Gary Neville has compared the defensive performances of Arsenal and Tottenham in their opening fixtures and Brentford and Manchester City respectively.
The Gunners were embarrassed by the Bees last Friday. We were woeful in almost every part of the pitch and Brentford deservedly picked up the win. Spurs, on the other hand, surprised everyone by picking up a shock win over the defending champions.
The mood around the two North London clubs is completely different now. To make things worse for Arsenal fans, Neville has had his say on our defence compared to Spurs’, and Gooners won’t like it.
Gary Neville: Tottenham were serious with their defending, Arsenal were the opposite
The former Manchester United defender said on his podcast: “The contrast for me, look at someone like Tanganga and how he defended and how Sanchez defended, because they were put under a lot of pressure.
“At one point 55% of City’s attacks were coming down their side, but they were aggressive, they were serious about their defending, they knew they had a big job in front of them and they stuck to it.
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“Arsenal were the complete opposite, I felt every time a ball was played forward to the two Brentford strikers, they didn’t want the fight, whereas Tottenham, they rose to the occasion.”
The Insider’s View:
Tottenham definitely rose to the occasion while Arsenal crumbled, there’s absolutely no denying that. However, to call Tottenham’s defending serious and Arsenal’s the complete opposite based on one statistic is a bit harsh.
Yes, Spurs defended brilliant, but it was a completely different game to what Arsenal had to deal with.
The Gunners were physically dominated in aerial duels, and that eventually cost us the game. Most of what Spurs had to deal with from open play came on the ground, and although that’s not easy either, it makes the two games incomparable.
The fact of the matter, however, is that Spurs impressed and Arsenal disappointed on the opening day. That has to change ASAP and hopefully, this weekend’s game against Chelsea is the start of something special.