Analysis of the goal conceded against Panathinaikos (6/12)

Zeca’s goalPanathinaikos move the ball wide and Giourkas Spyropoulos whips in a cross. Zeca loses his marker, Naughton, and powers a diving header across Friedel and into the far post.

Panathinaikos came out with a lot more intent in the second half, and Spurs tended to sit off them. Look how easy we make it for them to pick up the ball centrally in our half…

…push it wide to Spyropoulos…

…and put in a cross. Lennon doesn’t get close enough to stop the cross coming in, but notice Naughton at the back post, his man (Zeca) making a run off him.

Naughton ball-watches and leaves Zeca with an unchallenged header.

It is a fantastic header back across Friedel and into the far post…

…although I do wonder whether Friedel could have come to try to punch or even claim the ball. As the cross is played in, Friedel is closer to where the ball ends up than Zeca, which tells me something.

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  1. Very harsh on Friedel. So many factors telling him not to come.
    1) He must assume that Naughton is round on the cover and should be dealing with his man.
    2) The cross is a bit of a whipper, and an out-swinger, moving away from Friedel all the time.
    3) Zeca has all the momentum, making the run from deep and Friedel is stationary on his line. Even if he is closer to where the ball ends up than Zeca, there's no guarantee he'll get there first.

    But in all, a very avoidable goal. Naughton particularly at fault.
    1. 1 and 3 are fair points, but on point 2 - the ball is in the air for a long time as it is played from deep. Lloris would punch this IMO.
  2. Couldn't agree more with your comment about Friedel. Check the positioning of his feet in the last few pictures. Since he had been moving towards where the ball ended up, why did he change direction just before diving (especially seeing as the ball was already in flight towards goal) and therefore putting himself further from the ball?
    1. Agree, odd one.
  3. A bit harsh on Friedel. Naughton is ball-watching and the header is excellent. Event when watching the ball, Naughton should've been quicker to the area where the ball ends up. He is closer to that area than Zeca.

    I think Naughton had a decent game overall, but had a hard time because of very poor cover from Dempsey. He did OK, bar a few mishaps where this particular one ended up as a goal against.
    1. Interested in your thoughts on Naughton - personally thought he was really poor, but I worry that I'm judging him unfairly as he's clearly not a natural left back. In which parts of his game did you feel he did well?
  4. Several times during the match Friedel stayed on his line for crosses, when coming out would have been better.
    On the plus side it looks like he's been working on being a sweeper keeper and when we have possession he was an outlet.
    Naughton is getting better all the time, not many players would be considered to play left back when right footed.
    AVB must see something there.

    1. Yeah he was better at making himself an option, definitely.

      Disagree on Naughton though - think he's quite poor and, at 24, he needs to be showing more to keep his place in our squad.
  5. Friedel coming out or staying put is irrelevent here, the goal was made by the defence. Dont believe me? the ball isnt taking the path that the goal keeper would have positioned to defend, put friedel in the second to last picture in a place to stop the ball and he will be directly infront of where he is, however to come off his line as say lloris would, he would be diagonally forward and ultimately still a foot away from the line of the ball at stretch.

    Personally i would have chosen greater reaction time over advanced positioning in this case, but i doubt either would have made a difference and realy we have been excusing some very poor defending on friedel staying on his line or lloris coming out too soon. We have to go back to thinking of saves by the goal keeper as a last ditch attempt to prevent a goal, not our first line of defence
    1. Whilst I do agree with your last paragraph, I think this is EXACTLY what Friedel fans fail to see - a pro-active goalkeeper can nip so many chances in the bud.
    2. Well, let me start by saying I am much happier having Lloris in the starting 11 than Friedel, but having two very different goalkeepers in the squad seems to have put us in a position where we highlight the difference between the two over spotting the cause of the goal.

      Half the goals this season have been put down to Freidel staying on his line, most of which I personally have placed on defensive errors and primarily on Gallas's poor recent form. If we look at Tim Howard, the master of his 6 yard box and no further, when he concedes a goal the defence is scoured looking for the cause, occaisionally it is because he stays on his line a little too long, yet it seems Spurs get a free ticket to spot the problem just by pointing at Freidel and turning a blind eye to vert's occaisional errors or Caulkers. Gallas played terribly against man utd, had not been for a dodgy leg and a convenient scape goat he may not even have got man of the match! seriousley though, i urge people to rewatch it with gallas in mind

      The golden rule of defence is not to stop the goal, its to stop the shot, and that's what we're failing to do.
  6. Look at Friedel's starting position before the cross even comes in. He is stood on his line, had his starting position been towards the edge of the 6yard box then the cross despite being a whipped out swinger could have been claimed, or punched away.

    BF's problem all season has been he starting position, he is too scared of being lobbed, or being caught out. His cautious positioning allows our defenders, especially when they are caught out be skill or a mistake to be exposed.
    1. Spot on.
  7. What did you think of Carroll's performance Windy? I know you are a big fan, and I was very impressed against Maribor, but he seemed to struggle yesterday as one of the two central mids in a 442. I think he is better suited to playing a deeper role a la Modric
    1. I thought he looked really good until they went 4-3-3, and then he and Sandro were totaly overrun. Agree though - he definitely suits the deep-lying playmaker role.
  8. Dear Windy

    As I still feel physically sick whenever I think about the last 4 minutes of yesterday's game, it'd be really great if you could do your time-honoured analysis, as a form of catharsis...

    Lord knows I need it... :)

    Best wishes
    1. How's that? As you asked so nicely ;-)
    2. You are a top, top man...


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