Tottenham H v Arsenal: the confirmed predictions, and women’s game live

By Bulldog Drummond

Just to say, before we get into the Tottenham game, its Arsenal Women v Birmingham at 2pm.  It is live on the FA Player.   Our preview of that match is here

As for the men’s game, the Evening Standard has clearly taken heed of our bit of fun concerning the notion of predicted and confirmed teams, the latter being nothing of the sort, since the team is only confirmed one hour before the start when the club hands the referee and the media the starting line ups

But still it has now managed to put confirmed and predicted in the same headline.  This is what it tells us to expect…


Holding, Gabriel, Tierney;

Bellerin, Ceballos, Xhaka, Saka;

Willian, Lacazette, Aubameyang.

Football.London, always on the weird side of being weirder than a weird thing that just got even weirder come up with “Full Arsenal squad available to face Tottenham Hotspur”.  And if I then tell you that this is followed by

“Goalkeepers: Bernd Leno, Runar Runarsson & Matt Macey.”

you will know there is no point going much further.  It is, after all, Football.London.

Of course HITC won’t let a simple thing like the pending kick off put them off their constant, ceaseless, endless, eternal knocking of Arsenal, and so they run the headline, “Hasn’t lifted a finger’: Pundit says £220k-a-week Arsenal signing has done absolutely nothing”.

The player is Willian, and this is why Arsenal find it so hard in the transfer market to get the players they want, and to keep them.   The media lead these remorseless attacks and some fans think this is the way to behave in relation to the club we support.

Caught Offside tell us “Arsenal could reportedly have Thomas Partey back in contention to take on Tottenham in this afternoon’s North London Derby in the Premier League.”  Reportedly indeed.  And who reported it?  Football.London.  But they will get something right eventually if they keep guessing enough.

But it is not all drivel in the media, because on we have found “Gilberto Silva: Why Elneny is key to Arsenal midfield ahead of Tottenham clash”.

Well, yes, rather as Untold has been saying since we alone highlighted Elneny playing in the pre-season friendlies.  Everyone else in their predictions had not a word to say about him and wouldn’t put him in their predicted starting line up… except us.  1-0 to Untold I think.  The great Gilberto, who knows a thing or two about the middle of the park says

“But Partey played alongside Mohamed Elneny in Arsenal’s game against Manchester United a few weeks ago and I thought they worked really well as a partnership, despite the fact that they’re not the kind of players who get that much credit for the jobs they do – Elneny especially.

“But I think he can be a key player for Arsenal this year. He’s not an inconsistent player, he always performs well and in that role you need someone who is going to consistently do a job for the team.

“It’s an area of the pitch where you need stability, and I think that Elneny could be the player who fits that role alongside Xhaka or Partey.”

The Guardian gives us…


Holding, Luiz, Gabriel;

Bellerin, Elneny, Partey Tierney;

Willian, Aubameyang, Saka

Sports Keeda offer

Bernd Leno;

Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding, Gabriel Magalhaes, Kieran Tierney;

Dani Ceballos, Granit Xhaka;

Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang;

Alexandre Lacazette

The Telegraph – the only newspaper that has recognised that the recent Arsenal away figures are pretty much the same as recent Tottenham home figures come up with exactly the same line up as the Evening Standard.

But I’m going to leave you with a final thought from She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.  And as it is a long quote here’s the link to it…

Arsene Wenger has 476 Premier League wins; Tottenham 468 – This despite Wenger not managing in the Premier League until its 5th year, leaving The Arsenal 3 seasons ago. Makes you wonder why Spurs fans chanted “Arsene Wenger, we want you to stay”.  [Answer: because they don’t do history – see below].

It has now been 4669 days Tottenham won the league – That is over 51 years; is there anyone still alive who saw them lift the trophy?

It has also been 21 years since they won the FA Cup – Their 1991 took them to a record breaking 8 FA Cups. The Arsenal were on 7. The Arsenal now have 14. Spurs still 7.

And 12 years without a trophy – In the last 12 years, many would claim Tottenham have had the better of The Arsenal. But in that time The Arsenal have won 4 trophies; Spurs zero. It is also 8 v 4 in Arsenal’s favour when it comes to finishing higher in the league; proof that even in The Arsenal’s bad times, North London is still red.

Sol Campbell is still their most successful captain in the modern era – In the last 30 years, no captain has won more trophies than the League Cup Sol Campbell lead his side to in 1999. 3 years later he won the double. At The Arsenal.

So there we are…

33 Replies to “Tottenham H v Arsenal: the confirmed predictions, and women’s game live”

  1. Do not like the Untold silence. Ok down to an early goal ( fairs it was a good one ) but we aren’t looking bad , admittedly confidence I think is low , but if the big players can raise their game inspire the rest to fight on. I think we can still possibly get something out of this .

  2. There 2nd goal suckered in , they have been waiting for that all game , lose the ball 4 against 2 . When your in a bad run s##t happens

  3. Apologies revision required. Don’t think anything from the game now will be possible. True possession is an important factor but as Spuds have shown control and fast decisive breaking can be more rewarding. Worst than losing today is the celebration of all things Maureen that will take place all next week .

  4. Why are we in a bad run?

    Referees perhaps?


    No, we are in a bad run because we are unable to play a decent game of football. Full stop. No excuses.

    If you can’t defend, have no midfield and an attack starved of the ball, sending in a multitude of crosses to players who are either not there, or can’t head the ball, is that the referee’s fault.

    Must be, surely.

  5. Utterly extraordinary piece in the Observer gives a clue as to what’s going on here. I’ll publish a review of it on Monday.
    But if you want to catch up on it, it is headlined
    “Home support doesn’t really help football teams”
    Uses all sorts of misleading and fake data to take readers away from the view that there is anything wrong with refereeing in the Premier League.

  6. The good news is we’re almost as close, points wise, to the top 4 as we are to the bottom 3, so things could be worse.

  7. Wow jjgsol, as honest as your appraisal is, if that was said in the Wenger days you’d be called an aaa and the likes by untold. The truth is the truth, there’s only so much you can take b4 you ditch the cooked up ref conspiracy theories.

  8. Our fast attacking game has at last letting us down. Too many lateral, return and away from the attack, were clearly sussed out by a Spurs side
    prepared to make us pay.
    We should not be too discouraged.
    It’s taken far too long for North London to have a change of leadership. We will be back in due course.

  9. It’s not just that many of our passes our sideways…it’s the speed of those passes. They are soooo slow. And few of them bypass a player to go to a better placed and less intermediate defener.
    I would be curious to know whether that is on purpose or because the team is still learning what to do and are simply extra careful with where they are pasing. But whatever the cause, it is easy to defend because you have all day to turn around and trot back into another defensive position.

  10. Ceballos made a big difference when he came on at half-time. He often played the ball forward, eschewing the easy pass to pick out a team-mate in a more advanced position.

    For much of the time we dominated possession, but made a lot of sideways passes, a strategy which seems to work very well against Europa League opposition, often wearing them down just before half-time. Against EPL opposition, this seems to be less effective, probably due to the higher general fitness levels found in our domestic competition.

    Too often in the Premier League, we concede the first goal, which means that we have to chase the game. Our attacks lack the pace that our teams were so good at exploiting in the past. I think we need to take a more direct approach early in the game.

    Atkinson was quite terrible again. Kane dived a couple of times, and was guilty of making a back for Gabriel late in the game. This took place right in front of the referee, who gave Kane the free-kick. That was the fourth time Kane has done this in recent games. He takes a look over his shoulder to see where his opponent is, backs himself into position, and then bends over to upend his opponent (Gabriel today). He then falls to the floor claiming the free-kick. He has no intention of playing the ball, and, if this is not punished soon, could cause a significant injury. This is not “being clever” as the pundits like to claim. This is cheating. PGMOB does nothing and VAR ain’t interested in looking at it. If it looks like a duck….

    I lost count of the number of fouls made by Højbjerg, but only a few of them were blown by Atkinson.

    Other interesting repeated TV quotes this week:-

    Jamie Redknapp – “if I’m honest” – This statement seems to contain an implication.
    Robbie Savage – “I’ve got to say” – No. He hasn’t.
    Rio Ferdinand – “Listen” – Why?

    BT Sport commentators often completely forget the names of the players on the pitch, and Redknapp can’t seem to pronounce them with anything approaching accuracy. I feel sorry for the microphones.

  11. Kemix, your logic is beyond me. If that comment had been made in the Wenger days it would be laughed at because a) we did not sink this low in the league b) did not have a run of results as bad as this c) our key striker Henry did not go this long without scoring, and d) we were achieving top four for around 20 years running, during a lot of which most of the clubs profit was eaten up by paying for the stadium.

    The fact that many of us do laugh at the anti-Wengerians, is because they can make comments such as you have just made, without even understanding just how insane and ludicrous they are. We long ago realised we were dealing with a kind of logic previously unknown to mankind.

  12. Kemix

    Wenger was getting abuse when he maintained a top 4 finish over a 10 year period with a Net spend of PLUS£!$ Million.

    Wenger was getting abuse when he was winning 3 FA Cups and finishing 4th, 3rd, 2nd and 4th.

    The current incumbents are getting a bit of stick, not the abuse Wenger received, because despite a spend that should be seeing us progress has seen us go alarmingly backwards.

    Can you spot the subtle difference in the 2 scenarios? I do hope otherwise I fear for your ability to even walk in a straight line.

  13. @Nitram, saying your team isn’t good enough is the point being made. Whether you spend or not is irrelevant. When appraising the team, some of us don’t say “this is a good £100m team, that team is a bad £1b team”. You decide what your target is and decide whether the team is good enough or not.
    @Tony, during Wenger days, some of us were saying our team wasn’t good enough to win the league for example, while some were saying it was the refs not letting us do the job.

  14. You simplify the debate too much Kemix. Refereeing has been a part of the problem for years, and ultimately because of the closed door research academics have taken up the challenge and proven it to be so. There was also the debate about spending: Chelsea and Man City had far more money available to spend on players.

    What is so interesting is that we are publishing two or three articles a day exploring all these many aspects of the situation, and you try and summarise it in three lines. You can do it, and some people will be convinced, but those who understand the complexities of multi-million pound businesses will appreciate there is more to it than these simplistic explanations.

  15. Kemix

    “some of us were saying our team wasn’t good enough to win the league for example”

    I have no problem with that. For the most part I didn’t think we were good enough to win the Premier league. If that was all they were saying that would of been fine. But it wasn’t. They were saying they are not good enough to win the league because Wenger is a crap manager, and he’s a crap manager for a multitude of reasons.

    They never accepted at any stage that working on a zero nett spend whilst his 2, then 3, direct opponents were working on multi Million, in on case Billion pound budgets, was the major reason by far for us failing to win a trophy. It was completely ignored.

    Now if people didn’t agree with our self sustaining model that is up to them, that is a different argument all together, but it’s not as if it wasn’t stated from the very outset of the stadium build that that was going to be our financial model.

    We was never lied to about that despite accusations to the contrary. People also argued that we were lied to about the impact it would have, which again is fundamentally untrue, because when we embarked on the stadium build the profile of Premier League football teams finances was completely different to that which emerged with the arrival of RA at Chelsea. That allied to the financial crash completely changed the football landscape financially and made Wengers job twice as hard, then 3 times as hard when Man City also joined the Billionaires club.

    Failing to take in to account these factors when judging what Wenger was achieving during those Austerity years is disengenuous at best, and down right insulting at worst.

    And I haven’t even mentioned the officiating. There have been pages and pages of evidential statistics reproduced on UA to suggest that refereeing in this country is poor at best and down right corrupt at worst.

    There has also been reams of statistics reproduced on UA that suggests we have been harshly treated by referees for a very long time, specifically from the day Riley took over at the head of the PGMOL following his disgraceful performance at OT, which funny enough seems to of earned him that promotion.

    Statistics have been reproduced on here that show the amount of penalties we received during Wengers tenure was way bellow our 3 main rivals and our card count higher.

    How much that contributed to us not winning anything for those 10 years is of course entirely subjective, but to suggest such tilting of the pitch had no effect at all would be ridiculous, it’s just a matter of how much.

    Either way, what with the financial constraints, allied to the pitch tilting, no matter how small you think that was, there is no doubt in my mind that simply maintaining a record amount of top 4 finishes was a miracle, and rather than the endless abuse he received, was worthy of endless praise.

    As for this: “You decide what your target is and decide whether the team is good enough or not”.

    What on earth does that mean?

  16. Just to clarify Wenger was actually up against THREE direct opponents working on dramatically larger Nett budgets than he was, Chelsea, Man City and Man Utd. I hadn’t actually included United because they were not only the 1 team that we would of expected to struggle to match, after all the main reason behind the building of the Emirates was to raise our match day income to a level somewhat akin to theirs to try and level the financial playing field between the 2 of us.

    Not only that, at least their money was self generated through their enormous marketing strategy, as well as their match day income. Not being able to challange them in a way we had been for the previous few years was always going to be a problem, but one we possibly could of overcome, had it remained the one club with such a superior financial footing, but as we were to see that was soon to change.

    AND just to be clear, during those 10 years of austerity over half of the premier league clubs had a higher annual Nett spend on transfers. Just to be clear quite how difficult this situation was for Wenger.

  17. Did I miss anything? Did academics prove that refs have been cheating arsenal out of a title run? I’m sorry if I missed it Tony

  18. Kemix you missed a lot, but no you didn’t miss any academics proving that refs have been cheating Arsenal. It is however always difficult to know what you have missed, largely because, well, you missed it.

  19. Kemix

    To be honest I wouldn’t bother as it contains reasoned interpretation of statistics, which alas seems way beyond you.

    If I were you I’d stick to one line sound bites as that seems to be about your limit.

  20. @Nitram, shouldn’t it be someone else who make the judgement wether your write up is “reasoned” or deluded? That it has stats may be a factual and not open for debate. But whether the interpretation of those facts is reasoned or not is for us to decide

  21. Joe you are quite right – the decision is made by the publisher of the blog. And that’s me. I have followed Nitram’s arguments with much interest and find his maths and statistics are utterly sound throughout, and his conclusions valid.

  22. Sorry Tony, even you cannot abrogate that power to yourself. Your opinion regarding the Status of Nitrams write is just that, your opinion. Because you’re the publisher of the blog doesn’t make it consensus. Certainly opinions that align with your views would be considered “reasoned” by you. I Suspect menace’s would be the same. Where I come from, we allow individual person’s decide what they think about someone else’s views as long as the review is done by his/her peers

  23. The issue is that of evidence. I am not sure which journals, publications or blogs publish evidence as we have done. Whether it is analyses of the number of anti-Arsenal comments in papers, or the 160 game reviews with videos or any of the many other issues, we pubilsh the evidence which sets us aside from most other publications.

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