Tottenham's pressing problem

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That's a really informative piece that not only confirms, but quantifies what many of us have been saying for quite a while now. The shots against we are allowing is staggeringly bad for an "elite" team

It's not just about "high" pressing either. We have the third fewest tackles per game in the PL right now. We have the lowest interceptions.

Defensively from top to bottom we've become a very lethargic and incoherent side. This is what I was stalking about last week in the Pochettino thread when I said he needs to get the intensity and aggression back. It doesn't matter what kind of "press" you are operating, any decent team is at least cohesive, coherent and aggressive. We got dicked about by shit teams last season, and it's already happening this season, Woolwich were allowed to just knock the ball about (as were City and Newcastle for their goal) and Poch needs to get a fucking grip of it.
Lack of an actual defensive midfield player doesn't help at the moment, Sissoko,Winks and Ndombele are good at a lot of things but none are particularly defensive minded.


I think nothing less than a change of manager will fix this. I don't think this group of players believes in Pochettino anymore.

God its depressing. We’ve reached levels i never expected to see ie came close to winning titles, could have won the Champions League last season, we had disruption of Wembley, few signings, only just got into our stadium and yet an increasing number of posters are slagging him off and wanting him gone.
Who do you want to replace him? Will that candidate likely come?
If you and others get your wish, there is a far, far greater likelihood that we will be weaker.
Oct 2018
When does the manager become accountable for the deficiencies in the team?

Not injuries, not signings, not other teams spending, but the same group of players playing worse football than we used to.

Yesterday aside it was a decent show.
But how many weeks can we waste chances? When does the manager wield the axe or do what it takes to make players realize it’s not ok?

When does he implement our pressing game again?
When does he stop sitting slumped in his chair like a moody Jose man child and start bellowing from the touchline like he used to?

There will be hysterics and denial, but deep down I think you probably all know that the tosspot Klopp would have this same squad tearing the shit out of teams.
So it is possible. It is possible because Poch himself has done it with this squad.
So what gives with regression in our style of play?
Why have we gone from beating relegation fodder 7-1, 4-1 regularly to scraping wins with them coming away unlucky to have lost?

The training was too much and we are knackered? Where the rumours about players complaining that the regime is too tough and causing injuries true after all?

I want to know when we entertain a situation where people are comfortable question the managers part and stop wrapping him up in cotton wool.

When is Poch part of the problem?
And when does the stage come where people accept he needs to improve and it’s not all just the players and Levy’s fault.

So think about that because I think you all know it’s valid. See you in a couple months.

But we’re moving the discussion on John...the window is done.
That’s wasnt Pochs fault.

But the window isn’t the reason he’s abandoned our pressing game.
Where would we be now with Ndombele and Grealish? You think it would make a massive difference?

Where’s Llorente and why don’t we use wing play when he comes on?

You think if we have Poch 100M he’d make no mistakes? He’s playing Kane on his own on the halfway line yet he’s the slowest player in the PL. why isn’t he using Kane like he used him 3 years ago?

Why don’t you see the regression in our style of play as the managers fault? It’s the same players.

Dec 2018
Heard it all before.
Our style of play is not down to personnel.

It’s the same players that used to tear teams apart most weeks, like we did against Chelsea. The problem for me is that we don’t adopt a pressing game enough.

February 2019
There's a lot right, and whats frustrating for me is that we can play like we did at Barcelona and against Dortmund, and wipe the floor with Chelsea one week, then lose to them the next, ditto Utd...

We are so erratic, and our biggest opponent is ourselves.

It woud actually be easier if we simply were'nt good enough. But we are, and just keep falling short due to the same tiresome issues.

No leadership in the middle, 17 shots one goal, Poch flitting between Rinus Michels one week and Fat Sam the next, "key" players that wont be dropped or subbed off even when shite, not having the bollocks to get in touching distance of the leaders every single time a crunch match pops up, not defending corners, the abandonment of pressing.

Its all self inflicted.

Oh look someone at Sky has finally caught up, so now everyone can start to discuss the thing they didn’t agree with for nearly a year when I brought it up

I think I read someone say on here that maybe Poch decided the crazy pressing wasn't sustainable over a full season. I hope not.

Aggression is my favourite word on football. Liverpool are the perfect examples of that word. I don't mean aggression as in commit fouls . I like it when teams aggressively press, aggressively pass , aggressively shoot and even tackle . A few years ago every thing we did was done with intent, pace and aggression. Now only son does that.

I personally think Poch doesn't believe he now has the players for it and hasn't done since we lost walker and rose got injured. Now with N'dombele maybe we will start being that team again. Poch seems far happier now so tomorrow will be interesting, although palace can be the most frustrating team to play against in the world.
The reason we are playing utter garbage is not because of who we do or don't have in our playing squad. I believe we are seeing the fallout of Poch's unmeritocratic approach to management. Any shower of donkeys can be coached to look vaguely organised if they are motivated.

I pretty much said exactly that in what you quoted didn't I - and gave a couple of big examples of where I think this really started to show (Alli and Dier) and my last line about pandering to egos emphasised it, no?

I couldn't agree more about the bullshit meritocratic hypocrisy (again I referenced "Paid to train"). But I do also think at the same time as some others were wising up to how to recruit - Liverpool being the Stella example - we were going backwards, giving Poch more say in the process, and this also played a part. We end up with Poch trying to justify his choices by playing them, when they clearly aren't good enough, rather than play an academy kid like he had to at Southampton and when he first arrived here.

I don't think it's quite as simple as any shower of donkeys can be organised though; any shower of donkeys can be organised defensively, but it's very different combining being a pro-active team - one that wants to control the ball, control possession, and look forwards, try to create with being defensively disciplined.

Don't be fooled by that 30% tactics, 70% team spirit bullshit regarding Klopp, he isn't obsessed with possession for possession, but his teams will regularly average 58% - the same as us - and generally only Guardiola's City will average much more - but he manages when and how that possession happens smarter than Poch does, and has also got them defensively rock solid, cohesive and disciplined too, that's with FB's that bomb on as well, just like us. You do not do that with just "good team spirit" that takes work and great tactical organisation. Liverpool clearly altered their application last season - that was not an accident, it was clever tactical thinking by Klopp and it was methodical and repetitive.

But, with regards to your remark about who we do and don't have in our squad, another thing Liverpool have done is recruit with Klopp's tactical approach in mind. Same Guardiola, but you can also see other clubs in Germany for example that recruit to suit without having Liverpool's wage budget or City's largesse. Dortmund, RBL, Ajax etc. Some of Liverpool's key players last year (TAA, Gomes, Robertson, Henderson, Wyjnaldum, Firmniho, Salah) were signed for no more in fees and wages initially than we spend.

We had their head of recruitment analytics at this club and basically didn't understand what the fuck to do with him, Poch wanted "more say" so Mitchell and his black box fucked off too.

So I think until this summer and Poch becoming "head coach" again, we've done some pretty mediocre business that added to the malaise, not helped it.
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