Injury-hit Spurs beat full-strength Gooners
OK, that may be pushing it, but you get the general idea.
I was sick of hearing Andy Gray talking about how many players Arsenal were missing last night (Fabregas, Gallas, Arshavin, van Persie and Song are the ones who would start), especially when we were without key players too in Lennon, Woodgate, Corluka, Kranjcar and Palacios.
We have copied with injuries quite remarkably this season – players previously thought of as squad players (Pavlyuchenko, Bale and Huddlestone) have cemented themselves in the team, and competition for first team places will be very strong when we get all of our players back.
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Let's face it, if we had been full strength Rose wouldn't have been on the pitch...and Andy Gray would have been deprived of witnessing such a great goal - although of course he reckons the keeper should have saved it lol!
Having said that, the win removes two monkeys that were hanging around this fixture. First, Spurs no longer have to hear that it is X years since they beat Arsenal in the league. And Arsenal no longer have to hear that is X years since they lost to Spurs in the league.
I think everyone has to acknowledge that both sides were missing several key players. Would the result have been different is the full 1st XIs were playing? I have no idea but ultimately it makes no difference for this season.
Now, I have congratulate Spurs for their play and success this season. Personally, I would be much happier to see Arsenal and Spurs fighting over first and second in the league than watching the west London Pretenders and Manchester Prawns there. [Please forgive my bias as to which team would prevail. :-)]
Finally, there is one thing that Spurs and Arsenal fans can agree upon: Andy Gray is an idiot of the highest order.
I'd be interested to know whether you blame Wenger for your apparent fall at the final hurdle (whilst remembering that it' not over yet) - you seem to lack of an extra quality player or two. He has addressed the striker shortage (of quality) with Chamakh, but quality CM and CB cover doesn't seem to be there.
I have to respond to your question. Do I blame Wenger? Given that this is his team, then the answer is yes? Like all successful people, he has a stubborn and arrogant streak that says "I know best". When things work well, then it is overlooked. But when things do not, then it stands out like a sore thumb. I will not go into the discussion of whether the funding (debt) associated with the Emirates stadium has hampered getting new players, except to say that Spurs could be faced with a similar situation when the redevelopment of White Hart Lane (or a new stadium) begins in earnest.
There has been a considerable fan discussion over the players that Arsenal need to make that final step. There is a camp that demands wholesale sacking of squad players and there is another that thinks selective purchases of top quality players in specific areas is the answer. I am in the latter camp.
Arsenal need a top quality keeper; a quality CB (Vermaelen quality); a quality utility defender (CB/full back/occasional DM); and a deep-lying attacker, in my opinion. Chamakh looks like a good start from what I have seen but more is needed. Over and above these four positions, I would love to see a purchase this summer that involves bringing in a really big name in order to make a real statement of intent.
Good luck for the rest of the season, and hopefully we will see both teams in the CL next season.