Arsenal – Tottenham Combined XI: Striker The Weak Link But Midfield Is World Class

By on March 1, 2013

Tottenham welcome fierce rivals Arsenal to White Hart Lane on Sunday afternoon for a crucial North London Derby, and to mark the occasion we’ve put together our combined starting eleven:

Goalkeeper: Lloris

The Frenchman has been outstanding since replacing Brad Freidel between the sticks. While Szczesny is a talent, he’s been prone to the odd error this season so Lloris takes the gloves.

Right-back: Sagna

Sagna hasn’t been on top form this season and seems to have taken his time to overcome his injury problems but he’s still one of the best full-backs around and is more of a complete player than young Walker.

Centre-back: Dawson

The Englishman has been a rock at the back since forcing his way into AVB’s plans. Alternatives include Mertesacker, Kaboul or Koscielny but we think Dawson’s steady form edges them out.

Centre-back: Vertonghen

Has been an excellent signing for Spurs and gets the nod over his compatriot Vermaelen, who has been well below par this season at the Emirates.

Left-back: Gibbs

Gibbs has made huge strides this season and became one of Arsenal’s most important players before picking up his latest injury. Ekotto is steady and Monreal has shown potential since his move from Malaga, but Gibbsy takes the shirt.

Midfield: Sandro

One of Tottenham’s most consistent players this season before his injury and has proven to be one of the Premier League’s best defensive midfielders. Would provide the perfect protection for…..

Midfield: Wilshere

No surprises, Wilshere is Arsenal’s heart-beat and even Spurs fans must admire his quality.

Attacking-midfield right: Walcott

Seems to have grown as a player this season and has bagged an impressive 18 goals in all competitions as well as a hat-full of assists. Far more productive in the final third than Lennon, so gets the nod.

Attacking-midfield centre: Cazorla

The little Spaniard has been a revelation this season. Craft, guile, two feet, goals, assists, this lad has the lot.

Attacking-midfield Left: Bale

Player of the year? Perhaps, but there’s no doubt he’d make this starting eleven and he’d arguably walk into any team on the planet right now.

Striker: Giroud

The weak link in the team. Neither Arsenal or Spurs have a truly ‘world class’ striker to offer. You could make arguments for Defoe, Adebayor and even Podolski as the striker but we’ve gone simply on goals and assists here. 14 goals and 10 assists isn’t a bad return for your first season in the Premier League and while Giroud may not be the most glamorous striker, he’ll always put in a good shift and chips in with goals/assists too. The same can’t always be said of Defoe or Adebayor, although Defoe with his 14 goals and 5 assists pushed him close.

Here’s how the team looks on paper:

So that’s our combined team. Defence looks OK, the midfield and attacking midfield area is world class but the striker lets the team down. Throw RVP in there and this lot would win the league.

What do you think of our team? Who would be your combined eleven? Leave your suggestions in the comments section below.

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WillHill

4 Comments

  1. DMC380

    March 1, 2013 at 9:45 am

    LLoris,
    Sagna, Dawson, Kaboul, Vertonghen,
    Sandro/Dembele, Wilshere,
    Lennon, Cazorla, Bale,
    Walcott

  2. Kierzo

    March 1, 2013 at 10:11 am

    3 of the 11 you have picked wont even make the bench this weekend…so as a more relavent suggestion, here’s mine;

    Lloris
    Completely agree. Outstanding keeper with ridiculously safe hands and an experienced mind for someone so young.

    Walker
    In my opinion, the best right back in the league when on his game. He’s had a few ropey moments this seasons but he’s still a threat going forward and that pace means that anyone who does manage to get past him, is caught back up rather quickly!!

    Dawson
    Again, agree that some of his displays have been superb. Not as good an all round player as Kaboul but since he wont feature…

    Vertonghen
    What a signing this fella has been. So close to joining Arsenal if the media is to be belived but instead he’s been a monster at the back for Spurs.

    Assou Ekotto
    Admittedly, a nightmare season on many levels for “BAE”. Injury forced him out of most of the first half of the season and he’s finding it difficult to find his form of 2010/11 and 2011/12 since coming back in. The injury to Gibbs and the fact that Kyle Naughton (despite some great performances this season) is technically a right back, means Assou Ekotto gets my vote.

    Parker
    Sandro’s infinitely more talented but what a backup to have. He’s made sure every game, that he leaves everything on the pitch and he’s made sure Spurs fans havent really missed the Brazilian since his injury.

    Wilshere
    Totally agree. Pure class on the ball, unbelievable tenacity off it and an attitude that should be bottled and given to everyone under the age of 18.

    Cazorla
    Pips Dembele for me, for nothing other than his goal threat. In my opinion the belgian has a little more class on the ball and better eye for a pass but he’s far too shot shy for my liking..and Cazorla on his game is totally unplayable.

    Walcott
    His great perfromances earlier in the season have somewhat tailed off since he signed that new contract…funny that!! Regardless, he still provides more of a goal threat than Lennon.

    Bale
    No contest…

    Giroud
    Giroud is a real favourite of mine. He seems unlucky at times and while that may be his own doing, it’s hard to deny that he should have more goals than he already has this season. Defoe for me is more clinicle. Not in the air obviously but you play any kind of ball into a penalty area with a choice of Defoe or Giroud…who would you want to see get on the end of it? Sadly Jermain wont play this weekend so the Frenchman gets the nod.

    • Football Talk

      March 1, 2013 at 12:14 pm

      I realise Sagna, Gibbs and Sandro are injured so won’t be playing on Sunday, but this eleven was based on the best players in the two squads, not just those who are fit for this weekends game.

      From your team, I agree with Parker and Walker but I’d take Monreal all day long over Ekotto.

  3. jayjay

    March 1, 2013 at 10:32 am

    You cant have Walcott in a team ahead of Dembele…..play Cazorla right and put Dembele in the middle.

    The strikers are rubbish but Defoe takes more chances…..Giroud scores one goal for every 6 he misses

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