Pundit can't believe what Nuno did to Hojbjerg at Tottenham
Alan Hutton has slammed Nuno Espirito Santo’s tactics after Tottenham slumped to a 3-1 derby day defeat to Arsenal.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Spurs defender claimed the Portuguese manager left Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg “exposed” by his starting XI.
Nuno started with a midfield trio of Hojbjerg, Tanguy Ndombele and Dele Alli in Sunday’s north London derby.
However, Tottenham struggled to contain the Gunners and went into half-time 3-0 down.
Alli was replaced by Oliver Skipp at half-time as Spurs produced an improved second-half display.
Heung-min Son reduced the deficit heading into the final 10 minutes.
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However, Hutton insisted Nuno’s decision to start both Alli and Ndombele backfired massively.
Hutton told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “Hojbjerg was totally exposed. We’re talking about a three-man midfield but you’re actually playing one in there.
“If you play a long ball and Ndombele and Alli are high up the pitch, and it comes back down to you, there’s no way you can defend against Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe running at you.
“It’s impossible. The spaces were huge and to be fair to Arsenal, they spotted it. They attacked those open spaces and that’s where they got their goals from.
“All Spurs did for 20 minutes was try and go long, get the midfield up, try and win second balls but it didn’t work. He got everything wrong.
“When I saw the starting lineup, I was thinking if you’re playing Ndombele, you’ve got to play a 4-2-3-1.
“Allow Ndombele to do his tricks, flicks and little bit of magic. Have two midfield sitters, maybe Skipp and Hijbjerg, in behind him.
“Nuno got it totally wrong.”