Good Week/Bad Week

Discussion in 'Columns' started by Krafty, Oct 28, 2013.

  • by Krafty, Oct 28, 2013 at 10:25 AM
  • Krafty

    Krafty Well-Known Member

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    Good Week

    Vlad Chiriches

    Three starts in a row, and it is starting to look like our Romanian international is not simply cover. He has looked very composed in possession (which is vital seeing as our centre backs see more of the ball than anyone else) and his ability to run forward with the ball is very useful.

    At times gets a little complacent with the ball, such as when he fouled Sagbo and picked up a booking on Sunday, but in general he looks a good signing.

    Jan Vertonghen

    Was captain on Thursday and scored a goal, and picked up an assist at the weekend. His selection at left back should not be a long term solution, however, and the sooner Rose is back to full fitness the better.

    Andros Townsend, Kyle Walker, Paulinho

    So important they were allowed to stay in London rather than travel to Moldova.

    Roberto Soldado’s penalties

    At last we have someone who scores penalties. There have been times over the last few years where whoever has been designated our penalty taker – Defoe, Bale, Keane, Adebayor, Dempsey, Huddlestone – has not exactly inspired confidence, and there was a worrying thought in the back of our minds that a Spurs penalty was a prime opportunity for the opposition to hit us on the counter. No longer with Cool foot Rob on the case.

    Andros Townsend

    We were all bricking it when he disappeared, the stretcher went over, and he did not reappear for minutes. To then see him up was great, to see him running to get back on the pitch was legendary.

    Emmanuel Adebayor

    Picked up some air miles.

    Bad Week

    Younes Kaboul

    A week after stating that he wanted to get back into the Premier League starting XI, there has been no sign of Younes. We all know how immense he can be when fit and on form, but will we see those days again? Dawson’s new three year contract might have a lot to do with doubts over the Frenchman’s long term fitness.

    Ande Villas-Boas

    It takes a brave man to have a pop at the supporters who, by definition, support the team.

    What is most striking about AVB’s comments is how he praises the away support, and lauds our away record, and talks about us playing with no fear, yet at the Lane it is the atmosphere to blame. The match on Sunday followed similar patterns to other games at the Lane and in Europe – lots of possession, mainly between the two centre halves and two deep midfielders, a struggle to get into the final third and create opportunities, all the while looking fragile at the back.

    Plan A seems to be “once we are ahead, exploit the spaces and hit in the counter”. The problem is there is no plan to get that first goal, and the longer we go without scoring the less likely we are to score. Our earliest goal in the league was Sigurdsson’s 19th minute strike against Chelsea – we start slow, we get slower, and if the opposition are not coming at us we struggle to break them down.

    Having watched the Hull highlights from Match of the Day 2, it is striking that no matter if we are attacking or defending, we are outnumbered! When we go forward we have so many men deep and so few occupying the defence it is no wonder we score so few, and then when we get hit on the break the opposition stretch us and flood forward and we look fragile.

    This is a problem of responsibility and formation when we have the ball. A scenario that has happened roughly 1,459 times so far this season is a centre back, say Dawson, has the ball, fifteen yards inside our own half. He has his centre back partner to his left – that’s fine – and a central midfielder showing for the ball. That’s great, let’s start working some triangles. Then the central midfielder comes so deep he practically takes the ball off Dawson’s toes, while the other centre mid is nearly as deep, so instead of working triangles we have a tight, rigid square with the ball going forward, left, back, right, forward, left, back, right, in fact it reminds me of this clip from The Simpsons (0:50 seconds in) "Centre Holds" . This means the number 10. Comes deep, the wingers drop deep, while Kyle Walker seems to be playing in some right of centre anchor man position rather than getting wide and running outside of Townsend, who should be allowed to roam inside and join Soldado when he is being man marked. I’m not blaming Walker for that by the way as he has clearly been instructed to play there but the whole system is wrong. When we have the ball we go deep and narrow, when we don’t we are wide and open.

    We are so lacking in imagination or forward intent that when a sniff of an opening, a half chance for a break, or the whiff of a raised tempo and the ball does not get to Townsend then we end up going backwards, and we repeat our stoic, ineffective football ad infinitum.

    Even when the crowd did get up did the tempo improve? Did the team play better? The truth is if we had sung for the full ninety minutes the only difference it would have made is I would not have a voice this morning. There are problems with this team, Andre, and the fans are way down the list.

    The fans

    Saying that we were crap on Sunday, but the performance until the penalty was exactly the same as the one that had seen us lose 3-0 to West Ham, so I think a certain level of apprehension was inevitable.
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Discussion in 'Columns' started by Krafty, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. lazarus
    The fans at cat C games like Hull are always the 'prawn sandwich brigade' who expect entertainment and Spurs to stomp the 'weak' opposition; they dont realise they're supposed to support.

    Given that; AVB needs to start playing 2 strikers when we're at home. and not in a 4-2-3-1, two up front.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  2. JimmyG2
    I'm coming round to the boy.
    Thought he was too flaky at first
    but I liked his enterprise on Sunday and he's good on the ball
    Bringing the ball out of defence is certainly a good option.
    Once Rose is back him and Verts will be first choice.

    Long term future by no means assured.Or short term come to that.

    Andros T.
    I've given up sliced bread since this boy literally burst on the scene.

    Chicken and egg here I feel.
    We are very picky and critical or perhaps discerning is a better word.
    but give us something to cheer and we will cheer.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. vigospur
    I agree with most of this. The only point I would make is that there were a load of posts on here at the start of the season saying that if only we could keep in touch until Christmas we could kick on when the manager sorts out his strongest team / formation.
    Three points behind Arsenal having played them away. That is the first part done. The optimist in me thinks we could still be ok.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Mullers
    I thought only news stories appeared on the front page? Nevermind, much better than Fanatix that's for sure.
  5. 2bearis2do
    Always a good read.
    My concern with Vlad - is his pace - he appears very slow to me, I also think he gets bullied off the ball too easily.
    My concern with AVB - is that he is too stubborn with his 4-3-3 ideology (or whatever else it gets called these days) - We look turgid in that formation. (Who else plays it in the EPL? Anyone? I honestly don't know - as I see little else apart from Spurs games from Spain).
    It's not just Saturday's game that concerned me - It's the general lack of goals this season.
    I'm an AVB fan, he has historically given us some exciting football - but at the moment - I'm not enjoying watching such turgidness. Though I am enjoying the 3 points.

    I think he needs a big re-think -
    - Lennon is back which is good (but he should play on the right)
    - Townsend is having the season of his life - but he's not Bale yet. I'd like to see him on his natural side - the Left and with the mantra to "get to the byline and cross" into his head. All this cutting inside for the 1 in a 100 edge of the box left-footed curler is, IMO, wasteful.
    - Soldado is getting abused for his price tag. The man needs crosses to score goals. That simple. We don't have the player to complement Soldado - He is not a "Lone Striker" type.
    - We've also fucked up big time in the LB position (BAE out was a mistake).
    - Without that complementary striker. Erikson has to play form the start.

    Stats are also always horribly mis-leading - 14 shots on goal (10 of which were long shots) 70% Possession (90% of which was between our centre backs).

    We're dominant - but we're not. That kind of performance will see us well beaten by any of the other top 7 sides.

    As for AVB's dig at the Spurs supporters?

    Our Home Record this season:
    Plyd 5 W 3 D 1 L 1 GF 5 GA 4 = Not Pretty.

    Effective but not pretty. No wonder the home fans are on edge. It is his and the team's job to win at home. It is his job to work our how to unlock "bus-like" defences with better formations - he can't keep trying this formation at hm,e if the general effect is the same - HE has to change things. The supporters with all the will in the world can not change a formation!
    Our job is simply to support them through thick and thin.
    Spurs fans are, in general, pretty savvy when it comes to the game at WHL - AVB should note the discontent and actually ask himself why - rather than have a dig at us.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  6. BillyWhizz
    At the beginning of the season I read a lot of people saying "The team needs time and patience".

    Seems to be one of those things that's easier said than done I think.
    • Agree Agree x 2
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  7. eddiebailey
    Pretty bad PR by AVB to turn on the fans; Donna Cullen will be dusting off the ball gag that she could never quite persuade Harry to wear...
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  8. doom
    At last we have some penalties - haven't needed a penalty taker for quite some time.
    • Agree Agree x 1
    Personally think this was a very good move by AVB. Clear from his remarks this is impacting the players. He essentially has dared the home support to improve. And lets be honest it couldn't get much worse.
    • Agree Agree x 5
  10. balalasaurus
    Re: Chiriches. I do agree that he still has to improve but we should also be mindful of the fact that the lad came from a slower, less physical league than the prem. I fully expect that next season we will see a Kaboom 2.0 in young Vlad after we've toughened him up a bit. To go from no game time to starting so soon (especially in a critical a position as defense) just shows you the quality the boy has and how much faith AVB has in him.

    Re: the formation and play. I think you've hit the nail on the head. The simple fact of the matter is we've become to predictable. Teams are pressing us at every chance they get because they know what move we're going to make before we've made it. This is where I think AVB needs to do a Redknapp and just let the players run around with the ball. Through some free-flowing football I believe we'll be able to find other ways of play that can work. These are professionals after all. I think we can trust them to know how to go about their job.

    Re: the fans. Part of me thinks this is a challenge that AVB has laid out to us to show that we're not as fickle as we appear to be. It goes without saying how embarrassing it is to be called out for negativity even when our team is winning. Equally however we cannot be blamed for our frustrations especially when we've seen how much we've invested in this squad (and how our rivals by comparison are doing with comparatively less). Should we expect instant results? Definitely not. But we should also be seeing results that justify such a large investment (even if they are inconsistent). AVB needs to realize that the game is about more than just data and statistics and make the players realize that too. We can't go into games thinking that the opposition are weaker and thus by default we should comfortably win. Instead we should be going into games wary of the challenge in front of us and look to show why we are superior. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Teams all over the place have this perception that we're a strong and ruthless side. We cannot afford to disappoint them. Audere est Facere
  11. JoeT
    Good point 'vigo' and if we were showing signs that the team was sorted - and therefore showing some improvement - we wouldn't all be so critical.
  12. Fruendsreunited
    With all the new players coming into the squad, we do not have the luxury to let players express themselves because they dont know eachother. Its better to play with precaution and grind out small margin wins at the beginning of the season as we are taking pressure of ourselves by still getting the result we need. When the Chelsea's and Man City`s of the world first started bringing in lots of players they were getting the same results.

    Its harder to get stop your team conceeding goals, than to score them. And we are scoring enough to win games, its just not enough to win a game comfortably.

    I think AVB is playing careful... but its the right thing to do.
    • Like Like x 1
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  13. Third Kit '87
    Excellent article, as always. In fact it's uncanny that you mention the Simpsons clip as I made the exact same comparison myself when watching the game yesterday! I love Spurs and love AVB but can totally understand the anxiety levels at home games- we've been poor at home and are lucky to have gotten the 3 wins from the 5 games IMO. A 'plan B' for teams who come to park the bus is certainly required. Personally I'd love to see Ade given a chance in a front 2 with Soldado for games such as these.
  14. Shirtfront
    Good post. I agree re Vlad: definitely lacks pace and that worries me. Still, we don't have much choice as we have no cover for Rose other than Vert and Kaboul is crippled it seems.

    What I don't understand is why we don't try having the wingers switch wings from time to time when they are parking the bus. Mix and match crosses from the by line with the inside-out winger?

    Soldado needs supply from somewhere. If it is not coming from a number 10; and it is not coming from wingers; and it is not coming from full backs; where is it going to come from?
    • Like Like x 1
  15. beuller

    I am assuming you watched the full game as well as the MOTD2 highlights?
  16. topaz
    I agree with you Krafty that AVB's comments are out of order. It's all very well asking a crowd to be patient but his tactics and methods are showing no signs whatsoever of progress in picking open the 10-men-behind-the-ball defences that we seem to be facing against all but the top teams. The crowd's recurrent messages were to pass the ball more quickly forward and to bring the wingers into play to get behind the defence, which, despite Townsend and Lennon both being there, didn't happen more than once or twice in the whole 90 minutes.
    We are not helped in this respect by the narrowness of the pitch - only Villa and West Ham have a narrower pitch. There is an extra yard at Arsenal, an extra three yards at Old Trafford and an extra five yards at Everton and Man City.
    No way was that a penalty and we have used up a significant slice of the luck due to us. We are simply not scoring enough goals and it may be that this is a price we are paying for the new clean-sheet solidity. AVB effectively acknowledged that he had made a mistake in setting up too safety first by replacing Sandro with Dembele at half-time. On paper our side is patently a lot better and more full of creativity than it is in practice and that is something the coach has to answer for rather than the crowd.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  17. Krafty
    Yes mate, I've got a season ticket. I try to be a bit more reserved when I haven't seen the full game as even extended highlights can be deceptive.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. ginola007
    Excellent article, as usual. Regarding Soldado, he's the coolest penalty taker we've in years. His touches are sublime, his awareness superb. Yet, I've got the feeling his talents are more suitable in La Ligue than the BPL, as his does not have the physical power of a Benteke, the kingfisher acceleration of an Aguero, or the audacity of a Suarez. He excels in taking advantage of one-touch passings such as the goal he scored against Aston Villa. But so far we have not performed to that kind of level in which he can flourish. As stated by many, our approach is all too predictable. Hope we can improve on this aspect sooner rather than later.
  19. beuller

    Good lad. Would hate to think of you trying to write a review with only Mark 'Chappers' Chapman and the BBC editing team for inspiration.

    Honestly! Mark Chapman? Was 'Comedy' Dave not available?

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