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Thursday, 21 January 2016

A game full of positives with a recurring negative

Next round Colchester.
Son 65mph goal
The weight of pass for Chadli's goal, perfect.
A fit, positive side who know exactly how they are playing and doing it well.

A totally dominant performance with only one side in the contest really and loads of positives to take from the game.

Eric Dier slotted in easily at centre-back to suggest we don't need to rush into buying a replacement for Fazio with Wimmer the understudy, three centre-backs (Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Wimmer) can be rotated if necessary.

Nabil Bentaleb got a full game under his belt and contrary to daft reports in the press he is not being punished for joining the Algerian squad. Pochettino has simply continued his trend of being loyal to players who are performing for him. Each player has to bide their time and take their chance when it is given to them, was Ben Davies being punished last season? No, Rose was performing so he stayed in the team, simple as that.

Vorm had a better game tonight than he has in a while, he looked more confident, more comfortable. His positioning was good, he was in the right place at the right times for the few saves he had to make so that Albrighton's shot late in the game was straight at him.

There were a couple of times when he was slow out or didn't come out and defenders had to hook the ball away from inside our own area. He needs to be coming out to collect the balls that come into the box as Lloris does, but it isn't natural for him. There was no danger with each occasion yet coming out slowly causes problems for defenders and that uncertainty is what causes mistakes to occur. 

Tom Carroll, like Vorm, had a better game. There isn't too much issue with his passing, apart from telegraphing some of them. The defensive errors, rather important in the position he is playing in, were fewer. Is he now developing and getting to grips with the mental requirements of the game?

Christian Eriksen played some delightful passes into the box, not every pass is going to be right, but it is important not to be afraid to try. He played a chip from the right curling towards goal that had danger all over it but nobody attacked it enough and we only had a corner. Our corners weren't great last night, one area we could have improved upon.

Nacer Chadli grabbed a goal, important after an injury. It is crazy that some want him replaced, he bagged goals last season and goals are not easy to replace, Lamela doesn't score the weight Chadli did on the other side so you don't take a player who is a proven scorer out of a squad lightly. I think people tend to forget that football is a squad game now, not a team game. It is rare when a side only plays 11 men.

The players who don't normally play must be able to come into a team and play as if they belong in the side as a first choice and the side performed excellently with the changes made. That was probably the most important aspect of the dominant display.

For two years now I have been banging on about mentality and motivation being central to success. Now we have a manager, or head coach as we call him, preaching the same message.

"I am very delighted and very pleased. "The performance was fantastic, it was great. I think that we dominated the game from the beginning until the end. This victory I think we deserved, it is a fair result and I am very pleased with the performance. Therefore, it was a fantastic game. [It was a] special goal for [Son], I am happy for him and Nacer Chadli too because it is always important when our offensive players have the possibility to score. 
"It is always the same. My message is we are Tottenham we have strong squad in every game and every selection. It is important because when it is Tottenham playing it is important to be motivated. We are in a very difficult period and we need all the players to be motivated, working hard and always with the expectation that they can play consistently. I am very happy, it is all about the team and teamwork and today we showed that we have a strong squad."

A negative, for the fourth time in three games we messed up a golden opportunity playing the wrong ball, twice that has been Lamela choosing the wrong option. We had a two v two with Son arriving ahead of his marking defender and Lamela effectively passed to the keeper. We clearly need more work in these situations so there are improvements that can be made. Lamela also played some lovely through balls when central so that one mistake must be looked at in context, his overall performance was good.



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