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Former Liverpool defender turned popular soccer expert Jamie Carragher has criticized Hector Bellerin after Arsenal’s 2-0 loss to Tottenham in the Premier League clash on Sunday.
Carragher feels that Mikel Arteta was terribly wrong with his tactics against Spurs in the North London derby, and that the Gunners were naive in their approach.
Although Arsenal enjoyed most of the possession, it hardly bothered the Spurs’ bottom line. They lacked penetration, while the Spurs punished them on the counter.
The Sky Sports expert has praised the Spurs duo, Harry Kane and Son Heung Min, stating that they are the “most dangerous combination in European football right now.”
He has criticized Bellerin’s position during the game and the amount of space Arsenal left for the Spurs duo to exploit. First, Let’s go over what Carragher actually said:
“What is the most dangerous combination in European football at the moment? Kane and son.
“The message in Bellerin’s head from the coach going into the game has to be, when the ball is on the other side, I am next to my center.
Bellerin’s job for me is to catch the ball, feed Willian and support him from behind, they very rarely overlap unless he’s at 100%. Do not leave that space there. But what do they do? They do exactly that. “
I will break down your observations into two parts.
First, Kane and Son association: Credit must be given where it is due, and José Mourinho deserves it for finding a way to get the best out of his two world-class players. They have developed telepathic chemistry with each other. Kane dropping deep and giving the ball to Son, and vice versa, has become a recurring theme for Spurs this season, and the club is reaping its benefits.
Second, the naivety of Arsenal: Mourinho’s tactical plan for big games is well known. The Spurs give the impression that the opposition is dominating by allowing them to enjoy possession, and that’s when they hit them against it. This is exactly how Mourinho beat Pep Guardiola in Spurs’ 2-0 win over Manchester City last month.
Bellerin is a natural offensive winger, and it was naive on his part (and Arteta’s too) to leave room for the Spurs to exploit the gap on his side.
Arteta guided Arsenal to FA Cup success last season, but they have been very poor this season. The derby defeat leaves them 15th in the league table, their worst possible start in the Premier League era.