May 3, 2012

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

Nigel Reo-Coker’s goalBoyata’s throw is headed on by Davies, and then back-heeled into Reo-Coker’s path by Ngog. Reo-Coker finishes first time past Friedel without breaking stride.

As Boyata takes the throw-in, we seem to be relatively well organised. Note Modric just outside the penalty area, with Reo-Coker (the eventual scorer) just a little deeper than him.

As Davies eases Sandro out of the way with his arm, and then wins his header, Modric is caught ball-watching as Reo-Coker starts to make his move toward the box.

Davies’ header drops for Ngog, who plays a wonderful first time back-heeled flick, right into Reo-Coker’s path. Gallas isn’t touch-tight to Ngog, which allows him the space to carry this off.

Reo-Coker doesn’t break stride, he just moves on to the ball calmly, with Modric still at the edge of the box, and gets a clean shot on target.

 

Friedel is quite slow down, and the ball goes through the gap between his right hand and his body – it was a big ask to save from that close in.

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  • laccywaccy says:

    Simply accurate. A little more focused close harrying would have prevented the shot from happening.

  • Anonymous says:

    A top goalkeeper is a must this summer.

  • Shady says:

    As far as I recall this is the 4th time this season that Modric has just let his man run off him where he was supposed to be marking him and it’s directly led to a goal.

    Against Man City for Dzeko’s 3rd goal
    Against Newcastle for Demba Ba’s goal
    Against Man Utd for Ashley Young’s goal
    Against Bolton for Reo Coker’s goal

    Now obviously Modric is a repeat offender but the question is that doesn’t the management ever sit players down and work on weaknesses like this, don’t we have dvd’s of this so that players cut this kind of rubbish out of their game? It really makes you wonder if we actually work on the tactical and more worryingly the more basic stuff like this?

    • Gee says:

      Shady, I understand your irritation but…….when a player like Van Der Vaart and other top players from all over the Premiership endorse HK for the top job then wouldn’t you be prepared to admit that maybe, just maybe, they know a little bit more about what’s going on behind the scenes than you do? As an ex-pro, I can tell you that players can be told a million times to do a particular job and they will still lose concentration regularly….that’s not management’s fault!

    • Windy says:

      Interesting comments, both, thanks for posting.

      Modric not great at letting runners go, and Parker is equally poor at defending from set piece situations – both avoidable with a focus in training.

      Both are intelligent players, so I’m not sure whether Gee’s point stands or not…

    • Shady says:

      Gee – How ironic that you’d use VdV as an example seeing as he was one of the players who pointed out that Harry rarely focuses on the tactical side of the game…so not really sure what your point is.

      We are of course talking about professional football players here who are still learning all aspects of their game and with the aid of coaches they’re meant to assist them to make their overall game better, it’s a very basic concept to grasp and should be expected in all walks of life, not just football.

      You think this would be acceptable at a team like Utd, SAF would be ripping his hair out!

    • bonse says:

      VdV is an extremely good example to use, he has gone from the typical european flair player up front to one who actually, visably tries to get back and thats over the course of the last 18 months. It’s not a strong point of his game admittedly, but he is actually doing it now.

      Secondly it’s pretty certain that that particular comment that keeps getting bandied about is light hearted over elaboration to reinforce the persona.

      You must have played football at some level at some time, so you must know that feeling when the world slows down and you can see things in perfect clarity that moments later you look back at your actions and think what in the world was i thinking, why did i even try that? well, its good and its bad, sometimes we see a player and his instinctive decisions equate a goal from nothing outside the box, sometimes it means a player that scores is left to wander while you hang back to anticipate a counter attack, you can’t credit Rednapp with Modric’s goal, he can’t really be held responsible for his individual mistake either.

      Yep, we cartainly can train that over and over again, I spent ages as a kid learning to kick with my weak foot, I can volley and take penalties just as well with either now, doesnt mean i dont ever spoon it with my good one though.

      I have here criticised Harry for poor rotation, for poor selection and for poor formations, but I’m not about to expect him to keep clean sheets by will power, not everything can be his fault no matter how much has changed over the last few months

  • Anonymous says:

    what a sad website – Spurs won 4-1 to go 4th and you are worried about the consolation goal. pathetic

  • Anonymous says:

    After every game our performance analyst breaks all movements/events/goals down with Prozone, the players are normally subjected to a review of the video after Harry and the coaches have had a chance to view the video and digest the summaries at our training ground and their analysis of what went well/went wrong. And also as an ex-pro I can only agree with Gee, sometimes no matter how many times you point a fault out to a player or how many times you work on it on the training pitch players will still forget everything you’ve done with them all week/month/season and repeat it again and again.

  • Windy says:

    This is really interesting, thanks so much for posting. I’d love to know more about what goes on behind the scenes in this respect.

  • Gee says:

    Well, I will mention just a few pointers for you and they might surprise you. But before that, let me say that many on here go on about top managers and coaches “being idiots” etc but the truth is that these top guys are mostly very good at their jobs and their skills are simply not appreciated by a large number of fans. Most fans have played football at some stage in their lives so they think they know what it’s all about. Trust me…..you haven’t got an inkling of the knowledge and skills of these top coaches! I would advise everyone to pay attention to the opinions of the pros who are in the clubs. People like Van Der Vaart have brilliant footballing brains operating way beyond the average football fan’s knowledge of the game. When they say that someone is doing a good job, they know what they’re talking about because they have played with the best.
    On to those couple of thoughts for you….
    I’ll bet most fans would get annoyed if they watched Adebayor apparently not trying to tackle a centre back as he moves forward with the ball out of defence? I’ve heard people roaring “you lazy b****rd” at him for this at times. However, on certain occasions, that’s exactly what he should be doing! Why? Because, the centre back might be moving towards an area which is well-covered defensivley and, if he loses the ball, then the quick break will now catch him out of position and Ade and others might well be able to exploit the gap he has left. This has to be calculated depending on the score etc.
    A second point, more generally on tactics….the ordinary fan talks about 4-4-2 being better than 4-2-4 etc but rarely do top teams play to these kind of rigid formations. More accurately, they will play in a way whereby it is extremely rare for there to be four in a line across the pitch (except when maybe defending rigidly). Instead, we are trying to get the four midfielders for example to create triangles of three so that there are angles to play the ball inside. Then when it moves to the other side of the pitch, there will be a renewed attempt to create a new triangle which would be completely impossible if they were playing a rigid system like 4-4-2. The intelligent footballer will know which triangle he is supposed to be a part of and will play accordingly. Again, watch VDV creating these triangles. You will appreciate it better if you completely ignore the ball for five minutes during a game. It’s very difficult to do but it’s what the top coaches are doing all the time!

    • Windy says:

      Excellent points, Gee. I think there are a fair number of fans who do appreciate the finer subtleties although perhaps not a majority (as those sorts of comments illustrate!).

  • Anonymous says:

    Windy, I like your blog and respect your attendance and reports. We’ve actually met once, however, believe it or not there are now strict rules on the use of social media. All I can do is occasionally contribute with a comment or two and go back to lurking as I have done for a long time. All I can say is that as you would expect with the tools now at the clubs disposal these issues, most especially any long running weakness are endlessly reviewed and discussed by all the coaches, which is why (contrary to popular belief) they are often worked on with individuals day in day out week after week. Back to lurking for me now, keep up the good work.

    • Windy says:

      Fascinating, appreciate it. And I’m also intrigued about us meeting! Lovely to get some insight – thanks again.

  • USA Spurs says:

    Like to respond to anonymous’ “pathetic” comment above. What a horrible ass.

    I just found this website through the Spurs site and I’m thrilled. Love spurs, love the game, can read new analysis and tactics all day.

    Thanks for your contribution, I’ll read all the time now.

  • Anonymous says:

    Pile of dung if you ask me. Your repeated calls of Modders’ “ball watching” and not mentioning defenders whose job is to be there is pathetic. When did you see Frank L. or Steve G. play defenders’ role? They are midfielders and responsible to build and conduct game of the whole team, as is Modders, too. Do you want for such small build player to fly in tackles and get injured in the process while bodies that should have been doing it are hiding? If that happens (he gets injured by reckless tackles) how would the Spurs game look alike without him? You are an idiot.

    • Anonymous says:

      To be fair you are disregarding the fact that all players on the field are meant to both attack and defend accordingly, you sound ignorant when you wade in with insults, you’ll find midfielders are encouraged to perform tackles and apply pressure to opposition players to help their defenders do a better job!!

    • Marvin says:

      Look at where Modric is in picture 1. Then look at where he is in picture 5. H moved a couple of yards while Reo-Coker moved 15 or more. Modric was ball watching. And it is not about flying into tackles, simply tracking with him stops him getting the ball.

  • Anonymous says:

    OK, Modric isnt the worlds best defensive midfielder and we dont expect him to be a Wilson Palacios (thank god) but that doesnt absolve him of defensive duties. It was obvious that Bolton would chuck everything at us at the start of the second half. We had to hold them out and by running with Reo-Coker he would have stopped him having such an easy finish. As a result we were really under the cosh at 1-1 and could have lost the game. Thankfully, we got a breakaway goal and Bolton folded – although we were also helped by two refereeing mistakes (Sandro’s handball and Kabouls shirt-tug). It was about time we got some luck in that respect and it shows how such things can make a difference. Do they even out over a season? Generally yes, but some very rich clubs seem more even than others!

  • Anonymous says:

    1. No word has been said about Sandro’s bad positioning for the throw-in (standing in front of Bolton player instead behind him to protect possible flick into the box area, which actually happened), misjudging the ball flight and completely missing that header.
    2. If anyone is caught ball watching it was Kaboul and not Modders. Kaboul had the best (frontal) look at what was going down (while R-C was behind Luka’s back) and still didn’t make an attempt to meet R-C’s run-in. Instead, he was at all times guarding no one.
    3. Modders was at the edge of the box where he should be (in fact he’s a box-to-box and not goal-to-goal midfielder) covering the anticipated area where the ball might bounce from that header, and from which position he can start quick counter, as he did successfully many times before. However, during opposition set peaces (corners, etc.) he goes deeper into our box to help defenders by often standing at the goal line where he actually saved us few goals.
    4. In fact, Bolton’s goal was a product of lucky bounces and not necessarily players’ skills, and to single out Modders as the only responsible player for it is outright stupid, malicious and ignorant.

  • JimmyG2 says:

    Friedel should have saved it. Perhaps his reflexes are on the wane,. he is too timid at coming for the ball and quickly closing down players,
    I prefer Modric in space acting as a springboard for our next attack.
    You can’t be in space and closely marking someone at the same time.
    We have three players marking two at the beginning and three marking three at the end.
    Modric who is not noted for his defensive abilities probably felt that things were covered.
    It was a good quick move though and credit Bolton.
    Friedel should have got something on it, basically it went through him.

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