1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Dear Guest, Please note that adult content is not permitted on this forum. We have had our Google ads disabled due to some posts that were found from some time ago. Please do not post adult content and if you see any already on the forum, please report the post so that we can deal with it. Thanks, scara
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Please read this post: https://www.glory-glory.co.uk/community/threads/fund-raising-for-jeremy-yermiyahu.10542/
    Dismiss Notice

The case for the defence

Discussion in 'Spurs News & Views' started by Danishfurniturelover, 25 Aug 2019.

  1. braineclipse

    braineclipse Paul Stewart

    Joined:
    15 Jan 2012
    Messages:
    18,862
    Likes Received:
    6,645
    At times at least we looked to be playing something like a 4-3-1-2. Lucas tracked back to make it a midfield 4 and both Kane and Vinicius worked hard. But that kind of system does leave the wide areas vulnerable, particularly in the early stages of attacks.

    Lo Celso playing one of those midfield roles when short on fitness probably didn't help in that regard.

    Perhaps a solid, bold decision by Mourinho to go with that system when using Tanganga at right back?
     
  2. Bedfordspurs

    Bedfordspurs Ralph Coates

    Joined:
    14 Jan 2012
    Messages:
    29,658
    Likes Received:
    18,810
    Targett?
    Thought he did nothing except take free kicks and corners TBH
    He is a solid player though
    Lo Celso had the highest completed pass rate % of anyone who started the game but his defensive stats are poor
     
    harr1984 likes this.
  3. Finney Is Back

    Finney Is Back Paul Robinson

    Joined:
    26 Jan 2012
    Messages:
    10,132
    Likes Received:
    8,132
    Targett kept getting forward and Villa always seemed to have 3 players out there against Tanganga and Sanchez. I thought Tanganga got caught too far forward a few times as well, leaving Sanchez exposed.
     
  4. Bedfordspurs

    Bedfordspurs Ralph Coates

    Joined:
    14 Jan 2012
    Messages:
    29,658
    Likes Received:
    18,810
    Certainly not how I saw it
    They regularly had their 3 man in attackers but offered nothing of note wide or central
    They kinda huffed and puffed
    Neville thought they were getting in down our left but again I don’t remember them ever getting the ball into a dangerous area
    They had the blocked effort mid second half below
     
    Caitano and spurrrr like this.
  5. Finney Is Back

    Finney Is Back Paul Robinson

    Joined:
    26 Jan 2012
    Messages:
    10,132
    Likes Received:
    8,132
    Yeah good point, I think you're right on the formation, though Hojbjerg and Ndombele seemed to be deeper than Lo Celso. I thought it was going to be a standard 4-4-2 with Kane having a free role when I saw the team, but in play it looked to me like a 4-2-3-1 with Moura, Kane and Lo Celso going L to R as the 3. Whether it was a 4-3-1-2 or a 4-2-3-1 Lo Celso seemed rather lax to me in tracking his opponent. I was pleased that Grealish wasn't playing as Villa got into lots of good positions to put in a good final ball only to put in a poor final ball. You can see why Grealish is so important to them. I think we'll have to tighten up a bit for the return game against Villa when he is likely to be back.
     
  6. Finney Is Back

    Finney Is Back Paul Robinson

    Joined:
    26 Jan 2012
    Messages:
    10,132
    Likes Received:
    8,132
    They were getting down both sides only to deliver very poor final balls when getting into those good positions. On three occasions they had a man completely free and unblocked for a pull back in the box only for their player in possession to instead hold on to the ball or hit one straight across goal.
     
  7. SteveAWOL

    SteveAWOL Tom Huddlestone

    Joined:
    23 Jan 2012
    Messages:
    13,948
    Likes Received:
    11,181
  8. markysimmo

    markysimmo Johnny nice-tits

    Joined:
    14 Jan 2012
    Messages:
    26,036
    Likes Received:
    7,999
    Rodon was really good today, the other 3 were pretty awful especially Sanchez
     
  9. Yiddo

    Yiddo Pat van den Hauwe

    Joined:
    14 Jan 2012
    Messages:
    7,700
    Likes Received:
    2,479
    Location:
    Lurking
    Third best defensive record in the league :oops:

    imagine if our defence was actually good?
     
  10. Bedfordspurs

    Bedfordspurs Ralph Coates

    Joined:
    14 Jan 2012
    Messages:
    29,658
    Likes Received:
    18,810
    4th best attack too (may have changed after the weekend) yet we don’t play attacking football.... go figure
     
  11. billyiddo

    billyiddo Steve Sedgley Staff Member

    Joined:
    14 Jan 2012
    Messages:
    24,155
    Likes Received:
    14,917
    Location:
    SE4



    Many years ago, there was a lively post-match debate on Sky Sports between Graeme Souness and Gordon Strachan.

    The subject was the optimum way to defend corners, because the two Scots had just watched a team using zonal marking concede from a set piece.

    Strachan was a proponent of defending zonally at corners, pointing to statistics about its increased effectiveness and explaining that it prevented attacking block-offs. Souness insisted that man-marking was a better approach. His main point, which he repeated on multiple occasions, was that “zonal marking lets players off the hook”.

    Souness, whether or not he realised it, was effectively saying that his tactical preference stemmed from wanting to pin the blame for conceding on a player. If a zonal marking approach fails, the system — and therefore the manager who implements it — is considered culpable. But in a man-marking system, if someone gets outjumped by an opponent, you can point the finger directly at them.

    And therefore what appeared a tactical debate was, in actual fact, nothing of the sort. It was really a debate about man-management, about the relationship between players and their boss, about the extent to which a manager must carry the can for their failings on the pitch. Strachan focused upon which was best for the team. Souness was about which was best for him.

    This decade-old debate came to mind this week, in light of Jose Mourinho’s reaction to Tottenham Hotspur drawing at Newcastle United from 2-1 up with six minutes left, while permitting their highest single-game xG figure of the Premier League season so far. BBC reporter Juliette Ferrington asked Mourinho why his side keep on relinquishing leads, whereas previously his sides were renowned for hanging onto them. “Same coach, different players,” Mourinho responded.

    Not for the first time, a revealing answer stemmed from a question framed in light of his previous successes — Mourinho has a habit of giving more detailed answers to questions that begin with things like “Jose, as someone who has won it all…”

    It would be quite possible, though, for his players to respond in kind.

    To varying extents, the likes of Toby Alderweireld, Eric Dier and Davinson Sanchez have previously played in a stern Spurs defence under Mauricio Pochettino. That was an entirely different style of defending, based around pressure in advanced positions and a high line.

    When that defensive approach got breached, we tended to talk about the high line rather than the individuals.

    It’s the same, for example, for Hansi Flick’s Bayern Munich, who used an extraordinarily high line en route to European Cup success last year. It was impossible to watch them defend against Barcelona in the last eight or final opponents Paris Saint-Germain without almost jumping out of your seat, such was the bravery of their high line. Had they conceded to PSG from a through-ball and a run in behind, Flick would have been blamed. But he would probably have accepted responsibility, for he knows that a high-risk, high-reward strategy is best for his side.

    Mourinho once used that approach. Watch his triumphant Porto side throughout the Champions League knockout phase in 2003-04 and you’ll be surprised by how high his defence position themselves. These days, his defences sit deeper, dropping back to their own pelanty box quickly, particularly if Tottenham have gone ahead. On multiple occasions this season, that approach has cost them. While Mourinho would explain it forms part of his attacking strategy, attempting to draw the opposition forward and give Spurs space to counter-attack into, rarely have his side constructed regular breaks to justify their deep positioning.

    The thing with defending deep is that you’re asking your defenders to do more traditional defensive tasks. There are more aerial challenges inside your box, more situations where you have to stick tight to a player who is in a goalscoring position, more danger to anticipate and more blocks to be made. It also means that it’s more possible to concede goals that are not, in isolation, attributable to managerial strategy.

    When Tottenham lost 2-1 away to Liverpool in December, for example, the goals came from a crazy deflection, and then a late set-piece concession (from, of course, man-to-man marking).

    The first goal was unfortunate, but if you allow the opposition 76 per cent of the possession and 17 shots to your eight, there’s more chance of one finding its way into the net almost accidentally. Similarly, if you allow that much pressure, you concede more corners than you win (seven to four in this case), and there’s more chance of one leading to a goal. These things add up over time.

    It is sometimes said that Mourinho is antiquated tactically; that his inability to win trophies recently is because he hasn’t adjusted strategically. There’s clearly an element of truth to that, in comparison to Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola, but his primary problem is surely his inability to command the respect of players over a sustained period of time, evidenced by sudden drop-offs in his pre-Tottenham stints with Chelsea and Manchester United.

    It came as little surprise that, after Mourinho responded to Sunday’s 2-2 on Tyneside by blaming his players, some of them objected. It’s difficult to imagine many other current managers responding similarly.

    But that’s logical if Mourinho’s tactical approach is also out of step with that of his contemporaries. The tactical development of football, particularly over the last couple of decades, is about universality, about particular tasks being done collectively. Modern sides press aggressively from the front and play out from the back, meaning defensive play starts with your attackers and attacking play starts in defence. Every concept is a task for the entire side.

    Mourinho’s approach is more old-school. He works less than other contemporary managers on prepared attacking possession routines, preferring to allow playmakers to find solutions themselves. In a world of false nines, Mourinho has always liked true strikers such as Didier Drogba, Diego Milito and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He also likes proper defenders that belong in their own box: John Terry, Lucio, Ricardo Carvalho.

    With that approach, it’s more viable to pin the blame on somebody when things go wrong. If a goal is conceded, a defender is more obviously at fault than the system. And this comes back to that Strachan-Souness debate, which demonstrated that tactical decision-making and man-management are not entirely separate concepts.

    Mourinho’s reputation has never been lower, which is why he is determined to shift culpability onto his players and protect himself.

    It’s entirely possible that his tactical decision-making is also geared towards absolving himself of blame.

    Now, he’s fighting to prove he deserves to be in charge of Tottenham, rather than in his previous role: in a Sky Sports studio, nodding along with Souness.
     
    Robspur12, P.D., MKSpur and 1 other person like this.
  12. StephenH

    StephenH Les Howe

    Joined:
    21 Jun 2015
    Messages:
    20,153
    Likes Received:
    10,335
    Location:
    SW London
    Strachan was brilliant as a pundit and very entertaining.

    I thought zonal was frowned on by the majority of pundits?
     
  13. Bedfordspurs

    Bedfordspurs Ralph Coates

    Joined:
    14 Jan 2012
    Messages:
    29,658
    Likes Received:
    18,810
    Well...
    Its swings and roundabouts but in the above article it suits the direction that person writing it wants
     
    Last edited: 7 Apr 2021
    parklane1 and LemonadeMoney like this.
  14. Bishop

    Bishop Mido

    Joined:
    7 Mar 2012
    Messages:
    2,925
    Likes Received:
    2,885
    They only ever criticise the system when a team concedes while zonal marking. It's never brought up when a team concedes while man marking. It's just a bit of stupidity from pundits and confirmation bias.
     
    MKSpur likes this.
  15. elltrev

    elltrev Alan Hutton

    Joined:
    18 Jan 2012
    Messages:
    2,553
    Likes Received:
    1,858
    I've long been frustrated this season that Mourinho isn't playing Toby more, when it seems very evident to me that he's by far our least error-prone centre-back, and maybe even has a positive effect on the other defenders around him. So out of interest I compared our goals conceded with and without him in the team in the PL this season:

    upload_2021-4-9_11-43-24.png

    Obviously you can't be sure of causation, but it does look like quite a big difference. And I don't think that difference is due to the quality of the opposition - I took the average current points total of opposition faced in every game, and it averaged 41 for the games Toby played in and 42 for the games he didn't. (Appreciate form varies throughout the season and so current points total isn't a perfect measure, but it's at least a decent indication of quality of opposition).

    Previously some people said that Toby couldn't play on the left, but he did that fine in his most recent run of games. Some have also said he can't play in games where we play a high line, but personally I think that's overly black and white thinking - sure he's not the quickest anymore, but he can make up for some of that with his positioning and reading of the game, and it's not like we're a team who plays an aggressively high line for an entire match. And he successfully played 90 minutes against Leeds, for example, which was probably our highest line of the whole season.

    Now Jose says he didn't play last weekend due to being late to train or something, but that's then debunked...

    I just don't get why he isn't starting more - it seems so very clear to me that he's by far our best option at CB. It's really frustrating.
     
    billyiddo likes this.
  16. P.D.

    P.D. Simon Davies

    Joined:
    14 Jan 2012
    Messages:
    5,569
    Likes Received:
    1,631
    Location:
    London
    I dont think one is better than the other, probably depends on the CBs and on how strong the opposition are in the air.

    WHat all teams should do though is make sure there's a player on both posts, seems so obvious but many teams don't do it and concede goals in those areas.
     
  17. DubSpur

    DubSpur Anthony Gardner

    Joined:
    28 Aug 2015
    Messages:
    1,128
    Likes Received:
    1,464
    No, teams shouldn't have players on both posts. It means there are fewer players to compete for the ball when the cross comes in, resulting in losing headers and not competing as effectively for the second ball. Stats show that those teams that use defenders on both posts end up conceding more goals. It's why most teams don't do it.
     
  18. Jurgen the German

    Jurgen the German Barry Daines

    Joined:
    21 Jan 2012
    Messages:
    18,335
    Likes Received:
    4,545
    Location:
    Mexico..All's I'm saying
    I completely agree. He’s the best option, or at the very worst, he’s the least bad option. His body is starting to let him down but those instincts of being a good defender never go away.
     
  19. Bullet

    Bullet Jack Jull

    Joined:
    14 Jan 2012
    Messages:
    13,296
    Likes Received:
    8,636
    I thought we learned that Toby doesn't like Mou and vice versa, some sort of tension and disagreement.
     
  20. elltrev

    elltrev Alan Hutton

    Joined:
    18 Jan 2012
    Messages:
    2,553
    Likes Received:
    1,858
    Oh I didn’t realise, is there a link to a news story? Strange if so, given that Toby signed a new contract soon after Jose arrived.
     

Share This Page