Jamie Carragher was shocked at Tottenham’s midfield players ‘not being in midfield’ ten seconds into their 3-1 defeat in the North London derby, as he told Sky Sports.
The TV pundit blasted Tottenham’s tactics and the positions Dele Alli, Tanguy Ndombele and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg were taking up during the early exchanges of the game.
In what was an afternoon to forget for Spurs, they were torn apart by their rivals inside the first half.
Three first-half goals for Mikel Arteta’s side was enough to seal the points and result in some of the away fans heading for the exit door before the break could arrive.
But, out on the pitch, Carragher just couldn’t believe the amount of space that was being afforded to Arsenal and the Anfield legend put the blame firmly at Nuno Espirito Santo’s doorstep.
“Straightaway, Tottenham are looking to go direct,” said Carragher.
“Ndombele, Alli (the duo were in line with Harry Kane) and Hojbjerg (in a typical position you would expect a number six to be in) that’s your midfield after five seconds of a North London derby away from home.
“We now go long, this happened time and time again. Spurs don’t win the challenge (aerial header). If that header goes into Saka, they have a huge problem. If it goes to Emile Smith Rowe, they have a huge problem (because the duo are in acres of space).
“We are not even ten seconds in yet and these are the tactics of Tottenham. To go direct and basically have midfield players, not in midfield.
“The reason why I put a lot of this on the manager is that they are not midfield positions, if you were Dele Alli or Ndombele. The only reason you stand there is that the manager must have asked you. It’s impossible. If I am looking at Dele Alli, he is looking 20 yards out of position.”
It was an abject display from Spurs and one of the worst they have produced in a pretty long time.
And it couldn’t have come at a worse time for the new man in their dugout.
Such performances are worthy of getting the sack and it’s just hard to see Nuno lasting the season.
Recent results, defensive performances, not being the first choice to replace Jose Mourinho, are all going against him and he needs to do something special to turn it around.