The eagerly awaited north London Derby finally arrived but it was not the classic match full of goals we all expected.
Previously, matches between these two sides were five, six, seven goal thrillers but not this time.
Arsene Wenger's Arsenal beat their arch rivals just 1-0. The score line makes it seem boring but it was anything but that. An early attack from Arsenal saw Olivier Giroud put the Gunners in front, keeping up his record of a goal a game this season in the Premier League.
The game was full of tackles, shots, passes; the typical ferociousness needed in a game like this. Arsenal were strong in every position including the defence where Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker look to have found their top form. As too did goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny. The Polish international made save after save in the dying embers of the game and it was a well earned clean sheet for Arsenal.
Despite conceding a goal to fellow Frenchman Giroud, Hugo Lloris kept Tottenham alive. To be honest the game should have been three or four goals to nil to Arsenal but Lloris performed very well. As for an experienced Tottenham defence, on the whole they were poor and could not keep up with the pace of Theo Walcott and the strong presence of Olivier Giroud, which lead to them conceding early on.
This match saw how both manager's tactics in the transfer market played out. On one hand we saw Tottenham being very busy in replacing Gareth Bale with players totalling around £110million. On the other hand, Arsene Wenger's Arsenal hadn't spent a single penny before this match - their only signings being French Under 21 striker Yaya Sanogo and a return for Mathieu Flamini both on free transfers.
The difference in money spent had a lot of people thinking Tottenham would wipe the floor and clinch a win at the Emirates however, Arsene Wenger believed in his squad from last season and won the game. Flamini made his return and made a positive impact on the game.
Arsenal have been lacking a defensive midfielder and replacing an ill Jack Wilshere saw Flamini sit in front of the defence which was really effective for Arsenal. He looked very lively and showed that age and price do not matter. The Arsenal saying, 'You can't buy class' really showed that this was true in the game against Spurs. £110million spent and Arsenal still earned the three points which early on puts them into a familiar top four spot above Spurs who are now sixth going into the international break.
However, now the three points are Arsenal's and they are in a good position at the start of the season, Arsene Wenger cannot be hesitant with the 24 hours that remain in the transfer window. He cannot come out after the game, even though it was a strong performance, with the attitude that he does not need to buy anyone as the squad is good enough.
As good as it may be, Arsenal have seen Mikel Arteta, Lukas Podolski, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Thomas Vermaelen suffer long term injuries through pre season and the start of the Premier League season. Also, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott all keep taking knocks in the games they play. It only takes one foul for one of these key players to be gone for a while which would surely have a massive impact on their season ahead and their big ambitions.
With just the one day remaining, Arsenal still need to strengthen every position.
An experienced goalkeeper would benefit them a lot. Just look at Hugo Lloris' performance. Szczęsny has had a shaky start and hasn't been too reliable over the past three seasons in the number one spot. It is rumoured Arsenal have placed a bid in for Emiliano Viviano who currently plays for Palermo in the Serie A but spent last season on loan at Fiorentina. The Italian International is experienced at the age of 27 and is expected to replace Gianluigi Buffon as Italy's number one after the World Cup.
A centre back is still needed as a potential replacement if either Koscielny or Mertesacker get injured. Likely candidates are Ashley Williams and Mats Hummels. Williams would be the cheaper option and has Premier League experience under his belt however Dortmund's Mats Hummels has plenty of Champions League experience making it to the final last season, which is what Arsenal aim to do.
Both centre backs are strong and have the leadership trait, which Flamini brought with him in yesterday's game. A move for Hummels would see a German partnership at the back if Per Mertesacker was to play over Laurent Koscielny.
Mathieu Flamini showed that Arsenal were better off with a man in the midfield looking after the defence. Someone strong, not afraid to make a challenge and someone with a very big mouth. Flamini sat right in front of the defence which allowed them to seal the ball out every time.
Finally, Arsenal fans have been crying out for a striker. Olivier Giroud has been putting in some strong performances with a goal a game this season in the Premier League including one in the north London Derby.
But what if Giroud gets injured.
Lukas Podolski was injured early in the second half of the Champions League qualifier causing him to be out for a staggering 10 weeks this early on in the season. If Giroud gets an injury Arsenal do not have a out-right striker.
Theo Walcott would have the responsibility but then the issue is who moves out to the right that has enough pace to fulfil that position.
With Oxlade-Chamberlain injured as well, Arsenal could struggle if Arsene Wenger is hesitant in these last hours of the transfer window. Robert Lewandowski has been spoken of after the failed move for Luis Suarez. He proved last season he is one of the best strikers out there and a move to the Emirates would surely see silverware after all these years for the Gunners.
He is a big presence like today's goalscorer Giroud. He can score for fun and would be a brilliant signing if Arsene Wenger was to bring the Polish striker in. There has been talk of a move for Karim Benzema but he released a statement saying he will not be leaving Real Madrid.
The last 24 hours or so will be very interesting if Arsene Wenger is active and hopefully, Arsenal can live the glory days once again.
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