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?
I think many forget Danny Rose has only been playing as a left back for just over 18 months having played for most of his career as a left winger.
We miss Sandro’s spider sense like ability to plug holes in our defence
Spurs Fanatic - Mark says
Yes i think we try to take advantage of his winger mentality to look to create a two-way player which benefits us from his searing pace.
Good article. I have been saying this for weeks. Against Le Arse, against Palace in the first half, Eriksen drifted infield too much and Danny was over-run. With better support, from Chadli at Swansea we saw he was more effective.
Formations are one thing but getting the balance of team, front to back, left to right, is more important.
I really need to write my own blog on this subject.
Spurs Fanatic - Mark says
Good points, be interested to read it when you do.
Very interesting analysis. It adds to the feeling that we have to play 4-5-1 for this game. I’m not so sure about Chadli. He was the only outfield player not to make a tackle in the Swansea game and had fewer touches than Lloris. Maybe Sigurdsson might be an option?
Looking at Man City’s positional map, weren’t Sandro and Dawson pulled to Kyle Walker by Toure, Nasri and Negredo also operating in that area? If we play 5 in midfield we could play Sandro or Capoue just in front of the defense to help plug the gaps and get to Toure.
Spurs Fanatic - Mark says
Good questions. Chadli offered a decent amount of support against Swansea, even though it didn’t show up in the stats sheet – i believe that for OPTA, for a tackle to be awarded you actually have to go to ground rather than just puting a foot in, so they’re not always recorded. Sigurdsson is an option, but he drifts in field too much for me and never realy looks that comfortable on the left.
As regards positional maps, they are put together by a player’s touches of the ball – hence why i always have numerous caveats when i use them. With us controlling possession, the positions were influenced by us looking to attack down the right hand side through Walker/Lennon. They would be influenced slightly by Nasri, Toure and Negredo, but only if we were to touch the ball after taking it from them ie tackle them.
I would go 3-5-2 in this game. THerefore you have 3v2 in a central zone against Aguero and Negredo. Get better use out of Danny Rose as a wing back which would be more suited to his attacking style. It would get 5 players in to midfield, whilst congesting the central area with 3v2 against Toure and Fernandinho. It would also keep Soldado and Adebayor up top with the option for Ade to drop in and create a fourth player in central midfield. However, we don’t have enough healthy centre backs and someone like Capoue there would be a liability, so i don’t see it happening!