By Keith Hackett

27th Sep, 2021 | 6:00pm

Hackett: Tottenham fans should be fuming after what Gary Neville has spotted

Tottenham struggled against Arsenal and referee Craig Pawson had to do everything to make sure he could not be blamed.

That is the view of ex-FIFA and Premier League referee Keith Hackett, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after Arsenal comfortably won the first north London derby of the season 3-1.

The only major controversy came when Spurs appealed for a penalty when 3-0 down.

Ben White appeared to trip up Harry Kane just inside the penalty area but Craig Pawson waved away their appeals.

Gary Neville, speaking on his self-titled Sky Sports podcast, questioned why the Tottenham players were not around the referee as he doubted their team spirit.

Asked for his assessment of Neville’s comments, Hackett told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “You know full well if the game’s not going well then potentially you’re the target for blame.

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“Big decisions are critical but all of a sudden, it comes down to getting little decisions like throw-ins right.

“What you don’t want is to give teams that are struggling the opportunity to put the blame on you. That’s what happens in football. To some degree, we live in a blame culture and it’s always the other guy to blame.

“If you’re a Tottenham fan you’ll be disappointed by what you’ve seen because they have some outstanding players.

“Is the Kane scenario in mid-season the real problem? But he didn’t have many chances to strike on goal but the ball wasn’t forthcoming.

“That’s the manager’s problem, not for us as referees.”

In other news, Kieran Maguire has riped into Arsenal and Spurs as a “dangerous” plan emerges after new talks.