HomeOTHEREPLIndex Tactical ReportTottenham Hotspur 2 Norwich City 0 | Stats & Tactical Analysis

Tottenham Hotspur 2 Norwich City 0 | Stats & Tactical Analysis

Tottenham new boy Christian Eriksen made his debut this weekend  in the number 10 role, playing just off fellow newcomer Roberto Soldado. Spurs’ back four remained unchanged from their defeat in the North London derby, with Hugo Lloris in goal. Record signing Ricky Van Wolfswinkel remained up front, with fellow new signing Johan Elmander playing just off of the Dutchman. Nathan Redmond started his third successive game for the Canaries, and was hoping to continue his good run of form having scored the winner against Southampton in his last game. Gylfi Sigurdsson replaced Chadli in the side on the left flank.

Spurs started with a deep 4-2-3-1, playing Paulinho and Dembele as defensive midfielders, but the amount of control Tottenham exercised over the game allowed them to push further forward and create even more pressure on the Norwich back four. The two got so far forward that it allowed Paulinho to grab the assist for Sigurdsson’s second, drilling it across the face of the goal at the byline.

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Conversely, Norwich’s 442 became flatter and deeper at the game went on, which resulted in Snodgrass, and the usually attacking Nathan Redmond becoming pinned back in order to help their fullbacks from the overlapping runs of Danny Rose and Kyle Walker, the latter being especially good throughout the match, though we’ll touch on that later.

Wonderful Eriksen

One thing that drew my eye was the exceptional performance of Christian Eriksen, the Dane making his first appearance for Tottenham, was thrown straight into the side after his big money move from Eredivise giants Ajax. Eriksen was incisive and creative all game, and looked the most creative player the North Londoners have had since a certain Luka Modric departed for the Bernabeu. The Dane was probing and a constant threat, with 86% of his passes being completed inside the Norwich half and 48% of them coming from within Norwich’s defensive third. Eriksen also was adept at retaining the ball, with a 90% pass accuracy throughout the game 46 of his 51 passes finding their intended target. However, Eriksen wasn’t just an attacking influence, the diminutive playermaker did help out defensively, contributing one interception and winning his one tackle and 29% of his ground duels. The Dane certainly had an impressive start, and it is up to him to create a level of consistency to see him mentioned amongst fellow London playmakers Juan Mata and Mesut Ozil.

Kyle Walker and the unrecognised advantages

Often, and justifiably criticised for his inconsistent defensive displays, Kyle Walker put his poor game against Ukraine behind him to put Norwich’s defence to the sword. Despite being a full back, Walker comes third in the creativity table, only behind the sublime Eden Hazard and the mercurial Adam Johnson, despite the former duo being attacking midfielders, the young Englishman also pips Leighton Baines, a full back known for his attacking contributions. Walker’s game against Norwich was no different to his usual displays, his limitless stamina and blistering pace used to great effect to hold Garrido and Snodgrass back, Walker created 5 chances in the game, joint most in the game, level with Moussa Dembele. Walker also completed his single cross and completed the most passes in the Spurs side, linking up with Andros Townsend effectively all afternoon. Defensively, Walker was also solid, completing all of his clearances and winning all of his aerial duels.

A notable tactic used by not only Tottenham, but fullbacks and wingers throughout the league was used when attempting to isolate Garrido, with Townsend drifting inside onto this favoured left foot leaving him free to shoot or play the ball through the defence onto the overlapping Walker, bypassing Garrido.

Townsend and Walker

Bassong on song

Despite the result for his side, former Tottenham man and current Norwich captain Sebastian Bassong can receive no criticism. The Cameroonian enjoyed a good game against Roberto Soldado, by and large keeping the Spanish international quiet throughout. Bassong won 100% of his tackles and 50% of his aerial duels and marshalled the turbulent Norwich defence throughout. However, his most impressive stat was his 10 clearances, leading me to think had Bassong not started for the Canaries, the scoreline could have been much more in the North Londoner’s favour.

Despite the scoreline, Tottenham’s domination could have seen a rout at Norwich’s expense, and perhaps Roberto Soldado will feel like he could have participated more to proceedings, especially with Eriksen in such generous form with the chances he created. However, Tottenham and Andre Villas Boas will be pleased with the win and the manner in which they achieved it. Chris Hughton can be rightly disappointed with his Norwich side, and will be hoping they can pick themselves up for the next game against Aston Villa at Carrow Road, with new signing Gary Hooper hoping to play a part for the Canaries.

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