Paul Merson insists Tottenham’s problems are not behind them going into the north London derby with Arsenal… as he says he’s ‘amazed’ by the number of goals Antonio Conte’s side concede given their defensive set-up
- Tottenham thrashed Crystal Palace 4-0 to end a recent bad run of form
- Paul Merson though says that the result only papered over the cracks at Spurs
- He ripped into Tottenham’s defence for the number of goals they concede
- Tottenham host Arsenal in a crucial north London derby clash on Sunday
Paul Merson has insisted that Tottenham’s problems are not behind them going into their north London derby against Arsenal.
Tottenham thrashed Crystal Palace 4-0 to stop the rot following a five-game run without a victory.
Antonio Conte’s side host the Gunners on Sunday, and Merson says that Tottenham’s result against Palace was a good result for Arsenal.
Paul Merson (right) says Tottenham only papered over the cracks against Crystal Palace
Merson says Tottenham would have lost the match if it was not for Harry Kane (right)
He said in his Sky Sports column: ‘I think Tottenham beating Crystal Palace was a great result for Arsenal because in my opinion it just covered over the cracks.
‘If Harry Kane played for Crystal Palace, they would have won easily. Tottenham were atrocious in the first half.
‘If they had lost that game, as it looked like they were going to before half-time, then on Sunday everybody goes: ‘Oh, Arsenal are going to wipe the floor with Tottenham.
‘That would have increased the pressure on Arsenal but it just doesn’t happen in big derby games. These games are never as easy as they might look for either side.’
Merson said he is ‘amazed’ at the number of goals Tottenham concede with their defensive set-up
Merson also ripped into Tottenham’s midfield saying they had no ‘guile’ and that while Spurs’ three best players are in attack, they’ve got no-one to give them the ball.
He also claimed their wing-backs – who were Matt Doherty and Ivan Perisic against Palace – are not good enough for Conte’ system.
Merson also said that he was ‘amazed’ at how many goals Tottenham are conceding given their defensive set-up with three players at the back.
Tottenham have conceded 25 goals in the league this season, with only Fulham and Brentford conceding more in the top ten.
But it is some doing to play the way they play, with two holding midfielders as well as three centre-halves, and let in that many goals. I can’t explain how hard it is to do what they do.
Conte will be hoping the victory over Palace builds momentum starting against Arsenal
They shipped at least two goals in 10 games on the trot until the Palace game. I find that extraordinary.
He said: ‘It is some doing to play the way they play, with two holding midfielders as well as three centre-halves, and let in that many goals. I can’t explain how hard it is to do what they do.
‘They shipped at least two goals in 10 games on the trot until the Palace game. I find that extraordinary.’
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