AVB gets it wrong

The game on Sunday was one which was coming. When you don't bury teams, as I've mentioned before, you run the risk of not getting the result.

If you listed the teams who are likely to win 5-0 we would not be among them and that is the next hurdle to overcome. Basically we are a machine, but a machine that creates few clear cut chances. When we do create a chance it therefore has to be put away, which is why we bought Soldado knowing Defoe doesn't do it regularly enough in the Premier League.

Yes I know he has been scoring goals and taking them well against league two standard keepers and defences but up against a Premier League keeper and he makes it simple for him. At the start of the second half he should have lifted the ball as 90% of the time keepers are expecting it along the floor and set themselves for that. They even anticipate it it and go down for it. Defoe didn't change his body shape to give himself options but simply ran alongside the ball thereby only allowing himself the flick with the outside of the boot. The keeper can therefore easily read the situation knowing from where he was he could only go one way with the ball, had he tried to drag it round him the other way the chance would have gone.

That one instance was a prime example of why Soldado should have started and another came in the first half when Townsend intercepted the ball from Noble and ran at the Hammer defence on the outside again. If you watch the highlights and watch Defoe's movement you'll see he waits until the ball is crossed before reacting and doesn't get the the tap in in the 6 yard box. It was the only ball Townsend could have player, a striker has to anticipate not react. It might look unlucky for the cameras but it's not it's bad movement from the striker.

But let's not put this defeat just at the feet of Defoe, although his miss mustn't be underestimated with the score at 0-0, a lead would make the world of difference and in our system you have to take them.

If you remember back to Wigan at home last year and other games early season we could not break down a parked bus defence. West Ham did exactly that, 11 men behind the ball 30 yards from goal.

In the first half Townsend went outside his man and created opportunities as it stretched the defence. In the second half he generally cut inside and shot into the stands again, that's when he didn't overrun the ball and give it away which he did on at least 3 occasions. Why? West Ham were more than happy for him to simply run into a crowded area of the pitch.

For me that was a mental problem. I applaud the we need a goal I'll get it attitude but it meant he was no longer playing for the team, he was an individual with it just doing his own thing. That was not what we required especially when your shooting is as poor as his is under pressure.

The result of that with Sigurdsson who we know is going to cut in the whole game meant we had no width again, everything was through the middle, where with so many bodies there was never going to be many ways through. Attacking in this manner is essentially trying to win games 1-0.

Our performance showed the problem with inverted wingers the way a big part of our supporters look at them. An inverted winger is fine, but going outside the man is equally important, if not on both sides then especially on one. Without a full-back to overlap the system falls flat on its face as only allows for pop shots from outside the area. Without Bale's shooting ability from ling range that tactic is not going to work consistently.

The width we used in the first half means their players have to cover a bigger area and there is a little more space between defenders, the second half cried out for it. Allowing them to just overcrowd centrally was not the answer. The game cried out for Aaron Lennon, but alas he is not fit yet so why did the coaching staff not get a message to Townsend to stay wide?

Walker said he was unwell before the game the commentators told us and was half the player we know, unable to continually overlap to give us width. Against Anzhi he looked as though he had injured himself in the second half so playing with what was apparently a slight groin strain backfired.

We had to either take him off, and you have to seriously question whether he should have started, putting Chiriches in his place. We could get away with playing him at right back and he likes to go forward but he is a way short of being a Premier League centre-half yet so moving Vertonghen to left-back and Naughton over the the right was not an option.

Alternatively we had to tell Townsend to keep his width as I've mentioned or replace him with Lamela, who offers more from the right creatively than he seems to from the left. If you think the way Sigurdsson cuts in he is always looking to run through the channel between the full-back and the centre-back into the area, his first against Norwich for instance or his goal against Chelsea. How many time do you see Townsend do that? It's another aspect of his game he needs to look at.

AVB made mistakes in this game with selection and tactics which he didn't get away with so I'm afraid he has to bear his share of the blame. He didn't get the messages onto the pitch he needed to and lost the tactical battle with Sam Allardyce.

Hugo Lloris made what is becoming his customary error right at the start of the game this time having his goal kick charged down and then early in the second half he saved from a West Ham corner that he himself should have prevented. Kyle Walker had chested the ball out for a corner with nobody near him but he wasn't to know who was behind him, it was Lloris's job to tell him. A lack of communication from him nearly cost us.

Our weakness from set pieces reared it's ugly head again for their first goal when Tompkins had a free header after he shoved Vertonghen in the back. That should have been a free kick but poor refereeing allowed it to stand and none of the Spurs players complained as Vetonghen stayed on his feet instead of falling over.

There isn't another Spurs player near the situation though as we don't have anyone on the line at the back post. The back post is where the previous corner went so it was a target area for West Ham and something we will have to look at on the training ground.

Goal number two came after Dembele was too casual in midfield, simply in the end having to poke the ball to a West Ham player. Our midfield is therefore taken out the game and our defence has to try and recover it's position. Lloris makes an excellent save and is unlucky to see the rebound cannon off Vaz Te as he falls to the ground, it could have gone anywhere.

Goal number three was down to Vertonghen,who in their half of the field  made a wrong decision thereby allowing the West Ham player the opportunity to run at our defence. As the ball come out of their defence he commits himself and Diaby simply turns the other way taking him totally out of the game. he then passes to Morrison taking Dembele out the game and Dawson is the only man left. Vertonghen never recovers and never catches up with play again. The path was free for Morrison to run at Dawson and the attacker always has the upper hand in those situations.




Kyle Naughton if you watch as Morrison runs is running back but not sprinting to come across and help out. He hasn't read the situation, it's only when the ball is going in the net does he belatedly change gears and sprint.

Dawson couldn't take him out and be sent off as we have no Premier League standard central defenders fit, Chiriches isn't strong enough yet to play there and is error prone at the moment. There would be no point being sent off 2-0 down anyway. What Dawson did was what any defender would do he tried to take him onto his weaker left foot, Dawson's stronger right foot which would have pushed him away from goal. Morrison was having none of it, he made the run you could see Lennon making, direct.

So all in all a bad day at the office. We now have 6 goals in 7 games and a very poor goal difference of +1 which shows the we need to learn to create more and create more chances for a centre-forward. Our game is to set up for shots from outside the area, we had the same problem last year, but Bale kept getting us out of jail.

I bet Soldado can't wait until Lamela starts playing on the right or Lennon is fit and he starts getting the service we bought him to thrive on.



Subscribe to THBN

0 Response to "AVB gets it wrong"

Post a Comment