Tim Sherwood has asked a lot of Danny Rose in his new system, especially when we’ve gone with twin strikers. As Christian Eriksen drifts inside and acts as a playmaker from the left, Rose has often had to hold opponents back in order to allow covering help to rotate over.
The reason I ask this question is that with a huge game coming up at home to Man City, Danny Rose could well be targeted. Especially after what we saw in the awful 6-0 capitulation at the Etihad.
Man City target our left back
In our trip to Man City earlier in the season, Andre villas-Boas was in charge, but the Citizens heavily targeted Jan Vertonghen in the left back slot. This was because City had a pacy winger in Jesus Navas up against a stand in full back.
Vertonghen does play there for Belgium and can do a job, but has always had trouble against players with speed if he is left to cope 1v1. The problem was that Vertonghen was not given enough support from his wide player in front of him, whilst there was often a large space of separation between him and his centre back, Younes Kaboul.
The average positions from that match report show the huge space between the centre back and left back. They also show how close Michael Dawson and Sandro were to the right back Kyle Walker.
Now, average positions aren’t completely a true reflection of the game.
Erik Lamela switched in to the middle, skewing his. Aaron Lennon also switched flanks, making his much more narrower. However, the defence stayed pretty much in tact, highlighting the space between them.
As a result of often being 1v1, City used Navas’ speed and dribbling ability to create chances from our left back zone.
Since that dreadful day, Tim Sherwood has come in and brought with him a new style and system of play.
So far we’ve seen a twin striker approach, which incorporates a playmaker who drifts in from the left. This system has been used in all but one of our matches and i’ve analysed how Tim Sherwood runs it here.
We’ve also seen a 4-1-4-1 defensive formation that shifts to a 4-3-3 with a wide forward on the left against Swansea.
In the former approach, Christian Eriksen has been used as the drifting playmaker and whilst that has created overloads in the centre, it also leaves Danny Rose exposed.
Man Utd 1 Spurs 2
The game at Old Trafford saw us score twice and defeat Man Utd with Eriksen influential on both goals as he drifted all over the park. The only problems posed on the night was that of Danny Rose being left with very little cover, as Man Utd created a host of chances from his left back area, including their goal.
Christian Eriksen drifting was creating trouble for Man Utd’s midfield, but it was also leaving his full back with a lot of ground to cover and sometimes 2v1 situations. Over on the opposite flank, Aaron Lennon on the right was giving Kyle Walker much more cover.
Man Utd have been the best team that Tim Sherwood has faced so far in his short reign as Spurs coach.
Other matches against the likes of Crystal Palace, Stoke and West Brom saw the opposition create very few chances. Tony Pulis’ Palace side gave us the most trouble, but by attempting to play on the counter and by going over the top.
The only other opposition to cause us problems was Southampton, as they too fashioned opportunities through our left side.
Does Danny Rose need some help?
With another fixture against Man City upcoming tomorrow, could the left back area be a cause for concern once again and will Danny Rose need some help?