Analysis of the goal conceded against Norwich City (1/9)
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 leaves...er, 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!
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.
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.
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.