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Arsenal & Tottenham Combined XI: Agree With Our Team?
With the big north London derby taking place on Saturday we thought we’d try and come up with what a team would look like made up of players from both Arsenal and Tottenham.
This is purely from a neutrals perspective and we’ve tried to be as fair as possible. Age or fitness isn’t taken into consideration for the purposes of this post, we’ve just gone with the players we feel are the best in each position. Without further ado, let’s get on with selecting the team.
Goalkeeper – Friedel
While Szczesny is certainly a huge talent his form is still inconsistent and if there’s one thing Brad Friedel is, it’s consistent. He’s one of the Premier League’s most under-rated players and at 41-years-old he’s still doing it at the very top and keeping France’s No.1 out the Spurs team.
Right Back – Sagna
Much like the battle for the gloves between Szczesny and Friedel, Walker is the young pretender and Sagna the experienced and consistent pro. The Frenchman has been in the Premier League team of the year twice in four years for a reason. Mr dependable at right back and Walker still has to improve his positional play.
Left Back – Vertonghen
A tough one. Tottenham fans seem to love Assou-Ekotto and while he’s a decent enough player, he’s still a little short of being a top, top full back. Gibbs has improved dramatically over the last 18 months but still struggles positionally. Vertonghen has come in and while his preferred position may be in the middle of defence, we think he’d be best served on the left where he’s shown to be an excellent full-back during the early part of the season for Spurs. A more solid option than both Ekotto and Gibbs.
Centre Back – Mertesacker
A toss up between Per Mertesacker and Younes Kaboul but the experienced German just gets the nod. Spurs fans won’t like this one, but we think the Big Friendly Giant (as Arsenal fans like to call him) is highly under-appreciated in the Premier League. He’s seen as a big, slow, cumbersome lump by many opposition fans and pundits, but people seem to overlook his attributes like reading of the game, key interceptions, blocks and of course his aerial ability. You don’t get nearly 90 caps for Germany for nothing you know.
Centre Back – Vermaelen
While the Belgian has struggled for form in recent weeks, in fact he’s been fairly awful, but you can’t overlook what a superb defender he’s been over the past couple of season for Arsenal. He will be back to his best in no time, no doubt, as he’s too good a player. While Gallas, Koscielny and Caulker all have their positives, Vermaelen just edges it.
Centre Midfield – Wilshere
Superb talent. One of England’s best since Gazza. Can do everything and has the ability to become a true great in north London. Arteta is a steady influence (Fulham aside!) but we just couldn’t leave out Wilshere.
Centre Midfield – Dembele
Excellent signing by Tottenham in the summer. Has been badly missed in recent weeks but has shown already he has everything to be a huge hit at WHL. Powerful, skilful, can score goals, pass, the lot. Scott Parker pushed him close but we feel Dembele is a better all-round player. Special mention to Sandro as well.
Right Wing – Walcott
Walcott and Lennon have very similar attributes, well one main attribute….pace. But Theo has always been ahead of Lennon in the England pecking order and all those managers can’t be wrong. Plus Walcott has a far superior goals and assist record. He may not be the full package just yet, but Walcott has still proven to be a better player on a more consistent basis than Lennon.
Left Wing – Bale
No brainer. One of the best left sided players in the world and would walk in to just about any team on the planet. No competition for the left wing spot. Simple.
Attacking Midfielder – Cazorla
What a little player. One of the best first touches i’ve ever seen. He may not have been in the league long, but we’ve already seen what he can do with the ball at his feet. Seems to have gone off the boil a bit in recent weeks but that’s coincided with Arsenal’s poor form. Once his team-mates buck up their ideas, Cazorla will be back.
Striker – Adebayor
Gooners are NOT going to like this choice but given the limited options available, Adebayor has to take up the striker role. AVB has been controversially leaving him out in recent weeks in favour of Defoe, and while the England ace is certainly a deadly finisher we think we need an all-rounder who can contribute in every area of the pitch. Arsenal only really have one striker, although many Arsenal fans would argue Podolski is a centre forward, we haven’t seen him deployed in that role yet this season at the Emirates, so that leaves us with Olivier Giroud to choose from. While the big Frenchman seems to have finally hit some form, he’s still not done enough to displace Ade. He was a beast at Arsenal in 08 season, scoring 24 league goals and he notched 17 for Spurs last season.
So, here is what our team looks like:
So we ended up with six representatives from Arsenal and five from Tottenham. There would have been a day not so long ago when Tottenham would have struggled to get one player into the Arsenal side, so to have five just shows how close to two sides have become in recent years.
Of course there were several positions that were contentious and could have gone either way, but we went with the side that we think has balance. The defence was probably the most difficult as lets be honest, neither Arsenal nor Tottenham are renowned for their rock solid defence these days! In many ways the two teams have similar weaknesses and similar strengths, so it shapes up to be another enthralling north London derby on Saturday afternoon.
Over to you. What would your team be? Leave yours in the comments below.