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Spurs Preview: Playing the Arsenal way
Spurs Preview: Playing the Arsenal way
Saturday, 1st Oct 2011 11:39

The mauling at Old Trafford was the last act of an ultimately fruitless chapter in our history.

The Blackburn debacle suggested the next chapter may suffer from the same flaws that previously undermined our progress but we have a crop of new players who have a chance to end the decline that has seen playing the Arsenal way become a criticism rather than a compliment.

We travel to White Hart Lane on Sunday afternoon with the odds stacked against us. Long gone are the days when we looked unbeatable against our North London rivals and with Adebayor enjoying his honeymoon period, all logic suggests that we will take another embarrassing beating.

After years of underinvestment in defence, sole signing Per Mertesacker is our only recognised centre back. Wenger has suggested that Alex Song will partner the German again and although he looked comfortable there in mid-week, we miss his presence in midfield. Emmanuel Frimpong is a fantastic prospect but he will be far too fired up for Sunday’s game and will be very short odds for a red card if selected. Wenger may even be tempted to select Francis Coquelin in his place after he excelled in the Carling Cup and was one of the few to come out of the Old Trafford game with credit.

We have plenty of options further forward and Andre Santos will have impressed the manager against Olympiakos but it is the defensive organisation which will be the most important factor on Sunday. Against Olympiakos and Dortmund we have seen vast improvements in our defensive focus and effectiveness in the second half but it is imperative that we get a full 90 minutes on Sunday.  

We are still a feared attacking force, particularly when Robin van Persie is on form but we have struggled to maintain possession and have been unable to provide any protection to our back four. There is an argument that we need to adjust our formation to compensate for our lack of quality in certain areas but Arsene Wenger has the whole club playing to the same system and will not authorise a change lightly.

This is the time for the Arsenal players to prove themselves and for the manager to begin building a new Arsenal way. The lift a win would give the fans cannot be underestimated. Subject to late fitness tests for Walcott and Gervinho the team may line up like this:

Wojciech Szczesny, Bacary Sagna, Per Mertesacker, Alex Song, Kieran Gibbs, Emmanuel Frimpong, Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta, Yossi Benayoun, Theo Walcott, Robin van Persie.

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Photos (c) Action Images

Photo: Action Images

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