Welcome to a new feature on Arsenal.com - Talking Heads.

Before and after every first-team fixture our MatchDay Show team - and an Arsenal blogger - will have their say on the match.

Arsenal took on Tottenham in the Premier League on Sunday and our Talking Heads for this game were Dan Roebuck, former Gunner Martin Hayes and David Faber, aka Goonerholic.

Read on for their post-match thoughts and recap what they said before the game.

Dan Roebuck - Arsenal Live

I felt Arsenal were worth a draw at White Hart Lane. They controlled much of the game and carved out some pretty decent chances but they didn't make the most of the spells - the bulk of the first half and the start of the second half - when they dominated. Gervinho missed a wonderful opportunity and if he'd put that away I think it would have been a different story. Spurs were at full strength and, as you'd expect, they tested Szczesny. He was superb until Walker's shot went through him but he did enough at White Hart Lane to confirm that he will be a world-class goalkeeper. I still think a top-four finish is within Arsenal - don't lose faith in them.

This is a really tough one to call and not because of the old cliche that the form book goes out of the window on derby day. I just don't think you know what you're going to get from these two teams at the moment. Arsenal are creating lots of chances but, as we saw against Blackburn, Shrewsbury and Olympiacos, they concede chances to the opposition too. There were 16 goals in the three derbies last season and I'm expecting another high-scoring match. Adebayor is surely destined to score against his old club but Arsenal can hurt Spurs on the break, especially if Walcott or Gervinho pass their fitness tests. Their pace could make the difference.

Arsenal TV Online commentator - Martin Hayes

I was disappointed with how Arsenal played, I thought there was a lack of tempo. As Arsène Wenger has said we didn't really go at them enough. It looked like we were protecting what we had after the equaliser. Spurs let us have the ball but we gave it away a fair bit which was unusual for us. I thought we could see the game out after Ramsey's goal but the second was a bad one to concede and it cost us a valuable point. The battle for fourth place will be between Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool but a gap has opened up already so we need to come back from the international break firing on all cylinders.

It's strange for Arsenal to go White Hart Lane as underdogs because that has usually been Tottenham's position since Arsène Wenger has been in England. This could be the first year the roles have reversed. Spurs have done well this season while everyone has been writing off the Gunners and that might just suit Arsenal because the pressure will be on Harry Redknapp's side to deliver. Arsenal can go there and relax and play their game. Redknapp has done well at White Hart Lane, he's put together a strong squad, and the players that make them tick are Modric and Bale. You've also got the enigma that is Adebayor. He'll never win a popularity contest with Arsenal fans and he might be disliked by both sets of supporters before long but for now he's playing well and players have a funny habit of scoring against their old clubs. Having said all that I fancy Arsenal to get something from the game. I'd love to see them sneak a win but I think a 1-1 draw is more likely.


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So the bookmakers weren't wrong and defeat in this game is never easy to take. I was not alone in thinking we were the better of the sides until Bacary Sagna departed the action. With confidence still low we didn't make the most of our opportunities and Gervinho in particular will be thinking "what if?" after spurning the chance from Robin van Persie's cut-back. Again we showed defensive frailties, possibly down to a lack of concentration from set pieces, but defending starts from in front of the back four. The makeshift central pairing of Per Mertesacker and Alex Song survived a tough examination in open play, but the injury to Sagna exposed us far more than it should have. The news that he has a fractured fibula is a concern. First and foremost our thoughts and best wishes are with him, but his absence leaves us exposed for the remainder of this calendar year at least.

On the plus side I thought Francis Coquelin was excellent, winning important challenges and taking more care with his distribution than some of his senior colleagues. We will have to retain possession much better in the coming weeks if we are going to get into a position to challenge the top four. The international break may be a blessing in disguise. Clearly we need our better players to return fit and healthy, but a couple of weeks of soul-searching may just bring the squad back with a renewed hunger and determination to put things right.

Looking at every major bookmaker Tottenham are favourites to win this. That fits in nicely with the way the season is developing for us. The early season calamities at Old Trafford and Ewood Park have persuaded popular opinion that we are on the slide, and in a strange way that has helped. The supporters, expectations lowered, have got right behind the side and I'm certain they have been a contributory factor to three straight wins. Favouritism in the North London derby has counted for little down the years, although our record against the neighbours during the 'Wenger Years' bears any examination. Until a couple of recent hiccups we have truly had the upper hand over the team my grandfather, an uncle, and one cousin followed. Those of a Lilywhite persuasion who think the result this weekend is a foregone conclusion could be in for a rude awakening. You can't blame them though. Most Spurs fans have seen us, and not them, win League titles at the Lane.

An Arsenal shorn of key midfielders is slowly taking shape, and if Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey earn the right, and space, to play their natural game after a frantic opening then we have every chance of snatching a win. It will be tense, atmospheric, and only supporters of the two clubs will truly understand the importance of the outcome. Both teams go into the contest with the belief that they can win it, but the pressure of the occasion, and their ability to deal with it, will determine the eventual winners, or create an impasse. My money will be on Arsenal, and over a long period of time this has been a profitable affair for me, but even I have to accept that this is the most unpredictable meeting of the clubs for some time. All we can ask is that the side that starts gives it 100 per cent, and doesn't let the effort drop, regardless of what happens, until the last whistle blows.

* The views expressed in Talking Heads do not necessarily reflect those of Arsenal Football Club or Arsenal Broadband Ltd.

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source
3 Oct 2011