Tottenham Hotspur‘s naivete was the difference during their 2-0 away FA Cup loss to Arsenal. The mindset of the two clubs for the big third-round North London derby was one of the overriding reasons that Arsenal comfortably marched into the next round. Tim Sherwood‘s side were coming off an impressive 2-1 away league win at Manchester United which inevitably gave them confidence going into the game.
However, that was partly their downfall. They failed to respect Arsenal enough, who made Spurs pay as the home team. Sherwood perhaps selected too much of an offensive side, holding out players such as Etienne Capoue. They were too open and it seemed like they had underestimated just how much Arsenal have improved this season.
Wenger’s side was full of confidence and had a professional demeanor about themselves. He clearly believes in every single player on his first team squad, and they didn’t let him down. From the first minute, they looked as if their hunger from the Premier League campaign had translated well into the Cup.
Perhaps the Spurs’ squad, which contained several recently-acquired players, weren’t quite as in touch with the importance of a North London derby. The majority of Arsenal players who played in the match have been with the club for at least three seasons, while the likes of Jack Wilshere and Serge Gnabry were players who Wenger knew wouldn’t let him down as younger players wishing to impress.
Plus, there was Theo Walcott, who wanted to make a mark as the center forward.
Sherwood went in with a lack of experience, but he’ll use it a learning tool. He’ll learn that he’ll simply get brushed aside without matching the opposition in such fixtures. Arsenal wanted it more, they were better prepared and it was another sign of Wenger’s dominance over his London neighbors.
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