Analysis of the goals conceded against Newcastle (18/8)

Ba’s goalNewcastle string some passes together, leading to Simpson hanging a ball up for Ba at the far post. Walker manages to stretch to head clear, but there is not enough pressure on the ball, and Ba has time to bend a shot into the far corner.

Newcastle have possession in a central area, with Spurs relatively organised.

The ball is moved quickly by Newcastle, and Ben Arfa does well to feed it into Cabaye’s feet.

He plays an excellent pass out to Simpson, who has too much time to get his head up.

Ba is making a move at the far post, with Walker shadowing him.

As the ball is hung up, it looks like Ba might get a run on Walker…

…but Walker stretches and does well to win the header, albeit not getting much distance on the clearance.

Gallas is slow out to close Ba down, meaning he has time to line his shot up…

…and he picks out the far corner. Friedel is not as athletic as he once was, and was perhaps beaten too easily. He will certainly have been disappointed.

Ben Arfa’s goal – A short corner is taken, and Ben Arfa patiently waits for his moment to burst between van der Vaart and Lennon, before van der Vaart hangs a leg out and the penalty is given. Ben Arfa grabs the ball, and sends Friedel the wrong way.

Having taken a short corner, the ball is returned to Ben Arfa, faced up by Lennon.

Van der Vaart joins Lennon, and it looks like Ben Arfa has too much to do.

However, he makes a move to go on the outside, before darting between the two.

Van der Vaart clumsily hangs a leg out, and Ben Arfa goes over it.

He takes the ball before Ba can get it, and sends Friedel the wrong way with ease.

Plenty of positives from the game, despite the result. The midfield of Sandro (who was excellent) and Livermore looked very solid for the majority of the match, and could be an asset in tougher away games. Sigurdsson had some nice moments, and Defoe got a poacher’s goal. The introduction of two or three new players before August 31st is vital, though, and it is just a shame that we did not sign another striker (at least) in before this match.

Join the conversation

  1. Looking at that picture there was no leg out and Ben Arfa did a great job of selling a fall. That said VDV and Lennon were badly positioned, any run through them could find a leg to trip over.
    1. The video shows it better - I think there was contact.
  2. Classic schoolboy error in move/ball beats them both....lazy footwork by the Spurs pair
    1. Agreed.
  3. Ben Arfa was extremely sharp throughout the match and his speed and trickery would have made it very difficult for any defender. He was often beating 2 and 3 men throughout the game. The only thing I would say about VdV and Lennon was that they weren't quick enough to jump out of the way.
    1. He was terrific - Lennon slightly slips, as someone points out below, but it wasn't great defending.
  4. I think it was a very positive performance, considering it was away to Newcastle on the opening day of the Premier League. Honestly speaking, the best I could hope for was a point from this particular fixture or at least a solid performance not resulting in us being humiliated (a la Liverpool). A surprising decision from AVB was to use Gallas and not Vertonghen, but it turned out to be the right decision. I thought Gallas did particularly well.

    So having said all this, I am content with what I have seen from our first match of the season. Now bring it home boys and give AVB 6 points from our next 2 matches at the Lane. Let's shush the AVB-hating-media in style! COYS!
    1. I agree with most of that!
    2. On using Gallas, "it turned out to be the right decision.."

      Whaaaaat?? We LOST!!!
  5. Cannot possibly suggest that Friedel should have saved Ba's shot. There were 2 players in the way who were nicely positioned to guide his shot around. In a week where Robert Green helps the ball into his own net, and the Reading keeper let it through his hands, it is a bit ludicrous to put any blame onto the keeper. Especially since Friedel isn't a keeper that is prone to gaffs - unlike Gomes and Cudicini.
    We were outfoxed by Newcastle's short corners, which won the game for them. We were scared of their aerial threat, which meant that Kyle Walker was in the box waiting for a corner into the box. That leaves Vdv and Lennon to defend the short corner instead of Walker. Lennon slips, which gives Ben Arfa the chance to go between too easily. Lennon tries to tug at him to put him off, and Vdv trips him. We have to watch out for this short corner vulnerability on our right. Walker did not have a good game, and for the first goal perhaps Ba gave him a shove and it was not seen by the ref. It would be strange for Walker to misjudge that so badly.
    I wouldn't say that Gallas was particularly slow to close out Ba, however I do admit that there are players that are quicker.
    Not happy with the second half performance at all. Not matter what happened in the first half does not make up for the second.
    We are missing Paker/Modric, and Sandro/Livermore have no passing.
    1. I disagree re: Friedel - he was flat-footed.
  6. You don't mention about Walker completely mistiming the flight of the ball and getting under it. If he had stayed tight with ba instead of being over keen to win the first ball Ba would never have been able to get an attempt on goal.

    For the second Ben Arfa's ability to get between VDV and Lennon, was all due to Lennon slipping leaving a hole to attack. VDV can't defend for toffee so it was always going to be dangerous as soon as Ben Arfa got the box side of the white line.

    I was pleased with our performance and feel positive that once we have a striker up top who can hold the ball up then we'll be much better off.

    Friedel as quoted is not athletic enough any more (great organiser, but not a shot stopper). Disappointed that we got two earlyish yellows with our CM's which obviously put them under a great deal of pressure and also disappointed we didn't get the ball wide to Bale more often to force more tackles from Simpson who got booked early for a foul on Bale.

    Feeling positive. If we can win our next two that'll be average 2ppg from three leaving us on track for 76 over the course of the season.

    Had a big head to head with my boss today (spurs supporter) who really wound me up when he said if we want to be top four we really have got to be winning away to Newcastle. FFS. Bang goes my bonus this month.
    1. I actually thought Walker did well to get to the ball at all under the cirumstances, and he didn't have much support around him...

      Like you, I generally feel positive though!
    2. Agree with you Windy, Walker did well to get to the ball, perhaps a little too well, it would have been better in retrospect had he let it scuff his head and go for a throw, however he had no way of knowing this and had to get as much head on the ball as possible, a nasty situation for a fullback to find himself in
  7. I think it's very harsh to attribute any blame to Friedel - would have taken a truly brilliant save. Gallas's role was interesting though - he did something very similar for Jonas's goal when we played Valencia, i.e. failed to close the player down despite having time to do so. He also would have been at fault had Ba deflected Cisse's shot the right side of the post in the first half. Don't know you can put it down to his age because these are basically decision-making situations. Something to keep an eye on if he gets a prolonged run of games.
    1. I think Gallas is showing his age, personally...
  8. When outfield players lose their physical edge, esp pace, they play within their limitations and try to read the game quicker than others. I think that Friedel does the same and this is why he doesn't leave his line and why I don't think he can fill the mooted role of a sweeper-keeper.
    Great to have you back, but wish this had been a discussion on a win. That said, I'm positive about AVB and I think that his tactics will be bear fruit once the team gets greater match fitness. I wonder whether for the next match the central midfield could be occupied by Sandro and Siggurdsson with VdV sitting behind Defoe: VdV would fill the Modrić-sized hole.


Your email address will not be published.