4 Talking Points From Arsenal’s 1-1 Draw With Tottenham

By on September 28, 2014

Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw by North London rivals Tottenham at the Emirates on Saturday evening. Here, Gunner333 gives us his four talking points from the game.

mathieu-flamini-arsenal

Photo: football365.com

Eagerly anticipated every season, the North-London derby rolled into town once again, with the Gunners boasting one of only two unbeaten records in the division and Spurs heralding an undefeated run on the road. Wenger was entering his 43rd derby of North London variety, whilst Pochettino was facing the Gunners for his first time as boss of their arch-rivals.

Great focus was put upon the positioning of maestro Mesut Özil, who played across the entirety of the front-line in the opening stages. The first half offered very little, the main talking points being injuries sustained to both Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey, which necessitated a double-switch by Arsene Wenger before the break.

It was Tottenham who drew blood first when Christian Eriksen robbed Mathieu Flamini of possession on the edge of the area before Erik Lamela eventually fed Nacer Chadli who fired past Wojciech Szczesny for 0-1.

Inspired by the deficit, Arsenal awoke to put Spurs under immense pressure and after 75 minutes, the visitors were unable to hold on any longer. Substitute Alexis Sanchez’ cross found its way to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and the attacker fired the equaliser into the roof of the net. The Emirates erupted in relief, the constant pressure finally paying off.

The home team looking pushed for a winner but couldn’t find a way past a stubborn Tottenham defence, so the game ended 1-1. Spurs were by far the happier with the point after surviving late Arsenal domination, but for the Gunners is was two points dropped.

I shall now analyse the good and bad from this rather mundane performance.

1) Narrow Chambers

Calum Chambers may be slightly confused regarding his role in the Arsenal set-up. Primarily a centre-half replacement for Koscielny or Mertesacker, he has recently found himself filling in for the absent Debuchy down the right-hand side. He has experience in both departments, but even when playing out wide, the youngster drifts inside too frequently, leaving space for wingers to exploit.

2) No Need For Wake-Up Call

You can unearth whatever excuses you like, but the basic facts tell the story – it took us nearly an hour to get into this game. It is a tale of old and we simply cannot rely on the opposition scoring to force us into action. Regularly in big games, we fail to hit the ground running and seem far too cautious to really have a go.

Welbeck did everything right early on, but we created few clear cut chances. Players seemed apprehensive at the idea of picking up forward positions, at the risk of leaving too much space behind them. Two difficult challenges await in Galatasaray and Chelsea, two clashes in which we need to regroup and press from the start.

3) Alexis impact

Given a heavy workload since joining from Barca, Alexis Sanchez was given resting time for this match and was probably only incorporated into the game at all due to the unwelcomed circumstances. His performance was a short-spell to analyse, yet he was probably the most influential player in the entire 90.

He set up the equaliser and was a threat down the left wing for the 30 minutes he was on the field. many fans have questioned why he didn’t start but only Arsene can answer that. Who knows what the score would have been had the Chilean played the whole game…

4) Flamini Fatality

The Frenchman was dismal at times. Every player makes mistakes, but his loss of possession for the opener was a clear sign he’s not the answer to our defensive midfield problems. A North-London Derby is an intense, pressing fixture and should be treated with a high tempo – all qualities dismissed by Flamini’s all round sluggish, slow display.

With Arteta now out of our next two fixtures [at least], Flamini is going to have to step-up and improve his performances quickly.

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment below.

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