Milan

Milan slideshow

Championship - Sheffield Wednesday vs Bristol City

Soccer Football - Championship - Sheffield Wednesday vs Bristol City - Hillsborough, Sheffield, Britain - November 18, 2017 Bristol City's Milan Djuric shoots at goal Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

Buffon to sit out Juventus match after Italy WCup failure

FILE - In this Monday, Nov. 13, 2017 file photo, Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is comforted by Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura, right, at the end of the World Cup qualifying play-off second leg soccer match between Italy and Sweden, at the Milan San Siro stadium, Italy. Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura has been fired Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017 following the Azzurri's failure to qualify for the World Cup. Ventura leaves in disgrace, widely criticized for his tactical decisions that left Italy out of football's biggest competition for the first time in six decades. A football federation statement says Ventura is "no longer coach of the national team." (AP Photo/Luca Bruno, File)

FILE - In this Monday, Nov. 13, 2017 file photo, Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is comforted by Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura, right, at the end of the World Cup qualifying play-off second leg soccer match between Italy and Sweden, at the Milan San Siro stadium, Italy. Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura has been fired Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017 following the Azzurri's failure to qualify for the World Cup. Ventura leaves in disgrace, widely criticized for his tactical decisions that left Italy out of football's biggest competition for the first time in six decades. A football federation statement says Ventura is "no longer coach of the national team." (AP Photo/Luca Bruno, File)

FILE - In this Monday, Nov. 13, 2017 file photo, Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is comforted by Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura, right, at the end of the World Cup qualifying play-off second leg soccer match between Italy and Sweden, at the Milan San Siro stadium, Italy. Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura has been fired Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017 following the Azzurri's failure to qualify for the World Cup. Ventura leaves in disgrace, widely criticized for his tactical decisions that left Italy out of football's biggest competition for the first time in six decades. A football federation statement says Ventura is "no longer coach of the national team." (AP Photo/Luca Bruno, File)

Milan (Italy), 16/11/2017.- Armani Exchange Milano playmaker Andrea Cinciarini (L) and his teammate Jerrells Curtis jubilate during the Euroleague basketball match Armani Exchange Milano vs Brose Bamberg at Assago Forum, Milan, Italy, 17 November 2017. (Baile de la Rosa, Euroliga, Baloncesto, Italia) EFE/EPA/MATTEO BAZZI

Milan (Italy), 16/11/2017.- Armani Exchange Milano head coach Simone Pianigiani gestures during the Euroleague basketball match Armani Exchange Milano vs Brose Bamberg at Assago Forum, Milan, Italy, 17 November 2017. (Baile de la Rosa, Euroliga, Baloncesto, Italia) EFE/EPA/MATTEO BAZZI

Milan (Italy), 16/11/2017.- Brose Bamberg guard Ricky Hickman (R) drives up to the basket against Armani Exchange Milano playmaker Mantas Kalnietis during the Euroleague basketball match Armani Exchange Milano vs Brose Bamberg at Assago Forum, Milan, Italy, 17 November 2017. (Baile de la Rosa, Euroliga, Baloncesto, Italia) EFE/EPA/MATTEO BAZZI

Milan (Italy), 16/11/2017.- Brose Bamberg guard Maodo Lo (L) drives up to the basket against Armani Exchange Milano playmaker Jordan Theodore during the Euroleague basketball match Armani Exchange Milano vs Brose Bamberg at Assago Forum, Milan, Italy, 17 November 2017. (Baile de la Rosa, Euroliga, Baloncesto, Jordania, Italia) EFE/EPA/MATTEO BAZZI

Milan (Italy), 16/11/2017.- Brose Bamberg guard Aleksej Nikolic drives up to the basket during the Euroleague basketball match Armani Exchange Milano vs Brose Bamberg at Assago Forum, Milan, Italy, 17 November 2017. (Baile de la Rosa, Euroliga, Baloncesto, Italia) EFE/EPA/MATTEO BAZZI

Milan (Italy), 16/11/2017.- Brose Bamberg guard Ricky Hickman (L) drives up to the basket against Armani Exchange Milano playmaker Mantas Kalnietis during the Euroleague basketball match Armani Exchange Milano vs Brose Bamberg at Assago Forum, Milan, Italy, 17 November 2017. (Baile de la Rosa, Euroliga, Baloncesto, Italia) EFE/EPA/MATTEO BAZZI

Milan (Italy), 16/11/2017.- Brose Bamberg guard Ricky Hickman (L) drives up to the basket against Armani Exchange Milano guard Jerrells Curtis during the Euroleague basketball match Armani Exchange Milano vs Brose Bamberg at Assago Forum, Milan, Italy, 17 November 2017. (Baile de la Rosa, Euroliga, Baloncesto, Italia) EFE/EPA/MATTEO BAZZI

George Graham: 'Spurs are a bit further ahead of Arsenal now' 

It might be 22 years since George Graham left Arsenal but anyone doubting his enduring influence on each and every player he managed need only have been at the Odeon Cinema in Holloway last week. “George? Terrifying. Scared stiff of him,” says Lee Dixon. “Every so often you would think he was your mate but then you’d give the ball away and he would want to tear your head off. There’s still an aura. Put it this way. If he tells me to get him an ice-cream tonight, I’ll go and get him an ice-cream.” Paul Merson then recalls how his old manager once dealt with him giggling during training. “He didn’t say a word but then the team went up and I never played for two months.” It was of course a very different era at Arsenal – captured beautifully in the new 89 film that chronicles how they dramatically clinched the 1988-89 league title in the final seconds of the season – and one that was indelibly shaped by Graham. The stark contrast in managerial style to Arsene Wenger has only deepened a slightly rose-tinted nostalgia for the time but anyone questioning whether the modern Arsenal could benefit from a dollop of Graham-style resilience and discipline must have had their eyes shut for the past decade. Dixon tells me that you would have the “perfect” team if you could somehow combine his former managers, although he does pinpoint a pathological hatred of losing and utter certainty in their respective philosophy as shared traits. Graham arrives at the premiere of 89 Credit: Dave Benett/WireImage Graham agrees. “I don’t want to knock Arsene,” he says. “I think Arsene has been not only great for Arsenal but English football. He believes in attacking, possession football. That’s his strength. His philosophy has never changed, and that is why there are a lot of fans very supportive of him and a few saying, the way the club is structured, they could and should be doing better. A lot of people are too critical in one department [but] in the other, you can say, ‘they have got a case’. It’s a matter of finding some balance. If you said to Tottenham and a lot of clubs, ‘You are going to finish in the top four and win the FA Cup’, I think they would say, ‘Thank-you very much’. When Arsenal are playing the way they can, they are still one of the best and most attractive teams. I just have a little bit of doubt when they haven’t got the ball and the opposition have.” Graham then lets out a chuckle. “I’m trying to be nice,” he says, before explaining how, in practice, he used to organise his teams defensively. “Divide the width of the pitch with four players. Then, if we won possession, release one of the full-backs and divide the pitch by three rather than four.” Graham grimaces at the now common sight of two attacking full-backs simultaneously bombing forward. “I think, boy, they better have two good centre-halves to cover the width of the pitch. There are very few clubs in the Premier League who’ve got the balance right.” Arsenal famously conceded only 18 goals in Graham’s other championship-winning season in 1990-91 (they have already let in 16 this season) but he says that there was one superior defensive team. “AC Milan. They were the only team who played offside better than us - sprinting up as a group. Fantastic!” Now 72, and certainly mellowed in the 16 years since his career ended at Tottenham Hotspur, Graham will be back at The Emirates this lunchtime for one of the most eagerly awaited North London derbies of recent times. Never in Wenger’s tenure have Tottenham seemed so formidable and Arsenal so simultaneously vulnerable. Graham can see a power-shift, albeit with caveats. “It all depends what day you see Arsenal,” he says. “I do think Tottenham are the best defensive team in the league. [Mauricio] Pochettino believes in the pressing game but you need players to buy into that. Most want to be on the ball, not trying to win it back. That’s the hardest thing to sell but you can see the players buy into how he wants to coach. Once you have that, you can get success. I think they have a few little problems. I think you need a stronger squad. Arsenal have been much the stronger over the last few decades but I see Tottenham level now and maybe a little bit further forward. It’s a young side so you think they can only get better.” By contrast, Arsenal have the feel of a team nearing the end of a cycle and Graham believes that it would have been better simply to sell Alexis Sanchez if he wanted to join Manchester City. “If players don’t want to buy into what you are doing and want to move on - and you can tell day-to-day – then fair enough. It’s a win, win. You get a fabulous fee and you invest it in another player.” Graham hard at work at Shenley in 1992 Credit: haun Botterill/Allsport UK/Getty Images Graham actually made that very call in selling Michael Thomas to Liverpool two years after scoring the goal that has now been immortalised on screen. It must have been strange to see your younger self starring in a film? “I look back now and I say, ‘Oh my god, was I so confident? I don’t believe this’,” says Graham. “It surprised me a little bit how positive I was.” Remarkably, Graham had told his players before kick-off that night at Anfield how the match would unfold. “Don’t concede, be cautious, 0-0 at half-time is perfect. Then we’ll open a bit, score and they’ll be nervous. We’ll win 2-0.” The rest is of course history but last week was also a reminder of the enduring chemistry within a group that was meticulously assembled by a manager who would devour local newspapers for insight into potential signings. “If I was interested, I would see if I knew any of the coaches or players they had worked for. I wanted to find out about their ambition and attitude to training.” Graham was ahead of his time in the attention he paid to the character of new recruits and Dixon feels that, in retiring at 57 following subsequent jobs with Leeds United and Spurs, he finished “too early”. Yet having achieved the extraordinary feat of winning the league title, FA Cup, League Cup as well as a European trophy as both a player and manager, Graham appears genuinely content with the timing of his departure. He has been struggling with rheumatoid arthritis but evidently loves his garden, golf and “the big games” on TV. “I enjoy watching you lot on the Sunday Supplement as well,” he says. “I think I did it the right way. I worked my way up and learnt from some great coaches like Terry Venables, Dave Sexton and Don Howe. Three years at Millwall was like nine years’ experience. I went up the ladder the right way and I wasn’t prepared to come back down, dropping clubs, standards and losing whatever reputation I had. If I was going to finish, it would be at the top. That’s the way I felt and I have never regretted it.” 89 is in OurScreen.com cinemas and on DVD and digital download this month

George Graham: 'Spurs are a bit further ahead of Arsenal now' 

It might be 22 years since George Graham left Arsenal but anyone doubting his enduring influence on each and every player he managed need only have been at the Odeon Cinema in Holloway last week. “George? Terrifying. Scared stiff of him,” says Lee Dixon. “Every so often you would think he was your mate but then you’d give the ball away and he would want to tear your head off. There’s still an aura. Put it this way. If he tells me to get him an ice-cream tonight, I’ll go and get him an ice-cream.” Paul Merson then recalls how his old manager once dealt with him giggling during training. “He didn’t say a word but then the team went up and I never played for two months.” It was of course a very different era at Arsenal – captured beautifully in the new 89 film that chronicles how they dramatically clinched the 1988-89 league title in the final seconds of the season – and one that was indelibly shaped by Graham. The stark contrast in managerial style to Arsene Wenger has only deepened a slightly rose-tinted nostalgia for the time but anyone questioning whether the modern Arsenal could benefit from a dollop of Graham-style resilience and discipline must have had their eyes shut for the past decade. Dixon tells me that you would have the “perfect” team if you could somehow combine his former managers, although he does pinpoint a pathological hatred of losing and utter certainty in their respective philosophy as shared traits. Graham arrives at the premiere of 89 Credit: Dave Benett/WireImage Graham agrees. “I don’t want to knock Arsene,” he says. “I think Arsene has been not only great for Arsenal but English football. He believes in attacking, possession football. That’s his strength. His philosophy has never changed, and that is why there are a lot of fans very supportive of him and a few saying, the way the club is structured, they could and should be doing better. A lot of people are too critical in one department [but] in the other, you can say, ‘they have got a case’. It’s a matter of finding some balance. If you said to Tottenham and a lot of clubs, ‘You are going to finish in the top four and win the FA Cup’, I think they would say, ‘Thank-you very much’. When Arsenal are playing the way they can, they are still one of the best and most attractive teams. I just have a little bit of doubt when they haven’t got the ball and the opposition have.” Graham then lets out a chuckle. “I’m trying to be nice,” he says, before explaining how, in practice, he used to organise his teams defensively. “Divide the width of the pitch with four players. Then, if we won possession, release one of the full-backs and divide the pitch by three rather than four.” Graham grimaces at the now common sight of two attacking full-backs simultaneously bombing forward. “I think, boy, they better have two good centre-halves to cover the width of the pitch. There are very few clubs in the Premier League who’ve got the balance right.” Arsenal famously conceded only 18 goals in Graham’s other championship-winning season in 1990-91 (they have already let in 16 this season) but he says that there was one superior defensive team. “AC Milan. They were the only team who played offside better than us - sprinting up as a group. Fantastic!” Now 72, and certainly mellowed in the 16 years since his career ended at Tottenham Hotspur, Graham will be back at The Emirates this lunchtime for one of the most eagerly awaited North London derbies of recent times. Never in Wenger’s tenure have Tottenham seemed so formidable and Arsenal so simultaneously vulnerable. Graham can see a power-shift, albeit with caveats. “It all depends what day you see Arsenal,” he says. “I do think Tottenham are the best defensive team in the league. [Mauricio] Pochettino believes in the pressing game but you need players to buy into that. Most want to be on the ball, not trying to win it back. That’s the hardest thing to sell but you can see the players buy into how he wants to coach. Once you have that, you can get success. I think they have a few little problems. I think you need a stronger squad. Arsenal have been much the stronger over the last few decades but I see Tottenham level now and maybe a little bit further forward. It’s a young side so you think they can only get better.” By contrast, Arsenal have the feel of a team nearing the end of a cycle and Graham believes that it would have been better simply to sell Alexis Sanchez if he wanted to join Manchester City. “If players don’t want to buy into what you are doing and want to move on - and you can tell day-to-day – then fair enough. It’s a win, win. You get a fabulous fee and you invest it in another player.” Graham hard at work at Shenley in 1992 Credit: haun Botterill/Allsport UK/Getty Images Graham actually made that very call in selling Michael Thomas to Liverpool two years after scoring the goal that has now been immortalised on screen. It must have been strange to see your younger self starring in a film? “I look back now and I say, ‘Oh my god, was I so confident? I don’t believe this’,” says Graham. “It surprised me a little bit how positive I was.” Remarkably, Graham had told his players before kick-off that night at Anfield how the match would unfold. “Don’t concede, be cautious, 0-0 at half-time is perfect. Then we’ll open a bit, score and they’ll be nervous. We’ll win 2-0.” The rest is of course history but last week was also a reminder of the enduring chemistry within a group that was meticulously assembled by a manager who would devour local newspapers for insight into potential signings. “If I was interested, I would see if I knew any of the coaches or players they had worked for. I wanted to find out about their ambition and attitude to training.” Graham was ahead of his time in the attention he paid to the character of new recruits and Dixon feels that, in retiring at 57 following subsequent jobs with Leeds United and Spurs, he finished “too early”. Yet having achieved the extraordinary feat of winning the league title, FA Cup, League Cup as well as a European trophy as both a player and manager, Graham appears genuinely content with the timing of his departure. He has been struggling with rheumatoid arthritis but evidently loves his garden, golf and “the big games” on TV. “I enjoy watching you lot on the Sunday Supplement as well,” he says. “I think I did it the right way. I worked my way up and learnt from some great coaches like Terry Venables, Dave Sexton and Don Howe. Three years at Millwall was like nine years’ experience. I went up the ladder the right way and I wasn’t prepared to come back down, dropping clubs, standards and losing whatever reputation I had. If I was going to finish, it would be at the top. That’s the way I felt and I have never regretted it.” 89 is in OurScreen.com cinemas and on DVD and digital download this month

George Graham: 'Spurs are a bit further ahead of Arsenal now' 

It might be 22 years since George Graham left Arsenal but anyone doubting his enduring influence on each and every player he managed need only have been at the Odeon Cinema in Holloway last week. “George? Terrifying. Scared stiff of him,” says Lee Dixon. “Every so often you would think he was your mate but then you’d give the ball away and he would want to tear your head off. There’s still an aura. Put it this way. If he tells me to get him an ice-cream tonight, I’ll go and get him an ice-cream.” Paul Merson then recalls how his old manager once dealt with him giggling during training. “He didn’t say a word but then the team went up and I never played for two months.” It was of course a very different era at Arsenal – captured beautifully in the new 89 film that chronicles how they dramatically clinched the 1988-89 league title in the final seconds of the season – and one that was indelibly shaped by Graham. The stark contrast in managerial style to Arsene Wenger has only deepened a slightly rose-tinted nostalgia for the time but anyone questioning whether the modern Arsenal could benefit from a dollop of Graham-style resilience and discipline must have had their eyes shut for the past decade. Dixon tells me that you would have the “perfect” team if you could somehow combine his former managers, although he does pinpoint a pathological hatred of losing and utter certainty in their respective philosophy as shared traits. Graham arrives at the premiere of 89 Credit: Dave Benett/WireImage Graham agrees. “I don’t want to knock Arsene,” he says. “I think Arsene has been not only great for Arsenal but English football. He believes in attacking, possession football. That’s his strength. His philosophy has never changed, and that is why there are a lot of fans very supportive of him and a few saying, the way the club is structured, they could and should be doing better. A lot of people are too critical in one department [but] in the other, you can say, ‘they have got a case’. It’s a matter of finding some balance. If you said to Tottenham and a lot of clubs, ‘You are going to finish in the top four and win the FA Cup’, I think they would say, ‘Thank-you very much’. When Arsenal are playing the way they can, they are still one of the best and most attractive teams. I just have a little bit of doubt when they haven’t got the ball and the opposition have.” Graham then lets out a chuckle. “I’m trying to be nice,” he says, before explaining how, in practice, he used to organise his teams defensively. “Divide the width of the pitch with four players. Then, if we won possession, release one of the full-backs and divide the pitch by three rather than four.” Graham grimaces at the now common sight of two attacking full-backs simultaneously bombing forward. “I think, boy, they better have two good centre-halves to cover the width of the pitch. There are very few clubs in the Premier League who’ve got the balance right.” Arsenal famously conceded only 18 goals in Graham’s other championship-winning season in 1990-91 (they have already let in 16 this season) but he says that there was one superior defensive team. “AC Milan. They were the only team who played offside better than us - sprinting up as a group. Fantastic!” Now 72, and certainly mellowed in the 16 years since his career ended at Tottenham Hotspur, Graham will be back at The Emirates this lunchtime for one of the most eagerly awaited North London derbies of recent times. Never in Wenger’s tenure have Tottenham seemed so formidable and Arsenal so simultaneously vulnerable. Graham can see a power-shift, albeit with caveats. “It all depends what day you see Arsenal,” he says. “I do think Tottenham are the best defensive team in the league. [Mauricio] Pochettino believes in the pressing game but you need players to buy into that. Most want to be on the ball, not trying to win it back. That’s the hardest thing to sell but you can see the players buy into how he wants to coach. Once you have that, you can get success. I think they have a few little problems. I think you need a stronger squad. Arsenal have been much the stronger over the last few decades but I see Tottenham level now and maybe a little bit further forward. It’s a young side so you think they can only get better.” By contrast, Arsenal have the feel of a team nearing the end of a cycle and Graham believes that it would have been better simply to sell Alexis Sanchez if he wanted to join Manchester City. “If players don’t want to buy into what you are doing and want to move on - and you can tell day-to-day – then fair enough. It’s a win, win. You get a fabulous fee and you invest it in another player.” Graham hard at work at Shenley in 1992 Credit: haun Botterill/Allsport UK/Getty Images Graham actually made that very call in selling Michael Thomas to Liverpool two years after scoring the goal that has now been immortalised on screen. It must have been strange to see your younger self starring in a film? “I look back now and I say, ‘Oh my god, was I so confident? I don’t believe this’,” says Graham. “It surprised me a little bit how positive I was.” Remarkably, Graham had told his players before kick-off that night at Anfield how the match would unfold. “Don’t concede, be cautious, 0-0 at half-time is perfect. Then we’ll open a bit, score and they’ll be nervous. We’ll win 2-0.” The rest is of course history but last week was also a reminder of the enduring chemistry within a group that was meticulously assembled by a manager who would devour local newspapers for insight into potential signings. “If I was interested, I would see if I knew any of the coaches or players they had worked for. I wanted to find out about their ambition and attitude to training.” Graham was ahead of his time in the attention he paid to the character of new recruits and Dixon feels that, in retiring at 57 following subsequent jobs with Leeds United and Spurs, he finished “too early”. Yet having achieved the extraordinary feat of winning the league title, FA Cup, League Cup as well as a European trophy as both a player and manager, Graham appears genuinely content with the timing of his departure. He has been struggling with rheumatoid arthritis but evidently loves his garden, golf and “the big games” on TV. “I enjoy watching you lot on the Sunday Supplement as well,” he says. “I think I did it the right way. I worked my way up and learnt from some great coaches like Terry Venables, Dave Sexton and Don Howe. Three years at Millwall was like nine years’ experience. I went up the ladder the right way and I wasn’t prepared to come back down, dropping clubs, standards and losing whatever reputation I had. If I was going to finish, it would be at the top. That’s the way I felt and I have never regretted it.” 89 is in OurScreen.com cinemas and on DVD and digital download this month

Milan (Italy), 16/11/2017.- Brose Bamberg Augustine Rubit (R) drives up to the basket against Armani Exchange Milano center Kaleb Tarczewski during the Euroleague basketball match Armani Exchange Milano vs Brose Bamberg at Assago Forum, Milan, Italy, 17 November 2017. (Baile de la Rosa, Euroliga, Baloncesto, Italia) EFE/EPA/MATTEO BAZZI

Milan (Italy), 16/11/2017.- Brose Bamberg guard Maodo Lo (L) drives up to the basket against Armani Exchange Milano center Kaleb Tarczewski during the Euroleague basketball match Armani Exchange Milano vs Brose Bamberg at Assago Forum, Milan, Italy, 17 November 2017. (Baile de la Rosa, Euroliga, Baloncesto, Italia) EFE/EPA/MATTEO BAZZI

Milan (Italy), 16/11/2017.- Brose Bamberg guard Aleksej Nikolic (R) drives up to the basket against Armani Exchange Milano playmaker Jordan Theodore during the Euroleague basketball match Armani Exchange Milano vs Brose Bamberg at Assago Forum, Milan, Italy, 17 November 2017. (Baile de la Rosa, Euroliga, Baloncesto, Jordania, Italia) EFE/EPA/MATTEO BAZZI

Milan (Italy), 16/11/2017.- Brose Bamberg guard Ricky Hickman (L) drives up to the basket against Armani Exchange Milano center Alturas Gudaitis during the Euroleague basketball match Armani Exchange Milano vs Brose Bamberg at Assago Forum, Milan, Italy, 17 November 2017. (Baile de la Rosa, Euroliga, Baloncesto, Italia) EFE/EPA/MATTEO BAZZI

Milan (Italy), 16/11/2017.- Brose Bamberg Augustine Rubit (R) drives up to the basket against Armani Exchange Milano center Kaleb Tarczewski during the Euroleague basketball match Armani Exchange Milano vs Brose Bamberg at Assago Forum, Milan, Italy, 17 November 2017. (Baile de la Rosa, Euroliga, Baloncesto, Italia) EFE/EPA/MATTEO BAZZI

Milan (Italy), 16/11/2017.- Brose Bamberg head coach Andrea Trinchieri gestures during the Euroleague basketball match Armani Exchange Milano vs Brose Bamberg at Assago Forum, Milan, Italy, 17 November 2017. (Baile de la Rosa, Euroliga, Baloncesto, Italia) EFE/EPA/MATTEO BAZZI

Milan (Italy), 16/11/2017.- Brose Bamberg guard Aleksej Nikolic (L) drives up to the basket against Armani Exchange Milano playmaker Jordan Theodore during the Euroleague basketball match Armani Exchange Milano vs Brose Bamberg at Assago Forum, Milan, Italy, 17 November 2017. (Baile de la Rosa, Euroliga, Baloncesto, Jordania, Italia) EFE/EPA/MATTEO BAZZI

Milan (Italy), 16/11/2017.- Brose Bamberg Augustine Rubit (R) drives up to the basket against Armani Exchange Milano center Kaleb Tarczewski during the Euroleague basketball match Armani Exchange Milano vs Brose Bamberg at Assago Forum, Milan, Italy, 17 November 2017. (Baile de la Rosa, Euroliga, Baloncesto, Italia) EFE/EPA/MATTEO BAZZI

Milan (Italy), 16/11/2017.- Brose Bamberg guard Ricky Hickman (R) drives up to the basket against Armani Exchange Milano playmaker Mantas Kalnietis during the Euroleague basketball match Armani Exchange Milano vs Brose Bamberg at Assago Forum, Milan, Italy, 17 November 2017. (Baile de la Rosa, Euroliga, Baloncesto, Italia) EFE/EPA/MATTEO BAZZI

Milan (Italy), 16/11/2017.- Brose Bamberg Augustine Rubit (C) drives up to the basket during the Euroleague basketball match Armani Exchange Milano vs Brose Bamberg at Assago Forum, Milan, Italy, 17 November 2017. (Baile de la Rosa, Euroliga, Baloncesto, Italia) EFE/EPA/MATTEO BAZZI

Milan (Italy), 16/11/2017.- Brose Bamberg guard Maodo Lo (second from L) drives up to the basket against Armani Exchange Milano center Kaleb Tarczewski during the Euroleague basketball match Armani Exchange Milano vs Brose Bamberg at Assago Forum, Milan, Italy, 17 November 2017. (Baile de la Rosa, Euroliga, Baloncesto, Italia) EFE/EPA/MATTEO BAZZI

Milan (Italy), 16/11/2017.- Brose Bamberg forward Luka Mitrovic (C) drives up to the basket against Armani Exchange Milano power forward Amath M'Baye (R) during the Euroleague basketball match Armani Exchange Milano vs Brose Bamberg at Assago Forum, Milan, Italy, 17 November 2017. (Baile de la Rosa, Euroliga, Baloncesto, Italia) EFE/EPA/MATTEO BAZZI

Milan (Italy), 16/11/2017.- Brose Bamberg guard Maodo Lo (R) drives up to the basket against Armani Exchange Milano center Kaleb Tarczewski during the Euroleague basketball match Armani Exchange Milano vs Brose Bamberg at Assago Forum, Milan, Italy, 17 November 2017. (Baile de la Rosa, Euroliga, Baloncesto, Italia) EFE/EPA/MATTEO BAZZI

Milan (Italy), 16/11/2017.- Brose Bamberg guard Maodo Lo (L) drives up to the basket against Armani Exchange Milano center Kaleb Tarczewski during the Euroleague basketball match Armani Exchange Milano vs Brose Bamberg at Assago Forum, Milan, Italy, 17 November 2017. (Baile de la Rosa, Euroliga, Baloncesto, Italia) EFE/EPA/MATTEO BAZZI

Milan (Italy), 16/11/2017.- Brose Bamberg guard Maodo Lo (L) drives up to the basket against Armani Exchange Milano point guard Dairis Bertans during the Euroleague basketball match Armani Exchange Milano vs Brose Bamberg at Assago Forum, Milan, Italy, 17 November 2017. (Baile de la Rosa, Euroliga, Baloncesto, Italia) EFE/EPA/MATTEO BAZZI

Milan (Italy), 16/11/2017.- Brose Bamberg guard Maodo Lo (L) drives up to the basket against Armani Exchange Milano center Kaleb Tarczewski during the Euroleague basketball match Armani Exchange Milano vs Brose Bamberg at Assago Forum, Milan, Italy, 17 November 2017. (Baile de la Rosa, Euroliga, Baloncesto, Italia) EFE/EPA/MATTEO BAZZI

Master Pep Guardiola is at the peak of his powers - we should appreciate him more

There was a moment during Pep Guardiola’s first season in England when it occurred to me he may not only be the greatest coach in the world, but also the most underrated. Last December Manchester City lost 4-2 at Leicester City - the opponents they face this weekend. What followed was a full-scale re-evaluation of Guardiola’s methods. Everything he stood for was scrutinised, many arguing his approach could not work in England. For every word of praise for his extraordinary success, there is always a mutter of cynicism lurking in the background. This criticism peaked in ferocity that afternoon. “Look at the players he was lucky enough to manage in Barcelona,” some argued. “How much competition did he have in Germany with Bayern Munich? What about all the money he’s spent at Manchester City? How can he not win?” I am increasingly enraged by the ignorance of this sneering. What we are seeing at City this season is more compelling evidence of a master at work – a manager creating a great side out of good players; a manager winning by implementing a style we have never seen in this country: Total Football.   When I saw City’s starting XI at the start of the season, I was not awestruck by individual quality. There were question marks against several players. OK, David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne are among the best players in the Premier League and Europe, and Sergio Agüero is one of the greatest ever Premier League strikers. But how many would get into the great Arsenal team of  ‘Invincibles’ or Sir Alex Ferguson’s Treble winners of 1999?  David Silva is among the best players in the Premier League but would he make it into Arsenal's Invincibles or Manchester United's Treble-winners Credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images Raheem Sterling and Kyle Walker were mocked for their price tag. Leroy Sané was a player of potential but not the finished article. Centre-backs Nicolás Otamendi and John Stones were considered untrustworthy to form a partnership. City’s title hopes were said to be determined by Vincent Kompany’s fitness. Kompany has started only three Premier League games. How many managers looked at Fabian Delph and saw a left back?  Guardiola inherited an ageing squad at City, 12 first team players over 30. In just over a year he has reduced the average age from the fourth oldest in the Premier League (28 years 310 days) to the fifth youngest (26 years 232 days). Now his players are earning weekly acclaim. This is down to one man and his methods. When Pep moved to England plenty said he must compromise. After his first season I sensed a quiet satisfaction from some quarters he had not immediately recreated his winning formula. The views expressed after that Leicester defeat gathered momentum. Why?  Who but Guardiola would have looked at Fabian Delph and seen a left-back Credit: Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images I do not understand this mentality. Why would any neutral want Guardiola to fail and feel compelled to embrace less purist tactics? What kind of football do we want? English football will benefit if Guardiola’s way works. He can show others an idealistic, technical brand of passing football works. So many games follow the same formula, coaches believing defending is about allowing opponents to keep possession while they sit deep. We sit through a lot of boring, predictable games. Guardiola is defined as ‘an attacking coach’ who risks defensive resilience. I often hear it said his philosophy is based on the concept ‘we’ll score more than you’. This is nonsense. His idea of defending is just very different. Naturally the focus is on the goals City have scored so far (38). But they have conceded only seven. It was similar at Barcelona. It was often said ‘getting at them’ would expose defensive weakness. The statistics never stood that up. Opposition teams would not get enough of the ball to threaten, but this is not solely due to a passing style. Why would any neutral want Guardiola to fail and feel compelled to embrace less purist tactics? Guardiola’s greatest accomplishment as a manager is ensuring world-class players sacrifice themselves for the team. They are as impressive hunting for possession as retaining it. Arrigo Sacchi once said of his legendary Milan side of the mid-80s – a team I would rank alongside Barça as the greatest of all club sides - that their finest quality was humility. Players of the calibre of Franco Baresi, Ruud Gullit and Marco van Basten put ego aside to do their job, especially defensively.  This is what Guardiola is implementing at City. It separates him from other coaches. In their last fixture against Arsenal, who for all their flaws remain one of the country’s best passing teams, City did not allow the opponent to string three or four passes together for 70 minutes. Guardiola learned from his first year here, but the changes are in personnel, not ideology. City execute his ideas better. He did not change the style of goalkeeper he wanted, he changed the identity of the goalkeeper to ensure that style was implemented. Claudio Bravo was not good enough. Ederson is the keeper Bravo was supposed to be, so comfortable on the ball he looks like he can play midfield. Talking tactics: Where Man City's new full-backs will make an impact 02:38 Of course it helps having the finances to correct faults. We can’t ignore the influence of £220 million invested last summer, but spending big does not make winning the league inevitable, and certainly does not guarantee entertaining football. It gives you a better chance, but the Premier League is the most competitive in Europe.  Coaching at the world’s biggest clubs brings a different type of pressure and expectation. Guardiola deserves all the credit he gets for an astonishing managerial CV. Prior to his appointment at Barcelona in 2008 the team finished third in La Liga. He did not inherit an all-conquering team. He created one. He elevated the quality in Barcelona – and Spain generally – to a level never seen in club football. He was as much an architect of Spain’s World Cup and European Championship success as that of his Barça team.  At Bayern Munich successive Bundesligas brought only grudging recognition. The recent fate of Carlo Ancelotti – one of the most successful managers ever – demonstrates you don’t just turn up, pick a team and collect trophies.  There was far, far more to Guardiola's work at Barcelona than inheriting Leo Messi Credit: JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images There is still much to do at City. Guardiola will be first to acknowledge possible bumps in the road. History tells us the months between December and February can be difficult for Pep - City toiled at this stage last season - but the signs are ominous for the rest. After wins over Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal, should City emerge unscathed from forthcoming meetings with Manchester United and Spurs it is difficult to see who will catch them. Offer every manager in the top six a guarantee they will win the title once in the next four years, I believe they would snatch it.  Except one. That would not be enough for Pep. He is eyeing multiple titles and the Champions League at Manchester City, a competition I am not yet sure they are strong enough to win. Long-term he wants complete domination. Should he achieve it in England, it will confirm what I felt the day City appointed him. We should cherish every second Guardiola is working in England. A win at Leicester on Saturday may not be his most important since moving to City, but it could be his most symbolic.

Master Pep Guardiola is at the peak of his powers - we should appreciate him more

There was a moment during Pep Guardiola’s first season in England when it occurred to me he may not only be the greatest coach in the world, but also the most underrated. Last December Manchester City lost 4-2 at Leicester City - the opponents they face this weekend. What followed was a full-scale re-evaluation of Guardiola’s methods. Everything he stood for was scrutinised, many arguing his approach could not work in England. For every word of praise for his extraordinary success, there is always a mutter of cynicism lurking in the background. This criticism peaked in ferocity that afternoon. “Look at the players he was lucky enough to manage in Barcelona,” some argued. “How much competition did he have in Germany with Bayern Munich? What about all the money he’s spent at Manchester City? How can he not win?” I am increasingly enraged by the ignorance of this sneering. What we are seeing at City this season is more compelling evidence of a master at work – a manager creating a great side out of good players; a manager winning by implementing a style we have never seen in this country: Total Football.   When I saw City’s starting XI at the start of the season, I was not awestruck by individual quality. There were question marks against several players. OK, David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne are among the best players in the Premier League and Europe, and Sergio Agüero is one of the greatest ever Premier League strikers. But how many would get into the great Arsenal team of  ‘Invincibles’ or Sir Alex Ferguson’s Treble winners of 1999?  David Silva is among the best players in the Premier League but would he make it into Arsenal's Invincibles or Manchester United's Treble-winners Credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images Raheem Sterling and Kyle Walker were mocked for their price tag. Leroy Sané was a player of potential but not the finished article. Centre-backs Nicolás Otamendi and John Stones were considered untrustworthy to form a partnership. City’s title hopes were said to be determined by Vincent Kompany’s fitness. Kompany has started only three Premier League games. How many managers looked at Fabian Delph and saw a left back?  Guardiola inherited an ageing squad at City, 12 first team players over 30. In just over a year he has reduced the average age from the fourth oldest in the Premier League (28 years 310 days) to the fifth youngest (26 years 232 days). Now his players are earning weekly acclaim. This is down to one man and his methods. When Pep moved to England plenty said he must compromise. After his first season I sensed a quiet satisfaction from some quarters he had not immediately recreated his winning formula. The views expressed after that Leicester defeat gathered momentum. Why?  Who but Guardiola would have looked at Fabian Delph and seen a left-back Credit: Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images I do not understand this mentality. Why would any neutral want Guardiola to fail and feel compelled to embrace less purist tactics? What kind of football do we want? English football will benefit if Guardiola’s way works. He can show others an idealistic, technical brand of passing football works. So many games follow the same formula, coaches believing defending is about allowing opponents to keep possession while they sit deep. We sit through a lot of boring, predictable games. Guardiola is defined as ‘an attacking coach’ who risks defensive resilience. I often hear it said his philosophy is based on the concept ‘we’ll score more than you’. This is nonsense. His idea of defending is just very different. Naturally the focus is on the goals City have scored so far (38). But they have conceded only seven. It was similar at Barcelona. It was often said ‘getting at them’ would expose defensive weakness. The statistics never stood that up. Opposition teams would not get enough of the ball to threaten, but this is not solely due to a passing style. Why would any neutral want Guardiola to fail and feel compelled to embrace less purist tactics? Guardiola’s greatest accomplishment as a manager is ensuring world-class players sacrifice themselves for the team. They are as impressive hunting for possession as retaining it. Arrigo Sacchi once said of his legendary Milan side of the mid-80s – a team I would rank alongside Barça as the greatest of all club sides - that their finest quality was humility. Players of the calibre of Franco Baresi, Ruud Gullit and Marco van Basten put ego aside to do their job, especially defensively.  This is what Guardiola is implementing at City. It separates him from other coaches. In their last fixture against Arsenal, who for all their flaws remain one of the country’s best passing teams, City did not allow the opponent to string three or four passes together for 70 minutes. Guardiola learned from his first year here, but the changes are in personnel, not ideology. City execute his ideas better. He did not change the style of goalkeeper he wanted, he changed the identity of the goalkeeper to ensure that style was implemented. Claudio Bravo was not good enough. Ederson is the keeper Bravo was supposed to be, so comfortable on the ball he looks like he can play midfield. Talking tactics: Where Man City's new full-backs will make an impact 02:38 Of course it helps having the finances to correct faults. We can’t ignore the influence of £220 million invested last summer, but spending big does not make winning the league inevitable, and certainly does not guarantee entertaining football. It gives you a better chance, but the Premier League is the most competitive in Europe.  Coaching at the world’s biggest clubs brings a different type of pressure and expectation. Guardiola deserves all the credit he gets for an astonishing managerial CV. Prior to his appointment at Barcelona in 2008 the team finished third in La Liga. He did not inherit an all-conquering team. He created one. He elevated the quality in Barcelona – and Spain generally – to a level never seen in club football. He was as much an architect of Spain’s World Cup and European Championship success as that of his Barça team.  At Bayern Munich successive Bundesligas brought only grudging recognition. The recent fate of Carlo Ancelotti – one of the most successful managers ever – demonstrates you don’t just turn up, pick a team and collect trophies.  There was far, far more to Guardiola's work at Barcelona than inheriting Leo Messi Credit: JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images There is still much to do at City. Guardiola will be first to acknowledge possible bumps in the road. History tells us the months between December and February can be difficult for Pep - City toiled at this stage last season - but the signs are ominous for the rest. After wins over Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal, should City emerge unscathed from forthcoming meetings with Manchester United and Spurs it is difficult to see who will catch them. Offer every manager in the top six a guarantee they will win the title once in the next four years, I believe they would snatch it.  Except one. That would not be enough for Pep. He is eyeing multiple titles and the Champions League at Manchester City, a competition I am not yet sure they are strong enough to win. Long-term he wants complete domination. Should he achieve it in England, it will confirm what I felt the day City appointed him. We should cherish every second Guardiola is working in England. A win at Leicester on Saturday may not be his most important since moving to City, but it could be his most symbolic.

Master Pep Guardiola is at the peak of his powers - we should appreciate him more

There was a moment during Pep Guardiola’s first season in England when it occurred to me he may not only be the greatest coach in the world, but also the most underrated. Last December Manchester City lost 4-2 at Leicester City - the opponents they face this weekend. What followed was a full-scale re-evaluation of Guardiola’s methods. Everything he stood for was scrutinised, many arguing his approach could not work in England. For every word of praise for his extraordinary success, there is always a mutter of cynicism lurking in the background. This criticism peaked in ferocity that afternoon. “Look at the players he was lucky enough to manage in Barcelona,” some argued. “How much competition did he have in Germany with Bayern Munich? What about all the money he’s spent at Manchester City? How can he not win?” I am increasingly enraged by the ignorance of this sneering. What we are seeing at City this season is more compelling evidence of a master at work – a manager creating a great side out of good players; a manager winning by implementing a style we have never seen in this country: Total Football.   When I saw City’s starting XI at the start of the season, I was not awestruck by individual quality. There were question marks against several players. OK, David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne are among the best players in the Premier League and Europe, and Sergio Agüero is one of the greatest ever Premier League strikers. But how many would get into the great Arsenal team of  ‘Invincibles’ or Sir Alex Ferguson’s Treble winners of 1999?  David Silva is among the best players in the Premier League but would he make it into Arsenal's Invincibles or Manchester United's Treble-winners Credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images Raheem Sterling and Kyle Walker were mocked for their price tag. Leroy Sané was a player of potential but not the finished article. Centre-backs Nicolás Otamendi and John Stones were considered untrustworthy to form a partnership. City’s title hopes were said to be determined by Vincent Kompany’s fitness. Kompany has started only three Premier League games. How many managers looked at Fabian Delph and saw a left back?  Guardiola inherited an ageing squad at City, 12 first team players over 30. In just over a year he has reduced the average age from the fourth oldest in the Premier League (28 years 310 days) to the fifth youngest (26 years 232 days). Now his players are earning weekly acclaim. This is down to one man and his methods. When Pep moved to England plenty said he must compromise. After his first season I sensed a quiet satisfaction from some quarters he had not immediately recreated his winning formula. The views expressed after that Leicester defeat gathered momentum. Why?  Who but Guardiola would have looked at Fabian Delph and seen a left-back Credit: Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images I do not understand this mentality. Why would any neutral want Guardiola to fail and feel compelled to embrace less purist tactics? What kind of football do we want? English football will benefit if Guardiola’s way works. He can show others an idealistic, technical brand of passing football works. So many games follow the same formula, coaches believing defending is about allowing opponents to keep possession while they sit deep. We sit through a lot of boring, predictable games. Guardiola is defined as ‘an attacking coach’ who risks defensive resilience. I often hear it said his philosophy is based on the concept ‘we’ll score more than you’. This is nonsense. His idea of defending is just very different. Naturally the focus is on the goals City have scored so far (38). But they have conceded only seven. It was similar at Barcelona. It was often said ‘getting at them’ would expose defensive weakness. The statistics never stood that up. Opposition teams would not get enough of the ball to threaten, but this is not solely due to a passing style. Why would any neutral want Guardiola to fail and feel compelled to embrace less purist tactics? Guardiola’s greatest accomplishment as a manager is ensuring world-class players sacrifice themselves for the team. They are as impressive hunting for possession as retaining it. Arrigo Sacchi once said of his legendary Milan side of the mid-80s – a team I would rank alongside Barça as the greatest of all club sides - that their finest quality was humility. Players of the calibre of Franco Baresi, Ruud Gullit and Marco van Basten put ego aside to do their job, especially defensively.  This is what Guardiola is implementing at City. It separates him from other coaches. In their last fixture against Arsenal, who for all their flaws remain one of the country’s best passing teams, City did not allow the opponent to string three or four passes together for 70 minutes. Guardiola learned from his first year here, but the changes are in personnel, not ideology. City execute his ideas better. He did not change the style of goalkeeper he wanted, he changed the identity of the goalkeeper to ensure that style was implemented. Claudio Bravo was not good enough. Ederson is the keeper Bravo was supposed to be, so comfortable on the ball he looks like he can play midfield. Talking tactics: Where Man City's new full-backs will make an impact 02:38 Of course it helps having the finances to correct faults. We can’t ignore the influence of £220 million invested last summer, but spending big does not make winning the league inevitable, and certainly does not guarantee entertaining football. It gives you a better chance, but the Premier League is the most competitive in Europe.  Coaching at the world’s biggest clubs brings a different type of pressure and expectation. Guardiola deserves all the credit he gets for an astonishing managerial CV. Prior to his appointment at Barcelona in 2008 the team finished third in La Liga. He did not inherit an all-conquering team. He created one. He elevated the quality in Barcelona – and Spain generally – to a level never seen in club football. He was as much an architect of Spain’s World Cup and European Championship success as that of his Barça team.  At Bayern Munich successive Bundesligas brought only grudging recognition. The recent fate of Carlo Ancelotti – one of the most successful managers ever – demonstrates you don’t just turn up, pick a team and collect trophies.  There was far, far more to Guardiola's work at Barcelona than inheriting Leo Messi Credit: JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images There is still much to do at City. Guardiola will be first to acknowledge possible bumps in the road. History tells us the months between December and February can be difficult for Pep - City toiled at this stage last season - but the signs are ominous for the rest. After wins over Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal, should City emerge unscathed from forthcoming meetings with Manchester United and Spurs it is difficult to see who will catch them. Offer every manager in the top six a guarantee they will win the title once in the next four years, I believe they would snatch it.  Except one. That would not be enough for Pep. He is eyeing multiple titles and the Champions League at Manchester City, a competition I am not yet sure they are strong enough to win. Long-term he wants complete domination. Should he achieve it in England, it will confirm what I felt the day City appointed him. We should cherish every second Guardiola is working in England. A win at Leicester on Saturday may not be his most important since moving to City, but it could be his most symbolic.

Master Pep Guardiola is at the peak of his powers - we should appreciate him more

There was a moment during Pep Guardiola’s first season in England when it occurred to me he may not only be the greatest coach in the world, but also the most underrated. Last December Manchester City lost 4-2 at Leicester City - the opponents they face this weekend. What followed was a full-scale re-evaluation of Guardiola’s methods. Everything he stood for was scrutinised, many arguing his approach could not work in England. For every word of praise for his extraordinary success, there is always a mutter of cynicism lurking in the background. This criticism peaked in ferocity that afternoon. “Look at the players he was lucky enough to manage in Barcelona,” some argued. “How much competition did he have in Germany with Bayern Munich? What about all the money he’s spent at Manchester City? How can he not win?” I am increasingly enraged by the ignorance of this sneering. What we are seeing at City this season is more compelling evidence of a master at work – a manager creating a great side out of good players; a manager winning by implementing a style we have never seen in this country: Total Football.   When I saw City’s starting XI at the start of the season, I was not awestruck by individual quality. There were question marks against several players. OK, David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne are among the best players in the Premier League and Europe, and Sergio Agüero is one of the greatest ever Premier League strikers. But how many would get into the great Arsenal team of  ‘Invincibles’ or Sir Alex Ferguson’s Treble winners of 1999?  David Silva is among the best players in the Premier League but would he make it into Arsenal's Invincibles or Manchester United's Treble-winners Credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images Raheem Sterling and Kyle Walker were mocked for their price tag. Leroy Sané was a player of potential but not the finished article. Centre-backs Nicolás Otamendi and John Stones were considered untrustworthy to form a partnership. City’s title hopes were said to be determined by Vincent Kompany’s fitness. Kompany has started only three Premier League games. How many managers looked at Fabian Delph and saw a left back?  Guardiola inherited an ageing squad at City, 12 first team players over 30. In just over a year he has reduced the average age from the fourth oldest in the Premier League (28 years 310 days) to the fifth youngest (26 years 232 days). Now his players are earning weekly acclaim. This is down to one man and his methods. When Pep moved to England plenty said he must compromise. After his first season I sensed a quiet satisfaction from some quarters he had not immediately recreated his winning formula. The views expressed after that Leicester defeat gathered momentum. Why?  Who but Guardiola would have looked at Fabian Delph and seen a left-back Credit: Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images I do not understand this mentality. Why would any neutral want Guardiola to fail and feel compelled to embrace less purist tactics? What kind of football do we want? English football will benefit if Guardiola’s way works. He can show others an idealistic, technical brand of passing football works. So many games follow the same formula, coaches believing defending is about allowing opponents to keep possession while they sit deep. We sit through a lot of boring, predictable games. Guardiola is defined as ‘an attacking coach’ who risks defensive resilience. I often hear it said his philosophy is based on the concept ‘we’ll score more than you’. This is nonsense. His idea of defending is just very different. Naturally the focus is on the goals City have scored so far (38). But they have conceded only seven. It was similar at Barcelona. It was often said ‘getting at them’ would expose defensive weakness. The statistics never stood that up. Opposition teams would not get enough of the ball to threaten, but this is not solely due to a passing style. Why would any neutral want Guardiola to fail and feel compelled to embrace less purist tactics? Guardiola’s greatest accomplishment as a manager is ensuring world-class players sacrifice themselves for the team. They are as impressive hunting for possession as retaining it. Arrigo Sacchi once said of his legendary Milan side of the mid-80s – a team I would rank alongside Barça as the greatest of all club sides - that their finest quality was humility. Players of the calibre of Franco Baresi, Ruud Gullit and Marco van Basten put ego aside to do their job, especially defensively.  This is what Guardiola is implementing at City. It separates him from other coaches. In their last fixture against Arsenal, who for all their flaws remain one of the country’s best passing teams, City did not allow the opponent to string three or four passes together for 70 minutes. Guardiola learned from his first year here, but the changes are in personnel, not ideology. City execute his ideas better. He did not change the style of goalkeeper he wanted, he changed the identity of the goalkeeper to ensure that style was implemented. Claudio Bravo was not good enough. Ederson is the keeper Bravo was supposed to be, so comfortable on the ball he looks like he can play midfield. Talking tactics: Where Man City's new full-backs will make an impact 02:38 Of course it helps having the finances to correct faults. We can’t ignore the influence of £220 million invested last summer, but spending big does not make winning the league inevitable, and certainly does not guarantee entertaining football. It gives you a better chance, but the Premier League is the most competitive in Europe.  Coaching at the world’s biggest clubs brings a different type of pressure and expectation. Guardiola deserves all the credit he gets for an astonishing managerial CV. Prior to his appointment at Barcelona in 2008 the team finished third in La Liga. He did not inherit an all-conquering team. He created one. He elevated the quality in Barcelona – and Spain generally – to a level never seen in club football. He was as much an architect of Spain’s World Cup and European Championship success as that of his Barça team.  At Bayern Munich successive Bundesligas brought only grudging recognition. The recent fate of Carlo Ancelotti – one of the most successful managers ever – demonstrates you don’t just turn up, pick a team and collect trophies.  There was far, far more to Guardiola's work at Barcelona than inheriting Leo Messi Credit: JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images There is still much to do at City. Guardiola will be first to acknowledge possible bumps in the road. History tells us the months between December and February can be difficult for Pep - City toiled at this stage last season - but the signs are ominous for the rest. After wins over Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal, should City emerge unscathed from forthcoming meetings with Manchester United and Spurs it is difficult to see who will catch them. Offer every manager in the top six a guarantee they will win the title once in the next four years, I believe they would snatch it.  Except one. That would not be enough for Pep. He is eyeing multiple titles and the Champions League at Manchester City, a competition I am not yet sure they are strong enough to win. Long-term he wants complete domination. Should he achieve it in England, it will confirm what I felt the day City appointed him. We should cherish every second Guardiola is working in England. A win at Leicester on Saturday may not be his most important since moving to City, but it could be his most symbolic.

Arsenal's best ever north London derbies against Tottenham: ranked 

The main criteria used were importance of the match, entertainment value, and margin of victory. Let the debates ensue... 10. Arsenal 2 Tottenham 1, April 2001 An FA Cup semi-final at Old Trafford made this a particularly spicy encounter, as 60,000 supporters made the journey up the M6 to watch the two rivals compete for a place in the Cardiff final. Twice in the previous 10 years the teams had faced each other in FA Cup semi-finals, with a win apiece, and they had met in a league match just a week before, which Arsenal won 2-0. Patrick Vieira celebrates making it 1-1 against Spurs in April 2001  In Manchester it was Spurs who made the stronger start and went ahead through Gary Doherty’s 14th-minute header, but not for the first or last time against Arsenal they could not hold onto their lead. Patrick Vieira headed an equaliser in the 33rd minute before Robert Pires secured the win with a second-half tap in. The match was also significant because it was the last played by Sol Campbell for Tottenham before his acrimonious move across the Seven Sisters divide three months later.  Arsenal team: Seaman, Dixon, Adams, Keown, Silvinho, Vieira, Parlour, Lauren, Pires, Wiltord (Cole), Henry 9. Tottenham 4 Arsenal 5, November 2004 The highest-scoring north London derby ever was a ding-dong affair at White Hart Lane that featured nine different goalscorers. Tottenham went ahead through Noureddine Naybet, but Thierry Henry equalised on the stroke of half-time and Arsenal went ahead through a Lauren penalty in the 55th minute. The two teams then shared six goals, with Freddie Ljungberg, Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires all scoring, as the visitors eventually clung on to win a hugely entertaining match. Arsenal team: Lehmann, Lauren, Toure, Cygan, Cole, Ljungberg, Vieira, Fabregas, Reyes (Pires), Bergkamp (Van Persie), Henry Lauren celebrates scoring a penalty at Spurs in 2004 wit Thierry Henry  8. Arsenal 1 Tottenham 0, April 1993 Having suffered the trauma of being beaten by Spurs two years earlier in the FA Cup semi-final, this was a huge win and test of nerve for Arsenal. It was also a classic of the George Graham genre, with chances few and far between at Wembley before Tony Adams trotted forward unnoticed and nodded home Paul Merson’s free-kick in the 80th minute. Adams Spurs pushed for the equaliser and Arsenal were up against it when Lee Dixon was sent off late on, but they held on for the win and went on to lift the Cup against Sheffield Wednesday. The following season they won the new defunct European Cup Winners Cup, and ‘1-0 to the Arsenal’ became the supporters’ war cry.  Arsenal team: Seaman, Dixon, Adams, Linighan, Winterburn, Hillier, Merson, Parlour (Smith), Selley, Campbell (Morrow), Wright 7. Arsenal 3 Tottenham 0, November 2002 A comprehensive win for Arsenal, and a match that featured one of the most iconic north London derby goals ever. There appeared to be little danger when Thierry Henry picked the ball up deep in his own half, but 11 seconds later the ball was in the back of the net, as the striker flew past Matthew Etherington, Stephen Carr and Ledley King, and buried a finish past Kasey Keller. The statue of Thierry Henry outside the Emirates commemorates his celebration after scoring against Spurs in 2002 Henry celebrated the goal with an almost as long sprint towards the Tottenham fans, and faced towards them as bile poured down from the stands. Henry revealed years later that he has a framed photo of the Spurs’ fans faces contorted in anger and despair as he had slid on his knees in front of them. After Henry’s 13th-minute goal, the match was effectively over as a contest when Simon Davies was harshly sent off 14 minutes later. Freddie Ljungberg and Sylvain Wiltord added second-half goals, but the match will always be remembered for Henry’s extraordinary effort. Almost as remarkable though is that he was replaced in the 75th minute by Francis Jeffers. Talk about rubbing salt in the Tottenham wounds.  Arsenal team: Shaaban, Luzhny, Campbell, Cygan, Cole, Wiltord, Silva, Vieira (Van Bronckhorst), Ljungberg, Bergkamp (Pires), Henry (Jeffers) 6. Arsenal 5 Tottenham 2, November 2012 Arsenal’s second 5-2 win against Tottenham of 2012was almost as bonkers as the first, and helped by a mindless Emmanuel Adebayor red card for a flying lunge at Santi Cazorla in the 18th minute. Up until then Spurs had looked by far the better team and lead through an Adebayor goal, but the sending off proved to be a huge turning point as Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Cazorla made it 4-1 to the hosts. Santi Cazorla celebrates his goal in Arsenal's 5-2 victory against Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates stadium Gareth Bale pulled one back, before Theo Walcott scored in stoppage time to ensure that Arsenal had improbably recorded a second 5-2 win over their loathed rivals in the same calander year. “It’s happened again, it’s happened again” sang the gleeful Arsenal supporters, as they revelled in another sensational derby victory. Arsenal team: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Wilshere (Ramsey), Arteta, Cazorla, Walcott, Giroud (Oxlade-Chamberlain), Podolski (Santos) 5. Arsenal 5 Tottenham 2, February 2012 The first of two 5-2 wins over Tottenham in the space of nine months was the marginally more extraordinary. Spurs arrived at the Emirates with a 10-point lead over their north London rivals, with the two teams battling it out for Champions League qualification. Harry Redknapp’s team quickly established a 2-0 lead, as Louis Saha scored via a deflection and then former Gunner Emmanuel Adebayor kept his cool from the penalty spot. Tomas Rosicky celebrates his goal against Spurs in 2012 Arsenal, who had been hammered 4-0 by Milan and knocked out of the FA Cup by Sunderland in their previous two matches, looked down and out. But goals from Bacary Sagna and Robin van Persie just before the break, followed by a Tomas Rosicky tap-in and a Theo Walcott double in the space of 17 breathless second-half minutes completely turned the match on its head. Arsenal went on to finish above Tottenham by a single point to claim the final Champions League spot. Arsenal team: Szczesny, Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Rosicky, Song, Walcott, (Oxlade-Chamberlain), Benayoun (Gervinho), Van Persie 4. Tottenham 1 Arsenal 2, March 1987 After the sides could not be separated by two legs, this League Cup semi-final went to a replay at White Hart Lane (the venue was decided by a coin toss). Tottenham went 1-0 up - they had led 2-0 on aggregate in the second leg, and reportedly the stadium announcer gave information over the public address system about ticket details for the final - but again failed to hold onto their lead.     Rocastle Charlie Nicholas was forced off through injury, and his replacement Ian Allinson came on to score an 82nd minute equaliser with an excellent turn and near-post finish. David Rocastle then scored from close range at the death, and Arsenal were in the final, which they improbably won 2-1 against Liverpool. Arsenal team: Lukic, Anderson, Sansom, Thomas, O’Leary, Adams, Rocastle, Davis, Quinn, Nicholas (Allinson), Hayes 3. Tottenham 2 Arsenal 2, April 2004 Not a win but this match had to be included given its significance. After Chelsea lost at Newcastle earlier in the day, Arsenal needed just a point to be crowned champions at White Hart Lane for the second time in their history. En route to an undefeated league season, Arsenal flew into a first-half lead with sumptuous goals from Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires. Arsenal celebrate winning the league at White Hart Lane Jamie Redknapp’s excellent long-range strike and a late Robbie Keane penalty ensured Spurs avoided defeat, but it was not enough to prevent their bitter rivals claiming the title and maintaining their unbeaten run. Arsenal team: Lehmann, Lauren, Campbell, Toure, Cole, Parlour (Edu), Vieira, Silva, Pires, Henry, Bergkamp (Reyes) 2. Tottenham 0 Arsenal 5, December 1978 Arsenal’s biggest post-War win over Spurs came just two days before Christmas and was an ideal early present for the away fans at White Hart Lane. Tottenham had won promotion to the top flight the previous season but were a decent side and would go on to finish mid-table with a team featuring the Argentine duo of Ricky Villa and Ossie Ardiles. But on this occasion they were no match for an unstoppable Arsenal, who romped to a 5-0 win thanks to a hat-trick from Alan Sunderland (who would go on to score the winner in the FA Cup final the following May) and goals from Frank Stapleton and Liam Brady. John Motson was in raptures at Brady’s wonderful swerving shot from the edge of the box, and memorably shouted "Look at that. Oh, look at that," as the Northern Irishman applied the coup de grace to a superlative individual performance. Arsenal team: Jennings, Rice, Walford, Price, O'Leary, Young, Brady, Sunderland, Stapleton, Gatting, Rix 1. Tottenham 0 Arsenal 1, May 1971  It doesn’t get much better than beating your fiercest rivals in their own backyard to claim the title, and that’s exactly what Arsenal did 45 years ago. Bertie Mee's side travelled to White Hart Lane needing a win or a 0-0 draw to win their first championship in 18 years, knowing that a score draw would hand the title to Leeds on goal average. Arsenal On a nerve-shredding night in north London, Arsenal eventually scored the only goal of the game in the 88th minute through Ray Kennedy's superb header. Five days later, Arsenal beat Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup final to claim their first ever double. Arsenal team: Wilson, Rice, McNab, Kelly, McLintock, Simpson, Armstrong, Graham, Radford, Kennedy, George Enhanced offers | Arsenal v Tottenham

Arsenal's best ever north London derbies against Tottenham: ranked 

The main criteria used were importance of the match, entertainment value, and margin of victory. Let the debates ensue... 10. Arsenal 2 Tottenham 1, April 2001 An FA Cup semi-final at Old Trafford made this a particularly spicy encounter, as 60,000 supporters made the journey up the M6 to watch the two rivals compete for a place in the Cardiff final. Twice in the previous 10 years the teams had faced each other in FA Cup semi-finals, with a win apiece, and they had met in a league match just a week before, which Arsenal won 2-0. Patrick Vieira celebrates making it 1-1 against Spurs in April 2001  In Manchester it was Spurs who made the stronger start and went ahead through Gary Doherty’s 14th-minute header, but not for the first or last time against Arsenal they could not hold onto their lead. Patrick Vieira headed an equaliser in the 33rd minute before Robert Pires secured the win with a second-half tap in. The match was also significant because it was the last played by Sol Campbell for Tottenham before his acrimonious move across the Seven Sisters divide three months later.  Arsenal team: Seaman, Dixon, Adams, Keown, Silvinho, Vieira, Parlour, Lauren, Pires, Wiltord (Cole), Henry 9. Tottenham 4 Arsenal 5, November 2004 The highest-scoring north London derby ever was a ding-dong affair at White Hart Lane that featured nine different goalscorers. Tottenham went ahead through Noureddine Naybet, but Thierry Henry equalised on the stroke of half-time and Arsenal went ahead through a Lauren penalty in the 55th minute. The two teams then shared six goals, with Freddie Ljungberg, Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires all scoring, as the visitors eventually clung on to win a hugely entertaining match. Arsenal team: Lehmann, Lauren, Toure, Cygan, Cole, Ljungberg, Vieira, Fabregas, Reyes (Pires), Bergkamp (Van Persie), Henry Lauren celebrates scoring a penalty at Spurs in 2004 wit Thierry Henry  8. Arsenal 1 Tottenham 0, April 1993 Having suffered the trauma of being beaten by Spurs two years earlier in the FA Cup semi-final, this was a huge win and test of nerve for Arsenal. It was also a classic of the George Graham genre, with chances few and far between at Wembley before Tony Adams trotted forward unnoticed and nodded home Paul Merson’s free-kick in the 80th minute. Adams Spurs pushed for the equaliser and Arsenal were up against it when Lee Dixon was sent off late on, but they held on for the win and went on to lift the Cup against Sheffield Wednesday. The following season they won the new defunct European Cup Winners Cup, and ‘1-0 to the Arsenal’ became the supporters’ war cry.  Arsenal team: Seaman, Dixon, Adams, Linighan, Winterburn, Hillier, Merson, Parlour (Smith), Selley, Campbell (Morrow), Wright 7. Arsenal 3 Tottenham 0, November 2002 A comprehensive win for Arsenal, and a match that featured one of the most iconic north London derby goals ever. There appeared to be little danger when Thierry Henry picked the ball up deep in his own half, but 11 seconds later the ball was in the back of the net, as the striker flew past Matthew Etherington, Stephen Carr and Ledley King, and buried a finish past Kasey Keller. The statue of Thierry Henry outside the Emirates commemorates his celebration after scoring against Spurs in 2002 Henry celebrated the goal with an almost as long sprint towards the Tottenham fans, and faced towards them as bile poured down from the stands. Henry revealed years later that he has a framed photo of the Spurs’ fans faces contorted in anger and despair as he had slid on his knees in front of them. After Henry’s 13th-minute goal, the match was effectively over as a contest when Simon Davies was harshly sent off 14 minutes later. Freddie Ljungberg and Sylvain Wiltord added second-half goals, but the match will always be remembered for Henry’s extraordinary effort. Almost as remarkable though is that he was replaced in the 75th minute by Francis Jeffers. Talk about rubbing salt in the Tottenham wounds.  Arsenal team: Shaaban, Luzhny, Campbell, Cygan, Cole, Wiltord, Silva, Vieira (Van Bronckhorst), Ljungberg, Bergkamp (Pires), Henry (Jeffers) 6. Arsenal 5 Tottenham 2, November 2012 Arsenal’s second 5-2 win against Tottenham of 2012was almost as bonkers as the first, and helped by a mindless Emmanuel Adebayor red card for a flying lunge at Santi Cazorla in the 18th minute. Up until then Spurs had looked by far the better team and lead through an Adebayor goal, but the sending off proved to be a huge turning point as Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Cazorla made it 4-1 to the hosts. Santi Cazorla celebrates his goal in Arsenal's 5-2 victory against Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates stadium Gareth Bale pulled one back, before Theo Walcott scored in stoppage time to ensure that Arsenal had improbably recorded a second 5-2 win over their loathed rivals in the same calander year. “It’s happened again, it’s happened again” sang the gleeful Arsenal supporters, as they revelled in another sensational derby victory. Arsenal team: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Wilshere (Ramsey), Arteta, Cazorla, Walcott, Giroud (Oxlade-Chamberlain), Podolski (Santos) 5. Arsenal 5 Tottenham 2, February 2012 The first of two 5-2 wins over Tottenham in the space of nine months was the marginally more extraordinary. Spurs arrived at the Emirates with a 10-point lead over their north London rivals, with the two teams battling it out for Champions League qualification. Harry Redknapp’s team quickly established a 2-0 lead, as Louis Saha scored via a deflection and then former Gunner Emmanuel Adebayor kept his cool from the penalty spot. Tomas Rosicky celebrates his goal against Spurs in 2012 Arsenal, who had been hammered 4-0 by Milan and knocked out of the FA Cup by Sunderland in their previous two matches, looked down and out. But goals from Bacary Sagna and Robin van Persie just before the break, followed by a Tomas Rosicky tap-in and a Theo Walcott double in the space of 17 breathless second-half minutes completely turned the match on its head. Arsenal went on to finish above Tottenham by a single point to claim the final Champions League spot. Arsenal team: Szczesny, Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Rosicky, Song, Walcott, (Oxlade-Chamberlain), Benayoun (Gervinho), Van Persie 4. Tottenham 1 Arsenal 2, March 1987 After the sides could not be separated by two legs, this League Cup semi-final went to a replay at White Hart Lane (the venue was decided by a coin toss). Tottenham went 1-0 up - they had led 2-0 on aggregate in the second leg, and reportedly the stadium announcer gave information over the public address system about ticket details for the final - but again failed to hold onto their lead.     Rocastle Charlie Nicholas was forced off through injury, and his replacement Ian Allinson came on to score an 82nd minute equaliser with an excellent turn and near-post finish. David Rocastle then scored from close range at the death, and Arsenal were in the final, which they improbably won 2-1 against Liverpool. Arsenal team: Lukic, Anderson, Sansom, Thomas, O’Leary, Adams, Rocastle, Davis, Quinn, Nicholas (Allinson), Hayes 3. Tottenham 2 Arsenal 2, April 2004 Not a win but this match had to be included given its significance. After Chelsea lost at Newcastle earlier in the day, Arsenal needed just a point to be crowned champions at White Hart Lane for the second time in their history. En route to an undefeated league season, Arsenal flew into a first-half lead with sumptuous goals from Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires. Arsenal celebrate winning the league at White Hart Lane Jamie Redknapp’s excellent long-range strike and a late Robbie Keane penalty ensured Spurs avoided defeat, but it was not enough to prevent their bitter rivals claiming the title and maintaining their unbeaten run. Arsenal team: Lehmann, Lauren, Campbell, Toure, Cole, Parlour (Edu), Vieira, Silva, Pires, Henry, Bergkamp (Reyes) 2. Tottenham 0 Arsenal 5, December 1978 Arsenal’s biggest post-War win over Spurs came just two days before Christmas and was an ideal early present for the away fans at White Hart Lane. Tottenham had won promotion to the top flight the previous season but were a decent side and would go on to finish mid-table with a team featuring the Argentine duo of Ricky Villa and Ossie Ardiles. But on this occasion they were no match for an unstoppable Arsenal, who romped to a 5-0 win thanks to a hat-trick from Alan Sunderland (who would go on to score the winner in the FA Cup final the following May) and goals from Frank Stapleton and Liam Brady. John Motson was in raptures at Brady’s wonderful swerving shot from the edge of the box, and memorably shouted "Look at that. Oh, look at that," as the Northern Irishman applied the coup de grace to a superlative individual performance. Arsenal team: Jennings, Rice, Walford, Price, O'Leary, Young, Brady, Sunderland, Stapleton, Gatting, Rix 1. Tottenham 0 Arsenal 1, May 1971  It doesn’t get much better than beating your fiercest rivals in their own backyard to claim the title, and that’s exactly what Arsenal did 45 years ago. Bertie Mee's side travelled to White Hart Lane needing a win or a 0-0 draw to win their first championship in 18 years, knowing that a score draw would hand the title to Leeds on goal average. Arsenal On a nerve-shredding night in north London, Arsenal eventually scored the only goal of the game in the 88th minute through Ray Kennedy's superb header. Five days later, Arsenal beat Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup final to claim their first ever double. Arsenal team: Wilson, Rice, McNab, Kelly, McLintock, Simpson, Armstrong, Graham, Radford, Kennedy, George Enhanced offers | Arsenal v Tottenham

Arsenal's best ever north London derbies against Tottenham: ranked 

The main criteria used were importance of the match, entertainment value, and margin of victory. Let the debates ensue... 10. Arsenal 2 Tottenham 1, April 2001 An FA Cup semi-final at Old Trafford made this a particularly spicy encounter, as 60,000 supporters made the journey up the M6 to watch the two rivals compete for a place in the Cardiff final. Twice in the previous 10 years the teams had faced each other in FA Cup semi-finals, with a win apiece, and they had met in a league match just a week before, which Arsenal won 2-0. Patrick Vieira celebrates making it 1-1 against Spurs in April 2001  In Manchester it was Spurs who made the stronger start and went ahead through Gary Doherty’s 14th-minute header, but not for the first or last time against Arsenal they could not hold onto their lead. Patrick Vieira headed an equaliser in the 33rd minute before Robert Pires secured the win with a second-half tap in. The match was also significant because it was the last played by Sol Campbell for Tottenham before his acrimonious move across the Seven Sisters divide three months later.  Arsenal team: Seaman, Dixon, Adams, Keown, Silvinho, Vieira, Parlour, Lauren, Pires, Wiltord (Cole), Henry 9. Tottenham 4 Arsenal 5, November 2004 The highest-scoring north London derby ever was a ding-dong affair at White Hart Lane that featured nine different goalscorers. Tottenham went ahead through Noureddine Naybet, but Thierry Henry equalised on the stroke of half-time and Arsenal went ahead through a Lauren penalty in the 55th minute. The two teams then shared six goals, with Freddie Ljungberg, Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires all scoring, as the visitors eventually clung on to win a hugely entertaining match. Arsenal team: Lehmann, Lauren, Toure, Cygan, Cole, Ljungberg, Vieira, Fabregas, Reyes (Pires), Bergkamp (Van Persie), Henry Lauren celebrates scoring a penalty at Spurs in 2004 wit Thierry Henry  8. Arsenal 1 Tottenham 0, April 1993 Having suffered the trauma of being beaten by Spurs two years earlier in the FA Cup semi-final, this was a huge win and test of nerve for Arsenal. It was also a classic of the George Graham genre, with chances few and far between at Wembley before Tony Adams trotted forward unnoticed and nodded home Paul Merson’s free-kick in the 80th minute. Adams Spurs pushed for the equaliser and Arsenal were up against it when Lee Dixon was sent off late on, but they held on for the win and went on to lift the Cup against Sheffield Wednesday. The following season they won the new defunct European Cup Winners Cup, and ‘1-0 to the Arsenal’ became the supporters’ war cry.  Arsenal team: Seaman, Dixon, Adams, Linighan, Winterburn, Hillier, Merson, Parlour (Smith), Selley, Campbell (Morrow), Wright 7. Arsenal 3 Tottenham 0, November 2002 A comprehensive win for Arsenal, and a match that featured one of the most iconic north London derby goals ever. There appeared to be little danger when Thierry Henry picked the ball up deep in his own half, but 11 seconds later the ball was in the back of the net, as the striker flew past Matthew Etherington, Stephen Carr and Ledley King, and buried a finish past Kasey Keller. The statue of Thierry Henry outside the Emirates commemorates his celebration after scoring against Spurs in 2002 Henry celebrated the goal with an almost as long sprint towards the Tottenham fans, and faced towards them as bile poured down from the stands. Henry revealed years later that he has a framed photo of the Spurs’ fans faces contorted in anger and despair as he had slid on his knees in front of them. After Henry’s 13th-minute goal, the match was effectively over as a contest when Simon Davies was harshly sent off 14 minutes later. Freddie Ljungberg and Sylvain Wiltord added second-half goals, but the match will always be remembered for Henry’s extraordinary effort. Almost as remarkable though is that he was replaced in the 75th minute by Francis Jeffers. Talk about rubbing salt in the Tottenham wounds.  Arsenal team: Shaaban, Luzhny, Campbell, Cygan, Cole, Wiltord, Silva, Vieira (Van Bronckhorst), Ljungberg, Bergkamp (Pires), Henry (Jeffers) 6. Arsenal 5 Tottenham 2, November 2012 Arsenal’s second 5-2 win against Tottenham of 2012was almost as bonkers as the first, and helped by a mindless Emmanuel Adebayor red card for a flying lunge at Santi Cazorla in the 18th minute. Up until then Spurs had looked by far the better team and lead through an Adebayor goal, but the sending off proved to be a huge turning point as Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Cazorla made it 4-1 to the hosts. Santi Cazorla celebrates his goal in Arsenal's 5-2 victory against Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates stadium Gareth Bale pulled one back, before Theo Walcott scored in stoppage time to ensure that Arsenal had improbably recorded a second 5-2 win over their loathed rivals in the same calander year. “It’s happened again, it’s happened again” sang the gleeful Arsenal supporters, as they revelled in another sensational derby victory. Arsenal team: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Wilshere (Ramsey), Arteta, Cazorla, Walcott, Giroud (Oxlade-Chamberlain), Podolski (Santos) 5. Arsenal 5 Tottenham 2, February 2012 The first of two 5-2 wins over Tottenham in the space of nine months was the marginally more extraordinary. Spurs arrived at the Emirates with a 10-point lead over their north London rivals, with the two teams battling it out for Champions League qualification. Harry Redknapp’s team quickly established a 2-0 lead, as Louis Saha scored via a deflection and then former Gunner Emmanuel Adebayor kept his cool from the penalty spot. Tomas Rosicky celebrates his goal against Spurs in 2012 Arsenal, who had been hammered 4-0 by Milan and knocked out of the FA Cup by Sunderland in their previous two matches, looked down and out. But goals from Bacary Sagna and Robin van Persie just before the break, followed by a Tomas Rosicky tap-in and a Theo Walcott double in the space of 17 breathless second-half minutes completely turned the match on its head. Arsenal went on to finish above Tottenham by a single point to claim the final Champions League spot. Arsenal team: Szczesny, Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Rosicky, Song, Walcott, (Oxlade-Chamberlain), Benayoun (Gervinho), Van Persie 4. Tottenham 1 Arsenal 2, March 1987 After the sides could not be separated by two legs, this League Cup semi-final went to a replay at White Hart Lane (the venue was decided by a coin toss). Tottenham went 1-0 up - they had led 2-0 on aggregate in the second leg, and reportedly the stadium announcer gave information over the public address system about ticket details for the final - but again failed to hold onto their lead.     Rocastle Charlie Nicholas was forced off through injury, and his replacement Ian Allinson came on to score an 82nd minute equaliser with an excellent turn and near-post finish. David Rocastle then scored from close range at the death, and Arsenal were in the final, which they improbably won 2-1 against Liverpool. Arsenal team: Lukic, Anderson, Sansom, Thomas, O’Leary, Adams, Rocastle, Davis, Quinn, Nicholas (Allinson), Hayes 3. Tottenham 2 Arsenal 2, April 2004 Not a win but this match had to be included given its significance. After Chelsea lost at Newcastle earlier in the day, Arsenal needed just a point to be crowned champions at White Hart Lane for the second time in their history. En route to an undefeated league season, Arsenal flew into a first-half lead with sumptuous goals from Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires. Arsenal celebrate winning the league at White Hart Lane Jamie Redknapp’s excellent long-range strike and a late Robbie Keane penalty ensured Spurs avoided defeat, but it was not enough to prevent their bitter rivals claiming the title and maintaining their unbeaten run. Arsenal team: Lehmann, Lauren, Campbell, Toure, Cole, Parlour (Edu), Vieira, Silva, Pires, Henry, Bergkamp (Reyes) 2. Tottenham 0 Arsenal 5, December 1978 Arsenal’s biggest post-War win over Spurs came just two days before Christmas and was an ideal early present for the away fans at White Hart Lane. Tottenham had won promotion to the top flight the previous season but were a decent side and would go on to finish mid-table with a team featuring the Argentine duo of Ricky Villa and Ossie Ardiles. But on this occasion they were no match for an unstoppable Arsenal, who romped to a 5-0 win thanks to a hat-trick from Alan Sunderland (who would go on to score the winner in the FA Cup final the following May) and goals from Frank Stapleton and Liam Brady. John Motson was in raptures at Brady’s wonderful swerving shot from the edge of the box, and memorably shouted "Look at that. Oh, look at that," as the Northern Irishman applied the coup de grace to a superlative individual performance. Arsenal team: Jennings, Rice, Walford, Price, O'Leary, Young, Brady, Sunderland, Stapleton, Gatting, Rix 1. Tottenham 0 Arsenal 1, May 1971  It doesn’t get much better than beating your fiercest rivals in their own backyard to claim the title, and that’s exactly what Arsenal did 45 years ago. Bertie Mee's side travelled to White Hart Lane needing a win or a 0-0 draw to win their first championship in 18 years, knowing that a score draw would hand the title to Leeds on goal average. Arsenal On a nerve-shredding night in north London, Arsenal eventually scored the only goal of the game in the 88th minute through Ray Kennedy's superb header. Five days later, Arsenal beat Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup final to claim their first ever double. Arsenal team: Wilson, Rice, McNab, Kelly, McLintock, Simpson, Armstrong, Graham, Radford, Kennedy, George Enhanced offers | Arsenal v Tottenham

Arsenal's best ever north London derbies against Tottenham: ranked 

The main criteria used were importance of the match, entertainment value, and margin of victory. Let the debates ensue... 10. Arsenal 2 Tottenham 1, April 2001 An FA Cup semi-final at Old Trafford made this a particularly spicy encounter, as 60,000 supporters made the journey up the M6 to watch the two rivals compete for a place in the Cardiff final. Twice in the previous 10 years the teams had faced each other in FA Cup semi-finals, with a win apiece, and they had met in a league match just a week before, which Arsenal won 2-0. Patrick Vieira celebrates making it 1-1 against Spurs in April 2001  In Manchester it was Spurs who made the stronger start and went ahead through Gary Doherty’s 14th-minute header, but not for the first or last time against Arsenal they could not hold onto their lead. Patrick Vieira headed an equaliser in the 33rd minute before Robert Pires secured the win with a second-half tap in. The match was also significant because it was the last played by Sol Campbell for Tottenham before his acrimonious move across the Seven Sisters divide three months later.  Arsenal team: Seaman, Dixon, Adams, Keown, Silvinho, Vieira, Parlour, Lauren, Pires, Wiltord (Cole), Henry 9. Tottenham 4 Arsenal 5, November 2004 The highest-scoring north London derby ever was a ding-dong affair at White Hart Lane that featured nine different goalscorers. Tottenham went ahead through Noureddine Naybet, but Thierry Henry equalised on the stroke of half-time and Arsenal went ahead through a Lauren penalty in the 55th minute. The two teams then shared six goals, with Freddie Ljungberg, Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires all scoring, as the visitors eventually clung on to win a hugely entertaining match. Arsenal team: Lehmann, Lauren, Toure, Cygan, Cole, Ljungberg, Vieira, Fabregas, Reyes (Pires), Bergkamp (Van Persie), Henry Lauren celebrates scoring a penalty at Spurs in 2004 wit Thierry Henry  8. Arsenal 1 Tottenham 0, April 1993 Having suffered the trauma of being beaten by Spurs two years earlier in the FA Cup semi-final, this was a huge win and test of nerve for Arsenal. It was also a classic of the George Graham genre, with chances few and far between at Wembley before Tony Adams trotted forward unnoticed and nodded home Paul Merson’s free-kick in the 80th minute. Adams Spurs pushed for the equaliser and Arsenal were up against it when Lee Dixon was sent off late on, but they held on for the win and went on to lift the Cup against Sheffield Wednesday. The following season they won the new defunct European Cup Winners Cup, and ‘1-0 to the Arsenal’ became the supporters’ war cry.  Arsenal team: Seaman, Dixon, Adams, Linighan, Winterburn, Hillier, Merson, Parlour (Smith), Selley, Campbell (Morrow), Wright 7. Arsenal 3 Tottenham 0, November 2002 A comprehensive win for Arsenal, and a match that featured one of the most iconic north London derby goals ever. There appeared to be little danger when Thierry Henry picked the ball up deep in his own half, but 11 seconds later the ball was in the back of the net, as the striker flew past Matthew Etherington, Stephen Carr and Ledley King, and buried a finish past Kasey Keller. The statue of Thierry Henry outside the Emirates commemorates his celebration after scoring against Spurs in 2002 Henry celebrated the goal with an almost as long sprint towards the Tottenham fans, and faced towards them as bile poured down from the stands. Henry revealed years later that he has a framed photo of the Spurs’ fans faces contorted in anger and despair as he had slid on his knees in front of them. After Henry’s 13th-minute goal, the match was effectively over as a contest when Simon Davies was harshly sent off 14 minutes later. Freddie Ljungberg and Sylvain Wiltord added second-half goals, but the match will always be remembered for Henry’s extraordinary effort. Almost as remarkable though is that he was replaced in the 75th minute by Francis Jeffers. Talk about rubbing salt in the Tottenham wounds.  Arsenal team: Shaaban, Luzhny, Campbell, Cygan, Cole, Wiltord, Silva, Vieira (Van Bronckhorst), Ljungberg, Bergkamp (Pires), Henry (Jeffers) 6. Arsenal 5 Tottenham 2, November 2012 Arsenal’s second 5-2 win against Tottenham of 2012was almost as bonkers as the first, and helped by a mindless Emmanuel Adebayor red card for a flying lunge at Santi Cazorla in the 18th minute. Up until then Spurs had looked by far the better team and lead through an Adebayor goal, but the sending off proved to be a huge turning point as Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Cazorla made it 4-1 to the hosts. Santi Cazorla celebrates his goal in Arsenal's 5-2 victory against Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates stadium Gareth Bale pulled one back, before Theo Walcott scored in stoppage time to ensure that Arsenal had improbably recorded a second 5-2 win over their loathed rivals in the same calander year. “It’s happened again, it’s happened again” sang the gleeful Arsenal supporters, as they revelled in another sensational derby victory. Arsenal team: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Wilshere (Ramsey), Arteta, Cazorla, Walcott, Giroud (Oxlade-Chamberlain), Podolski (Santos) 5. Arsenal 5 Tottenham 2, February 2012 The first of two 5-2 wins over Tottenham in the space of nine months was the marginally more extraordinary. Spurs arrived at the Emirates with a 10-point lead over their north London rivals, with the two teams battling it out for Champions League qualification. Harry Redknapp’s team quickly established a 2-0 lead, as Louis Saha scored via a deflection and then former Gunner Emmanuel Adebayor kept his cool from the penalty spot. Tomas Rosicky celebrates his goal against Spurs in 2012 Arsenal, who had been hammered 4-0 by Milan and knocked out of the FA Cup by Sunderland in their previous two matches, looked down and out. But goals from Bacary Sagna and Robin van Persie just before the break, followed by a Tomas Rosicky tap-in and a Theo Walcott double in the space of 17 breathless second-half minutes completely turned the match on its head. Arsenal went on to finish above Tottenham by a single point to claim the final Champions League spot. Arsenal team: Szczesny, Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Rosicky, Song, Walcott, (Oxlade-Chamberlain), Benayoun (Gervinho), Van Persie 4. Tottenham 1 Arsenal 2, March 1987 After the sides could not be separated by two legs, this League Cup semi-final went to a replay at White Hart Lane (the venue was decided by a coin toss). Tottenham went 1-0 up - they had led 2-0 on aggregate in the second leg, and reportedly the stadium announcer gave information over the public address system about ticket details for the final - but again failed to hold onto their lead.     Rocastle Charlie Nicholas was forced off through injury, and his replacement Ian Allinson came on to score an 82nd minute equaliser with an excellent turn and near-post finish. David Rocastle then scored from close range at the death, and Arsenal were in the final, which they improbably won 2-1 against Liverpool. Arsenal team: Lukic, Anderson, Sansom, Thomas, O’Leary, Adams, Rocastle, Davis, Quinn, Nicholas (Allinson), Hayes 3. Tottenham 2 Arsenal 2, April 2004 Not a win but this match had to be included given its significance. After Chelsea lost at Newcastle earlier in the day, Arsenal needed just a point to be crowned champions at White Hart Lane for the second time in their history. En route to an undefeated league season, Arsenal flew into a first-half lead with sumptuous goals from Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires. Arsenal celebrate winning the league at White Hart Lane Jamie Redknapp’s excellent long-range strike and a late Robbie Keane penalty ensured Spurs avoided defeat, but it was not enough to prevent their bitter rivals claiming the title and maintaining their unbeaten run. Arsenal team: Lehmann, Lauren, Campbell, Toure, Cole, Parlour (Edu), Vieira, Silva, Pires, Henry, Bergkamp (Reyes) 2. Tottenham 0 Arsenal 5, December 1978 Arsenal’s biggest post-War win over Spurs came just two days before Christmas and was an ideal early present for the away fans at White Hart Lane. Tottenham had won promotion to the top flight the previous season but were a decent side and would go on to finish mid-table with a team featuring the Argentine duo of Ricky Villa and Ossie Ardiles. But on this occasion they were no match for an unstoppable Arsenal, who romped to a 5-0 win thanks to a hat-trick from Alan Sunderland (who would go on to score the winner in the FA Cup final the following May) and goals from Frank Stapleton and Liam Brady. John Motson was in raptures at Brady’s wonderful swerving shot from the edge of the box, and memorably shouted "Look at that. Oh, look at that," as the Northern Irishman applied the coup de grace to a superlative individual performance. Arsenal team: Jennings, Rice, Walford, Price, O'Leary, Young, Brady, Sunderland, Stapleton, Gatting, Rix 1. Tottenham 0 Arsenal 1, May 1971  It doesn’t get much better than beating your fiercest rivals in their own backyard to claim the title, and that’s exactly what Arsenal did 45 years ago. Bertie Mee's side travelled to White Hart Lane needing a win or a 0-0 draw to win their first championship in 18 years, knowing that a score draw would hand the title to Leeds on goal average. Arsenal On a nerve-shredding night in north London, Arsenal eventually scored the only goal of the game in the 88th minute through Ray Kennedy's superb header. Five days later, Arsenal beat Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup final to claim their first ever double. Arsenal team: Wilson, Rice, McNab, Kelly, McLintock, Simpson, Armstrong, Graham, Radford, Kennedy, George Enhanced offers | Arsenal v Tottenham

Arsenal's best ever north London derbies against Tottenham: ranked 

The main criteria used were importance of the match, entertainment value, and margin of victory. Let the debates ensue... 10. Arsenal 2 Tottenham 1, April 2001 An FA Cup semi-final at Old Trafford made this a particularly spicy encounter, as 60,000 supporters made the journey up the M6 to watch the two rivals compete for a place in the Cardiff final. Twice in the previous 10 years the teams had faced each other in FA Cup semi-finals, with a win apiece, and they had met in a league match just a week before, which Arsenal won 2-0. Patrick Vieira celebrates making it 1-1 against Spurs in April 2001  In Manchester it was Spurs who made the stronger start and went ahead through Gary Doherty’s 14th-minute header, but not for the first or last time against Arsenal they could not hold onto their lead. Patrick Vieira headed an equaliser in the 33rd minute before Robert Pires secured the win with a second-half tap in. The match was also significant because it was the last played by Sol Campbell for Tottenham before his acrimonious move across the Seven Sisters divide three months later.  Arsenal team: Seaman, Dixon, Adams, Keown, Silvinho, Vieira, Parlour, Lauren, Pires, Wiltord (Cole), Henry 9. Tottenham 4 Arsenal 5, November 2004 The highest-scoring north London derby ever was a ding-dong affair at White Hart Lane that featured nine different goalscorers. Tottenham went ahead through Noureddine Naybet, but Thierry Henry equalised on the stroke of half-time and Arsenal went ahead through a Lauren penalty in the 55th minute. The two teams then shared six goals, with Freddie Ljungberg, Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires all scoring, as the visitors eventually clung on to win a hugely entertaining match. Arsenal team: Lehmann, Lauren, Toure, Cygan, Cole, Ljungberg, Vieira, Fabregas, Reyes (Pires), Bergkamp (Van Persie), Henry Lauren celebrates scoring a penalty at Spurs in 2004 wit Thierry Henry  8. Arsenal 1 Tottenham 0, April 1993 Having suffered the trauma of being beaten by Spurs two years earlier in the FA Cup semi-final, this was a huge win and test of nerve for Arsenal. It was also a classic of the George Graham genre, with chances few and far between at Wembley before Tony Adams trotted forward unnoticed and nodded home Paul Merson’s free-kick in the 80th minute. Adams Spurs pushed for the equaliser and Arsenal were up against it when Lee Dixon was sent off late on, but they held on for the win and went on to lift the Cup against Sheffield Wednesday. The following season they won the new defunct European Cup Winners Cup, and ‘1-0 to the Arsenal’ became the supporters’ war cry.  Arsenal team: Seaman, Dixon, Adams, Linighan, Winterburn, Hillier, Merson, Parlour (Smith), Selley, Campbell (Morrow), Wright 7. Arsenal 3 Tottenham 0, November 2002 A comprehensive win for Arsenal, and a match that featured one of the most iconic north London derby goals ever. There appeared to be little danger when Thierry Henry picked the ball up deep in his own half, but 11 seconds later the ball was in the back of the net, as the striker flew past Matthew Etherington, Stephen Carr and Ledley King, and buried a finish past Kasey Keller. The statue of Thierry Henry outside the Emirates commemorates his celebration after scoring against Spurs in 2002 Henry celebrated the goal with an almost as long sprint towards the Tottenham fans, and faced towards them as bile poured down from the stands. Henry revealed years later that he has a framed photo of the Spurs’ fans faces contorted in anger and despair as he had slid on his knees in front of them. After Henry’s 13th-minute goal, the match was effectively over as a contest when Simon Davies was harshly sent off 14 minutes later. Freddie Ljungberg and Sylvain Wiltord added second-half goals, but the match will always be remembered for Henry’s extraordinary effort. Almost as remarkable though is that he was replaced in the 75th minute by Francis Jeffers. Talk about rubbing salt in the Tottenham wounds.  Arsenal team: Shaaban, Luzhny, Campbell, Cygan, Cole, Wiltord, Silva, Vieira (Van Bronckhorst), Ljungberg, Bergkamp (Pires), Henry (Jeffers) 6. Arsenal 5 Tottenham 2, November 2012 Arsenal’s second 5-2 win against Tottenham of 2012was almost as bonkers as the first, and helped by a mindless Emmanuel Adebayor red card for a flying lunge at Santi Cazorla in the 18th minute. Up until then Spurs had looked by far the better team and lead through an Adebayor goal, but the sending off proved to be a huge turning point as Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Cazorla made it 4-1 to the hosts. Santi Cazorla celebrates his goal in Arsenal's 5-2 victory against Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates stadium Gareth Bale pulled one back, before Theo Walcott scored in stoppage time to ensure that Arsenal had improbably recorded a second 5-2 win over their loathed rivals in the same calander year. “It’s happened again, it’s happened again” sang the gleeful Arsenal supporters, as they revelled in another sensational derby victory. Arsenal team: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Wilshere (Ramsey), Arteta, Cazorla, Walcott, Giroud (Oxlade-Chamberlain), Podolski (Santos) 5. Arsenal 5 Tottenham 2, February 2012 The first of two 5-2 wins over Tottenham in the space of nine months was the marginally more extraordinary. Spurs arrived at the Emirates with a 10-point lead over their north London rivals, with the two teams battling it out for Champions League qualification. Harry Redknapp’s team quickly established a 2-0 lead, as Louis Saha scored via a deflection and then former Gunner Emmanuel Adebayor kept his cool from the penalty spot. Tomas Rosicky celebrates his goal against Spurs in 2012 Arsenal, who had been hammered 4-0 by Milan and knocked out of the FA Cup by Sunderland in their previous two matches, looked down and out. But goals from Bacary Sagna and Robin van Persie just before the break, followed by a Tomas Rosicky tap-in and a Theo Walcott double in the space of 17 breathless second-half minutes completely turned the match on its head. Arsenal went on to finish above Tottenham by a single point to claim the final Champions League spot. Arsenal team: Szczesny, Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Rosicky, Song, Walcott, (Oxlade-Chamberlain), Benayoun (Gervinho), Van Persie 4. Tottenham 1 Arsenal 2, March 1987 After the sides could not be separated by two legs, this League Cup semi-final went to a replay at White Hart Lane (the venue was decided by a coin toss). Tottenham went 1-0 up - they had led 2-0 on aggregate in the second leg, and reportedly the stadium announcer gave information over the public address system about ticket details for the final - but again failed to hold onto their lead.     Rocastle Charlie Nicholas was forced off through injury, and his replacement Ian Allinson came on to score an 82nd minute equaliser with an excellent turn and near-post finish. David Rocastle then scored from close range at the death, and Arsenal were in the final, which they improbably won 2-1 against Liverpool. Arsenal team: Lukic, Anderson, Sansom, Thomas, O’Leary, Adams, Rocastle, Davis, Quinn, Nicholas (Allinson), Hayes 3. Tottenham 2 Arsenal 2, April 2004 Not a win but this match had to be included given its significance. After Chelsea lost at Newcastle earlier in the day, Arsenal needed just a point to be crowned champions at White Hart Lane for the second time in their history. En route to an undefeated league season, Arsenal flew into a first-half lead with sumptuous goals from Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires. Arsenal celebrate winning the league at White Hart Lane Jamie Redknapp’s excellent long-range strike and a late Robbie Keane penalty ensured Spurs avoided defeat, but it was not enough to prevent their bitter rivals claiming the title and maintaining their unbeaten run. Arsenal team: Lehmann, Lauren, Campbell, Toure, Cole, Parlour (Edu), Vieira, Silva, Pires, Henry, Bergkamp (Reyes) 2. Tottenham 0 Arsenal 5, December 1978 Arsenal’s biggest post-War win over Spurs came just two days before Christmas and was an ideal early present for the away fans at White Hart Lane. Tottenham had won promotion to the top flight the previous season but were a decent side and would go on to finish mid-table with a team featuring the Argentine duo of Ricky Villa and Ossie Ardiles. But on this occasion they were no match for an unstoppable Arsenal, who romped to a 5-0 win thanks to a hat-trick from Alan Sunderland (who would go on to score the winner in the FA Cup final the following May) and goals from Frank Stapleton and Liam Brady. John Motson was in raptures at Brady’s wonderful swerving shot from the edge of the box, and memorably shouted "Look at that. Oh, look at that," as the Northern Irishman applied the coup de grace to a superlative individual performance. Arsenal team: Jennings, Rice, Walford, Price, O'Leary, Young, Brady, Sunderland, Stapleton, Gatting, Rix 1. Tottenham 0 Arsenal 1, May 1971  It doesn’t get much better than beating your fiercest rivals in their own backyard to claim the title, and that’s exactly what Arsenal did 45 years ago. Bertie Mee's side travelled to White Hart Lane needing a win or a 0-0 draw to win their first championship in 18 years, knowing that a score draw would hand the title to Leeds on goal average. Arsenal On a nerve-shredding night in north London, Arsenal eventually scored the only goal of the game in the 88th minute through Ray Kennedy's superb header. Five days later, Arsenal beat Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup final to claim their first ever double. Arsenal team: Wilson, Rice, McNab, Kelly, McLintock, Simpson, Armstrong, Graham, Radford, Kennedy, George Enhanced offers | Arsenal v Tottenham

Arsenal's best ever north London derbies against Tottenham: ranked 

The main criteria used were importance of the match, entertainment value, and margin of victory. Let the debates ensue... 10. Arsenal 2 Tottenham 1, April 2001 An FA Cup semi-final at Old Trafford made this a particularly spicy encounter, as 60,000 supporters made the journey up the M6 to watch the two rivals compete for a place in the Cardiff final. Twice in the previous 10 years the teams had faced each other in FA Cup semi-finals, with a win apiece, and they had met in a league match just a week before, which Arsenal won 2-0. Patrick Vieira celebrates making it 1-1 against Spurs in April 2001  In Manchester it was Spurs who made the stronger start and went ahead through Gary Doherty’s 14th-minute header, but not for the first or last time against Arsenal they could not hold onto their lead. Patrick Vieira headed an equaliser in the 33rd minute before Robert Pires secured the win with a second-half tap in. The match was also significant because it was the last played by Sol Campbell for Tottenham before his acrimonious move across the Seven Sisters divide three months later.  Arsenal team: Seaman, Dixon, Adams, Keown, Silvinho, Vieira, Parlour, Lauren, Pires, Wiltord (Cole), Henry 9. Tottenham 4 Arsenal 5, November 2004 The highest-scoring north London derby ever was a ding-dong affair at White Hart Lane that featured nine different goalscorers. Tottenham went ahead through Noureddine Naybet, but Thierry Henry equalised on the stroke of half-time and Arsenal went ahead through a Lauren penalty in the 55th minute. The two teams then shared six goals, with Freddie Ljungberg, Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires all scoring, as the visitors eventually clung on to win a hugely entertaining match. Arsenal team: Lehmann, Lauren, Toure, Cygan, Cole, Ljungberg, Vieira, Fabregas, Reyes (Pires), Bergkamp (Van Persie), Henry Lauren celebrates scoring a penalty at Spurs in 2004 wit Thierry Henry  8. Arsenal 1 Tottenham 0, April 1993 Having suffered the trauma of being beaten by Spurs two years earlier in the FA Cup semi-final, this was a huge win and test of nerve for Arsenal. It was also a classic of the George Graham genre, with chances few and far between at Wembley before Tony Adams trotted forward unnoticed and nodded home Paul Merson’s free-kick in the 80th minute. Adams Spurs pushed for the equaliser and Arsenal were up against it when Lee Dixon was sent off late on, but they held on for the win and went on to lift the Cup against Sheffield Wednesday. The following season they won the new defunct European Cup Winners Cup, and ‘1-0 to the Arsenal’ became the supporters’ war cry.  Arsenal team: Seaman, Dixon, Adams, Linighan, Winterburn, Hillier, Merson, Parlour (Smith), Selley, Campbell (Morrow), Wright 7. Arsenal 3 Tottenham 0, November 2002 A comprehensive win for Arsenal, and a match that featured one of the most iconic north London derby goals ever. There appeared to be little danger when Thierry Henry picked the ball up deep in his own half, but 11 seconds later the ball was in the back of the net, as the striker flew past Matthew Etherington, Stephen Carr and Ledley King, and buried a finish past Kasey Keller. The statue of Thierry Henry outside the Emirates commemorates his celebration after scoring against Spurs in 2002 Henry celebrated the goal with an almost as long sprint towards the Tottenham fans, and faced towards them as bile poured down from the stands. Henry revealed years later that he has a framed photo of the Spurs’ fans faces contorted in anger and despair as he had slid on his knees in front of them. After Henry’s 13th-minute goal, the match was effectively over as a contest when Simon Davies was harshly sent off 14 minutes later. Freddie Ljungberg and Sylvain Wiltord added second-half goals, but the match will always be remembered for Henry’s extraordinary effort. Almost as remarkable though is that he was replaced in the 75th minute by Francis Jeffers. Talk about rubbing salt in the Tottenham wounds.  Arsenal team: Shaaban, Luzhny, Campbell, Cygan, Cole, Wiltord, Silva, Vieira (Van Bronckhorst), Ljungberg, Bergkamp (Pires), Henry (Jeffers) 6. Arsenal 5 Tottenham 2, November 2012 Arsenal’s second 5-2 win against Tottenham of 2012was almost as bonkers as the first, and helped by a mindless Emmanuel Adebayor red card for a flying lunge at Santi Cazorla in the 18th minute. Up until then Spurs had looked by far the better team and lead through an Adebayor goal, but the sending off proved to be a huge turning point as Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Cazorla made it 4-1 to the hosts. Santi Cazorla celebrates his goal in Arsenal's 5-2 victory against Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates stadium Gareth Bale pulled one back, before Theo Walcott scored in stoppage time to ensure that Arsenal had improbably recorded a second 5-2 win over their loathed rivals in the same calander year. “It’s happened again, it’s happened again” sang the gleeful Arsenal supporters, as they revelled in another sensational derby victory. Arsenal team: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Wilshere (Ramsey), Arteta, Cazorla, Walcott, Giroud (Oxlade-Chamberlain), Podolski (Santos) 5. Arsenal 5 Tottenham 2, February 2012 The first of two 5-2 wins over Tottenham in the space of nine months was the marginally more extraordinary. Spurs arrived at the Emirates with a 10-point lead over their north London rivals, with the two teams battling it out for Champions League qualification. Harry Redknapp’s team quickly established a 2-0 lead, as Louis Saha scored via a deflection and then former Gunner Emmanuel Adebayor kept his cool from the penalty spot. Tomas Rosicky celebrates his goal against Spurs in 2012 Arsenal, who had been hammered 4-0 by Milan and knocked out of the FA Cup by Sunderland in their previous two matches, looked down and out. But goals from Bacary Sagna and Robin van Persie just before the break, followed by a Tomas Rosicky tap-in and a Theo Walcott double in the space of 17 breathless second-half minutes completely turned the match on its head. Arsenal went on to finish above Tottenham by a single point to claim the final Champions League spot. Arsenal team: Szczesny, Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Rosicky, Song, Walcott, (Oxlade-Chamberlain), Benayoun (Gervinho), Van Persie 4. Tottenham 1 Arsenal 2, March 1987 After the sides could not be separated by two legs, this League Cup semi-final went to a replay at White Hart Lane (the venue was decided by a coin toss). Tottenham went 1-0 up - they had led 2-0 on aggregate in the second leg, and reportedly the stadium announcer gave information over the public address system about ticket details for the final - but again failed to hold onto their lead.     Rocastle Charlie Nicholas was forced off through injury, and his replacement Ian Allinson came on to score an 82nd minute equaliser with an excellent turn and near-post finish. David Rocastle then scored from close range at the death, and Arsenal were in the final, which they improbably won 2-1 against Liverpool. Arsenal team: Lukic, Anderson, Sansom, Thomas, O’Leary, Adams, Rocastle, Davis, Quinn, Nicholas (Allinson), Hayes 3. Tottenham 2 Arsenal 2, April 2004 Not a win but this match had to be included given its significance. After Chelsea lost at Newcastle earlier in the day, Arsenal needed just a point to be crowned champions at White Hart Lane for the second time in their history. En route to an undefeated league season, Arsenal flew into a first-half lead with sumptuous goals from Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires. Arsenal celebrate winning the league at White Hart Lane Jamie Redknapp’s excellent long-range strike and a late Robbie Keane penalty ensured Spurs avoided defeat, but it was not enough to prevent their bitter rivals claiming the title and maintaining their unbeaten run. Arsenal team: Lehmann, Lauren, Campbell, Toure, Cole, Parlour (Edu), Vieira, Silva, Pires, Henry, Bergkamp (Reyes) 2. Tottenham 0 Arsenal 5, December 1978 Arsenal’s biggest post-War win over Spurs came just two days before Christmas and was an ideal early present for the away fans at White Hart Lane. Tottenham had won promotion to the top flight the previous season but were a decent side and would go on to finish mid-table with a team featuring the Argentine duo of Ricky Villa and Ossie Ardiles. But on this occasion they were no match for an unstoppable Arsenal, who romped to a 5-0 win thanks to a hat-trick from Alan Sunderland (who would go on to score the winner in the FA Cup final the following May) and goals from Frank Stapleton and Liam Brady. John Motson was in raptures at Brady’s wonderful swerving shot from the edge of the box, and memorably shouted "Look at that. Oh, look at that," as the Northern Irishman applied the coup de grace to a superlative individual performance. Arsenal team: Jennings, Rice, Walford, Price, O'Leary, Young, Brady, Sunderland, Stapleton, Gatting, Rix 1. Tottenham 0 Arsenal 1, May 1971  It doesn’t get much better than beating your fiercest rivals in their own backyard to claim the title, and that’s exactly what Arsenal did 45 years ago. Bertie Mee's side travelled to White Hart Lane needing a win or a 0-0 draw to win their first championship in 18 years, knowing that a score draw would hand the title to Leeds on goal average. Arsenal On a nerve-shredding night in north London, Arsenal eventually scored the only goal of the game in the 88th minute through Ray Kennedy's superb header. Five days later, Arsenal beat Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup final to claim their first ever double. Arsenal team: Wilson, Rice, McNab, Kelly, McLintock, Simpson, Armstrong, Graham, Radford, Kennedy, George Enhanced offers | Arsenal v Tottenham

Arsenal's best ever north London derbies against Tottenham: ranked 

The main criteria used were importance of the match, entertainment value, and margin of victory. Let the debates ensue... 10. Arsenal 2 Tottenham 1, April 2001 An FA Cup semi-final at Old Trafford made this a particularly spicy encounter, as 60,000 supporters made the journey up the M6 to watch the two rivals compete for a place in the Cardiff final. Twice in the previous 10 years the teams had faced each other in FA Cup semi-finals, with a win apiece, and they had met in a league match just a week before, which Arsenal won 2-0. Patrick Vieira celebrates making it 1-1 against Spurs in April 2001  In Manchester it was Spurs who made the stronger start and went ahead through Gary Doherty’s 14th-minute header, but not for the first or last time against Arsenal they could not hold onto their lead. Patrick Vieira headed an equaliser in the 33rd minute before Robert Pires secured the win with a second-half tap in. The match was also significant because it was the last played by Sol Campbell for Tottenham before his acrimonious move across the Seven Sisters divide three months later.  Arsenal team: Seaman, Dixon, Adams, Keown, Silvinho, Vieira, Parlour, Lauren, Pires, Wiltord (Cole), Henry 9. Tottenham 4 Arsenal 5, November 2004 The highest-scoring north London derby ever was a ding-dong affair at White Hart Lane that featured nine different goalscorers. Tottenham went ahead through Noureddine Naybet, but Thierry Henry equalised on the stroke of half-time and Arsenal went ahead through a Lauren penalty in the 55th minute. The two teams then shared six goals, with Freddie Ljungberg, Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires all scoring, as the visitors eventually clung on to win a hugely entertaining match. Arsenal team: Lehmann, Lauren, Toure, Cygan, Cole, Ljungberg, Vieira, Fabregas, Reyes (Pires), Bergkamp (Van Persie), Henry Lauren celebrates scoring a penalty at Spurs in 2004 wit Thierry Henry  8. Arsenal 1 Tottenham 0, April 1993 Having suffered the trauma of being beaten by Spurs two years earlier in the FA Cup semi-final, this was a huge win and test of nerve for Arsenal. It was also a classic of the George Graham genre, with chances few and far between at Wembley before Tony Adams trotted forward unnoticed and nodded home Paul Merson’s free-kick in the 80th minute. Adams Spurs pushed for the equaliser and Arsenal were up against it when Lee Dixon was sent off late on, but they held on for the win and went on to lift the Cup against Sheffield Wednesday. The following season they won the new defunct European Cup Winners Cup, and ‘1-0 to the Arsenal’ became the supporters’ war cry.  Arsenal team: Seaman, Dixon, Adams, Linighan, Winterburn, Hillier, Merson, Parlour (Smith), Selley, Campbell (Morrow), Wright 7. Arsenal 3 Tottenham 0, November 2002 A comprehensive win for Arsenal, and a match that featured one of the most iconic north London derby goals ever. There appeared to be little danger when Thierry Henry picked the ball up deep in his own half, but 11 seconds later the ball was in the back of the net, as the striker flew past Matthew Etherington, Stephen Carr and Ledley King, and buried a finish past Kasey Keller. The statue of Thierry Henry outside the Emirates commemorates his celebration after scoring against Spurs in 2002 Henry celebrated the goal with an almost as long sprint towards the Tottenham fans, and faced towards them as bile poured down from the stands. Henry revealed years later that he has a framed photo of the Spurs’ fans faces contorted in anger and despair as he had slid on his knees in front of them. After Henry’s 13th-minute goal, the match was effectively over as a contest when Simon Davies was harshly sent off 14 minutes later. Freddie Ljungberg and Sylvain Wiltord added second-half goals, but the match will always be remembered for Henry’s extraordinary effort. Almost as remarkable though is that he was replaced in the 75th minute by Francis Jeffers. Talk about rubbing salt in the Tottenham wounds.  Arsenal team: Shaaban, Luzhny, Campbell, Cygan, Cole, Wiltord, Silva, Vieira (Van Bronckhorst), Ljungberg, Bergkamp (Pires), Henry (Jeffers) 6. Arsenal 5 Tottenham 2, November 2012 Arsenal’s second 5-2 win against Tottenham of 2012was almost as bonkers as the first, and helped by a mindless Emmanuel Adebayor red card for a flying lunge at Santi Cazorla in the 18th minute. Up until then Spurs had looked by far the better team and lead through an Adebayor goal, but the sending off proved to be a huge turning point as Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Cazorla made it 4-1 to the hosts. Santi Cazorla celebrates his goal in Arsenal's 5-2 victory against Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates stadium Gareth Bale pulled one back, before Theo Walcott scored in stoppage time to ensure that Arsenal had improbably recorded a second 5-2 win over their loathed rivals in the same calander year. “It’s happened again, it’s happened again” sang the gleeful Arsenal supporters, as they revelled in another sensational derby victory. Arsenal team: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Wilshere (Ramsey), Arteta, Cazorla, Walcott, Giroud (Oxlade-Chamberlain), Podolski (Santos) 5. Arsenal 5 Tottenham 2, February 2012 The first of two 5-2 wins over Tottenham in the space of nine months was the marginally more extraordinary. Spurs arrived at the Emirates with a 10-point lead over their north London rivals, with the two teams battling it out for Champions League qualification. Harry Redknapp’s team quickly established a 2-0 lead, as Louis Saha scored via a deflection and then former Gunner Emmanuel Adebayor kept his cool from the penalty spot. Tomas Rosicky celebrates his goal against Spurs in 2012 Arsenal, who had been hammered 4-0 by Milan and knocked out of the FA Cup by Sunderland in their previous two matches, looked down and out. But goals from Bacary Sagna and Robin van Persie just before the break, followed by a Tomas Rosicky tap-in and a Theo Walcott double in the space of 17 breathless second-half minutes completely turned the match on its head. Arsenal went on to finish above Tottenham by a single point to claim the final Champions League spot. Arsenal team: Szczesny, Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Rosicky, Song, Walcott, (Oxlade-Chamberlain), Benayoun (Gervinho), Van Persie 4. Tottenham 1 Arsenal 2, March 1987 After the sides could not be separated by two legs, this League Cup semi-final went to a replay at White Hart Lane (the venue was decided by a coin toss). Tottenham went 1-0 up - they had led 2-0 on aggregate in the second leg, and reportedly the stadium announcer gave information over the public address system about ticket details for the final - but again failed to hold onto their lead.     Rocastle Charlie Nicholas was forced off through injury, and his replacement Ian Allinson came on to score an 82nd minute equaliser with an excellent turn and near-post finish. David Rocastle then scored from close range at the death, and Arsenal were in the final, which they improbably won 2-1 against Liverpool. Arsenal team: Lukic, Anderson, Sansom, Thomas, O’Leary, Adams, Rocastle, Davis, Quinn, Nicholas (Allinson), Hayes 3. Tottenham 2 Arsenal 2, April 2004 Not a win but this match had to be included given its significance. After Chelsea lost at Newcastle earlier in the day, Arsenal needed just a point to be crowned champions at White Hart Lane for the second time in their history. En route to an undefeated league season, Arsenal flew into a first-half lead with sumptuous goals from Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires. Arsenal celebrate winning the league at White Hart Lane Jamie Redknapp’s excellent long-range strike and a late Robbie Keane penalty ensured Spurs avoided defeat, but it was not enough to prevent their bitter rivals claiming the title and maintaining their unbeaten run. Arsenal team: Lehmann, Lauren, Campbell, Toure, Cole, Parlour (Edu), Vieira, Silva, Pires, Henry, Bergkamp (Reyes) 2. Tottenham 0 Arsenal 5, December 1978 Arsenal’s biggest post-War win over Spurs came just two days before Christmas and was an ideal early present for the away fans at White Hart Lane. Tottenham had won promotion to the top flight the previous season but were a decent side and would go on to finish mid-table with a team featuring the Argentine duo of Ricky Villa and Ossie Ardiles. But on this occasion they were no match for an unstoppable Arsenal, who romped to a 5-0 win thanks to a hat-trick from Alan Sunderland (who would go on to score the winner in the FA Cup final the following May) and goals from Frank Stapleton and Liam Brady. John Motson was in raptures at Brady’s wonderful swerving shot from the edge of the box, and memorably shouted "Look at that. Oh, look at that," as the Northern Irishman applied the coup de grace to a superlative individual performance. Arsenal team: Jennings, Rice, Walford, Price, O'Leary, Young, Brady, Sunderland, Stapleton, Gatting, Rix 1. Tottenham 0 Arsenal 1, May 1971  It doesn’t get much better than beating your fiercest rivals in their own backyard to claim the title, and that’s exactly what Arsenal did 45 years ago. Bertie Mee's side travelled to White Hart Lane needing a win or a 0-0 draw to win their first championship in 18 years, knowing that a score draw would hand the title to Leeds on goal average. Arsenal On a nerve-shredding night in north London, Arsenal eventually scored the only goal of the game in the 88th minute through Ray Kennedy's superb header. Five days later, Arsenal beat Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup final to claim their first ever double. Arsenal team: Wilson, Rice, McNab, Kelly, McLintock, Simpson, Armstrong, Graham, Radford, Kennedy, George Enhanced offers | Arsenal v Tottenham

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