Analysis of the goal conceded against Norwich City (1/9)

Snodgrass’ goalafter Livermore gives away a needless free kick, Norwich keep the ball alive, and a deep cross is headed on twice for Snodgrass to sweep home from the penalty spot.

Livermore commits a needless foul, which gives Norwich City a chance to pile on some pressure – the ball is kept alive and is eventually crossed from their right – I think by Howson.

Johnson peels away from Adebayor a the back post, and heads back into the danger area…

Huddlestone doesn’t put enough pressure on Holt, who is able to head on. Note the bodies in the box who are simply not marked tightly enough.

As Walker tries to rush out to Snodgrass, it is too late. He has the time and space to take his shot first time…

…and he finds the bottom corner, with Friedel unable to reach it.

Credit to Norwich City, who were excellent throughout, but unfortunately this was a very similar goal to the one conceded last week – we were inviting pressure, looking nervous, and sitting deeper. Livermore had a very poor game overall, and it was his needless foul which led to Norwich being able to keep the ball around our penalty box.

Villas-Boas’ team selection was odd – the Livermore/Sandro combo didn’t work in midfield last week, yet he selected them again. Likewise, Defoe struggled up front alone against West Brom, and surely even a not-match-fit Adebayor would have been a better selection on Saturday – Defoe simply doesn’t have the intelligence or awareness to lead the line alone.

I would also add that Gallas looks increasingly slow and error prone and, whilst he has a wealth of experience, I would argue that we have lacked a leader in the last fifteen minutes of the last two matches and, as captain, he has to take a proportion of the blame for that. Personally I would be looking to start Caulker and Vertonghen in the absence of Kaboul, but even Dawson would be preferable to Gallas right now.

Onwards and upwards for Spurs – hopefully the two week break will allow Villas-Boas to work with the players and get his ideas across, as well as being able to integrate the new boys.

Join the conversation

  1. We've got five against five in the box for the goal but nobody is actually marking.
    Totally agree about Gallas, Dawson would be better.
    Vertonghen is good with the ball at his feet but not that immpressive in the air.
    But assume that AVB is giving various pairings a try, including Livermore/Sandro and Ade/defoe.
    We could have easily got 7 points on the board by now, and just have easily got none.
    Small margins as they say in the business world.
    1. Too true, Jimmy. The point being that we couldn't close out the two home games despite a relatively sensible substitution being made in each (midfielder for a forward). Unfortunately selecting Huddlestone on the bench when he is clearly unfit was a huge error - I'd have brought Townsend on to run the ball into the corner.
  2. Yes, Ade should start ahead of Defoe. Defoe was awful on his own.. And stop playing Livermore.. Dembele and Sandro would be much better.. Sandro holding while Dembele would drive forward from deep position and/or spread the ball around.
    1. Dembele had a knock from the United game apparently. I'd have played Carroll over Livermore.
  3. Agree with analysis but not sure why we are saying things like 'even Dawson'he was has been one of our more consistent performers over the last few seasons and now he isnt on the bench. Gallas was never first choice last year and whilst Kaboul had a fantastic year i would have put Dawson next in line with Ledley struggling.Both BAE and Walker will make mistakes regularly, the centre has to be rock solid and we're playing a new guy with a fourth choice centre half. We then bring on Tom to 'shore it up'does AVB have any idea about what Hudd brings to a game.
    1. *Even* Dawson because he clearly won't suit the high line...
    2. He suits it as much as Gallas.

      To be quite honest, rather too much has been made of this high line with regard to centre backs, but in fact CB is one of the few positions where its just the same job in a slightly different place.

      While Football has changed so much over the last twenty years especially for full backs, for centre backs who nowadays are expected to press forward into midfield, the high line is just the offside trap by another name, similar to George Graham's Arsenal. Where the differences lay are in a pressing midfield and full backs.
  4. A bit odd how you say that we have lacked a leader in the last 15 mins so you would replace Gallas with CAULKER... Caulker is not likely to add in that dept - despite his other attributes. It has to be Dawson - at least until we get the level of performance up. Sandro was poor. No need to 100% pick on Livermore. You can play 2 non-adventurous midfielders together BUT they must work as a team to dominate midfield. They are not there to just protect the defence - especially at home. I also think that the flurry of Substitutes that AVB uses result in us losing shape and discipline - leading to the conceding of late goals. It is all very well saying that Hudd is not quick enough to close someone down for the goal, but if you have just come on, it is hard to initially get into the game. Substitutions are a double-edge sword. Lots of people criticised Harry for his reluctance to substitute, and AVB is doing too much - especially now because we are struggling to find a performance.
    1. My point being that Gallas has failed to lead and if that's the main reason he's being picked, it's time to change it.

      Sandro was poor, but Livermore was worse (and is nowhere near the level that Sandro is at generally).

      For me, it should have been Townsend for Defoe to get the ball into the corner and keep it there.
  5. Hud brings ball retention, which makes him a reasonable choice to bring on. Defoe is the last person you need on the pitch if you're trying to hold onto a lead. If he gets the ball he either quickly loses it or shoots - either way the other team get it pretty quickly.
    1. Agree, but Hudd clearly unfit. Carroll should have at least been on the bench.
  6. Agree that Defoe,Livermore and Gallas need to be replaced by Ade,Dembeli and Caulker. AVB needs to restore confidence quickly and the players need to take on more collective responsibility. AVB has an interesting couple of months ahead which will make or break him.
    1. These two weeks will be a god send to AVB.
  7. There are problems in all departments of the Spurs Squad.Ade must be first choice striker.Harry use to bring on Jake Livermore in the last 15-20 either Parker or Sandro tired.Jake is young and needs more time befor being a first choice player.If he is a first choice midfield player Spurs can look at a mid table place this year.Lastly Gallas,he tries and at his age gives everything to the team but needs to be replaced by either Caulker or Dawson and used sparingly when needed.
    1. Agreed. Can anyone tell me why Sandro was substituted at half time when there were so many better candidates for the hook!?
    2. I agree entirely.
    3. I thought Sandro got the hook for the ridiculous shot he attempted from 45 yards out towards the end of the first half. Didn't look up, didn't try to pick a pass, just took 2 touches and blasted it into row F of Park Lane lower. It really wasn't going to make too much difference if it was Sandro or Livermore but that was absolute disgraceful football and deserved to go off just for that.
  8. So many problems I just don't have the energy for that much writing!! But has anyone seen enough of Gylfi to tell me where he should play? I saw bits of him last season and thought he looked good but having seen him on Saturday he clearly cant play the Modric or VDV role. He isn't the sort of player that can knit the midfield together or link midfield and attack. So what is his 'proper' position?
    1. He is a player who will make late runs between the lines, but he is not one to get on the ball and influence.
    2. OK so how/where do we accommodate him?
  9. I fully expect the next lineup to be (4, 2, 3, 1) Friedel - Ekotto, Gallas, Vertonghen, Walker - Dembele, Sandro - Bale, Sigurdsson/Dempsey, Lennon/Dempsey - Ade. That team has a better balance. Dembele will be more dynamic in midfield, whilst still holding - and he will look for the ball, unlike the XI that played on Saturday. If we need something different higher up the midfield, then we can bring on Livermore/Parker/Hudd (if we appeal) and allow Dembele to push up.
  10. Windy, if I were you, I would have posted last week's analysis again!! Carbon copy but from the left this time
  11. Gallas had a shocker and managed to have off the ball arguments with Friedel, Ekotto and Vertonghen. The sooner he's out of the team the better. Unfortunately we've been left with no real players capable of taking the armband. I'm not a fan of playing Dawson in a pressing high defensive line but we weren't playing that on Saturday so Dawson's better than Gallas. Caulker is better than both of them though if playing the high line.

    As for selection, it was odd pre-match than Dembele and Ade didn't start but with one having only 1/2 training sessions and the other not having had a pre-season it's understandable. If these key players remain out of the starting line up in future games then questions need to be asked, but until then, the benefit of the doubt has to be given.

    One thing we always moaned about under Redknapp was his insistence on playing his favourites. Credit to AVB that he's said if you do well in training you'll get a chance which it looks like he's sticking to and rightly so. Nothing against Livermore but he'll surely find himself back on the bench no matter how well he does in training come our next game, and while Defoe hasn't done as badly as many say, Ade is simply a better player and will come in to I'm sure.

    3 games in, it seemed half the fanbase were calling for AVBs head on Saturday. Shameful display so early on.
  12. When AVB selects Dawson we will have a leader on the pitch. Until then we will be headless chickens rather than cockerels. He also has to remember that unless Parker is available as a replacement, dont take Sandro off. Sandro made more tackles in 45 minutes than Livermore did all match. Having said that I am not anti Livermore, he just had a poor match on Saturday, as did Gallas, Benny, Bale, Lennon, Siggy and Defoe. It can only get better, COYS.
  13. The midfield conundrum.

    It's all well and good saying how poor Livermore was but he has clearly proved himself ahead of JJ, Hudd isn't fit and that, the new boy and a lad from the youth team! Last season we started our first few games with Kranjcar, this year it's Livermore. There's nothing malicious in it, it's just a manager who hasn't got his full squad together yet.

    It would appear AVB isn't going to try and oust the regulars in favour of his preferred people straight away (probably because that's what he did at Chelsea and was roundly critisised for it).

    Decisions we see as odd are merely that of a manager trying to suss his best team. AVB hasn't had the luxury of seeing Hudd, JJ, Livermore, etc every game for the last 2/3 years, much less seeing any of our current midfield play together (as more often than not each has usually played alongside Modric).

    For those that feel AVB's decisions are odd. Go and load up a game of FM, pick a team from the lower divisions, one you know nothing about, and see how long it takes to find your best formation/players....oh, and don't forget to read the fan comments about why you selected this and that player!
  14. A carbon copy of last weekend's goal - unfortunately Tottenham didn't learn from the mistakes made against West Brom although to be fair to Vertonghem he was much stronger against Norwich and was ready for the battle which was good to see.
  15. Watching that game on Saturday I didn't see any sign of a high line or a pressing game, it just wasn't happening so I don't understand what everyone is talking about when they talk about the high line! if anything the centre halfs were too deep and there was too big a gap between them and the forward line!
  16. If the problem is marking in the box, then the answer is not Dawson because that is one of greatest weaknesses, in my opinion. I think I'd prefer a look at Caulker.
    1. I can't help to think that if Scott Parker were playing he would have been in position to prevent and or block both shots. Livermore just isn't good enough...

      I also agree about the highline and pressing. It was excellent at Newcastle but there was no sign of it at home in either match. I do not understand this.
  17. Regarding the substitutions:

    Sandro has been playing all through the summer and currently fades towards the ends of matches, so if AVB takes off Livermore at half time as a tactical substitution and then Sandro fades after 15 minutes we end up without a DM and none on the bench. So the practical solution is to take off Sandro.

    And reading between the lines, AVB didn't think that Hudd was fully fit but Hudd thought he was and AVB sent him on to prove it one way or another. It may have been a risk but it was clearly causing friction and you would hope that leading at home to Norwich that it was a risk he could afford to take. Just hope that that argument has been settled now.
  18. I would have stuck Dawson on for the last ten minutes in both home matches. The equalisers could be seen coming from a mile off.

    Go 3 at the back, or even push Vertonghen up as an extra body in midfield.

    All this high line theory is cobblers.
    Doesn't look like a very high line in those photos, Windy.
    Dawson would have won everything in the air and helped us clear our lines when Norwich and WBA piled forward in search of their goals. Plus it would have integrated Dawson back into the fold. We're going to need him, high-line or not. With Europa and Cup matches we'll be pushing 60 games this season.

    Great blog , Spooky.


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