Analysis of the goals conceded against Young Boys
Having looked so strong, and so assured against Manchester City on Saturday, Spurs turned in a nightmare of a defensive performance against Young Boys last night, primarily due to being overrun in the middle of midfield (which is where all the goals came from).
Young Boys had an extra man (owing to their 4-2-3-1 formation), but then so did Manchester City on Saturday. There were two main reasons for Spurs’ failure this time round: 1. an inability to keep the ball, 2. an inability to keep an organised defensive shape.
Lulic’s opener was quite a lucky goal in many ways, but it had been coming, even at only 4 minutes in.
Doubai picked up a loose ball, and drove at Giovani.
Not only did Giovani not do much to stop Doubai, he had nobody to pass him on to as Palacios was slow to come out to him.
Doubai shoots from distance – there is clearly a player in an offside position. The ball strikes the offside player, and the flag should go up. It doesn’t, and the ball ricochets to Lulic.
Lulic makes no mistake with his finish, which is crisp and into the bottom corner.
12 minutes on the clock, and it goes from bad to worse.
Pavlyuchenko surrenders possession cheaply. Doubai intercepts and runs from deep in his own half.
Doubai continues to carry the ball forward, and our players seem unsure of what to do.
Instead of attempting to restrict his options, whilst jockeying, Palacios makes the decision to go to ground. He may make a bit of contact with the ball, but if anything it steers it further into the path of Bienvenu. Note the positioning of the Spurs defence – Dawson is the deepest, but still at least 5 yards higher up the pitch than I would expect against a quick counter-attacking side.
Dawson is caught horrendously flat-footed. He should have dropped off further but, instead, he is totally outstripped by Bienvenu, who has a clear run on goal.
He calmly steers the ball passed Gomes.
Costanzo picks up the ball in a ridiculous amount of space – not a Spurs player pushing up to restrict him, and Defoe’s token effort to close is virtually pointless.
He carries the ball forward and sees an opportunity to thread a through-ball to Hochstrasser, who is alive to the situation.
It’s a very well-weighted pass, but Bassong really shouldn’t be letting his man in beyond him. His positioning has meant that he hasn’t got a chance, but he isn’t helped by his lack of reading of the pass – he initially moves towards it.
Hochstrasser powers the finish, but I’m sure Gomes will be disappointed to be beaten at his near post.
A nightmare first half for Spurs with the midfield totally overrun, and the defence flat-footed and sloppy positionally. Assou–Ekotto struggled (especially as he was given a questionable yellow very early on) as Young Boys looked to get two against one on their right, and Corluka had no support from Giovani on our right.
Redknapp should have opted for a 4-5-1/4-2-3-1 for this match, or at least asked one of the strikers to play a more withdrawn role (as Defoe occasionally did at the end of last season). Still, we managed to get out of the first leg with a good chance of still qualifying for the Champions League proper, and hopefully the match will act as a wake-up call to the manager and players.
Join the conversation
We so much wanted him to be the new Dave Mackay but he clearly isn't now and never was.
I think their familiarity with the surface was a telling factor but it doesn't explain our tactical naivety and playing much too high a line against quick forwards that we surely must have known about.
Praise to the boys and Harry's substitutions for almost retrieving the situation.
Amazingly1-0 at home will do.
I think I disagree with your analysis of the 3rd goal, but maybe I'm just misinterpreting you. The only problem with the way Bassong dealt with it was his complete lack of awareness of what was going on behind him. His starting position was fine, and the reading of the pass through wasn't really the issue.
Also think you're being harsh on Gio. He apparently (a friend gave me this stat, so I've no way of proving it) covered more ground than any of our other players during the first half, which, considering the nature of the half, I assume was mainly done tracking back. In fact my main concern about him, particularly in the second half, was he was collecting the ball too deep, limiting his ability to influence the match in and around Young Boys' box.
Finally, I don't really think the formation was an issue. Once Huddlestone got on the pitch, the shape of the game completely changed in our favour - even if we did suffer a few more nervy moments - despite continuing to play 4-4-2. Apart from the decision to leave him out, which he'd justified beforehand as a fitness concern, I don't think Redknapp did an awful lot wrong.
Great blog, Windy.
Hopefully 'Arry learns from this.
My XI: Gomes, Corluka, Dawson, Bassong, Assou-Ekotto, Palacios, Dos Santos, Huddlestone, Kranjcar, Bale, Modric, Pavlyuchenko.
Defoe does not HAVE to play and this formation would've seen us control the midfield allowing Bale and Dos Santos time on the wings to cause havoc.
Unfortunately Harry does not do anything about it as tactical demands have priority. Thud, Defoe, Crouch, Keane & probably Pav, Lennon& JJ are ONLY 70min players at high tempo. So either we cheat with the rest or we play differently.
Palacios has always been a liability(I expect flak) He was markedly better than that horror kakora as he could tackle, could mark and had some positioning skill. He was the sort of person we have needed desperately probably since we lost Mackay and IMHO this lack is the main reason as to why we have been called a spineless side for near 35+ yrs. But he is slow, he almost always fouls near the box(although not right in front like kakora), he cannot pass over 5 ms and he shoots like kakora. BUT he used to at least protect our CDs..which he clearly has not been doing of late. I have watched Sandro several times now and he has everything although nothing brilliantly. He can do everything well & has temperament to match. I see him as our new Mackay and even a new captain. However, he has to acclimatise and that will not be quick.
I think that Palacios sees himself becoming second fiddle and that he had a big head after the RM hype but now it is dropping due to the fact that we played so well with out him.
We need IMHO 1) a killer striker; 2) a defensively competent LB; 3) possibly a spare CD & 4) probably a CM to replace Palacios who will not stay once Sandro hits his straps.
Until we come to grips with the 70 min bust or we are miles ahead by then via a killer striker, we will find even 4th beyond us as everyone knows that we are a 70min high tempo, last 20 bag of sh*t team
I am not, of course, excusing the defensive frailties or also (another factor for me) the absence of Thud from the starting line-up. I think that Harry's assertion that Thud doesn't like plastic was tripe; was there evidence of that in the game? Palacios was better after Thud came on but IS a liability. It was a bad day at the office in spades, and I think will not be repeated in the return ...... I think the pep pills story may JUST be a bit of a red herring. We were excellent against Citeh, but DIDN'T score .......
Last season both midfield & strikers were not pressing in the last 20 which almost all opponents capitalised upon. I am starting to really wonder why only we seem to run out of steam in the last 20. Is is because we press so strongly in the first 45(but many others also do so) or is the Caffeine kick that we lack?
Couple of responses:
Jimmy - yes, small degree of praise to Harry for changing it and to the players for bucking up their ideas.
Adam - interesting point about the offside, I'll look out for that if I can find other clips. Re: the third goal, I think we're roughly in agreement - he doesn't read the pass at all. Re: formation, we definitely disagree - IMO Huddlestone's instroduction also roughly coincided with Niko coming on and playing narrow, and Defoe dropping off to make up the numbers in midfield.
steven - Pavlyuchenko frequently played on astroturf in Russia, and yet was probably one of our worst performers on the night.