Gary Neville says Tottenham lack a Mertesacker, criticises fantastic star Lloris

Hugo Lloris

Gary Neville says Tottenham's defending is a cause for concern.

Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville believes Tottenham displayed a key weakness at the back which cost them all three points against Arsenal.

Spurs had sought to close out a first half lead at The Emirates after Harry Kane netted, only for Kieran Gibbs to score a crucial equaliser.

The ball came from a cross into the box which Spurs could not clear, and had been coming after Olivier Giroud had twice spurned close range opportunities.

Neville told SkySports that Spurs lack a leader at the back, and was disappointed in goalkeeper Hugo Lloris for being slow to react.

He said: "There's no one there dominating the situation, really taking charge like a Mertesacker does I have to say when the ball goes aerially into the box.

"I thought Lloris today who is a fantastic goalkeeper, he could have been quicker off his line, it's not often you say that, and help his defence who were struggling with balls into it."

Lloris did bail his side out earlier in the match, and it's difficult to be overly critical of a player who is usually so reliable. Neville may be nit-picking, but that is what he is paid to do as he analyses every detail of the goals in the derby.

Tottenham too have an impressive partnership at the back with Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld, with the pair knowing each other from their Ajax days, and internationally with Belgium.

The duo have a strong record this season for the club, but Sunday was an illustration of where there is room for improvement, and while Per Mertesacker at Arsenal has his flaws too - Neville clearly feels he has a leadership quality which both Belgians currently lack.

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