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Arsenal gunning for Tottenham after West Brom win at the Hawthorns

Watch out Tottenham: Arsenal are Gunning for you after West Bromwich victory

By
Laura Williamson

PUBLISHED:

21:30 GMT, 7 April 2013

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UPDATED:

07:10 GMT, 8 April 2013

Arsenal fans sang ‘Tottenham Hotspur, we’re coming for you,’ at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday as their team moved into fourth place in the Barclays Premier League for the first time since Boxing Day.

Their glee was understandable. Arsenal's victory at the Hawthorns was their sixth win in their last seven Premier League outings and allowed Arsene Wenger's side to put their feet up on Sunday and see how Champions League qualification rivals Tottenham and Chelsea responded.

'Playing on Saturday is fantastic when you win,' said Wenger. 'When you lose, it's a disaster. But, as long as we win, it's always better for me to play, if you can, before (our rivals).

Czech mate: Tomas Rosicky scored a first-half brace in Arsenal's 2-1 victory at West Bromwich Albion

Czech mate: Tomas Rosicky scored a first-half brace in Arsenal's 2-1 victory at West Bromwich Albion

Czech mate: Tomas Rosicky scored a first-half brace in Arsenal's 2-1 victory at West Bromwich Albion

Premier League table

'Ideally, I would like to be in the Champions League as well, but – if you are on a good run – maybe it can be a little advantage because you can recover more.'

Arsenal's league run has been marred by their FA Cup and Champions League exits and defeat in the North London derby, but Tottenham and Chelsea's exploits in the knock-out competitions have provided a little window of opportunity for Wenger's side.

Early bath: Per Mertesacker was shown a red card for hauling down Shane Long in the penalty area

Early bath: Per Mertesacker was shown a red card for hauling down Shane Long in the penalty area

Early bath: Per Mertesacker was shown a red card for hauling down Shane Long in the penalty area

Chelsea's FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City means their Premier League clash with Spurs at Stamford Bridge on April 14 has been postponed.

Arsenal will therefore contest two home games – against Norwich and Everton – before their main rivals for a Champions League spot play in the league again.

Chelsea and Spurs also, of course, have Europa League quarter-finals to consider. The scorer of both Arsenal goals in Saturday’s 2-1 win, Tomas Rosicky said: 'I hope that will happen (and we will take advantage).'

Gap: Arsenal are two points behind Tottenham with a game in hand after their rivals drew 2-2 with Everton on Sunday

Gap: Arsenal are two points behind Tottenham with a game in hand after their rivals drew 2-2 with Everton on Sunday

'We've got two home games which we've got to win if we're talking about fourth or third place. Our home form has to improve.

'But when you get a good run of results the confidence returns. Every day you have to be prepared 100 per cent to come to training and fight for your club.

'Sometimes it's not easy when you see and hear what is going on around. That's what you've got to do.

'We're in a position where we just need to concentrate on ourselves. Sometimes it is tricky to be saying where are Tottenham playing and when are Chelsea playing. It's important to just concentrate on ourselves and what we're producing.'

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Injury-hit Arsenal may have to turn to Squillaci or Miquel for Sunderland clash

Injury-hit Arsenal may be forced to turn to Squillaci or Miquel for Sunderland clash

By
Jim Van Wijk, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

19:17 GMT, 7 February 2013

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UPDATED:

19:19 GMT, 7 February 2013

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger could
face a defensive headache when Barclays Premier League action resumes at
Sunderland on Saturday.

The Gunners were already sweating on
the fitness of captain Thomas Vermaelen's ankle injury before the
players left for international duty, where fellow centre-half Laurent
Koscielny limped off during France's defeat to Germany in Paris with a
reported calf problem.

Rare appearance: Arsenal may recall Sebastien Squillaci

Rare appearance: Arsenal may recall Sebastien Squillaci

Should both men fail to recover in time for the trip to the Stadium of Light, then out-of-favour Sebastien Squillaci or Spanish 20-year-old Ignasi Miquel could have to step in to the heart of the defence alongside Per Mertesacker.

Francis Coquelin is another option, but the defensive-midfielder has missed a couple of matches with a hamstring strain.

Meanwhile, midfielders Tomas Rosicky (virus) and Aaron Ramsey, who returned from Wales camp with a calf injury, are also doubtful for the trip to the north-east.

Forward Gervinho is set to rejoin the squad following Ivory Coast's elimination from the African Nations Cup, but is expected to be given some recovery time before being thrown straight back into action as Arsenal look to maintain momentum from their four-match unbeaten run.

Nacho Monreal impressed on his debut after a deadline day move from Malaga. The Spain international looks set for a run in the side with England left-back Kieran Gibbs still sidelined by a thigh problem.

It is another setback for the 23-year-old, who has suffered a string of fitness issues in recent seasons, including breaking his metatarsal in a Champions League game against Standard Liege in November 2009.

Gibbs, however, will not let that hold him back.

Injury concern: Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen

Injury concern: Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen

Speaking to the official Arsenal magazine in an interview conducted before his latest injury in the 2-2 draw against Liverpool, Gibbs revealed his positive attitude to spells on the sidelines.

He said: 'Before that I had never really had injuries, but in the next couple of years I had quite a few and it was really frustrating.

'I did my knee and rolled my ankle, and later on I had a hernia.

'However, I just got on with it and never really listened to any comments.

'I just knew the most important thing was that I got back and let people judge me on my football.'

Vermaelen, meanwhile, revealed he has taken inspiration from David Beckham's recent visit to Arsenal, where the former England captain trained ahead of his deadline day move to Paris St Germain.

'I didn't meet him for long, but I could tell straightaway that he's a very nice guy and a fantastic professional,' Vermaelen wrote in the Arsenal matchday programme.

'That was obvious in a single day – he was working after the session, doing drills and keeping himself fit, and you have to give him a lot of credit for being in such good shape at the age of 37.

'It is not easy to get to the top and stay there as he has done – you have to work really hard every single day, and if young players can see that then it is an inspiration for them.

'Training with him was a special moment for me, too. Like Beckham, I certainly want to play football for as long as I can – it's partly about how your body feels, and about luck too, but in my opinion football is the best career there is so you want to enjoy it to the maximum.'

Arsenal players sing Christmas songs in fans video

Santi Cazorla's coming to town: Gunners give us their top three picks from the fans chant competition

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UPDATED:

10:53 GMT, 21 December 2012

It looks as though Arsenal’s 5-2 thrashing of Reading may have brought a little festive spirit to the Emirates Stadium.

Armed with an array of musical instruments, including some maracas and a harmonica, a few of the Arsenal boys belted out some potential Christmas chants for their fans.

They selected the top three choices from the fans chant competition, which included ‘Santi Cazorla’s coming to town.’

Scroll down for video

Enlarge

The Arsenal team sang their top three fan chants

The Gunners still look merry off the back of their 5-2 victory over Reading

Tomas Rosicky joined the Arsenal team in singing some fan chants

Tomas Rosicky put in a winning performance on the guitar as the team sang 'Santi Cazorla's Coming to Town'

Theo Walcott seemed to be enjoying his turn with the tambourine, while goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny took the lead on vocals.

He was backed up by Tomas Rosicky and Johan Djourou, who were pleased with the team’s rendition of ‘Call Me Szczesny.’

But their best performance had to be their third – ‘A Little Bit of Arsenal’ set to the tune of Mambo No 5.

Fans can vote for their favourite chant on the Junior Gunners website. Those who do will be in with a chance of winning a PS3 games console.

Olympiacos 2 Arsenal 1: Match report

Olympiacos 2 Arsenal 1: Yet another bad night for the Gunners… but Wenger still didn't see it

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UPDATED:

07:52 GMT, 5 December 2012

Arsenal players stood dejected as smoke wafted across the pitch from the flares going off behind Wojciech Szczesny’s goal.

It was happening again. Kostas Mitroglou had scored for Olympiacos and another Gunners defeat had been snatched from the jaws of victory.

Tomas Rosicky had put Arsenal ahead in an encouraging first half but they never looked like recovering from goals by Giannis Maniatis, scored from a corner that should not have been given, and Mitroglou.

Taking the lead: Olympiacos' players congratulate team-mate Giannis Maniatis after scoring the second goal

Taking the lead: Olympiacos' players congratulate team-mate Giannis Maniatis after scoring the second goal

MATCH FACTS

Olympiacos: Carroll, Diakite, Manolas, Contreras, Torosidis, Paulo Machado, Maniatis, Fejsa (David Fuster 60), Greco, Djebbour (Ibagaza 82), Abdoun (Mitroglou 72).
Subs Not Used: Megyeri, Pantelic, Fetfatzidis, Siovas.

Booked: Fejsa.

Goals: Maniatis 65, Mitroglou 73.

Arsenal: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Squillaci, Vermaelen, Meade (Angha 83), Coquelin, Rosicky (Arshavin 46), Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Chamakh, Gervinho.

Subs Not Used: Shea, Ansah, Hajrovic, Monteiro, Akpom.

Booked: Coquelin, Szczesny, Squillaci, Chamakh.

Goal: Rosicky 38.

Attendance: 30,000

Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (Spain)

Click here for the latest Champions League scores and live tables

Wenger, though, insisted — once again — on remaining upbeat. ‘I believe it was a positive game,’ he said. ‘We left eight or nine players at home and we had a positive game.

‘We had a good first half. We dropped physically in the second because many players lack competition and therefore we couldn’t take the chances for a second goal.

‘We also got a bad decision on their first goal. I’m not against a fifth referee but you would like them to be concentrated on their job.’

You could argue this result did not matter as Arsenal had already qualified for the knockout stages and now avoid teams such as Real Madrid by finishing second in Group B.

But that would be to underestimate the importance confidence plays in this club’s performances, no matter who is in the starting XI. The manager fielded a second string XI but, apart from 20-year-old Champions League debutant Jernade Meade at left back, they were still experienced, boasting nine internationals. It should have been good enough to beat a Greek side who themselves made six changes from their last league game, being already assured of a place in the Europa League.

Lone striker Marouane Chamakh, making only his second start of the season, showed all the touch and confidence of a footballer who has not played since October 30, although his downward header from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s cross found Rosicky, who teed up Aaron Ramsey, only for the Wales midfielder to miscue horribly.

Strike it lucky: Olympiacos' Kostas Mitroglou scores the second goal

Strike it lucky: Olympiacos' Kostas Mitroglou scores the second goal

Going ahead: Mitroglou celebrates his goal

Going ahead: Mitroglou celebrates his goal

Olympiacos’ finishing was poor in the
first half, with Djamel Abdoun, Rafik Djebbour and Vassilis Torossidis
missing excellent chances.

Gervinho and Rosicky, though, were
impressive, combining for Arsenal’s 38th-minute opener.

Gervinho made a
strong, determined run to the byline and held off two defenders before
passing back to Rosicky, who finished with a right-foot strike into the
bottom corner for his first goal since March.

On level terms: Giannis Maniatis celebrates making it 1-1

On level terms: Giannis Maniatis celebrates making it 1-1

But Arsenal were guilty of forcing attacks without Rosicky’s guile in the second half.

Paulo Machado’s downwards header sent
Szczesny scampering across his goal. Referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco
awarded a corner, although Szczesny claimed he had not touched the ball,
and Olympiacos duly scored, with Maniatis stabbing the ball home.

Tracking his man: Aaron Ramsey challenges Djamel Abdoun for the ball

Tracking his man: Aaron Ramsey challenges Djamel Abdoun for the ball

Incidents like this tend to expose
Arsenal’s fragility and they allowed substitute Mitroglou time and space
to turn and shoot home from just outside the box in the 73rd minute.

‘We need a good Christmas present now
(in the draw),’ said Wenger. ‘The important thing now is to focus on the
championship and forget about the Champions League and get ourselves
back in decent form in the championship.’

Frustrated: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger saw his side throw away the lead

Frustrated: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger saw his side throw away the lead

Going ahead: Arsenal's players celebrate after Rosicky's goal

Going ahead: Arsenal's players celebrate after Rosicky's goal

The chase is on: Olympiakos goalkeeper Roy Caroll fights for the ball with Arsenal's Mauane Chamakh

The chase is on: Olympiakos goalkeeper Roy Caroll fights for the ball with Arsenal's Mauane Chamakh

North London derby – the best of recent history

Goals, goals, goals! Sportsmail looks back on a London derby date that rarely disappoints

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UPDATED:

17:08 GMT, 16 November 2012

Arsenal host Tottenham in one of the most eagerly-anticipated fixtures in the domestic calendar tomorrow – the north London derby. It rarely disappoints.

Since Tottenham ended a run of more than a decade without a win against their fierce rivals, no-one has managed to lay claim to being the dominant force.

And you can almost always guarantee goals, goals, goals. IN the last two seasons alone, there have been 26 goals spread across five meetings, and in two of those the team who led 2-0 went on to lose.

So Sportmail cast their mind back over the last 20 years and picks out the most memorable North London derbies. And we don't even have space the not-so-memorable but enormously significant meeting at White Hart Lane in 2004, when Arsenal secured the point needed to claim the title.

February 26, 2012 – Arsenal 5 Tottenham 2

Where better to start than last season's clash at the Emirates Stadium.

Bragging rights: Arsenal produced a stunning comeback in the last meeting

Bragging rights: Arsenal produced a stunning comeback in the last meeting

Bragging rights: Arsenal produced a stunning comeback in the last meeting

Bragging rights: Arsenal produced a stunning comeback in the last meeting

Tottenham, brimming with confidence after a run of excellent form under Harry Redknapp, swaggered on to the pitch and went 2-0 up thanks to a deflected Louis Saha strike and penalty from former Gunner Emmanuel Adebayor.

Things soon started to unravel for Redknapp's men, however. Bacary Sagna and Robin van Persie took just eight minutes to make it 2-2 and the floodgates then opened in the second half.

Tomas Rosicky's strike and a brace from Theo Walcott gave the Gunners a three-goal cushion and Spurs were lucky that the margin of defeat remained at three as Arsenal romped home to victory.

Cup kings: Paul Gascoigne orchestrated a stunning FA Cup semi-final win at Wembley

Cup kings: Paul Gascoigne orchestrated a stunning FA Cup semi-final win at Wembley

April 14, 1991 – Tottenham 3 Arsenal 1

Already crowned champions after losing just one match all season, Arsenal went in to the first FA Cup semi-final between the two teams as clear favourites.

Paul Gascoigne had other ideas, however. Despite having just undergone a double hernia operation, the midfielder put on one of the most outstanding performances of his glittering career. He clipped a wonderful 30-yard free-kick beyond David Seaman to put Spurs ahead before Gary Lineker doubled the lead.

Alan Smith pulled Arsenal back in the game but Lineker scored again to seal Tottenham's progress to the final, which they won after beating Nottingham Forest in extra-time.

November 20, 2010 – Arsenal 2-3 Tottenham

Spurs had failed to win at Arsenal for 17 years, but the away team that turned up at the Emirates two years ago were clearly cut from a different cloth.

Fresh from having trounced Inter Milan at White Hart Lane, Tottenham headed in to the meeting in Islington full of confidence, but they soon found themselves 2-0 down, with Marouane Chamakh and Samir Nasri both on target.

Comeback: Younes Kaboul scored the winning goal in Tottenham's first win over the Gunners in N5 for more than 17 years

Comeback: Younes Kaboul scored the winning goal in Tottenham's first win over the Gunners in N5 for more than 17 years

Redknapp's words of wisdom ensured that Spurs came out a completely different team in the second half, however. Gareth Bale's fine finish put Tottenham on the path to recovery and Rafael van der Vaart scored from the penalty spot after Cesc Fabregas' handball.

Then with five minutes to go Younes Kaboul glanced home Van der Vaart's free-kick to give Tottenham the spoils.

October 29, 2008 – Arsenal 4-4 Tottenham

Having inherited a team in the relegation zone, Redknapp may have expected a drubbing in his first game in charge, but his team took the lead with one of the greatest goals in the history of the derby – a 35-yard looping volley from David Bentley.

Arsenal hit back with a vengeance, with William Gallas, Emmanuel Adebayor and Mikael Silvestre all finding the target to give the hosts a two-goal cushion. The game was not over for Redknapp's men, though as Jermaine Jenas and Aaron Lennon scored in the final two minutes to level the scores.

Stunner: David Bentley scored one of the best North London derby goals

Stunner: David Bentley scored one of the best North London derby goals

November 13, 2004 – Tottenham 4-5 Arsenal

Martin Jol was probably wondering what he got himself in for after this – his first league game since taking over from Jacques Santini.

The highest-scoring north London derby in history began with Noureddine Naybet scoring his first – and last – goal in a Spurs shirt, but Thierry Henry equalised on the stroke of half-time.

Lauren's penalty and Patrick Vieira's strike put the Gunners ahead, only for Jermain Defoe to pull one back for the hosts.

Freddie Ljungberg and Ledley King were both on target before Freddie Kanoute set up a tense finale by scoring two minutes from time. Spurs threw everything at the visitors, but they could not find an equaliser and Arsenal claimed victory.

Arsenal handed double boost by Tomas Rosicky and Gervinho

Arsenal boss Wenger handed double boost by Rosicky and Gervinho

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UPDATED:

00:28 GMT, 16 November 2012

Arsene Wenger has been handed a timely lift by the return to training of Tomas Rosicky.

The Czech midfielder has not played
this season due to an achilles injury sustained at Euro 2012, but the
32-year-old has completed his rehabilitation plan and begun light
training.

Gervinho has also stepped up his recovery from an ankle injury he picked up in this month's game against Queens Park Rangers.

Back: Tomas Rosicky has returned to training with Arsenal

Back: Tomas Rosicky has returned to training with Arsenal

It is unclear when manager Arsene Wenger will reintroduce Rosicky and Gervinho into full training but the news comes as a major fillip going into Saturday's north London derby.

Wojciech Szczesny (ankle), Theo Walcott (glute) and Alex Oxlade- Chamberlain all look set to be fit for the visit of Tottenham.

Slowly but surely: Gervinho is also making progress after his injury

Slowly but surely: Gervinho is also making progress after his injury

Szczesny is expected to start the match, replacing Vito Mannone, who was arguably at fault for two of Fulham's three goals in last weekend's 3-3 draw.

Arsenal and Spurs stars in kits from 125 years ago and legends recall favourite derby moments

As Arsenal and Spurs stars pose for Sportsmail in the kits from 125 years ago, north London legends recall their favourite derby moments…

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UPDATED:

00:01 GMT, 16 November 2012

Record – all competitions

Arsenal wins: 98

Tottenham wins: 81

Draws: 62

Abandoned 2

On a wintry November afternoon 125 years ago, the beginning of something special was born on Tottenham Marshes.

The newly formed Royal Arsenal were the visitors to face Tottenham, the sides meeting for the first time in what would become the north London derby. Back then, Arsenal, who had been formed just a year earlier as Dial Square, were based in Woolwich. Spurs had been formed five years previously.

Their first meeting had to be abandoned, Arsenal arriving so late it got dark before the end of a match that Spurs were leading 2-1.

If that was a bit of a damp squib, what followed was not. There have been goalfests, Arsenal's 'Double' decider in 1971 and Invincible title in 2004, a couple of sizzling Spurs semi-final wins, great comebacks and no shortage of passion.

Here, some of the greats who have played in the fixture pick their favourite games.

The way they were: From left, Laurent Koscielny, Tomas Rosicky, Gervinho, Olivier Giroud and Jermain Defoe, Michael Dawson, Kyle Walker and Jake Livermore

The way they were: From left, Laurent Koscielny, Tomas Rosicky,
Gervinho, Olivier Giroud and Jermain Defoe, Michael Dawson, Kyle Walker and Jake Livermore

Alex Kay on the photo shoot

Doing work for the media is never going to be high up on the list of things footballers want to do. But all eight players who took part in this picture were fantastic.

We bought the kit in to them and all took an interest straight away, surprised that the clubs' crests were different 125 years ago and amazed that players used to take to the field in such thick material. Tomas Rosicky and Michael Dawson were quick to spot that you wouldn't want to sweat in the heavy tops.

There was genuine interest in the history of the derby too, as well as amazement at the length of the shorts!

It was nice that some of the players asked to keep the shirts. Olivier Giroud didn't take his off after the shoot, Jake Livermore kept his as a birthday present (it was good of him to take part on his birthday) and an excited Jermain Defoe had his name and No 18 put on the back of his before running around excitedly to show his team-mates.

It was fun to do, something different and made me realise that footballers get a hard rap sometimes.

CLIFF JONES

Tottenham 1958-68 (370 appearances, 159 goals)

I signed from Swansea in February 1958 and my first game was against Arsenal at Highbury. I was doing my national service in the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery so I was Gunner Jones, strangely enough. I travelled by Tube from St John's Wood to the Marble Halls.

Bill Nicholson said I had to be at the ground at 1.30pm. I got to Highbury and there was this big commissionaire standing at the door and he wouldn't let me in. He didn't recognise me. I said I'd just signed for Tottenham and he said: 'I've heard that one before, son.' I told him to get Bill, which he did.

Bill shook my hand, then looked at his watch and said: '/11/15/article-2233668-160CD52F000005DC-278_470x423.jpg” width=”470″ height=”423″ alt=”Olivier Giroud” class=”blkBorder” />

Laurent Koscielny

Tip top: Arsenal stars Olivier Giroud (left) and Laurent Koscielny

MICKY HAZARD

Tottenham 1978-85, 93-95 (170 apps, 25 goals)

It was in 1982, we played at Highbury. We won 3-1. I made two goals and scored a wonder goal. I was voted man of the match as well. It was the best goal I ever scored for Spurs. Ricky Villa passed the ball to me on the right-hand side a yard inside their half. I went past one player, then I went past a second. Then John Hollins, who later signed me for Chelsea, came out. He was playing right back but I skipped past him about 25 yards from goal then rifled it into the top corner with my left foot. The Arsenal players had adverts on their shirts, and in those days they weren't allowed, so the match never got televised. Very frustrating! Whenever anyone asks about a favourite memory, it's always linked to when you've played great or scored. I did both.

ANDERS LIMPAR

Arsenal 1990-94 (116 apps, 20 goals)

MY first derby was the third game into the 1990 season at Highbury. Gazza played and he kicked me down early on. I was on the floor with my shinpad split in two and he stood over me and said: 'Welcome to England you f*****g Swede.' I had to have two stitches in my leg. That was the perfect introduction to English football from Gazza. I loved it. When it came to Tony Adams firing up all the guys in the dressing room, it was amazing to see him before the games against Spurs. He was frothing like a bull. For me he was always man of the match against Spurs. He was Mr Arsenal and I was honoured to play with a captain like that. JURGEN KLINSMANN Tottenham 1994-95, 1997-98 (68 apps, 38 goals)

IT was a game late in the season, a 1-1 draw at Highbury in April 1995. I scored a header and, even though I felt we should have won, I remember the atmosphere being special. I was up front with Teddy Sheringham and he was such an intelligent player to play with. That season, I won Footballer of the Year, which was very special. I've played in many derbies but none mean more to the fans than this one.

Michael Dawson

Jake Livermore

Flash: Spurs duo Michael Dawson (left) and Jake Livermore

CHARLIE NICHOLAS

Arsenal 1983-88 (184 apps, 54 goals)

I was under a lot of pressure from
our fans, especially in my first derby because I'd not scored in 10 or
12 games. But they were really supportive. When I went to White Hart
Lane and scored twice, it helped me bed in with the Arsenal fans. A few
were questioning whether I would fit into the system and my goals
against Spurs helped. After the match we had a few drinks with the Spurs
boys in the players' room. There was no malice or anger. We'd been
kicking lumps out of each other for 90 minutes but let it go after the
game. Graham Rix and I used to go for a drink and we'd meet up with
Glenn Hoddle, even Graham Roberts at times.

JAMIE REDKNAPP

Tottenham 2002-05 (49 apps, 4 goals)

I played in that 2-2 draw against the Invincibles at White Hart Lane. At half-time, it could have been 6-0 – Pires, Henry, Vieira, Cole and Campbell were immense. We were delighted to only be 2-0 down. Then I scored after the break with a decent strike past Jens Lehmann, who then gave away a very dubious penalty to Robbie Keane in the last minute. We equalised but the draw meant they won the league. It was odd in that sense as both teams were happy. They won the title but we had a result against the best team in Premier League history. We were buzzing, we'd got out of jail. We'd been outclassed.

Smokin': Ashley Cole leads celebrations after Arsenal won the title at White Hart Lane in 2004

Smokin': Ashley Cole leads celebrations after Arsenal claimed league title at White Hart Lane in 2004

Not for faint-hearted: Tottenham's Graham Roberts and Arsenal's Charlie Nicholas end up in the crowd

Not for faint-hearted: Tottenham's Graham Roberts and Arsenal's Charlie Nicholas end up in the crowd

BILLY McCULLOUGH

Arsenal 1958-66 (268 apps, five goals)

My first derby was at Highbury when Dave Mackay and Danny Blanchflower beat us. But it is the 4-4 at White Hart Lane in October 1962 that sticks in my memory. We had a centre half, Laurie Brown, who had been transferred to Tottenham earlier in the year. He didn't take much abuse though, I don't think it was as bad then. If anyone says they're not nervous when they play in a derby, there's something wrong with them. You can feel the tension in the dressing room before you run out, but once you're out there you're just concentrating. Afterwards, we'd have a cup of tea or a bottle of beer with the other players and their wives. There was never much animosity.

STEVE PERRYMAN

Tottenham 1969-86 (854 apps, 39 goals)

I probably played more derbies than any other Spurs player. The strangest was when the great Pat Jennings – who played for both clubs and was then with Arsenal – was given the red book at the end of a game for This Is Your Life. It had to be secret so no one could tell him. Some of us from Tottenham were invited to travel on the Arsenal bus to the studios. The Spurs fans were making their feelings known to the visiting bus as it left – until they saw some familiar faces on board – one being me. It was a special event to go to, but if you were a Spurs fan you'd probably think we shouldn't have been on that bus! I got in the team under Bill Nicholson and he was the type who would pull you up if you drove a red car or had a red coat. If an office lady had a red coat, he'd make her life a misery. If there was a speck of red in your tie, watch out. I got the message. There's more respect between the two clubs than some other derbies. After my heart problems I had messages from Arsenal fans, which was particularly nice.

Tottenham's Steve Perryman takes on Arsenal's John Hollins

True colours: Spurs legend Steve Perryman got the message

Magic moment: Paul Gascoigne scores with a free kick against Arsenal in 1991 FA Cup semi-final

Magic moment: Paul Gascoigne scores with a free kick against Arsenal in 1991 FA Cup semi-final

CHRIS HUGHTON

Tottenham 1977-90 (398 apps, 19 goals)

WITHOUT a doubt our 5-0 win at home in April 1983. I'd watched from the sidelines in 1978 as Liam Brady scored a wonder goal when Arsenal won by the same scoreline, so it felt great for our fans to win so emphatically. On a personal note it was great as I scored two.

PERRY GROVES

Arsenal 1986-92 (120 apps, 28 goals)

There's no better feeling than scoring the winner in front of the North Bank – I know because I did it in March 1988. I'm probably being self-indulgent but it was magical. The game was live on ITV, which was massive back then because not many games were broadcast. We were 1-0 up thanks to Alan Smith and I was played through in the 24th minute. The ball bounced up so sweetly for me and it was in front of the Clock End. I remember thinking: 'It's only Bobby Mimms in goal, I'll definitely score this!' But somehow I screwed my shot wide and I couldn't believe it. So you could imagine what was going through my mind when Clive Allen equalised. I was going to be hung by the fans for missing that chance. But then the moment arrived. Kenny Sansom took a throw and the ball dropped on my left foot. When the ball hit the net, it was a mix of exhilaration and relief. I dived into the North Bank!

Derby surprise: Eamonn Andrews stuns Pat Jennings

Derby surprise: Eamonn Andrews stuns Pat Jennings

GERRY FRANCIS

Tottenham boss 1994-97 (146 games)

IT has to be the 1-0 win at home on January 2, 1995. It was always going to be special because it was my first as manager. We were playing well at the time, so went into it with confidence. Gica Popescu scored the only goal and White Hart Lane erupted. To make it more special, that was the last time Tottenham finished the season as London's top club.

Arsenal injury crisis deepens before Champions League

You thought it couldn't get any worse Now Arsenal without Ramsey… and Theo's ill too

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UPDATED:

16:29 GMT, 5 November 2012

Arsenal are facing a mounting injury crisis after Aaron Ramsey was added the growing list of absentees, while Theo Walcott didn't train on Monday afternoon.

The Gunners face a crucial Champions League clash against Schalke on Tuesday night having been beaten at home by the German outfit last time out.

Up against it: Arsenal's worries have deepened with more players joining the injury list

Up against it: Arsenal's worries have deepened with more players joining the injury list

Up against it: Arsenal's worries have deepened with more players joining the injury list

Since the shock 2-0 defeat at Emirates Stadium two weeks ago, Arsene Wenger's side have limped to victory over QPR and then soundly beaten by Manchester United in all but scoreline.

And with Gervinho, Tomas Rosicky, Abou Diaby and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain already missing in attack, plus Kieran Gibbs and Wojciech Szczesny yet to return from injuries, news of Ramsey's thigh strain is far from welcome.

Walcott also missed Monday's open training session with a stomach problem, but is part of the squad making the trip to Germany.

Bending over backwards: Jack Wilshere will be able to play despite his red card against United

Bending over backwards: Jack Wilshere will be able to play despite his red card against United

Bending over backwards: Jack Wilshere will be able to play despite his red card against United

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain injury doubt for Schalke

Oxlade-Chamberlain injury adds to Wenger's worries ahead of Schalke clash

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 21 October 2012

Arsenal look likely to be without Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for the Champions League visit of Schalke on Wednesday after the England forward injured a hip just minutes after coming on during Saturday’s shock 1-0 defeat at Norwich.

Oxlade-Chamberlain is said to have been in a lot of discomfort on Saturday night and the Arsenal medical team will wait for the injury to settle before assessing the extent of the problem today.

But early indications are that Oxlade-Chamberlain, 19, will not be fit to face the German side on Wednesday and could even miss next Saturday’s Barclays Premier League visit of Queens Park Rangers.

Doubt: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain picked up a knock

Doubt: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain picked up a knock

The news will come as a blow to manager Arsene Wenger, whose injury list is already lengthy, with Bacary Sagna, Abou Diaby, Tomas Rosicky, Wojciech Szczesny and Laurent Koscielny all missing.

There is better news on the injury front for the Gunners, though, in the form of Jack Wilshere.

The England midfielder, who has not played a competitive game for the Gunners in 17 months since picking up a stress fracture to an ankle, was an unused substitute during the defeat at Norwich and will play in the club’s Under 21 fixture against Everton on Monday ahead of his long-awaited first-team comeback, which could come against QPR.

Arsenal took the unusual measure of flying to Carrow Road from London Luton airport in a journey that took under 20 minutes.

It is understood Arsenal decided to travel that way to Norfolk due to train disruptions but the decision backfired as the visitors slumped to a surprise defeat thanks to Grant Holt’s first-half strike. The surprise defeat means Arsenal are 10 points behind early Premier League leaders Chelsea.

Upset: Arsene Wenger does not like the gap at the top

Upset: Arsene Wenger does not like the gap at the top

EURO WATCH

Arsenal’s Champions League visitors on Wednesday, Schalke, pulled off an impressive 2-1 derby win at Borussia Dortmund but it was overshadowed by crowd trouble. On the pitch, goals from Ibrahim Afellay and Marco Hoger secured a third win in a row to cement third place in the Bundesliga.

Wenger admitted the widening gap between his side and the teams at the Premier League summit makes him cringe. ‘The gap is very unpleasant,’ said the Arsenal manager afterwards.

‘We had an opportunity that Tottenham could win and we could win, and we both lost.

‘That, of course, makes the gap a lot bigger and you cannot say you do not worry about that.

‘But what is more disappointing is that we could not score. It was a poor collective offensive performance.

‘It is a good lesson for us but I would have preferred not to get it because, if you need lessons like that, you will stand there at the end of the season and be full of regrets.

‘We have to face the reality that, if you are not completely ready in the Premier League, then you have no chance.’

Remember when…
Chris Sutton of Norwich

The opening day of the 1992-93 season at Highbury and Norwich striker Chris Sutton beats Arsenal’s Steve Bould to the ball. Before Saturday, this was the last time Norwich had beaten the Gunners. A Mark Robins brace plus goals from Ruel Fox and David Phillips earned a 4-2 win for Norwich, who went on to finish third in the table.

Arsene Wenger says he may have got Abou Diabys fitness gamble wrong

I got it wrong: says Wenger after Diaby fitness gamble backfires

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UPDATED:

21:55 GMT, 30 September 2012

Arsene Wenger admits his gamble on Abou Diaby’s fitness may have backfired piling extra pressure on Jack Wilshere ahead of his long-awaited comeback.

Wenger explained his decision to sell Alex Song to Barcelona and refusal to buy a replacement by emphasising the return to fitness of Diaby and Wilshere, neither of whom played last season.

But Diaby is out for at least three weeks after pulling a thigh muscle against Chelsea and Wilshere is preparing for his first game in 14 months when Arsenal’s U21s take on West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns on Monday.

Injury concern: Abou Diaby goes off injured against Chelsea

Injury concern: Abou Diaby goes off injured against Chelsea

Missing: Diaby could be out for some time

Missing: Diaby could be out for some time

'Diaby’s injury record is not good,’ said Wenger. ‘I was concerned about him of course. It was a gamble, but I was calculating as well that Wilshere was coming back, Francis Coquelin is here but was sick and Emmanuel Frimpong is back.

'Tomas Rosicky is coming back so we have many midfield players. We don’t have many physical players but Mikel Arteta has shown he can be a great defensive midfield player.

'He was outstanding in that area against Chelsea. We’ll see overall if it was a good or bad decision at the end of the season.’

Jack's back: Jack Wilshere is back in full training

Jack's back: Jack Wilshere is back in full training

Having successfully completed the pre-season programme without missing a training session, Diaby started the campaign in splendid form but limped off after only 17 minutes on Saturday.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came on with Aaron Ramsey switching to a central role alongside Arteta.

Diaby, 26, has started 87 Barclays Premier League games since he arrived from Auxerre nearly seven years ago.

Positive reports: England assistant Ray Lewington watched Carl Jenkinson

Positive reports: England assistant Ray Lewington watched Carl Jenkinson

Muscle injuries have blighted him since he broke an ankle at Sunderland in May 2006 and he knows it is crucial to prove his fitness in this the final year of his contract.

Meanwhile, Roy Hodgson can expect positive reports from his assistant Ray Lewington on the progress of Arsenal full-backs Carl Jenkinson and Kieran Gibbs.

The pair are flourishing this season and Jenkinson has sprung into Hodgson’s thoughts because England’s first-choice right-back Glen Johnson is suspended for the game against San Marino and Micah Richards, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are all injured.

'You play some good games and everybody says you should play for England,’ said Arsenal midfielder Arteta, who have played consistently for many years without a cap for Spain.

'Carl has improved tremendously in the last few months and he deserves a lot of credit for what he has done and where he is coming from but he needs to keep going and maintain the level, which is the most difficult thing when you get up to the top.'