‘No plan B’ – Antonio Conte’s tactics questioned by Tottenham legend Clive Allen, who says Spurs played ‘survival football’ in the North London derby defeat to Arsenal


Tottenham legend Clive Allen has questioned Antonio Conte’s defensive philosophy after his side were outclassed, outgunned and ruthlessly exposed by Arsenal in the North London derby.

Spurs were overwhelmed by their rivals as the Gunners lost 3-1 in a thrilling showdown at the Emirates Stadium.

Conte’s counter-attacking system backfired badly in North London derby
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'No plan B' - Antonio Conte's tactics questioned by Tottenham legend Clive Allen, who says Spurs played 'survival football' in the North London derby defeat to Arsenal
Kane scored his 100th Premier League away goal and his 14th in 18 appearances against Arsenal – but it was just consolation for Tottenham
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It was a very poor performance from Tottenham, who were ready to hit Arsenal on the counterattack, but just sat too deep, were too passive and were duly punished by the hosts who look like a real force in the Premier League under Mikel Arteta. this season.

A marvelous goal from Thomas Partey kicked things off, with Gabriel Jesus and Granit Xhaka scoring after the break to make Harry Kane’s earlier penalty mere consolation, despite Thierry Henry’s record.

It was a declaration win for the Gunners who remain top of the table, while for Tottenham – who finished the game with ten men due to Emerson Royal’s red card – it was a performance that just confirmed all the supporters worried about their style of play.

Spurs entered the derby unbeaten in the league but it’s fair to say the results have flattered them in recent weeks as they haven’t played very well, having been criticized for their ‘boring’ style of football.

Conte’s no-nonsense style has won him titles before, but Allen told talkSPORT it was Spurs’ “survival football” at times on Saturday afternoon.

And the ex-striker was stunned the Italian didn’t change his game plan when it was clear it wasn’t working, with Spurs ‘on the ropes’ throughout.

'No plan B' - Antonio Conte's tactics questioned by Tottenham legend Clive Allen, who says Spurs played 'survival football' in the North London derby defeat to Arsenal
Tottenham were outclassed by Arsenal and the home fans couldn’t hide their joy
AFP


“It was a game where you had to throw in a marker, a win would have put Tottenham top of the Premier League, but it was Arsenal who threw down the gauntlet,” Allen said, speaking live from the Emirates for talkSPORT .

“There was so much at stake in this game, and you have Arsenal to thank for what they did, but I have to say it was a very disappointing performance from Spurs.

“Their unbeaten record is now gone, and it will be really interesting to see how they react. Will Antonio Conte change his philosophy?

“The style that Spurs have adopted, to sit and break the counter-attack, they have won games using that system.

“But I’m not sure there’s a plan B from Conte as to how they can turn the tide of games.

“It worked this season, but it certainly didn’t work today, it was their downfall.

'No plan B' - Antonio Conte's tactics questioned by Tottenham legend Clive Allen, who says Spurs played 'survival football' in the North London derby defeat to Arsenal
Conte’s system was exposed by Arsenal in the North London derby
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“Antonio Conte believes in this defensive system, with the quality of the attackers he has and playing on the counter-attack.

“We saw glimpses of that, just glimpses, where Heung-min Son, Harry Kane and Richarlison combined and they ended up winning a penalty to score a goal.

“But other than that it was lackluster, it was tame in the way they dealt with a North London derby that was always going to be fierce.

“They retreated so deep that they just invited Arsenal over them and Arsenal were worthy winners.

“It has been OK so far in terms of results using this system, but there have been games where Spurs gave up chances where better teams would punish them – as Arsenal showed today .

'No plan B' - Antonio Conte's tactics questioned by Tottenham legend Clive Allen, who says Spurs played 'survival football' in the North London derby defeat to Arsenal
Tottenham legend Allen unconvinced by Conte’s philosophy
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“Can Spurs change their game plan? That’s the million dollar question and, to me, they certainly haven’t shown they can.

“Is Conte going to change it? I’m not sure he will. I don’t think Conte will change. This is how he thinks Spurs are going to win games.

“They have a big, big game now in the Champions League against Frankfurt this week, because that group is now in the balance, we wonder if Spurs will be able to qualify for the knockout stages.

“More importantly, it’s how they react in the Premier League now to get back to winning ways.”

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