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26th Sep 2021

Graeme Souness hammers Spurs’ ‘non-existent’ midfield in humiliating derby defeat

Daniel Brown

Souness says Spurs’ midfield was ‘non existent’

Graeme Souness has blasted Tottenham Hotspur’s midfielders after a rampant Arsenal went into half-time 3-0 up in the North London Derby.

The Gunners took the lead in the 12th minute after academy graduates Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe linked up well, with the latter slotting his strike past a helpless Hugo Lloris.

Mikel Arteta’s men soon doubled their lead courtesy of captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Just seven minutes later, the men in red and white made it 3-0 when Smith Rowe and Saka combined once again, this time, with Arsenal’s No 7 putting the ball in the back of the net.

At the half-time break, Sky Sports pundit Souness slammed a ‘ragged’ Spurs side, particularly focusing on their ‘non existent’ midfield.

“Tottenham look ragged,” he said. “A centre-back would look at the centre-backs and what they should’ve been doing.

“For me, I’m looking at Tottenham’s midfield – non-existent, non-existent.”

It would be difficult to find many people who disagreed with the comments made by the former Liverpool man, especially considering the nature of the three goals that Spurs conceded.

For the home side’s first goal, the midfield trio of Tanguy Ndombele, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Dele Alli were nowhere to be seen.

Martin Ødegaard had all the time in the world to break towards the Spurs goal and find Saka on the right-wing, whose pass was directly perfectly into the path of Smith Rowe who made no mistake with a smart finish.

Nuno Espírito Santo will therefore have been expecting his side to refocus and ensure that they don’t make any of the same mistakes twice.

However, and much like with the first goal, the visiting midfielders were barely in picture when Aubameyang’s flick fell perfectly into the path of the onrushing Smith Rowe.

Arsenal’s No 10 did well to make his way into the Spurs penalty area, before setting up his captain who finished expertly.

Sadly – for Tottenham fans, anyway – three wasn’t the lucky number as the Gunners’ relentless approach paid off once again, with, of course, a little help from the non-existent Spurs midfield.

Harry Kane lost the ball on the edge of the Arsenal penalty area, allowing Smith Rowe to pick the ball up and find Saka in plenty of space on the right-hand side of the pitch.

Whilst Kane did well to recover and block Saka’s intended pass, Arsenal benefitted from a lucky bounce and Saka had the chance to strike the ball himself, making no mistake with a ferocious right-footed finish.

It is the first time since August – September 2003 that Tottenham have conceded 3+ goals in 3 successive Premier League games, as per Sky Sports Statto.

Heung-min Son pulled one back with just over ten minutes to go, but it was merely a consolation as Arsenal picked up all three points. Spurs’ 11-year wait for a league win at the Emirates continues.

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