December 12, 2011

Analysis of the goals conceded against Stoke City (11/12)

Follow me on Twitter – @WindyCOYS.

You can also hear me on The Fighting Cock podcast.

Etherington’s first goala deflected Shotton cross loops up, and is helped on by Walters. Crouch controls it (with the help of his hand!), and squeezes the ball back across goal for Etherington to stab home.

Spurs clear the ball from a long throw-in, but Adebayor plays a one-two with Modric, and tries to dribble out with Stoke players converging around him.

He could turn back and play it safe, but he tries to press on, and eventually loses the ball.

Stoke get it wide, and work a two against one, with Shotton eventually getting clear.

Assou-Ekotto makes up ground well, and is able to half-block the cross, causing it to loop up into the air.

The ball is in the air for around three seconds and, personally, I think that Friedel should be coming to punch this away. Instead he leaves it for Gallas to battle it out with Walters – a battle that he struggled with all game.

Walters inevitably wins the flick on, and a better striker than Crouch, who has somehow ghosted into space over Kaboul’s shoulder, would volley this home first time.

 

Instead,he awkwardly controls it on his arm, before Gallas gets a foot in and pushes him wide of goal.

In fairness to Crouch, he does well to keep the ball alive, and he squeezes it back across goal.

Kaboul and Walker between them should be able to clear this, but Etherington anticipates well.

He gets to the bounce of the ball before both of them, and prods the ball in.

Etherington’s second goala Shotton long throw is helped on by Walters, and Etherington is again on hand to finish.

As Shotton prepares to take the throw-in,Spurs have ten players in the penalty area, against Stoke’s City’s four (with three just outside). The eventual goal-scorer, Etherington, is close to the edge of the box, between Modric and Bale.

As the ball is in the air, Walters gets up early (he has that Kevin Davies-like ability to hang), and Etherington makes his move towards the back post, anticipating a flick-on.

Parker has his eye on Etherington, and backs away to mark him.


Walters wins the header, and Parker just doesn’t get close enough to Etherington to stop the ball dropping to him. The finish is quite fortuitous – he hits it into the ground, and it loops up over Friedel.

Overall, the first half was pretty poor from Spurs, but had the first goal been disallowed for handball, we would have gone in at 1-0. Redknapp was very pro-active at half-time, making two substitutions, and moving from a 4-4-1-1 to a 3-5-2. It worked well, with the team creating a number of excellent goal-scoring opportunities and good situations. On another day, the referee would have given us three penalties (the one we got, the hauling down of Kaboul, the handball on the line), and there could easily have been two red cards for Stoke as well – Woodgate committed a second bookable offence on the edge of the penalty area in the first half, and handball on the line is a red card offence too.

These kind of games will always happen, and I think it’s important not to get too down-heated – the team battled back well in the second half, and did enough to get something from the game. Redknapp also deserves praise. I have long-criticised him for his lack of pro-active substitutions and tactical changes, but he made some bold moves yesterday. Bale had a stunning second half, and Modric/van der Vaart schemed behind the two forwards, with Adebayor frequently pulling over to the left and causing havoc with his good close control.

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  • bonse says:

    352 looked good, players looked comfortable and like it’s something they have been working hard on for a good amount of time, probably from the days when Harry was trying to sort out where to play Bale and has been saving it as a surprise tactic.

    The hard part is the three at the back working together and they seemed to get it right, Bassong was the a question mark going into the second half and he looked solid once fully warmed up.

    While I don’t like to criticise refs even when you take out penalties, goals and red cards there was still an amazing amount of corners that were given as goal kicks or similar discrepencies.

    Have the rules changed this year? I was under the impression that whenever Pater Crouch went up for the ball the opposition were supposed to get a free kick for backing in.

  • Anonymous says:

    You say Benny did well to get a block on the cross for the first goal but to me he was sitting too narrow and should have been better positioned to close the player down. Of course a series of mistakes followed but if Benny had been tight on the player the cross wouldn’t have come in in the first place. Then again had we played out safer before that it wouldn’t have been a problem either. My point though is where you see praise for Benny getting across quickly I see poor positioning at fault for not being able to deny the player space to have got the cross in to begin with

  • Anonymous says:

    Of course we should not get downhearted – we won the game didn’t we (2-1 at least, plus however many of the penalties you think we would have scored)? The referee took it away from us is all. On that subject, no-one has mentioned how Shotton was able to get away with a towel stitched to the inside of his shirt. Towels have been banned, so on this alone the referee should be dismissed and Stoke heavily fined. Back to the football though, whilst we sorted oursleves out well for the second half, you have to ask why we were not prepared for the well known Stoke long throw tactic from the off. Very poor preparation in my view, and Harry should explain himself.

  • Anonymous says:

    Chris Foy is rightly getting most of the blame for this defeat. His display was apalling. However, I haven’t seen any major comment about the linesman. The same lino was involved in virtually all of the major errors, the Crouch handball, the Shawcross handball, the foul on Gallas, the foul on Kaboul, the disallowed goal, the corner given as a goal kick etc.

    Whoever he was, he needs to be named and shamed and certainly removed from the Premier League list for a spell.

  • Windy says:

    bonse – spot on, and I agree about Bassong, he did well in difficult circumstances.

    Anon @ 11:30 – agree about BAE’s initial positioning. Doesn’t read the situation at all, and they end up with a 2v1. However, that is always possible when you lose the ball in the manner that we did.

    Anon @ 11:42 – Yeah, not sure about this under-shirt towelling thing, I reckon there will be questions raised about that! TBH I’m sure they’ll have cleared it with the FA first to cover themselves.

    Anon @ 12:02 – Great point – was really poor officiating in general. Awful.

  • Anonymous says:

    “Redknapp also deserves praise. I have long-criticised him for his lack of pro-active substitutions and tactical changes, but he made some bold moves yesterday.”

    I agree with this in regards to Harry’s second half changes, but for starting the game he got it all wrong. He should have started with Sandro alongside Parker in the middle with Modric behind Adebayor. Everyone knows that Stoke is a physical team and two DMs would have slowed Stoke down, and worn them down, while still allowing the wings, Modric and Adebayor to counter attack. There were rumors that Sandro was injured before the match, but then why was he on the bench? At least put a fighter like Livermore in next to Parker. VdV and Defoe could have then been second half subs to keep the pressure on.

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  • Anonymous says:

    decent stuff. i still think chris foy was the biggesyt reason we lost the game and not necessarily tactics!!
    anyway, tactical analysis of the game here; http://www.theirtactics.com

  • Windy says:

    Anon @ 16:38 – I actually think Redknapp was right to stick to his guns and go with his attacking line-up and, had we defended properly, our lacklustre first half diplays would have taken us in at 0-0.

    Frank – Thanks for the offer, but I am actually trying to reduce links rather than add them.

    Anon @ 22:59 – Nice site. Re: route one, I didn’t see too many long balls tbh. I thought we had the tactics spot on in the second half and, on another day where decisions went our way, could have scored four.

  • Anonymous says:

    I still want to know why Hellboy stays rooted to his line. I think that in the long term Vroom seems a very good prospect. I was worried when Bassong was on, but have to say that he did well and the 3-5-2 was very exciting even if I don’t think we should start with this. To bring in a discordant note, did anyone notice the following?
    a) when Bale scored against Bolton, Defoe appeared to be disappointed that he did not touch the ball in;
    b)Bale provided a great cross against Stoke in the second half, Adebayor steamed in at the near post and the goal was gaping, but Defoe has bizarrely followed in the same direction as Adebayor whereas i couldn’t understand why he did not go towards the other side. He would have had a tap-in.
    Sweetsman

  • Windy says:

    Sweetsman – hadn’t noticed this against Bolton, but I think everyone noticed the miss on Sunday. Defoe was generally really poor IMO – took on some silly shots, and didn’t make any incisive movement. Still could have had a goal, mind.

  • Anonymous says:

    Actually, our defence tend to get sucked towards to play and leave a gap in the middle of the box. Both goals had the same issue and both times Etherington waited for the inevitable opportunity.
    Clearly, I share your opinion about Defoe. I wonder why he never seems to develop any semblance of spatial awareness, although this season he has been offside less than before.
    Sweetsman

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Windy!

    Nick fowler/Ron Burgundy/Modfather here! Got banned from COYS when they found out who I was which was a shame, but an inevitable one.

    Anyway, useful analysis as always. Interested to know your thoughts as to Townsend and Kane’s performances on Thursday. Hope you’re keeping well otherwise

  • Windy says:

    Hello mate,

    Good to hear from you – you should join TheFightingCock.co.uk’s forum – there are plenty on there who are interested in talking about football only, although plenty also who are purely seeking banter.

    I thought Townsend, in patches, was oustanding. In the second I wanted to see him go on the outside more but, from what I gather, it was an emotional day for the family, which may have got to him: http://www.hertfordshiremercury.co.uk/Sport/Cheshunt-set-to-remember-Kurtis-15122011.htm

    In light of that, it was great that he got such a special goal.

    I thought Kane was really positive when he came on – showed good touch (again) and took his chance well.

    What did you think?

  • Show Pony says:

    Love this blog Windy, the analysis of the goals is great. Think you let Gallas off a bit lightly on the first goal though against Stoke. He was a bit Schoolboyish in defending against Crouch and I felt it hit his hand first before Crouch clearly handballed it.

    Kaboul was caught ball watching but it was partly down to shock of how poor Gallas was at defending the first part.

  • Windy says:

    Thank you, Show Pony! Agreed, Gallas could have done a lot better against a player he knows well. Should have stopped him getting the ball across.

  • bonse says:

    Interesting comment about Gallas, with the PAOK display and the Stoke display I was getting a more concerned by him than when Bassong came on. It was his intelligence and anticipation I always liked rather than the power/speed side of the game, so rare yet every decent defence needs one. Because of this I’ve never been concerned with his age, but to see him play without this awareness did give me pause for thought, it’s not like playing with a thigh strain for instance.

    This lack of game sharpness may well be lack of games, and while I prefer the friendlies on demand system rather than the regular reserve team punch up, it only benefits us if we can organise enough friendlies.

    Also we seem to have entered the part of the year where it’s cold enough for Pav to play his natural game.

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