Arsenal’s display in the 2-0 north London derby defeat at neighbours Tottenham on Sunday was a worrying one. Not only did the team seem to lack quality, they seemed to lack heart and desire, which is unacceptable in a derby match.
It is hard to say, but the Gunners outclassed by their neighbours. However, the Tottenham players just seemed to want the win more than Arsene Wenger’s side. The first half was relatively even, but the home side could have been two goals up by half-time.
Both Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen missed good chances for Spurs. The second half Mauricio Pochettino’s side seem to move up a gear and Arsenal were comfortably beaten in the end.
Star players did not turn up
Arsenal’s star players simply did not turn up and it is not the first they have done a disappearing act in a big game. I am a very big Alexis Sanchez fan and I really want the Chilean to stay.
However, on some of his recent performances, he has already packed his suitcase. When he scored against Middlesbrough and Manchester City I believed he may be ready to hit form again. Against Spurs, he tried but had a very quiet game by his high standards.
To be honest I had to check the teamsheet to make sure Ozil was playing at one point. The German playmaker hardly touched the ball. Against a team like Tottenham, the Gunners need the likes of Ozil to step-up and produce a moment of magic.
When Tottenham needed their star players to step-up, they did literally in Harry Kane’s case. Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen, despite their first-half misses, were still influential in the game. Arsenal’s star players might as well have been on their summer holidays.
Top-four hopes still alive somehow
Courtesy of both Manchester City and Manchester United drawing on Sunday, Arsenal are still somehow in the race for a top-four spot this season. The Gunners are odds of 6/1 to finish in the top-four this season.
They are currently six points behind fourth-place Manchester City, although they do still have a game in hand on the Citizens. The confidence seems to have drained out of the Gunners, though, and they are depending on the teams above them slipping up to a certain extent.
The Gunners will be lucky to once again claim a Champions League spot this season. However, if they do then I just fear that the cracks that are so obviously there in the team will be papered over and next season will be absolutely no different.
Did any Arsenal player show up in the game against Spurs?