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"They're as bad as you'll see this season" | Graeme Souness on Tottenham

Sky Sports Analyst Graeme Souness has blasted Tottenham after their 3-1 defeat to Arsenal on Sund...

Cian Fahey
Cian Fahey

19:01 26 Sep 2021



Soccer

"They're as bad as you'll see this season" | Graeme Souness on Tottenham

Cian Fahey
Cian Fahey

19:01 26 Sep 2021

Sky Sports Analyst Graeme Souness has blasted Tottenham after their 3-1 defeat to Arsenal on Sunday.

Emile Smith-Rowe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka scored three goals in the first half. Tottenham couldn't keep up with the pace and movement of the Arsenal attackers, but Souness highlighted the midfield.

“I was surprised at how good Arsenal were, but it was an even bigger surprise how poor Spurs were," he said.

"The shape of them was all wrong. They had Dele Alli on the wide right, Ndombele emptying midfield at every opportunity, Hojbjerg was holding hands with Dier all the time.

When you analyze it, it was no surprise that Arsenal dominated that first half."

Danish midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was singled out as the biggest problem by Souness.

“I accept that sometimes you see midfield players go and get it cheap off the back three, back four. When you're on the front foot and you're dominating the game to get started, but when you're not dominating the ball, you have to put your midfield in with their midfield to stop them dominating you.

The first half was so one-sided that it was screaming at me from here.

Spurs were defending this end where we were sitting and Hojbjerg time and time again could hold hands with his center backs. And when they got outnumbered and outmuscled in midfield, go in there and join in the fight."

Hojbjerg not being in the midfield to break up play allowed Arsenal to create the free-flowing attacking moves that set up their goals. Tactically, it didn't make sense to Souness but philosophically the team's approach was a major issue too.

"All these tactics and formations and everything you heard, we talk about this time and time again, the best tactic you can have in the locker is be first to the ball. Spurs were not first to the ball once in that 45 minutes.

They spent the whole time on the back foot and it's screaming at me what they weren't doing. They weren't competitive in any shape or form.

You're totally outnumbered, you didn't start right, you didn't join in the fight, we're happy to play second fiddle, second on the ball...it was so one-sided you feared for Spurs at halftime because it was going to be five or six.”

Souness seemingly believes this result tells us more about Tottenham than it does Arsenal.

"Arsenal would wish they could play a team like Spurs were in the first 45 minutes every week. Spurs were so poor.

Arsenal enjoy your moment because you won't play against a team as poor as Spurs were in the first 45 minutes every week. They're as bad as you'll see this year"

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