Looking Forward



Premier League

Saturday 6th April 2002

With Arsenal seemingly wrapping games up in the first half by scoring three goals, we will have to hope that they call a ceasefire at the interval on Saturday.

I must say, I only know this from newspapers and from what people tell me as I can't bring myself to watch them on a regular basis (it's why I have a Tottenham season ticket you know).

The only times I have seen them play this season was at White Hart Lane, when the match ended all square and on TV when they crashed at home to Deportivo La Coruna.  What a laugh that was.  We may not be as skillful as Depor, but there will be a desire to do well against our North London rivals (and South London etrangers).

Whether that will be enough is doubtful.  We have still not played well to win matches on our own merits recently, even though we are three matches unbeaten.  Boro was perhaps the best attacking performance, with Leeds the best defensive one.  With it likely to be a backs to the wall type of match, it might be the need for a Leeds style showing that could help Spurs out most.

There is no doubt that they are favourites for the title at the moment, with everyone else slipping all over the place, but a few points dropping out of the Gooner equation could let another side through.  

Charlie Whelan's suggestion in the Evening Standard that Tim Sherwood will be aware that Vieira is one booking away from a two match ban was one that was most cynical.  There are usually enough sparks coming off these two anyway, that such an intentional wind-up would surely be unnecessary.

All the blood and thunder of a Spurs-Arsenal game will be in evidence, but there will be some football played.  If Teddy suddenly discovers his touch and Spurs can conjure some passes from midfield they might be able to make a match of it, but the reality (even though it hurts) is that we are unlikely to come back down the Seven Sisters Road with very much at the end of the day. The best that can happen is that we don't get mullered.

PREDICTION : -  Arsenal  2  Tottenham 1

For more information on the opponents and their history, including full result history of matches between the two teams, click here.



Arsenal  2   Tottenham  1          (Half time score: 1-0)
Saturday 6th April 2002
Venue :  Highbury
Kick Off : 3.00 p.m.
Weather : -  Sunny and warm, but windy
Crowd : -   38,186
Referee : -   Mr. M. Halsey (Welwyn Garden City)

Scorers : -   Arsenal  -   Ljungberg 24, Lauren (pen) 86
                  Tottenham  -  Sheringham (pen) 81


Arsenal :  Bergkamp (foul) 19

Tottenham :   Poyet (foul) 14, Sheringham (foul) 26, Sherwood (foul) 37, Perry (foul) 70


Arsenal :  Seaman; Luzhny, Campbell, Adams, Lauren; Vieira, Ljungberg, Edu (Kanu 83), Bergkamp (Parlour 72); Henry, Wiltord (Dixon 87)
Unused Subs : -  Wright, Keown

Tottenham : Keller; Perry, Gardner, Richards, King (Davies 46); Poyet, Anderton , Sherwood, Ziege (Etherington 78); Sheringham, Iversen (Rebrov 53) 
Unused Subs : -  Hirschfeld, Thatcher


Arsenal  :  Red shirts, white shorts, white socks

Tottenham :  White shirts, navy blue shorts, navy blue socks

There are moments in a season when you believe in the old adage that things even themselves out over a season.  Then Tommy Docherty's quote about as one door opens another slams you in the face comes true !!

The penalty that put us level with ten minutes to go looked like a fortunate one and then when out of touch Teddy converted it, perhaps a point was on the cards.  However, I should have remembered who we were playing and that they are not known as "Lucky Arsenal" for nothing.  Another dodgy pen and another slotted away, this time with less pace than Lee Dixon.

As for the rest of the game, there is little to talk about as far as Spurs were concerned.  One weak effort from Poyet and Teddy's shot that roared over the bar, when he was given offside and that's about it.  Seaman must have wondered if he had turned up a day too early.

The first half consisted of Tottenham conceding possession and space to the home side, while failing spectacularly to get out of their own half.  Thankfully, they did a little better in the second.  One corner is the only indicator of the attacking threat we posed !!

At least in the second we did pass the bal a bit better and without causing any problems in their box, we managed to push the game a bit higher up the pitch.  In the first period, we had frustrated them by closing them down and getting in the way, but they had chances to score, which they didn't take.  That was until Keller made a good save from Pink and then the ball came back through to him and he beat Kasey this time.  Bit of a soft goal to give away, but that sort of slackness of thought has caught us a few times this season already.  Keller did well to deny Bergkamp's curler and then there was some stout defending to prevent any more opportunities.

The second half contained a farcical piece of action, where the ball was played to Chris Perry, who went to clear, but his standing foot touched the ball first and his striking foot took an air shot at the ball.  Perry ended up on his backside.  Unfortunately, it wasn't that funny, as Ljungberg got the ball presented to him and he went for a shot into the far corner rather than the ball across the face to Henry coming in at the back stick.  Another one that got away.

The match turned on the two refereeing decisions in the box.  Both perverse and both wrong, but they didn't affect the final result in the end.  The result was a decent one considering what could have happened.  As for the team, Keller did well and Gardner was the pick of the bunch with his cool defending and poise on the ball.  If only he had a few more options about who to pass to, he could look even better.  Sherwood did OK playing in front of the back four again, while Davies livened things up (as he usually does) when he came on.  

So, the performance was suitable to come out of it without too much shame, but I would have liked to see us go at them and see how they coped.  At the moment, we just haven't got the players to do that.


Ted Maul




So another pointless journey down the Seven Sisters Road, just when it looked like we might take one from the encounter.

And for that we have to thank Mr. Halsey, the referee, who gave two penalties in the last ten minutes to turn the game into on with an exciting finish, when it looked like petering out into a 1-0 to Arsenal.  In truth, Poyet's clash with Seaman looked nothing more than that.  The ball was running out of play and it must have been some sort of angle that the officials were at to give a penalty.  Sheringham slammed it in despite Spunky guessing the right way.  Then when it looked like Spurs might steal a draw, a ball into the box saw Henry go down under challenge from Richards and the spot was pointed to again.  It looked a clumsy tackle, but if it was that bad, it surely must have prevented a goal-scoring opportunity and therefore, should have resulted in a red card for Deano.  He stayed on, after going off for treatment and unfortunately for Spurs, so did Henry, who had missed the last two penalties for his side.  If he had stayed on, he might have missed this one too !!  Lauren didn't though and now there is little to stop the Championship heading to Highbury. 

The game started off with Richards giving the ball away and it was a theme that carried on throughout the 90 minutes.  Arsenal could have scored a few before they got the first.  Ljungberg and Henry had gone close before Ljungberg's run went unnoticed by Spurs defenders and he slipped the ball into the net via Keller's body.  The Yank was unlucky to concede, as he had closed the pink haired one down quickly, but the luck went with the home side.

Spurs did have their chances, with Sheringham firing over the bar from close in, but he a free-kick was given for offside or handball or because he was a Spurs player or something.  Apart from that there was only the dubious decision, when Ziege's corner was clutched under the crossbar by Seaman, with some query about whether he then stepped back over his own line with the ball.  The ref hurriedly waved play on, so it probably did cross the line.

Apart from this, it was pretty much a run of the mill derby, as you would expect.  Spurs players getting booked for their first tackles, while Lauren is allowed to slice Gardner in half without so much as a talking to.  It looked as though the Spurs players had targeted Vieira for special treatment, with him being one booking away from a suspension, but there was not a decent enough incident to allow the ref no option other than to book him.  

Sheringham and Sherwood came closest to getting sent off.  Tim for protesting against the late penalty against us, while Teddy's was much better - belting his boot into their number 23's face as he stooped to head the ball.  How they got a free-kick for that one I will never understand.

Even the early afternoon's news that Leicester got relegated could not help improve the mood and the match only showed how far Tottenham have to catch up.  But it won't be easy, as we are not going to get into Europe again this season, so will slip even further behind in monetary terms.  As for the gap on the field, we are still at least five years behind them and the need to qualify for European competition is ever more pressing to ensure that the rebuilding can carry on apace.  With some commitment from ENIC, then it might not be that far away.

Kirk Hammarton

Back to homepage