“This gutless surrender saw Spurs fall below Arsenal in the table, possibly for the foreseeable future in what would represent a return to the 20-year period pre-Mauricio Pochettino.”
From Champions League finalists to chasing shadows.
Where do Spurs go from here?
This gutless surrender saw Spurs fall below Arsenal in the table, possibly for the foreseeable future in what would represent a return to the 20-year period pre-Mauricio Pochettino.
It also exposed the lack of spine, cohesion, unity and – in some areas – commitment within Nuno Espirito Santo’s ranks.
In fact, even the former Wolves boss has a job on his hands to the bosses who initially turned their noses up at his availability that he can cope with handling this big a club.
Think that’s an over-reaction, then consider this: Son Heung-min’s late consolation ensured that Tottenham narrowly avoided losing three consecutive league matches by three goals or more for the first time in their history. Not good enough.
What is Nuno doing playing a 4-3-3 system in a north London derby when his team can’t defend? Where was the 4-2-3-1 set up that at least provides some protection for the back four and doesn’t leave Kane isolated?
Levy, remember, made it clear early in the summer that he wanted a return to Tottenham’s attacking DNA. Technical Director Fabio Paratici wanted a defensive coach. The white half of north London has ended up with a side that doesn’t know what it is.
Don’t be fooled by the late, late rally, capped by Son’s 79th-minute strike. Spurs waved the white flag long before then.
Don’t go down that tired old route of pinning it on Harry Kane either. Is the England captain really to blame for the failure of his team-mates to cope with Arsenal’s blistering counter-attacks?
Is he really to blame for the individual errors that have been a feature of Tottenham’s performances since those two early-season wins that clearly flattered them?
Can you really blame Kane for Tanguy Ndombele not being fit, for Dele Alli being unable to impose himself and for Sergio Reguilon being utterly incapable of coping with Bukayo Saka?
No you can’t. It isn’t all about the England captain. Yes, he wants out and you can understand why when you observe the complete shambles behind him – Son and the impressive Bryan Gil late on apart.
But it took just 34 minutes for Arsenal to race into an unassailable, three-goal lead – the earliest a side has ever established that advantage in a Premier League north London derby.
Yes, they had chances to grab a point but that would have papered over the cracks. Big time.
Spurs fans will not be having it. Nor should they. The second half recovery means zilch. The supporters who stayed until the end turned up for longer than the players. That’s on Nuno.
You only have to look at the affection with which he is still regarded at Wolves to know that he is a terrific guy. But let’s not kid ourselves, he’s under pressure at a club where the fanbase is having serious doubts.
Chairman Daniel Levy has handed him the keys to one of the biggest clubs in the country – with talented players. He has to prove he is worthy of that faith.
Mikel Arteta celebrated every goal and angrily contested every decision as though he was still a Gunners midfielder.
Nuno’s impassiveness as his side fell apart summed up just how far Spurs have fallen since they touched the Champions League sky with Pochettino.
No wonder Kane wants out.