Arsenal players with their heads down after conceding again to Spurs on Sunday in the premier league. (Photo credit: ESPN) “In terms of pe...
|Arsenal players with their heads down after conceding again to Spurs on Sunday in the premier league. (Photo credit: ESPN)|
“In terms of performance, they did everything I asked them to do, we played the way I believed we should play this game if you look at all the stats, they are all in our favor but at the end of the day, it’s about putting the ball in the box” – Mikel Arteta.
Arsenal faced Tottenham on Sunday with many already condemning them to defeat long before Matt Atkinson’s whistle went off.
But the actual gameplay didn’t tell the exact story of how the game went with Arsenal for once going all out to attack, albeit against the wrong opposition.
Jose Mourinho sits at the top of the league with his Tottenham Hotspur side and deservedly so after their latest performance against bitter North London rivals Arsenal.
Beyond sentiments and personal alliances, it’s very clear that there’s a power shift at the Capital.
Jose Mourinho had only lost just two of his previous lots against Arsenal in competitive games and wasn’t ready to lower his guard.
He didn’t have Tanguy Ndombele but Giovanni Lo Celso was on hand to join Pierre Emile Hoijberg in the middle for Spurs to break everything Arsenal threw forward.
Naivety is a thing that will always be a part of the Mikel Arteta reigns, and like a child that is trying to bypass the process, there will be many falls and staggers.
Arteta rushed back Thomas Partey to negotiate the midfield battle with Spurs but it came back to haunt Arsenal.
Arsenal started brightly but as they have done in many games this season, Spurs took an early lead.
Harry Kane found space in the middle after Arsenal lost the ball in the Tottenham area and as they have always done this season, he combined with Heung Min Son who curled in a scorcher past Bernd Leno in the Arsenal goal for a sensational opener.
Arsenal created lots of chances afterward but couldn’t even test Hugo Lloris with a shot on target but there’s a significant improvement in the way they played and their purpose.
Thomas Partey was winning the midfield duels and Spurs were happy to be patient.
Spurs scored again just before halftime and it was strictly down to Mikel Arteta’s decision to rush back Partey from his hamstring injury.
The Ghanaian midfield enforcer was pictured limping off the pitch when Spurs strolled in for the second that was smashed through the Leno roof with venom and precision to make it 2-0 and with seconds remaining, Arteta sent on Dani Ceballos in place of the former Atletico player.
The second half was all Arsenal, and this time, they worked Lloris for all his worth.
Arsenal made series of mistakes on Sunday but Arteta will take the blame for every single thing that went wrong.
He deployed a system that his lads don’t have legs for, beyond starting an unfit Partey, his decision to attack a team that is notorious for counter attacking football wasn’t only puerile, it was also disgusting.
Only Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba have combined to score more than Harry Kane and Heung Min Son, yet the Gunners allowed them to wriggle out and hurt them.
Hector Bellerin after almost a decade of professional football still doesn’t know how to throw the ball, does that require extra training too?
Arsenal will probably destroy Dundalk in the Europa on Thursday and then come back to frustrate fans against Burnley on Sunday.
The agenda isn’t against the manager, it’s not even against the players but if the team by any means have any kind of ambition, they know what to do when the window opens in January.