DATE Saturday 4th January 2014
VENUE Highbury






A local derby in the Third Round of the FA Cup.  Just what you need after playing Manchester United and with City coming up in a few weeks time.

Well, that's what I thought when the draw was made, but since then AVB has left, Tim Sherwood has taken over and Spurs have won four straight away Premier League games, including the abovementioned one at Old Trafford.  But such form, as we are regularly told, flies out the window when it comes to derby matches.  And with both teams hit by injury and with interest in the league programme uppermost, the sides might only be a shadow of the ones taking the field for most Premier League games.

Not that the teams will be weak, just not entirely familiar with each other and that could make for an entertaining game, with mistakes from mis-communication between unfamiliar partners.

Arsenal have been totting up points in the league, but their goals have dried up a bit lately.  Spurs have not had that problem of late, since Adebayor has returned to the attack and as he has recovered from his exhaustive effort at Man U, he will line up against his old side and may cause his former club problems.  Defence is an area where Arsenal haven't been hit too hard by injury, with only Gibbs missing, so the Sagna, Koscielny, Mertesacker and Monreal might continue, with the possibility of Carl Jenkinson coming in for Monreal if Wenger wants to keep him fresh for league battles.   The two centre-halves are strong in the air, but can be prone to dive into tackles on nimble footed forwards, so it is a shame that Lamela will not be available for this match.  However, Soldado and Adebayor are quick enough to perhaps give them trouble on the floor.  If Townsend is fit to play, then his pace, along with Lennon's, will give the full backs an uncomfortable time.

Midfield is Arsenal's strength, with Cazorla, Wilshire, Arteta and Flamini Wenger's first choice four available for this match, but he may go with a youngster in there to rest one or hold Flamini on the bench in case he needs some tackles to go in late on.  Rumours are he will throw Serge Gnabry or Gideon Zalalem into the starting eleven, so we will see if he is that brave.  Injuries have struck the midfield hard with Diaby, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ramsey all out, but it is in attack where Arsenal have real issues, with injuries keeping Bendtner and Sanogo out and making Giroud a doubt.  That means that Wenger will have to start Podolski in his first game back from being out long term with a muscle issue and play him alongside Walcott.  Maybe if the result has gone for Spurs, we could take a forward out of the equation to get something out of the game ;o)

Realistically, as so much has happened since our 0-1 defeat earlier in the season at their hands, that any result would be good that didn't involve losing.  I think rather than being an open goal-filled gamer, it will be a tense affair, with the outcome being what neither team would want ... a draw and a replay.

PREDICTION Arsenal    1         Tottenham Hotspur    1
Click here for more info on opponents - stats v thfc , an alternative history, etc.
Tottenham have injury concerns, with Erik Lamela (thigh), Jan Vertonghen (ankle), Paulinho (ankle), Kyle Naughton (ankle and hamstring),  Gylfi Sigurdsson (calf), Sandro (calf) and Younes Kaboul (thigh) all out of the FA Cup tie, but Jermain Defoe, Andros Townsend and Lewis Holtby are all ready to come back into the side if required.
Definitely out for Arsenal are Aaron Ramsey (hamstring), Kieran Gibbs (calf), Nicklas Bendtner (ankle), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee), Abou Diaby (knee), Yaya Sanogo (back) and have late fitness tests on Mesut Ozil (shoulder) and Olivier Giroud (illness/ankle).

ITV 1 - 17:15 (live)
FA Cup Highlights -  ITV 1 23:05

For coverage in all parts of the world, check here and here.

Radio :  
BBC LONDON 94.9FM (London area only), Digital Radio (London area only) &  Sky Channel 0152  (live coverage)
Commentary may be found on
>   BBC Radio Five Live (live coverage)  606/939 MW
TalkSport (DAB or 1089 MW)
Absolute Radio  (1215 AM/MW)

If available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard in these countries on these stations ...
Australia (Melbourne)
SEN  -  116 AM  Live Transmissions: TWI, Saturday. 12.45 & 1500 matches
Australia (Sydney) 
Radio 2  -  1611AM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 12.45 Match
Media Corp Radio  -  93.8 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
South Africa 
SABC (Radio 2000)  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
Uganda  Radio 1 (English) 90.0 FM, Radio 2 (Lugandan) 87.9 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
North America (USA, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean) 
Sirius Satellite Radio  Live transmission: Saturday - 12.45, 15.00 (TWI) & 17.15 (BBC) Sunday - 14.00 & 16.05 (BBC) Mon, Tue, Wed - Various times (BBC)

Internet :   Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London - click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.

Arsenal  2 (1)                                                                                     Tottenham Hotspur  0 (0)
FA Cup Third Round
Saturday 4th January 2014                                                                                                                    Kick off 15:00
Cazorla  30
Rosicky  61
Vermaelen (foul on Dembele) 18  




Crowd :   59,476 Weather :  Chilly, rained towards the end of the match
Referee :  Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear) Assistant Referees :  P. Kirkup; S. Bennett
Fourth Official :  Martin Atkinson -
Arsenal kicked off and played towards the Clock end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 6 minutes.
Arsenal : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit

  3  Bakary SAGNA
  5  Laurent KOSCIELNY
6  Thomas VERMAELEN       (  4 Per MERTESACKER 46)
17  Nacho MONREAL

44  Serge GNARBY
  Jack WILSHIRE (20 Mathieu FLAMINI 71)
7  Thomas ROSICKY 
  8  Mikel ARTETA (c) (11 Mesut OZIL 75)
19  Santi CAZORLA 

14  Theo WALCOTT

Unused subs: 
  PARK Chu-Young
  9  Lukas PODOLSKI

  25  Hugo LLORIS

  2  Kyle WALKER
20  Michael DAWSON (c)
  3  Danny ROSE

  7  Aaron LENNON
42  Nabil BENTALEB
19  Mousa DEMBELE
23  Christian ERIKSEN

  9  Roberto SOLDADO (21  Nacer CHADLI )
10  Emmanuel ADEBAYOR

Unused subs: 
24  Brad FRIEDEL

35  Zeki FRYERS
15  Etienne CAPOUE
45  Jon OBIKA
31  Harry KANE

Manager :  Arsene Wenger Manager :  Tim Sherwood
Sponsor :   Emirates Airways Shirt sponsor :  AIA
Kit Supplier :  Nike Kit Supplier :   Under Armour
Match report

The Third Round draw back in early December pitted us on a short trip across North London and to the league leaders.  While teams from lower leagues have dreams of playing a big club, as a Spurs fan, I share these and would look forward to a trip to Macclesfield or Rochdale once in a while.  We went into the game in good form and I hope that after a 0-2 defeat that we can kick off again in the Premier League, picking up where we left off at Old Trafford.

Tim Sherwood made the bold choice of including Nabil Bentaleb instead of Etienne Capoue, who had an outstanding game at Manchester United. We have been told by Sherwood that he is more au fait with the Under-21s than the first team, but that should not colour his judgement on picking a team to win a game.  Bentlaeb played well, but with Arsenal only playing one up front, their five midfielders looked like they might enjoy playing around four in the opposition, with one being a newcomer at that.  They played an 18 year old themselves in Gnarby, who was in midfield and he showed that the experience he has had in the first team made him a little more assured than Nabil.

Other than that, the team was much the same as at United, so we hoped for a similar performance.

An early corner saw Dembele hit back a clearance but it was stopped by head. Spurs were pushing forward but got caught out when a Chiriches clearance was blocked out wide and Gnarby played it low into the box from the dead ball line, but there was nobody there to receive it.

In the ninth minute, Christian Eriksen intercepted a pass by Koscielny and was through on goal to the left, but Fabianski managed to get a touch on the ball to stop it beating him at his near post and it went away for a corner.

Three minutes later, Walcott ran at the defence and from just right of centre he had a low shot from 20 yards out that Hugo Lloris did well to dive to his right to push wide for a corner. Nothing came from that but in the second phase from their next corner, Gnarby hit a shot coming in from the right that just cleared Lloris' bar.

A late tackle on Mousa Dembele by Vermaelen, which earned him a booking, gave Eriksen a chance to hit a free kick at Fabianski's goal and it went a foot over. When play went to the other end, Cazorla shot wide form just outside the box after Vermaelen had made a well-timed tackle to deny a neat turn by Soldado.

Arsnela made a break through the Spurs defence, with Walcott put in on goal, but his low shot from the right was blocked by Lloris' legs. But Hugo could do nothing when Arsenal broke on Spurs and Gnabry put Cazorla in on the left and drilled his shot to the keeper's right to give the home team the lead with 30 minutes gone. Spurs had been giving the Arsenal midfielders a bit too much space to run at them and that was the reason the first goal came about.

Fat Wilshire was doing his usual wind up in midfield, pulling Dembele's shirt whenever he could and then barging into him, but Mousa wasn't having any of it. The Arsenal midfielder conned the referee into giving them a free kick when he ran straight into Bentaleb 30 yards out, but Walcott's shot hit the wall. A corner resulted and from it, the same player struck a volley that flew two yards over the bar from the edge of the box.

Clattenburg was falling for Wilshire's antics every time. His late nudges were ignored while tackles on him that saw the fat man rock the turf.

Spurs worked the ball well as half-time approached, moving it from right to left and then back again for Kyle Walker to set up Soldado for a shot from the right corner of the box that he dragged across the keeper, but a couple of yards wide.

At half-time, the talk was of Tottenham's midfield and how they were coping with Arsenal's middle five. The need to pick up the runners was uppermost in the way they would need to stifle the way the home team were playing. The build up work by Spurs was good but they needed to ensure that the final ball was the right one and was designed to pick out its target.

From the kick off Spurs own a corner and from it Monreal headed it narrowly wide of his own goal under pressure from Chiriches. This one was taken long and it was met on the volley by Roberto Soldado, but he was being closed down and it flew well over.

Adebayor started the second half with a mixture of good and bad. He was holding the ball up well to force markers to foul him, but then he was playing loose passes to concede possession. Eight minutes into the half, Spurs broke well, as Dembele picked the ball off Gnabry, but the final shot from Soldado was pulled across goal from the right to go wide to the left.

Three minutes later, Spurs almost capitalised on another loose pass. Monreal cleared but straight to Walker, who freed Lennon on the right wing and his cross picked out Ade, whose good control brought the ball down. However, as he swivelled to strike it from around the penalty spot, his legs went from under him and he only half-hit his shot into the ground.
The Arsenal crowd were getting to Adebayor a bit, as he was jeered every time he got the ball and cheered every time he lost it. It looked only a matter of time before he blew and did something that might cost Tottenham.

As it was, it was Danny Rose who cost Spurs. Walcott had got in behind the Tottenham defence to go around Lloris, but could only hit the side netting, then the Spurs left back was alone on the halfway line. He tried to take the ball past Rosicky as he was closed down, but the got a foot to the ball that took him away into the Spurs half on his own. Walker tried to get back, but he was too far ahead and lifted the ball over Lloris as he went to ground to make it 2-0 in the 61st minute.

From there on, Arsenal were just keen on holding the ball and opening up chances when they could. Monreal went down under challenge from Walker in the box and wanted a penalty, but his claims were waved away. Mousa hit a shot from the edge of the box in the 69th minute, but Fabianski dived and got behind it. Interestingly, when Walker burst past Monreal, the Arsenal man barged into him, but once more Clattenburg waved play on.

In the 77th minute, there was a massive mix-up in our defence, when Walcott was offside and Vlad messed up his clearance, giving the ball back to Cazorla, who found Walcott this time and his shot went a foot wide with the whole goal to aim at.

Spurs won a corner and Bentaleb won a low header at the near post, but it came off his shoulder and went wide. With 12 minutes left, Walker picked up a clearance to his own cross in the right hand corner of the penalty box and the ball lifted up to hit Cazorla's hand, but would Clattenburg give a decision ? Nooooooooo.

The play had continued while Walcott was laying on the floor, but he managed to get up to chase Rose back and conceded a corner, before going down again. After treatment he was carried off on a stretcher. Having used all three subs, Arsenal had to play on with ten men. Walcott was making a 2-0 sign to the Spurs fans as he was carried away in front of them and coins rained down as well as the rain, so no doubt Spurs fans will be criticised, while the perpetrator will not be mentioned.

Tottenham created few chances despite having an extra man, but Arsenal just packed their defence, as they did towards the end of the league game. A short free-kick to Chadli was struck at goal, but it was blocked.  Then Clattenburg gave a free-kick against Lennon for handball on the halfway line when it was blasted at him from close range. Funny how it is a handball there and not in the penalty area. From it Arsenal released substitute Ozil and his low cross-shot was touched aside by Lloris.
The five men in midfield were too much for Spurs and although there was only Walcott up front, they did support him well and there was a lot of tracking back needed by the Spurs midfield. Their passing was better than ours today and we were not penetrative enough in the last third.

A defeat in the FA Cup is not the end of the world, even if it was to Arsenal.

We will need to battle better when it comes for points, but a week's grace before the meeting with Crystal Palace might get some players back fit again.

Isaac Gregory


Match sponsors -
Match sponsors -
Match ball sponsors -
Match programme sponsors -
Match shirt sponsors -



What you thought
Adam Whilst I don't agreed with coin throwing or any missile throwing at football matches -- Thicko Walcott is just as immature to react making the matter worse and putting the medical staff and stewards at risk from further injury as more objects rained down.

However he has got his karma now because he is out of action for 6 months thus missing out on playing on the greatest stage of any footballers career, the World Cup.  Shame, but, as a professional footballer earning thousands a week, he needs to grow up as well as some of our fans.

PS  Why has Brendan Rodgers been pulled up by the FA for his ref comments but David Moyes hasn't for his "the FA need to look at who they employ for these types of games" remark after Mr Webb dared not to award the usual penalty at Old Trafford ?

- -.



Other scores in this round :
Blackburn Rovers 1 Manchester City 1 Saturday
Aston Villa 1 Sheffield United 2- Saturday
Barnsley 1 Coventry City 2 Saturday
Bolton Wanderers 2 Blackpool 1 Saturday
Bournemouth P Burton Albion P Saturday
Bristol City 1 Watford 1 Saturday
Charlton Athletic P Oxford United P Saturday
Doncaster Rovers 2 Stevenage 3 Saturday
Everton 4 QPR 0 Saturday
Grimsby Town 2 Huddersfield Town 3 Saturday
Ipswich Town 1 Preston North End 1 Saturday
Kidderminster Harriers 0 Peterborough United 0 Saturday
Macclesfield Town 1 Sheffield Wednesday 1 Saturday
Middlesbrough 0 Hull City 2 Saturday
Newcastle United 1 Cardiff City 2 Saturday
Norwich City 1 Fulham 1 Saturday
Rochdale 2 Leeds United 0 Saturday
Southampton 4 Burnley 5 Saturday
Southend United 3 Millwall 1 Saturday
Stoke City 2 Leicester City 1 Saturday
West Bromwich Albion 0 Crystal Palace 2 Saturday
Wigan Athletic 3 MK Dons 3 Saturday
Yeovil Town 4 Leyton Orient 0 Saturday
Manchester United 1 Swansea City 2 Sunday
Liverpool 2 Oldham Athletic 0 Sunday
Derby County 1 Chelsea 2 Sunday
Sunderland 3 Carlisle United 1 Sunday
Port Vale 2 Plymouth Argyle 2 Sunday
Nottingham Forest 5 West Ham United 0 Sunday


Back to homepage