Another week, another bus gets parked in front of the Tottenham Hotspur side at Wembley. You wont find many people who would argue that Spurs are one of the most entertaining and lethal sides in the League. However, over the past couple of years a noticeable trend has developed. Spurs struggle against organised teams who sit back and park the bus with all 11 men behind the ball. To be fair, this is a daunting task for any side to go up against. But if Spurs want to make that leap from nearly men to champions then these are the games they have to find a way to win!
On Saturday they hosted a well organised Swansea side who gave nothing easy to the home side. They set up to smother Tottenham’s attack. Kane was bottled up in the middle with Dele and Eriksen unable to pick the lock. Credit to Swansea, they did what they had to do to not lose the game without ever really offering much in attack.
Event when Llorente came on with 20 mins to go the tactics stayed the same. It wasn’t until the last minute that someone put a cross into the box for him and then from his knock down Spurs should have had a penalty! Why didn’t they try that sooner?
So we all know that Kane up top with a combination of Dele, Son & Eriksen supporting is the desired attack. What other combinations can they form to make them a different threat? Well one option is to play a classic 4-4-2 with Kane and Llorente up front. This would cause plenty of chaos in the opposing defense. They could keep the two wing backs (Aurier & Rose when fit) and have Wanyama drop to cover the centre backs. then above you still have Dembele, Dele and Eriksen playing free roles going forward.
Spurs have been guilty of resisting change. Against Swansea Spurs were one dimensional with all the play coming down the right hand side. Trippier playing left wing back was idiotic and offered nothing as anytime he got the ball he immediately turned back onto his right foot. Why leave Davies on the bench? Crazy. Of course you want to rest players, but 20 minutes wouldn’t kill him and could have offered the natural width the break the deadlock!
It’s noticeable that when Mousa Dembele doesn’t play Spurs lack creativity. Keeping him fit is an absolute must, however similarly to Davies, surely 15 minutes at the end of a game to try get the win is within his fitness ability?
Something I have noticed is that Mauricio Pochettino refuses to change tactics early enough in games. Often, he tries something new with too little time left in games for it to be properly effective. He trusts his players to get the job done and this trust is great and the players definitely appreciate it. But sometimes players need to be coached to have the intelligence to react to teams defending differently.
Time will tell how Spurs react to this latest set back at ‘home’ in Wembley!