Arsenal were a tactically naive shambles against Spurs, says Jamie Carragher

Arsenal were beaten 2-0 in Sunday's north London derby after breakaway goals from Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane; Jamie Carragher was stunned by Mikel Arteta's tactical naivety against Jose Mourinho's side as the defeat left them 15th in the Premier League

Heung-min Son in action during the north London derby at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 3:12
Jamie Carragher says Arsenal were tactically naive against Tottenham

Jamie Carragher was left "flabbergasted" by Arsenal's tactical naivety in their 2-0 loss to Tottenham on Sunday.

The Gunners had almost 70 per cent of the possession at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium but mustered no meaningful response to first-half breakaway goals by Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane, leaving them 15th in the Premier League table with only one win in seven games.

Mikel Arteta defended Arsenal's performance after the game, insisting his players had done "absolutely everything" he asked of them and blaming poor finishing for the defeat despite the fact they struggled to turn their possession into scoring chances.

"I could not believe that interview," said Carragher. "I could not believe some of the things I heard after the game and some of the things I've read this morning.

"Arsenal did not play well. Arsenal were awful, defensively and with the ball, from minute one.

"This idea that because you have possession, you've played well - I'm flabbergasted when I hear it.

"They never had one chance in the game where someone should have scored. I've just seen a Mourinho quote saying possession is for the poets or the philosophers. He's absolutely spot-on if there's nothing with the possession."

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Carragher felt Arsenal played into Mourinho's hands by throwing so many bodies forward in attack, causing the Sky Sports pundit to question the way in which Arteta prepared his side for the game.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Tottenham's win over Arsenal

"I thought tactically, Arsenal were a shambles, so poor," he said.

"What I couldn't believe and what was so frustrating watching it was that this has happened so often in Mourinho's managerial career. Even if you had only watched Tottenham this season, you would know what they were going to try to do.

"It's almost like this Arsenal team and Mikel Arteta had been transported into this game from the moon and they didn't know who Mourinho was and had never seen Tottenham play.

"I was flabbergasted. What I watched and some of the things I heard after the game, I thought they were so poor."

Carragher found Arsenal's approach all the more difficult to comprehend given their record in previous big games under Arteta.

Last season, the Spaniard steered his side to victories over Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea by sitting deep, soaking up pressure and seizing their opportunities on the counter-attack.

Against Spurs, however, they were undone in exactly the same way.

Rob Holding (R) says Arsenal's poor start to the season has been 'frustrating' after defeat at Spurs left them 15th in the table
Image: Rob Holding and Heung-Min Son vie for possession

"The big frustration for me is that I loved Arteta when he first came in - and I still love him - because he went into big games last season and when he was up against teams far better than him, he altered his idea," said Carragher.

"He's from Barcelona, he's worked with [Pep] Guardiola. We know what his idea is. But he changed that at times last season.

"Against Liverpool, they won 2-1 last season. They had three shots, they faced 24, the possession was 31 per cent, but they win the game. For me, tactically fantastic.

"If I asked anyone in this country who the manager of the team who got those results [against Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United] was, you would say Jose Mourinho.

"What I can't believe is why Arsenal didn't do that on Sunday. They are playing Tottenham who are top of the league, when they're 14th, away from home in a derby game.

Arsenal averaged just 37 per cent possession in previous wins over Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United
Image: Arsenal averaged just 37 per cent possession in previous wins over Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United

"They are better than you. Go there and do the same. Do a Mourinho job on him. You may still lose the game, that can happen, but don't be so naive to play that way."

Carragher was baffled by the space Arsenal left for Kane and Son, singling out Hector Bellerin's positioning as the right-back was caught upfield for both goals.

"Who is the most dangerous combination in European football right now? Kane and Son," said Carragher.

"The message in Bellerin's head from the manager going into the game has to be, when the ball is on the other side, I'm next to my centre-back.

"Bellerin's job for me is to get the ball, feed Willian and support from behind, very rarely overlap unless it's 100 per cent on. Do not leave them that space there. But what do they do? They do that exact thing.

"I can't believe how poor it was tactically from Arsenal to play right into Jose's hands. Did they not watch the Man City game? Did they not see it? Exactly the same thing happened."

Carra: Stick with Arteta but expect more pain

Mikel Arteta
Image: Carragher believes Arsenal must give Arteta time

Arsenal's poor start to the season has put Arteta under pressure just a few months after he guided Arsenal to FA Cup success, but Carragher insists the 38-year-old must be given time and insists he has not been helped by some of the club's recent recruitment.

"There might be talk of him being under pressure now with the situation he's in, but I wouldn't even think about Mikel Areta's position," he said. "I really like Mikel Areta.

"There's a lot of nonsense around the club. I think some of the signings are a joke, in terms of bringing Willian in, [David] Luiz in, Cedric [Soares] in. Is Kia Joorabchian making signings at the club?

"Mikel Arteta brought in [Thomas] Partey and Gabriel [Magalhaes]. They look like Arsenal's two best players at this moment.

"I think they've had four managers and three CEOs since 2018. Just stick with Arteta, but there's going to be a lot of pain for Arsenal."

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