Match Review, Tottenham vs Arsenal.

Match: Saturday 7th February 2015.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

Result: Tottenham 2-1 Arsenal.

Tottenham goalscorers: Harry Kane 56’, Harry Kane 86’.

Arsenal goalscorer: Mesut Ozil 11’.

What a game, what a win, what a performance and what a player Harry Kane is. Everything we wanted to happen in this game did. It was our day and we now own, rightfully, the bragging rights in North London. We had a game plan and we stuck to it, we played with incredible energy, desire and every time we lost the ball, we recovered it as soon as was humanly possible. The side never panicked, never stressed; there was always an air of belief around the stadium and in the players that we could get the job done and we did exactly that, it was sensational. The win further boosts our confidence going into a very tough February period, with Liverpool coming up next, we go into that game bouncing and buzzing, and hopefully, the win propels us into having a wonderful season, because a North London Derby victory can change your fortune in an instant. We need to take this feeling and buoyancy into the rest of the season, and continue to be consistent and keep working our way up the Premier League table, and I hope, we can win a trophy as well. Mauricio Pochettino has been magnificent and his tactics in the big games have been marvellous; and now I hope on Tuesday we can do it again at Anfield. It’s all begun to click at Tottenham; the fans and the players have that connection again, and White Hart Lane is rocking – the way in which we are playing, with intent, with creativity and guile as well as aggression and desire, is exactly what the fans and the whole club has craved for a long while, and under Pochettino we are starting to see it all come together, and the future really is looking bright on this side of North London. I am certainly excited to see how we can further develop on what is a really good squad and bunch of young players.

Back to the game, in the first half, we started really well, Harry Kane going close, Christian Eriksen and Danny Rose were causing a mountain of problems on that left hand side and we were looking the much more likely side to break the deadlock. But, it wasn’t to be us that struck first, as Danny Welbeck showed great pace to breeze past Danny Rose, and then delivered a good ball for Olivier Giroud, who scuffed his shot and it unfortunately it fell to Mesut Ozil, who on 11 minutes stroked the ball into the top of the net, past Hugo Lloris. 1-0, but it was an injustice considering the way in which we were playing, and after their goal, we retook the momentum, and continued our dominance of possession and we did create chances, with Erik Lamela, Danny Rose, and Ryan Mason going fairly close, but unfortunately we couldn’t get back on level terms in that first half, but there was still so much belief in all the players, and they knew they could get the goals needed. After Arsenal got their goal, they did sit back, try and frustrate us, but it didn’t work, we kept coming and kept coming and were never stressed about when the goal would come, but you could see that we knew that it was coming. In the first half there was a definite feistiness about the game, with tackles coming in from every angle, and normally it was Ryan Mason who was doing the challenging for Tottenham! He was everywhere.

The second half was all about Harry Kane and Tottenham Hotspur, we dominated, made the game our own, and one of own, Harry Kane, was the man who made it happen for us, along with fellow Tottenham youth products Nabil Bentaleb and Ryan Mason in midfield who showed incredible tenacity and energy to push us onto victory. After going close with Erik Lamela, Harry Kane and Ryan Mason, with shots from outside the box, inside the box, free kicks, chances coming from corners as well; we were dominant. And, on 56 minutes, after Erik Lamela whipped in the corner, and it was Jan Vertonghen who got his head to it and guided it towards goal, with David Ospina parrying the ball into the path of Harry Kane, who composed himself before caressing the ball into the back of the net for 1-1, and then, our belief sky rockets, our performance level increases, and the noise level around White Hart Lane becomes deafening, and this North London Derby became electric. After Kane’s equaliser, we pushed so hard for that winning goal, and came close with Mousa Dembele who was brilliant throughout the game, hit a shot with his right foot and it was parried by Ospina and we were so unlucky not to get our second then and there, but, we still had many more opportunities to come, with Mason from long range straight at Ospina, Erik Lamela who skied the ball from close range and Christian Eriksen who had a chance from the free kick, but, it wasn’t going to be any of them to get the winner, but instead, our beautiful Harry Kane was destined for the winning goal, and in the 86th minute, he got it as Nabil Bentaleb lobbed a wonderful ball from deep into the box and Harry Kane rose highest and directed a peach of header past the despairing David Ospina and buried into the back of the net and White Hart Lane erupted in joy, and it looked clear that we were destined for victory in what was a brilliant performance and we had that finishing product from the magnificent Harry Kane, and he adds Arsenal to his list of clubs dismantled. Kane now has 22 goals in all competitions so far this season, and his 4th goal in 2 games. Excellent. At the end of the game, you could see what it meant to every Tottenham player and every fan. Fantastic feeling. Tottenham+Hotspur+v+Arsenal+Premier+League+TjKPRt3HeT5x There were so many fantastic displays all over the pitch for Tottenham, but there is no disputing who has to have the Man of the Match award – Harry Kane was sensational, the way he took his goals was brilliant, but the way he ran with the ball with intent, found spaces on the left, right and centre of the pitch, and used his energy and strength so well to disrupt the Arsenal defence. It was a complete display, and the only thing that was missing was the match ball, but he deserves every award that could come his way, as he was astonishing. He has shown time and time again that whoever the opposition is, he will score goals and cause problems for the opposition, and his never give up attitude is one that brings confidence to the players around him, he inspires the team with his work ethic and there is no doubting that the fans get motivated when he picks up the ball anywhere on the pitch, and the decibel level raises. He can only get better, and at 21 it really is flabbergasting how much more he can do within his career, as he isn’t the finished article, but there’s no doubt he is on the way to being just that. He in my view is producing World Class displays, week in, week out at this moment in time. Along with Harry Kane, the midfield duo of Nabil Bentaleb and Ryan Mason were outstanding, and dictated the pace of the game in the centre, spraying passes across the turf, long, short, forwards, sideways, back – everything a central midfielder should do. As well as they’re great work on the ball, they’re work off of it was just as impressive, if not more impressive. They held their positions really well, made crunching tackles, interceptions and showed incredible energy and desire to win, that no doubt pushed us to victory, with Nabil Bentaleb producing the quality assist for Harry Kane’s winning goal. At left back, Danny Rose was also brilliant, especially in the first half where Hector Bellerin was out of his depth against an in form Rose, running at him with pace and purpose, and getting crosses into the box, but unfortunately he wasn’t as accurate with his crosses as we would like, but he still showed great intent and in defence, he made great tackles and kept Danny Welbeck quiet, except unfortunately for their goal! But, he has come on leaps and bounds so far this season and it’s great to see. Young Eric Dier has been given the opportunity at centre back recently, and has risen to the occasion majestically today, being calm and composed with and without the ball, keeping Olivier Giroud at bay throughout the game and he passed the ball really well out from the back, and he is creating a very fruitful partnership with Jan Vertonghen at centre back. The final mention goes to Mousa Dembele, who was majestic in the number 10 role; he is so difficult to get the ball off of, and he passed the ball with purpose, and spread the play really well. He has hit form once again and he could become a massive player this season, as when on form he is such a different and intriguing player to watch.

What a win! It’s always a pleasure to win a North London Derby, but having a home grown talent dispatch the club from Woolwich is something special, and it puts us ahead of Arsenal in the table, which makes it further sweet for everyone at White Hart Lane. We were superb, and now hopefully we can further improve and take this confidence into our next fixtures this season, starting with Liverpool on Tuesday 10th February at Anfield. He’s one of our own and he’s the King of North London. Follow @AddictedToSpurs for everything Tottenham! Up the Spurs! COYS!!

My player ratings from the side that beat Arsenal at the Lane:
Lloris – 9
Walker – 8.5
Dier – 9
Vertonghen – 8.5
Rose – 9 (Chadli 75’ – 6.5)
Mason – 9 (Paulinho 90’ – N/A)
Bentaleb – 9
Dembele – 8.5
Lamela – 7.5 (Stambouli 89’ – N/A)
Eriksen – 8
Kane – 9.5 – Man of the Match.

Mauricio Pochettino reaction:

Ryan Mason and Harry Kane reaction:

Match Preview, Tottenham vs Arsenal.

Match date & time: Saturday 7th February 2015. 12:45pm GMT KO.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

TV: Live on BT Sport 1. Worldwide TV listings can be seen HERE.

It’s the North London Derby! The match that both Arsenal fans and Tottenham fans look out for first when the season’s fixtures are released to the World; and I certainly can’t wait for the contest to begin. Both sides that are in good form, with no obvious winner, with players in incredible form too, doing brilliant things, and it really is going to be a phenomenal competition between two really good sides with high confidence. Goals are always expected – drama and aggression a certainty, with a pinch of guile and creativity. There have been so many fantastic North London Derbies, and I think there is a big chance that we get another high scoring, but extremely competitive match with the sides having such high confidence, I don’t think either side has even contemplate that they could lose and so it is a very intriguing match. Despite the bragging rights being on the line, this is also a really massive came because of the context of the Premier League table, Tottenham sitting 6th and Arsenal lying 5th, with just 2 points between the sides, so a win could do a lot not only for confidence, but for our position in the League, as we could go 4th depending on Southampton’s result. I am always excited for these derby games, against the ‘big’ sides where the foundations of White Hart Lane are rocked and you can feel the tension and nerves lying on palms; it’s time to do the business, Tottenham!

Arsenal have had an very inconsistent season so far, but sit 5th in the table after hitting a real good run of form in the last five matches, winning all five, scoring 15 goals in these 5 games and conceding only 2, in 1 game against Brighton in the FA Cup. So, they come into the derby in good form, hitting a run of consistency and playing with confidence, but in the North London Derby, whatever your prior results are can’t be an indication of what will happen in the match, as simply anything can happen, from red cards, injuries, stunning strikes and so many other anomalies within the game, that can stray so far from the norm. Arsenal’s last clash was against Aston Villa at the Emirates, a 5-0 win, and they come into the game assured of their quality and ready to compete, and will try to take solace from their last visit to White Hart Lane, where they grinded out a 1-0 win after an early Thomas Rosicky strike, despite pressure from a Tim Sherwood guided Tottenham, but a lot has changed since then, and in our trip to the Emirates earlier this season, we put on a really good show, we were great on the counter attack and very solid at the back and managed a 1-1 draw; Nacer Chadli getting our goal before Oxlade-Chamberlain got the equaliser. Now, we’ll be looking to go one step further and turn a draw into three points, but I am sure Arsenal will be trying everything to do exactly the same. Hopefully, we get a game that lives up to the build-up and hype around the fixture. A classic, but one that turns out as a Spurs win!

The team news for Arsenal is that star man Alexis Sanchez (hamstring) is a major injury doubt, while goal scorer last time out Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (groin), captain Mikel Arteta (foot), right back Mathieu Debuchy (shoulder), midfielder Jack Wilshere (ankle) and injury connoisseur Abou Diaby (calf) are all ruled out of the match, while Danny Welbeck (hip) is expected to return to the squad after his injury. Despite the absentees that arsenal seem to always have, they still possess some real talents, and at the moment creative midfielder Santi Cazorla is in a rich vain of form, and has really contributed to his sides recent upturn in performances, he has 6 goals and 6 assists so far this Premier League season, and was vital in Arsenal’s 2-0 victory over the champions Manchester City, providing the spark that guided them to victory. And, with Sanchez ruled out, they will be relying on the Spaniard for inspiration in attack, along with record signing Mesut Ozil who has returned to the side and provided a great performance against Aston Villa and will be looking to build on his displays in the coming games, but hopefully he doesn’t continue to influence games in the way Arsenal fans would like! As well as their creative options; in midfield Francis Coquelin has added some steel, organisation and aggression to Arsenal’s team and they will look to utilise his qualities to attempt to control our own creativity, with Lamela, Eriksen and Chadli, as well as Ryan Mason in central midfield. The battle in midfield, I think, will determine the outcome of the match; the energy and tenacity of ours and the guile and creativity of theirs. It will be quite a match up.
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The team news for Tottenham is that Nabil Bentaleb is back in the frame after the African Cup of Nations with Algeria, and Mauricio Pochettino says that the 20 year old, energetic midfielder is ‘100%’ and ready for the game, and I would not be surprised to see the passionate youngster thrown straight back in along Ryan Mason, as both work very well together and know the importance of this sort of match, and I am sure they could run the midfield, even if it would be harsh to take Mousa Dembele out of the line up. With Nabil Bentaleb back from international duty, new signing DeAndre Yedlin is still with the USMNT, and not available for the match.

There are so many key battles, including Theo Walcott vs Danny Rose, Olivier Giroud vs Jan Vertonghen, Harry Kane vs Laurent Koscielny and Francis Coquelin vs Nabil Bentaleb. All of these small battles within the match are so interesting, and so close, these individual clashes will determine the final outcome; whether it’s Harry Kane bossing Laurent Koscielny or Giroud getting the better if Vertonghen; these things are so important. In my view, the player that makes us tick is Christian Eriksen, he’s the one that finds the space in midfield, spreads the play, and when he plays well, the team revolve around him; if he can step it up and get to top form, we’ll be in very good shape if we’re able to contain the threat from Arsenal – I am sure we will be able to find the space to hurt this Arsenal team, with Eriksen finding the gaps. Plus, if we can get a free kick in the final third of the pitch, I’d definitely bet on him converting! Harry Kane has been a revelation so far this season, and as he’s a Spurs fan, he knows exactly what this fixture means to the fans, to the club and everyone around the club and now it’s his chance to affect the game himself and score the goals to win the game, it would complete the fairy-tale, of the youth product coming up through the ranks, becoming a key player, and then destroying our bitter rivals. It’s perfect, no? Hopefully our dreams can come true. His performance at West Brom was excellent, and his display against Chelsea was electric, now, he has the chance to make his impact on the North London Derby, and in the form he’s in, with his confidence so high, I have no doubt that he will. He’s a machine. In midfield, Mousa Dembele has had a good couple of games, but in this game, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Nabil Bentaleb partner another Spurs fan in Ryan Mason, and in this game, you need the players to understand what it means, to have that fight in their belly, to go into the tackle without fear, but with aggression and desire – and Bentaleb and Mason have that sort of attitude and can make this derby feisty and exciting, as it should always be. On the wing, Nacer Chadli has been brilliant, and in the last North London Derby, he was excellent, and got the goal for Tottenham and cemented himself as a cult hero for Tottenham when he shushed the Arsenal fans at the Emirates and sent the Spurs fans into delirium; hopefully he can do the same at White Hart Lane, he’s certainly got the appetite for it!

Match stats provided by Opta:

– Spurs have lost just one of their last six Premier League home games against North London rivals Arsenal (W3 D2 L1).

– Theo Walcott has scored four and assisted three goals in his last six Barclays Premier League appearances against Tottenham.

– Emmanuel Adebayor has scored more goals in North London derbies than any other player (10 – eight for Arsenal, two for Spurs). Adebayor is one of only two players to score for both sides in a North London derby along with Jimmy Robertson.

– Spurs and Arsenal have drawn 18 times in the Premier League, making it the most drawn fixture in the history of the competition.

– Tottenham have kept just one clean sheet in their last 32 Premier League matches against the Gunners.

– Arsenal have not managed back to back away wins in the Premier League this season and have only managed it once since January 2014.

– Tottenham have conceded the most penalties in the Premier League (6) while Arsenal have won the most (6).

– Olivier Giroud has scored five goals in his last six Premier League appearances.

– David Ospina has as many clean sheets in the Premier League this season as Wojciech Szczesny (3).

– Spurs are unbeaten in their last six Premier League home matches (W4 D2).

There’s no bigger home Premier League fixture than Arsenal. All fans can put to bed their differences on opinion and unite in their desire to beat Arsenal. It’s a magical fixture, and one in which the best players shine, and crave success. Hopefully, this Saturday can be one of success for Tottenham Hotspur, because the fans are craving this result with all their hearts. I certainly am. The game is live on BT Sport 1, and I will be giving live updates with goals, photos, videos and more; follow me on twitter for it all: @AddictedToSpurs. Let’s get three points!! COYS!!

My predicted/preferred side to face Arsenal at White Hart Lane:
Walker – Fazio – Vertonghen – Rose
Mason – Bentaleb
Lamela – Eriksen – Chadli

Mauricio Pochettino’s pre Arsenal press conference:

Match Review, Arsenal vs Tottenham.

Match: Saturday 27th September 2014.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: Emirates Stadium.

Result: Arsenal 1-1 Tottenham.

Arsenal GoalScorer: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 74′.

Tottenham GoalScorer: Nacer Chadli 56′.

A good, well fought point at the Emirates in the North London Derby. The game was played with desire & fight, and that’s exactly what we wanted from the team. Pochettino set the team out perfectly for this match, we were compact defensively and fast on the counter attack, but lacked that clinical edge in the final third. It wasn’t clicking, but we were looking threatening and we were causing Arsenal problems; something that is difficult to do, especially away from home. We can be proud of a good point and even better performance. It gives us more confidence in big games that we can go to difficult places and get results, stick games out, hang in there, use our grit; something we have lacked in recent times. It’s important we take this result forward and improve even further. We are a good side and under Pochettino we can develop and have a good season; I truly believe that.

In the first half, it took us a while to acclimatise to the situation, but we were still keeping Arsenal out, while trying to find our own passing rhythm. Arsenal were a little sluggish, and so were we. It was scrappy football, but passionate with a lot of tackles, interceptions and blocks being made. Defensively we were superb, composed and full of fight which is extremely pleasing as it’s been one of our main downfalls this season. We had chances in the first half, that’s for sure. On the counter attack we looked able to cut through Arsenal’s defence. Nacer Chadli and Emmanuel Adebayor having chances that really should have been goals, but as I say, we weren’t clinical in taking our chances. Arsenal had opportunities too, but they were long range efforts without really looking terribly threatening. To go in 0-0 at the break was good, we did well.

The second half was much more open, entertaining and exciting. Both teams were attacking with much more intent, and the game was being stretched with the pace of the attacks. Then, a mistake in the Arsenal ranks led to Christian Eriksen intercepting the ball, offloading it to Erik Lamela who composed himself and threaded a ball through to Nacer Chadli who picked his spot past Sczezney. 1-0, 56 minutes. An amazing moment, with the away section going mental. After the goal, it was all about holding on and getting the result. After a goal, it is subconscious to sit back and that’s what happened, Arsenal pushed and we continued to get pushed further and further back, and when that happens you need a hell of a lot of luck and grit to get through with 3 points. The goal came a little early in the end. Score at 70 or 80 minutes and I think we come out victorious but that’s not in our control, and the goal sparked Arsenal into life and the introduction of Alexis Sanchez gave them more pace and directness, making it difficult for us. Unfortunately, on 74 minutes, the ball squirmed it’s way into the box, Danny Welbeck air-shotting and then Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain behind him to power the ball into the top of the net, maybe too easily. We ended up with a point, working very hard and making sure we saw out at least a point, despite intense Arsenal pressure. I’m pleased with the players, the performance and content with a point.

There were a lot of stellar performances out on the field in this match. Non more so than captain Younes Kaboul. His performance was of a typical Tottenham captain; he led by example, giving everything, led with his mouth, ordering and organising, and played magnificently, saving the team on numerous occasions. I can’t express enough how happy I am to see him performing like Younes Kaboul again, the one we all know and love, pre-injury. If he can continue to perform like that, he can be a legendary captain of Tottenham Hotspur. Another incredible performance was from Hugo Lloris; he is a true leader in the team and shows every game that he is worth at least 15 points a season to Tottenham Hotspur, with his incredible agility, quick thinking and control of his box. Without a doubt the best Tottenham goalkeeper in recent history, and one of the best ever. The defence was just brilliant, every single one of them. Jan Vertonghen returned to the Premier League defence and added such composure, quality and fantastic communication with the rest of his defenders. He is in my opinion, very close to being World Class and he backed me up today. Danny Rose has improved incredible amounts this season, and he reached a level I didn’t think he was capable of in his defensive game – he made tackles, blocks, interceptions and everything in-between, a complete left back performance in my view, the addition of Ben Davies has pushed him into new realms of quality I’m sure a lot of people didn’t think he was capable of. Kyle Naughton and substitute Eric Dier were also brilliant, giving everything in such an important game.

A good point! A performance we can be proud of. There is still room for improvement, especially upfront, being more clinical. Let’s use this good point as a springboard to future success now. Starting with Besiktas in the Europa League on Thursday at White Hart Lane, a difficult, intense game on the horizon. Then, in the Premier League, on Sunday we face Pochettino’s old side Southampton at the Lane. Looking forward to it! COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Arsenal:
Lloris – 9
Naughton – 8
Kaboul – 9 – Man of the match.
Vertonghen – 8
Rose – 8
Capoue – 8
Mason – 8
Lamela – 6
Eriksen – 6.5
Chadli – 7
Adebayor – 5.5.

Dier – 7.5
Lennon – 6
Bentaleb – 6.5.

Mauricio Pochettino’s post match press conference:

Ryan Mason Arsenal reaction:

Match Preview, Arsenal vs Tottenham.

Match date & time: Saturday 27th September 2014. 5:30pm GMT KO.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: Emirates Stadium.

TV: Live on Sky Sports 1. World wide TV listings HERE.

Here it is, the North London Derby. The most intense and nerve wracking game of the season, where expectation, blind hope, support & anxiousness all merge into one. A game with incredible history, which never fails to excite the neutrals and make the fans go grey with stress. Apart from bragging rights for the fans, this game brings a massive opportunity for Tottenham, not only to return to winning ways in the Premier League, but sparking our season into life, bringing confidence to the squad and Mauricio Pochettino instant heroism with the Tottenham fans. This game always brings an opportunity to unite the club as one, no matter what is happening around the club at the time. We all know how tough this game will be, Arsenal are an incredibly talented outfit who are very difficult to beat, especially at the Emirates, but, the players have to be confident in their ability, play their own game and play with aggression, passion & grit, if all that happens, I’m confident we’ll bring home the 3 points. We’ve got to support, and hope that the players and Mauricio Pochettino perform, and bring home the three points that can go into history.

Arsenal have a good team – they are without a doubt one of the best teams in the Premier League, and will challenge at the top of the table, as they always do. Their start to the season hasn’t been perfect, far from it, they have a record of 9 games, 3 wins, 4 draws and 2 losses. They haven’t found their rhythm as of yet, and have shown that they are definitely beatable, with defence seemingly their biggest downfall, conceding 10 goals in those 9 games. This is a North London Derby, though, and Arsenal will try their best to bring their A game for this match, as they so often do, so we need to call & then raise their hand. Last time out for Arsenal, they were beaten by Southampton at the Emirates 2-1 in the Capital One Cup. Arsenal were frustrated, and Southampton got their tactics spot on. If we can defend well, and be clinical in front of goal, we can get something at least from this game. In the Premier League, they beat Aston Villa comfortably 3-0 at Villa Park, where they were much more clinical and impressive. It’s going to be very tough for us.

The Team news for Arsenal is that Yaya Sanogo (hamstring), Nacho Monreal (back), Mathieu Debuchy (ankle), Olivier Giroud (ankle), Theo Walcott (knee) and Serge Gnabry (knee) are out of the game, while Mathieu Flamini (dead leg) is a doubt, but expected to return to the squad. There are quite a few important players in that injury list for Arsenal, but they will still put out a strong side, that’s for sure. Danny Welbeck looks to be the man to start up front, with Alexis Sanchez on the wing. They have a lot of attacking threats, especially from midfield. It looks as though Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil, Jack Wilshere & Alexis Sanchez will line up as a the attacking midfielders, with Mikel Arteta holding, which is a very threatening midfield with a lot of quick, talented players that can cause us problems along with Danny Welbeck making runs ahead of them. Our defence will have to be on top form. In defence for Arsenal, they have had some problems, but Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny are 99% sure to be their centre back duo, with Keiran Gibbs on the left and former player of Mauricio Pochettino Calum Chambers on the right, which is very strong and they will have a good understanding of each other.

The team news for Tottenham is that we have a fully fit squad to face Arsenal, with the exception of Kyle Walker (abdominal) who remains out after surgery. Great news! It’s a rarity to have a fully fit squad, and hopefully it can give us the opportunity to go to the Emirates and get a positive result. After being rested for the Capital One Cup game against Nottingham Forest, Hugo Lloris, Emmanuel Adebayor, Younes Kaboul, Nacer Chadli, Etienne Capoue, Danny Rose and Mousa Dembele will all return to the squad, hopefully fresh and raring to go against the Gunners.

As a team, we haven’t hit full throttle. And that’s down to a lot of factors; the team not fully knowing Mauricio Pochettino’s style completely, players still adapting to the Premier League and the players all finding out each other’s games and style. But, it is also down to key players not hitting the ground running, no more so than Christian Eriksen, who was instrumental to any glimmer of success last term, but has yet to find his old form, and improve on that. As a team is difficult, because as the old saying goes, when he plays, we play. Hopefully, on the big stage against Arsenal, Christian can find his top form and be our main man once again. In the centre of midfield, debates are rife throughout the fan-base, all we know is that Etienne Capoue is, more or less, a key player in that central area, but it is who partners him which causes confusion. Mousa Dembele, Paulinho, Nabil Bentaleb and Benjamin Stambouli are fighting it out for that role, and at the moment it seems Mousa Dembele has caught the fancy of Pochettino alongside Capoue, closely followed by Nabil Bentaleb and Benjamin Stambouli, with Paulinho seemingly seen as back up for the number 10 role. In this game, I would partner Capoue with Dembele once again – I think Mousa is a fantastic player and on form is a terrific passer and controller of the game, he pips Bentaleb & Stambouli because of that, but also because he is more experienced in these situations, and more likely to keep his head! Upfront, the discussion is still whether Emmanuel Adebayor should continue up front, or should Roberto Soldado get his chance in the Premier League, with his link up play seemingly better than Adebayor’s. My view is that Adebayor continues for this game, against his former club. He’s sure to be very pumped up and I think he’s more likely of a goal than Soldado. It is a tough choice though for Pochettino. Finally, at right back, I’d play Kyle Naughton instead of Eric Dier after Kyle’s performance in midweek and I think he’s more suited to the right back role than Dier.

Match Stats & Facts provided by Opta:

– Arsenal have won four of their last five Barclays Premier League games against Tottenham (two 1-0 wins and two 5-2 wins).

– Tottenham have won just one of their last 21 Barclays Premier League games away at Arsenal.

– Arsenal last failed to score at home to Spurs in the Premier League in November 1998. Since then the Gunners have scored 38 times in 15 games.

– Tottenham have conceded six penalties in the Premier League in 2014, only Manchester United have conceded as many.

– Arsenal took 25 points from their 10 London derbies in the Premier League last season (W8 D1 L1) and defeated Crystal Palace on the opening weekend this season.

– Six of Tottenham’s seven league points this season have come in London derbies.

– If there are four goals in this game then it will become the outright highest scoring fixture in Premier League history (currently 126 goals).

– Seven points from five games is Tottenham’s slowest start since gaining just two under Juande Ramos in 2008-09.

– Arsenal (154) and Tottenham (125) are first and third respectively for dribbles attempted this season.

– Emmanuel Adebayor has scored more goals than any other player in north London derby history (8 for Arsenal and 2 for Spurs).

There’s no bigger game in the Premier League for Tottenham than facing Arsenal. A game with rich history, fierce rivalry & exciting games all in one. This match is important for our season, not only for the three points but to show we can match the top teams and compete at the top this season. It’s going to be very difficult to get three points, but all I ask from the players is that we the fans don’t come out embarrassed and ashamed; that would be nice. Three points is always the main goal though. The game is televised live on Sky Sports 1, but I’ll be giving match updates, videos, pictures and much more from my Twitter account. Follow me here: @AddictedToSpurs. Nerves are here already! Let’s get three points! COYS!!

My predicted/preferred team to face Arsenal at the Emirates:
Naughton – Kaboul – Vertonghen – Rose
Capoue – Dembele
Lamela – Eriksen – Chadli

Mauricio Pochettino previews the trip to Arsenal:

Match Preview, Tottenham vs Arsenal.

Match date & time: Sunday 16th March 2014. Kick off 4pm.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

TV: Live on Sky Sports 1.

The North London derby; it doesn’t come much bigger throughout the footballing world. The intense rivalry between the two clubs runs through the veins of it’s fans and everyone connected with the club. ‘Hate Arsenal’, it almost comes as one of the requirements of being a Spurs fan, and so every game is a passionate, fiery and exciting spectacle, and this Sunday won’t be any different. I’ve seen people say that we have ‘nothing to play for’ in the rest of this season, but we certainly do, especially in this game, we have pride to play for. The North London Derby is never irrelevant and will never be irrelevant, it means everything to the fans and the club; it’s special. We need this win, the whole club is desperate for it after what has been a difficult season, 3 points would be priceless.

A performance with passion, desire and fight is needed. If you can’t get up for a North London Derby you won’t get up for anything. I still strongly believe in the quality of the players we have, but the players themselves need to step up and be counted, and if there is any time to do it, it’s against Arsenal at White Hart Lane. Players seem to be waiting for someone to grab hold of the game and do something special instead of taking the game by the scruff of the neck themselves, and forcing a change of fortune. The only player who is, is Christian Eriksen, but he can’t do it on his own, he needs help. We have not lost against Arsenal at White Hart Lane in 5 Premier League fixtures, which gives us hope for sure, with the atmosphere pounding and the desperate need for a win we have a real chance to get three points; let’s hope the players can replicate the sort of performance that was given last season and find three points.

We all know what Arsenal possess; fast, attractive football with the tendency to over play it in the final third, but the capability to split defences and score incredible team goals. Possession football. They can be bullied, hurried and outfought. They are anything but unbeatable. After Saturday’s fixtures only 1 place and 6 points separates 4th place Arsenal and 5th place Spurs, although Arsenal have a game in hand. They have slipped in their February and March fixtures, and now a title push looks beyond them after an extremely promising start. The team news for Arsenal is that Jack Wilshere (ankle), Mesut Ozil (hamstring), Nicklas Bendtner (knee), Theo Walcott (karma), Aaron Ramsey (thigh) and Abou Diaby (everything) are out of the North London Derby, with Tomas Rosicky (groin), Yaya Sanogo (ankle) and Kieran Gibbs (ankle) all facing late tests on their fitness and so are labelled as doubts. Nacho Monreal and Kim Kallstrom are set to be available to Arsenal’s squad. The threats for Arsenal come in the shape of Lukas Podolski up front, who has been in great form for the Gunners since returning to the side alongside Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who has impressed in recent weeks, especially against Bayern Munich at the Alianz Arena.

The team news for Tottenham is that Erik Lamela (thigh/back), Vlad Chiriches (back), Etienne Capoue (ankle) and Michael Dawson (hamstring) are out of the NLD, with Mousa Dembele (calf), Emmanuel Adebayor (knee/ankle) and Kyle Walker (groin) listed as doubts for the game, but I’d say they will be likely to feature, especially Emmanuel Adebayor and Kyle Walker. Danny Rose is back after injury as well as Gylfi Sigurdsson who missed the Benfica game. The crucial player for Spurs at the moment is obvious; Christian Eriksen is the spark, he gives everyone hope that the future is bright and his performances recently have been top class, so we need him on top form this Sunday. I’d play Eriksen in the centre, behind Adebayor, if fit, if not, then behind Roberto Soldado, this gives him the license to be in the hole and not have to worry about tracking back on the left hand side, Christian is so much more effective in the whole with the ability to thread passes and make things happen. On the left, I’d give the job to Andros Townsend, a Spurs fan at heart and on the left he gives us width and pace, he knows what the North London Derby means to the fans and he shares a hate for Arsenal, so has the passion we need in a game like this. Defensively, the Younes Kaboul and Jan Vertonghen partnership should continue, with Danny Rose entering the left back slot and hopefully Kyle Walker retaining his spot on the right if he is fit enough, that gives us arguably our strongest back four available when everyone is fit. In the centre of midfield, I think Sandro and Paulinho will continue their partnership, but if Mousa Dembele can be fit enough, he has to slot in for Paulinho who hasn’t been in good form at all recently.

Match facts and stats provided by FourFourTwo

– Tottenham have kept four clean sheets in their last five Barclays Premier League home games but shipped five against Man City in the other match.

– Arsenal have kept only one clean sheet in their last seven Barclays Premier League away games and have won none of the last three (D1 L2).

– Spurs have had loss/loss results in their last five home defeats against top-six teams.

– Only Liverpool v Newcastle (126) has seen more goals than Arsenal v Tottenham (125) in Premier League history.

– Emmanuel Adebayor has scored more goals than any other player in North London derby history (10 – eight for Arsenal and two for Spurs).

– Spurs have had more goals in the second half in their last five matches against top-six teams.

– Arsenal have won none of the last five Premier League north London derbies at White Hart Lane (W0 D2 L3) with all three defeats by a 1-2 scoreline.

– Per Mertesacker has scored in two of his last three Premier League games against Spurs.

– Arsenal have had both teams scoring in their last six away matches against top-six teams.

– Olivier Giroud has scored the opening goal in seven different Premier League matches this season; more often than any other player.

– Tottenham have kept just one clean sheet in their last 30 Premier League north London derbies (Feb 2009).

– Spurs have had 2-1 scorelines in their last four home wins against Arsenal.

– Tottenham are seeking their 50th league win over the Gunners. Arsenal have won 63 and there have been 41 draws.

– Tottenham have made 13 errors leading to goal in the Premier League this season, three more than any other side. Three of them came last weekend against Chelsea.

There is nothing bigger for a Tottenham fan in a Premier League season than the North London Derby at home. It’s time to put our recent form and problems aside and all strive together in one direction to beat Arsenal! Let’s make White Hart Lane rock! I’ll be in attendance at the Lane, and will update as much as possible. Let’s get three points!! COYS!!

My preferred/predicted team to face Arsenal at the Lane:
Walker – Kaboul – Vertonghen – Rose
Paulinho – Sandro
Lennon – Eriksen – Townsend

Tim Sherwood speaks about the Arsenal game on Sunday:

Match Review, Arsenal vs Tottenham.

Match: Saturday 4th January 2014.

Venue: Emirates Stadium.

Competition: FA Cup Third Round.

Result: Arsenal 2-0 Tottenham.

Arsenal Goals: Cazorla 33′, Rosicky 62′.

A huge disappointment, it always is if you lose a North London Derby game. It always seems like it’s the end of the world but it’s not, we still have a chance to finish this season strongly. It would have been nice to have a cup run, but the draw wasn’t kind to us and neither were injuries. Not a lot to say, so I’ll give you the player ratings.

Player Ratings for the team that played Arsenal at The Emirates:

Lloris – 8 – He kept us in the game with some stunning saves, would have been even more embarrassing without him,
Walker – 7 – Very good going forward, caught out for the first goal but I thought he played well.
Dawson – 6 – Has played well in recent games and I can’t put any blame on him for today, he was good.
Chiriches – 6 – Needs to get rid more often! Otherwise, I thought both CBs were decent,
Rose – 4 – He’s better than what we saw from him, needs to up his game, I believe he has it in him.
Lennon – 5 – Predictable too often, some bursting runs but it certainly wasn’t his best game.
Bentaleb – 6 – For his full debut, he was good, although was thrown in at the deep end!
Dembele – 8 – Man of the Match. Our best player I thought, good performance but obviously not enough.
Eriksen – 7 – Decent performance, one of our better players.
Soldado – 7 – His link up play has been phenomenal, but his finishing absolutely dreadful. Needs to improve.
Adebayor – 4 – Not good today. Sloppy and didn’t look up for it. Maybe didn’t recover from his Man U injury.

Tim Sherwood’s full post match press conference after our 2-0 defeat to Arsenal:

Match Preview, Arsenal vs Tottenham.

Match date and time: Saturday 4th January 2014. Kick off 5:15pm GMT.

Venue: Emirates Stadium.

Competition: FA Cup Third Round

TV: Live on ITV 1.

Ah, the North London Derby. A game to savour for all football fans, it’s very rarely a boring game, and the way both teams are now playing it looks like the game will be full of offensive flair, good football and goals. Last time out against Arsenal, we lost 1-0 at the Emirates, in a game which was overshadowed by the departure of Gareth Bale the same day. That wasn’t a good day, but we weren’t at full strength and that was very early in the season, where our players had hardly played together since coming in, in the transfer window. Since that game, a lot has changed, we have a new manager and we are now playing some really good football. But as the old saying goes, League form goes out the window in the Cup. It’s all about who performs on the day, and we have to make sure that it’s us, and we go through. It’s going to be difficult, it’s never easy at the Emirates, but our away from has been brilliant and we’ve won 4 on the trot away from home, so it gives us confidence, especially as our last game was against Manchester United, which we won. I’m looking forward to this. I feel confident, which I didn’t feel when it was announced. With our current form, why can’t we beat them?

Arsenal have obviously had a stunning first half of the season, they are top of the Premier League, much to our annoyance, but you have to give them credit, they’ve deserved it. But it’s not something that matters, they’ve found it more tough in recent weeks, only scraping past Newcastle at St James’ and manager-less Cardiff at the Emirates. I think it shows they are finding it more difficult, but it also shows their determination to get through difficult hard fought games. The team news for the Gunners is that Ozil (shoulder), Bendtner (ankle), Ramsey (thigh), Gibbs (calf), Sanogo (back), Diaby (knee) and Oxlade-Chamberlain (match-fitness) are all out, while Olivier Giroud is a doubt through sickness. You can see that Arsenal have quite a few out through in injury, but they still have quality players all over the park, Theo Walcott being one who is in great form, as well as Santi Cazorla who is a brilliant player.

The Team news for Spurs is that Naughton (hamstring), Lamela (hip), Sigurdsson (calf), Paulinho (ankle), Vertonghen (ankle) and Kaboul (quad) are all out, while Jermain Defoe, Lewis Holtby and Andros Townsend are in contention after injuries. Emmanuel Adebayor is confirmed as fit and Tim Sherwood says he will start against his former club, despite being stretchered off at Old Trafford on Wednesday. Tim Sherwood has promised a very strong line up for the game against Arsenal, saying he’d love to play the youngsters, but as it’s Arsenal he simply can’t because it means so much to the fans! So, we are expected to line up similar if not the same as we did at Old Trafford in our 1-2 win, and I’m not against that at all! We are in great form and so is Emmanuel Adebayor, he has been our outstanding player under Sherwood and it’s massive that he’s back for this game against Arsenal, I’m sure he’ll be full of confidence and raring to go against his former club, he’s loving football again and when Adebayor is loving it, he’s one of the best in the business. Having Lewis Holtby and Andros Townsend back are two big boosts as well, Andros has been missed, and I think playing him on the left with Lennon on the right is a definite option, as Eriksen although being brilliant in recent games on the left, doesn’t offer a lot of protection to Danny Rose, and he’s better in the middle. Holtby is a great squad player, news he wasn’t rated by Tim was disappointing to me as I believe he can become a really good player, at only 23, he’s already very talented. The 4-4-2 formation looks to continue against the Gunners.

There aren’t many bigger games in England than the North London Derby, if any. We all want to win this one, from the fans, players, manager, board, right up to the White Hart Lane Janitor. Bragging rights in North London, and make it another failure for Arsenal in the cups. You can follow all the action from my twitter account @AddictedToSpurs, where I’ll provide match updates, videos, pictures and all the news from the game. Let’s ‘ave it! COYS!!

My predicted team to face Arsenal at the Emirates:
Walker – Dawson – Chiriches – Rose
Lennon – Capoue – Dembele – Eriksen
Adebayor – Soldado

Tim Sherwood’s full pre match press conference ahead of Arsenal in the Cup: