Style of play

hellava_tough

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FWIW, if I were Poch I'd drill two formations:

A 4-2-3-1 that would be our standard formation, used 90% of the time. Individual player instructions and tactics could vary game to game, but the overall structure of the team would be the same.

A 4-5-1 ultra-defensive counter attacking formation, for games where we go to the likes of Anfield, the Nou Camp, etc*. Throw some Argentinian 'dark-arts' in there too, to make us an absolute nightmare to play against and give us a fighting chance in these big games against difficult opposition. Also, if we were well drilled defensively for this formation, it would help the players mentally because they would know and focus on what they needed to do, as opposed to let their minds wander and worry about how they're supposed to be playing the up-coming game.

Either way, like many posters on here have alluded to, you never know what our formation, tactics or player selection is going to be game to game, and that's really disappointing.




*Sometimes I think that 'big' coaches don't tend to do this, because their egos get in the way. 'Parking the bus' is seen as a bit of an inferior way to do things and it only seemed to be the likes of Mourinho that had no shame in grinding out results against superior opposition.
 

LeParisien

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Lots of very harsh comments.

Yes we were terrible in the league last 13 games of the season but that was down to tiredness compounded by the focus being on the CL run. I get that it feels like a long time since we played good crisp football. But a gritty away point against the best team in the country is a strange time to sound the alarm!

I think as Lo Celso and Ndombele bed in that will change as we will have the best central midfield we’ve had since I’ve been watching. Well be lucky if we have an individual as good as modric (although they won’t be far off) but overall it will be shit hot.

People talk about width and forget that Walker and Rose were always harassed about end product and brain farts. Dembele was excellent in the middle third but looked lost in the final third. That’s not true of Ndombele or Lo Celso.

Let’s wait to see how things develop but we have better raw materials to fit together than ever before.

STOP WORRYING AND ENJOY THE RIDE
 

hellava_tough

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Lots of very harsh comments.

Yes we were terrible in the league last 13 games of the season but that was down to tiredness compounded by the focus being on the CL run. I get that it feels like a long time since we played good crisp football. But a gritty away point against the best team in the country is a strange time to sound the alarm!

I think as Lo Celso and Ndombele bed in that will change as we will have the best central midfield we’ve had since I’ve been watching. Well be lucky if we have an individual as good as modric (although they won’t be far off) but overall it will be shit hot.

People talk about width and forget that Walker and Rose were always harassed about end product and brain farts. Dembele was excellent in the middle third but looked lost in the final third. That’s not true of Ndombele or Lo Celso.

Let’s wait to see how things develop but we have better raw materials to fit together than ever before.

STOP WORRYING AND ENJOY THE RIDE
I definitely agree with that; throw Sessegnon into the mix as well, btw.

However, the problems that most have highlighted are to do with preparation, formations and tactics, as opposed to 'raw materials'.
 
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Poch himself has been saying this last few weeks that he needs to time to get his new team right.

Most people here are quite right that at our peak 2 seasons ago, we relied heavily on the superhuman Dembele and the the indefatigable Rose and Walker as insurance policies.

Since the turn of the year we've been playing a more percentages football game... Riskier passing and attacking play, trusting in our ability to turnover the ball quickly and effectively in our own half, and then higher and persistent energy levels to see us through.

The signings we made this summer are so key. A proper pair of ball playing midfielders, one a potential super-pivot like Dembele, and the other a full on enganche for unlocking stubborn defences. And finally a proper pacey wingback again.

If anything I hope we return to the system of 2 years ago finally, now that we have the players required again.
 

allatsea

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This isn't the time to worry about style of play IMO
So true. Lets keep picking up points whilst Poch sorts out the team and integrates the new players. Dembele was a wonderful player but incisive passing and goal scoring was not his forte.
 

hellava_tough

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This isn't the time to worry about style of play IMO
I think it's less about worrying as you rightly put it, and more about reviewing our style, play and tactics over the last 18 months, with a view to assessing what we need to work on.

Personally, I think we'll comfortably finish 3rd this season all things considered, but with question marks remaining over the efficiency of performances (i.e. is Poch getting the best out of the players at his disposal?).

We also have to put this into context; it's been a long time since we've been consistently viewed as a 'big club' by fans, so we definitely need to 'enjoy the ride' as some posters have said. But it doesn't mean we can't discuss our strengths and weaknesses going forward.
 

Shadydan

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I think it's less about worrying as you rightly put it, and more about reviewing our style, play and tactics over the last 18 months, with a view to assessing what we need to work on.

Personally, I think we'll comfortably finish 3rd this season all things considered, but with question marks remaining over the efficiency of performances (i.e. is Poch getting the best out of the players at his disposal?).

We also have to put this into context; it's been a long time since we've been consistently viewed as a 'big club' by fans, so we definitely need to 'enjoy the ride' as some posters have said. But it doesn't mean we can't discuss our strengths and weaknesses going forward.
I reckon we just need to be patient, let our new players settle in, we are normally slow starters in terms of style of play and cohesion.

Yesterday was hard to judge, maybe there's a little concern about the way we start matches but we will improve.
 

shelfmonkey

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Im not one to usually start any kind of thread, I tend to tag onto any thread available but felt a tad compelled to start something on our style of play. This isnt a trigger happy post but a post based on whats happened over the last couple of years in terms of performances in the main.

When Poch first came and particularly at WHL we had a style of play an identity which I feel over the last couple of years has since disappeared. It could be as Poch calls it adaptation or perhaps it is evolving into something else but the question is "to what"?

We had a style of play that meant our full backs bombed forward supporting our attack, we played with intensity and purpose and that bought the best out of all our players - Kane, Dele, Eriksen, Dembele at the time etc. Now our play and tactics is such that it kinda makes our players look tired, lackadaisical, slow. Kane for example today had nothing, Eriksen was useless as were one or two others but i dont really blame them, I blame how we play and how we are set up. I dont think it is right that we have one of the best strikers in the world who was running around like a headless chicken searching for the football... and it isnt the first time.

So my question is has our actual play gone backwards, are we really getting the best out of our current players? Is Poch overthinking things eg the diamond formation or not playing our best formation and tactics to our strengths?

I appreciate it sounds ludicrous given how far we have come and how close we were last season to winning the CL.

Thank you for your time...
Bang on sir!👍👍👍🏆
 

shelfmonkey

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I reckon we just need to be patient, let our new players settle in, we are normally slow starters in terms of style of play and cohesion.

Yesterday was hard to judge, maybe there's a little concern about the way we start matches but we will improve.
To be he's not using yesterday as the pivot of his argument, he's reviewing the decline of our 'style' of play from it's peak 2yrs ago.
 

LeParisien

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I definitely agree with that; throw Sessegnon into the mix as well, btw.

However, the problems that most have highlighted are to do with preparation, formations and tactics, as opposed to 'raw materials'.
That’s true but they’re all interlinked.

We’re in a place now where the past year has been a particularly poor indication of the coming year. We’ve had injuries and a lack of midfield options last year that would frustrate any preparation to do with formations and tactics. The opportunities for development weren’t there as we were cobbling together a team.

But that also had some upsides. Son showed he can step up in a way we didn’t think possible. Lucas has found another level. Sissoko became a new man. Skipp adds depth and he’s one of our own. Foyth showed enough to think he might become very very good. Rose showed performances he hasn’t done in years. None of these elements were enough to create a cohesive side but the moments of magic they brought provide depth and variety that we didn’t have a year ago. And this coming year they will mostly be a spice rather than the main course.

Of course there are question marks about how Pochettino will put the components he has together. But that is exciting not worrying. Crucially, assuming we avoid an injury crisis, the teams style of play won’t be frustrated by missing or knackered players.

Im optimistic because in our crisis last year, players improved. They will be part of a squad whose style of play will be built around the exceptional new talent we have. We will be purring in the second half of the season.
 

Shadydan

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To be he's not using yesterday as the pivot of his argument, he's reviewing the decline of our 'style' of play from it's peak 2yrs ago.
But he's bought it up because we didn't play well yesterday, this thread wouldn't exist had it not have been for the performance against City.

Last season was a given, there were a lot of external factors as to why we have gone backwards so I'm giving the team the benefit of the doubt.

I think Poch has an idea in his head how he wants us to play going forward, i just think we have to wait. We don't usually start the season well when it comes to cohesive football under Poch, we very much just get through matches, I suspect it will be the same until early December when we usually start to hit our stride.

If we're playing like this in January then we can start to panic.
 

arunspurs

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I don't think we have regressed at all. Infact ,I think team is nowadays setup to play the opponents and we look to achieve the goals set. When Poch came on, he had a bunch of 22 or 23 year olds who he could groom to play he wanted. We were playing lethargically, so he implemented the pressing football.

We ran like headless chickens at times. Like of Harry ran every where the ball was. Then slowly , we cut down on it. We only press when we want to. We last more physically in later half of games due to this.

In recent seasons , we play faster vertical passing from likes of Toby to move us up the pitch.

But what has affected is, injuries in key positions. We literally didnt have a CM last year & forward line was also decimated with injuries as well.

Yesterday, we were setup to get a point, we got a point.

If squad has no/minimal injuries this season, am sure we will see far more convincing performances
 

shoggy33

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Way to soon to panic, but im not particularly optimistic for the season based on what I've seen so far. The things that made us a 'Poch team' - energy, pace, pressing, players running through brick walls for their manager - don't seem to apply anymore. More worryingly, the arm chair experts on here nearly always manage to spot where the problem is before he does. It shouldn't take him until half time to get things right, more often than not he should be getting it right from the start. Hopefully we'll see some improvements over the next few weeks because we now have a squad to match anyone's (bar City) so it's really all on Poch to get the best out of them.
 

LeParisien

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Way to soon to panic, but im not particularly optimistic for the season based on what I've seen so far. The things that made us a 'Poch team' - energy, pace, pressing, players running through brick walls for their manager - don't seem to apply anymore. More worryingly, the arm chair experts on here nearly always manage to spot where the problem is before he does. It shouldn't take him until half time to get things right, more often than not he should be getting it right from the start. Hopefully we'll see some improvements over the next few weeks because we now have a squad to match anyone's (bar City) so it's really all on Poch to get the best out of them.
I’d say Poch got the Lucas sub right yesterday. Judging by the mess in my pants he also got the Lo Celso one right too!
 

shoggy33

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But he's bought it up because we didn't play well yesterday, this thread wouldn't exist had it not have been for the performance against City.

Last season was a given, there were a lot of external factors as to why we have gone backwards so I'm giving the team the benefit of the doubt.

I think Poch has an idea in his head how he wants us to play going forward, i just think we have to wait. We don't usually start the season well when it comes to cohesive football under Poch, we very much just get through matches, I suspect it will be the same until early December when we usually start to hit our stride.

If we're playing like this in January then we can start to panic.
Just playing devil's advocate here but why is at acceptable that we don't start the season well under Poch? He's meant to be one of the best managers in the world, and he's got a squad full of too class players now..... It shouldn't take him until November to get them playing well.
 

LeParisien

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Just playing devil's advocate here but why is at acceptable that we don't start the season well under Poch? He's meant to be one of the best managers in the world, and he's got a squad full of too class players now..... It shouldn't take him until November to get them playing well.
@Shadydan

To challenge that narrative...

Last season we won 10 of our opening 13 games through to the end of November, including the first 3. We lost away to Watford and home to City and Liverpool. We beat Man Utd and West Ham away early on.

https://www.worldfootball.net/teams/tottenham-hotspur/2019/3/

Our problem was the opposite - relegation form in the final third of the season!

Season before our points per game was higher in first 9 games than the season as a whole even if there were some disappointing results!

I don’t think we’re that slow to start..
 

spids

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I think Poch has seen us lose big games and realised there were limitations to his 4-2-3-1. He has clearly decided he wants to play a 4-4-1-1 diamond, based on the last few months. I personally think Winks is not good enough in terms of defensive positioning to be at the base of the diamond, and that we are too narrow in as a team. In both of our games so far Poch has changed this at HT and we've had a little more width second half, so the team are clearly not executing as he wants right now. With Son, Dele, Sessegnon, Foyth and Lo Celso to be available for selection, and players like Verts and Dier to push for starts as their fitness levels increase I think the new formation can work. For example, this team looks more solid defensively, Lo Celso and Ndomeble can break the press of opponents, Son can provide the pace and width in a free forward role and Dele can start getting into the box centrally which is his major strength. Dier also gives us the flexibility to drop in between the CBs and let the FBs bomb on if that is required.

Lloris
Foyth Toby Verts Sessegnon
Dier
Ndombele Lo Celso
Dele
Kane Son​

I think this formation is very much an early 'work in progress' and that we have new players who will suit playing this way. Plus we have great strength in depth so the likes of Winks, Sissoko, Lamela, Davies, Skipp, Moura will also offer a lot either starting or from the bench.
 

DEFchenkOE

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I think Poch has seen us lose big games and realised there were limitations to his 4-2-3-1. He has clearly decided he wants to play a 4-4-1-1 diamond, based on the last few months. I personally think Winks is not good enough in terms of defensive positioning to be at the base of the diamond, and that we are too narrow in as a team. In both of our games so far Poch has changed this at HT and we've had a little more width second half, so the team are clearly not executing as he wants right now. With Son, Dele, Sessegnon, Foyth and Lo Celso to be available for selection, and players like Verts and Dier to push for starts as their fitness levels increase I think the new formation can work. For example, this team looks more solid defensively, Lo Celso and Ndomeble can break the press of opponents, Son can provide the pace and width in a free forward role and Dele can start getting into the box centrally which is his major strength. Dier also gives us the flexibility to drop in between the CBs and let the FBs bomb on if that is required.

Lloris
Foyth Toby Verts Sessegnon
Dier
Ndombele Lo Celso
Dele
Kane Son​

I think this formation is very much an early 'work in progress' and that we have new players who will suit playing this way. Plus we have great strength in depth so the likes of Winks, Sissoko, Lamela, Davies, Skipp, Moura will also offer a lot either starting or from the bench.
Tbh, I don't think the diamond works for us. We tried it in the CL final and was poor and looked so bad against Villa until Poch changed it. Our fullbacks aren't good enough and the lack of width is apparent. I think we need to go 433 with Son and Lucas flanking Kane. If Liverpool can play this way with Mane, Firminho and Salah I don't see why we can't. And I believe we have better midfield options than them. They edge us in defence but there isn't too much in it imo.
 

spids

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Tbh, I don't think the diamond works for us. We tried it in the CL final and was poor and looked so bad against Villa until Poch changed it. Our fullbacks aren't good enough and the lack of width is apparent. I think we need to go 433 with Son and Lucas flanking Kane. If Liverpool can play this way with Mane, Firminho and Salah I don't see why we can't. And I believe we have better midfield options than them. They edge us in defence but there isn't too much in it imo.
But how can you say the diamond does not work when half the players have not yet featured in it? I agree Sissoko and Winks in a diamond midfield is poor.
 
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