Connect with us

MATCH REPORT

A lack of flexibility stalls Spurs at home

Losing at home is regularly a bitter pill to swallow, especially at White Hart Lane, where Spurs fans are expecting to see thier team pick up all three points whenever teams make the trip to North London. So why did the hosts succumb to a 1-0 defeat at home to Wigan Athletic? Nick Harris ponders and gives his honest opinion from Saturday’s result.

Published

on

There will be plenty of criticism of players and manager after Tottenham Hotspur stumbled to a 1-0 loss at home to Wigan Athletic. Nothing leaves a taste in the mouth as sour as losing a home match that should be regarded as a “banker”, and when the loss comes having been largely outplayed by a Latics side nestled in the bottom half of the table, the search for blame can get particularly vicious.

While things are not drastically bad at White Hart Lane, with injuries certainly playing a role in the poor results, a lack of adaptation to the circumstances those injuries have left us with is exacerbating the problem.

There weren’t any awful players on display for the hosts on Saturday; many of them have been involved in great results already this season. Similarly, Andre Villas-Boas has shown encouraging signs at the start of his Spurs career, and had his side in the top four going into the weekend. However there have been problems clear in the Spurs side even in the recent victories in the league, and these should have been addressed despite those victories.

Making changes to you selection and tactics when losing games is easy, it is harder to make those changes to a winning side, and I would argue that Spurs have let this loss happen to them by not reacting to the negatives that have been clear in league wins. The 4-2-3-1 system has been very successful, but a large part of that was due to Mousa Dembele.

It’s not enough to curse your luck when a vital player gets injured, adaptations have to be made. Tom Huddlestone cannot play the same role as Dembele; this is only a crucial problem if he asked to. A formation is successful because it puts players in their best position. If unsuitable players have to be fitted to the system, it will inevitably become a problem.

There has been a similar inflexibility about player selection at Spurs. Again the harder change to make is one to a winning side. But even in winning performances, I don’t believe the likes of Brad Friedel, William Gallas, Clint Dempsey, Huddlestone and Jermain Defoe have necessarily made themselves undroppable. Villas-Boas has shown commendable loyalty to players at White Hart Lane, but at some point the good will that can create turns bitter.

This is particularly true with the goalkeeper situation. I said a few weeks ago that the worst thing that could happen was for Hugo Lloris to only come in due to a mistake or two from Friedel. Both the players and the team gain more from the inevitable change being made before that, with extra pressure being placed on the American every game he plays, and a with even more of that pressure being prepared for Lloris when he does come in. Friedel is a good keeper, Lloris is a better one; it should be that simple.

Spurs created some real momentum with the four wins on the bounce earlier in the season, but maintaining that momentum required well managed changes to the side. There were problems apparent in the home wins against QPR and Aston Villa, and more were shown away at Southampton.

The North London side have been very unlucky with injuries so far, but the reaction to those injuries has exacerbated the problems the missing players have created. The players, the system or both needed to change for the match today, and the fact that they didn’t has led to three more points dropped at home.

Click here to follow Nick Harris on Twitter

Click here to follow To the Lane and Back on Twitter

2 Comments

2 Comments

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Spurs Transfer News

BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 07: Franck Kessie of FC Barcelona looks on during the UEFA Champions League group C match between FC Barcelona and Viktoria Plzen at Spotify Camp Nou on September 07, 2022 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images) BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 07: Franck Kessie of FC Barcelona looks on during the UEFA Champions League group C match between FC Barcelona and Viktoria Plzen at Spotify Camp Nou on September 07, 2022 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
ARTICLES4 hours ago

Barcelona chief delivers blow to Tottenham’s hope of signing Franck Kessie

Barcelona chief delivers blow to Tottenham Hotspur’s hope of signing Franck Kessie A recent claim from Spanish outlet AS (h/t...

Spain's Sergio Busquets with Morocco's Sofyan Amrabat. Spain's Sergio Busquets with Morocco's Sofyan Amrabat.
ARTICLES5 hours ago

“I spoke to his agent”- Romano offers update on 26-year-old Tottenham target shining at World Cup

Fabrizio Romano reveals what he has heard from Tottenham Hotspur target Sofyan Amrabat’s agent Fabrizio Romano has claimed that Tottenham...

Kylian Mbappe of France celebrates after scoring against Poland. Kylian Mbappe of France celebrates after scoring against Poland.
ARTICLES6 hours ago

“Completely compatible”- Pochettino wishes to see Kylian Mbappe play with Tottenham superstar

Mauricio Pochettino wishes to see Kylian Mbappe play with Tottenham superstar Harry Kane Former Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has...

Morocco's midfielder Sofyan Amrabat warms up before the Qatar 2022 World Cup round of 16 football match between Morocco and Spain at the Education City Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha on December 6, 2022 Morocco's midfielder Sofyan Amrabat warms up before the Qatar 2022 World Cup round of 16 football match between Morocco and Spain at the Education City Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha on December 6, 2022
ARTICLES8 hours ago

Tottenham Hotspur rekindle interest in Serie A midfielder due to World Cup displays

Tottenham Hotspur once again interested in Sofyan Amrabat after Morocco star’s World Cup performances Fiorentina star Sofyan Amrabat is once...

BARCELONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 24: Franck Kessie of FC Barcelona looks on during the friendly match between FC Barcelona and Manchester City at Camp Nou on August 24, 2022 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images) BARCELONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 24: Franck Kessie of FC Barcelona looks on during the friendly match between FC Barcelona and Manchester City at Camp Nou on August 24, 2022 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
ARTICLES10 hours ago

Transfer News: Tottenham Hotspur well placed to sign 25-year-old Barcelona player

Tottenham Hotspur well placed to sign FC Barcelona midfielder Franck Kessie According to Diario AS (h/t Football London), Tottenham Hotspur...

Brazil international Richarlison returns to Tottenham Hotspur training. Brazil international Richarlison returns to Tottenham Hotspur training.
ARTICLES22 hours ago

“They are building”- Pundit believes Richarlison could leave Tottenham if a huge offer arrives

Real Madrid target Richarlison could leave Tottenham Hotspur if a huge offer arrives – pundit Former Tottenham Hotspur and England...

Denzel Dumfries is joined by Alessandro Bastoni at the top of Tottenham's transfer shortlist. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images) Denzel Dumfries is joined by Alessandro Bastoni at the top of Tottenham's transfer shortlist. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)
ARTICLES1 day ago

“Ideal player”- Tottenham urged to seal “brilliant” Holland star as upgrade on Emerson Royal

Spurs News: Tottenham Hotspur told to sign Denzel Dumfries as Emerson Royal upgrade Former Tottenham Hotspur and England goalkeeper Paul...

Ecuador's Piero Hincapie at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. (Photo by ANTONIN THUILLIER/AFP via Getty Images) Ecuador's Piero Hincapie at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. (Photo by ANTONIN THUILLIER/AFP via Getty Images)
ARTICLES1 day ago

Transfer News: Arsenal and Tottenham locked in a race for Ecuador international

Arsenal in transfer race with Tottenham Hotspur for the signing of Bayer Leverkusen defender Piero Hincapie Tottenham Hotspur and North...

Jonathan David of Lille has been linked with a transfer to Tottenham Hotspur in the past. Jonathan David of Lille has been linked with a transfer to Tottenham Hotspur in the past.
ARTICLES1 day ago

Romano gives sobering update on Tottenham Hotspur’s links with Jonathan David

Tottenham Hotspur have held no discussions yet with LOSC Lille for the transfer of Jonathan David LOSC Lille are yet...

Leipzig's French midfielder Christopher Nkunku (L) and Leipzig's French defender Mohamed Simakan celebrate after winning the German first division Bundesliga football match between RB Leipzig and SC Freiburg in Leizpig, eastern Germany, on November 9, 2022. - DFL REGULATIONS PROHIBIT ANY USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS AS IMAGE SEQUENCES AND/OR QUASI-VIDEO (Photo by Ronny HARTMANN / AFP) / DFL REGULATIONS PROHIBIT ANY USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS AS IMAGE SEQUENCES AND/OR QUASI-VIDEO (Photo by RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images) Leipzig's French midfielder Christopher Nkunku (L) and Leipzig's French defender Mohamed Simakan celebrate after winning the German first division Bundesliga football match between RB Leipzig and SC Freiburg in Leizpig, eastern Germany, on November 9, 2022. - DFL REGULATIONS PROHIBIT ANY USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS AS IMAGE SEQUENCES AND/OR QUASI-VIDEO (Photo by Ronny HARTMANN / AFP) / DFL REGULATIONS PROHIBIT ANY USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS AS IMAGE SEQUENCES AND/OR QUASI-VIDEO (Photo by RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images)
ARTICLES2 days ago

Tottenham’s summer transfer target renews contract with RB Leipzig

Spurs Transfer News: Tottenham target Mohamed Simakan renews RB Leipzig contract Tottenham Hotspur targeted a move for RB Leipzig’s Mohamed...