Five things we learned about Tottenham against Hull

The north London side limped to a 1-0 win over Hull on Sunday, with a questionable penalty decision allowing Roberto Soldado to score the decisive goal.

Tottenham got back to winning ways on home soil on Sunday, with a determined Hull City side beaten 1-0 at White Hart Lane.

It took a questionable penalty decision for the hosts to break the deadlock, with Roberto Soldado duly stepping up and slotting home.

Here are five things that became clear in the 1-0 win for Spurs.

Chiriches – good and bad

Due to the lack of quality options at left-back, Jan Vertonghen has been pushed out onto the flank, with summer signing Vlad Chiriches starting at Aston Villa and again here against Hull.

The jury is still out on the Romania international, who displayed both good and bad attributes in Sunday’s win.

From a positive perspective, the former Steaua Bucharest defender looks accomplished and confident on the ball and even stepped out of defence on occasion to look to draw Hull markers out of position.

However, his visible lack of pace could be an issue alongside Michael Dawson. Chiriches’ decision-making is still to be refined, and he seems to have a tendency to be too relaxed in dangerous defensive situations.

Townsend infuriatingly wasteful

Andros Townsend has shot into the media spotlight with strong performances for club and country, but his presence is a cause of frustration for some Spurs fans, including me.

It is evident that the former QPR loanee has ability and his pace is a real asset. However, his distribution on Sunday was the overarching reason for the hosts constantly coughing up possession.

Townsend gave the ball away more times than he found a team-mate, and had the tendency to put others in difficult positions with badly place passes or wrong options.

Finally, poor crossing and shooting from distance completed a forgettable performance.

It is admirable that Andre Villas-Boas wants to keep Townsend in the team after early season momentum, but there is a case that his inaccuracy and rawness should result in him being rested for the next game.

Lack of width

Despite the presence of two designated out-and-out wingers, Spurs’ attacking focus was predominantly through the middle, which played straight into Hull’s hands.

Right-footed Lennon on the left and left-footed Townsend on the right encouraged both to cut inside, rather than stretching Steve Bruce’s side by hugging the touchline.

As the game went on, Townsend actually appeared more in the number ten position than wide, which limited the space of supposed main playmaker Christian Eriksen.

Conceding too many stupid free-kicks

Hull were content to soak up pressure and look to get chances at set pieces, and Spurs gave them plenty of opportunities to exert unnecessary pressure.

The repeated conceding of free-kicks in their own half was ill-advised by Tottenham, and persisted throughout the contest.

This has been a feature this season, with Chelsea’s equaliser at White Hart Lane coming from the concession of a needless free-kick in Spurs’ half.

Still a work in progress

In the end, despite dominating possession, Tottenham rarely worked Steve Harper and were lucky to escape with three points.

It is apparent that new players are still finding their feet, and the side are not quite hitting their straps as yet.

The most important thing is the three points, but Villas-Boas will know that his side can improve on this performance.

image: © hollidaypics

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