Flamini, Arteta, Ramsey, Spurs and Reasons To be Cheerful.

Mesut was left awe-struck by Welbeck’s fabulous dummy.

Morning, folks.

The weekend proved something of a hectic event for me. Not hectic in the sense that enjoyable, hedonistic pursuits were enjoyed. Alas, no. It was a filled to the brim with work and other irksome undertakings that impinged upon my ability to write for you.

Whilst many of you will have attended the game or watched in the comfort of your homes, my observations came courtesy of the Sky App on my friend’s phone, an unpredictable internet connection at work and no small measure of disregard for my duties. Once the derby was underway, my productivity dropped to such an extent I might as well not have been at work at all – some might argue there isn’t much difference from normality there….

Two days on, my feelings still remain a mixed bag. Here’s a few examples of the good points and the bad as I saw them.

Danny Welbeck

Yes – he didn’t score. Yes – the air shot before Oxlade-Chamberlain’s leveller was nothing short of breathtaking. Those are, undoubtedly, the things he’ll be judged on. However, I like him as a player. He interacts with his team mates well and he gets himself into good positions. It’s still very early days in his Arsenal career and the initial signs, as I see them, are all good. There’s much more to come from Danny and when he finds his feet, and his shooting boots, he’s going to do well for us. Don’t quote me on that…

Mathieu Flamini

I long been an enormous fan of ‘The Flame’ and his ‘no messing around’ approach to the game, but I’m not blinkered by this as some are. Thus far, both he and Arteta have been pretty woeful in the holding role with neither looking able to adequately protect the back four. Arteta is too slow these days and regularly gets caught out of position, whereas Flamini seems as off the pace and careless – he was directly at fault for Spurs’ opener. With both players in the doldrums, not investing in this area looks, at present, an enormous mistake. The upcoming game at Chelsea has me worrying considerably.


Mercifully, we have an abundance of riches in midfield so the injuries to Ramsey and Arteta (both could miss up to 4 weeks) won’t be difficult to cover, but the frequency with which they are sustained is a little worrying. Neither player featured in the midweek COC exit to Southampton and we have that fancy, shiny new fitness coach everyone vehemently called for, so it’s increasingly difficult to lay the blame at Arsene’s door. Often injuries occur simply becuase that’s the way things go.

Having said that, they are mounting up at present. For once, it would be nice if the cursed injury demons of Arsenal took a break and buggered off to pester someone else for a change.

The Result

Having conceded in customarily ridiculous fashion, it was satisfying to get back on level terms and press for the winner. We dominated the possession and, other than the goal, Spurs rarely looked like threatening us at all. The result itself lies somewhere between elation and that feel of unbridled solemness you feel when realising the packet of Jaffa Cakes in the cupboard is empty (this has me apoplectic and tearful). We didn’t lose having slipped behind which is a bonus when you consider it, but failing to defeat a relatively average Spurs team on our own ground does irk. In short, I’m neither happy or sad.

The Goonersphere Podcast

Tomorrow we’ll be recording another fun-filled extravaganza in which we’ll cover the Sours match in greater detail, amongst the usual tomfoolery and gentleman’s antics. Until then, I’d like to take this moment to casually nod you in the direction of the latest ‘Licked’ version of the podcast. Daniel and I are joined by bonafide Hollywood superstar and legend of the airwaves, Craig Hayward.

You can have a listen here.

That’s all for today, folks. Tomorrow I shall return to have a quick look-see at the days news and blather on aimlessly about whatever tickles my fancy. Until that time, feel free to pour out your hearts in the comments section; how do you feel about the game at the weekend? Let me know.

As always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.

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