Combined Arsenal + Spurs XI: No Vertonghen But Does Ozil Make The Cut?
It’s the big North London Derby on Sunday as Tottenham entertain rivals Arsenal, so to commemorate the occasion we’ve come up with a combined XI. Do you agree?
It’s the big North London Derby on Sunday as Tottenham entertain fierce rivals Arsenal at White Hart Lane, so to commemorate the occasion I thought I’d come up with this years combined XI.
I’m going to base my selections on the basis that everybody is fit and available, and I’m sure it’s going to cause much debate among the rival fans….but that’s what this sort of thing is about. So lets gets started:
Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham)
Wojciech Szczesny has enjoyed an excellent season between the stick for Arsenal but I’m going to give the edge to Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris. The French international is a superb all-round goalkeeper and has proven himself to be one of the best in the Premier League. Szczesny may well develop into one of the best in time, but for now Lloris gets the vote.
Right Back: Bacary Sagna (Arsenal)
The veteran Frenchman hasn’t let his contract talks or speculation over his future distract him this season, and he’s been as reliable as ever for the Gunners. Kyle Walker on the other hand has been inconsistent and while he’s adventurous going forward, his positional play at the back lets him down.
Left-Back: Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal)
I feel Gibbs is underrated by many and I’m surprised he hasn’t been recognised more by the England national team. When he’s fit, he’s superb and is a much more reliable defender than Danny Rose.
Centre-Backs: Per Mertesacker & Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal)
It was hugely difficult to leave out Jan Vertonghen, but the Belgian’s form has dipped drastically in recent months and I simply had to go with the pairing of Mertesacker and Koscielny. They’ve formed a rock solid partnership at the back for Arsenal and I believe it took them almost 30 games before they tasted defeat together when both players had completed 90 minutes. They’ve been the foundation of Arsenal’s positive season and been the back-bone in a far more solid defence – excluding the Liverpool and Man City games!
Central Midfield: Sandro (Tottenham)
The Brazilian has had his fitness problems again this season but he’s a fine defensive midfielder on his day. He brings a much-needed physicality to the team and that will be important with all the flair players he’ll have in front of him.
Central Midfield: Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal)
Even the most die-hard Spurs fan would do well to deny Ramsey a place in the team after the sensational form the Welshman showed before he picked up a thigh injury. He was easily Arsenal’s player of the season for the first half of the campaign after scoring 15 goals from midfield. A player reborn and I’m sure he can’t get fir soon enough for the Gunners fans. Mousa Dembele was unlucky to miss out while Jack Wilshere was also close, but Rambo gets the nod.
Left-Wing: Santi Cazorla (Arsenal)
The Spaniard’s not had quite the same impact as he had in his first season at the Emirates but he’s still a class act. So comfortable on the ball and his link-up play and eye for a pass if a joy to watch. Christian Eriksen has proved himself to be a hugely talented player as well, but he’s still finding his feet in England and hasn’t shown quite enough to oust Cazorla.
Right-Wing: Theo Walcott (Arsenal)
The England speedster gets harshly criticised at times because if you look at his impact in terms of goals and assists, not many can match him. He brings with him pace and a vital goal threat from the wing and is still well ahead of the likes of Aaron Lennon and Andros Townsend.
Central Playmaker: Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)
The criticism aimed at Ozil this year has been laughable at times. He may have a languid, lazy look about him but not many players cover more ground than he does in 90 minutes and his end product in terms of goals and assists can’t be argued with. He oozes class and while he may not boss games for long periods, he can produce a moment of magic at any time. An easy choice to pick him.
Striker: Emmanuel Adebayor (Tottenham)
Perhaps a controversial selection due to his history with Arsenal, but even the Gooners can’t deny Adebayor can be unplayable at times. His attitude can stink when he sulks but when he’s on form, few are better in the lone striker role. Olivier Giroud is hard working and has shown flashes of his quality, but he just lacks that something special to make his a real top class striker.
Here’s how the team looks:
So that’s the team. Eight Arsenal players to Tottenham’s three, and before Spurs fans go calling me a ‘closet Gooner’, I think this team just about sums up where the two clubs are right now. Spurs look a side lost of identity and lacking cohesion and quality at times, with few of their summer buys living up to their price-tags. The change of manager in mid-season certainly hasn’t helped their cause, while a number of niggling injuries have also hurt them this year.
Arsenal have surprised many after leading the table for much of the campaign, but injuries have derailed what promised to be an encouraging season. However, the defence looks far more solid and when/if all their players are fit, their starting eleven is extremely strong. Hence why so many Arsenal players have made this combined eleven.
Agree with my team? What would your combined eleven be? Feel free to leave your suggestions below, and remember it’s all opinions at the end of the day…..
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