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“So many long balls”: Spurs star criticises team’s tactics against Arsenal

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Lucas Moura has criticised Tottenham’s tactical approach to Sunday’s embarrassing north London derby defeat.

Spurs were completely outplayed by Arsenal at the Emirates, allowing the hosts to race into a 3-0 half-time lead while struggling to lay a glove on Mikel Arteta’s men.

Son Heung-min managed to pull a goal back in the second half but the game was long over by then, with Nuno Espirito’s team selection and style of play raising plenty of questions.

Tottenham seemed to intentionally bypass their own midfield with a long-ball style of play that simply didn’t work, and Nuno didn’t change things quickly enough.

And now Lucas appears to have condemned his manager’s approach.

“The feeling is very, very bad. We know what it means for the fans, for the club and of course we wanted to win, we wanted a different result,” said the Brazilian (via the London Evening Standard).

“It’s not a time to speak. It’s a time to be quiet and work hard. It was a very bad game, it didn’t work at all.

“I think they took advantage of our mistakes. We gave them too much space. And we didn’t play. We didn’t try to play. We didn’t try to have the ball.

“We have quality to have the ball, to build, to do more than what we did. So many long balls. We were not aggressive enough and they punished us.

“Even 3-0 down, it was not finished. Second half we did different, it was quite [good]. But it was too late, 3-0 from the first half was very difficult to turn over.

“But we tried, we fought until the end but it was not enough we’re not happy and we need to improve.”

Spurs’ approach was concerning but perhaps even more worrying is that the players seem to be publicly disagreeing with Nuno’s tactics.

Maybe this will provoke the Portuguese coach to make meaningful tactical changes, but it also demonstrates a level of disharmony in the group that could grow into something larger.

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