Spurs overcame Arsenal 2-1 in the first North London Derby of the season. It may not have been the best team performance from Spurs, but enough to dispose of our local rivals, sending us five points clear, with a game in hand, as we finally look to overtake them in the final league standings. Here are the individual ratings for the team:
Brad Friedel – 7 – Not tested much despite Arsenal’s possession, but his impact on the defence is huge. He commands his area, talks to his defence and brings a bit of organisation that was certainly lacking under the goal stewardship of Heurelho Gomes. No chance with the Arsenal goal, but his control of the area made a big difference to the scoreline.
Kyle Walker – 10 – We could talk about his positioning for Arsenal’s equaliser. It wasn’t the best and he was occasionally found out defensively, especially when abandoned by Rafael Van Der Vaart. But this is a fansite essentially, so scoring the winner in a North London Derby is enough to earn full marks. Fair?
Younes Kaboul – 9 – He seems to excel in these games. After sharing the man of the match award at the Emirates last season and scoring the winner, Kaboul stepped up again to provide an assured footing alongside Ledley King. His positioning was exceptional, he cleared away everything that came near him and kept the dangerous Robin Van Persie quiet.
Ledley King – 8 – His experience is essential, as his presence. Any Tottenham backline looks a different prospect when King is there, as he marshals it superbly. Wasn’t required to do that much, as Arsenal tried to focus on Kaboul, to no avail, but his appearance just makes such a different to Spurs as a whole.
Benoit Assou-Ekotto – 8 – Outsiders seem unwilling to recognise his quality. Once again, he was impeccable, to a point where Theo Walcott had to visit other areas of the pitch in order to have a sniff. Positioning, awareness and touch were all impeccable today, and helped set up a few attacks, whislt staying disciplined enough not to bomb forward too often.
Rafael Van Der Vaart – 7 – Not at his effective best, as he just doesn’t seem to be suited to a wing role. He naturally comes infield, and didn’t do enough to support Walker against the combined threat of Gervinho and Kieran Gibbs. But a goal against Arsenal makes it 4 in 3, and he remains a key player for all occasions.
Luka Modric – 7 – Clearly picked out as the threat and nullified to the best of Arsenal’s ability. Penchant for making the most of challenges was noticed by Mike Dean early on, but he still showed the neat touches and clever runs that made him a fan favourite before this summer’s transfer saga.
Scott Parker – 9 – Tackled everything and was generally everywhere. Passed well, made some ingenious forward runs and probably the only thing preventing him from gaining full marks was the failure to convert when one-on-one with Szczesny.
Gareth Bale – 7 – Often uncharacteristically wasteful in good positions, but at least showed temerity to shoot from range (Walker aside). Showed more when faced by Carl Jenkinson than he did with the experience Bacary Sagna and could easily had an assist for himself on another day.
Jermain Defoe – 6 – His role is to score goals and I don’t recall him forcing a save from Szczesny. Forced to drop deep due to the midfield often being overrun, which isn’t his natural strength, but just didn’t do enough for me in front of goal.
Emmanuel Adebayor – 7 – Missed a sitter, but generally performed well. Gave his defenders far more problems than his strike partner, who were so often drawn to him that it gave space for the midfield to run through. Assist for VDV goal as well made his contribution telling before his 84th minute withdrawl.
Sandro – 8 – His introduction changed the game. When Spurs seemed to be under pressure, he emerged from the bench, restored order to the centre of the pitch. and made an intelligent run to help set up the winning goal. He’s become a big player for Spurs, that possibly could have compensated for Modric’ sale.
Jake Livermore – 6 – Did enough in his limited time to warrant a mark, coming on and giving an extra body in midfield to nullify any potential late threat Arsenal could have mustered. Looks a promising player and I hope he’ll be a fixture in the team for years to come.
Vedran Corluka – N/A – Late Sub.
Manager: Harry Rednapp – 8 – He is often found out a little bit tactically, namely in the home tie with Manchester City. His starting line-up was made to look a bit suspect, as Arsenal were able to run parts of the first hour, due to an extra man in midfield. But he amended this with the introduction of Sandro and turned the tide back in our favour. So he gets good marks for this week.
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