Analysis of the goal conceded against Arsenal (3/3)

Per Mertesacker’s goalParker needlessly gives away a free kick for a foul on Ramsey, and Per Mertesacker gets on the end of Theo Walcott’s cross, and finds the far corner (courtesy of a touch from Gareth Bale).


After Parker had given away a free-kick for a foul on Ramsey on the right touch-line, Spurs set about marking up in the penalty area. Arsenal crowd the penalty spot, with four men in close proximity. Mertesacker seems to be man-marked by Adebayor.


As Mertesacker makes a dart to the front post, Adebayor does not do especially well – he is blocked off by Ramsey, and doesn’t force his way through the crowd, meaning he has to effectively pass Adebayor on.



Bale is marking the near post, zonally, but becomes the nearest player to Mertesacker. As Mertesacker glances on, it grazes the top of Bale’s head…


…and this is what takes it into the far corner, beyond Lloris’ dive. It will likely go down as an own goal.


We have seen Spurs sides in the past cave in after conceding early second half goals, and it was a gutsy second half showing – not only did we “hold on”, but we should have sealed it, missing three presentable chances.

Vertonghen, Lloris and Dawson were particularly impressive, showing Arsenal how a high line should be played, and ensuring that we were rarely threatened.

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  1. Bale not great in that front post role - He turned his back for the Lyon goal in a very similar situation, but Ade was very slow off the mark and didn't help.
    1. He can be hit and miss there - he has cleared a lot, but at the same time doesn't watch runners (could argue it's not his job?).
  2. Still charging Ade with the task to man-mark the taller and most dangerous in the air Arse player who had scored against us in previous games was really a football naïve idea that shouldn't have happened. Mertesacker should be man-marked by Daw or Vert (we did that after conceding the goal!).
    1. Agree that Mertesacker should have been marked by one of the CBs.
  3. We continue to be vulnerable at free kicks and corners although thankfully we only slipped up once in this game
    1. Although much better since Lloris came into the side.
  4. Adebeyor didn't hassle his man, and where as last week i wished Bale had got his head to the ball at the near post, this week i wished the opposite, not that i think he knew much about it. Set us up for a very nervy game but we seem to have a system against the big teams to play like an away match, score two and hold on, much the same with Utd, will be interesing to see if we try it against City and Chelsea. Parker is still playing ahead of Dembele and it's not helping either. I have a suspicion that AVB sees Parker as what he is using Livermore for now, what the american baseball teams i believe call a closer, to come on once the points are on the board and seal it, however, with sandro getting injured when he did he seems to have told parker to do what sandro does, it's not working, and I actually think Livermore could do a better job of it. Now Livermore has been a baby jenas and a baby parker and perhaps now a baby sandro, but the constant realigning of playstyle seems to be taking it's toll on his career, I could be wrong but right now, to fill that Sandro hole I would use Livermore and tell Parker to do what he did last year but bringing him on to close games out. Also, I noticed on the westham match coverage that Lewis Holtby doesnt have his own turn and walk animation on the sky lineups, just his face photoshopped onto someone else. I keep expecting to see carroll with a Holtby mask play.
    1. Agree - Bale just sees it as a screening role and doesn't focus on runners (rightly or wrongly). Certainly more comfortable "hanging on" under AVB and actually we could have scored three times on counter. I totally agree with you on Parker/Livermore - think Carroll's positioning would also show Parker up for what he is, but it would be a bold move from AVB and could easily backfire.
  5. Parker was playing even higher than usual yesterday, and I think that was part of the plan. Arteta is the poor man's Andrea Pirlo in that Arsenal side, setting the tempo and kickstarting their attacks despite typically playing as the deepest central midfielder. Before the game I thought we should start Holtby as the middle man in the band of three so he could drop off onto Arteta when we lost the ball. AVB instead had Parker play well ahead of Dembele (who mainly matched up with Wilshere) and close down Arteta from midfield rather than task Bale or Adebayor with that job. You have to say it worked rather well: Arteta only made 59 pass attempts and completed 85%. He averages about 86 attempts with a 92-93% success rate. Arsenal had a pretty typical share of the possession for them, so limiting Arteta's influence seems to have been a specific objective of AVB's gameplan. It really showed in the second half, when Arteta only attempted about half as many passes as he did in the first half.
    1. This is a good point, I had'nt considered man to man marking so far forward in the bigger picture as a strategy, cutting off the pass before the assist so to speak. Put like that it does seem the type of proactive pressured approach of AVB's plans.


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