Good Week/Bad Week

Krafty

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May 26, 2004
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Thread starter #1
Good Week

Christian Eriksen
Without playing a minute, he has already shot up the pecking order and enhanced his value to the team. The insipid play of our midfield on Sunday and general failure to create a real clear cut chance in open play despite dominating possession in all our three league games to date is largely down to the lack of a playmaker in our central midfield, and Eriksen will hopefully address that issue.

Lewis Holtby
Back with a fantastic strike from outside the box. The German international was as industrious as ever, and looked impressive in the number 10 role. If more players were on his wavelength the better.

Tom Carroll
Rumours of a loan move might be squashed after this week’s events. An incisive passing display on Thursday, Villas-Boas may decide to keep one of his few real playmakers in the squad.

Andros Townsend
Subbed at half time in midweek showed how his reputation has enhanced as he was saved for the derby, and he was our most dangerous attacking weapon at the weekend. Not a lot of competition for that title, granted, but he was the one player on Sunday who looked like he could create something, even if it was just a shooting opportunity for himself.

Whether AVB will stick with him or automatically go for his new signings, despite how effective they might be, will set the precedent for a lot of our players.

Jermain Defoe
Two goals against admittedly limited opposition should secure his spot as first reserve for Soldado. Let’s hope he is happy with cup football.

Hugo Lloris
One of the few players to come out of Sunday’s game in credit.

Sandro
90 minutes on Thursday, sub appearance on Sunday, and the chance, depending on Capoue’s injury, of an extended run in the side.

Bad Week

Gareth Bale
We don’t begrudge him a transfer record move to Real Madrid, but there is a way to go about it, and being a bit of a twat is not the way.

Daniel Levy and Franco Baldini
They won a lot of plaudits for their transfer moves so far, so they will not have been pleased to see the team so woefully short when in possession. Cue a load of headlines saying money doesn’t buy you success, or love...

AVB
One loss away from home is not the end of the world, but it is a little worrying that we faced the same problems creating chances this week as we did a fortnight ago. We looked very pedestrian, with even passes between our centre backs being slow and lacking any intent. Perhaps we are trying to save energy now to avoid a late season collapse?

It was also worrying to see that our pace on the counter seems to have disappeared. There is no clear direction, not enough people breaking forward, and too often we end up turning back and allowing the opposition to regroup.

Also, sort out our set pieces ffs! I’m not asking for goals, just get one of our players within five yards of the cross!

Moussa Dembele
Out of the three midfielders that started against Woolwich, Dembele’s position is the one up for grabs. Subbed for the fourth game in a row he has started, again we must question what the Belgian is bringing to this side. It’s not passing, it’s not a forward thrust, and its not goals or assists.

Capoue will surely be replaced by Sandro in a like for like move, Paulinho offers drive and forward runs into the box, and Dembele is just making up the numbers at the moment. Eriksen will come in (and it’s arguable Holtby or Carroll should also move ahead in the pecking order).

Moussa used to get the ball, jinx past a player and move us up the pitch, but we are so slow with the ball that even if he does take a man on, there is just another one waiting. Maybe a passer next to him would help, but after initially shining in a Spurs shirt his performances are becoming increasingly anonymous.
 
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Feb 6, 2011
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#2
bad week for soldado? bit controversial maybe, but from what iv seen so far, iv not been impressed. cant remember him having a meaningful shot or doing something to justify his price tag, even defoe today when he came on looked livelier, early days yet so going to give him time
 

Montasura

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Mar 15, 2008
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#3
bad week for soldado? bit controversial maybe, but from what iv seen so far, iv not been impressed. cant remember him having a meaningful shot or doing something to justify his price tag, even defoe today when he came on looked livelier, early days yet so going to give him time

I was really excited when he arrived and I've spent a lot of time really watching carefully. I think his movement off the ball and the runs he has made have been excellent. A few times today he found good space in the box only for someone to take a shot from range or pass back. The problem here really isn't Soldado, its other players inability to think or hold the ball and look for the pass. With Lamela and eriksen I expect and hope this will change and Soldado will get goals then. I predicted 20 league goals from him and I stand by that still.
 

Ginolas_Hair

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Apr 15, 2012
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#4
Agree with most the above.

Soldado didn't have a chance today to be fair, he tracked back well at times though and chased anything that came near him.

Townsend looked good but needs to stop the selfish play.

Dawson was having a bit a mare today too - nearly shat myself when he ran into the middle of the park got lost, decided to back track and lost the ball in the process.

What i find strange is Moussa was one of our midfield generals last season and I relished every time he was on the ball. But he seems to be a bit rusty at the moment.

Chadli was poor today too - albeit the first time i've seen him play but i'd like to see someone else play on the left vs Naaaarwich City. Hopefully Lamela and Townsend on the wings.

Finally, to end on a good note - what about THAT tackle on Walcott by Hugo - bloody brilliant!
 

rupsmith

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Jul 29, 2006
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1,276
#5
This has not been a good week.

Our performance on Sunday showed why it was exactly for the same reason we needed Bale to get us out of trouble so often last year. On winning the ball back, the emphasis does not seem to be on hitting the opposition in spaces before they can regroup (which given our pace and athletic ability would seem the natural thing to do) but on retaining the ball for almost the sake of retention giving them more than enough time to reposition defensively. And at this level all it takes is about 3-5 seconds if not sooner for teams to shore up defensively.

Last year Bale would score some amazing goals to get us points, but this year we have to move the ball forward more quickly with more attacking intent - our players seem almost petrified to make mistakes and seem more obsessed with conforming to a tactical set up rather than movement on and off he ball. This pace of play results in our full backs primarily initiating attacking play which they are simply not equipped to do - hence the constant abuse aimed at Rose and Walker.

So it is beyond me why we stroll around and pass it with no paticular objective from player A to B with almost minimal movement in front and then a long ball or attacking wing play with no support to Soldado. So people have been criticising Chadli , Townsend , Rose and Walker but the fault in my view is the criminal lack of movement on and off the ball by our central midfield. Paulinho needs time and Capoue was decent - Dembele has no excuse.

2 things to fix - break quickly and one guy in the midfield three almost always on Soldados heels (not Dembele based on evidence)
 

spud

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Sep 2, 2003
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4,157
#6
A good read, as always, Krafty, but I think you're being a little harsh on Levy/Baldini and perhaps AVB. It's true that we were somewhat ponderous and lacked incisiveness at the Death Star, but that's hardly the fault of the Chairman and DoF.

I share your concerns about Dembele, who has been living for too long off the reputation that he earned with his first few performances for us. It's not just our games this season where he has been anonymous. Although we now appear to have ample options for his position, it would be nice to see him back on top form. It is to be hoped that he is completely over his hip injury.

One other thing: please get your posts back on the front page. I nearly missed what is one of my favourite regular articles.
 

JimmyG2

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Dec 7, 2006
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#7
Balanced and measured as usual and pretty much spot on Krafty.

Bad Week: Tom Carroll going to QPR rather than Ajax.
What a bollox story that was, part of the Eriksen deal my arse.
Anyway good luck to the boy and it might work.
But Harry tends to do what is good for Harry
and I have a bad feeling about this.
 
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