Alan Shearer launches damning verdict of Tottenham’s clash against Arsenal

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Alan Shearer has described Sunday’s North London Derby as a drab and flat affair and suggested that neither side deserved to win the game.

It was a fairly even contest for the majority of the clash with both sides potentially having chances to win the match.

Spurs got their noses ahead in the late second half through a bullet header from Toby Alderweireld and the home side could have made it three with a late counter attack.

However, the game certainly wasn’t to Shearer’s liking. The BBC Match of the Day pundit insisted that the match compared poorly to previous North London derby encounters.

In his column for The Sun, the former Newcastle United striker wrote: “Once upon a time, the North London derby would set even the pulses of neutral observers racing.

“But yesterday’s renewal was a really flat and drab affair.

“And you cannot entirely blame the lack of a crowd for how poor the fare was dished up at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

“It was bland stuff, particularly compared to some of the thrillers of the past at Spurs’ home, like Arsenal’s 5-4 victory in that epic clash in November 2004.

“The Gunners had the majority of possession without doing a lot with it.

“Aside from their goal, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit the bar and was denied by a decent Hugo Lloris save.

“Spurs won it thanks to a stupid defensive mistake and a set-piece. That was about the sum of it and I don’t think either team deserved to win.

“Many of those neutrals who stayed in to watch probably found themselves wishing they’d taken advantage of the easing of lockdown and got out of the house on a Sunday afternoon!

“I don’t think we learned anything from this match that we didn’t already know.”

He suggested that neither Tottenham nor Arsenal look capable of getting close to the top two on the evidence of Sunday’s match.

The former England international also claimed that both the North London sides will find it difficult to attract players in the summer.

He added: “There is a massive amount of work to be done with both sides.

“They are way, way behind the top of the league. And you can’t compare the football these two are playing with what Liverpool and Manchester City have produced this season.

“Spurs and Arsenal are in a similar position. They are where they are — eighth and ninth respectively behind Wolves and Sheffield United — because they need that huge amount of work.

“The Gunners are a staggering 43 points adrift of Liverpool — Spurs 41 points behind.

“And the big question is, of course, whether the finances are going to be there to boost their respective squads due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Even if they are, how many top players are going to want to sign up when Champions League football is not part of the package.

“Quite probably not even Europa League football, for that matter.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Shearer is right in saying that Spurs and Arsenal both have a lot of work to do to even contemplate catching the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City. It could well a long time to get up to the standard that the top two have set in the Premier League.

However, I certainly cannot agree with his assessment of the derby itself. Having watched almost every single Premier League game since the restart, there have been some real shockers in there. I thought the game on Sunday was certainly one of the better ones we have seen since the restart.

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