Tactically Utterly Inept

Joined
Feb 23, 2007
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13
Thread starter #1
A big headline. So, let me state my credentials. I have coached youth football for 4 years, from U7 up to U10. I am an FA qualified coach. Impressive huh? Hmmmm. On top of that, I've been watching football - no, studying football - avidly, everywhere and anywhere, for 37 years. From the Stoke "glory years" of the early 70s as a nipper on my Dad's shoulders, via any local pitch on any spare weekend or evening, to my two sons' beloved Spurs through recent times. Impressive huh? Hmmmm. Well, not really either, but that last bit makes sort of gives me the right to comment (if only as a "shareholder").

What the hell was that team selection last night? Was Ramos doing the team selection with a blindfold using folded pieces of paper? Honestly, I really really want to trust him, and let me make clear that whatever happens on the pitch does not alter one iota our feelings for Spurs (a club is for life, no divorce, period), but I finally fell about laughing when I saw our team-sheet last night.

I remember John Beck's Cambridge United, the Crazy Gang, George Graham's Arsenal, even McClaren's England or Ardiles' Spurs and somewhere, if I scratch my head and really try to put myself in their shoes, I can somehow sort of see what they were trying to achieve (ok, maybe not McClaren), even if I hated the aesthetic. Yet last night was the most fascinatingly grotesque, inept, unfathomable team selection I have witnessed in any part of this daft, beautiful game.

I heard once that Ramos famously subbed a player in his time in Spain without replacing him - to make the remaining 10 try harder. Well, that was sane. Last night was madness.

We're playing youthful, effervescent Aston Villa. Organised by an astute (if somewhat verbose) manager. They have pace to burn. They have Ashley Young and Gabriel Agbonlahor. They have a very fine central midfield heartbeat too. But, on the plus side, their fullbacks are questionable and their midfield looks a bit lopsided. Psychologically, the last time they came here they through away a big lead. Oh, and we're playing at home and need a win. So, what do we do? We:

Stifle the simply wonderful Bale by playing a lightweight out of position in front of him.

Select a worthy but ponderous centre back, whose tackling and turning is known to be hugely suspect. His judgement simply crap. Against that pace.

Throw in a right back making his debut, when actually he's a very passable centre back with outstanding heading abilities (see above). Against those runners and points of attack.

Put the slow, thoughtful, "give me a few seconds to pick the killer pass" Mr Hudd (turning circle and speed of an oil tanker) in the centre of the pitch. Against that energy.

Put Didier Zokora with him, who can't pass for toffee, so even if he breaks up play, he gives it straight back rather than to the creative Mr Hudd (see above). Opposite Gareth Barry.

Play Darren Bent with the new multi-million pound new signing we are presumably looking to motivate. A man who spent the summer playing international football of Arshavin.

Leave GDS on the bench (see point about Bale).

Drop Gunter completely (see points about youthful, effervescent Villa, and Corluka above).

Play Modric completely out of position (see points about Mr Hudd, Zokora or Bale above).

Leave Jenas on the bench (don't dare criticise him, his importance to THIS team cannot be overstated - see performance when forced on due to injury upsetting Plan A. If you choose to pick on him, you are completely deluded about the quality of the rest).

I haven't even mentioned Bentley, who seems to be dividing so much opinion but mark my words is a very fine player.

Now, the selection above is insanity - it's not even GCSE tactics - but to then throw in the fact a completely different team got a very creditable point a Chelsea, that we are trying to find a settled system (the season has STARTED), that we're getting the players used to one another etc - well, it defies belief.

I bet Martin O'Neill rubbed his eyes, rubbed them again, then feel about laughing when he saw Ramos' team-sheet. Then he would have put a friendly, encouraging arm around Young, Agbonlahor, Barry, even bloody Reo-Coker and said "it's your game tonight, boys".

I hope I'm wrong, but something's badly wrong. Our loss ratio under Ramos is woeful, our summer "business" was woeful (boy oh boy how our brinkmanship backfired), but last night's team and tactics - for me - were the scariest thing yet.

So I say finally "in Ramos we trust" only because, in times of extreme desperation, religion and blind faith always flourish.
 

SpursMadDave

SpursMadForever
Joined
Feb 26, 2005
Messages
1,777
#3
I quite agree with all you said, but even with the best will in the world and a more sensible starting 11 and formation, the team just didnt look 'up' for it... I have been struggling to think of a more inept performance in recent memory, nearest i can think of is Teddys last game when we lost 4-0 at home to Blackburn....
 

mil1lion

Bad Banter
Joined
May 7, 2004
Messages
30,626
#4
Theres no doubt that Ramos was looking ahead to Thursday night. He did the same with Sevilla and they lost League games because of it. They still done well in the League in the end though. But it does baffle me that, in a game thats much tougher, and at the moment more important, than the UEFA Cup game, that Ramos made several changes.

I wasn't totally aganst the starting line up at first though. Modric played out on the left for Zagreb, so it didn't surprise me to see him there. I could understand why Lennon was picked ahead of Bentley, to deal with the pace of Young. Huddlestone had a poor performance but i wouldn't have expected that from him at home. He would have been perfect for keeping possession and feeding balls to Bent and Pavyluchenko. But unfortunately he was shown up in midfield when he came up against the quick and vibrant Villa midfield. And Zokora went missing as usual which didn't help at all. So that area of the field i was most surprised with. I would have expected Jenas to start. And i would have prefered Dawson on thursday night and King last night. But all in all, i would never have expected all of our players to play so poorly at home.

Anyway, anyone else wish we had signed Gareth Barry now? I thought £18m was a bit too steep but after that display, he would be well worth it. Doubt he would leave Villa for Spurs though.
 

ethanedwards

Snowflake incarnate.
Joined
Nov 24, 2006
Messages
2,785
#5
Great post, didn't see the game ,thankfully, but when I heard the team selection MON must have been thinking Christmas came early.
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
3,053
#6
I'm dissapointed with Ramos's choice of system and line up last night, i think he got it badley wrong.

I wish Ramos would have played the same 11 as he did v Chavski and wish he would play that team week in week out and add players as needed when injury's occur. We are not ready to swap and change systems and player positions yet, we need a settled 1st 11 first and give them a good long run.
 

penfold_99

Active Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2006
Messages
631
#7
The only thing that was worse than the performance on the pitch was the lack lustre support from the crowd.

The atmosphere should have been intimidating for villa but you could here a pin drop and when it was noisy we out sung by the away fans.

The crowd have to take some responsibility as a good atmosphere will lift the team that are a bit ropey but last night there was no atmosphere.
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2004
Messages
269
#8
Why cant we just pick our best team for every game? I am not a big fan of this rotation thing and it proved the downfall last night. I believe that if all our best players are fit then they should play. The only reason they should be dropped is if they are tired or out of form or injured. The game against Chelsea was proof that we can compete with the best and I have no doubt that if that same team played last night we would have done a lot better.

Please Ramos pick the best team possible for every game. Our squad simply isnt good enough to make 4-5 changes every game.
 

padgateyids

Active Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2006
Messages
422
#9
We need a settled 11. everygame so far we have changed foramtion at least three times.
Foir a new side how are they ever going to get an understanding between each other.
We have gone for versatile players but no-one has a clue what there tole is in the team. Start with the basics and build up to more comlicated roles not throwing players in to any old position.
 

riversmonkey

Active Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2004
Messages
1,244
#10
The difference is that Villa players knew their roles, ours didn't.

Most successful teams 'pick themselves', I honestly couldn't name our most effective starting midfield and neither can our manager.
 

infamousyiddo

Active Member
Joined
May 8, 2006
Messages
1,182
#11
that first 25 mins last night was possibly the WORST i have seen since watching spurs, i cannot remember a poorer half of football from us
 

tomo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2003
Messages
1,094
#12
Really good article. I was also at the game last night and was actually pretty shocked at how bad we were.

Nothing else to say, just hope we get a result against Krakow.
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2004
Messages
896
#13
Good article. Great to see that some on here recognise the importance of JJ to the team. He is the one player who we really miss when he is not in the starting eleven.
 

Stoof

Stoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooof
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Jun 5, 2004
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#14
I said to the guys in the pub after the game last night that at least with other managers and different squads you could kind of twist your body and squint at the team and have that Eureka! moment when you realise exactly what he/she/it was trying to achieve with a formation and particular set of players.

I have always struggled to see that with Ramos.

This whole Bentley on the left, Lennon on the right thing gets me too. Surely everyone can see that just isn't the way to play them. Unless, ultimately his plan is for Bentley to sit behind the on-rushing Bale? [I've just this minute thought of that]

But generally, I'm baffled - and it's never been so baffling as it has been this season.

I've never heard all disgruntled fans singing the same "the selection isn't right" hymn. I used to argue with people when Jol would put Lennon on the left, but now I bet a thousand of you would sooner he played on the left and Bentley on the right. Or better still Giovani on the left (as a left winger) and Bentley or Lennon (as right wingers) on the right.

Who knows. I'm babbling. But I agree with some bits, disagree with others. I'm not sure you necessarily need more qualifications or attributes than a pair of eyes and a ticket to the game to notice that something isn't smelling quite right.
 
Joined
Jul 3, 2008
Messages
730
#15
This is what the team should be.

GK: Gomes
Lb: bale
cb: king
cb: woodgate
rb: corluka
rm:bentley
dm: zokora
cm: modric (if he doesn't perform, then replace him with jenas)
lm:gio
st: pav
st: bent


^^^ Not one player is playing out of position there. They have all been purchased because they performed really well for their respective clubs in those positions.

Last night, only 1 player started out playing out of position and that was Modric. Then when he went off, don't think anyone new what they were doing. Bentley is not a left winger and he does not have the pace to do a job their.

Lennon was our stand out player last night but even his end product let him down too often.
 

kcmei

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Aug 9, 2008
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6,958
#16
i think we should revert to a traditional 4-4-2 english style first before trying out this fluid system of attack. This would suit bentley and bale very well.
 

rygooda

New Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2008
Messages
3
#18
this is my 1st post..all im gonna say is formation is wrong and bentley is this seasons bent..over rated sh*t..those of u saying he should be in the team..simple question..y'd u think that?ave u not been watching the games?lennon on the right.he's been r best player especially last night he tore villa apart!were all entitled 2 r own say...
gomes
gunter(hutton wen fit) king woodgate bale
lennon hudds jenas modric
pav dos santos

desperate 4 another forward..then take jenas out unless he improves.cos at times he can look quality..most of time under performing..
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2005
Messages
876
#19
Supporting Tottenham is like a football version of 'Ground Hog Day', wake up new season, new manager, new team, listen to endless talk about breaking the top 4, play season, win some games, lose some games, get frustrated, get excited, realize in the first week that we are not top 4 material, at the end of the season our best players get frustrated and leave for 'better' teams.....next year, wake up new season, new manager, new team, listen to endless talk about breaking the top 4, play season, win some games, lose some games, get frustrated, get excited, realize in the first week that we are not top 4 material, at the end of the season our best players get frustrated and leave for 'better' teams. ....and so it goes on. ....and so it goes on !

Now I wouldn't mind if there's progress and I really felt like there was some progress this year with our purchases, but our results recently have just taken me back to the beginning of last season again and if this continues we will surely lose any of our good players again and we will have to build a new team yet again.

We are trying hard to build a great team but until we start getting the results this vicious circle will just go on and on !
 

Spursfect

Just Score!!!!
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Messages
118
#20
I said to the guys in the pub after the game last night that at least with other managers and different squads you could kind of twist your body and squint at the team and have that Eureka! moment when you realise exactly what he/she/it was trying to achieve with a formation and particular set of players.

I have always struggled to see that with Ramos.

This whole Bentley on the left, Lennon on the right thing gets me too. Surely everyone can see that just isn't the way to play them. Unless, ultimately his plan is for Bentley to sit behind the on-rushing Bale? [I've just this minute thought of that]

But generally, I'm baffled - and it's never been so baffling as it has been this season.

I've never heard all disgruntled fans singing the same "the selection isn't right" hymn. I used to argue with people when Jol would put Lennon on the left, but now I bet a thousand of you would sooner he played on the left and Bentley on the right. Or better still Giovani on the left (as a left winger) and Bentley or Lennon (as right wingers) on the right.

Who knows. I'm babbling. But I agree with some bits, disagree with others. I'm not sure you necessarily need more qualifications or attributes than a pair of eyes and a ticket to the game to notice that something isn't smelling quite right.



Stoof not trying to criticise your opinion just want to put an alternate view forward.

Gomes
Corluka Dawson, Woodgate Bale
Lennon Huddlestone Zokora Modric
Pavlyuchenko Bent

Subs: Cesar, Bentley, Giovani, Jenas, Campbell, O'Hara, Gilberto

On paper this team looked pretty solid. Tactically you could argue the middle pairing in midfield was not particularly pacey. However, the counterpoint to this could possibly have been to sit deep thus keeping the pace in front of them rather than getting in behind. Reo-Coker was playing wide right but is not a winger so the threat of him getting behind Bale was smaller than Young who is a wide player. Lennon can match him for pace. With Modric's quality you would have thought he could force Reo-Coker back into defensive areas where he was more comfortable.

Lennon attacking Shorey should have forced Young to defend more.

Dawson marks Carew with Agbonlahor being picked up by a combo of Woodgate and Zokora. Our two CM's should have allowed our players to stay wider and further up the field.

This could have worked IF our players turned up. The bottom line is they didn't.

Tactically this could have worked IF our players were up for the fight. The bottom line is they weren't.

We are always going on about the quality of squad, and I do believe it does have quality. What we do not have are fighters. Players who believe they have to earn the right to play.....not just turn up and expect teams to roll over and allow us to play pretty football.

We were at home and should have been able to get a result against a good, but not exceptional, Villa side. We were out-fought. Player for player they were not better than us, however mentally they were Champions League and were Conference South. This has been the case since CC final, our mentality has been poor. I thought Ramos was a disciplinarian.......maybe I was wrong because I do not see much discipline or passion in our players.

COYS turn it around show us you care
 
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