply cannot provide the final pass which is what we are missing which brings us back to ozil.

    He is our only player who can do that and take decent corners and that has been noticable since the restart.

    Without Martinez we would have lost badly but we did not put enough pressure on loris because that final pass was not there.

    Next stop livarpool and more of the same.

  9. I am not sure Arteta is preparing the players fully for the referee’s antics. At Man City he would not have been used to this, and for players to cope with this they need a lot of preparation day by day.

  10. Strange game.

    We dominated the ball but not the match.

    We actually looked the better footballing side, keeping the ball and creating enough to of scored 2, maybe 3 goals. Not bad away against a Mourinho side, even one not in the best of form.

    The negative is that spurs managed 15 goal attempts with 9 on target with half the possession we had. If it wasn’t for yet another fine display from Martinez we could of conceded another 2 or 3 goals at least. This is very poor against a team that couldn’t muster a single shot on target against lowly Bournemouth and is reminiscent of the problems we had with Emery towards the end.

    But hey, shit happens, and as many of us have suggested failing to qualify for the EL isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

    As usual the problem we will have after a defeat like this, or any defeat come to that, is managing the fall out. It’s not the end of the World. We are not now relegation fodder. We lost. That’s all.

    Our defence didn’t play great but they have been playing well recently. We’ve still let in less than Spurs and Chelsea.

    Talking of Chelsea, I saw MOTD bending over backwards to stay positive about Chelsea despite them getting stuffed 3-0 at Sheff Utd, a team we recently beat on their patch. I just cant see them doing the same for us can you? It will be all doom and gloom again.

    Whatever they say, this team has great promise, and if Arteta can nurture it to it’s maximum potential I am still hopeful for the future.

    As for Oliver, I think his performance was okay in the first half but tailed off poorly in the 2nd half allowing too many poor tackles (or fouls as they call them down our way) to go uncalled. He did show 5 Yellows for 16 fouls, which is way above average for a team playing us, but even so, he did still let Winks especially get away with murder, before he finally got his much overdue Yellow.

  11. I agree with Nitram’s assessment of Oliver at 19:28. Unlike some on this thread, I don’t think Arsenal lost because of Oliver. A defensive error for their first goal and an inability to defend a corner on the second is why AFC lost.
    These mistakes just can’t continue. The club just resigned Luiz and Arteta likes Mustafi and might extend him so, there will be mistakes. They both defend well in general but continue to make the big mistake in the big moment. So if we don’t start scoring 3 or 4 per match to compensate for the defensive lapses and refereeing it’ll be mid-table for some time. I think Arteta has the tactical nous, he just doesn’t have the horses. Not that there’s many like him, but I’d swap half the squad for a van Dijk. It’s what the club have been missing for many seasons.

  12. Goonersince72

    “…..but I’d swap half the squad for a van Dijk. It’s what the club have been missing for many seasons”

    I was having this very conversation with some mates at work.

    Van Dyke was the making of Liverpool. OK Sala is mega as well but Van Dyke was the catalyst that set them on their way to CL and PL glory.
    The truth is having a centre half of that ilk is essential if you want to win titles and Champions Leagues. Since Adams and Campbell we just haven’t had a player of that quality, although Kos at his best was close. As you say, both our centre half’s are exceptional on their day but they have too many brain farts. It’s like keepers, it’s no use pulling off blinding saves then throwing one in every now and then. Luckily, fingers crossed, that’s one problem we don’t have as it seems we have got ourselves 2 Worldy’s between the sticks now.

    keeping PEA (He should of scored a couple today) and shifting heaven and earth for a world class centre half must be our priority, and that could be our catalyst.

    As confident as I am that this current squad could easily be top 4, alas they are some way off Liverpool, and City, who despite the table I still think are better than Liverpool. They say the table doesn’t lie but it can tell a fib or 2 because I also believe we were better than Liecster in their title season, but what do I know

  13. Oliver was surprising in actually giving yellow cards to our opponents. His true colours were rather disguised until it became evident in the later stages that he would not dream of awarding any second yellows to Spurs. At the same time. he reverted to normal by giving soft yellows to Arsenal for minor or imagined offences.

  14. Afraid this team is just going to have to learn to defend, these costly mistakes have been going on for too long now. Sometimes, the PGMOL do us, other times , this team does themselves, today was such a day. Of there is a dodgy manager, or a team on cloggers at the bottom of the table needing points, Dr Arsenal obliges far too readily these days. Not sure what the cause or blame is, but Arteta is going to have to sort this.
    Lesser teams with lesser resources defend better than we do, it is time to change that or pay a continued price. No good building leads if you cannot keep them. It is possible to play fluent attack8ng football, but be able to defend as well , we once did that, but it all went a bit wrong.
    I am sure Arteta has ideas to start resolving these problems but might take time.

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