The Independent London Newspaper
22nd October 2018

EYEWITNESS: Dan Carrier's view on Tottenham Hotspur 2 Arsenal 1

    FA PREMIER LEAGUE: TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2 ARSENAL 1

    EYEWITNESS report from DAN CARRIER

    at WHITE HART LANE

    I WAS given a fair amount of unsavoury ribbing by Gooners when they heard Spurs had rushed out a DVD of the 4-4 draw at the Emirates when David Bentley scored that goal.

    But how I hope someone has spent this evening knocking off a few copies of a magic moment that 36,000 people witnessed at the north London derby.

    Just like Bentley’s lob, it will live for a long time in the mind’s eye of every Spurs fan who was at the Lane. Against the ropes after Sunday’s FA Cup let down, knowing that after being fourth for so long we still had so much to do to qualify for the Champions League, having Arsenal to beat must have felt like approaching the Chair in the Grand National…on foot.

    But after the usual giddy opening, a moment of sheer footballing glory was conjured out of the precocious left foot of rookie winger Danny Rose. What a way to mark the opening 10 minutes of your Tottenham Hotspur Premier league debut.

    The ball comes swinging out from a corner, and his eyes tracked it: it is doubtful how much he knew about that one - it was one deep from his sub consciousness. He hit it so sweetly that Arsenal keeper Manuel Almunia was clutching at air when the ball had already come to rest.

    It was a stupendous strike, a moment that will live with the youngster for ever.

    And this moment completely lightened the mood. Not only was a moment like this crucial for our attempts to crack fourth, it was crucial for our humour. Sunday was a tough result to bear.

    It was hard to decide if coming together so soon after sharing such an experience as a shock Wembley defeat would be therapeutic or harrowing. It was like you’d had a party round your mum’s house as a teenager while the folks were away, and then waking up the next day to deal with the mess coupled with the knowledge that your best mate had snogged your sweetheart.

    The team had a distinctly make shift feel to it: Rose was brought in to give width and what a game for the former Leeds United trainee to be asked to make a mark in. The noise that greeted Sol Campbell’s first touch was loud enough to be heard right down the Sevens Sisters Road. In return, Arsenal wags sung Play Up Pompey.

    Then it was a case of Arsenal probing and Spurs keeping them at arms length while both teams tried to find some kind of rhythm.

    Bendtner came close on 25, while Modric also could have scored at the end of the first period. The second half saw goal hero Rose replaced with David Bentley,

    Spurs made it two immediately: Defoe held off Campbell and his inch perfect ball found Bale cantering through with just the keeper to calmly beat.

    Then it was hang on and see whether the footballing fairies were from the bottom of Harry‘s garden. Gomes pulled off three world class saves, two from Van Persie and then Campbell in quick succession. It was this pressure that brought Bendtner a goal on 84 to ensure a heart stopping climax.

    But Spurs clung on, and like so many Spurs fans who desperately needed a reason to find their smiles again, it is likely Danny Rose would have found it hard to go to sleep tonight.

    Hero: Apart from Rose…Gareth Bale showed why Harry Redknapp insists the player who couldn’t get a game before Christmas is the best left footer in the country. While there were energetic performances in every area of the pitch, Bale’s stood out and was capped by a well taken goal.

    Villain: Sections of the crowd: I’m sorry, but I am soooo bored of one of the offensive chants aimed at Wenger. Please have a go at him with some wit and imagination.

    Move of the Match: Despite being a wonderful high tempo game with some lovely one touch stuff, it simply can’t be anything but Rose’s volley, even though it was not strictly speaking a move. The balance and precision required was immense, and it all combined perfectly at the right moment. Gomes’s stop from close range off Van Persie with 10 minutes to go was also crucial.

     

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