Opinion: Analysing what happened to Spurs against Arsenal

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

We all know that Spurs’ performance against Arsenal was shambolic. But why did the team perform so poorly?

The answer lies in key players not performing and unlucky moments…

The performances of the front three summed up Spurs’ overall showing. Heung-min Son went down injured in the first half but even when he was on the pitch, he struggled to get the ball. The stories of Kane and Bale were similar but lasted far longer.

Tottenham’s only goal of the game came from Bale picking up the ball in space, hitting a switch to Reguilón who tapped it into Lucas Moura. The Brazilian then laid it off for Erik Lamela to produce a moment of magic.

But other than that moment, neither Kane nor Bale was able to consistently pick up the ball in deep areas.

That has been our strength so far this season, having a talented passer pick up the ball with time and space and hit a switch into someone lethal in the final third. Whether that be Kane to Son or Bale to Kane, etc.

But in Sunday’s game, neither Kane nor Bale was able to drop into the pockets in order to pick the ball up, let alone play the actual pass.

The root of our problem is we cannot get the ball up to the front three if one of the members of this trio does not drop to help in the build-up.

This may be a flaw in the general tactics but that is a completely different conversation. The key to finishing the season strong lies in working on getting the ball into the front three no matter where they are on the pitch.

Defensively, the team was sound overall and will feel unfortunate to have conceded two against the Gunners.

The first goal was a shot going straight to Lloris which took an unfortunate deflection into the bottom corner and the other goal was a penalty – A penalty that even Alexandre Lacazette admitted the home side was “lucky” to receive.

Spurs will also feel that, on another day, they could have come back and drawn or even won the game.

Harry Kane’s equalizer was ruled out for offside before the striker struck the post from a late freekick which Gabriel subsequently cleared off the line following Davinson Sanchez’s rebound shot.

Spurs and Erik Lamela will also feel hard done by the red card received by the Argentine. Spurs fans have argued that neither of Lamela’s yellow cards, particularly the first one, should have been punished so severely.

Overall, Spurs must begin to bring in the attacking players more frequently should the side continue to challenge for the top four. If we can accomplish that, we can beat anyone we play. If we cannot, it could be a long end to the season.

Nonetheless, we have players who are talented enough to turn it around and secure Champion’s League football for us next season!

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