Three Tottenham weak spots that could work to Arsenal’s advantage

Next Sunday at the Emirates, Arsenal welcome their bitter North London rivals Tottenham in a game that both teams really need to win.

Putting tribal hostility to one side it would be foolish to deny that Tottenham are a very good team, on their day they are a match for anyone, they are certainly not the bottle jobs they once were and as formidable an opponent we will face this season.

But they are very beatable, Newcastle United proved that yesterday and if Arsenal targets their weak spots then there is no reason why all three points will not go to Unai Emery’s men.

The Flanks

Tottenham is weak down the flanks, Danny Rose loves to lose the ball, he gets too far forward too often and his not the best tackler. Nicolas Pepe should eat him alive given half an opportunity. The chances are the right-back will be Serge Aurier if Kyle Walker-Peters is confirmed injured but it really does not matter, neither is world-class and Aubameyang will run them ragged.

Ball over the top

Tottenham play a high line and are very susceptible to the ball over the top as Newcastle showed yesterday, their central defenders are decent but they lack pace and any of the Arsenal front three have the speed to outrun them. A lot will depend on who Emery plays in the centre of midfield, if it is Ceballos or Ozil then great, if it is Guendouzi or Xhaka then not so much.

Low balls into the area

Tottenham does not handle low balls into the area, they are much better suited to dealing with the high ball than they are ball to feet. Whether the low ball comes in from the flanks or from the middle Tottenham struggle, Man City and in spurts, Aston Villa showed that. For some reason, they struggle when the ball is hit at pace no higher than waist height.

So, in conclusion, if Arsenal gets at the Tottenham wing-backs, whip the ball in low and counter-attack with a ball over the top then they will give themselves a huge chance of beating their most bitter opponents.


  1. Good obeservation, but please no more long balls

    A 400+ M squad like ours should be able to dictate the opposition’s midfield and create a lot of crosses

    This is Ceballos’ chance to prove whether he is a big game player or another small game player like Ozil

    1. Is this the same Ozil that YOU selected in your preferred team only a couple of weeks ago? You seriously need to make your mind up PAL.Once again,in your rush to post the very first reply,you contradict yourself.What a surprise

    2. 400+m squad? go to transfermarket and check team value, Spurs are far ahead. Eriksen/Alli/Kane are all valued very high. Money does not matter, as those who have it can spend, and others build wealth.

      Serge Aurier and Kyle Walker-Peters both most probably will be out, Sissoko at RB can be easy pick if they play 4 at back.

  2. Yeah, and the Spurs will be rubbing their hands in glee at our weak spots
    1. Unai Emery and his defensive tactics / selection
    2. Play from the back nonsense
    3. Our back line and worse if Nacho moves to Spain, so we get another calamity on LB.
    4. Our very own watch tower in the middle of the park
    5. If Ozil makes it to the match day squad, then …

    If Unai can get the team selection right, we can spank the Spurs.However must agree that Poch is a better manager than Unai. See where they were and now where they have reached.They may not have won anything (as we Gunners brag and boast) but they reached a UCL final and top 4 for the 3rd year.Even if we give Unai another 2 year extension, I personally do not feel we would improve tactically.Hope I am wrong.

    1. Hope you’re wrong too. I feel emery is a better manager and he’ll prove it on Saturday. I’m buzzing to see pepe

    2. We reached UCL final over a decade ago and top 4 for 20 years! It is not achievement, it’s nothing. Only if they reach the final again and win it like Liverpool did, I’ll acknowledge they are better than us.
      It’s like they are under for so long that being on a horse poo feels like heaven.

  3. Son & Kane will be on the floor more than on their feet! I read that Alli will be back.. he makes me sick…
    3 points is a must.. I don’t want a draw .. just do them, like we did back in December

  4. I have a worrying concern over Emery after the 3 games we’ve played this season.

    Last season was ok for Emery to constantly change the formation and personnel since he would have been trying to find his best formula.

    But the lack of consistency in the tactics, strategy, personnel, and formation this season isn’t giving me any more confidence in Emery’s coaching.

    All great teams have consistency, Liverpool, Man City, Barca (of old), Fergie’s Man UTd all had a team sheet which almost wrote itself every game.

    I see us Arsenal fans constantly guessing the team lineup wrong every game.

    What I am looking forward to see it just plain old CONSISTENCY from the Arsenal lineup.

    Can we just stick to:

    1. Fitness has been an issue for us this season and the last. He has to tinker. I feel when everyone is fit, the lineup would write itself. Besides we all know he tailors his teams based on the opposition

      1. That’s where the problem lies, Emery tailors his teams based on the opposition.
        Fitness aside why is he not sticking to a philosophy and formation?
        The Lineup I put up takes care of fitness issues as well.
        This constant tinkering will not cement any solid game plan to the players, leading to inconsistent results again for this season

  5. Bloody hell this so called super computer has predicted we’ll finish 8th!! And Burnley will finish 3rd!! Really?! ?

  6. Let Ceballos and Luiz start they have to make amends for there poor performance against Liverfool, lets give them time. We also need the energy and the bullying of Kolasinac at some point in the game. The young and enterprising Wilock should start as this will continue giving the young lad moral/ confidence, Emery must unleash Auba/Laca/pepe to spurs. Had Laca started the game against the Reds we could have won becoz Lacazet is a good finisher.

  7. I think Emery has more options in his disposal this season. Probably the problem is with full back as AMN and, with Monreal leaving, Kolasinac are not a genuine full back. But for the other positions, depending on the formation, he would have strong bench. Imagine if he had brought Ozil in the squad against Liverpool then there would’ve been Laca, Kolasinac, Toreira, Ozil. and Chambers on the bench. Some names that we know could or would be a better option than the ones in the field. What I mean is whatever formation and tactical aporoach he has in mind, as the match goes on, he should have a game changing tactic that could work well by bringing in a big name that suits the postion well. I know that Arsenal put one goal back after bringing in Laca and Torreira last week. Arsenal even played better, though I’m not sure it was because of the subtitutes or because Liverpool felt enough with the scoreline. Was it considered a tactical success or just a sporadic attack paying off?
    Another thing is perhaps about the new signings. I mean of course Ceballos and Pepe, not Luiz, as we know that he is actually just a better version of Mustafi. 1 good game against Burnley and suddenly Ceballos got the hype. Pacey dribblings against Liverpool, then it’s Pepe’s turn. Come on, it was only against Burnley. Doesn’t mean to belittle Burnley but there are so called big teams and Burnley is not. As for Pepe time will tell if he is a star in the making or just a pacey player like Iwoby or Walcott. Remember that, simply said, Ceballos is not a regular in Madrid, even when they actually didn’t have a good season. Pepe was great last season, but it was in a league considered less competitive than Premier league.
    Just wait a few more games then we will know if they deserve all the praise.

  8. I’m not taking the Mickey, but wondering if Emery will consider a 3-1-2-1-3
    Chambers. Sokratis. Kolasinac
    Torreira. Ceballos
    Pepe. Laca. Auba

    And I’ll say why not.

  9. >>>>>>>>>>>> Leno >>>>>>>>>>>>





    I have been hearing fans begging to see their best
    Players play and I think we should try this formation
    If u were Emery and it comprises of our best players
    Thou most would debate ozil to be dropped but we have
    To give him a chance to know if he produces or not.

  10. >>>>>>>>>>>> Leno >>>>>>>>>>>>




  11. >>>>>>>>>>>> Leno >>>>>>>>>>>>




  12. First off, I am an Emery man so what follows in not a criticism but an opinion.

    I have been following Arsenal football club since 69/70 under Bertie Mee.

    We (pretty much as now) were largely disliked outside of our immediate fan base, why.

    4-4-2 stoically grinding out results and often nicking games 1-0……ONE – NIL TO THE ARSENAL !

    My point being a preferred / set formation week in week out.

    Yes, the opposition knew exactly how we were going to play, but so did we and we took each game as it game in a similar fashion.

    Fast forward to today.

    Given the huge investment up top with Pepe, should we not settle for a front three (P.A.L.) which when bedded in will be one of the most productive certainly in our league, is not Europe.

    We all have opinions, that’s football, but some suggested formations seem more geared to accommodating certain players as opposed to playing to our strengths which like it or not is currently up top.

    Given my history with the club, I have always been a “build from the back” man via subsequent managers, but “build from the back” with the current squad !!!!???????

    Fact is we currently scare teams with our front 3 – if we play each component together.

    So right now 4-3-3 – I’m tempted to say “as simple as that” in my view (far from it).

    However almost whatever combo, are the 3 in the middle of the park strong enough. Are the back 4 strong enough, speaking honestly ……no.

    Would I prefer us to be strong at the back and in the middle of the park, whilst still tweaking up top….yes.

    But again given the current squads make up, and the 3 first choice forward players we have available to us, we must go 3 up top.

    I don’t like getting stuck into individual players, but.

    Xhaka in, with Torreira on the bench ?????????????????

    Having to persist with ANM at right back, getting totally exposed defensively every week ?

    I know we have no other right back of note currently available to us so needs must I guess, but how has it come to this ?

    Anyway, the game has changed dramatically over the years and I am the original dinosaur….but 4-3-3 for me – written almost knowing we are not strong enough behind the front 3 (fancy being reduced to that !).

    As for who the 4 & 3 are behind P.A.L.

    All I ask is a settled side, best players on the park and square pegs in square holes !!!!

    Again overly simplistic I know .

    Only 3 games in , but we must beat Tottringham (an obvious statement at any time).

    1. We have a good option in Auba, Laca, and Pepe, but I don’t know whether it should be 3 in front or just 1 with Auba and Pepe as a part of 3 attacking midfielders. Considering that defeating is a must, I think the latter would be the safer option. Put those 3 in front might be too risky and probably should experimented against smaller teams.

      1. Yes, good points Not a Coach.

        I suggested with trepidation / reservations.

        Fully appreciate concerns about being exposed at the back (what’s new) with 3 up

        Guess getting frustrated re’ the need to play with an “identity” and something approaching a settled side, bearing in mind the demands of the modern game.

    2. AJ, speaking as a fan who predates you by a decade plus, I must say I agree with pretty much all you say. I always like sensible perspective in debates , esp given the plethora of hotheads we are gaining weekly on here who bring their rash and unthinking nonsense to bear. It is also notable though that Gooners are virtually unanimous in saying, correctly too, that our front three are our main strength and that our defence is the weakest and, IMO, longest lasting weakness too.

      No one wants square pegs in round holes but in a Kroenke owned team with severely limited funds, we have little choice right now, esp given the injuries in defence. Apart from the decision to sell the woefully inadeqate Jenkinson, I see no sensible reason why Emery can be blamed for the fact we have no RB fit to play instead of AM-N. Nor should he be blamed for the idleness of both Ozil and Mkhi, neither of whom he bought, nor do I think he wants to keep . Gazidis is to blame for those silly contracts in both cases and WENGER BROUGHT BOTH INTO THE CLUB. Thanks TO Wenger , Gazidis and above all Kroenke, funds are scarce and UE has had to make do. Injuries have badly hampered him too. But so many on here either do not see this or else choose to overlook these valid reasons and instead blame all our woes on Emery. That is plain wrong, unfair and as a truth lover I speak out strongly against this Emery witch hunt, which puts me against the unwise majority on here these days.
      I am convinced Emery will be vindicated and that many will change their hasty tune when we show the more consistent form that will,IMO,soon come our way. Esp when injuries ease, key players return and new players have had time to gel into the now, mainly- though not YET exclusively- Emery’s OWN team.

      My main grouse with Emery is him continuing to show faith in Xhaka and in Sokratis, neither of whom I rate at all. Most Gooners agree with me on Xhaka and many on Sokratis, but Wenger bought Xhaka(Mustafi too, hopefully to leave within days, PLEASE GOD!!)
      I also agree with the many who caution against playing so often out from the back given our current personnel. In short, Emery HAS made mistakes but I set them against the clear improvement the squad has undergone since Wengers dog days and am hopeful of a good season. I despair at the gloomy, rash and unreasoned tone of many who wish Emery out and believe they will be proven wrong quite soon.

      1. Congratulations Jon on your “length of service”.

        I attribute a least some of my grey hair to the cause !

  13. Arsenal and Spuds have something in common. We both lost our last match.

    I predict a draw. Most of the time I predict a draw in Derby matches

  14. I wonder wat ndouzi and Willock are still doing in our 1st eleven.for any serious manager who needs results, CAN NEVER RISK BRINGING JUNIORS AND LET THE ALREADY MADE MATERIAL ON BENCH.may b he still thinks we r in pre season
    The prob is UE,I WONDER WAT TACTICS N FITNESS HE IS looking for.
    if laca n auba r scoring goals,y bench laca.
    y cant he build our team with PAL as the front 3

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