Spoils shared in wonky derby

Tottenham 3-3 Arsenal

Ok, Ok, let’s get it out the way first: I know we let a two goal lead slip for the umpteenth time and I know we ended up drawing our fifth league game in six. And I am well aware that we continue to be deficient in the match-winning department. As for the t-word – well it stands for third, doesn’t it?

But you know what – it was some match. Not one for the faint-hearted partisan fan, perhaps, but a proper humdinger of a football match all the same. Did either side deserve to lose?

There was the usual welter of misery on Twitter last night but I’m with @arse2mouse in feeling far more positive about things than I’m feeling negative.

Why? Well in the first half, the Arsenal that I can barely recall finally made a belated reappearance. We looked menacing pretty much every time we went forward, we attacked with pace, we snapped into tackles and we scored three lovely, well-worked goals. To see us play like that was just a joy. We all know we’re capable of it, but it’s just not been happening. Why it hasn’t – well that’s been covered in acres of webprint here and elsewhere. I just wanted to see it back, and it was back.

As for the three goals conceded, well you can pick holes in Arsenal for a couple of them – this is Arsenal we are talking about, after all – but let’s be fair, both of their goals from open play were excellent finishes. Szczesny’s penalty was hardly Eboue-esque – he made a snap decision to come out to rescue a dangerous situation and got the timing wrong. Also worth noting is how we defended for our lives at other times – Szczesny made a couple of excellent saves. It was frustrating, as ever, but to my mind hardly the Collaps-o-Arsenal we have seen elsewhere this season.

van Persie scored a goal that may have been onside – the infuriating roof support that ruins the camera view at the Spuds ground makes it hard to say with certainty – but they are the kinds of decisions that go one way or the other week in, week out.

So I could dwell on the inability to close yet another game down, or on the one point from six we have taken against the Spuds, having had two-goal leads in both matches. We are many of us pretty sure where the surgery – in the form of new players and new approaches – is required but to dwell on the negatives is no good for the soul. So I’m not going to. I’m done with that for now.

Besides, as James Lawton says in the Independent this morning:

“There are times when there is simply nothing more to say about the sweet agonies of Arsenal.”