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Three tactical errors made by Tottenham in the shock loss to Wolves

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How could Tottenham Hotspur iron out tactical errors that they made in the Wolves loss?

Saturday Night Football put a damper on Tottenham fans in their shocking loss to Wolves who seem to be on top of their game this Premier League, with their third consecutive victory, 2-1, against Spurs on Saturday.

Tottenham have now dropped out of the top four after Aston Villa’s defeat of Fulham and has faced a major setback in their hope of qualifying for the traditional top four. While it has led to frustration among Spurs fans, from a Tottenham perspective, this loss was completely avoidable.

A singular tactic that seems to be failing Tottenham in the recent past is their slow starts which have become a predictable pattern in the eyes of their opponents. The team struggles to function in the first half to a great extent because they fail to take quick measures and lack a disciplined plan in attack and/or defence. Spurs were 1-0 at halftime because Wolves clearly understood this pattern, and decided to use that against them. 

Son Heung-min could not contribute much to Tottenham's attack in their defeat against Wolves
Son Heung-min could not contribute much to Tottenham’s attack in their defeat against Wolves

Dejan Kulusevski did manage to equalise things for one after the break, but the team quickly slipped back into its leisurely gameplay which seemed to be no match for the Wolves’ 5-3-2 system which was extremely efficient. The team used this to their advantage on multiple occasions.

Their second error stemmed from this very sloppiness. At times, Spurs left Joao Gomes unattended and completely free to have a run at Tottenham’s defence. This came at a crucial time for the team because it had already established its narrow and compact gameplay while revealing that the team was not defending strongly. Tottenham seemed determined to find spaces that just did not exist.

Pedro Porro was greatly missed at the time, but there was no way to bring him back given that the player had succumbed to injuries just when Tottenham were looking to have their full-strength squad back. Emerson Royal also struggled badly in the particular game, however, these were merely circumstantial errors that can be overlooked in gameplay and can be relegated to the realm of fate. However, it is the team’s responsibility to ensure they have proper backup for Porro and Udogie.

The tactic that needs serious work in this current scenario is more security in the centre of the pitch. Ange needs to reconsider the combination in the back which struggles to hold the fort down in matches and ultimately costs multiple games for the team. Cristian Romero can also work on his speed and accuracy in passing. 

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This was a deserved win for the Wolves because their gameplay seemed more planned and better structured. Next season might be better for Tottenham if they iron these issues out. As Deki clearly pointed out, they need to improve and there is no doubt they will.

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