So, another loss against Arsenal this season and our top four dream looks all but over after a goal by Rosicky within two minutes that really can only be described with superlatives. 72 seconds into the game I was left with a feeling I’d had too many times this season; fearing that we’d be on the wrong end of a heavy scoreline. The next 10-15 minutes did little to ease those fears as Arsenal looked like they’d score each time they attacked (even if there weren’t many attacks). Chamberlain and Podolski were breaching the backline far too easily, the defence looked very disorganised, there were exploitable gaps in midfield and Sherwood’s burst of anger perfectly encapsulated how I felt and how I assume many others felt.
Something just looked wrong to me at the start of the game and I couldn’t really work out what it was. We had about 60% of the ball yet still looked so vulnerable and also lacked a real cohesive threat. Arms were up in the air and that chaotic start just summed up what this club has been like this season. We lacked direction and we had no identity within that team. This wasn’t like the Redknapp team where we were a team, or even last year under AVB where we could at least associate the team with Bale and a fairly solid defence. I didn’t know how to describe this team. There was no magic trio of VDV, Modric and Bale yet also nobody to carry us through. It was all just distinctively average to me at the start and I was really fearing the worst, but the more that game went on the more optimistic I felt and the more I could see a Tottenham team that was doing something that we’ve barely done all season: compete with a top side.
Arsenal’s attacks stopped being effective and remained few and far between. We were winning the ball back high up the pitch when we lost it; we were pressuring them and controlling the ball. Granted, the first half didn’t create many chances but at some point in that half I was worrying a lot less about when we’d next concede, and I was starting to expect us to equalise or at least create a clear opportunity to do so. We got that opportunity in the second half through Nacer Chadli and although we failed to capitalise, we can and should take heart from the fact that we were able to maintain the dominance from the first half whilst adding the caveat of a threat on Arsenal’s goal. They were on the back foot for the majority of the game and we didn’t let them control the match like they normally do and like they are used to. Their full backs hardly got forward, Cazorla wasn’t particularly influential and until the last couple of minutes, I retained the hope that we would score. That feeling was a far cry from the expectations I had two minutes into the game and hopefully the team can continue to play well enough so that I don’t lose that optimistic feeling.
After the final whistle, whilst obviously disappointed, I felt like we saw a Tottenham performance that we would want the players to replicate and there just haven’t been enough of those. We outplayed a title contender, and although we didn’t get a result, we got a performance (and weren’t smashed by 5 or 6 goals). Hopefully, with players such as Walker, Dembele and Lamela to return to fitness, we will be able to move forward and start to recreate an identity that fans will be happy to associate with our club. This season has been one where we have looked lost for the majority of it and whilst we by no means have our Tottenham back, hopefully we can take something from today and use it to move on and move forward.
Have something to tell us about this article?