Analysis of the goal conceded against Maribor (25/10)
Beric’s goal – Andros Townsend gives the ball away in midfield, and Maribor counter. Dejan Mezga runs off Sigurdsson, drives into the box, beats Huddlestone with ease, dinks the ball over Lloris, and leaves Robert Beric with a tap-in.
Unfortunately this clip starts just too late to see both Andros Townsend giving the ball away in midfield, and Mezga moving away from Sigurdsson without Gylfi tracking him. Steven Caulker comes out of the back to put pressure on the ball, with Huddlestone dropping into the back line, which is too deep; we are not compact enough.
Mezga drives forward into the space, with Huddlestone thinking about moving towards him – he certainly should be moving to the player here, with there being less risk of making a challenge outside of the box.
Instead he drops deep and, as Mezga drops his shoulder, Huddlestone hangs a leg out almost as a token gesture.
Mezga gets beyond him with ease and, as Lloris rushes out to narrow the angle, he intelligently dinks the ball over him, looking for the supporting run of Beric.
Vertonghen and Naughton attempt to meet the pass first, but Beric shows good determination to tap home into an unguarded net.
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Look forward to hearing your plug on the FC podcast this evening
TOTALLY agree that Walker's confidence has been absolutely sapped (no idea why - it's odd).
Huddlestone could definitely have done more, but i dont think he had as bad a game as is being suggested.
Was pleased to see Falque play. I'm not a great fan of Townsend I'm afraid, too greedy, beating a player is one thing but he invariably ends up losing the ball trying to beat another.
Walker was in the right place for the situation the cost of holding the ball too long is usually your team mates are in a forward position when you lose it.
Ultimately I'm really not enjoying the Europa league matches. When we played uninteresting and penetrationless football in it last time it was because we weren't interested and not fielding strong teams, we are this year.
It's not just our games but all of the ones I have seen, none have had fluid passing, everyone seems to be over or under hitting every pass. Are they using a significantly different ball or is it that English teams just don't like foreign pitches that aren't the quality of the San Siro?
Interesting point re: Lloris - you could have a point.
I like Townsend as I think he offers more dribbling ability than most in out squad, but agree that he can be very greedy. Falque had a very tidy half indeed.
I think we get brought down to the level of the opponent too easily - we need more urgency and tempo to our play. Lack of motivation perhaps?
Finally, I think that the criticism of Huddlestone has been very harsh. He was the only Spurs player who consistently kept the ball moving without too many touches and he often swept the ball wide to Lennon, who, as usual when Defoe plays, unfortunately didn't have anyone in the box to cross to. In my opinion, Sandro should have played deeper, allowing Huddlestone to have more influence further forward. Sandro is far better than Huddlestone at protecting the back four and far less influencial further forward.
If we can do it for 45 minutes at Old Trafford, surely 10 minutes of sustained play like that would have been enough last night
I wish Lennon would just spank a few balls across the box rather than checking back every time. Even if no-one is there, it will hilight the fact that no-one is there. And it might just hit someone and drop somewhere useful.
Tom Carroll needs to start getting some minutes in these games. We need a passer who can get himself around quicker than Thud if we’re going to play AVB-ball.
Positives for me were mainly the defense. Aside from about three totally brainless moments (their goal being one), we looked airtight. Caulker and Vertonghen were superb, and the high line was extremely effective in getting at least four or five successful offside traps that I can recall and generally giving Maribor very little space in which to attack. The pressing was also a big plus, as it has been pretty much all season. We won the ball back in their half A LOT.
I was also intrigued by the tactical experimentation in the second half: Thud dropping in between the center backs to play as an old-fashioned libero; Caulker and Vertonghen taking it in turns to do a Mousa Dembele impression and charge through the Maribor defense from deep; Sandro and Walker blitzing forward to press WAY high up and get themselves into the box for knockdowns; the front four, including an encouraging season debut for Falque, showing fluid rotation and interchanging beautifully at times. Bangtidy!
That was as close to a true totaal voetbal performance as I can remember seeing from our Spurs. And it wasn’t anarchic, either. Those guys popping up in unusual areas were getting adequate cover just about every time. The team was surprisingly disciplined for being so “open”. So even though the result wasn’t there, that was a lot of fun to watch. It was like AVB just decided Maribor were boring him to death and he was going to liven this joint up come hell or high water.
We should have gone at them at pace from the start. They were in an over-awed state from the kickoff and we should have capitalised on that.
The longer this type of game goes on the more confident the opposition becomes.
The opening goal was an absolute bonus.
Thank God for Panathinaikos.