How much stock do we take from our last Premier League fixture?
The 2-2 draw against bitter rivals Tottenham hotspur was the veritable game of two halves, with spurs shading things in the first half and going into half time with the lead.
Alexandre Lacazette’s goal just before the break to halve the deficit proved crucial and in the second half, we put them to the sword and should have run away with the game, if not for some inspired goalkeeping from Hugo Lloris.
After three seasons of finishing below them and having the natural equilibrium being out of order, one of our priorities is to finish above them and reestablish the order in North London. After having them lauded by all and sundry for so long and being put on a pedestal as a challenger for silverware domestically and beyond, wouldn’t it be good to remind them that they still haven’t claimed superiority in North London, never mind the Premiership?
The game itself was of stark contrast. Chances galore, and ascendancy was split right down the middle – spurs in the first half, our lot in the second. How were those chances created though?
Were they down to our own failings, rather than spurs using footballing flair to cut through us?
Well, they did create opportunities thanks to some good football, Son especially gave us a few nightmares – but shooting ourselves in the foot is somewhat of a speciality for us, and in Granit Xhaka, we have a master of the art.
The Swiss midfielder’s hack in the penalty area was exactly what spurs needed and gave them a platform that required some real character to claw back up to. Then there was some questionable defending that required a few smart stops from Bernd Leno – the German’s save from Son’s curler needs to be viewed on repeat.
The real bottom line we can take from that game is that even with their first choice team, they are merely capable of matching us. For forty five minutes we played them off the park, and for the other forty five we seemingly wanted to give them a head start.
If we play to our capabilities, then we can confidently claim that this season will see us cast spurs back into the shadows. Can we maintain that consistency?
Who knows, but it will be exciting to watch it all unfold!