Analysis of the goals conceded against Stoke City (11/12)
Follow me on Twitter – @WindyCOYS.
You can also hear me on The Fighting Cock podcast.
Etherington’s first goal – a deflected Shotton cross loops up, and is helped on by Walters. Crouch controls it (with the help of his hand!), and squeezes the ball back across goal for Etherington to stab home.
Spurs clear the ball from a long throw-in, but Adebayor plays a one-two with Modric, and tries to dribble out with Stoke players converging around him.
He could turn back and play it safe, but he tries to press on, and eventually loses the ball.
Stoke get it wide, and work a two against one, with Shotton eventually getting clear.
Assou-Ekotto makes up ground well, and is able to half-block the cross, causing it to loop up into the air.
The ball is in the air for around three seconds and, personally, I think that Friedel should be coming to punch this away. Instead he leaves it for Gallas to battle it out with Walters – a battle that he struggled with all game.
Walters inevitably wins the flick on, and a better striker than Crouch, who has somehow ghosted into space over Kaboul’s shoulder, would volley this home first time.
Instead,he awkwardly controls it on his arm, before Gallas gets a foot in and pushes him wide of goal.
In fairness to Crouch, he does well to keep the ball alive, and he squeezes it back across goal.
Kaboul and Walker between them should be able to clear this, but Etherington anticipates well.
He gets to the bounce of the ball before both of them, and prods the ball in.
Etherington’s second goal – a Shotton long throw is helped on by Walters, and Etherington is again on hand to finish.
As Shotton prepares to take the throw-in,Spurs have ten players in the penalty area, against Stoke’s City’s four (with three just outside). The eventual goal-scorer, Etherington, is close to the edge of the box, between Modric and Bale.
As the ball is in the air, Walters gets up early (he has that Kevin Davies-like ability to hang), and Etherington makes his move towards the back post, anticipating a flick-on.
Parker has his eye on Etherington, and backs away to mark him.
Walters wins the header, and Parker just doesn’t get close enough to Etherington to stop the ball dropping to him. The finish is quite fortuitous – he hits it into the ground, and it loops up over Friedel.
Overall, the first half was pretty poor from Spurs, but had the first goal been disallowed for handball, we would have gone in at 1-0. Redknapp was very pro-active at half-time, making two substitutions, and moving from a 4-4-1-1 to a 3-5-2. It worked well, with the team creating a number of excellent goal-scoring opportunities and good situations. On another day, the referee would have given us three penalties (the one we got, the hauling down of Kaboul, the handball on the line), and there could easily have been two red cards for Stoke as well – Woodgate committed a second bookable offence on the edge of the penalty area in the first half, and handball on the line is a red card offence too.
These kind of games will always happen, and I think it’s important not to get too down-heated – the team battled back well in the second half, and did enough to get something from the game. Redknapp also deserves praise. I have long-criticised him for his lack of pro-active substitutions and tactical changes, but he made some bold moves yesterday. Bale had a stunning second half, and Modric/van der Vaart schemed behind the two forwards, with Adebayor frequently pulling over to the left and causing havoc with his good close control.
Join the conversation
The hard part is the three at the back working together and they seemed to get it right, Bassong was the a question mark going into the second half and he looked solid once fully warmed up.
While I don't like to criticise refs even when you take out penalties, goals and red cards there was still an amazing amount of corners that were given as goal kicks or similar discrepencies.
Have the rules changed this year? I was under the impression that whenever Pater Crouch went up for the ball the opposition were supposed to get a free kick for backing in.
Whoever he was, he needs to be named and shamed and certainly removed from the Premier League list for a spell.
Anon @ 11:30 - agree about BAE's initial positioning. Doesn't read the situation at all, and they end up with a 2v1. However, that is always possible when you lose the ball in the manner that we did.
Anon @ 11:42 - Yeah, not sure about this under-shirt towelling thing, I reckon there will be questions raised about that! TBH I'm sure they'll have cleared it with the FA first to cover themselves.
Anon @ 12:02 - Great point - was really poor officiating in general. Awful.
I agree with this in regards to Harry's second half changes, but for starting the game he got it all wrong. He should have started with Sandro alongside Parker in the middle with Modric behind Adebayor. Everyone knows that Stoke is a physical team and two DMs would have slowed Stoke down, and worn them down, while still allowing the wings, Modric and Adebayor to counter attack. There were rumors that Sandro was injured before the match, but then why was he on the bench? At least put a fighter like Livermore in next to Parker. VdV and Defoe could have then been second half subs to keep the pressure on.
anyway, tactical analysis of the game here; www.theirtactics.com
Frank - Thanks for the offer, but I am actually trying to reduce links rather than add them.
Anon @ 22:59 - Nice site. Re: route one, I didn't see too many long balls tbh. I thought we had the tactics spot on in the second half and, on another day where decisions went our way, could have scored four.
a) when Bale scored against Bolton, Defoe appeared to be disappointed that he did not touch the ball in;
b)Bale provided a great cross against Stoke in the second half, Adebayor steamed in at the near post and the goal was gaping, but Defoe has bizarrely followed in the same direction as Adebayor whereas i couldn't understand why he did not go towards the other side. He would have had a tap-in.
Clearly, I share your opinion about Defoe. I wonder why he never seems to develop any semblance of spatial awareness, although this season he has been offside less than before.
Nick fowler/Ron Burgundy/Modfather here! Got banned from COYS when they found out who I was which was a shame, but an inevitable one.
Anyway, useful analysis as always. Interested to know your thoughts as to Townsend and Kane's performances on Thursday. Hope you're keeping well otherwise
Good to hear from you - you should join TheFightingCock.co.uk's forum - there are plenty on there who are interested in talking about football only, although plenty also who are purely seeking banter.
I thought Townsend, in patches, was oustanding. In the second I wanted to see him go on the outside more but, from what I gather, it was an emotional day for the family, which may have got to him: http://www.hertfordshiremercury.co.uk/Sport/Cheshunt-set-to-remember-Kurtis-15122011.htm
In light of that, it was great that he got such a special goal.
I thought Kane was really positive when he came on - showed good touch (again) and took his chance well.
What did you think?
Kaboul was caught ball watching but it was partly down to shock of how poor Gallas was at defending the first part.
This lack of game sharpness may well be lack of games, and while I prefer the friendlies on demand system rather than the regular reserve team punch up, it only benefits us if we can organise enough friendlies.
Also we seem to have entered the part of the year where it's cold enough for Pav to play his natural game.