On one bright and sunny Wednesday afternoon I decided to get a little trim at the hairdressers, upon walking into the barbers , I found myself in a long queue with some other fine gentlemen of various degrees of baldness.
I’d been meaning to write a North London derby starting 11 piece for some time so with time to spare I took to twitter to do a quick poll with my millions of followers to help me gauge the popular opinion for a more fair minded team than the ones click-bait pundits seem to be offering up.
May I present:
Goal Keeper – Hugo Lloris – Spurs
At first considering his inconsistencies over the past 18 months I was hesitant to go for Lloris but, with such a high percentage of the vote in hindsight maybe he’s worth a starting birth in my team. I was a big fan of Lloris when he was at Lyon and hoped Arsenal would sign him, he has everything you could want in a keeper although not the tallest compared to his peers.
A world cup winner and Champions League finalist, as well as consistently being among the top ranked keepers for saves, its understandable why many would want him in their team. Bernd Leno is just adjusting to the league and could in time replace Lloris as the NLD keeper but for now it goes to the Frenchman.
Left Back – Danny Rose – Spurs
A key protagonist in the derby after his wonder goal from outside the box won the game in the last minutes during his first North London derby game. At one point Rose grew into being one of the best left backs in the league and indeed for his country.
Was rumoured to be leaving Spurs this summer due to attitude issues with Poch, but he’s still here and will be a problem Arsenal will need to overcome. Arsenal have high hopes that new signing Kieran Tierney will in time either reach Rose in terms of talent or indeed exceed him.
Centre Back – Jan Vertonghen – Spurs
I promise there will be Arsenal players in this team, but the Spurs defence in general has been very solid and much of that is down to the ever reliable Jan Vertonghen. Whether it’s tackling on coming forwards or making sure the rest of his team stay in position, the former Ajax man does all you’d ask for in a centre back.
David Luiz might have better passing accuracy and potentially a higher talent ceiling, but for a man to be counted on most people would go for Jan Vertonghen.
Centre Back – Davinson Sanchez – Spurs
Another Spurs centre back and well they have 3 quality ones to choose from, but Sanchez shades it for me and many others around, although still yet to reach the heights he did at Ajax, he’s proved a reasonably solid player to have in the back line for any top 6 team.
Still only young Sanchez could sickeningly be at Spurs for many years to come with his talent only getting better if coached right. One flaw or concern to the Colombian internationals game right now though is he seems a little rash in the challenge, possibly due to still getting used to the hard hitting style of the league.
Right Back – Hector Bellerin – Arsenal !
The first player finally in the starting 11 for Arsenal, Hector Bellerin is on his day the best right back in the league and one of the best in world football, its as simple as that.
The former Barca man has had many offers to leave but has stayed and repaid the faith shown in him by Arsenal from a young age. With his unique mix of Cockney Spanglish , Bellerin is a key figure on and off the pitch, thanks to his high intellect and endurance. Although currently suffering with injuries it won’t be long until the Spanish international is back providing pace and skill to that right side of defence.
Defensive Midfield – Lucas Torreira – Arsenal
Although small in stature , Torreira is huge in heart , full of energy , bite and general aggression, if you are going to war you want this little fella with you. An instant hit with the Arsenal faithful , possibly firstly down to him ruffing up Cristiano Ronaldo in the world cup, but since then he impressed in his first season for the club.
Torreira has been known mostly for his energy and tackling, but he’s not just a fighter, he’s also an artist, with an eye for a pass, the skill to execute it and the nerve to do it.
Centre Midfield – Christian Eriksen – Spurs
Undoubtedly the creative linchpin for Spurs, its simple, without him they aren’t a top 6 side. This former Ajax man is best when he is dictating play with his passes and shots outside the box, although more suited to the number 10 role, he’s equally adapt and versatile to fill in at central midfield or even on the right.
One of the few Spurs players I actually like and in all honesty I could never bring myself to put Dele Ali in this team.
Attacking midfield – Mesut Ozil – Arsenal
I feel like my Ozil propaganda has been falling deaf ears as Mesut Ozil didn’t get many votes in my poll on twitter. What self respecting fanboy would I be if I didn’t find some way to wedge him in my team?
A player of undoubted talent, that on his day is one of the best players in the world, although unfortunately yet to reach the standards he hit at Real Madrid. It seems off field things have played a part in Mesut Ozil’s career over the last 18 months but hopefully this is the season he becomes the player we know he’s capable of.
Right Wing – Nicolas Pepe – Arsenal
Still adjusting to life in England, after a headline grabbing transfer from Lille this summer. Last week against Liverpool, Arsenal fans got just a glimpse of what to expect from the Ivory Coast international, thanks to his record 12 take ons in a game and being one of the first players to dribble past Van Dijk.
Everything points to Arsenal’s record signing being a real hit who could make his name this weekend.
Left Wing – Son Heung-min- Spurs
Lots of diving allegations in his time for Spurs, including one in the last years derby. Tom Daley antics aside Son is probably Spurs best player now, thanks to his determination to score, dribble into space to create for his team mates or his overall work rate.
There are stories abound that while playing for Leverkusen, Arsenal scouts were all over Son, pretty much every scout liked him and called him a perfect Arsenal player. Sadly Arsene Wenger thought otherwise and decided to turn down the chance to sign him so he went to Spurs instead.
Striker – Pierre Emerick Aubameyang – Arsenal
With a whole host of strikers to choose from it would be hard to pick one but Aubameyang got the best figures last year, leading to him being the joint top scorer in the league. Lacazette managed 13 goals and 10 assists in the league so he’d possibly be second choice followed by Harry Kane who seems to be a shadow of his former self after in ankle injuries.
Aubameyang has been fantastic since joining Arsenal, scoring 50 goals in a faster time than even Thierry Henry. His unique combination of pace , positioning and finishing seems to be just what the doctor ordered.
I got into football as a kid watching Italian football in the afternoons and ever since I’ve been hooked on tactics and the continental side of the game. I’ve written about Italian football in the past among other things but now it’s time to write about, the embodiment of how I see the beautiful game, Arsenal. Hopefully writing things and opinions about the game you haven’t seen before, I like a bit of a joke too.