Tottenham 3-0 Arsenal – Blame the players, not Arteta, for Spurs defeat

Blame the players, not Arteta, for Spurs defeat by Jonbo

Win, lose or draw, you do it as a team. Everyone is responsible, but at different levels. The Spurs defeat gives the “Arteta out” contingent a nice bit of ammunition to work with, but I wouldn’t say there was much Arteta could have done. The majority of the blame has to go to the players.

Arteta picked the correct team, even with Holding’s selection, which he couldn’t win with whatever he did. Holding’s sending off allows some to question as to why White didn’t start? However, drop Holding, Arteta then gets criticised for leaving out one of our most in-form players. Classic no win situation.

Everything else was fine with the lineup. We started the game on the front foot, causing a few problems. Equally, Spurs were working on our defence as well. Pretty even start… until the individual errors.

One can pick apart tactics, formation, starting lineup, and put that on the manager, but one thing ANY manager can not legislate for is individual errors. That’s what cost us!

Why Cedric decided to go with the exact same shove in the back as Mustafi did a few years back against Spurs, was ridiculous! Especially with the option of VAR as well. If that wasn’t bad enough, Holding manages to get not one, but two, braindead yellows in just 32 minutes!

The Davis yellow early on for bringing down Saka was what a smart booking looks like. He took one for the team because Saka was going to be in a really dangerous position. Both of Holding’s bookings were completely unnecessary, especially the second one.

Then just a few minutes later, before Arteta even had time to process the sending off, it’s 2-0. Game over! If we could have got to half-time at 1-0, we had a chance, but 2-0, with a man less, away to a top team, made it almost impossible. 3-0 right at the start of the second half killed any slim chance of a comeback.

Arteta blamed the ref for destroying the game, but what other option did the ref have? I disagree with Arteta on that. Holding lost the plot, and let everyone down. He had been warned, was already on a yellow, yet decided to ignore it all. The ref was spot on.

It’s not to say every time we’ve had a man sent off that Arteta’s blameless, but I have lost count the amount of times these dismissals have occurred at really crucial points in a game. It’s always when the scores are either level, or one goal in it, and always with plenty of time on the clock. We never seem to get red cards right at the end of a game, or when we’ve already built up a healthy lead.

So I cannot see how anyone can criticise the manager for this one. Terrible individual errors, the second goal coming right after the sending off, an hour with a man less, and away to an in-form, top team with a deadly attack. It was the stuff of nightmares!

Overall, defeat was a very real possibility going into this game, it’s just so frustrating how it panned out. I am so angry with Cedric and Holding! I cannot imagine what on earth they were thinking?

The only positive thing is that nothing has changed. It’s still in our hands. Win our last two games and it’s Champions League qualification. We just have to hope that our players have no more brain farts!


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  1. Yes let’s just blame the players ,why not blame the fans maybe the owner or better still let’s blame Wenger and Emery as well
    So if we get 4th that will be because of the players then and nothing to do with Arteta .

    1. Haha Dan some fans just will not have anything said about Arteta he’s like a god to them 😆 Ive seen criticism of Arteta and fans getting extremely aggressive in defence of him I’ve never seen anything like it in my life 😯 btw how’s the head? 😛

      1. Wasn’t to bad mate 😂
        The 2 spuds fans didn’t make it in (wonder why )so did t have to listen to their crap all day

          1. Yea probably ,especially if they go above us before we play Monday night ,or I could just sack them for having today off 😂mind you I would then have to finish off the painting myself so I’ll just have to put up with the drivel.

            1. I can think of one or two “painters” on JA who’s drivel you have to put up with DK 😂😂

    2. @Dan kit

      I find it amazing how often you put forward the most ridiculous arguments! Of a child really. Out of interest, how old are you?

      So according to you, it’s Arteta’s fault Cedric shoved Son in the back? Holding is completely blameless for 2 stupid yellows in just 32 mins? Ok then… So if I go and throw a brick through someone’s window, it’s nothing to do with me? Riiiiiiggggghhhhhhttttttt!

      And while we’re at it, look at Leeds lately who are also desperate for results. I guess it’s Marsch’s fault that Ayling went in 2 footed on Martinelli, and that James tried to break someone’s leg in the very next game!

      You didn’t even bother reading my article, because I clearly state right at the beginning “Win, lose or draw, you do it as a team. Everyone is responsible, but at different levels.” It was literally the opening line, and you couldn’t even get that far!

      Arteta has asked his players to play with more passion, fight harder, and be aggressive, which will naturally lead to more bookings and sending offs, and that’s fine. And I am sure, just like Marsch, he’s asking his players to be smart with their aggression, which clearly they were not.

      1. You know how old I am Thirdman
        Maybe if Arteta had not tried to be cute calling off the fixture in the first place when we had one covid case and spurs were playing sh1t ,we might have had those 3 points on the board already I wouldn’t have had to read your silly article .

        1. I’d say about 17yrs old. Interesting you avoided my questions as well.

          I’ll repeat, was it Marsch’s fault Ayling two footed Martinelli?

  2. “If the soldiers lack discipline, the fault lies at their commander”

    Arteta is not blameless. Not the first red card during his,tenure.

    Nevertheless, its still in our hands. Monday is day of reckoning for all of Arsenal, especially MA.

  3. Dump
    When the team and players are doing well it’s arteta’s master class has improved them bla bla bla
    Do you need to know who’s job it is to know players weaknesses and strengths?

    The players where put in uncomfortable situations holding is poor in high line because of his lack of pace and leaving him with son with such a line. It is not holdings fault it’s the manager for failing to maximize his players strengths and minimize their weaknesses

  4. Blame the referee instead. Holding wasn’t faultless, but he didn’t deserve his second yellow card

    Arteta did the right thing by blaming the officials in the interview, because Soares, Holding and the other Gunners need morale support for our remaining games. Arsenal should’ve submitted a formal complaint to the FA

    1. Haha

      Yes holding’s second yellow was not a yellow card it’s a blatant staight red
      He was just a lucky man

      1. Holding just raised his elbow slightly and Son’s head wouldn’t have hit it, if Son didn’t go down. See the replay

        1. Really?
          Are you real or just a biased fan
          Honestly no one would have complained if that was given as a straight red
          Football have rules that’s what counts not Ur opinion

          1. Knob end. Why was Son not sent for elbowing holding in the head. Why was Kane not penalised at Liverpool for taking out Jota. Football has rules as you rightly say, I would like to see them used ALL of the time.

            1. @Ausgooner, consistency is all anyone should want to see from the officials, but sadly that there’s very little chance of that happening.

          2. The video evidence clearly showed Son used his head to hit Holding’s elbow, not the other way around

          3. Gun Down, are you seriously suggesting that “real fans cannot be “biased”?

            If you are, as your post seems to indicate, you know very little about how fans IN ALL CLUBS are!
            Not all fans in all clubs but certainly many, even most fans, in all clubs. Anyone who looks at how we humans simply ARE, should know at least that much!

        2. Gai, the truth is the manager, certain players and referees all have their share of the blame. Holding and Cedric are not without fault., Refree calls not perfect and Arteta knows he can do better tactically. Everyone can always do better. Hope they all learn something. We look forward and optimistic about us beating Newcastle on Monday.

          1. The referee didn’t even bother to see the replay, before brandishing the second yellow card for Holding. If the FA are willing to fix their mistakes, they should field a better referee in Newcastle

            1. gai Id advise you to stop digging as you are now in a hole of your own making No rational Gooner can p[ossibly deny Holding deserved to be sent off. He was lucky not to have received yellow and red cards even before his second yellow, which should itself have been a red.

              Get real and you will get respect. But no one respects self deluded fools GAI!

              1. Jon, it’s just my honest observation, I suggest you watch the replay and see how Son ducked to hit Holding’s elbow

          1. Admin Pat, we couldn’t predict what would happen next if Holding wasn’t sent off

            Holding was rash. But I expected him to use his experience as our most senior CB, if he survived the second yellow card

    2. GAI, nonsense mate. The ref had nothing to do with this defeat. We were outplayed and outclassed, it was an awful performance.

      1. We were dominating Spuds and pinning them down in their own half for at least twenty minutes, before the awful referee decided to give Spud big favors

        1. GAI, agree. As I mentioned on another thread, earlier this season Royal barged Jota off the ball without even going for the ball. No penalty given by Tierney, yet he gave he gave it against us. Even last night’s play off game, same thing happened, no penalty given. Consistency is all people should want.

  5. @Jonbo you are correct we can’t blame the manager for stupid schoolboy error from our players especially Holding and Soares and lately I feel like Saka is not giving us that much drive in attack but it might be that he is playing with a injury but i still think the Champion spot is for us to loose it,but at the moment lets rally behind our young team and support them now they need us more then before.

  6. A disaster of a night for us and we can blame who ever. Its always a bad feeling losing a game and especially against the spuds but let me ask this question to everyone.
    would we have taken this position at the start of season. 2 games to go against Newcastle and Everton, sitting in 4th
    1 point clear of 5th after losing the first 3 games?
    I certainly would have.
    What about you?

    1. Without question.

      Obviously will be gutted if we fail to get CL this season but at the beginning of season I wanted top six built on the back of a cohesive young squad that will get better.

      The only other thing I was hoping for was a united fanbase. Two out of three ain’t bad.

    2. Yep Alanball08. Considering the start we had I’d say we’ve done really well to be 4th.

  7. There are too many teens in this group, I presume.

    Always making an ant hill of every post!

    FFS…..Arsenal is our club and our allergiance have to show in the way we react to articles, should we want to critize, we shouldn’t do that like babies.

    Banter constructively rather than nutcases

  8. What makes me laugh is seeing excuses lining up already if we miss out on top 4..
    Many have not gotten over the fact that Emery maginary missed out but yet excuses is lined up for our precious son
    4 points with 3 games to go
    All we needed was a draw and not to conced the first goal we seem to be lost when ever we conced the first goal
    Who can confidently expect the team to win at Newcastle and Everton as a fan you can believe it is possible but nothing gives you confident about this team to deliver
    I complained how last night could be a game changer and momentum could be everything with few games left
    Now we can not even go into any game expecting a clean sheet, God help us if spurs manage to win against Burnley and we conced 1st against Newcastle it will be game over

    1. Gun do
      If’s & but’s
      What if the spuds lose and we win
      Is that a game changer
      Stay positive
      I expected us to get at least get a draw if not a win..we didn’t
      You have heard it a million times .the table never lies at the end of the season so let’s play out the last 2 games and then we can assess if the team and manager has had a good or bad season. So far so good and 4th Is where we sit.

      1. Some so called supporters will never be satisfied with anything that doesn’t fit their agenda. Gun down -the name says it all. Go and buy a white jersey and sit with that crowd little boy. We have been through tougher times and come out smiling before now. Newcastle and Everton are not pushovers but if you don’t believe we can beat both, don’t bother calling yourself a supporter.

  9. The blame should go to we the fans for not believing in our players before the much negativity.let us support our team for the two remaining matches. I believe by next season if Arteta decide to move Holding and Cedric out of the team fans will not come here to abuse him.

  10. This is what I was afraid of,MA making the wrong chances and trying to be too clever, especially if the team has been on a winning streak.i have always favoured like for like replacements (when possible)moving Tomi actually weakened both sides if not all our defense.had we stuck with Tomi as RB, our only worry, weakness would have been the LB position and all we had to do is to give whoever played as LB more protection/help.

  11. The players and Arteta seem paralyzed by pressure and adversity. When pressure is applied, they bottle it.

    Mentality is still an ongoing concern with the players and manager. All their talk in the media and they crumble in the end.

    Players made stupid mistakes, yet these ejections continue under Arteta. Blaming ref and protecting Holding infuriated me.

    His ejection killed off any chance we had, 10 men away at spuds and it’s over. Instead of blaming ref, rather Arteta just said individual unforced errors hurt the team and crippled our chances.

    It’s not throwing Holding under a bus, but rather making him accountable for his brainless damaging error of judgment after being warned first and then yellow carded!

    1. Holding has to be held responsible for his individual performance. However, Arteta will do his team no favours by coming out in public to castigate him.

      1. Doesn’t do them any favors coddling them either. Calling out the ref but silent on Holding?

        And that’s why we have some many red cards and finish games with 10 men yet again.

        Even Xhaka said 2 times to the media he won’t change how he plays. At some point it has to be corrected and cut out the stupid challenges.

  12. Arsenal never make things always have to be the hard way….we will win the next two games

  13. I cannot believe in his pre-match preparation Arteta did not pick out Son as the most dangerous Spurs player.

    I suspect Holding drew the short straw as the player to “mark” him.

    I blame Arteta for not being honest about that, letting Holding become the scapegoat. Also, since we only needed a draw, why didn’t we “Park the Bus”????

    I think Arteta’s game plan was as much to blame for our defeat as Holding’s actions.

    Still, there are two games to go, and we CAN win them both.

    However, Newcastle are no pushovers these days, and Everton could be fighting for EPL survival.

    So we need to forget the Spurs Affair and concentrate on winning these last two games.

    This will be a real test of Arteta’s managerial acumen, and the players resilience.

    PS: Spurs brought in two really good players in the January window. We brought in NONE!!!!

    1. Holding scapegoated himself. There is nothing wrong with fair aggressive tackling. Getting involved in on-field judo and other martial arts, lashing out at an opponent is all down to him. You can’t blame these things on the game plan.

  14. Any arsenal fan who truely believed we would win yesterdays game is living in a fairy tale world. A draw was our best possible result . Right that arteta was not to blame for the defeat , I am also happy that he refused the temptation of bringing on Benjamin White , Top game management if you ask me.
    My concern now is how bad the injury is on Gabriel Manghalles, hope it isn’t serious.
    So now , the gods willing, BW is back and hopefully GM injury isn’t serious we go to sir James Park. We go there angry, hungry, and knowing what is at stake.

  15. I wonder why some fans thought that arsenal will beat totenham? Personally, I knew arteta and his boys will cave in at this crucial moment. Arteta is expected to know his player’s weaknesses. Players are not to blame. You don’t give what you don’t have. One had expected a 3 man defence of Gabriel, holding and white. Instead, arteta chose to play Cedric.
    Next is Newcastle. Another difficult match. If only arteta can learn from his mistakes and play the right players at the right positions then, we can win the two must wins if we are to return to Champions league.

  16. All theirs to lose AB100, but sorry, fifth and 13 defeats is not what we expected at seasons beginning. I for one was hoping for real improvement. Four games into the season we would have taken top six. We are there now. Any talk of progress is incremental. The goals for and against pretty much tell the story. Watching them play also ain’t pretty. Still two more wins and Arsenal are going to the Champions League. No complaints there, but I definitely believe this process is going to stall next season. I don’t have faith in Arteta’s judgement of what constitutes a good footballer, nor his tactical nous. I can’t see either he or Edu signing a big name. So much for the likes of Haarland etc busting their gut to play for Arsenal under this regime. It’s all a myth created by the likes of Romario and Ornstein. Then there is the managers personality’ fixated on the idea for example that someone.who busts their gut at training deserves to be in the starting 11. This is just plain plain school boy. Filling the team with plodders and over relying on Saka to deliver the magic while the likes of Odegaard, Xhaka and Elneny play safe, take minimal risks and more often plod around is not Champions League quality.One of the reason the likes of Holding and Gabriel have their head snaps is that the midfield fails to dominate and the defence is then put under pressure on the opposition’s counter.Twelve defeats tells its own story. You get away with some but in the end class counts. Yesterday Spurs delivered. Be as unkind with your comments as you choose.

    1. And that is the most childish and insulting comment I haven’t deleted today.

      If you disagree with someone, you give your reasons, not resort to schoolboy insults. You have been warned.

  17. Jonbo, the best article that you and TMJW have written, in my opinion.
    Once the players are on the pitch, it is their responsibility to conduct themselves within the laws of the game, while carrying out the coach /managers instructions.

    I have seen fans blaming the manager for our defeat against Birmingham and here we are today, doing it yet again

    Arteta, in my opinion, got his tactics wrong, but that doesn’t nean he was responsible for Holdings madness on the pitch, or Cedric barging into the back of Son….. unless one thinks that’s what Mikel told them to do, which is ludicrous!!

    I have always been critical of the way referees have officiated our games over many seasons, since Riley was a referee actually, but, as you rightly say, what option did he have regarding Holding?
    He even took him aside and talked to him, but the red mist had descended and I wouldn’t moan if they decided to revisit the sending off and make it a straight red card, such was the violent intent.

    What is strange, however, is the fact that those of us who have been trying to point out Mikels errors are, in the main, supporting him in this instance – the players are at fault 100%.

  18. My thoughts are that Arteta over did it in his post match interview but beyond that I can’t pin the blame on him for Cedric conceding a penalty or Holding losing his senses. Penalties happen and that could be recoverable but the sending off altered the dynamic completely and Spurs took full advantage.
    I think the injuries and smaller squad has had a negative impact especially at this stage of the season. Saka doesn’t look as sharp for example and the loss of Tierney and Partey has put pressure on the squad players. Until last night they performed well. What a time to implode

    1. This is one of the more sensible entries in my view. I also feel that Arteta should have toned down his implied criticism of the referee.
      Those two, who are amongst his more senior players let him and us down badly.
      There are many on here who are blaming the game plan which makes little sense when you consider how the first two goals came about or the circumstances of the sending off. Until a number of key moments, Arsenal were neither being overrun nor being caught on the counter.
      I am quite sure that Arteta wanted controlled aggression whenever the ball was turned over to their more dangerous players. I have watched Spurs a number of times this season. This is in fact the way a number of teams who have nullified Spurs have done it this season.

  19. I am sorry but playing Cedric and Holding against Son was stupid. Tomi had to be the right back or Ben White if fit.
    Problem is he did not dare to change a winning team to make the changes and lacked quality depth.
    We needed a draw, I do not understand why we started as if we want to win a game against Leeds, with due respect to them, Sp*rs are different.
    I would have started with 3 center backs.
    Yes we can blame Holding, Cedric, the ref but Arteta made the team no favours.
    Best line up would have been (541)

    Cedric Tomi Holding Gabriel Saka
    Elneny Xhaka
    Martenelli ESR

    1. I am sorry but I can’t agree.
      As a manager I would expect my more senior players to be able to exert some degree of self-control.
      The only thing this match clarifies is that neither Cedric nor Holding are good enough for a top four team.
      If Arsenal had sat back and been overrun right from the start of the game you would have been coming up with the alternative explanation that Arsenal should not have changed an approach that had won games.

  20. I knew Arsenal will lose that game. We have not gotten to the level of managing games to get result. Arteta is still not spot on managing players to get result. Tottenham need a win, Arsenal need a win to cement top 4 or a draw to be in the driving seat to achieve top 4 but what happened, they buckle under pressure, a very good Coach will get at least a draw.

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