Saturday, 25 October 2014

El Clasico could teach Spurs a thing or two

Not having watched any Champions League I turned and enjoyed El Clasico. Real Madrid were quite simply the better side and thoroughly deserved their 3-1 victory.

The standard of football was a level above the Premier League and Brazilian Marcelo from left-back was causing all sorts of problems with his overlapping runs and subsequent skill.

El Clasico could teach Spurs a thing or two


Time and again in the second half they broke at speed and in numbers. The running off the ball was superb and was causing Barcelona problems they struggled to solve. While Real Madrid often attacked from wide, Barcelona attacked through the middle with little joy. They showed the problems we have when playing narrow, defences are crushed in the middle and there is no way through.

Where they did have joy was wide from debutant Luis Suarez who played a cross field ball for Neymar to cut inside and score the first before putting a goal on a plate for Messi, who inexplicably missed centrally from 7 yards. After that it was all Real Madrid really who looked the more dangerous all game.

Barcelona were 1-0 up in 4 minutes before a Ronaldo penalty after 35 minutes, his 21st goal in his 14th game this season and his 16th La Liga goal in just 9 games, drew the sides level. Pepe after 50 minutes and Benzema after 61 minutes killed off Barcelona. With the game won after Real Madrid simply defended with great organisation and broke at speed when the chances arose.

The Tottenham players could do with watching how Real Madrid broke from corners, watched the running off the ball and the passing. Analysing a game like that against top quality opposition would help some players realise how much improvement there is to make to compete in the UEFA Champions League against sides of this quality.



Lloris and Soldado

Hugo Lloris has made more saves than anyone else in the Premier League and massively more diving saves which suggest not only is he making more saves but he is making the harder saves as well.


GOALKEEPERS
PSUB
SAVESGCGKFCFSYR
Mins
H. Lloris80
2911870000
720
M. Vorm--
-------
0
B. Friedel--
-------
0
P = Games Started, SUB = Substitute Appearances, SAVES = Saves, GC = Goals Conceded, HK = Goal Kicks, FC = Fouls Conceded, FS = Fouls Suffered, Y = Yellow, R = Red, Mins = Total Minutes Played
It also rather suggests that we are not yet defending well as a team. Defending is not just about the defenders but the midfielders play a very important part providing the shield in front of them. If that shield fails the defence are put under pressure and that is happening too much at the moment.

We can look good going forward at time, but we look a mess in defence at times. Until the players learn the system then they have to think harder during the game about where they should be rather than it being a bit more natural, a bit more second nature.

DEFENDERS
PSUBGASHOTSTCLCOFCFSYR
Mins
Y. Kaboul80001125505210
720
D. Rose8001217181151520
695
E. Dier62203212508120
605
J. Vertonghen4100162702200
380
V. Chiriches200002704200
180
K. Naughton300004501101
151
F. Fazio100001201001
67
B. Davies010000200000
18
K. Walker------------
0















P = Games Started, SUB = Substitute Appearances, G = Goals, A = Assists, T = Tackles, CL = Clearances, CO - Corners Taken, FC = Fouls Conceded, SR = Fouls Suffered, Y = Yellow Cards, R = Red Cards, Mins = Total Minutes Played

MIDFIELDERS
PSUBGASHOTSPASSFKCORFCFSYR
Mins
E. Capoue8000053900181000
676
E. Lamela80034293024161820
660
C. Eriksen8030114010242200
649
N. Chadli704114213005610
550
M. Dembélé24002205005300
251
R. Mason30004120003420
250
N. Bentaleb31001191000100
218
A. Lennon1300135003210
107
A. Townsend0300341000000
90
Paulinho0100112002000
29
B. Stambouli0100014000200
20
C. Ceballos------------
0
P = Games Started, SUB = Substitute Appearances, G = Goals,  A = Assists, SHOTS = Shots , PASS = Passes, FK = Free-Kicks, COR = Corners Taken, FC = Fouls Conceded, SR = Fouls Suffered, Y = Yellow Cards, R = Red Cards, Mins = Total Minutes Played

FORWARDS
PSUBGASHOTSPASSFKCORFCFSYR
Mins
E. Adebayor7011101930010510
602
R. Soldado1201337001210
129
H. Kane0401024000100
40
P = Games Started, SUB = Substitute Appearances, G = Goals,  A = Assists, SHOTS = Shots , PASS = Passes, FK = Free-Kicks, COR = Corners Taken, FC = Fouls Conceded, SR = Fouls Suffered, Y = Yellow Cards, R = Red Cards, Mins = Total Minutes Played 
(Stats by Opta)

Roberto Soldado played no part during the midweek win over Asteras Tripolis and Mauricio Pochettino usually rests players who are going to play at the weekend. The team selection on Thursday suggests the Spaniard has taken over from Adebayor as the first choice striker.

It would be no surprise given Adebayor was nowhere near the last defender most of the time he was on the field but continually 10 yards back. Soldado put in a display against Manchester City that had promise and posed more of a goal threat than Adebayor.

It's up to Soldado to take his opportunity, this run of games may be the last chance he will get, the gunslinger in the last chance saloon firing to be the last man standing.

Premier League Table and Statistics

  • Chelsea currently sit top of the Premier League having doubled our number of points in just 8 games. 
  • Mauricio Pochettino's old club Southampton are 5 points ahead of us with a goal difference of +14 compared to our -1.
  • Tottenham are 4 points off a relegation place but have played 5 of the 8 games against teams currently above us in the table. Against the 3 teams below us we only have 1 win.


Premier League Standings





Team
PGDPts
Chelsea81522
Manchester City81017
Southampton81416
West Ham United8413
Liverpool8113
Manchester United7311
Arsenal8211
Swansea City8111
Tottenham Hotspur8-111
Stoke City8-111
Hull City8010
Aston Villa8-810
Everton809
Leicester City8-29
West Bromwich Albion7-18
Crystal Palace8-38
Sunderland8-78
Newcastle United8-67
Burnley8-94
Queens Park Rangers8-124

It's another game (Newcastle United) where we need to be picking up three points without any slip-ups or hard luck stories. Create chances, be clinical with fingers crossed Soldado fires his bullets and bags a couple from open play.



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