Tottenham Hotspur : Merely Pretenders or So Much More?
Spurs were outclassed by Arsenal in Saturday's early kickoff at the Emirates Stadium.
The game ended 3-0 in favour of the Gunners, courtesy of a brace from Robin Van Persie and stunning goal by Arsenal skipper, Cesc Fabregas.
It was a second consecutive Premier League defeat for Harry Redknapp's men after last week's 1-0 defeat to Stoke City at White Hart Lane, which means Spurs are now fourth in the league table with 19 points from 11 games, a point ahead of Liverpool, who lost away at Fulham.
Aston Villa and Manchester City are also level on points with Liverpool. However, City have 18 points from nine games, which means they have two games in hand to gain a healthy lead on the others.
Spurs were missing the suspended Jermain Defoe and the injured Aaron Lennon from their cavalry when they traveled to face their North London rivals.
Redknapp chose to play Jermaine Jenas on the left of what appeared to be a four-man midfield.
The move didn't work out as Jenas played as more of a central figure ahead of Wilson Palacios and Tom Huddlestone in central midfield, which ultimately meant the left wing was dried up besides when Benoit Assou-Ekoto chose to make a run down the flank.
Arsene Wenger's men took complete advantage of Jenas' absence. Bacary Sagna was given an open invitation to attack down the wing at will and the French full back created two goals for Van Persie.
Redknapp realized the problem and brought on Gareth Bale, but it was too late.
Spurs and particularly the lanky Peter Crouch missed Aaron Lennon's pace on the right flank.
David Bentley didn't cause any problems for Gael Clichy, simply because he was unwilling to run at the defenders. The ex-Arsenal man seemed content to launch the ball forward whenever he found it at his feet but never found either Crouch or Keane upfront.
Spurs looked quite shaky in defense with the exception of Vedran Corluka, who had a decent outing.
Veteran defender Ledley King was rather hesitant at the back and new signing Sebastian Bassong appears to have run out of gas after some impressive shows earlier in the season.
Fortunately for Spurs though, Micheal Dawson and Jonathan Woodgate and nearing full fitness and were on the bench on Saturday.
Spurs have had a decent beginning to their campaign and despite two back to back defeats, are looking in good shape.
If they are more consistent than the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City, Sunderland and Aston Villa, they might just find themselves in a Champions League place come the end of the season.
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