August 18, 2010

Analysis of the goals conceded against Young Boys


Having looked so strong, and so assured against Manchester City on Saturday, Spurs turned in a nightmare of a defensive performance against Young Boys last night, primarily due to being overrun in the middle of midfield (which is where all the goals came from).

Young Boys had an extra man (owing to their 4-2-3-1 formation), but then so did Manchester City on Saturday. There were two main reasons for Spurs’ failure this time round: 1. an inability to keep the ball, 2. an inability to keep an organised defensive shape.

Lulic’s goal.

Lulic’s opener was quite a lucky goal in many ways, but it had been coming, even at only 4 minutes in.

Doubai picked up a loose ball, and drove at Giovani.

Not only did Giovani not do much to stop Doubai, he had nobody to pass him on to as Palacios was slow to come out to him.

Doubai shoots from distance – there is clearly a player in an offside position. The ball strikes the offside player, and the flag should go up. It doesn’t, and the ball ricochets to Lulic.

Lulic makes no mistake with his finish, which is crisp and into the bottom corner.

Bienvenu’s goal.

12 minutes on the clock, and it goes from bad to worse.

Pavlyuchenko surrenders possession cheaply. Doubai intercepts and runs from deep in his own half.

Doubai continues to carry the ball forward, and our players seem unsure of what to do.

Instead of attempting to restrict his options, whilst jockeying, Palacios makes the decision to go to ground. He may make a bit of contact with the ball, but if anything it steers it further into the path of Bienvenu. Note the positioning of the Spurs defence – Dawson is the deepest, but still at least 5 yards higher up the pitch than I would expect against a quick counter-attacking side.

Dawson is caught horrendously flat-footed. He should have dropped off further but, instead, he is totally outstripped by Bienvenu, who has a clear run on goal.

He calmly steers the ball passed Gomes.

Hochstrasser’s goal.

Costanzo picks up the ball in a ridiculous amount of space – not a Spurs player pushing up to restrict him, and Defoe’s token effort to close is virtually pointless.

He carries the ball forward and sees an opportunity to thread a through-ball to Hochstrasser, who is alive to the situation.

It’s a very well-weighted pass, but Bassong really shouldn’t be letting his man in beyond him. His positioning has meant that he hasn’t got a chance, but he isn’t helped by his lack of reading of the pass – he initially moves towards it.

Hochstrasser powers the finish, but I’m sure Gomes will be disappointed to be beaten at his near post.

A nightmare first half for Spurs with the midfield totally overrun, and the defence flat-footed and sloppy positionally. AssouEkotto struggled (especially as he was given a questionable yellow very early on) as Young Boys looked to get two against one on their right, and Corluka had no support from Giovani on our right.

Redknapp should have opted for a 4-5-1/4-2-3-1 for this match, or at least asked one of the strikers to play a more withdrawn role (as Defoe occasionally did at the end of last season). Still, we managed to get out of the first leg with a good chance of still qualifying for the Champions League proper, and hopefully the match will act as a wake-up call to the manager and players.

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  • Anonymous says:

    Palacios is Jenas number 2… Fire them both!

  • Anonymous says:

    completely agree, he is becoming a liability

  • JimmyG2 says:

    From best thing since sliced bread to toast. I did warn you about Palacios early on.
    We so much wanted him to be the new Dave Mackay but he clearly isn’t now and never was.

    I think their familiarity with the surface was a telling factor but it doesn’t explain our tactical naivety and playing much too high a line against quick forwards that we surely must have known about.

    Praise to the boys and Harry’s substitutions for almost retrieving the situation.
    Amazingly1-0 at home will do.

  • Adam says:

    You can’t see it in your screencap, but I’m pretty sure that, for the first goal, Bassong was playing the man onside. At first, the Young Boys player looked clearly off, but Bassong’s trailing foot was actually further back than any relevant part of the Young Boys player’s body (feet, head and torso), which, is far as I understand the rules, was enough for him to be onside.

    I think I disagree with your analysis of the 3rd goal, but maybe I’m just misinterpreting you. The only problem with the way Bassong dealt with it was his complete lack of awareness of what was going on behind him. His starting position was fine, and the reading of the pass through wasn’t really the issue.

    Also think you’re being harsh on Gio. He apparently (a friend gave me this stat, so I’ve no way of proving it) covered more ground than any of our other players during the first half, which, considering the nature of the half, I assume was mainly done tracking back. In fact my main concern about him, particularly in the second half, was he was collecting the ball too deep, limiting his ability to influence the match in and around Young Boys’ box.

    Finally, I don’t really think the formation was an issue. Once Huddlestone got on the pitch, the shape of the game completely changed in our favour – even if we did suffer a few more nervy moments – despite continuing to play 4-4-2. Apart from the decision to leave him out, which he’d justified beforehand as a fitness concern, I don’t think Redknapp did an awful lot wrong.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am concerned with Sgt Wilson’s lack of form. He was awful at the end of last season too… He needs a good kick up the arse if we are going to make any sort of challenge for anything this year!

  • Anonymous says:

    Hello Windy this Davspurs . This is not a very happy time to be righting, us Spurs fans seem to go up to the top with our hopes and then back down to the depths of despair. Like the Villareal game. We got over that then Florentine had us all back on track. Then the good performance against the Oil Barron’s City. Now its back down to earth with a bump beaten by a team who had lost 4 of there last 5 games . So why did we get beat .Well this windy is my honest opinion on last nights Shock Horror Show . Firstly i could not watch the game live this happened 3 seasons ago when i discovered a team 12 miles from me using energy drugs to beat teams. You may find this a controversial statement but trust me its true and since then its bean the main ingredient. Along with a five man flooded midfield High tempo games full of shock results. When we played Man City we tired in the second half which is normal these teams i discovered don’t tire. We fell victim to this tempo last night along with a watered plastic pitch doctered to help the Boys to leave our defence floundering on a wet greasy surface and to had insult it also rained this was Highlighted by Tottenham boy Strutter on sky sport. The offside goal was the least thing we suffered we beat the Boys in everything except two states there three goals to two and the Miles they accumulated 72 to Spurs 67 we had the percentage of the ball 60 odd mins. This meant Young Boys where stopping us from having time and space on the ball . Because of my knowledge on this energey drug i can see its evidence in 15 mins of watching a team with high tempo with all out attack and all out defending in equell ammounts for the whole game not 70 but 90 plus mins and was the biggest factor in late goals by the team i discovered and earned them the nickname comeback kings. So this his my reason for not watching Spurs live and why Stke and Wolves shocked us last year the evidence his there i cant tell you now because i have written enough to bore you stiff but i hope you understand this is not sour grapes but nearer the truth than even i like saying and sudden deaths is another worrying trend because this drug is a Killer Davspurs feeling the pain telling the truth

  • Anonymous says:

    This Davspurs character gets around, doesn’t he?

    Great blog, Windy.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think the first 15 to 20 mins could have been down to a bit of nerves; some of the boys would have been dreaming about this occasion for some time, it’s only natural to be excited, even over excited, as were most supporters. Then there’s the added difficulties of pitch and conditions.

  • Enorme Nuez says:

    Had we played a variant of 4-5-1 then Palacios wouldn’t have been an issue. He would’ve played behind Huddlestone and Modric or whoever they partnered in the midfield. Had it been Pavlyuchenko leading the line and Modric behind him then the outcome would’ve been different. Bale and Dos Santos would’ve been able to stretch their defence which was very suspect when we went forward.

    Hopefully ‘Arry learns from this.

    My XI: Gomes, Corluka, Dawson, Bassong, Assou-Ekotto, Palacios, Dos Santos, Huddlestone, Kranjcar, Bale, Modric, Pavlyuchenko.

    Defoe does not HAVE to play and this formation would’ve seen us control the midfield allowing Bale and Dos Santos time on the wings to cause havoc.

  • Anonymous says:

    First off, Palacios could have made a play on all 3 goals, but was woefully lacking. Second, yes Pavlyuchenko’s ball was loose, but there were 9 guys behind the ball. He’s supposed to be creating. He’s a striker. Put the blame where it belongs. Balls are given away all the time. It’s where and when you do it that counts. It’s nothing like Palacios’ pass to Gomes that should have resulted in a 5th or 6th goal. We were very lucky to only concede 3. Lastly, Bassong and Dawson were both caught flat footed because they couldn’t believe that Palacios let the players walk right by him. His job is to protect the spine. Not to help snap it. But for 1 decent WC game, Palacios has been terrible since March. COYS

  • AntiOnan says:

    The energy drug comment is probably valid. For about 5 seasons no matter who we play nor who is our manager, we run out of steam in the last 20.
    Unfortunately Harry does not do anything about it as tactical demands have priority. Thud, Defoe, Crouch, Keane & probably Pav, Lennon& JJ are ONLY 70min players at high tempo. So either we cheat with the rest or we play differently.
    Palacios has always been a liability(I expect flak) He was markedly better than that horror kakora as he could tackle, could mark and had some positioning skill. He was the sort of person we have needed desperately probably since we lost Mackay and IMHO this lack is the main reason as to why we have been called a spineless side for near 35+ yrs. But he is slow, he almost always fouls near the box(although not right in front like kakora), he cannot pass over 5 ms and he shoots like kakora. BUT he used to at least protect our CDs..which he clearly has not been doing of late. I have watched Sandro several times now and he has everything although nothing brilliantly. He can do everything well & has temperament to match. I see him as our new Mackay and even a new captain. However, he has to acclimatise and that will not be quick.
    I think that Palacios sees himself becoming second fiddle and that he had a big head after the RM hype but now it is dropping due to the fact that we played so well with out him.

    We need IMHO 1) a killer striker; 2) a defensively competent LB; 3) possibly a spare CD & 4) probably a CM to replace Palacios who will not stay once Sandro hits his straps.

    Until we come to grips with the 70 min bust or we are miles ahead by then via a killer striker, we will find even 4th beyond us as everyone knows that we are a 70min high tempo, last 20 bag of sh*t team

  • TommyHarmer says:

    For me, our major issue as a team this season is the absence of goal scorers. We began to dry up last season, but kept going, as others worked to to fill the absences of Crouch and Defoe. Keane is past his sell-by, sadly, and Pav is a six chances = one goal man. In Europe, others are often too busy to get up and score, and a failure to press put our defence at risk. We needed a world class goal scorer in the close season, but our salary policy is going to make this very difficult, added to the difficulties created by the World Cup (why does this happen in the year WE break through!!?) One of the numerous South Americans would have been our best bet, but secured BEFORE the competition not after. Defoe is no longer on fire, he can’t even get his matchbox out.

    I am not, of course, excusing the defensive frailties or also (another factor for me) the absence of Thud from the starting line-up. I think that Harry’s assertion that Thud doesn’t like plastic was tripe; was there evidence of that in the game? Palacios was better after Thud came on but IS a liability. It was a bad day at the office in spades, and I think will not be repeated in the return …… I think the pep pills story may JUST be a bit of a red herring. We were excellent against Citeh, but DIDN’T score …….

  • AntiOnan says:

    TH we still faded in the last 20 vs MC but not as much as usual as Keane & Pav chased, but our midfield had run out of steam cf the first 45.

    Last season both midfield & strikers were not pressing in the last 20 which almost all opponents capitalised upon. I am starting to really wonder why only we seem to run out of steam in the last 20. Is is because we press so strongly in the first 45(but many others also do so) or is the Caffeine kick that we lack?

  • steven says:

    It may sound a simple statement but unless you have played on the astro-turf surfaces you will not have much insight into what happened the other night. Harry is right in saying that some players are unsuited by the surface…just as muddy or very wet grass pitches effect some players. In a way it is like futsal / 5 a side on hard surfaces….some players just don’t have the touch to play well on non-grass surfaces. Palacios, Dawson, Bassong, Pav all struggled for these reasons. Add that to the local knowledge of YB players and you have a Spurs side floundering and looking very shakey each time the ball was switched or when their players ran at them with pace. We really missed a bullet….only when out best touch player made an entrance(and the speed juice began to wane)did we actually get hold of possession for any significant time

  • AntiOnan says:

    Anyone have a history of CL & Uefa Cup matches at home for YBB as that should give a really good idea about how away sides cope there

  • Windy says:

    Thanks all for interesting and insightful comments.

    Couple of responses:

    Jimmy – yes, small degree of praise to Harry for changing it and to the players for bucking up their ideas.

    Adam – interesting point about the offside, I’ll look out for that if I can find other clips. Re: the third goal, I think we’re roughly in agreement – he doesn’t read the pass at all. Re: formation, we definitely disagree – IMO Huddlestone’s instroduction also roughly coincided with Niko coming on and playing narrow, and Defoe dropping off to make up the numbers in midfield.

    steven – Pavlyuchenko frequently played on astroturf in Russia, and yet was probably one of our worst performers on the night.

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