After last week’s look at Chelsea, Martin Lewis Tactically Analyses Tottenham Hotspur ahead of their game against Manchester United. Martin has included almost 30 Globall Coach images in this 3000 word article! A must read for all Spurs supporters (ensure you read all of the pages) – enjoy!
Martin starts by looking at the team dynamics.
*Team on a very good run of results, with confidence high and will be full motivated to do the double over Manchester United after years of going without a win against them. They will also be highly motivate to capitalise on potential dropped points from near rivals in the Chelsea vs Arsenal game.
*Team set up in a 4x2x3x1 with extremely dynamic and mobile players, including the rotation of 3 of the 4 attacking players (Bale, Dempsey and Defoe).
*Look to play with the ball, keeping the initiative with a slow/medium tempo.
* The change in rhythm will occur when the ball is played quickly into the feet of Defoe or Dempsey (usually from Parker) then laid off, where the attitude of the team the becomes more direct and aggressive, looking to use the mobility of the attackers to quickly exploit depth. The tempo of the team also become quicker and more direct when Sigurdsson come on for Lennon, meaning the team become very narrow, meaning be carful of Walkers and Naughtons surprise runs into the channels, but if they do it is also a time when the team is very up imbalanced numerically, leaving lots of space in between lines and a double exposure on which ever side the fullback looks to be used for width.
*They will always start their attack with a short build up from the goal keeper. The centre backs will split, one central midfielder will drop to help have numerical advantage to gain the initiative with the ball, Walker will go forward early & Naughton will stay back. * When a centre back is bring the ball out of defence (moving out of position) Sandro will drop back to cover their position, therefore both players are basically changing positions.
*The key in making their build up far less efficient is to let Dawson bring the ball out, as the further he gets out of position the more nervous he become with the ball, as he lacks the mobility needed to get back and the technical ability to keep going forward, then quickly press him just before he gets to the half way line. This will allow us to expose the, in transition down this side, as Walker will get forward early and Parker doesn’t cover Dawson’s position when he is deep in midfield with the ball.
* Their long build up comes from the centre backs, playing long diagonal balls with to the feet of the wingers (nearly always to Bale) on the touch line or over the top of the fullbacks into depth for them to run on to. * Be aware of surprise long balls out of Lloris’ hands, with Defoe running into depth and Dempsey or Bale looking to win header to flick on to depth.
* Parker looking for quick vertical passes to the strikers feet. Dembele prefers a short passing game, where he can dribble past opponents and create 1 – 2 situations. * Dembele prefers the shorter passing game, with ability to run with the ball and beat players.
* Change of positions by Bale and Lennon. This results in long diagonals to the right, using Bales head to win 1st ball. If we win the second ball, Parker & Walker will be high up the pitch to press, leaving the team double exposed on their right hand side.
* Bale is always looking to exploit depth: with diagonal runs, 1 – 2′s or combination play with the striker. *Lennon more a pure winger and will either stay wide to provide width (allowing Walker to under lap) or come narrow to give space for Walker to run into to over lap.
* Defoe and Dempsey look to receive the ball in between lines, coming deep to receive it at feet or look to win the second ball from the diagonal balls played to Bales head. Explosive movements of pace in the box from Defoe to follow up all shots for a second ball and will shoot at any given opportunity.
* The main threat of the attack comes from Bale, with his amazing physical and technical qualities. He will always be looking to play as direct as possible, linking up with other players to play 1 – 2′s to use his pace to exploit depth or running past players when there is space in front of him to run into, then putting a quality and powerful cross in (usually second post). He is often the reference point if the team when they play long from the back, with diagonal balls I played in front of the fullback for him to get the run on them to beat them in the air. *The mobility and finishing ability of Defoe is also a big threat, especially when the ball is flicked on into depth. *Walker and Lennon can also cause problems down the right hand side too, With walker going forward early and Lennon coming deep to create depth for either if them or Defoe to exploit down the channel.
Stat: Bale has 50 penalty area entries this season, more than any other Tottenham player, showing his directness and willingness to run in behind the centre backs.
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