Friday, 19 September 2014

Nabil Bentaleb Performance Report

Nabil Bentaleb Performance Report

Opponents: Partizan Belgrade
Competition: UEFA Europa League
Venue: Partizan Stadium, Belgrade, Serbia (UEFA Category 3 Stadium)

Nabil Bentaleb Performance Report

Nabil Bentaleb will always have his critics simply because Tim Sherwood picked him ahead of a disinterested Sandro. Regardless of what he does some will never see him as good enough even though he is only 19 and has less than a season's experience.

It says a lot about him that seeing him in the team for a tough tie with a new recruit alongside him and a new centre-back behind him, doesn't raise a eyebrow. His performance against Benfica away last year showed a maturity beyond his years so an atmosphere like this was never going to phase him.

He and Stambouli had good games doing the donkey work quietly and efficiently


14 mins Bentaleb plays an excellent long through ball for Lennon behind the defence but on the edge of the area with the keeper coming out the ball takes a high bounce and the chance is gone.

26 mins Bentaleb plays the ball to Paulinho who has a right foot shot from outside the area but the shot blocked.

28 mins Bentaleb breaks up play and two passes later Paulinho is attacking.

43 mins Poor pass from Bentaleb behind his man from the half-way line. A bit of confusion but Stambouli is covering and clears up the danger.

Half-time: A good solid performance with just the one error. Thanks to he and Stanbouli going about their work the central defenders are having little to deal with through the middle, a sure side the pair of them are doing their job. A 98% pass success for Bentaleb.


Nothing of not to report, he again did a very efficient job going unseen by some, the mark of a good performance. Don't know why some people are only impressed with flashiness. He formed an excellent partnership with Stambouli and seems to adapt well to new players around him. The central defenders would have been happy with his nights work.

Again in this game he played a long through ball behind the defence to create a chance and these are becoming a feature of his game. He has a bit of growing and filling out to do, at the moment he is a wiry and fiery with determination and a cool head. The attributes are there to become an excellent player.

Twitter Reaction

The Spurs Brain ‏@TheSpursBrain
Bentaleb & 'Benji' working well as a pair but we're lacking any real spark in the final third. Won't be long until we see Eriksen or Lamela

EPL Stat Man ‏@EPLStatman
Nabil Bentaleb completed 98% of his 40 passes in the first half

TheHotspurInsider ‏@HotspurInsider
If Bentaleb was English we wouldn't stop hearing about him in the media.

Danny ‏@realdealdanny
Yet again Bentaleb hasn't done anything! The bare minimum I cannot work out what others see

Benjamin Stambouli Performance Report

Benjamin Stambouli Performance Report

Opponents: Partizan Belgrade
Competition: UEFA Europa League
Venue: Partizan Stadium, Belgrade, Serbia (UEFA Category 3 Stadium)

Benjamin Stambouli Performance Report

A good performance away from home in trying conditions. he was no doubt nervous having talked before about feeling like a kid with excitement. He looks a good player, strong in the tackle, a decent pass on him and an excellent buy. He and Fazio on this performance show that potentially there are some bargains to be had, both in a short time will be worth a lot more than we have paid for them with the exposure they are going to get.

Stambouli is going to be pushing for a Premier League start soon as he looks as if he is going to develop into a better player than Capoue, who is playing a restrained role as opposed to the box to box midfielder he started with us as. Stambouli came off after 71 minutes to be replaced by Capoue.

Like Fazio, Vetonghen and Bentaleb he had a good game without having to be noticed. Their was only one real error when Davies was up field he gave the ball away which could have put us in trouble but chased it down and an excellent sliding tackle put the ball out for a throw-in.

He will need to be careful in the Premier League with his sliding tackles, he does go in aggressively which is rather frowned upon today but it's good to have an aggressive ball winner who can then pass the ball quickly as well. He is an upgrade on Holtby, less running around everywhere and more end product.

First-half: Stambouli has had a good first-half winning a lot of ball in the centre and is accurate with his passes. A good addition to the squad.


27 mins Plays the ball to Townsend who has a shot but it is blocked.

34 mins Stambouli gives it away with Davies stranded high up the field, but the central midfielder recovers with a good tackle.

43mins Bentaleb gives the ball away but Stambouli is covering and clears

53 mins Gives a free-kick away for a professional hand ball on the half way line allowing the team to get men back behind the ball.

63 mins Stambouli knocks an excellent first-time diagonal cross from 20 yards out on the back post. Soldado tries to bring id down and can't when it would probably have been simpler to go with his head.

71 mins Capoue replaces Stambouli

His awareness of what's around him was good, he was always available for a short pass, he moved into positions to receive the ball between players and moves the ball on well. Personally I thought at Sunderland and even more so here that we have picked up a bit of a bargain. He is unknown over here but is a lot better than people realise I think.

There were question marks how he would handle being away from home for the first time but he looks to be loving it. He spent the first part of the game winning a lot of the ball in midfield, being strong when staying on his feet.

Twitter Reaction

To Dier Is To Do ‏@Mishmoo5
Loving Stambouli. Encouraging play, directing operations, talking to everyone.
There's our leader.

Ben McAleer ‏@BenMcAleer1
Benjamin Stambouli had a 92% pass success rate and made 6 tackles - the joint highest of all players in Spurs' 0-0 draw with Partizan

Spurs Family ‏@spurs_family
Benjamin Stambouli has started impressively. The new Spurs man hasn’t misplaced a pass so far

Ben Pearce ‏@BenPearceSpurs
Looks like Stambouli will fit in well and be a good option in the centre, while Fazio was solid apart from one error from a throw-in.

Ben Davies Performance Report

Ben Davies Performance Report

Opponents: Partizan Belgrade
Competition: UEFA Europa League
Venue: Partizan Stadium, Belgrade, Serbia (UEFA Category 3 Stadium)

Ben Davies Performance Report

The is no getting away from it Ben Davies was having a very tough night, which was made to look worse when he was taking corners from the right only for Partizan Belgrade to break down the left. He was consistently being beaten and has a problem because he is not quick which means when he goes forward and we lose the ball, he can't get back. That is a worry and a weakness teams will target.

He is still coming to terms with the system and how to play it, by that I mean he has to learn what he can do and what he can't do, how far he can go forward at what times and how quickly he can get back. He will need to rely on match practice and reading the game. He should not however be written off as some were doing on Twitter.

Leighton Baines used to be a poor defender but good going forward and it's only in the last couple of years that his defending has improved, Davies is going to have to learn the same way he did, trial and error. The important thing is to learn from the game, he won't have experienced too many like it in such an atmosphere, playing badly in such an atmosphere that is.


1 min Davies corner is flicked on by Vertonghen to Kane who rounds his man on the left and fires a shot against the underside of the bar but it comes out.

5 mins Davies and Lennon link up well to put Lennon in a crossing position from which the keeper gathers.

13 mins Townsend gives the ball away but Davies is covering and clears to ball to safety.

15 mins The ball is played over the top of Davies and Grbic is n down the right-hand side of the box. He feigns a shot but steps back inside and pulls the ball back to the waiting Lazovic. His shot is well blocked by Fazio.

16 mins Belgrade play the ball inside Davies who is wide on the line and Vulicevic is through on the right. Fazio has to come across to tackle. The ball is collected and passed to Vulicevic again who crosses for Lazovic. Fazio is again there to head away.

30 mins Grbic gets in behind Davies again and pulls a cross back for Sasa Illic to volley over. Davies was up field and simply couldn't get back, he isn't quick enough and these new ankle boots make everyone look like cart horses when they are not that bad.

35 mins Davies puts in a poor clearance but redeems himself by blocking the subsequent shot.

44 mins Davies takes a corner, the keeper catches and immediately sends a counter attack down the right resulting in a shot Lloris has to save.

Half-time: Davies has done some good work defensively but also been caught out far too often. Partizan are dragging him wide to the touchline and then playing the ball in behind him which he is struggling to cope with. The wide man plays the ball back and sets off for the return so Davies is always playing catch up, he has to anticipate and read the game better, realise what they are trying to do.


48 mins Davies is holding Bebic's arm near the corner flag but and is slightly byline side of him so he turns nicely back inside and Davies has to bundle him over to stop him heading towards goal. A deserved yellow card and free-kick. The ball is crossed about 4 yards from goal waist high and makes it to the middle of the goal where Hugo Lloris dives forward and punches the cross clear.

50 mins Lazovic beats Davies but Fazio is aware of the danger and blocks the cross. From the clearance a long ball finds Lazovic he pulls it back for a left footed Grbic shot but he scuffs it and it rolls gently into Lloris's arms.

51 mins Davies does well holding up play with two players to mark and no midfielders rushing back to help.

53 mins Davies is pushing forward and plays a smart ball diagonally forward into Townsend's path that would see him have a clear central run at goal but Townsend can't collect it.

58 mins Davies passes the ball away down the line, pass isn't anywhere near a Spurs player but Vetonghen covers the danger.

61 mins Long ball see Davies, as last man centrally, slice the ball. Lloris is smartly out to the right to prevent the corner and put the ball out for a throw under pressure. From the throw the ball is whipped in from the right. Davies ensures his man is offside but Lloris doesn't know that and dives at Lazovic to make a smart save.

72 mins A diagonal ball from deep (regular tactic) finds Grbic in space on the right. Davies gets back quickly and blocks cross behind from a corner. The ball comes in and after a scramble breaks to Petrovic on the left who fires high and wide.

74 mins Petrovic crosses from deep, wide on the left. Davies tries to clear with his right foot but it goes straight to Sasa Ilic on the edge of the area. Fortunately he puts it miles over.

77 mins A through ball finds Grbic, on the right who has run to the byline past Davies. Cuts a sharp cross back cross for Ilic, but his header from 10 yards is poor and flies over.

Davies stuck to his task while getting worked over. He suffered the same problems Danny Rose was suffering last season, diagonal balls and the ball inside him for the wide man to run on to. His concentration was good, he was the last man covering centrally on several occasions and dealt with everything is not perfectly, he stepped up to play his man offside showing a clear head.

There was no panic to his play even though he wasn't having a good game and we were at times under pressure. He got forward to support the attack and played a couple of nice first time passes again showing awareness of team mates around him. Plenty to work on. The immediate future will see a League Cup tie and then another UEFA Europa League tie so a game a week for the next few weeks.

Twitter Reaction

JULIE ‏@1Julie92
I will not comment "negatively" on Davies, he's new. Needs time.

Sussex Spur ‏@SussexSpur
Davies showing why Rose is 1st choice LB at the mo

Anthoulla ‏@Anthoulla1
Davies is getting targeted badly ... He's having a mare tbh

Gary N17 ‏@GaryLittle4
Ben Davies will want to forget tonight very quickly!!

Jan Vertonghen Performance Report

Jan Vertonghen Performance Report

Opponents: Partizan Belgrade
Competition: UEFA Europa League
Venue: Partizan Stadium, Belgrade, Serbia (UEFA Category 3 Stadium)

Jan Vertonghen Performance Report

Jan Vertonghen had a good solid game in difficult conditions and with a new centre-back partner. He has not played much with Ben Davies either so there was the potential for a banana skin but he and Fazio looked as if they had regularly played together and the pairing did much to ensure we came away with a point without being spectacular.


1 min Vertonghen has a left footed shot from 14 yards out as we immediately attack and it goes for the first corner after 35 seconds.

1 min Davies corner is flicked on by Vertonghen to Kane who rounds his man on the left and fires a shot against the underside of the bar but it comes out.

3 mins Grbic goes down the right but the cross is too high. Volkov collects it and is wrestled to ground by Andros Townsend. A good free kick from Drincic wide on the left and Vertonghen makes a powerful header clear.

10 mins Skuletic is tripped up by Vertonghen, nothing comes of the free-kick

12 mins Naughton goes down the right to the byline and crosses towards Kane but the ball is poorly cleared. It falls to Vertonghen who runs at the edge of the box and retains possession and passes to Townsend who cuts inside and attempts a curling shot that makes a yard into the defenders chest.

25 mins Pantic turns down the left side to beat Naughton but Townsend is there to dispossess him knocking it out for a throw. The ball is thrown long into the box and Fazio darts in front of his man but misses the leaving Lazovic unmarked. Vertonghen lunges in front of him as he turns and shoots from six yards. Lloris is forced to make an excellent block and Bentaleb lunges in a sliding tackle to hook the ball clear.

Little to report of Jan for the rest of the game. He didn't have to do anything outstanding just general defensive work, a lot of covering in areas blocking crosses and preventing any clear cut chances for the strikers. He has an efficient game and like other players one of those good games where you perhaps don't notice a player that much because it's efficient rather than eye catching. Efficient is far more important and you would happily give him Fazio and Naughton 7.5 or 8 marks each.

The fact that Davies was regularly beaten, there was danger from the right and yet no real clear cut chances tells you everything about the competent defending of the other three in the back line.

Twitter Reaction

Chris Miller ‏@WindyCOYS
Vertonghen's been excellent, really impressed by him under difficult circumstances.

murph ‏@parispurs
fair enough result. lennon / townsend still terrible.  Verts now good, should play this weekend

Share this Post