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Time to reflect on a poor Tottenam performance.

Posted on October 07, 2013 by Tony

From the moment news came through that Jermain Defoe was starting up front in place of Roberto Soldado there was a strange but familiar feel to yesterdays proceedings, it felt a little like so many other days of the past when we feared that the result might not to turn out as we would like. Of course yesterdays poor performance was not the fault of nor driven by the appearance in the team of Defoe, but it might have put in the players minds that the fault of the teams lack of goals was down to Soldado rather than their own performances or even how AVB had the team was set up.

Sam Allardyce and every member of the West Ham team should of course be applauded for the effort that they put in and ability to play to instruction, they also had a few players with the skill and guile to hurt Tottenham once they had huffed and puffed to little effect. It is probably fair to say that  the last few performances have resulted in less and less attempts on goal and while, up until yesterday at least, the team was defensively sound, most supporters, the viewing public and the media experts have all spoken of the teams lack of width.

We have been of the opinion for a while that the team has not been set up to bring the best from Soldado or even Defoe for that matter, both Sigurdsson and Townsend continue to drift in at every opportunity, it has brought good results and some good performances from them both but without Danny Rose on the left and with Kyle Walker clearly not fit enough to go beyond Townsend yesterday it has contributed to a lack of real goalscoring opportunities. Yesterday only Townsend, Paulinho and, at a pinch, Dembele put in anything like the performances we know they are capable of, because the pitch was made so narrow and further congested by the tactics employed by West Ham there were so few options available to the midfield trio, Eriksen had probably his worst performance yet and it was down to the fact that all his options were centrally and mostly sideways.

Yesterdays result certainly gives AVB food for thought and work to do.

Yesterdays result certainly gives AVB food for thought and work to do.

Townsend has been a revelation so far this season but even though he yet again had the advantage over his fullback he rarely got to the byline and put telling balls into the box, just the once from memory. Over on the other flank it happened even less and without Danny Rose to provide that width West Ham easily coped with everything Tottenham had to offer. Fortunately Aaron lennon will be fit again when games get back underway after this break and he will certainly show the way once he is up to match fitness levels, on the other flank Nacer Chadli is another who can provide the right sort of ball into the box that a centre forward thrives upon.

We do not like to be critical of AVB but yesterday he got it wrong, by dropping Soldado he sent out the wrong message, without a fit Walker and an attacking fullback like Rose the team must be set up differently to cope with opposition who will defend in depth and in numbers. Perhaps Townsend, a natural left footed player, should have been switched to the left to provide width and hit the byline while Lamela would have been better employed on the right.

Irrespective of yesterdays result Tottenham are one of the top teams in the division and still contenders, because of that teams are going to set themselves up to congest play and prevent the space for them to play their game, after yesterdays result we might have to get used to more teams setting themselves up with six midfielders and four defenders, AVB has a big enough squad and variation of player to cope with any tactics thrown at him and he will have to quickly integrate all the new members of the squad to get the best from them.

It might be true that the first couple of West Ham goals were a little fortunate but the third was a tremendous effort and really rubbed salt in the wounds, it is a result that is hard to take as a win would have once again put us level at the top of the table, now we have two weeks to wait until the next game and for the team to get back on track, the good news is that Soldado and Lennon will not be on international duty on this occasion and will presumably be working on building a good understanding.

A bad day at the office as they say but not a disaster if AVB makes the modifications needed to get the most from his players and they start to create real goalscoring opportunities for their frontmen.

14 to “Time to reflect on a poor Tottenam performance.”

  1. Jide says:

    We needed to be brought back down to earth. As much as the loss hurts, it will do us a lot of good in the long run. What I did not understand is why managers generally find it difficult to change a system when it is not effective. This week AVB, last week it was Pellegrino in City’s CL loss to Munich. Everyone could see that Townsend should have been switched left, West Ham decided to flood the midfield and both Eriksen & Defoe were not effective. I would have switched Townsend left with Lamela on the right with Sigurdsson subbed. Also subbed Erikson with Sandro, moved Paulinho to be more forward and Soldado on for Defoe earlier. I guess we are all ‘good’ managers eh! (After the event!). I just thought that with the system we were playing – everything going through the middle. Sandro would have been better cover. We were simply too open searching for goals.

    We now have two weeks to wait before the team can amend the damage. We supporters just have to stew and suffer the pain of the loss. As I predicted, the press will give us a hard time once we suffer our first home loss. I did not realise we spent £100m! The buffoons!

    We have a very good team. This was just a slip up which the team just have to forget about and make amend with a win at Villa.

    • Tony says:

      in some of these home games when the opposition will be happy to sit and take what they start the game with 0-0 perhaps AVB ought to be thinking about 3-5-2 or just sandro or capoue sitting so as to release more players forward, without a doubt they must have more width on at least one flank but switching. If there is one thing we know from last year with AVB he does know how to correct a problem like the late goal giveaway in matches and he will solve this as well. Not happy seeing Soldado left out and hope that perhaps he wasn’t 100%, need to stick with him and get the players around him on the same wavelength.

    • Maceo says:

      Spot on. We needed to be reminded that we are tottenham. Nothing goes the way it should. And to be honest, that’s the reason i wasnt as upset as i normally would be. It sort of made me smirk. Now we will see what AVB and this team are really made out of. The “crisis baton” has been passed to Tottenham (first the arse had it, then ManU, Man City, L’pool, now us). Lets go ahead and hand that little f*cker off to someone else. We will not break. why? bc…This…is…TOTTENAHM (300).

      • Tony says:

        this is a stronger group and your right the crisis will go away and another team or two will have to deal with it. this is going to be a season like no other and there are going to be lots of ups and downs all round.

  2. eddie says:

    I think Jide is right about switching Townsend to the left and bringing in Lamela.It’s all too narrow at present and you cannot play everything through the middle when the opposition packs men behind the ball.Once Lennon is fit we should have natural width with him and Townsend on the flanks.And Soldado definitely to start.
    Townsend needs to be reminded that his attempts at goal from distance have a very low percentage success rate and he is wasting possession and chances.
    Incidently I am restricted to terrestial tv coverage,but where is Stefan Freund?He appears to have disappeared from AVB’s side.

  3. Alee says:

    We really should be concentrating on getting wingers on their width bearing flanks, even when our full backs are fit. The, the likes of Townsend on the left and Lennon, Chadli on the right can get in crosses to Soldado, Paulinho and Eriksen/Holtby to bang in.

    • lou says:

      can’t even recall townsend once switchibg yet, need to get the opposition thinking especially when so on top.there are times when wingers cutting in will work if flying fullbacks go beyond them into the space they create by taking their defender with them, Naughton most definitely is not that fullback and walker just wasn’t himself yesterday. maybe he was under orders from hodgson not to overdo it!!!!!!

  4. Eric says:

    Townsend is doing great on the rw what we need is chadli a specialist on the lw.I’ve said it a million times that siggy is inconsistent,last season he only scored 3 goals.I am not making him a scapegoat but he is at best a squad player.Also chadli can help out on set pieces cause of his height n also our inexperienced lbs

    • lou says:

      I rate chadli and performances have dropped off since both he and rose were injured. I do like Sigi but perhaps he is one to use from the bench more in the bigger games of the prem.

  5. Eric says:

    Note how last season we lost most points after a thursday game.Walker Vertonghen Rose Paulinho Dembele Soldado Lloris shouldn’t play or be benched for the group games,they should just stay at home.Keep the reserves and u21s on the bench.Holtby can play in the mf and kane in the no 10 role.

    • Jide says:

      I cannot agree more. PL is our bread and butter. It must take priority meaning first team players being ready. We simply cannot allow injuries or tiredness to first team players after travelling and playing in far flung places like Russia on a Thursday.

    • Alee says:

      Yes, for the group stages at least. Now I think about it, I’d rather prioritize the FA and League Cup over the Europa. Almost as much bragging rights for winning one of the first 2, for half of the endeavour. This, at least until the Europa League champion qualifies for the CL, as it will next season.

    • Eric says:

      Also our chances of winning the league cup are more higher n realistic than the europa considering better teams will come in once the CL group stage is done.I fear AVB is doing the same mistake all over again

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