A bridge too far. After two tough victories over Chelsea and Inter, winning at the Emirates – where Spurs have such a poor record to begin with – was in the end too much to hope for.
My main concern pre-match was fatigue – with squad injuries especially – would the players be fresh and committed enough to compete? Sadly, as the game wore on, it was clear that Spurs were suffering from a severe Champions League hangover.
Perhaps with fitness concerns in mind, Mauricio Pochettino controversially rested Toby Alderweireld which in the context of the manner in which the game panned out, appeared in hindsight to be a disaster.
Both Juan Foyth and Jan Vertonghen had poor games, with the latter even being red-carded near the end.
Elsewhere on the pitch, none of the fluidity of the play – seen against Chelsea and Inter – was evident as lethargy characterised Spurs’ shoddy performance.
Plainly put – Arsenal players were up for the derby and unfortunately, Spurs players weren’t. Not for first time this has happened in a North London Derby either, especially at the Emirates.
Hopefully, lessons will be learnt. Spurs also lost by two goals at the Emirates last season but still finished above the Gunners at the end of the day, so nothing has been determined at this stage. Mark my words, we WILL finish higher than the gooners this season.
Thankfully, the fixture congestion will let the Spurs team get this defeat out of their system at Southampton. It is clear that the battle for Champion League places this season will be very keen but Spurs are very much still in it, whatever anyone wants to read into this defeat.
COME ON YOU SPURS!!!