Jamie Carragher says he was ‘flabbergasted’ by Mikel Arteta’s positivity in the wake of Sunday’s north London derby as he believes Arsenal were a ‘shambles’ from start to finish in their 2-0 defeat to Tottenham.
A pair of sublime counter-attacking goals from Son Heung-min and Harry Kane at either end of the first half secured all three points for Spurs and sent Jose Mourinho’s side back to the top of the Premier League table.
And despite having 70 per cent of the possession at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Arsenal had no answer with club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang once again anonymous in attack.
The result means the Gunners have had their worst start to a campaign in 45 years but head coach Arteta insisted there were some reasons to be cheerful in his post-match interview with Sky Sports.
‘I saw my team full of desire, passion, dominating completely the game, creating all the chances, creating all the situations,’ Arteta said.
‘At the end, it’s about end product. This is why they [Spurs] are first in the table.
‘They created two situations and scored two goals. I think we had 54 crosses, I don’t know how many shots, only two on target.
‘This game is about doing that. We have to carry on, keep fighting and be the team that we were today but improving, obviously, those details.’
Reflecting on Arteta’s comments, ex-Liverpool and England defender Carragher admitted he ‘could not believe’ the words that were coming out of the Spaniard’s mouth.
‘I could not believe that interview, I couldn’t believe some of the things I heard after the game and some of the things I read this morning,’ Carragher said on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football.
‘Arsenal did not play well, Arsenal were awful defensively and with the ball from minute one.
‘This idea that because you have possession you’ve played well… I’m flabbergasted when I hear it.
‘They never had one chance in the game where someone should have scored.
‘I’ve just seen a Mourinho quote saying, “Possession is for the poets or the philosophers”, and he’s absolutely spot on if there’s nothing with the possession.
‘And I thought tactically Arsenal were a shambles, so poor. What I can’t believe and what was frustrating me so much watching it was this has happened so often in Mourinho’s managerial career.
‘Even if you’ve only watched Tottenham this season, you’d know what they were going to do.’
Carragher joked it was as if Arteta and Arsenal’s players had been on the moon prior to facing Spurs, such was their naivety at the weekend.
‘It was almost like this Arsenal team and Mikel Arteta are being transported into this game from the moon and they didn’t know who Mourinho was, they’d never seen Tottenham play and, honestly, I was flabbergasted,’ he continued.
‘And what I watched, some of the things I heard after the game, I thought they were so poor.
‘The big frustration with me is that I loved Arteta when he first came in… I still love him.
‘He’s from Barcelona, he’s worked with Pep Guardiola so we know what his idea is but he changed that at times last season.’