Date:15th September 2007 at 8:50am
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The North London Derby, a visit to White Hart lane always set off the spark of ultimate passion of these two teams, both the players and the fans alike. Having to visit the opposition board in attempt to find out what they think ahead of this game indeed not an easy task at all. RC8 who has to endure the compilations of the responses of Spurs fan so the credit goes to him, as initially being an Arsenal fan is never warmly welcomed at the Forums.

With the International break for European Cup 2008 qualifiers at hand and International friendlies, club fans could not wait for the return to their respective leagues. Are we capable to maintain consistency we had before the breaks to continue our run of victories against one of our fiercest rivals? Somehow Spurs fans have different ideas ahead of this game.

Hope it’s a good read.

1. Quite a rough start for Spurs in the new season. What are your expectations for this season?

-At the moment top 6 and a cup. Wn7ian

-I’d like a cup. don’t care which. I expect to scrape into 6th with a last 10 game run – Atrain

-Well, after that start I’d have to be happy with a top 6 finish, though I guess that depends on the result on Saturday as a win would slightly raise those expectations and anything less would hammer them home. –Fijit

-To finish 4th, and get to the final in any cup. –Tobjr

-Personally id be delighted with 5th again. If we could sneak a cup then id be over the moon. however, I dont feel this will be good enough for the board. Jol and Berbs to leave at the end of the season. –Eriktheviking

-Hopefully a cup, but sorting out our stability on and off the pitch is just as important as this seasons results –Luda

-Considering the fact that we have a manager who clearly isn’t backed by the board and a severely unbalanced squad it’d be thrilled if we could get 5th again, especially when you look at how solid the likes of Everton, City and Newcastle have been so far. –Algernon

-My expectations were, following on from two successive 5th place finishes, to kick on a crack into the elusive “top 4”. Our start was resultant of a series of ridiculous injuries; no left-backs and I think only one fit centre-half. Didn’t surprise me that we struggled. –Sheik_Ma_Nuggets

2. New faces in Spurs shirt after the Summer Transfer. Who do you think will be your most important player this Saturday? Why?

-Robbo ( I know he isn’t a new player) Needs a good performance. – Wn7ian

– Of the new players? bale because he adds width & genuine left footed ability. i’d love to see berbatov get a goal aginst top quality defending. – Atrain

-Of the new faces it’s difficult to say, based on injuries, but Kaboul or Bale I reckon. Bale as he’s added so much to our left side, and the team in general, and Kaboul because he looks a class act. Very similar style of player to King. –Fijit

-Well for me the most important player this Saturday will be Huddlestone. He will have to keep things ticking for us, and hopefully he will be able to pick out players with his vision and passing ability. –Tobjr

-I think whoever plays in midfield is gonna have a tough time against you lot. Also whoever is responsible for picking up Fabregas. –Eriktheviking

-Huddlestone / Keane (if he drops back to midfield should Defoe come on) – we need to boss the midfield.-Luda

-None of the new boys will be pivotal to the outcome of the game I think, the two things that more than anything else will decide are:

A. How our central midfield (probably Jenas and Huddlestone) can cope with yours, defensively.

B. Wether or not Robbo can pull out a performance.
I for one am highly sceptical of both, but of course I hope I’m proven wrong. –Algernon

-That’s a tough one. I don’t think we necessarily have individuals who need to perform in order for us to be successful – as we’re more of a team unit; win together and lose together. Unfortunately though, as Arsenal have a very highly technically gifted midfield – we always struggle against that, as we simply don’t have the sort of player who will go and harass the man on the ball quick enough. I think Bale could be interesting – not sure how Eboue will take to having to defend more than usual. We might win free kicks, but then we rarely make best use of them. –Sheik_Ma_Nuggets

3. Which players have disappointed or underperformed this season for you?

-No one player, just been a bad start to the season all round.-Wn7ian

-The management, again. zokora, defoe. – Atrain

-Keano hasn’t been good, Malbranque, apart from the Derby game, Robinson – nobody performed for the first couple of games but they’re starting to get their act together now. –Fijit

-Very early on to comment. But the player who has disappointed me so far is again, our Goalkeeper Robinson, who still seems very shaky from crosses into the box and long shots. –Tobjr

-I think the team as a whole has under-performed in relation to what they are capable of but I think we gonna turn the corner soon. We are a bit of luck away from getting the result we deserve as our performances havent been that bad (not been world class by any means also) –Eriktheviking

-Robinson – lost all confidence in himself. –Luda

-There really isn’t any single player to “blame” for our poor start, but Berbatov for one has had a very frustrating start to the season. He hasn’t been poor, far from it, but things haven’t quite been coming off for him and we need our big players to come through when the team is going through a rough patch. Hopefully his goal against Fulham will kickstart his season and he’ll follow up with a performance against you lot. –Algernon

-Pre-Fulham, it would’ve been Berbatov fo’ sure. He’s a very emotional sort of player – and you could tell from his body language that something just wasn’t right about him. Probably more about the uncertainty around the club than anything exclusive to him though. But he upped his game against Fulham, and he looked the Dimi who tore the Premiership to smithereens last season. I don’t think the other players have necessarily played all that bad – more that they’ve been victim of circumstance (injuries). –Sheik_Ma_Nuggets

4. Our rivalry is very well known, but being relatively objective, where do you think Arsenal will finish this season?


-3rd or 4th. –Atrain

-I think Arsenal will finish 4th again. I don’t think you’ve improved since the end of last season, though da Silva might be good. If van Persie stays fit he’ll help you score a lot more goals, but I don’t think you have the clout to beat a very strong looking Liverpool, or Chelsea/Man U. –Fijit

-My heart says 5th (with Spurs 4th), my brain says 4th (with us 5th, ). –Tobjr

-Still in my eyes behind Chelsea and Man Yoo by quite a bit, I think Liverpool have much better depth than you this season and us and Everton havent got the consistency to get above you lot so, 4th. –Eriktheviking

-Top 4 easily. –Luda

-4th. Simply because Liverpool have improved more than you over the summer and in spite of early season slip-ups Man Utd and Chelsea are still the teams to beat in this league. I think you’re better than last season though, and you are in no danger whatsoever of slipping out of the big 4. –Algernon

-I think you will finish no lower than 4th. I don’t think your team is mature enough to win the points it would need to win – especially away from home – to start challenging for any title. But I definitely think there are signs in the generation Wenger is bringing though that will, in 2/3 years time, be a credible title challenger. But I see a major flaw in that Wenger is a horrible judge of goalkeepers. I think the krout is coming to the end of his tenure, and I don’t think Almunia is anything special to take his place – so where, I ask, is the commanding ‘keeper that you’d most definitely need in a championship chasing team? Sheik_Ma_Nuggets

5. Ahead of this game. Who do you reckon is the most dangerous Arsenal player? Why?

-Fabregas, Very talented for one so young.-Wn7ian

-Cesc. the little man is a brilliant footballer. – Atrain

-Fabregas. I hate his whinging antics when a decision doesn’t go his way, and how he riles other players, but he’s a superb player and if given the space will dominate the game. He crucified us in the same game last season (when he came on) and unless we mark him out of the game we’ll struggle. –Fijit

-Fabregas, without him, I would be very confident of a victory for Spurs. –Tobjr

-Fabregas, a great player but who ever is in goal could play a factor, when Lemon plays against us, especially at the Lane, seems like a man possesed to loose you the game (his headbut and handbags I think with Keane last year and conceding a long range offort in the last min and then giving away the penalty the season before that. –Eriktheviking

-van Persie is the best player in the Premiership. –Luda

-Hate to say it, but van Persie is really turning into an absolutely superb player, and with Henry gone he’ll really come into his own. I have quite a few quid on him finishing top-scorer this season. –Algernon

-Easy – Fabregas. It’s because he sits so deep in your midfield – far too deep for our midfielder to go out and shut down. From that position, he dictates the tempo of the whole team – gradually moving it forward, before arriving, usually late, into the box to have a sniff of sort of a pass that might be on. He’s an incredibly destructive player. –Sheik_Ma_Nuggets

6. Do you believe you will add new players in January?


-dammn straight, we buy like sailors on shore leave. –Atrain

-No, I don’t think so. No more new players until our managerial direction is decided, which hopefully won’t be until the end of this season. –Fijit

-Hopefully. –Tobjr

-yes –Eriktheviking

-Absolutely. If this continues we’ll find ourselves trying to fill Berbatovs spot. –Luda

-No. We need to spend big on a central midfielder, but Jol’s love of Jenas, Huddlestone’s obvious potential and Commoli’s love of Zokora means it isn’t likely to be a priority. Sadly. –Algernon

-Not sure. We actually have a pretty strong squad as it is – it’s just that some major players are out injured for us. There are areas that need strengthening – but I can’t really see the required quality of player suddenly becoming available in January. If anything, I can see us shifting out more deadwood. And possibly even Jermain Defoe. We have money to strengthen – that’s not the issue – it’s more about the right players being available. – Sheik_Ma_Nuggets

7. There has been speculation about Jol losing his job. What do you reckon would be the best for your club?

-Ramos – Wn7ian

-There’s the door about 12 months ago… –Atrain

-Keep Jol. He’s done enough in my opinion to warrant a bit of faith. I can understand people feeling bad about our start to the season and how we shouldn’t be using luck as an excuse, but we have been terribly unlucky – 3 deflected goals in 5 games, all of which had a huge if not deciding bearing on how the game finished up. I think any decision about him should be postponed until the end of the season. –Fijit

-Jol is brilliant with the media, and with our fans. Even the hardest of Arsenal fans can find it difficult not to like him at times (EDIT BY RC8: Sure, it’s difficult not to like him at times. We all just hate him the whole time). He has been our best manager of the last 17 years or so, and really given us hope. But saying this, he does make some dubious decisions which leave you wondering, and if the opportunity to employ a manager of Lippi’s or Ramos’ caliber, I would find it very hard to turn them down. –Tobjr

-Jol – He has brought us this far, he deserves this season at least. If he goes I quite like the idea of Lipi, Ramos has impressed me with what he has done at Seville. –Eriktheviking

-For morale – keep him. For results – I just don’t know. –Luda

-Short-term? Keep him. Sacking your manager at this stage of the season is, as everyone has pointed out, madness. Long-term? While his results have been very good compared to our past record in the Premier League, he has also had very good players to work with. Threads keep popping up here about “What would Hoddle do with these players?” and “Would Cappello/Ramos/Lippi/whoever make top4 with this squad?”, and while they are all hypothetical (and in the case of the Hoddle one, silly) there is a point to be made that we have a very strong squad now that Jol maybe isn’t getting the best out of. Also, bizarre tactical decisions and some very strange rumours (among others that we defend as deep as we do when we’re in the lead because Robbo wants it like that, have you ever heard anything as silly?) has me wondering if maybe, although I love the big man, the club might be right in exploring options. –Algernon

-Again, I think he’s been the victim of circumstance – not to mention, of late, something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The best thing for our club would be…to back Martin Jol. As simple (some might say boring) as that sounds – it’s definitely the way to maximise what Tottenham Hotspur achieve in the short-term. Love him or loathe him, BMJ knows this group of players better than anyone; he knows their strengths, and he knows their weaknesses. It would be suicide to go and sack the man imo – but, unfortunately, our Board seem scared to entrust too heavily in the status-quo mentality. It’s ‘grass is greener’ logic – but that can always backfire spectacularly – which is what happened when Alexander/Kemsley were shambolically caught with their y-fronts down. –Sheik_Ma_Nuggets

8. Can you see your promising young English players such as Aaron Lennon sticking around? Do you think you should sell if the right offer comes by?

-Yes, everyone has their price. – Wn7ian

-He’ll stay unless we get someone better, at least in the next 24 months. after that it’ll be contract reliant. –Atrain

-The promising young English players – yes. Spurs have always been a good club for promoting a players International prospects, though I believe if one of them, such as Lennon, sets the league alight and we don’t progress as a club, he could be sold. And I wouldn’t blame him either. –Fijit

-We have a real good bunch of young English players, to go along with some very promising young Foreign players too. There is no doubt that in 4 to 5 years time, if we keep our best youngsters, will we definitely pose a real and proper threat to the top 4. We have shown faith in them, and they should repay us, but in football, we all know that loyalty and integrity is hard to find. So simply, I hope we keep our young players. –Tobjr

-I can see all our current stars staying if Jol does, when he goes, who knows. –Eriktheviking

-I’d love to keep our English core. King, Dawson, Robbo, Lennon, Defoe, Bent, Hudd, Jenas. –Luda

-I can see most of our promising young English payers stick around because no club of significantly higher stature would want them. The exception being Lennon, and I’m a bit ambivalent about him. On one side he is a great prospect, an exciting winger, the English Messi and whatnot (though that is going overboard and then some), on the other side he is injury-prone and there are all sorts of rumors about a bad attitude, ladies of the night and possibly even a coke-habit flying around. Ridiculous and probably unfounded most of it, but no smoke without fire as they say. If the club can’t sort him out I think we could stand to lose him, and if it’s true that Jol wanted to swap him for SWP, well, I can see where he’s coming from with that. –Algernon

-Lennon et all shall only remain at Tottenham for as long as the club shows progression aligned with ambition. If we stopped investing in good, quality players – then, quite rightly, the likes of Lennon, Dawson and Robbo would be asking questions of the top brass. Players want to win things – not loyalty bonus’ from their bank managers. But Lennon is also smart enough to realise that, at the moment, Tottenham Hotspur is the perfect club for him to showcase is talents at; he is nigh-on guaranteed to start for us, not sure that can really be said of many other clubs – or, at least, not those which would be considered a “step up”. And no, I don’t think selling him would be all that wise – as it would signify a significant shift in the mentality/ambition of the football club. If that ever happened, it would set in motion a chain-reaction which would be hard, if not impossible, to stop. –Sheik_Ma_Nuggets

9. Which Line-up are we most likely to see?

-Robbo, Chimbonda, Dawson, Kaboul, Lee, Steed, Jenas, Hudd, Bale, Berbs, Keane – Wn7ian

-Good question, we’ve been cruelled by injury across the back four. lennon, huddlestone, jenas, bale in the middle. keane & berbatov up front though i’d rather bent for his pace & workrate. –Atrain

-GK : Robbo, Back 4 – Chimbonda, Kaboul, Dawson, Lee, Midfield 4 – Lennon, Jenas, Huddelstone, Bale, Up front – Keane, Berbatov. –Fijit

-Probably a 4-4-2, with Huddlestone sitting, and Jenas trying to attack.
Chimbonda——————–Dawson————————-King(if fit)/Kaboul————–Lee
-Similar to Fulham I expect. Robbo,Chimbonda,Dawson,Kaboul,Lee,Steed,Jenas,Hudd,Bale,Berbs,Keane ish –Eriktheviking

-Robinson / Chimbonda, Kaboul, Dawson, Lee / Steed, Hudd, Jenas, Bale / Keane, Berbs –Luda

-Robbo at the back, a backline of Chimbonda – Dawson (if fit, Rocha/Gardner if not) – Kaboul – Lee, in midfield you’ll see Lennon (if fit, Steed if not) – Jenas – Huddlestone (possibly Zokora, but probably not) – Bale and up front Berbatov will partner Keane. There is an outside chance that Bent will start, but I can’t see it happening to be honest. -Algernon

-I don’t speculate about who lines up for us – waste of time. I trust that, whoever turns out for us in the lilywhite shirt, will be the best available and will give 110% for us. –Sheik_Ma_Nuggets

10. And finally, care to predict the score?

-Ooooh I would love to say 3-1, but alas 1-1 – Wn7ian

-i’d love to see a 4-4 draw. live up to the passion like that. –Atrain

-I’ll go for a score draw as that’s what this game usually ends up with! –Fijit

-3-2 to the yids –Tobjr

-If we get the luck we have been missing this season we will win by one but you are always going to score. as ever id depends on the Spurs team that turns up. ill go for 2-1 –Eriktheviking

-Another 2-2 thriller, but this time WE throw it away in the 94th minute. –Luda

-Will certainly be a high-scoring game, we look alright going forward now but we can’t defend for toffee (and your midfield will have no problem overplaying ours, especially if we use Thudd as holder which I hope to God we won’t). Can’t remember the last NLD that was so hard to predict but a high-scoring draw looks likely. 3-3 for me. –Algernon

-Tough one. Arsenal have hit the ground running, so they come into the game full of confidence. We, on the other hand, are doing our best chameleon impression. I’m taking my very sick father to the game, so I’d love a win for him – but I think perhaps another draw is on the cards. I don’t think I could stomach a defeat – too disturbing to even contemplate that. –Sheik_Ma_Nuggets

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