After another really frustrating loss we lick our wounds and look ahead to the next game. Pochettino and the Spurs fans are justifiably proud of the way our very young team played against a team full of expensive world class players.
We point to the fact four academy players started yesterday (Kane, Mason, Bentaleb, Townsend), and that another three young English players were bought as youngsters (Walker, Dier & Rose) as signs that Spurs are building a team the proper way. Our starting eleven had an average age of just 23!
That is all well and good and those are all good points. Like practically all Spurs fans, I'm very happy with the job Pochettino is doing. The squad is young, strong and the signs from our academy are of an even better bunch of players joining the first team squad next season including the likes of Tom Carroll currently at Swansea and Dele Ali who looks first team material already.
However, the reason why we lost the game yesterday and why we're not already in the top four is not because our young team isn't good enough. Its because of defensive errors. The first goal yesterday was the result of two defensive errors. Firstly, Chadli poor positioning and tug on the Chelsea players shirt. Secondly, it was that we set up our defense zonal, as with many free kicks, rather than man to man as we do at a corner. This was pointed out yesterday during half time analysis. That free kick was from way out wide and was always going to be delivered into the danger area like a corner. The goal came from our defenders marking the space (zonal) rather than marking their danger men (man to man).
Time and again we give away goals, not from amazing play from the opposition, but from defensive mistakes. We've come from behind the most this season - because we've had to! We've let in more goals than all of the rest of the top 10 and more than West Brom. Hull in 15th have let in the same amount of goals as us and Aston Villa, in 19th have let in just one more!
We've kept just 6 clean sheets in 26 league games, and four of those came in the first 7 games!
For comparisons sake, Liverpool's rise up the table, leapfrogging Spurs, has largely been the result of a 10 game run in which they kept 6 clean sheets!
Scoring-wise, we've actually outscored everyone outside the current top four! Scoring goals isn't our problem. Its our defense thats letting us down.
We need to sort out our defensive woes. This doesn't mean signing new defenders. Defending has to be done as a team. we've seen plenty of examples where the opposition has scored because the midfielders or winger hasn't tracked him or switched off.
Defensive coaching has to be our priority. We've got 14 games left to the season with just 1 game per week most weeks. The players are fit enough to be drilled. That famed second training session should be all about defending.
if we stop conceding goals, we can get top 4. Lets do it! COYS