Yes still feeling pain, as I am sure many Gooners are but many’s the time we learn from heartaches such as these, and can only put it down to a lesson learnt.
The strategy used yesterday, only dawned on me this morning. At first I felt that the Tottenham pressure was the reason we were hemmed in all game, but the penny dropped when I realised that Ospina very seldomly rolled the ball out to start our attack instead deciding to hoof the ball down the field which nearly always resulted in Tottenham possession and another wave straight back at us.
I have to say that in the past the slow build up from the throw out has always niggled me a bit as we seem to take an age to get out of our own half, but yesterday showed me that it takes time to get your forward players in the positions that can offer you chances, and the slow build up also gives possession time which also frustrates opponents.
Ospina would not have done that off of his own back, so I would assume that this was a tactic that Arsene had worked out prior to the start. I imagine Wenger would have realised that Tottenham at home would do the pressing so start cautiously and see how the game was going before we venture too far up.
Tottenham came unstuck as they pushed, just how we have in the past and at that time had worked in our favour, but after the goal we retreated to our own half and the constant pressure made sure the only rest bite we had was when Ospina cleared long.
Of course with this kind of tactic you have to mix and match, sometimes a slow build up will instil a little bit of composure but how the game panned out, pressure was constant and defending took over more than being adventurous.
We held out well but with no fear factor from us Tottenham were able to press high up and the result was self explanatory. On the day perhaps we could have mixed and matched a bit more but a 2.1 loss was better than some of the high scores from last season..
Written by Steve Palmer