Photo by Big Ears
Our previous two games have required different styles of play and extensive use of our squad. Nathan from Tottenham Talking Tactics returns to break down some of our play.
Tottenham’s two last games showcased two completely different ways to break down defensive oppositions and the fact that Spurs possess more than competency in both these methods is highly promising.
There was something very old school about how we set up against Sunderland. A team filled with athletic freaks – Wanyama, Dembele, Sissoko, Dier, Dele, Walker – crashed into the Sunderland defence like a lilywhite battering ram.
There was something very old school about how we set up against Sunderland
We violently pinned them back and muscled them off the ball. With Sunderland dominated Spurs were able to feed the ball to Son over and over again as the previously transfer-listed Korean tore down the left flank sending Denayer scrambling for traces of the ball. On the opposite flank Sissoko drew players towards him on the narrow right before releasing speedster Kyle Walker into the space out wide.
Wide attack after wide attack threatened Sunderland for 90 minutes and eventually, from an enormous 74% possession and 31 shots, we got our goal.
Gillingham was an entirely different method. Three playmakers in Carroll, Winks and Eriksen, accompanied by creative attackers Onomah and Lamela and flanked by tactically astute full-backs Davies and Trippier meant that Spurs passed Gillingham to death.
Narrow and high-tempo, Spurs moved the ball with a fluidity and vision in the attacking third that left Gillingham’s heads spinning. All five midfielders comfortable in each of the other’s position and playing off back-to-goal Janssen lead to a series of space-creating moves in the form of vertical lay-offs, disguised through-balls and chipped-rabonas that cut through the heart of the League One side.
Narrow and high-tempo, Spurs moved the ball with a fluidity and vision
We flexed our muscles and then our brains in the space of a few days and it’s the combination of the two that is full of promise. We sit, undefeated, third in the league and yet to play our best team or our best football. Even our best team minus Kane is a mouth watering prospect. The brains and the brawn. The guts and the guile. Toby, Dembele, Eriksen and Lamela. This is Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur.