(fashion) For Tottenham, another helter skelter affair, another day when the margins favoured them.
At Manchester City two weeks ago, Mauricio Pochettino’s side were saved when VAR denied the home team a last minute winner. Here at the Emirates, it was an offside call against Arsenal.
So Tottenham have two draws from two difficult away games and they probably would have taken that. But the devil of their season so far is in the detail and that leads us closer to the truth.
Harry Kane looked sharp, but this side has lost its resoluteness, especially without the ball
Pochettino will hope his players return from international duty to prove this has been a mirage.
Spurs led 2-0 here but were often ragged, just as they were at City. Pochettino’s team has lost its shape, its cohesion and, strangely, even its athleticism. Currently, at a time when they desperately need to be moving forwards, they look like a team in regression.
Pochettino can only hope that his players will return from international duty in a fortnight to prove this has been a mirage.
The decision that rescued them here was correct. Arsenal left-back Sead Kolasinac was marginally offside as he crossed low to the far post for the ball to be turned in with ten minutes left. But even in that moment Tottenham looked desperately vulnerable. The move began with a free-kick to Arsenal 40 yards from goal and it proved far too easy to slice the Spurs defence open.
This is a side that has lost its resoluteness. Spurs can still play. Some of their football on the break was dangerous. Harry Kane looked sharp, Heung-Min Son was the first half’s best player while Christian Eriksen was a threat on his recall. Another Englishman, Harry Winks was effective too, especially in the run-up to Kane’s 39th minute penalty that briefly placed his team in control.
Spurs' defence is vulnerable to teams who are able to move the ball quickly, which Arsenal did
But without the ball Tottenham look a little lost. At their best, Pochettino’s side are technically able but also physically formidable. Currently, with Eric Dier injured, Moussa Dembele gone and summer signing Tanguy Ndombele also unfit, Tottenham are missing a fundamental part of their make-up. As such, they are vulnerable to teams who are able to move the ball quickly. Arsenal, for all their crazy and enduring contradictions, can still do that and finished this captivating game with their tails up, smelling a famous comeback in the late summer sun.
On this evidence, there is not much between these rivals that should worry Tottenham. Arsenal have improved marginally under Unai