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1 week ago

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AANP on the glorious leader vs Swansea...

Spurs 0-0 Swansea: Four Lilywhite Observations

1. Sideways

So following the triumphant, mature and slightly lucky Champions League victory midweek, the shiny new tactic unveiled today seemed, if anything, to be to bore the opposition into submission. The sideways passes and keep-ball one understands to an extent, for there was little point in flinging hands heavenwards and lobbing passes straight down opposition gullets. But the fervent, unfailing desire to take three or four touches, pause to contemplate the mysteries of life, swivel and pass backwards was as excruciating to watch as it was ineffectual to pursue. It was as if they had decided en masse to pay homage to all that was most frustrating about Jermaine Jenas back in that halcyon era.

Moreover, it seemed that poor old Kieran Trippier was persona non grata in that first half. Quite what he did in midweek to upset his chums is beyond me, but for around the first half hour they only seemed willing to pass to him once hell had frozen over and all other alternatives exhausted.

Urgency at least increased in the second half, and but for the grace of the Almighty we might have had 2 or 3 (it is not generally the policy around these parts to comment on refereeing calls – the old beans make their calls as honestly as the rest of us), but a good few jugfuls of damage were done in that ponderous opening 45.

2. Son

Son will presumably be stroking the chin with a raised eyebrow and a pensive demeanour as he swills the evening whisky. Having delivered a peach of a performance in the guise of Second Striker on Wednesday – including the most Son-esque goal imaginable – the unfortunate young thing found himself square pegged into the cursed left wing-back berth vs Swansea, as the Brains Trust started to get a little carried away with things.

Pre-match I suppose the rationale was understandable. Son at wing-back vs Chelsea is an accident waiting to happen, but at home to a Swansea team erring a mile or so on the side of caution the risk seemed somewhat diminished. And in truth there was precious little defending required of the chap, particularly with Vertonghen behind him. Moreover, given that his Wednesday night goal gestated on the left wing, one again eyeballs the pre-match rationale, and at least understands, if not necessarily heartily endorsing.

As it transpired, however, the plan was utterly rotten, and while Ben Davies peered on from the snug seats, the left wing-back vicinity proved quite the headache.

3 Ever Increasing Levels of Tactical Bedlam

As things wore on, the already convoluted plan was twisted into increasingly unrecognisable form, and alarm bells gonged away like there was no tomorrow. Our Glorious Leader’s every tactical move began to resemble a bleary-eyed AANP desperately trying to wring success out of a Football Manager shambles in the wee small hours of his University days, with plans being ripped up and replaced with something even more outlandish every 5 minutes or so.
Moving the flailing giraffe that is Sissoko to right wing-back, and shoving Trippier out to left-wing back – while Ben Davies peered on from the snug seats – was certainly rather unconventional, but the point of the exercise seemed to be to thrust Son slap-bang into the centre of things.

And credit where due, Son has the size 8s quick enough to make himself a nuisance and conjure up a little magic. Trippier was fairly neutered on the left, and Sissoko fairly ineffective on the right – but at least Son was making a fist of things in attack.

Still no goal, mind, so Pochettino dipped further into his box marked “Curiouser and Curiouser”. In desperate need of a goal, and with Dembele and Llorente available – and Ben Davies peering on from the snug seats – a second right-back was thrown on. AANP automatically reached for the nearest whisky.

And then, with four centre-backs still in residence, and a right-back still at left-back – while Ben Davies peered on from the snug seats – Son was removed. AANP’s head began to throb.

Easy to mock from the comfort of AANP Towers of course, and we did come within a gnat’s wing of scoring one way or another, but le grand fromage has to live and die by these calls, and the decisions not to include Davies, nor involve Dembele at any point, seemed dashed peculiar with each passing minute.

4. Llorente

A glass was raised on deadline day when Senor Llorente was ushered into the fold. A cursory glance was enough to reveal that numerous boxes were ticked by the arrival of a forward with Premiership experience, a clutch of medals, of decent height and strength, and relatively content to peer on from the buffers as Master Kane peddles his wares. On top of which, Llorente allows for the introduction of a conventional Plan B, should we desperately need a goal in the dying embers of a game.

So, cometh the hour and whatnot. With 15 or so remaining, Llorente entered the fray.

And was dutifully ignored by just about everyone in lilywhite.

What the devil is the point in introducing a robust, burly sort into the attack if there is no inclination to loft him one or two via the aerial route and give the opposition a new point to consider? Heaven knows. I think by that stage the tactical instruction was “Every man for himself”, because nothing seemed to make sense and it all made me want to find the nearest wall and bang my head against it.

Such is life. Wembley or not – and the greater expanses of land do seem to impinge a dash upon the whole high-press routine – this is not the first time our heroes have entered into something of a to-do if they fail to score early. On this occasion, however, the AANP finger of blame jabs squarely towards team selection, and our glorious leader.
Hey guys. Been an incredibly long time since I posted here. The reason being that some of us have shifted to a chat app called LINE. So far, there are 5 of us on there and we tend to have a chat during the off time from time to time, and catch up during the game to drool over Eriksen's passing this season.

If anyone wants to join, please do. It is a free app, and can be used on the phone or the desktop (needs atleast one login to the phone the first time). Just add my user ID "magnusten" (without the quotes), or post your ID on here and I'll invite you to the group. Great to see some of the regulars still on here, and even if you don't join in, keep up the good work :) COYS!
+4
Here's my player ratings:

Lloris: 8 - Distribution was very good and his interception to deny Aubameyang and his save before we made it 3 were so so crucial.

Aurier: 9 - This guy looks unreal. His passing was phenomenal, despite knowing very little about the movements of his team-mates. Kept Pulisic quiet for most of the game and pressed cleverly.

Aldeweireld: 10 - Despite Kane's goals he was my man of the match. He did the same against Dortmund last time we played them, making some crucial interceptions. Best defender we've had since Ledley.

Sanchez: 8 - In such a high calibre game, and against such opposition, I think he had a great game. Despite one mistake when he tried to overplay it, he was part of the defence that offered Dortmund hardly any spaces to exploit.

Vertonghen: 9 - I swear this guy has gone up a level recently. His pace and positioning is unbelievable and he was the sole reason that Dortmund didn't score two clear chances.

Davies: 8 - Really proud of Davies last night. He stepped up to the plate, despite a lot of unfair criticism from Spurs fans, and made sure Yarmolenko didn't have the room to run at our defence. Remember he's still only 24!

Dier: 7 - I'm never 100% sure about Eric. He doesn't seem to have anywhere near the same energy as Wanyama and often leaves massive gaps when he surges forward. It just seems a shame when he goes past Dembele when I think it should be the other way round. Anyway, played a big part in the result and should be commended.

Dembele: 7 - Nowhere near the level that we normally see of him, but never stopped running. Him and Dier had a very restrained role against Dortmund, and I'll have to watch the match again, but I think it was to cut off the passing lines in the middle of the pitch. Well done Moose!

Son: 9 - Scored a sublime goal within 5 minutes and after that was so so disciplined. Could have scored a couple of chances but his energy was ridiculous. Came off and looked absolutely shattered. Stepped in for Dele admirably and if he keeps it up, he'll be ahead of Dele on the team-sheet.

Eriksen: 8 - When we had the ball, he used it very well. When we didn't he was sprinting all over the place, harrying Dortmund like a man possessed. He's undoubtedly the fittest part of out team.

Kane: 10 - two fantastic goals, the first of which was even better than the solo goal he scored against Southampton. He held up the ball so well to relieve pressure and did anyone see the amount of defensive headers he made?! We are so lucky to have this legend in our team! ONE OF OUR OWN!

Poch: 10 - Magic from our main man. Adjusted his tactics to predict what Dortmund were looking to do. Dortmund knew with their pace and the passing of Kagawa, they could beat our press and feed Pulisic and Aubameyang in behind our defence. Poch therefore ordered us to, once we got the lead, sit back and catch Dortmund on the counter. He trusted Davies and Aurier to protect the flanks and ordered Dier and Dembele to be disciplined and cut off the passing lanes that Dortmund were looking to exploit. Have a look at this article from 'Fear The Wall' about what Dortmund were looking to do, and then Poch's plan looks genius.

https://www.fearthewall.com/2017/9/13/16296924/opposition-analysis-borussia-dortmund-vs-tottenham-hotspur

COYS!
+4
Massive team effort and I think I pretty much agree with your ratings. Going to watch it again sometime this weekend.
+1
Totally agree with these ratings. Ref was poor for both sides but I think the mistakes evened out in the end. Dortmund will feel hard done by because they lost but really we were the better team on the day and far more clinical. If we can get anything at all in our games against Real, we have a good shout if actually surviving the group.
Kane's 103 goals - opposition breakdown:

9 Leicester
6 Arsenal, Bournemouth, Stoke, West Brom
5 Hull, Everton, West Ham
4 Asteras Tripolis, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Fulham, Norwich
3 Sunderland, Swansea
2 AEL Limassol, Borussia Dortmund, Crystal Palace, Liverpool, Manchester City, Newcastle, QPR, Southampton, Watford
1 Anderlecht, Besiktas, Brighton, Burnley, CSKA Moscow, FK Qarabag, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Monaco, Nottingham Forest, Shamrock Rovers

Finally 1 against United last season :P.

Jokes aside, yeah ,great striker.
Kane is now our 3rd best European goal scorer and already 15th on our all-time goal scoring list. He should be in our top ten by the end of the season.
Congrats! Didn't see the game but saw a few of the goals, and what great goals they were. I wish the Liverpool game went that way when the scoreline was 2-1 :(
Come on Lads!!! Get back to this forum!!!

What an incredible game. My heart was in my mouth the entire 90 minutes. I think this is the proudest I've felt of my team for a long time. No-one had a bad game, everyone worked so resolutely and maturely and not to mention we were clinical (something I haven't said for a while)!

I'll write a player rating tomorrow. For now I'm gonna bask
+1
Couldn't think of a better game to break the Wembley curse
COYS!
Still around! Some of us have shifted to LINE. Will send link in a while.
So buzzing for this match against Dortmund:

Here's how I see us lining up:

----------------------------------Lloris---------------------------------
-----------Aldeweireld------------Sanchez---------------------Verty---
----------------------------------Dier----------------------------------
-Aurier--------------------------Dembele------------------------Davies
----------------------Eriksen-------------------Son--------------------
---------------------------------Kane----------------------------------

Dortmund without Reus, Schmelzer, Durm, Bartra, Guerreiro, Schurrlle, Rode.

If we can't win this game, then we don't deserve to qualify in my opinion. That said, COYS!!!
Alli is suspended for 3 games.
Cheers bud, edited
+1
Exactly the line-up we're playing. First goal is vital. So buzzing for this one!

COYS!!!
Last match against Dortmund was embarrassing. I hope we can at least give them a game this time.
+1
I feel you guys will have something to prove in this game.
When we lost 3-0 to Dortmund, this was our Line-up:

---------------------------Lloris------------------------------
-Trippier----------Aldeweireld------Wimmer------------Davies-
-----------------Mason------Carroll---------------------------
-Onomah----------------Eriksen----------------------Son----
--------------------------Chadli-------------------------------


I don't think there's much comparison. COYS!
+2
Great new video of Aurier, if you've seen most of the other youtube compilations and want other demonstrations of his talent

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Mt_OGuQKKY
+2
i don't even need to see the video, he's a beast. Wenger wanted him at arsenal, that should speak to his technical qualities and his physical ones match. the only question is his attitude and behavior, he's been charged for some terrible words aimed at his teammates and superiors/coaches. i don't know much about the bust-up with french police but that didn't sound great either.
True SIF, hopefully Poch can rein that element of his game in. He said he'll "headbutt" him if anything like that happens haha
------------------------Lloris------------------------------
--------Alde------------Sanchez-------------Verty---------
-------------------------Wanyama--------------------------
-Aurier-------------------Dembele--------------------Rose-
-------------Eriksen------------------Dele------------------
--------------------------Kane------------------------------

-------------------------Vorm--------------------------
Trippier----------Alde-------------Vert-----------Davies
--------------------Dier--------Winks-------------------
-Lamela-----------------Son-------------------N'koudou-
------------------------Llorente------------------------

N/I: Janssen, Gazzaniga, Sissoko, Foyth, Wimmer, Edwards, Walker-Peters, Oakley-Booth, Gorgeua,

We have seen a real increase in our strength in depth. Although an attacking midfielder would have been welcome, I think with Lamela coming back and Kane able to play behind the striker, we are well covered.

Disappointing start to the season, but we all know we dominated Chelsea but somehow lost! Looking forward to the game against Everton, should be a quality match of football.

COYS!!!!
+1
Wimmer gone Stoke dude. Otherwise nice work.
+2
Might actually finish top four now.
I have my reserves about how good Foyth is/will be but Sanchez and particularly Aurier are brilliant defensive additions. Aurier's message seems sincere enough to not worry about his tainted past. If he keeps his head down and performs the way he has for the past 6 years in France we will be singing Walker who?!

We missing a top winger that would have really made us a title contending side but I agree we've do well enough to get top four. Llorente on deadline day is the real sign that Poch has accepted if he wants Spurs to improve, he will have to break his philosophy slightly; he's sent Vickers and Onomah on loan and he's brought in a 32 veteran striker. We needed a plan B and Poch has made some headway into getting that for us.

The future is bright.
Cheers FayJay, edited :)

I disagree about this top winger that people talk about, we have to understand that under Poch's system, the full backs are the wingers. We aim to overload the middle of the pitch with attacking midfielders, using intricate passes and almost telepathic connection between the likes of Eriksen, Dele and Kane to draw space and create spaces for our full-backs.

With Davies and sometimes Trippier (although the latter nearly always makes up for it with an assist!) this system is no-where near as effective, we have to understand that Walker and Rose were among out top performers last season, and with neither of them available we haven't been able to create anywhere near as many clear chances for Kane and Dele.

I have a weird feeling that we are gonna see the following formation as our best line-up this season (with Aurier replacing Trippier for the CL games)

-----------------------lloris-------------------------
-------------Alde----------------Vert----------------
----------------------Wanyama---------------------
-Trippier--------------Dembele----------------Rose-
-----------Eriksen----------------Dele--------------
------------------------Kane-----------------------
------------------------Llorente---------------------


COYS!!!!!!
+1
The need for a top winger is the need for a good plan B.
All good and well Poch has the perfect starting XI and perfect pressing game plan with wide fullbacks - but it doesn't always work and that's when you need a player with a different dimension to try break through. Everyone understands our system Paddy, I think the whole world knows it!

I'm talking challenging the League and CL - we didn't do enough this window to achieve that, top teams can figure us out and counter tactically quite easily knowing that we have no other gameplan than to use wingbacks and pack the middle.

Poch including Nkoudou instead of Janssen in our CL squad is a small indicator; let's hope Nkoudou has a "Son" type second season!
+1
I agree about the plan B, but with N'koudou looking very promising and with talents like Edwards rejecting some big clubs this summer to sign a new contract at Spurs, I can't see the need for a "top winger".

Which winger of higher quality than N'koudou or more potential than Edwards would come and sit on the bench as our plan B, or wait for the games against Apoel or the early English cup stages for a chance to start?

+1
I'm calling it as it is Paddy, I'm not going to pretend to know all the available wingers out there in depth enough to debate about who is better than whom and who we could have gotten or couldn't have.
If Nkoudou was proven, Lamela was fit, and Edwards potential was more obvious, then there would be no issue. But fact of the matter is, it's what we needed in my opinion and it wasn't done. Poch's specialty obviously doesn't lie in wingers, which is why we've been getting NJie's and Nkoudou's.
+1


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16
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14
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16
0
1
4
5
2
10
3
5
8
1
1
3
5
3
9
2
4
6
2
0
3
5
4
8
4
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7
1
2
2
5
5
8
2
3
5
1
2
2
5
6
8
1
5
6
1
2
2
5
7
8
0
9
9
1
2
2
5
8
8
0
4
4
1
2
2
5
9
8
0
4
4
1
2
2
5
10
8
-2
9
7
1
2
2
5
11
7
-1
8
7
2
1
2
5
12
5
-1
6
5
2
2
1
5
13
5
-3
5
2
2
2
1
5
14
4
-2
9
7
3
1
1
5
15
4
-3
7
4
3
1
1
5
16
4
-6
10
4
3
1
1
5
17
4
-8
10
2
3
1
1
5
18
3
-6
9
3
4
0
1
5
19
0
-8
8
0
5
0
0
5
20
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1
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0
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3
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