The dust has settled following a frustrating North London Derby that was at times frantic and lacked quality. There’s no way to jazz it up we were well below par on Sunday, across the pitch for me. Whether you think we “deserved” a point or not is largely irrelevant because in football you don’t get what you deserve.

The day started as it always does; in the pub with friends. And for all the talk of nerves and that lot, I just didn’t feel it. Usually this match produces the best and worst of people in our ranks but it just wasn’t there. That animosity and apprehension that usually accompanies this fixture was missing and that is concerning. History tells us this game often goes with the home team and it felt like for a number of reasons a few of our fans just expected us to win. When you do that, you often get stung.

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 24: Bukayo Saka of Arsenal celebrates after scoring his sides second goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium on September 24, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

We started well enough but quickly the game became a bit scrappy and our usual control was distinctly lacking. All that being said for the opening 40 minutes we were the team that looked most like scoring and we should have. Nketiah fired into the side netting from a tight angle. Whether the pull back was on is hard to tell but he should’ve done better. Then finally we had lift off. Saka cut inside and swung the ball towards the far post only it for fire in off Romero (shame). Following that came what I feel was the most important moment of the game. Jesus robbed Madison on the edge of his own box and with only the keeper to beat from an excellent position fired over the bar. It was an unusually poor finish from the Brazilian.

In the final 5 minutes of the half, Tottenham woke up. After some warnings and a world class save from Raya we got caught pissing about with the ball and Son made up for his team mates earlier miss. Level at the half. Unbelievably frustrating right on the stroke of the half. Rice and Vieira came off for Jorginho and Havertz. Ten minutes later we had a penalty that was as stone wall as they come, no matter what Neville thinks. Saka took the ball an hammered it straight down the middle.

When you gain or restore a lead in football the last thing you can afford to do is allow the opponent to get straight back in the game. Caught on the ball in two minds Jorginho made a catastrophic error that gifted Son his second of the game. Level yet again. Frustrating yet again. From then on the game went back and fourth but neither side really looked like getting a winner and in the end the points were shared.

Another tough result to take at home but we were well off our best. Odegaard had his quietest game I can remember in an Arsenal shirt, Zinchenko was sloppy on the ball and Nketiah didn’t get in the game. Those are the ones that spring to mind but aside from Saliba, nobody covered themselves in glory. For what its worth I don’t think Tottenham were brilliant, they took chances that we gifted them. But that’s done now. We move forward.

Brentford await in the League Cup on Wednesday before we travel to the south coast to take on Bournemouth on Saturday. Until then.



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