Fast players, slow football: Tottenham’s problem.
Tottenham Hotspur’s tedious slow football couldn't have been more in evidence as they were beaten 5-0 by their polar opposites, Liverpool, Sunday afternoon.
It’s strange, given that Tottenham manager AVB has such fast players at his disposal, with the likes of Kyle Walker, Aaron Lennon and Andros Townsend amongst others. In fact, should you gather up all the Premier League teams and ask them to put together a 4x100m relay team, you’d probably back Spurs to end up on the podium.
So how is it that Tottenham struggle to create chances ? Truth is, Spurs are so easy to play against at the moment.
The midfield trio of Paulinho, Sandro and Dembele are all athletic players who are comfortable on the ball - however, their decision making and thought process is their downfall, and the speed in which they move the ball around really affects the side’s rhythm.
The following statistics highlights this problem:
Whilst on the pitch Sandro only touched the ball 12 times before coming off after 30 minutes with an injury, Holtby coming on and managing only 47 touches for the rest of the game. Additionally, Tottenham’s other midfielders, Dembele and Paulinho, managed just 42 touches each before exiting the field at the hour mark (for different reasons). The lack of touches points to the obvious lack of possession, but with each touch the Spurs trio seemed to take an age in releasing the ball with the majority of those passes going out wide. They lacked so much creativity through the middle.
Compare those stats with Liverpool’s excellent trio, and the differences are alarming. Henderson, Lucas Leiva and Joe Allen touched the ball a combined 217 times - that’s over 100 times more than that of the home side. What was more impressive, however, was the speed in which they released the ball, passing it, moving into space and playing Liverpool’s front three into dangerous areas time and time again.
AVB’s attacking trio of Lennon, Chadli and Soldado, on the other hand, were being isolated and starved of any service. Soldado touched the ball 37 times and failed to register any noteworthy effort on goal. Such a shame for a talented striker who found the net over 100 times in 207 La Liga appearances.
Where do Tottenham Hotspur go from here ? 15 goals in 16 Premier League games is not good enough and they’re not going to receive another £80m windfall anytime soon.
Have Tottenham wasted the Gareth Bale money ?