By 1970’s Gooner
You are only as good as your weakest link. And for Arsenal's last game we did unfortunately spot the weakest link in our preview. Senderos's red card nearly jeopardised a fine performance by this young, but now determined to prove everyone wrong, squad.
Arsenal’s weaknesses are today centered in two positions. In central midfield the enforced deployment of Gilberto brings with it two problems.
The first is jet lag and fatigue. He did not get back to St Albans, his home, till yesterday afternoon which does not really allow him much recovery time.
Remember he did play the full 90 minutes for Brazil against the USA last Sunday and 75 minutes on Thursday morning against Mexico in Boston.
The second problem is Gilberto’s relative lack of pace which may be exposed against Spurs’ very quick front two of Berbatov and Keane.
I am worried about this and I hope that his experience, astute positioning awareness and Toure’s cover will get us through relatively unscathed.
Arsenal’s second weakness may be a self inflicted one. For some reason Wenger has put Flamini ahead of Diaby in the pecking order.
It is bleeding obvious that Diaby is a far superior player on all counts which are too numerous to mention in this posting.
Tottenham’s weaknesses lie in defence and in the midfield areas. The absence of King and the forced deployment of the inexperienced Dawson and newcomer Kaboul leaves huge gaps at the back.
In midfield they lack a creative midfielder which Jenas clearly is not but there is also not enough penetration on the flanks.
Lennon’s absence has cost them a lot. I do not think he will start today and that leaves Melbranque and Bale to fill these positions. The first lacks quality and is not penetrative enough and the other is too young.
If Gilberto wakes up in time and manages to put in a decent performance aided ably by Toure then it will be another North London triumph for the Arsenal.
Prediction: 1-3 to the Arsenal
Mind games from Jol and Wenger