Outplayed And Outclassed! – Three Things Tottenham Have To Do To Emerge Out Of Arsenal’s Shadow
Arsenal thrashed Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium in what turned out to be a thrilling North London derby. The home side broke out in cheers of joy as goals from Shkodran Mustafi and Alexis Sanchez saw them seal 3 points. The evening ended on a bright note for the Gunners but it was a rather sombre state of affairs for Spurs.
They looked disoriented, sluggish and simply lacked the passion to win. Even though Arsene Wenger has been subjected to a lot of criticism, the fact remains that he managed to organise his team a lot better than Mauricio Pochettino on a day as important as the derby. The likes of Harry Kane and Dele Alli seemed almost invisible as Arsenal mercilessly outplayed them on every level.
While this does highlight a lot of problems for Pochettino, what are the 3 things that Spurs need to do if they are to ever emerge out of Arsenal’s shadow?
Reduce Dependency on Harry Kane
Even before Pep Guardiola made that infamous comment of calling them the ‘Harry Kane team’, it was a known fact that much of their successes depended on the form of the English striker. Yes, there have been times when they scraped through with victories in his absence but is that really enough?
If they are to establish their dominion over London, Spurs need to reduce their over-dependence on Kane. For any team to win the title or be successful, it has to be a well-rounded performance from every member of the squad. Unfortunately for Tottenham, they are far from reaching that point right now.
Consistency Among Players
The biggest problem Tottenham are faced with is their inability to extract consistent and stable performances from their key players. For example, Dele Alli started the season on a weak note but he showed immense promise at the Santiago Bernabeu against Real Madrid, making it seem like he was on the road to regaining his form.
However, on Saturday, he was absolutely forgettable. The creativity and pace that he is otherwise known for seemed missing against the force imposed by the likes of Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi.
A seemingly simple word and yet it can mean so much in the world of football. Tottenham lacked passion against Arsenal and that was a major reason behind their ineffectiveness at securing a positive result. Besides the sluggish display, none of the players seemed to possess the desire to make things work in their favour.
The fact that they lacked the passion to win on an evening when even outbound Alexis Sanchez put up a passionate display for Arsenal goes on to show that there are some things which cannot be developed externally.