February 15, 2011

Analysis of the goal conceded against Sunderland (12/2)


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Another battling win where we showed True Grit (like it?!) and determination. The goal we conceded was hard to take; with Gallas off the pitch to change his boots, Sandro filling in at centre back, Corluka nowhere near deep enough under the circumstances, and Gyan eventually afforded far too much room.

Redknapp explained the Gallas situation after the game:

“I was upset about it and I told William at half-time. He had had an injection in his ankle before the game and they bandaged his ankle maybe too tight and he was in a lot of pain. He felt his boots were too tight on him.”

Gyan’s goal

Sunderland launch an attack down their left through Bardsley, knowing that Gallas is off the pitch.

Kieran Richardson finds space beyond Pienaar and Corluka down the left flank, and the ball is played out to him.

Sandro, who was effectively filling in for Gallas, has to come out to Richardson (as Corluka is caught upfield), but Jenas has not dropped in, leaving Dawson with Gyan and Sessegnon to mark.

Gyan gets the ball instantly under control with a neat first touch, and swivels quickly to get his shot away.

The strike goes through Dawson’s legs and across Gomes into the far corner.

Little harsh for Redknapp to blame Gallas for the situation; if he was suffering, he needed to change boots, but we should have re-organised properly instead of reverting to a temporary three, with Pienaar and Corluka far too high up the pitch.

Incidentally, what a good player Gyan is – clearly well-suited to Premier League football, and he would have been an upgrade on our strikers last summer in my opinion.

Finally, I hope that we put in a better defensive performance tonight than we have in recent weeks, as there’s no doubt that if we allow the likes of Ibrahimovic and Pato that much space tonight, we will be punished. The (probable) enforced midfield pairing of Palacios and Sandro will give our defence extra protection, but it is vital that Gallas and Dawson to mark tightly.

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February 8, 2011

Analysis of the goal conceded against Bolton Wanderers (5/2)


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We got there in the end!

Sturridge’s goal

Bolton launch a counter from well inside their own half – Assou-Ekotto and Palacios try to close Mark Davies, but he squeezes a pass towards Sturridge.

The pass doesn’t quite make it to it’s intended recipient, and instead it is diverted towards Dawson.

Reaching the pass, Dawson should be clearing this.

Instead, he attempts to keep possession, and nudges the ball forward into a congested centre circle. Davies picks up the ball again, and charges forward.

Davies drives at the heart of our defence. Sturridge pulls away to the right, totally unmarked, as Assou-Ekotto has been caught upfield. Gallas has to position himself centrally as there is a man between him and Corluka.

Davies gets a little fortunate with his pass to Sturridge, getting it through Dawson’s legs. The weight is perfect, though, and it doesn’t allow Palacios or Gallas to get close enough to Sturridge.

He gets his shot away, but it is not as he intended. He attempts to curl the ball into the far corner, but instead places it into the centre of the goal.

Unfortunately for Gomes, it somehow squirms under his body. A really poor piece of goalkeeping.

Dawson has been uncharacteristically poor in his last two appearances, making decisions to play out, when he has built a career on being a “safety first” type defender. I don’t think he has been helped by being moved to the left to accommodate Gallas, but then his mistakes against Fulham came when he was positioned on the right of the centre backs.

I’d like to think that Gomes and Dawson bought Kranjcar a lemonade on Saturday evening.

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February 1, 2011

Analysis of the goals conceded against Fulham (30/01)


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A disasterous performance!

Murphy’s first goal.

Unfortunately the clips that I’ve managed to find don’t show the full passage of play in all of it’s hideous glory. For those that didn’t see it, Dawson plays a pass to Hutton without looking, and Dempsey nips in to take advantage. Hutton manages to shepherd him wide, and it seems like the danger has been averted.

Hutton then suddenly makes a tackle with his left foot (1. he should stay on his feet, and 2. why not his right?!), totally missing the ball, and instead tripping Dempsey. It’s unfortunately a nailed-on penalty.

Murphy is an excellent penalty taker, but this isn’t his finest effort. It still nestles in the corner, though.

Murphy’s second goal.

From bad to worse.

Dawson is in possession on the edge of the box, with Dembele (who is quite quick) pressing.

Inexplicably he tries a Cruyff turn to try to retain possession.

 

Dembele steals the ball, and bursts into the box.

Dawson makes a desperate grab for his shirt. Credit to Dembele – he plays on and gets a shot away. Phil Dowd however pulls play back, awards the penalty, and sends Dawson off. Some have argued that Bassong was coming round on the cover, and that a red card was harsh – I have to disagree. The fact that Dembele got a shot away unchallenged in spite of having his shirt pulled illustrates that this was a clear goal-scoring opportunity and, by the letter of the law, it was the correct decision.

Murphy passes this one into the other corner with ease.

 
Hangeland’s goal.

Another poor piece of defending, this time from a set piece. Clearly shaken by the events of the previous few minutes, our defence totally loses concentration. Duff’s corner to the near post is flicked on by, of all people, Andrew Johnson, who has easily lost Assou-Ekotto.

Bassong is marking the danger man, Hangeland.

But Bassong is watching the ball, and not paying close attention to what Hangeland is doing.

This leaves a painfully simple tap-in at the back post. Shambolic!

Dembele’s goal.

Bassong’s day doesn’t get much better, as he picks up from where Dawson left off.

He has followed Dembele to the halfway line (after Sandro was taken off, we had no dedicated holding midfield player as such, with Modric generally the deepest).

Dembele faces Bassong up – he can clearly see a huge space in behind him, and fancies his chances.

A slight shimmy is all it takes.

He’s round Bassong, and running at Gallas, who now has to leave his man and come across.

Watching the video shows how Bassong just ambles back – he’s totally given up on retrieving the situation. Gallas comes across, but doesn’t do enough to stop him getting the shot away.

Another slight sideways movement is enough to buy Dembele the space to unleash the shot, and he plants it in the bottom corner. Is Gomes at full stretch? Hard to blame him really, it’s pretty well struck. A very poor piece of decision-making from Bassong, and then a real lack of desire to get back and make the challenge.

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Holtby playing in a poorer side, but in a league which is arguably easier to succeed in. Personally I think Mason's better & better-suit
3 hours ago