Are Spurs The Finished Article?
Education. In a professional sense it allows one person to increase their skill base to fit the ideals of a prospective job opportunity.
August 15th, 2014
In a footballing and, in particular, a Spurs sense, Mauricio Pochettino was largely installed as Spurs boss to give our squad that education, allowing us to facilitate the brand identity that largely diminished over the last season or so. It’s evident that there’s been a change of strategic approach to games now in the sense that we actually have one. One can only assume that training entails more than 5-a-side for an hour every other day as it appeared to be under the last temporary regime.
Although what is also clear is that we are still learning. We’re nowhere near the finished article and, sincerely, I hope Pochettino gets the time to show us what that finished article is. We still lack a touch of the discipline needed to employ such a high-paced, pressing game. At times we’re erratic in our approach, diving in on the opposition’s first touch and leaving large spaces exposed. This is what concerns me about Holtby in a deeper role; it demands the discipline that I still fear he lacks.
Our huge issue last year was the space our midfield gave to the opposition and I still feel there are elements of that in our game. We seem one pass away from conceding space and being on the back foot, one clever turn away from our defence being exposed. This is where I largely hope we can discover this finished article as early on in the season as possible.
Although, contrary to this, it is a breath of fresh air us imitating Liverpool’s approach when not in possession. We race back to get behind the ball – a good 8 to 9 players – and naturally crowd out the space for the opposition if they’re seen to linger for too long in our final third. This should go some way to eliminating the number of shots on our goal, as well as give the players the perfect ambush to counter-attack the opposition.
There’s a huge emphasis on our full-backs this season. They’re essentially operating in two positions in regards to being wide midfielders as well as full-backs. It’s a sorry loss that Walker seems to be out for the next month or so as it’s obvious that Eriksen isn’t comfortable out right in a three behind the forward. Walker’s impact as an acting right-midfielder would’ve given the Dane more license to come inside more centrally and tuck in closer behind the forward. We lose a lot of his impact out wide; even if the three behind the forward are interchanging, he’ll make only a fraction of the chances he would make if permanently central.
It’s clear we are still learning, but we’ve responded well to this new lease of life in our game. Hopefully Pochettino will be given the time and resources to unearth this disciplined gem of a system and to fully realise its potential.