The North London Derby ended in a 1-1 draw at the Emirates with both sides going for the win from the first whistle. Defensive mishaps, poor refereeing and 90 minutes of tenacity played out to a football match that left fans wishing their respective North London side had capitalised on the opportunity. Kevin Wimmer scored an own goal in the first-half to give Arsenal the lead, while Harr yKane scored from the spot to level the game. In fairness, it was a fair result but still a frustrating game for Arsenal.
Here are the four things we learned:
1. Iwobi Lacking Big Game Mentality
The young winger has earned himself a regular starting place in the Arsenal side in recent times with his blistering form. However, during the derby, it was evident that the youngster was lacking the composure and confidence that he’s been showing so far this season.
Poor choices in passes and no real threat going forward resulted in a fairly underwhelming game for the young Nigerian., he did however, help out Monreal down the left, which probably resulted in his fatigue. Iwobi seems to be a bit burnt out, which is understandable for a young player playing his first full season for the first-team.
2. Özil becoming a leader?
Ever since the record signing made the switch to the Emirates fans have bemoaned his apparent lack of passion on the field. Yet today, during perhaps Arsenal’s most important game of the season in terms of status and bragging rights, the German came alive once again.
Özil masterminded the midfield distribution and urged his teammates forward, letting them know quite clearly when their quality of pass or shot was unsatisfactory and constantly looked to get involved. Picking up the assist for Arsenal’s goal, albeit an own goal at that, the playmaker displayed a fire that is inspiring to see. Unusually for him, he was also the first man to back up Walcott after an exchange of words between him and the winger. His passion is contagious and it was clear to see that the entire team felt fired up alongside their talisman.
3. Refereeing Inconsistency
Mark Clattenburg took charge of the North London Derby despite receiving some criticism in recent games and showed inconsistency throughout the game. The simple fact that Koscielny was booked for a clean tackle on Kane and that Wanyama escaped several similar challenges without receiving a booking was questionable to say the least. Yet Vertonghen was not even penalized for his push in the box, Spurs were awarded a debatable penalty and Dier only received a car for his reaction rather than his blatantly intentional foul on Sanchez. This was a very tightly contested derby and was not helped along at all by the poor refereeing.
4. November Woes
November is a very difficult month for Arsenal fans and the majority feel that history and habit will repeat themselves. This month is known to be our worst in terms of form, points, and wins – to be fair, the Gunners did begin the month with a scintillating comeback in Bulgaria to score three from 2-0 down.
The Emirates stadium was buzzing ahead of the clash as Arsenal continued their unbeaten run but failed to earn the bragging rights once more. So the question is whether or not this is just another November? It is too soon to tell, but at the moment it must be said that this is an Arsene Wenger side hungry and determined to rewrite their bad history. Although only a point was taken today, the will shown in both of the early games this month points to a change in fortunes. The Gunners will need to improve, but this is a positive start.
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