The Blog that's not always wrong.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

AVB gets it all wrong.

 Not this week anyway

The JimmyG2 Column

Wrong game plan; wrong formation; wrong attitude; wrong team selection. I think we can safely say that AVB  got this one wrong. We wrongly assumed that Inter would be as dire as they were last week. We wrongly concluded that the tie was as good as won.

We wrongly set up in an attacking 442 formation away from home despite being 3-0 up . We wrongly played a high line despite having Friedel in goal and Gallas in the back four. We wrongly parked Dembele on the right hand side and order was not restored until he was moved into the middle.

You can see where Andre was coming from and it was a romantic kind of Tottenhamesque vision of attacking our way through to the next round. An early away goal would probably have put the tie beyond Inter. Plausible approach if you are one goal up but totally unnecessary at 3-0. But I must admit I like the man's style if not his judgement on this one.

In the end it was the away goal that did indeed send us through but before that Inter, transformed from last week and playing with skill and enterprise, had levelled the tie and beat us 4-1 on the night. They took advantage of our failure to press in midfield and the wide open spaces in front of Brad.

That's seven goals shipped in our last two matches and our second consecutive loss at the San Siro conceding four goals on both occasions. Definitely a cause for concern and given our collapses over the past two seasons enough to put a nagging doubt in the minds of most Spurs supporters.

The current form of Adebayor and Defoe and their inability to play together did made the early goal plan a gamble unlikely to show a profit especially in the absence of the speed and directness of Bale and Lennon. Eventually in extra time Adebayor did get the away goal following up and getting his studs on a loose ball after a threatening run and shot by Dembele which Handanovitch failed to push clear.

Dembele to the rescue in Europe once again. So the squeakiest of close squeaks from which everyone but mainly Andre will draw the proper lessons. I don't expect he will conclude that Friedel and Gallas have reached the end of the line, but he should.

However we have a decent draw in the next round against FC Basel avoiding the big beasts still roaming in the Europa jungle so we can look towards further progress. The whole vista can be brightened on Sunday with a home game against Fulham. By Monday these nagging concerns can be breezily put behind us.

My hope is founded on statistics which can sometimes be a treacherous ally. In the last 8 games against us Fulham have mustered 2 goals and we have won the last six derbies. With a nod to the curse of the returning favourite son, Dimitar Berbatov, who most fans would welcome back with open arms, I make that 3-1 Spurs and a return to Happy Mondays.

Lose to Fulham and the blip will be turning from a drama into a crisis at least in all true Spurs supporters minds. Arsenal went out of the Champions' League in a style which will revive their flagging hopes of a \top Four finish. Chelsea moved into the last eight of the Europa in a gritty fashion. Crikey even Torres and Dog Terry scored.

We sneaked through in a somewhat shamefaced, apologetic manner. But a win is a win and the future is still bright though the lights are flickering and some of the bulbs need checking. The sooner Higuan comes to Tottenham from Real Madrid the better. Oh yes he might be.

As long as Gareth doesn't go in the opposite direction as part of the 'Special Relationship' we have with them everything will be fine.

One Man Team.
No single match is conclusive of course. Against Inter at home with Bale we won 3-0. Against Inter away without Bale we lost 4-1. See what I mean about statistics.

Jermaine Jenas.
Has just scored his second goal in as many games at QPR. Have we made a mistake in letting this fine box to box attacking midfielder go? Answers on a postcard to THFC. Not to me thank you. Our postman's got a bad back.

Jimmy's Video spot.
Nothing on the goal against Inter available but here's Moussa's winner against Lyon that took us through. A virtual carbon copy: the pause; the shift; the shot across the keeper. This one goes in  unlike the one on Thursday which the keeper pushed out towards Adebayor.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Finally, a spot on analysis of the Inter game......formation and personnel within the formation. IMO AVB's first bad game.

On the plus side, haven't we come a long way this year? We we're the team that could only play one way, a swashbuckling 442. On song and against a team outside of the top 5 we probably won, until that is the opposition parked the bus having found us out. I love our formation 4231, we appear to have many options within this system, apart that is the only week spot of the lone striker.

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