16 Conclusions Tottenham 1-0 Arsenal – Code Bet 365

*NorthLondonisTottenham’s。

Arsenal’shomevictoryinthisfixtureinNovembermayhavegiventheirsupportersbeliefthattheycanfinishabovetheirmostbitterrivalsandsqueezebackintothetopfourbutatWembley,Arsenalgotyetanotherrealitycheckawayfromhome。

That5-1victoryoverEverton?

Meaninglessifyoucan’tmusteranythingontheroad。

Thatwonderfulattack?

Meaninglessifyoucan’tdefend。

Theydonotdeservetofinishinthetopfour,andtheysurelywon’t。

Thescorelinemightsay1-0,butTottenhamwererampantassoonastheyscoredthefirstgoalandshouldhavescoredfourorfive。

IfHarryKane’sopenerposedthequestionofwhatArsenalhadinresponse,theanswerwasabsolutelynothing。

PetrCechwasArsenal’sbestplayerinthenorthLondonderby,andhewasonthelosingteam。

Oneshotontargetisanembarrassment。

Intheirlast26awayleaguegames,Arsenalhavetaken26points。

NotonlyisthatfewerthanSouthamptonoverthesameperiod,itispitifulincomparisonwiththeirtop-sixpeers:

ManchesterCity–55

Chelsea–53

ManchesterUnited–49

Liverpool–46

Tottenham–44

Arsenal–26

Aretheyevenpeersanymore?

*YetthefirstreactionwhenlookingattheArsenalteamsheetwas‘yes,thatfrontfourreallycouldbeverysexy’。

Thecentralmidfieldlookedweak,butitatleastallowedJackWilsheretooperateinpositionsfromwhichhecouldmakeanimpactinhurtingtheoppositionratherthanstoppingthem。

YetwhatdoesthatsayforAlexandreLacazette,leftonthebenchforthesecondgameinsuccessionandsurelynowfirmlysecondchoicebehindPierre-EmerickAubameyang?

Hewillgetminutesofcourse–thisisasquadgame–butnostrikerboughtashisclub’srecordsigningwantstobethePlanBsevenmonthslater。

Lacazette’sbiggestproblemisthathehashadchancestoimpress。

Thegoalrecordisgenerallygood(althoughhedoesnowonlyhaveoneinhislast13matches)andhehasscoredagainstManchesterUnitedandManchesterCity,buttheFrenchman’sall-roundplayhasbeenwanting。

Healsodoesn’tquitefitthisnewArsenalattackingverveofquickpassinginterchangesandcounter-attacks,hallmarksofArseneWenger’sgreatestteams。

AddintheunderstandingbetweenAubameyangandHenrikhMkhitaryan(althoughthelatterwasabysmalatWembley),andit’shardtoseequitehowLacazettepushesbacktothefrontofthequeue。

Finishesliketheonesinstoppagetimehardlyhelp。

*Onasimilarnote,oncommentarybeforethegameMartinKeownsaidthatAlexIwobiwasstillpayingthepriceforhisdisciplinaryissuesbybeingdroppedbyWenger。

Nowthatmightbetrue,andKeownknowsWengerbetterthanmost,butisn’titmorelikelythatIwobiismerelyanothercasualtyofArsenal’stransferactivity?

Wehavetobepatientwithyoungplayers,butyoucanhardlyblameWengerformovingIwobifromcentrestageandthatisonlypartlyduetohispartying。

Hehasbeeneasytothwartthisseason,givenamplechancesasacentralattackingmidfielderandontherightandleftbuttoooftenrunningdownblindalleysandfailingtoprovideanadequatefinalball。

Hedisplayedhisworsttraitsaftercomingonasasubstitute,threetimesbeingcaughtwhenslowinpossession。

In1,051minutesthisseasonbeforeSaturday,anddespitethedeservedcriticism,Mkhitaryanhascreated31chancesinthePremierLeague。

That’ssevenmorethanIwobihasmanagedinmoretimespentonthepitch。

Thereisyouranswer。

*AssoofteninthisfixtureandinTottenhamhomegamesingeneral,Spursstartedinrampagemode。

TheycommittedplayersforwardandlookedtogetDeleAlliandChristianEriksenontheballasmuchaspossible,pushingthedefencehighupthepitch。

Thatreflectsthestrengthofthisteamintheirbiggesthomegamesoverthelastyear。

TheyscoredinthefirstminuteagainstManchesterUnitedatWembley,thefourthminuteagainstLiverpool,thesixthminuteagainstManchesterUnitedinMayandthefourthminuteagainstDortmundintheChampionsLeague。

Spurslandedthefirstpunchineachfixture,andwonallfour。

*YetthatstrategyalsoleavesTottenhamopentothecounter-attackagainstteamforwhomthatistheirforte。

Arsenalshouldhavecreatedthefirstbigchanceofthematchafteronlyafewminutes,whentheyclearedaSpurscornerforwhichthehometeamhadpiledplayersforward。

Suddenly,Arsenalhadthreeontwoonthecounter,andonlyapoorpassfromMesutOzilthwartedtheirchancesofhavingAubameyangandMkhitaryanthroughonTrippier。

TheTottenhamright-backwasabletomaketheinterceptionandstartacounterofhisown。

*ThatincidentepitomisedArsenal’snewlookinattack,becausetheyhavetransformedoverthecourseofaweek。

Wengerhasalwayslikedhisteamtocounter,buttheyhadalwaysgonethroughAlexisSanchezandgenerallydowntheleft。

Now,theyhaveoptions。

Ozilisthelinkman,collectingtheballontheedgeofhisownarea,butfromthatmomentWilshere,MkhitaryanandAubameyangallsurgedupthepitchtotryandcreateanoverlap。

Theydidsoataspeedthatwehaven’tseenfromArsenalsincethedaysofThierryHenryandRobertPires。

OzilandGranitXhakaweretheonlymembersofArsenal’sfrontsixonSaturdaythatplayedinthisfixturelastApril。

AlexOxlade-Chamberlain,AaronRamsey,SanchezandOlivierGiroudwereallabsent,threeofthosepermanently。

ForallSanchez’sexcellence,itisintendedasacomplimentthatArsenalhaveanewattack,becausethelastonewasn’tworkingoutandhedidn’twanttostay。

ShameitmeanslittleuntilWengermakessignificantchangesofdefensivepersonnel。

*Unfortunatelyforthespectacleofthegame,Arsenal’sdangerousmomentsinthefirst15minutesslightlyruinedtheaestheticsofthefirsthalf。

TottenhamwerespookedbyArsenal’scounter-attackingspeed。

Havingfailedtocapitaliseontheirfaststartandtakethelead,Pochettinoinstructedhissidetomoveintomeasuredcontrolmode。

Theirpossessionstatsincreasedandsotoodidtheirpassingaccuracy,andbyhalftimetheyregisteredat58。

4%and85。

4%respectively。

Ifthatpossessiondoesn’tsoundparticularlydominant,it’sworthnothingthatArsenalhavethesecondhighestaveragepossessioninthePremierLeaguebehindManchesterCity。

Hadtheirfirst-halfpossessiontotalstayedthesameuntilfull-time,itwouldhaverepresentedtheirlowestfigureinaPremierLeaguegamesinceDecember2016againstManchesterCity。

ThatisnottosaythatTottenham’scontrolisadefensivetactic,merelyanalternativeattackingone。

Bypassingtheballthroughandaroundcentralmidfieldratherthandownthewings,theyarepatientlywaitingforadefensiveweakness。

InEriksen,theyhavetheperfectplayertoexploitone。

InArsenal,theyhadtheperfectopponents。

*Andsotothefirstbigchanceofthematch,EriksenspottingthatKanehadlostMonrealandthereforecreptinbehindLaurentKoscielny。

HiscrossfoundKane’shead,buthecouldonlydirectitoverfromsixyards。

Atfirstglance,Eriksen’scrossseemedslightlyhighandsoKanewasthereforeonthestretch,butIthinkthat’sactuallyuntrue。

Kaneslightlymistimedhisjump;hadhereachedpeakheighthecouldhavegotovertheball(seethegoal)。

Kane’sguiltatmissinghischancewasrevealedasecondafterhewatchedtheballsailoverthecrossbar。

Whenanystrikerlooksimmediatelytotheassistantrefereeinthehopeofseeingaraisedflag,youcanbesurethatheexpectedtotakethechance。

*Atfull-timeofthegameatAnfieldlastweek,KanewalkeduptotheSkySportscamerasandjokedabouthisfirstpenaltymiss:“Youcan’tgivemetwotries。



Soitseemswithheaders。

HavingspurnedTottenham’sbiggestchanceofthefirsthalf,Kanetooktheirfirstofthesecond。

ThecrossfromBenDavieswaswonderful,butKane’sabilitytohangintheairwasalmostasimpressiveashimguidingtheballfaroutofCech’sreach。

Itwastheheaderofasevenfootthreemanand,asMichaelCoxpointedoutonTwitter,wasreminiscentofLesFerdinand。

Thisboyhasthelot。

WengercomplainedontheArsenalbenchthatKanehadfouledKoscielny,butthatisabsolutenonsense;KanewassimplyupmuchearlierthantheArsenalcentraldefender。

Asever,Wengermightbebetterlookingathisownteam’sflawsratherthandiscussingtheofficials。

*AndthefirstquestionWengermightaskiswhatonearthhappenedathalf-time?

IfArsenalwerefortunatethatKanespurnedhisfirst-halfopportunity,theywerehardlythedefensivemessthatwehaveseensoregularlyoverthelasttwo,three,four,five,sixandmaybeevensevenyears(IwillneverforgetObafemiMartins’LeagueCupfinalgoalinthisstadium,Arsenal’slastWembleydefeat)。

Asoliddefenceiscrucialtothesuccessoftheirnewcounter-attackingverve,becausethisisateamstrategy。

Thereisnopointsoakinguppressuretohittheoppositiononthecounterifthe‘soakingup’partfallsoverassoonasyoufaceadecentteamorhavetoplayamatchawayfromyourhomestadium。

JoseMourinho’sManchesterUnitedmaynotneedmanyshotsontargetinawaygames,butthatisbecausetheyaredefensivelyresilient。

Arsenalaretheopposite。

Arsenalwentintohalf-timecomfortable,andcameoutforthesecondhalfinamateur(oristhatnormalArsenal?

)mode。

Theystoppedblockingcrossesastheyhaddonebeforethebreak,andthelackofanticipationforKane’sgoalandsubsequentchancewasembarrassing。

*Soitcontinued。

Havingscoredthefirstgoal,Tottenhamsurgedon。

TheyknowtheiropponentstoowelltonotrealisethatpushingatArsenal’screakingdoorislikelytomaketheentirehousefallinonitself。

ItisasifWenger’sdefencearetemporarilystunnedbytheconcessionofeverygoal,sentintoadazeandthusincrediblyvulnerable。

You’dthinkthattheywouldhavegotusedtoitbynow。

Arsenaldidcreatechancesinthelasttenminutes,butTottenhamshouldhavebeenoutofsight。

Eriksenhadafree-kicktippedoverthebar,Kanewasguiltyofmissinganotherpresentableheader,LamelahadashotsmotheredbyCech,AllinudgedwidewhenthroughongoalandTrippierhalf-volleyedstraightatthegoalkeeper。

AccordingtoOpta,Tottenhammissedfive‘bigchances’assatisfiestheirdefinition。

ItreallyshouldhavebeenthemostemphaticnorthLondonderbyleaguevictoryforSpurssinceMarkFalcoandChrisHughtonin1983。

JustasdisappointingasArsenal’sinitialsecond-halffallisthattheylackedthewherewithaltoresurge。

Ifyourplayerscan’tputupafightinamust-not-loseawaygameagainstTottenham,thentheyeitherlackabilityincomparisontotheoppositionorbelief。

NeitherisparticularlypalatablefortheArsenalsupportersleavingWembley。

*Anotherweek,anothernewreasontobeimpressedbyKane。

Hisheaderwaswonderful,andthewayinwhichheholdstheballupandbringsateammateintoplayisbeyondeveryotherforwardinthedivision。

YetperhapsKane’sgreatestability(ormaybejustoneofmany)ishisfirst-timepassingwhenreceivingtheballontherun。

Itissurelythehardestpartofastriker’sgame。

Receivingtheballintofeetisdoable,becauseyouslightlybackintothedefenderoruseyourarmforbalance,trappingtheballunderyourstudsbeforemovingawayandpassingtoateammateorturninganddribbling。

Whenyouarerunningawaytowardsyourgoalatpace,trappingtheballandstoppinginstantlybecomesvirtuallyimpossiblebecauseyoucannotmakethatshield。

Instead,thesafestoptionistoplaytheballthewayyouarefacingtoacentraldefenderorcentralmidfielder,immediatelyturningandrunningbacktowardsgoal。

YetKaneoftenmanagestoplayafirst-timepassaroundthecornertoanonrushingAlli,EriksenorHeung-MinSonwiththeperfectweightforthemtocollect。

Notonlydoesthattakeextraordinaryskill,italmostalwayscreatesadangerousattackbecauseitissounexpected。

*Sincethebeginningof2014/15,AaronRamsey’sinjurylistisasfollows:

Hamstringinjury(twogamesmissed)

Hamstringinjury(twogamesmissed)

Thighinjury(fivegamesmissed)

Thighinjury(sixgamesmissed)

Hamstringinjury(fivegamesmissed)

Hamstringinjury(12gamesmissed)

Hamstringinjury(fivegamesmissed)

Calfinjury(fivegamesmissed)

Calfinjury(onegamemissed)

Hamstringinjury(ninegamesmissed)

Groininjury(onegamemissedandcounting)

Aweekto(sadly)defineRamsey’scareer,awonderfulperformanceagainstEvertonimmediatelysucceededbyhimmissingthenorthLondonderbywithanotherinjury。

Thereisnothingquitesofrustratingasstuntedpotential。

Themandeservesabitofbloodyluck。

TheproblemforRamseyisthatitisimpossibletoassesshisusewithoutincludingtheinjuryrecord。

Heisintheprocessofplayingcontractcat-and-mousewithArsenaloverhisnewcontract,withreportssuggestingthathewantsasignificantpayrisehavingseenMesutOzilreceivethesame。

Evenifyouignorethedifferenceintheirability,Ozilhasstarted87leaguegamessincethebeginningof2015/16;Ramseyhasmanaged58。

*Let’splayanewgame。

EverytimethatyoulistentoSteveMcManamanoncommentaryonBTSport,pouryourselftenshots。

WheneveryouhearMaccadoaweirdhalf-goalgasmnoiseoffmicforlittleapparentreason,drinkoneofyourshots。

Youwillbeinallsortsoftroublebyhalf-time。

Doeshethinkhe’sGaryNeville?

*AswellasCech,Wilsherealsodeservesachunkofpraiseindefeat。

Pickedinthepositionthatgetsthebestoutofhim(althoughonethatEnglandprobablywon’tuse)withprotectionbehind,WilsherewaschargedwithdrivingArsenalforward。

HewillconsideranydefeattoTottenhamasfailure,butonapersonallevelitwasasuccess。

It’snocoincidencethathehadArsenal’sonlyshotontarget,wasinvolvedinthemostduelsandwasfouledmoreoftenthanhisteammates。

HavingbeentoldbyGarethSouthgatethatheneededtostartPremierLeaguegamesinordertojustifyinternationalselection,Wilsherehasdoneexactlythat。

Hehasstartedninesincemid-December,hishighestoveranyfullseasoninanArsenalshirtsince2013/14。

IfSouthgatedeservescreditformotivatingWilshere,theplayerdeservesmoreforsteppinguptothetask。

Hereallyisgoingtobeontheplane,barringanyotherinjurycalamity。

*IwastemptedtopickKaneandMousaDembeleasthegame’sbestplayers,andthelatterhasnowbeensuperbagainstManchesterUnitedandArsenalinconsecutivehomeleaguegames。

ButintheendI’mgoingforDavinsonSanchez。

TheColombianarrivedfromAjaxattheageof21withahugepricetag,therecordsigningfortheclubthathadjustfinishedsecondinthePremierLeague。

LookatthestrugglesoffellowAjaxteammateJairoRiedewaldatCrystalPalacetoseehowharditistoacclimatiseintoanewleaguethatcontainsplentyofproficientattackers。

AndyetSanchezhasbeensupreme。

Therehavebeenmomentsofuncertainty,includingatAnfieldlastweek,butheisa21-year-oldinanewteam,newleagueandnewcountryandhelooksoutrageouslymatureandconfident。

Thecomposuretoturnawayunderpressurebeliestheyouthandexperience,andhisplayingofAubameyangwasvirtuallyflawless。

OnlysixplayersyoungerthanSanchezhaveplayedmorethan20gamesinthePremierLeaguethisseason。

Fourofthosesixaredomesticplayers,fourofthesixareattackers,andfiveofthesixhadalreadyplayedintheleaguebeforethisseason。

Oneverycount,Sanchezisanexceptionandexceptionaltoo。

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