Arsenal went to White Hart Lane today with the intention of taking 3 points and leaving us in a strong position to fight for a European qualification spot. They came away with a 2-1 defeat.
Mikel Arteta was understandably disappointed with the defeat but tried to emphasize the positives from the game.
“We tried our best, I am really proud of my players. I’ve never seen us play like this before, dominating an opponent as much as we did today. But we gave them a goal again, conceded at a set-piece and at that level you cannot do that.”Mikel Arteta – July 12. 2020
The unfortunate truth, is that Arsenal haven’t dominated many games since Arteta joined Arsenal. Possibly due to the hangover effect of Unai Emery’s management, Arsenal still concede too many shots, opportunities and moments against their opponents.
Arsenal had the majority of ball possession today and disregarding the context of the game, looked to have a decent level of control within the game. However, winning the possession battle when chasing the winning goal isn’t what controlling the game looks like.
Furthermore, dominating the game – as Arteta put it – would suggest they were creating chance after chance. Arsenal played 6 key passes in the match, whilst Tottenham played 14. Arsenal also had two less shots than Tottenham in the game – and far fewer shots from open play.
None of this is suggesting that Arsenal were poor today, although they certainly could have been better. Arsenal’s build-up play was measured and they were certainly better at defending by means of maintaining possession. They just needed to eliminate the defensive errors and create more opportunities to score themselves.
Photo: Kieran Clarke (2014)