"Such is Arsenal's inability to hold on to a lead, you would not trust them to walk your dog, let alone win the Premier League. 2-0 down at half-time, Tottenham Hotspur were helpless, hopeless and beaten – against any other side. For 45 minutes a swaggering Arsenal had held a gun to the back of their rivals' head. Tottenham winced, waiting for the trigger to be pulled to end it all, but it never happened. It rarely does. Like a James Bond villain, they got complacent, bored even, spending too much time telling their victim what they were going to do rather than actually doing it. It was hardly surprising that Tottenham managed to escape their clutches. Arsenal were brilliant in the first half, with Cesc Fábregas and Samir Nasri foolishly granted the freedom to strut their stuff as and when they pleased. At the interval they were heading for the top of the league, which is where they would have stayed all weekend due to Chelsea's defeat at Birmingham City.
And then they imploded, as they so often do. Already this season they have relinquished leads against Sunderland and Shakhtar Donetsk. Last year they drew 2-2 with West Ham after leading 2-0 with 16 minutes to go, and lost 3-2 to Wigan Athletic after leading 2-0 with 10 minutes left. This is a side that once contrived to draw 4-4 with Tottenham when they were 4-2 up in the 89th minute. It is not surprising, because it keeps on happening.
While there is much to admire about Arsenal's football, they no longer know how to win and Arsène Wenger is incapable of instilling a maturity in the side. Surely he would have drummed home the importance of retaining their lead for as long as possible; within minutes of the restart, though, Tottenham were back in the game. Arsenal are too open, unable to shut up shop as champions must, lack leadership and concede too many soft goals.
Credit must be given to Harry Redknapp's brave tactical changes that prompted Tottenham's revival – his introduction of Jermain Defoe and redeployment of Rafael van der Vaart at half-time were inspired – but this game was all about Arsenal's fragility in defence. Tottenham's goals came from a long punt, a foolish handball by Fábregas that conceded a penalty and, finally, a header from a free-kick. All were eminently preventable, yet Arsenal's creaking back four requires only the slightest push to collapse. The mistakes made by Laurent Koscielny and Sébastien Squillaci were placed into sharper focus by the imperious display by William Gallas for Tottenham. For all his foibles – at one point he appeared to be close to tears – Arsenal could have done with him on Saturday"