4 lessons we learned from Tottenham’s defeat to Arsenal

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

1)     Spurs are their own enemy

This hasn’t been a good season for the Spurs and Tottenham players are not helping themselves by making damaging mistakes game after game. This problem became more evident with the Chelsea game and for the third straight game; Tottenham shot themselves in the foot by making an error that led to a goal. Vertonghen’s inexplicable mistake at Chelsea, Kyle Naughton and Vertonghen’s terrible defensive combination against Benfica and Sandro’s poor pass and Rose’s bad positioning against Arsenal are just some of the costly mistakes that marred Tottenham’s Champions League hopes.

Spurs fans never know what’s going to happen next as players showed that they can make a mistake at any point of the game. Either in the first minute or right after half time or just before the final whistle, Tottenham was hurt by themselves. Tim Sherwood needs to put in serious work to fix this situation as Spurs’ attacking power is nowhere near to cover the mistakes the defence does.

2)     Spurs lost their “scare factor”

Jose Mourinho explained this year’s Tottenham perfectly after their 4-0 win over the Spurs a week ago.

“We were prepared for a difficult opponent, so in the first half we were calm – no panic, no pressure, not surprised by the fact the opponent can come here and play the way they play,” he told reporters.

“But the reality was that in the first half they had control but they didn’t scare us.

“When you feel the opponent is in control but, even when they are in control, they don’t scare you, you are calm.

That probably sums up what Tottenham has been all season and that was clear against Arsenal. Tottenham were the better side for probably 88 minutes and they had only one real chance that they can show for and that chance came from the Arsenal keeper’s mistake. Tottenham were slow in their build-up as always and they couldn’t find any openings in the Arsenal defence. In hopes to find a goal, Tottenham took a page out of Manchester United’s page and starting crossing the ball with every chance they had. However, all of those crosses were poor and did not cause any problems to the opposition.

Tim Sherwood has to come up with some kind of solution to this problem as Tottenham is slowly going back to the start of the season where they were struggling to get even one goal in games under AVB.

3)     Tottenham possess quality, but not results

Tottenham dominated the title challengers Arsenal for 88 minutes after going a goal down in the 2nd minute. Spurs players were better in every area of the pitch and at times Arsenal players struggled to get out of their own half. It’s not like this domination resulted in any positive way but it showed us that Tottenham has enough quality players to challenge for the Champions League spot next year. Apart from Bentaleb, every Tottenham player won their individual battles. Sandro performed well enough to boss the midfield, the defence was solid for much of the game, and the attackers had some moments of quality.

The performances of Adebayor, Chadli, Eriksen and Townsend showed that Tottenham has quality players and the club needs to strengthen the defence and find a really good manager to mix up these quality players and find a good balance in the team. Tottenham lacked the killer edge all season and the issue could be fixed by managerial change rather than another spending spree this summer.

4)     Eriksen and Sigurdsson are not left midfielders

Against Arsenal, Christian Eriksen looked really uncomfortable at times as he was isolated on the left hand side again and the natural winger Nacer Chadli was playing the No. 10 position that Eriksen loves to play. The Danish International had been playing on the left hand side under Tim Sherwood but he has performed best in the middle in games against Swansea and Crystal Palace. He is struggling on the left and he should be moved to the middle immediately as Tottenham needs his creative abilities in every game.

Gylfi Sigurdsson is another midfielder who has been sent to the left side and he is not performing as well as he could. He was playing as the No. 10 at Swansea and his great performances, such as the one against Tottenham, made him the transfer target of Spurs and Liverpool two seasons ago. However, both AVB and Sherwood insisted on using him as a winger and he hasn’t performed well in a single game after his three goal outburst at the start of the season. These two players should play as central attacking midfielders for the rest of the season and Sigurdsson could prove to be a good back-up to Eriksen with his shooting and passing ability.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. I don't think Sig is either a left winger OR a creative midfielder. He is less effective than Kranks was, and poor Kranks hardly ever got to play, despite Harry loving him. I think it may be in our interest and Sig's to let him go now. We do, however, need another top playmaker to take the pressure off Eriksen, and that should be our priority this summer (as it should have been last summer). Another pacy and proper left winger (the Dnipro guy?) is a must too, if just to keep Townsend and Lennon on their toes, as well as to balance the team up again (finally); plus a competitive left back fighting with Rose for that key position. Our left hand side has been awful this season, with the result that over-emphasis has been on our right flank, with the opposition frustrating us because (like our central midfield) we've been too predictable. If both our flanks were causing problems for opponents, as they were two seasons back, then with the strength we have in midfield we'd be quids in again! Then watch Soldado!
    Re the lessons we learned from the Arsenal defeat? NEVER to be their whipping boy again, as we have been (it seems) since that lost 4th place at West Ham (final game food poisoning) in 2005/6. It has always been Arsenal in the past 3 or 4 seasons who've stepped over that line as we've faltered ..and it seems that they (no matter where we have finished) always finish in that vital spot one place above us! If nothing else we must never let them wrest our dreams and hopes from us again!! I don't care that it's our own performances/lost opportunities/rotten luck/poor and unfocused managment/silly tactics/bad purchases at wrong times etc., It has always been ARSENAL who've profited most from our slips, and it's unbearable!

  2. There is something wrong with Spurs. They cannot go on making mistake after mistake in every game which costs them the match. Their build up is also much too slow and have this annoying habit of passing the ball backwards even when they have team mates up front waiting for the ball. They lose the ball much too easily and passes are generally poor perhaps because their style of play is too congested and they do not spread out sufficiently to receive a pass. The team definitely needs rebuilding and better players must be bought next season if they want to do well.

  3. There is something that we have in common with MU this season. when our players get the ball, they dont seem to know what to do with it. Watch teams like Chelsea and even Everton, they maintain a progressive game plan because every player knows what to do in every situation.

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