January 31, 2010
I’m not entirely sure that this is necessary, as it was such an obvious error from a normally very switched-on defender that cost us this week. However, there are no doubt other parts of the move that the goal came from where you can point the finger.
Goals (Birmingham goal at 31 seconds)
The 90 minutes are up, and as you’ll see from the clip (above), 5 minutes of stoppage time have just been indicated. The problem is that Spurs haven’t put together a meaningful attack for 10 minutes; instead, inviting Birmingham on to them, and defending deeper and deeper. Because Spurs do this all too often, Birmingham must know that they have a chance if they can keep the ball alive in the box. Equally, the Spurs defence must be nervous – but it’s important that they stay switched on.
The ball is on the Birmingham right, and Spurs are re-grouping after an “attack”. We seem to have plenty of bodies back, and there doesn’t seem to be too much danger.
The ball is played in from deep. Notice at this point number 6, Liam Ridgewell, at the bottom of the picture. He’s trotting upfield to get involved in the attack.
Michael Dawson stretches to win the ball, unchallenged from Benitez. Ridgewell’s made up some ground, Corluka’s been sucked in, and McFadden has pulled away to pick up the pieces if necessary.
Dawson’s header is a poor one – because he’s stretching, he doesn’t get much distance, and it goes straight out to McFadden.
Before Jenas can get tight enough, McFadden slings the ball in again. Positionally, we look fine. Dawson has one eye on Benitez, King has Jerome, and Corluka’s in an area to keep an eye on Ridgewell.
The delivery is reasonable but, for me, King is caught flat-footed, and barely gets off the ground. Jerome does a great job of helping it back across. Notice Gomes – he’s come too far across goal – in fact, beyond his near post. Unlikely that Jerome can score at the near post here, so why has he drifted that far across?
Ridgewell has done nothing more than continue his run – he must think it’s his lucky day. Corluka, normally very reliable in these situations, has switched off, not read the danger and, with Gomes in no-man’s land, has gifted Ridgewell a goal.
So in essence, you can mainly pin this one on Corluka, but questions can also be asked of Dawson, King, and Gomes in my opinion.
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