Unprofessional Foul


November 20, 2010

Your North London Derby Liveblog

The Derby Breakfast of Champions

I’ve been a mess the last few days. Between insane long days working for the Man, coupled with the inability to spend time getting any thoughts together for today’s match, and then losing my Internet, it’s been a borderline meltdown for someone with my brand of OCD. When I’ve slept, it’s dreams of Bale working Clichy like a turnstile and screaming in my sleep “WENGER!! What About Tactics?!?!”

It’s bad enough I owe The Likely Lad some cold beer for the Carling Cup match earlier this year. I think I pay up double if Crouch scores (which is almost now a sure bet he will score).

Pay Attention on Arsenal for: Giving up that quick early strike that they so much like to do. They are starting to rival the USMNT in conceding those early gifts. Watch for Alex Song working Van der Vaart, and Song is showing the beast that the Arsenal backline needs to be successful. Nasri will need to work magic on that outside position and with Walcott will give Arsenal the pace to set up Chamakh, as well as counter any Spurs run.

Tottenham folks should be watching: Bale the speedy, for being able to turn the corner, hit the jets and just blazes. He will be a tough one to handle, but I expect Sagna to play off of him in an effort to keep up. If Sagna can’t, there will be Van der Vaart waiting. The return of Dafoe will make for interesting story, but if I was Wegner I would be more concerned for Modric working the other side of the pitch from Bale.

I’ll be back right around 7:45 with my first drink of the match and the full on liveblog. If MtnWag can wake up in time, she’ll be sending in her usually snarky comments. Plus there will be you, the Spurs fans and other commenters to keep us entertained.

Arsenal: Fabiaknski, Squillaci, Koscielny, Sagna, Clichy, Song, Wilshere, Denilson, Walcott, Arshavin, Fabergas, Nasri, Chmakh

Tottenham: Gomes, Gallas, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto, Hutton, Palacios, Jenas, Bale, Modric, Lennon Van der Vaart, Dafoe, Pavlyuchenko.

-5 min: Spurs and Gooner “Legends” are being fellated on ESPN2. I’m having my first whiskey and tea.

Lineups: The ESPN Lineups were different from the ones I had seen this morning. Can’t they decide!

In The Stands: Henry for the Arse, Ferdinand for Spurs

0 Min: And we’re off!!

1 min: Nasri and Gallas mix it up after their lineup snub. Dafoe is not playing, so piss on the UK.

2 min: First corner won by Van der Varrt. Bale on the near post but scooped up by Fabianski. whew.

4 min: Spurs have been trying to “Unleash The Bale” with their long balls from their defensive mids. So far, no luck.

5:30 Sagna blows a cross, but then the ball is returned, Fabergas gets a scoop but has no play. But it looked good.

6 min Awesome!! Nothing like watching Nasri blow chunks in HD.

8 min Some play in the Spurs third of the pitch, but its not very structured and it really wasn’t going anywhere if Spurs didn’t

9 min – GOAL – Arsenal 1, Tottenham Hotspur 0 (Samir Nasri)
That was amazing play from Samir Nasri. Outdueled the ball and made it past Gomes. Then he puts a spin move on the ball to get it around the post. I don’t care who you are, that was just beautiful.

11 min: Arsenal avoided their post-goal refractory period and giving up a quick and easy one, and Tottenham is redoubling their efforts to “kick it down the side to Bale”. Tactics!!

12 min: Phil Dowd pulls out the yellow on Sagna for his challenge on Bale. No, I’m not going to whine.

15 min: Spurs are looking out of sorts, and are spending a lot of energy on Redknapp’s Strategy ™: Kick the Ball to Bale.

16 min: A little give and go with Song and Fabergas was caught. Then a run which our Magic Pixie was dancing offside.

18 min: Van der Vaart escaped getting a booking on his shove on Song. Free Kick nets an offside. And we’re back to the

21 min: Gallas!! takes the ball and thinks he’s Gareth Bale muscling down the inside track, before getting pushed over by Song. Ungrateful youth. At least Gallas wasn’t booed.

22 min: Another wonderful ball with the touch by Fabergas that reminds me of how I used to cross with my right – terrible, weak, and off target.

24 min: Free kick by Song is nicely headed out by Song’s White Hair, then spurs put another cross in front of the net that is headed away. Another corner for Spurs, another blow chance, another cross, another header, another blown chance.

26 min: Nice cross from Lennon but nothing is done, other than a strong counter from Arsenal…

GOAL – Arsenal 2, Tottenham Hotspur (Marouane Chamakh)
The Frenchman gets a beautiful sweet wonderful pass from The Magic Pixie, lovingly placed on the Chamkh’s foot, where he had not choice but to deposit it in the back of the net. These aren’t sloppy goals. These are both very nice play.

28 min: The singing has kicked up a notch in the Emeriates. Fabergas and Song are working down the field only to give it away.

29 min: Modric!!! with a cracker that was amazing, but right at Fabianski.

30 min: Some sloppy passing in the back from Spurs almost gave the ball away. Some back and forth here from Spurs while they decide if they are moving to Harry’s Plan B ™: Long Shots on Goal from Everyone.

33 min: Clichy and Lennon. Why does this sound like some Pop Duo?

35 min: Arsenal is happy right now stroking it around the middle, and keeping things away from the Bale side of the pitch. They are going to work the Arshavin side. Nasri has been feeding their own long balls down to Chamakh.

38 min: I’ve seen a few shots of Peter Crouch warming up on the sidelines. That makes me happy. Free kick by Arshavin is right to Gomes.

39 min: Another corner for Spurs, and they yet again fail to even put any pressure on Arsenal. That has to be frustrating.

36 min: Arsenal is essentially working a triangle on Bale, keeping him highly shut down. He’s got to remain patient, as Arsenal will get lazy, and he can make his move.

41 min:Mtn Wag is twittering that she wants to see Henry singing “Ole Ole” in the stands. Women, never happy. NY Kid is happy just seeing his face.

43 min: Another ‘warning’ from Dowd to Van der Vaart. See, Sagna is worthy of a yellow, but VdV just needs to be “talked to”.

44 min: Lennon makes another attempt down the right side. Arsenal is just giving them that side, and not even caring. That must suck.

46 min: Another wonderful ball for Nasri, but he got too much on the ball, and it goes out.

tweet! tweet! Half Time If you’re a Gooner you think the skies parted this morning, and the Arsenal we spend our hours talking about, obessing about showed up, and put on a passing clinic. If you’re a spurs fan, you need to figure out how to either Unleash The Bale, or figure out how to score on the other side.

Substitute: Dafoe on, Lennon off. Redknapp is betting on using Dafoe to open that right flank.

45 min: We’re back and my stomach is doing knots. That Ardbeg is helping me though. I don’t care what you say, it’s helping.

47 min: He said “Fabergas tried to pull out.” The tackle was strong but not that bad. Dafoe gets his first run in, to another spurs corner.

48 min: Arshavin works the run, but gives it away. Fabergas is hustling and the rest of Arsenal are looking at the ball. I don’t like that at all.

GOAL – Arsenal 2, Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Gareth Bale)
He works the ball from Van der Vaart down the inside, finds Bale, who finishes nicely into the far post. That was very nicely played.

51 min: Arsenal’s lackadaisical attitude is catching up with them. Spurs are revitalized and pushing on the Arsenal defense. Time to settle it down and get their passing back. This game is not over!!!

53 min: ‘Arry is now standing up and looking like he is paying attention. Eh, it’s still “kick it downfield”.

55 min: We’re starting to see more late challenges on the ball. Nothing called yet. Modric!! with another long strike that is a bit high. He would of had it.

57 min: Arsenal responds in the best way they know how – by passing the ball around the Spurs goal but never really shooting. Talk about slipping into bad habits.

58 min: First shot of far shirtless arsenal fans. I never get tired of these crowd shots. Meanwhile, Fabergas loses the ball and it’s cleared waaay down the pitch for Dafoe. He’s opening things up a bit, which is surprising.

60 min: Arshavin slots a pass but Chamakh wasn’t paying attention. Arsenal is starting to put their attack back together with solid ball control.

61 min: “Cappy” Gallas takes down Chamakh and gets a free kick out of it. Which Arsenal chokes on again. Honestly, they have some of the worst set piece performance I’ve seen. Corners, Free Kicks, etc. Nothing – no style, no plan, no ideas. It’s like Wegner never has them work on that.

63 min: Rare corner for Arsenal nets yet another weak attempt. Sigh.

64 min: Chamakh takes the ball and turns the wrong way, and is stopped by the Lumbering William Gallas. Meanwhile on the other end, Phil Dowd is giving Spurs a free kick on that Song tackle. That was clean!!

Handball in the box!!!Fabergas blows it. That was lame.

GOAL – Arsenal 2, Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Rafael van der Vaart, pen)
Van der Vaart!!!
Spurs have climbed out of the 2-0 hole. Amazing, and yes Cesc Fabergas you should hang your head in shame. But the initial Free Kick was weak call. He gets a yellow for his celebrating as well.

68 min:van Persie on, Chamakh off. When Gallas runs you down, it’s time to take a seat.

69 min: Spurs are completely convinced they can win this now. Arsenal gives up a pass, but is rewarded with a free kick. RvP has been with Arsenal for seven years?

Offside!!RvP puts in a great ball, but two players were offside. Sadly, as it was a nice setup.

71 min: We now see Crouch taking his warm up off…while Fabergas volleys the ball over the top of the net.

73 min:Pavlyuchenko off, Nachos Crouch on. Expect one complete missed goal from inside the box.
Meanwhile Walcott is warming up.

74 min: My, my, Van der Vaart is getting pushy like the rest of the spurs. But keeping Arsenal away is giving them more confidence. Another Spurs Corner.

Arshavin off, Walcott on, and Nasri off, Rosicky on for Arsenal. Sounds like Wegner is conceding the draw.

77 min: Fabergas is pushing now to make up for his mistake, and almost pushed one past Gomes. Corner for Arsenal ends up with a Header for Koschilencky missing again. Classic Arsenal.

79 min: Roschiky with a bad pass that van Persie tries to save.

80 min: Gallas is down, but really is too out of it to run. But he’s staying on for now, while they work on what substitution to make. Denilson gets a yellow card.

82 min: MISS! Fabianski doesn’t get control of the cross, it’s loss, a scrum, and Song bats it away. Lucky.

83 min: Rosicky draws a call, but the free kick nets nothing for Spurs. But they don’t care right now. Rosicky is not putting enough on his passes. He’s forced Koscielny to give a poor foul and a Yellow Card on that challenge.

GOAL – Arsenal 2, Tottenham Hotspur 3 (Younes Kaboul)
Sticking in the knife in the back of Arsenal for falling apart on this free kick. Give Spurs this, Van der Vaart laid in a wonderful free kick that Arsenal did not mark. Even mad ‘Arry was pleased.

86 min: Arsenal can now only hope to pull out a draw. They completely lost their focus and I’m putting some of that on Fabergas at this moment.

substitution: Palacios on, Van der Vaart off.

88 min: Wegner is pissed off and Bale on the loose.

89 min: Spurs are parking the bus in front of the net. It doesn’t hurt when Arsenal is pushing everything high and wide. They are in abject panic. Meanwhile Henry doesn’t seem too concerned.

90 + 5 minutes: Lots of stoppage time. But is it enough?

91 min: A few attempts, but Walcott’s shot is not angular enough and Gomes is all over it.

92 min: Arsenal is getting called on the ticky tacks right now. Spurs are holding on for dear life, and The Arsene Wegner Face is starting to appear. He’s pissed but hey man – what did you tell them at half time? “Don’t worry, the spurs suck”?

94 min: Arsenal is going for the Long Ball strategy now, but the bus is in front of the net. Rosicky puts a shot on goal that Gomes smothers. I hate Rosicky.

tweet! tweet! tweet! That’s it and Spurs should be congratulated. They walked off at half down 2-0 and just looking hammered. They came back and with one quick goal put Arsenal back on their feet and then took over.

I will now drown my sorrows.

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Moonshine Mike