Ever thought of a team that had Cazorla setting up Defoe? Bale crossing for Podolski? Lloris saving a Koscienly error? Well this team has it all
The North London derby, one of the fiercest and most exciting derbies in the world. A unpredictable game always filled with great goals, controversy and the occasional red mist. 125 years of rivalry more closely contested with every meeting. A title decider in 2004, a semi final mauling in 2008, these kind of games are always a spectacle for the fans.
But what if you were to combine the first 11's of both team? Having asked numerous Arsenal and Spurs fans, I've been able to create a 'North London XI':
Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris
Starting off with the man between the sticks, goalkeeper. The two contenders for this place are Wojciech Szczesny and Hugo Llloris. Both number 1's for club & country, both very good shot stoppers but also both prone to the occasional howler. This choice was a no brainer, as out of the 25 fans asked, all agreed that Llloris was the man to have. His experience being the main factor, albeit being only 3 years older then Szczesny, Lloris has been a key member of the France national side. So 1-0 Tottenham.
Right Back: Bacary Sagna
Now into defence, candidates for this place are England youngster Kyle Walker and injured French vetern Bacary Sagna. Having burst onto the scene Walker has captured many Spurs fan's hearts by tuning in fine performances for much of the first half of last season. However fatigue or maybe the pressure to keep things going seemed to get to Walker causing him to slowly fade in the last few matches. Nevertheless he was awarded PFA Young Player of the Year. On the other side of things Backary Sagna has been a Arsenal first team member for 5 years. At the age of 29 experience is on his side but two serious injuries have cast a shadow of doubt that when Sagna returns will he be the same player? The choice was made due to his age and that Walker has much more to learn for his trade. Arsenal 1-1
Left Back: Kieren Gibbs
Onto the other side of defence. Up for battle are Kieran Gibbs and Benoit Assou-Ekotto. Both are undoubtedly the weakest links in both sides but yet they still turn out consistently average performances every match. Nothing spectacular, nothing to poor, just what they have to do. Having the majority of the votes, Kieran Gibbs wins due to his defensive abilities outweighing that of Assou-Ekotto. 2-1 Arsenal.
Centre Backs: Thomas Vermaelen & Jan Vertonghen
Now the centre backs. The choices being Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Koscienly, Vertonghen, Kaboul and Gallas. Narrowing down the options, Mertesacker, Kaboul and Gallas all immediently fall out of the running. This leaves Vermalean, Koscienly and Vertonghen. Now due to Koscienly being to error prone I've decided to go with both Belgium defneders Vermalean & Vertonghen. Vermaelean being one of the best centre backs in the league and Vertonghen being more versitle across the back being able to cover for either flank. Arsenal still lead 3-2.
Centre Midfield: Mikel Arteta & Scott Parker
Centre Midfield. The heart of the team. Choices for this position are Arteta, Wilshere, Diaby, Ramsey, Parker, Sandro, Sigurdsson and Huddlestone. Once again narrowing down the choices, Diaby, Ramsey, Sandro, Sigurdsson and Huddlestone all miss teh cut. Now this being such an important position it was hard to make a choice, as from the fans asked, I didn't fully agree. Personally I believe Wilshere deserved a place but due to his outstanding injury (which he returned to training very recently) has cast him out. Arsenal still lead 4-3
Attacking Midfield: Santi Cazorla
The way the game is going, playing behind the striker is becoming a more and more important position as the game goes on. Candidates for this place are Cazorla, Arshavin, Dembele and Dempsey. Arshavin not showing any form at all over the last 2 years casts him out straight away and Dempsey being more of a forward then attacking midfielder just makes him miss out. Now the fans choice was split down the middle with Cazorla and Dembele being the two. The reasoning behind Cazorla being chosen is because having just joined from a different league and settling in so quickly, easily being a key player for Arsenal after 4 games, proves to me that he deserves this place. Arsenal lead 5-3
Left Wing: Gareth Bale
Out onto the left. This choice was one of the more easier ones that the fans made. The decision being a straight battle between Theo Walcott and Gareth Bale. Both very pacey, both pitch in with goals however unlike the rest of the team, this position was completely one sided, with Bale winning all votes. Spurs pull one back, 5-4
Right Wing: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Now the other wing. Candidates for this place were Chamberlain, Gervinho and Lennon. Now surprisingly the young talent Chamberlain seemed to get most of the votes, with only 3 votes going towards Aaron Lennon. Yes, he is inexperienced and yes he lacks certain reading of the game but his raw talent seemed to win his place in the team. Arsenal lead 6-4
Striker: Jermaine Defoe
Finally the striker. The man whos got to be getting on the scoresheet consistently. The choices being Giroud, Podolski, Adebayor and Defoe. Now to look at early season form, Giroud and Adebayor both don't get a mention in. This leaves it straight out between Podolksi and Defoe. The votes were spread out almost evenly but Defoe gets the nod simply because over the last year he has shown he has what it takes to score regularly in the Premiership. Podolski is not far off, and personally I believe deserved the place but, since this being his first season and the fact he has rarely shown his national form for club, we shall wait and see if he can live up to the high standards Wenger has for him. Arsenal clinch it 6-5
So there we have it. A North London side. A team that would be deadly in all aspects, apart from one area. Winning trophies.. ;)