On Sunday, Mikel Arteta’s side suffered a 2-0 loss to their neighbors in north London, with the Gunners shooting themselves in the foot again.
Another indication of Arsenal’s “footballing brain not functioning” in 2020-21, says Martin Keown, is the sight of Thomas Partey walking off the pitch as Tottenham charged forward to double their lead in the North London derby.
On Sunday, the Gunners made the short trip to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium finding a spark to ignite what has already become a faltering campaign.
At the home of their arch-rivals, Mikel Arteta’s side bossed possession but were unable to translate ball retention into something more tangible.
With both the Spurs manager seeing his side secure a 2-0 victory that cemented their position at the top of the Premier League table, Jose Mourinho put in yet another masterclass.
Keown admits that Tottenham, with Arsenal falling alarmingly off the pace, looks to be the real deal, definitely in north London.
The former defender says that after picking up a knock perceived to be another sign of Arteta’s side switching off the Gunners, who have made their worst start in 39 years, are continuing to shoot themselves in the foot with Partey’s controversial decision to head for the sidelines.
Keown told the Daily Mail: “It was Son Heung-world-class min’s opener, but no one in an Arsenal shirt tested him.” He should have got a protractor out to test the angles of the shot with the time he had.
A replica of the first was then Tottenham’s second objective: Arsenal gave the ball away high up the pitch and were punished on the counter. Thomas Partey had walked off because he was injured, and this was an illustration of the brain of a football team not working.
Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney, both of Arsenal’s full-backs, flew forward as if they were already being used as wing-backs. One ball down, all of a sudden, and it was four on two in favor of Tottenham.
Where has the contact been? In this game, Arsenal over-committed and allowed the opposition to split up.
Meanwhile, Tottenham were lightweight and chose their moments to pounce. Never too far from their central defenders were their two midfielders, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Moussa Sissoko.
Arsenal had 70% ownership, so when they did not have the ball, Spurs knew what to do. They’ve put a shield up. In its own package, even Harry Kane had more touches than the opposite one.
“Tottenham’s players work so hard and have bought messages from Jose Mourinho. They’re transforming from a group of nice guys into a Mourinho’s unit.
Though Spurs are sitting at the Premier League top, with only 13 points from 11 games, out-of-sorts Arsenal find themselves languishing in 15th position.