By Danny Wright
Garth Crooks has slammed the Tottenham defenders for not being able to properly defend the set-piece that put Arsenal ahead in Saturday’s North London derby at the Emirates.
Spurs fell to a 2-0 defeat to the Gunners with first-half goals from Shokdran Mustafi and Alexis Sanchez proving to be the decisive factor.
However there was plenty of controversy surrounding Arsenal’s opener when Mustafi headed past Hugo Lloris from a free-kick.
It didn’t appear to be a foul in the build up to the goal plus the German centre-back appeared to be offside when making his run into the Tottenham penalty area.
Either way, BBC Sport pundit Crooks doesn’t believe that Spurs can pile too much blame on referee Mike Dean and his assistant for not overruling the goal, and has instead pointed at the way that Mauricio Pochettino’s side defended the situation.
“What Spurs were in total command of was the way in which they lined up to defend the free-kick and which defender was going to get his head on the ball,” said Crooks on the BBC Sport website.
“The fact that they failed in both departments completely cancels out anything Dean did moments before.
“Of course, Spurs have every right to be angry about poor decisions by the officials, especially when it costs them a goal, but it cannot be the referee or his assistants’ fault if Tottenham cannot defend a set-piece.”
Tottenham dropped down to fourth in the table following their loss to Arsenal and are now just one point clear of seventh placed Burnley.
Chelsea beat West Brom later in the day to move above last season’s Premier League runners-up while Manchester City and Manchester United moved clear of Pochettino’s men with wins.
In other Tottenham news, Spurs fans have urged Daniel Levy to sign up this attacker after a stunning display at the weekend.