Analysis of the goals conceded against PAOK Salonika (30/11)
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Salpingidiss goal – Gallas loses the ball in central midfield and when the ball is played into the box, it’s headed home by the unmarked forward after Bassong had stepped up.
Gallas tries to bring the ball out from the back but gets in a muddle and, rather than turning back, tries to cut inside a player… unfortunately his touch is heavy and he is dispossessed.
The ball is played forward down the left channel and, as Gallas charges back, there are two men running towards the box, with Rose caught out and trying to make up ground.
The winger backs Corluka into the box, before looking up and seeing Salpingidis in the centre, with Rose having tucked in a bit, and Bassong in front of him.
Bassong takes a stride forward as the ball is delivered – is he, bizarrely, trying to play the striker offside?! Either way, it leaves the eventual scorer totally unmarked, with Rose having one eye on the runner behind him. Gomes doesn’t even make a despairing dive – he just stands and watches as the ball finds the corner of the net. A very ugly goal from our point of view.
Athanasiadis’ goal – a good pass inside Corluka has the full-back treading water, and Bassong’s man gets a yard on him to finish as the ball is slid across.
As Livermore and Kane attempt to press the ball, it is played forward between Gallas and Corluka.
Corluka’s lack of acceleration on the turn shows (even more so than usual, possibly as he is coming back from an injury), as the winger gets to the ball before him despite him having a clear head-start.
As the ball is played across the face, Bassong hasn’t marked his man tightly – if you actually watch the video, Athanasiadis is trying to play on the shoulder, and Bassong never really gets to grips with him as the move unfolds.
As a result, he is left unmarked to slide in…
…and prod the ball beyond Gomes and into the corner.
Spurs’ back four were at sixes and sevens for the majority of the first half, with all four caught out on a number of occasions. It is understandable to an extent that they might be rusty after injury/irregular appearances, but such basic mistakes were quite concerning.
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Corluka's positioning on that second goal was terrible, but he's normally solid in defence and such a good provider for Lennon that I hope he still has a future at the club. My concern is that when/if Walker burns out, Corluka will be so out of condition, he'll suck - much like he (mostly) sucked last night.
It's basically not fair on these players to have them not play for 6 months and then throw them out for a 90 minute game.
Disaster waiting to happen frankly.
Bassong has played well with King and Dawson but never as the main man.
I don't think it's worth pointing the finger at individuals as no one really stood out, the defence has been spotted above, but Livermore was too far forward, modric too far back, Pienaar tried to get into the game by filling the void that modric left ahead of him and Lennon seemed a little too happy to sit patiently out wide and was often let down by Corluka's untypically appalling passing.
A big concern for me was Kane, and perhaps I'm being too picky as big lumbering forward was what I did but when Modric, Pienaar, Livermore and even Gallas decide that the only way forward is a mazy run through 5 defenders then someone is not making or finding space. With most parts of forward play you would say an 18 year old has time to improve on it, and with shooting or partnership awareness this is true, but for the last twenty years instinctive space finding is something that has been the deciding factor as to whether a striker makes it through from apprenticeships or not, there's no real way to improve on it you either have it or you don't. I hope it's nothing more than finding Europa League standard defenders too big a step at this stage in his career.
Second half was a bit more entertaining but I don't think we should have been playing ten men if I'm honest. The only thing that really came through was that we really really need an Adebayor MkII for January.