It was a match that summed up Arsenal’s season in 90 minutes. Terrific for the first 25 minutes without creating a chance then two horrible defensive errors gifted Spurs two goals.
In the second half, Arsenal get one back and then spend the last 20 minutes pressing for an equalizer that never came.
Some quick thoughts on the game:
- Let’s start with the two Spurs goals. Just criminal defending on the goals. For the first one, who can Mertesacker and Vermaelen let Bale run unmarked through the heart of the defense? And for the second, why did Monreal track Lennon until he got into the box and then leave him? Schoolboy defending.
- Similar to the Gunners, it is Spur’s speed that frightens teams. And when you have a slow back four, playing a high line is suicidal. I understand the idea, in that with a high back line, it means the game is decided in the midfield. And for the first 20 minutes it worked, as the Arsenal forwards and midfielders pressed high up the field and harassed Spurs into turnovers. It was a very Barcelona type of game plan. The problem is that when that pressing by the forwards and midfielders stop, then the other team have time to pick out the runners over the top and that is what happened today.
- Giroud continues to get himself into nice positions, but he still has not adjusted to the pace of the Premier League. He is better than Wenger’s other failed strikers from France like Gervinho and Chamakh but he is not world class (like RVP was). Arsenal need to spend the money on a world class striker this summer. Giroud, or Walcott for that matter, are not the answers.
- I wrote elsewhere recently that I thought that based on the remaining fixtures that Arsenal would grab fourth place ahead of Chelsea. Mainly due to the number of games that Chelsea could potentially play as they are still in the FA Cup and Europa League. Five points is a lot to pull back with 10 games to go, but I don’t think it is out of reach yet. Do you?
What did you think about today’s performance?