Posted on February 09, 2015 by ADMIN

The REAL reasons Arsenal lost at Spurs

DEFENDING TOO DEEP, NO PACE AND NO PRESSURE: THE REAL REASONS WHY ARSENAL LOST AT SPURS by Uche

Hello everyone. I am sure you have read enough and heard enough about our loss against Spurs. Believe me, this article is not a pity party and it is definitely not a rant fest either. On the contrary, it is an objective view of what went wrong and the bright future we still have ahead of us.

I have read a lot of reviews myself about why we lost at Spurs. But so far, none of them really reflects what I observed watching that game. Per Mertesacker thinks we weren’t switched on to defend properly. But I don’t believe that because we defended from the first whistle to the last. In fact, we defended a bit too much and that is part of the problem. Some other reviews say that our players were poor and some singled out particular players like Aaron Ramsey, Lauren Koscielny, Hector Bellerin, Santi Carzola and even Mesut Ozil that scored for us. Again I disagree and I will tell you why. Some even said it was the early kick off time and while our history points to troubles with early kick off, I believe there are other major reasons why we lost.

Simply put, we defended too deep without pacy players to counter attack and without putting pressure on the Spurs team. If you watched the Man City game where we won 2-0, we played a totally different game. The temptation is to think we did the same thing at White Hart Lane and failed but it is not true. At the Etihad, we fell back and defended as a team alright but we did it differently. We weren’t so deep such that we had problems carrying the ball out of our own half when in possession. That is one of the big mistakes we made at Spurs. Pochettino’s teams are very good at working their socks off to close the opposition down and nick the ball from them, and we played right into their hands by dropping too deep and letting them have possession. Unfortunately, even the best boxers cannot win their boxing matches by dodging punches for twelve rounds without throwing any themselves. That is exactly what we attempted to do at Spurs because we had a paltry three shots on target for the whole game! We let them have the ball without pressuring them so they kept coming at us until we cracked. Ospina was brilliant and was also carrying a knock but we left him with too much to do.

When we played Man City, we let them have the ball but we did it with intelligence. They had possession but were not comfortable in possession. Our players chased after the ball and by putting pressure on them, they were unable to attack at will and we forced them into make mistakes at times and passing the ball sideways and backwards. And because we weren’t defending too deep, it made it easier for us to carry the ball out of our own half while counter attacking. But at Spurs, not only did we let them have the ball, we put no pressure on them and did not have the same pace and aggression at the wings that we had at the Etihad. Many say that the Ox and Sanchez were generally anonymous at the Etihad but that is wrong. If we had them against Spurs, the result would have been different.

Sanchez and Ox are aggressive, have pace and can dribble. So if there are two players that would have put pressure on the opposition and helped us carry the ball out of our own half when we had the ball, it was these two players. So their absence meant that we could not really execute the sort of game plan we had against Manchester City and I tell you what folks. When your tactics is poor, even your best players end up having a poor game. That is why none of our players really shone in that game. That game was crying out for Tomas Rosicky, our most energetic attacking midfielder. Tomas would have chased around the Spurs players and probably nicked a few balls in the process.

We left the ball for Totenham and made them look like Barcelona. Yes they are a decent team but nobody plays tiki taka like Arsenal. Ball possession is our strong point. I don’t know why we had to be that defensive. One guess is that Wenger was really scared of Spurs after they put five goals past a Mourinho led Chelsea side. That score line of 5-3 will scare the hell out of the best managers but then, we are Arsenal! We have a good team and are in good form. Our game against Aston Villa was so efficient and clinical that it is the equivalent of football porn. But our defensive tactics and lack of personnel to execute our counter attacking strategy against Spurs failed us.

But we learn every day. No team has won all their games this season. Going forward, the future is bright. We have many winnable games yet to play, mostly against inferior opposition. Against Leicester City tomorrow, I understand that Sanchez will be back and Walcott is available too. If we win that game, and we should, our recovery will enable us to cruise again and hopefully qualify for the Champions League. We have a good team with top quality players and up until now, we have been on a good run. We also have a good manager who sometimes gets his tactics wrong only because he does not want to lose. No need slamming our own too much. Real Madrid lost 4-0 against Atletico Madrid so if you think we had a bad weekend, the Bernabeu faithful will happily swap places with you. Manchester City, Liverpool, Man United and West Ham all drew their games. So we have not been left too far behind in our chase for Champions league qualification. Southampton is head of us with just three points. Qualifying will be hard but we have a better fixture list than our competitors.

Cheer up guys. I hated losing against Spurs but every team has had a shocker this season, some more than others. The future is bright. Have a good week.

Uche Edochie
Lagos, Nigeria

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29 thoughts on “The REAL reasons Arsenal lost at Spurs

  1. ThirdManJW

    When you start a tough away game with no wingers and Ramsey (our worst player this season), then what do you expect? We never had a chance of victory with that starting line-up.

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 32 Thumb down 28

    1. Luko Bratzi

      I still say Ozil is not the player now to fit in the Arsenal way. Since Sanches with his tenacious and speed Gazola Rosicky and Bellerin Monreal all pacey have really shone and,when possession is lost they are very quick to get back.Ramsey gave away easy balls which put the likes off Gazola Coquelin under pressure far to much.He should have been subbed at half time for Rosicky, not to carry on and make his game even harder to correct just a bad day at the office. I think Ozil has in his contract he gets game time when fit.Him and Walcott need to come on with 25mins and really work hard even when they loose possession for a few games.Now when Wilshire,Oxy,Arteta get back, who do you think should be dropped, I know who would be Ramsey,and Ozil What do you say. CB

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

  2. Matt

    Well I’m still hurting from the Spurs lost and what makes it worse is the fact we didn’t even beat them at home so effectively, they’ve robbed us of 4 points this season. Spurs fans and players shouldn’t read too much into that win though, as we finish above them time and time again and will continue to do so. F*ck the Spurs.

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 21 Thumb down 19

  3. Invincibles49

    What is the point of all this? Did not you listen to Wenger home and away games analysis? We are still the favorites to finish 4th. Damn!! This Manager plans so much in detail to finish 4th. I ain’t even mad. That is amazing 😀

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 9

  4. FFFanatic

    You highlighted the issue nice and quick – we didn’t attack back. We weren’t “too deep” – our starting point was no deeper or higher then against City. Our problem was when we got the ball we panicked or under performed. We consistently were incapable of simple passes and were consistently making bad decisions on the ball. Simple things were done poorly and resulted in lost position where we shouldn’t have – the result being it made spurs look good.

    I think their second goal came from such an occasion where two or three times we had a chance to clear the ball and get control of the game but failed to. I think specifically there was a point where Koscielny had an unchallenged header on the edge of our box which he headed straight off the pitch when we were in little to no danger. They took a quick throw before our midfield could reset and Kane scores a header. The problem wasn’t that we defended badly or too deep, but rather our possession was AWFUL.

    You could argue Spurs pressed well, but I don’t really see that. There was space to attack and pass through, we just were consistently poor on the ball. Where Cazorla against City was linking play, it just didn’t happen.

    You highlight Ox and Sanchez as big misses and I agree – they were the ball carriers in that game and also defended tenaciously. Ozil and Welbeck on the other hand were not as effective defensively or with the ball. I saw on another post that Bellerin was beaten too much by Rose!?!?!? Far from it – Eriksen had him running inside alot and Welbeck never tracked Rose. Eriksen was quiet in the game, yet his wing back was constantly breaking our defensive line? Welbeck’s, NOT Bellerin’s, man. Add to that our woeful ball carrying – Welbeck lost the ball countless times with stupid decisions, Ozil was invisible for much of the game and Giroud was horribly isolated when he was up top (and actually switched with Welbeck at times to give Bellerin some decent cover!).

    All in all, we were awful. I said it at 1-0 that we were playing crap and I just awaited a change from us or the inevitable goals. It’s a shame because we were on such good form and to lose to spurs always stings (I can’t look at facebook still – too many gloating spurs fans who seem to believe the history of not finishing above us for 20 years is over after 1 game…) BUT it was far from a thumping and we still have a run in that demands we can finish Third.

    On one seperate note – Ospina did NOT have a good game. He made 1 good stop and made alot of other routine stops look better then they were. He was a good chunk at fault for the first goal, and his distribution was consistently poor throughout the game which did not aid our ball retention woes. To give him the undue acclaim of being “brilliant” is not fair on other players. He did his job, most of the time, but ultimately also performed sub par and was directly at fault for a goal. Not brilliant.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 9

    1. GunnerJack

      Not sure where you got the quote that ‘Ospina was brilliant’ but he was not too bad. Many of his saves were ‘fingertip’ saves where he could not possibly hold onto the ball. Stop quoting the pathetic media!

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

      1. FFFanatic

        “Ospina was brilliant and was also carrying a knock but we left him with too much to do.”

        While I agree with the second half of this statement the OP posted, I disagreed with the first part. Also, he made 1 finger tip save and the rest were solid palms. I am not saying he should have held them but rather there is technique to push the ball wide of the goal and technique to push it into the area forward of the goal. He was doing the latter. I did not say he played badly but rather was insinuating that brilliant was too strong. He was not himself today and looked extremely shakey – something I’ve not seen from him before. Against the best in the world playing for Columbia he was A-ok but against Spurs he looked shakey. He had an off day the same as the rest of the team. That was my point – not saying he is a bad keeper or quoting media. This was my opinion based on watching him play that game.

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    2. mike

      I pretty much agree with this assessment. Adding only that with our awful possession, where that has been the case at times in recent games, the difference has been our tenacity to close the space and let the opposition have very little breathing room. That has tended to result in us quickly regaining possession to make up for the mistakes. While playing defensively, we simply lacked the level of energy to get in and keep the spurs midfield from feeling comfortable on the ball. Too bad. But I’m not all depressed as I might’ve been at a different point in the season. I hope that means our boys are still up for it moving forward. Because that’s how I’m interpreting our boys’ mentality at the moment. COYG!!

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      1. FFFanatic

        Agreed. I don’t think it was for lack of energy but just wrong personnel though. Welbeck and Ozil are not defensively minded and allowed horrible space on the wings which is where Spurs were finding pockets of space to gain time to move the ball inside. They mostly got crowded out when they came in field, but there was always a wide outlet for them to start resetting the play. Against City we had Alexis and Ox doing a job cutting down their play out wide and covering out fullbacks but that just wasn’t as acutely done in this game. We certainly pressed Spurs through the centre but when the pressure comes off wide you are just chasing shadows. A team has to press as 10 men or a good team (which sadly Spurs must be considered) will find the gaps to retain possession and move the defence around.

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    3. FFFanatic

      Care to elaborate on what I was wrong about so I can tell you why I hold that opinion and not your contrary one?

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. davidnz

    The real reason we lost at Spurs was
    because they scored 2 goals to our 1.
    Enough said. Move on.
    Lycester City will be a doddle what ever
    team Arsenal puts out. 9-0.
    Lycester H Palace A Everton H QPR A
    12 points. No worries.

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 13

    1. ArseOverTit

      You could be an arsenal player with that over confidence (/ delusion).

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  6. Tonny

    When Arsene opted that we sit back and hit Spurs on counter attacks, the first name in his mind should have been Walcott especially considering both Ox and Alexis were unavailable. Lack of real pace upfront also gave courage to the Spuds to go at us even more but if say Walcott and Sanchez had started, they would have plenty to worry about at their back but atleast in the absence of Sanchez, we needded Walcott up there for every reason besides, he is one of our best finishers (if not the best). I saw no reason to start Welbeck afterall b’se despite his energy and pace, he has poor decision making, rusty and his final products are not good and that is the last thing you want if you plan to hit opposition on the break.The system of sit and hit require urgency, pace, energy and efficiency otherwise you pay the price but we shouldn’t have done that in the first place because we not inferior to spurs, we could do much more than that. Tomorrow is the day to bounce back against Leicester!!

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 2

  7. Noldo....Durban Gunner

    How come when we lose everybody goes on for days about the loss……but when I spoke about the Man City win 2 days after the game people told me to “move on and stop dwelling on the past, its just 1 win”……its like certain fans don’t like to be happy

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 5

    1. FFFanatic

      Think it’s taken a few days for some of us to calm down and want to talk about the loss 😛 I know I avoided football for the whole rest of Saturday and I only calmed down properly after playing my own game yesterday!

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  8. summerbreez

    We lost the balance of the team I could clearly see it there was something un clear to our players on the field the left wing was weak wellbeck lost position far too many times belerin was not up to scratch maybe it should have been gabrial instead of matasacker carzola tried to spray ball into left flank that went begging but also the midfield was weak perhaps there should have been 5 but the number wasn’t the real problem we didn’t do what the tots did to us all in all hope this was a good dress rehearsal for the champion league but the defence has to be more accurate to protect the goal keeper keans goals are not acceptable

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  9. Hafiz Rahman

    lets.bring arsenal.best finisher and fans fav prince poldi.back….

    Mancini.doesnt like him and doesnt play him….

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 9

  10. Hafiz Rahman

    got Caned by Kane at the Lane…..

    its time for a change。。。

    Wenger out!

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 17

    1. mike

      Hafiz, you’re really gonna lose your voice with that Wenger out charge. Just accept that he’s staying with this team until the end of his contract, no.matter.what. You sound like the Spurs fans who are ecstatic at beating us and going above us in the table, as if that’s how the table will look at the end of the season. I guess you don’t think we’re going to get anyone whatsoever this summer, either. Be thankful for the little mercies. One of them being that this team is actually setting up to be in great shape, both now, and for seasons to come. I say, embrace the Arsenal way. And hopefully those additional sexy players you hope for, will come this summer.

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  11. Mukaya

    the reason is simple. wenger was scared of the spuds. too scared so much that it rubbed on to the players. the boys were not comfortable in possession.

    we treated the suds as if they were the bigger team and we were the smaller one.

    Kane bossing our centre backs with all their experience.

    even a bottom team does not fears the spuds so why wenger why…

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

      1. mike

        no, it’s not. you really think Wenger was scared? or rather, his tactics weren’t fully implemented the way he designed them by the players? think on that. i mean, for Wenger to be scared of a team that he’s consistently finished above come the end of the season just sounds laughable. it was a bad game. it happens.

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  12. macgooner

    3 points tomorrow night will relax us thank god we have a game so quick imagine if we had an international break coming up and werent playing for 2 weeks would drive me insane

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

    1. ArseOverTit

      Am sure Leicester will just roll over and give us the 3 points like tottenham did and everything will be just fine:/

      Wakey wakey

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

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