SN Blog 13 – The North London Derby

I suppose it is almost some poetic or very apt coincidence that the 13th blog I write this season be all about the North London Derby.  It had been my plan to write the next one about the derby; my thinking was it would discuss my feelings on the game both before and after – I did not realise it was number 13 until I just sat down to write.  If you believe in superstition then you are no doubt blaming me for our defeat right now.

Sadly that is what happened, we lost 2-0 to Arsenal at their ground.  We’ve been beaten by them before and for sure we will be beaten by them again in the future – losing to a rival is annoying and painful however it happens – what I find harder to take than a defeat is when it appears the players do not care.


Now I do not mean to single out one player here however at full time after losing to the clubs local rivals to be seen on the pitch laughing and joking with their players is not right.  They are his friends, okay, then go down the tunnel and catch up.  Doing that in front of the fans is something I did not think we would see again under Pochettino.

Had we been in the game and it been a hard fought match, us just losing I dont think Id care he was smiling with a friend…. the fact is with maybe a couple of exceptions our whole squad was poor, even the players coming on.

Now, this can happen.  Its football – sometimes its just a bad day and you have to move on.  Lets face it, losing away to Arsenal when they were playing probably as well as they have in years (their own fans today wondering why they can only play like that against us) is not a massive shock.  If Arsenal play like that against any other team in the league they would likely win.

Harry Kane was clearly not fit yesterday, anyone who has ever seen him play knows that and the sheer level of strapping on his leg made it obvious.  Sharpness not there, his perpetual motion – always pressing – always moving in the box and attacking the ball was all missing and oh how we missed it.

Sissoko, Dele and Eriksen all at times had the ball heading forward and the only people providing any movement or getting into space was our wing backs however every ball they put into the box was defended well… despite the crossing actually being of decent quality just no movement in the box, no attack or drive that is normally always there.


It does not take away from the fact though that we were poor.  We allowed them to dominate the game as we were second to every ball, didn’t press and failed to jump on our chances / openings.  Since Pochettino took charge I can count on one hand how many times we have been out fought but that is what happened.

Many would like to discuss the ref and his poor decision that led to their first goal, in fact on a different day that decision aside both goals could have been given offside – marginal decisions for sure – if we had scored them id say onside, if against “clearly off” however the decisions should not distract from our woeful commitment or lack their of.

I am not someone who is negative really and I often look for positives in defeat however I do not think there are any here.  I do not think Arsenal’s best 11 right now beats our best 11 – however yesterday they beat us in every sense.  We have to shake it off.  Some reactions today have been like its season over, hell we are only in November!

I still believe we are on an upward trajectory and its never a straight line it just hurts losing to that lot.  The one thing I will say is haven’t times changed… remember when we were a cup team, playing in the Europa League and throwing everything at the derby hoping to win!?  Come the end of the season we will see where the power lies in North London.


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