WillHill

Arsenal & Tottenham Combined XI: Agree With Our Team?

By on November 16, 2012

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.

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13 Comments

  1. ernie davidson

    November 16, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    Kaboul for any one of the CB positions and Walcott on the subs bench

  2. Acton_Yid

    November 16, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    As a Spurs fan I’m going to stick my neck out on these:

    1. This argument has raged on for years but whilst Walcott may be the better natural finisher, Lennon is a MUCH better all-round winger. Arsenal fans, feel free to disagree (as you always do).

    2. I would argue a 100% fit Kaboul is a better CB than Mertesacker…

    3. Lastly, Sandro for me is the better midfielder than Wilshere. Wilshere has better creative instincts but Sandro breaks up play like a beast when he’s on top form. To be fair, he has been learning from The Master (Scott Parker) before Scotty got injured…

    That’s my 2. Gunners; shoot me down if you want !?!

    • Patrick Ssekatawa

      November 17, 2012 at 4:44 am

      Lennon ‘much better’? You must be out of your mind, Mr. If I’m wrong you may correct me, but I think a winger’s role is to provide chances to their strikers and score when they can’t assist. Theo is better in all that. Look at the stats below:
      Theo:
      Games: 257 Goals: 55 Assists: 44
      (International: Games: 30 Goals: 4)

      Lennon:
      Games: 322 Goals: 26 Assists: 61
      (International: Games: 20 Goals: 0)

      I think my friend you’ve realized that Theo is a better player in all aspects of forward play. Starts are there for everyone to see, aren’t they?
      Stop deceiving yourself!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. GoonerMac

    November 16, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    @Action_Yid

    1. Appreciate your opinion but it all comes down to end product. While Walcott is often hammered for his final use of the ball, and rightly so in a lot of cases, his assists and goals record is FAR better than Lennon’s. It’s a non argument. And as the post says, Theo is consistently picked ahead of Lennon for England. End of story.

    2. I agree Kaboul has improved vastly but other fans don’t see what Per brings to Arsenal. Been our best defender by a mile this season. (not that its been hard)

    3. HAHA. Please. Absolutely ridiculous thing to say. I get that as a Spurs fan you’ll instantly hate a proper Gooner like Jack, but claiming Sandro is better is pure comedy.

  4. dan parkin

    November 16, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    Enal fan here. I feel walcott is the better player, but lennon the more complete winger. Mertesaker is a lot better than Kaboul, by far in my opinion, although Kaboul is very good, and I don’t think you can compare wilshere & sandro, very different players!

  5. Nick

    November 16, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    At least get his name right. Jack Wilshire maybe and considering he’s played one game in 18 months it’s a fairly big call putting him in instead of Sandro whose been an absolute monster this season basically covering both central positions since huddlestone refuses to move at all.

    Lennon and walcott is much of a muchness really. both players have become alot more polished and are making better decisions.

    it’ll be a good game as always. bale will be the difference. COYS!

  6. Pompeyman

    November 17, 2012 at 12:24 am

    Bale is unbelievable, no question, his yearly performances in the CL are exqusite and what can you say about hi international form.

    Would walk in to any team, absolute cracker. Take out one or to outstanding performances and in reality you are left with a very good player in two pretty average teams. Give him his due though, he has excelled himself with diving.

    How many teams did you see vying for his signature last summer?

  7. arsenalboy

    November 17, 2012 at 12:31 am

    I can definately agree with this as a starting 11. Imagine walker, koscielny, kaboul, and Gibbs as back up Defenders, Lennon, gervinho, podolski, arteta, Sandro, Parker as back up midfield, and Giroud/ Defoe and back up strikers… Now that would be title contending right there, anyways. Looking forward to the game tomorrow, sucks IM in America so i have to wake up at 4:30 am to watch it… oh well.. its worth it. COYG

  8. Pingback: Arsenal & Tottenham Combined XI: Agree With Our Team? – Football-Talk | The Big North Conference

  9. Ryan S

    November 17, 2012 at 12:51 am

    Nick….get it right mate…Jack Wilshere is how you spell his name (https://twitter.com/JackWilshere)

  10. Lee

    November 17, 2012 at 3:22 am

    ARTETA?!

  11. God2nz

    November 17, 2012 at 4:28 am

    Arteta. On current form move vertonghen to cb and put gibbs at lb, also (on form) Sagan may struggle to get in this team. On rep bring in arteta cm and podolski at striker

  12. Pommy

    November 17, 2012 at 4:48 am

    I say have podolski as striker and arteta instead of demsey

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