November 3, 2012

Analysis of the goal conceded against Wigan (3/11)

Ben Watson’s goalA Wigan corner is drifted into the six yard box. Friedel attempts to punch it away, but can only push it into the path of Watson, who sends it back first time.

As Maloney’s corner is played in, Spurs are totally disorganised. Gallas is unaware of what is going on around him – instead, trying to communicate with a team mate. He hasn’t noticed his man, Watson, making a break in behind him.

Gallas suddenly realises that Watson is on the move, and tries to get back at him. Walker is marking Kone in front of Friedel, but is presumably aware that he is getting in Friedel’s way, given the lack of attention he pays to the Wigan man.

The ball drops right into Friedel’s path, but instead of either claiming it, or safely pushing it over the bar…

…he limply flaps at the ball, and pushes it back out into the six-yard box.

It drops perfectly for the man that Gallas should be marking, Watson, and he sends it back into an unguarded net.

Friedel is well over the line when he attempts to save the ball.

A terrible performance from Spurs today, who were lacking in virtually every area. I didn’t agree with Villas-Boas’ team selection, and it was clear that Wigan had the upper hand from quite early on – Kone and Maloney having excellent early chances. Sandro had been our best player until his early departure, and the decision by Villas-Boas to send on Sigurdsson in his place was a poor one.¬†Sigurdsson was sloppy with his passing, laboured in his pressing and attempts to push forward, and looks short in confidence.

Jermain Defoe had another poor game, once again failing to even try to drop deep to link play. It has often been said (and often by me!) that when he doesn’t score, he achieves very little, and this was typical of a JD non-scoring performance – he only had element touches of the ball, and passed the ball just eight times. We have an issue with our number ten/support striker role too – both Dempsey and Sigurdsson are goal-scorers who tend to play on the periphery of games, meaning that our two forwards are both largely disinterested in getting involved in build-up play. In my opinion, Adebayor simply has to come into the team.

Finally, once again Friedel and Gallas were responsible for a goal conceded – both have been weak links throughout the season in my opinion, and I would hope that Lloris will become first choice before too long. With Naughton fit again, I would bring Vertonghen back into the centre of our defence at the expense of Gallas, and play Naughton on the left until Assou-Ekotto is back.

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  • Anonymous says:

    I like AVB and want him to have time to build a decent team focusing on good play and younger players.

    BUT, the annoying thing is what’s happening here is what happened under Harry. Friedel’s 40-something, why isn’t Lloris getting more time (even if not every game, home to Wigan seems a good one). Why is Defoe still playing alone up front!? Dempsey/Sigg are good players (maybe not great, but they’re good), but aren’t working in this system.

    And as you say, Vert wants to play CB, he’s good on the ball and we want him to be our future. Gallas does bring experience and organisation to our back line (I say this from watching him, not just cos he’s old), but he has had a few shockers already this season. Fix our left-back problem from our squad and get those CB partnerships working this season – Vert/Caulker and Kaboul when he’s back.

    It’s almost like AVB is no being _too_ cautious after his problems at Chelsea.

    On the plus side, Huddlestone’s starting to get his fitness back and looked one of the better players today.

    • Windy says:

      I totally agree with your comments. Whilst it’s not totally helpful to remove all of the experienced player from a team, replacing Friedel with the captain of France and Gallas with someone like Dawson (or Naughton, who is 24 next week, and shifting Vertonghen in one) does not leave us too “green” surely?

    • Anonymous says:

      sack avb bring in moyes!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Totally agree with this. ‘Arry was often slated for being tactically inflexible and sticking with ‘his guys’ even when they didn’t perform, but so far I haven’t seen any clear signs that AVB will do things differently. Hoping to be proven wrong and still back the manager 100%,

  • Anonymous says:

    Have to disagree with your comment about huddlestone being one of the better players. Was at the lane and one of the worst performances ive seen from any player wearing the shirt, sideways balls, getting outmuscled, fouling too much, too slow on the ball. I honestly feel that we are past the stage where his usefulness shows, and i am taking into account that hes been injured enough, but he just doesnt have the pace or presence in my opinion for spurs.

    Agree that Adebayor and LLoris should be starting. Also would like to comment for all the boo boys out there. Disgraceful, whilst its right to critique at the end of the day the support today was fairly dire. Defoe had been quieter than Dempsey which is why AVB brought him off. Whilst id have kept defoe on and taken dempsey off, i can understand the substitution.

    Overall bad day at the office, but we need to get behind the team with 3 very important games coming up. COYS

    • Windy says:

      Wow – that is really harsh. Huddlestone’s passing didn’t open Wigan up, but that’s primarily because the movement ahead of him was alarmingy bad.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree that the movement ahead was poor today, and in retrospect will agree that his passing overall wasnt too bad. However my main concern with him was that he seems to slow us down and that he doesnt put himsefl about the pitch enough. Whereas Dembele and Sandro cover vast amounts of ground and win the ball back with ease, watching huddlestone when hes running with the ball only seems to help Wigan get back into position because there was no pace about it – a fact which a lot of the crowd seemed to share, at least in the West stand! Furthermore he doesnt seem to get stuck in on the tackles like he should for a cdm/cm. Ultimately i just feel that unless a big improvement in these aspects are seen, then overall i feel he just isnt good enough for where we want to challenge

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree I love Thudd but I think it is time to move on. There are much better CMs out there that we can use. Especially in our youth team alone.

  • Anonymous says:

    Really glad to see your comments about Defoe. The reaction to his substitution from the crowd was ridiculous. Defoe had done nothing all through the first half. Spurs looked much better once Adebayor came on and I agree that we won’t see the best from Dempsey or Siggy until they get the opportunity to play regularly with Adebayor. I also thought that playing Huddlestone and Siggy together in central midfield was a mistake, although the options weren’t great after Sandro went off. Finally, I also can’t see why we are persisting with Friedel and Gallas. They aren’t the future of the club and should be back-ups only. We had Naughton who could have played fullback and have let Smith go out on loan. Can’t wait for Benny and Scott to get back.

    • Windy says:

      You can (sort of) forgive Defoe’s lack of involvement when he scores a goal or two, but when he doesn’t he is like playing with 10.

  • tiron says:

    have to say it was a bad performance.
    But i can see Huddlestone soon are back as one of the best passers there is.
    But today it was no movment in the team making it hard to play the ball forward.
    So the ball was just passed back or across.
    i feel sigur. and dempsey still are not doing a good enough jobb as a ACM. hope dembele can play there soon.

  • tiron says:

    And i want ade to start .

  • Anonymous says:

    No creativity in the team without Van der Vaart or Modric any more, every time I see the team sheet for every game I think “what are you doing AVB” and I am always right the man doesn’t have a clue. If we don’t get a Willian or a Moutinho type player in January then we are screwed. Despite being in the Top 4 or there about’s its a false position based on who we have actually beaten other than Man Utd of course they have all been teams struggling to get any points and most of those games we were on the back foot for the last 30 minutes trying to hold on for a 2-1 win. Cant say that I have been impressed with any game we have played this season but hopefully it will get better. But first AVB needs to get a grip of himself and drop that joke of a keeper Friedel and start Lloris and also drop Gallas and bring Vertonghen to CB. But with AVB not having a clue I can’t see him doing this.

    • Anonymous says:

      100% agree with you mate, we still need a better striker than what weve got, I honestly thought Dempsey was a panic buy because we failed to get moutinho. Avb I also think is way to tactical for our players the system is obviously not working yes we have players out but the performances so far are not what I as a spurs fan expect, we go 1 or 2-0 up and then sit back and try to hold on??? last season we went gung-ho and couldn’t score enough so whats going on? if avb is happy with friedel as number 1 why spend all that money on lloris? surely it would of made more sense if we bought butland for say 5-6million and loaned him out for a season?!

    • tiron says:

      hmm. what i have seen of Willian is ok but not to much creavity there.
      But i agree with Moutinho.

    • Anonymous says:

      What a load of dribble Hudds is to slow we need a Moutino for fuck sake we got beat by a team costing less than our keeper on the bench. Why do fans of football think its cleans well its not and if our fans keep screaming for Levey to buy more players we will end up like Liverpool broke and fighting to get there fame back. Let me tell you why i knew this score was going to happen. Firstly Wigan showed last season when the fear of relegation haunts them they can lets say up there game and beat any team and are one of many bookmakers dream team for earning them loads of money. Wigan where 5/1 to beat Spurs and we where 1/2 to win 13/2 the draw i don’t no what one nil was but i bet it was high.When i seen the team Gallas Friedel and Defoe on his own i went from 4-1 to Spus to 0-0 half time and a 1-0 to Wigan i swear this is in my blogs and twitter before 3 o’clock. The reason i knew how Wigan would play City would not beat West Ham and Norwich would beat Stoke Swansea would trouble Chelsea. I no this is easy to make a statement after the scores but people who no me are amazed how i can forecast football results. I must confess its not a skill i like and its not sixth sense but something more damming on football part. The problem with AVB he uses a clip board and a pen an paper to make points but the point i am making is not in the coaching manual or can be coached and its this you chase the ball and stop the other team from playing you starve them of the ball suck them into all out attack soak up the pressure then hit them on the break. This way of playing in the past would cause teams to hit a brick wall and get beat in the last twenty mins the problem is now with all these drinks and supplements being swallowed this has bean eliminated and energy is in plenty full supply to some teams. This is how some teams beat other teams with better players and shock . If iam wrong then we have a shit team Wigan are a top four team Avb is just another Ramos and we have to lower our ambitions and sell all our players and become a shock bookmakers dream team because unless more fans start looking beyond these results and star looking at ill looking gaunt overactive overheating players who are in danger of dying with exhaustion then these terrible feelings we are experiencing this week will happen again especially after January and relegation looms for the desperate teams.This hurts me deeply i love football and i had a great career myself cut down before it started with a spine disease. But i would not want one of my grand kids to play in to-days killer football where energy not skill is the godfather of tactics in some teams. The way to stop this is no relegation for three seasons and you have to have finance and live within your means and have at least twenty five thousand fan base. This will stop some teams using dodgy methods to stay in the money laden premiership

    • Windy says:

      Agree about the lack of creativity, and I will be writing an article for the Tottenham Journal this week advocating starting Mason or Falque as our number 10.

  • Anonymous says:

    I really want AVB to succeed but, in all honesty, he is messing with the club with regards to this Friedel/Lloris nonsense. We paid¬£12 million pounds for a talented goalkeeper who we had been scouting for over 4 years. We only brought in Friedel as a stop-gap, Harry-kind-of-signing, to give competition to Gomes. Friedel will definitely retire next year. Did we actually throw away ¬£12m just to ruin the career of a young goalkeeper (who’s made it to be No.1 for his country at age 25). I don’t get it. Some fools argue that he is too weak to play in the rough and physical premier league but some of the best keepers (Cech and Hart) are no giants either. And if that is the case, why did we buy him in the first place? AVB is wrong. He declared Friedel to be No.1 before he even had a chance to see Lloris in training – and though Friedel keeps conceding in each and every game, he refuses to give Lloris a chance. I’m disappointed. That is not what I expected from him.

    I blamed Livermore/Huddlestone (not just talking about today’s game) for always ruining our game when they comes on but – I think they are only but a victim of AVB’s poor defensive tactics. When we have a lead, AVB lets the team fall back and invites the opposition to attack. He uses Livermore’s introduction to signal this change in strategy which opposition managers usually seize upon – making poor Livermore seem like the catalyst for the poor performance. He wasn’t this ‘hopeless’ last season. AVB is a joke.

    • Windy says:

      I think your first paragraph is a little extreme – after all, it;s only 9 games that Friedel has played. Hard to say that he is ruining Lloris’ career. However, he simply must start soon as he is better than Friedel in every area of his game.

      Re paragraph two – this waa happening under Redknapp too, I’m fairly certain it’s a confidence issue.

  • Longwell says:

    The lack of movement from the front four was the main problem, I thought. Wigan were very disciplined in their 3-4-3, and they just plain outworked Spurs in closing down in their own half and cutting off the supply to Defoe and the wingers. Dempsey made more opportunities for himself, but unfortunately he’s back to being the rather average player he was before his last season and change with Fulham.

    It was an intelligent game plan from Martinez, who recognized that there was no need to get tight to Thud – simply mark his receivers and the quarterback has nothing to do but dump it short. Nobody in the middle had the ability to drive past his man and commit defenders to him; couple that with largely static forward play and you’ve got another toothless showing. I appreciate the absence of a few options for Villas-Boas, but the fact is he got out-managed today.

    Trying to find a silver lining, maybe this is the shocker result that galvanizes the manager into making some overdue changes to the team.

    • Windy says:

      Lots of logic there – totally agree.

    • Anonymous says:

      Excellent points. Really like Martinez as a tactical manager, in many ways I quite regret that we weren’t ‘that club’ that finally gave him his big chance.

    • Longwell says:

      Cheers, guys. Easy to say now, but Martinez was my first choice to take over from Harry. I like him a lot. That said, it was Martinez 1a and Villas-Boas 1b. I am still chuffed we got AVB and hopeful he’ll get the time he deserves to continue making the squad over. It seems obvious where he wants to take us, but for some reason he is being timid about certain moves. He needs to be bold, and the support needs to get a clue.

  • JDG says:

    We are missing our midfield players big time – at our best when we play with pace, today we we were clueless once Sandro had left – Look at our results when Huddlestone has played & it speaks for itself – he neither controls or dictates games & his sluggishness slows us down – he doesn’t press because of his speed & cannot tackle. Yes he can ping 1 out of 5 long passes but the other 4 give possession away.
    We are down to the bare bones in the centre & suffering because of it

  • Anonymous says:

    Funny how we can all watch the same game (some live, some on tv) and come away with completely different opinions about Huddlestone!

    I see someone who is comfortable on the ball and can play awesome passes to spread the play, others see someone who’s slow and can only pass sideways.

    Personally I blame the sideways passing on the lack of movement from the rest of the team. If you’re not someone who runs with the ball, then you are reliant on the rest of the team being able to also pass and move.

    Arsenal/Wigan/Swansea/etc set up to play short passes and move to receive the ball, play triangles, etc. We get the ball, pass and then run away trying to rush up the field, which (IMO) leaves the guy on the ball with very few options if he’s not able to also run with the ball up field.

    When we weren’t very good, it was great being a counter attacking team. But now everyone agrees we’re pretty good, and they aren’t going to play high lines against us. Wigan today sat back and didn’t even bother closing down Friedel or Gallas when they had the ball. As soon as it went to Huddlestone, they closed him down. They’re not stupid, they know which players have the ability to cause them damage.

    Now imagine our back line is 2 of Kaboul Vert and Caulker – players who are comfortable on the ball or good at driving forward (or both perhaps in Vert’s case), plus Lloris in goal and Ade up front. Suddenly they have to close down otherwise these guys are going to be able to take the ball forward or pass around them or spot a great pass down field. Plus with Ade there they know a long ball has a much higher chance of being controlled.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think that we are nervous at home, thanks to the so-called home support. AVB’s experience at Chelsea has scarred him and he is reluctant to make the hard calls. Still, he did the right thing with Defoe and I hope he does the right thing by Lloris. I think that we need creative midfielders and I see no harm in playing either or both Carroll and Falque. We are really missing some important players.

  • Anonymous says:

    We definately need to spend in jan, we have been hit hard by injuries and without dembele parker and now maybe sandro we look extremely weak, although i was impressed by Tom Carrol when he came on and yago falque in the europa league. However we need a creative player, even when moussa’s back we need someone who can fill the cm and am postions and i think we should swoop for willian who avb has good connections with already, or erikssen,hopefully jan who has been superb this season(our best player by a mile) can put in a word. In the gk position, Hugo must start for he is more suited to playing avb’s high line and postions himself much better and goes and collects crosses.At cb I think the only reason avb has continued with gallas is due to his experience in playing the high line like he did when at arsenal.Right back is a big concern for me and when BAE is back I would like to see naughton take walker’s position as he has been terrible this season and yesterday as well Beasusjour got past him too easliy. In the striking department,its a shame to have half the no. of strikers as gk , so come jan i think we should realisticly look at soldado llorente and huntellar, with the last two having half a year left on their contracts.Personally i would take soldado as the other two are simillar to ade.

    • Windy says:

      January’s a long way away in football terms, though, so no point pinning hopes on that.

      Essential that we have a creative player in the team now, and I am personally advocating Mason or Falque for the role.

  • JimmyG2 says:

    Until they made their fatal mistakes I thought both Friedel and Gallas were having good games,and I am not an advocate for either of them although it would have been hard for Brad not to save both the early efforts.
    If this is going to be a transitional season despite our flattering position and I have said all along it will be then lets get sorted.
    Vertonghen to centre back, Lloris in goal, Adebayor first choice now that he is fit, or over his strop, Naughton Carroll Falque and Townsend more pitch time. Walker is a waste of pace at the moment but we have let Adam Smith go on loan so we don’t have too many options until Benny and Kaboul return.
    I think that AVB has been dealt a poor hand by Levy and injuries but he is not playing it too cleverly.
    In all honesty we could have lost 3-0 yesterday

    • Windy says:

      We should have been 2-0 down early on, shouldn’t we? Poor finishing let Wigan down.

      Agree with all of your comments – but Friedel and Gallas, for me, are making game-changing mistakes on a consistent basis, and both need to be eased out now.

  • Anonymous says:

    Cheers windy
    Please comment : is caulker doing 100 things right where will Gallas is only doing 85 ?
    Or is WG doing 90 right things in 100 whilst Caulker is say doing 47 right in 50 coz WG as a leader and senior player is doing more in each game ??

    – Simopedia

  • Anonymous says:

    It has been mooted that AVB is too inflexible and wedded to his system, no matter what. However, my impression is that he does make changes. I don’t think he has his team out there and is still trying to let players make their impact. I do think that he needs to be bold now, but do you think that he should wait until the end of December? The problem with the Redknapp era was that we tended to run a 1500m race as if it was a 400m sprint, whereas the likes of ManU pace themselves properly. Crap results will occur from time to time for any team: Wigan are in fact a good team and it was no shame to lose to them; that we played in a lacklustre is what is shameful.

  • Anonymous says:

    If Sandro is indeed out for a month, could Vertonghen do a job as a holding midfielder? Would be a lot better than Livermore. I believe he played there at Ajax at some stage during his career there?

    • Anonymous says:

      He started his career as a midfielder, not even necessarily a holding one, even more attacking. He has played in midfield for both Ajax and the Belgium national team, but it’s been a while since he last played there for a longer period of time.

  • Pony says:

    Why are people getting on Hudds case….bear in the mind he is getting back himself from a long term injury and is only in the team due to a large number of injuries we have and Levy not being effective in the transfer window for a balanced squad.

    Get off AVB’s back FFS. He joined us three weeks before a season started and is yet to sign any players he actually wanted, just deals Levy have in offering. We have a large number of injuries to content with as well as losing the quality of King and Modric in our squad. Stop listening to the fucking twats in the media and get a grip.

  • Anonymous says:

    The goal:
    Gallas failed in the task of marking.
    Friedel failed to grab or punch away a ball while being challenged.
    Which is worse? For me it is the failure of the very easy task of marking -> Gallas should have prevented the goal.

    At the moment it seems like some players do not understand what is the most important when pressing: If you’re 5 meters away from the guy you’re supposed to be covering then you’re not actually taking part in the pressing. The opposition has a easy pass to make AND you’ve also let down your team-mates since they’ve spent energy in actually pressing.

    It often looks like Spurs central midfielders are defending too deep and thus invites pressure. When it happens then it is the responsibility of the central defenders to take charge and tell the central midfielders to push UP and press. Two central defenders can defend against one striker but one central midfielder can not defend against two central midfielders.

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