Harry Kane celebrates his hat trick with Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli during Fulham 0-3 Spurs in the FA Cup.

Fulham 0-3 Spurs: controlling the half spaces

A dominant display sees us control the half spaces as our FA Cup clash finished Fulham 0-3 Spurs at Craven Cottage.

Fulham’s Kevin McDonald must have felt hung out to dry. Exposed by his team’s formation, the defensive midfielder was left with far too much ground to cover. He was stretched and pulled all over the place as we ran riot in the half spaces around him. The match finished Fulham 0-3 Spurs as we took full advantage.

Control of the half spaces

From the start, the game had a very open feel to it. Fulham were set up in a 4-1-4-1 formation and playing with a very high defensive line.

The issue the Cottagers had was that they were leaving far too much space around defensive midfielder Kevin McDonald. Spurs had Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli drift in to the spaces around him and simply opened Fulham up.

Eriksen and Dele in the space around CDM McDonald during Fulham 0-3 Spurs in the FA Cup.

Eriksen and Dele in the space around CDM McDonald.

Able to get both Dele and Eriksen on the ball in these central pockets meant that they could unlock the game for others. Harry Kane was constantly looking to run in-behind to receive through balls from the pair. Kieran Trippier was bombing on down the right flank to whip in crosses.

Dele and Eriksen filling the half spaces created all three goals as we ran out easy winners to make the final score Fulham 0-3 Spurs.

Trippier down the right

Kieran Trippier had an outstanding game. His ability to get forward was greatly helped by Christian Eriksen drifting inside in to the pockets of space around Fulham’s defensive midfielder. Eriksen’s movement not only dragged Kevin McDonald around, it also sucked in left back Scott Malone. This gave Trippier acres of green space to gallop in to.

Eriksen in the half space plays Trippier in to space during Fulham 0-3 Spurs in the FA Cup.

Eriksen in the half space plays Trippier in to acres.

Trippier fired in a team-high eight crosses from open play, but it was his quick thinking and reactions that saw us take the lead.

A turnover of possession after having got in to the half spaces saw Fulham centre back Tim Ream try and play out. Ream over hit his pass towards left back Scott Malone and it went out for a throw. Immediately reacting, Trippier grabbed the ball and hurled it up the line for Christian Eriksen to race in-behind the recovering left back.

With Harry Kane darting in-behind Fulham’s high line, he timed his run superbly to stay onside, meet Eriksen’s cross and slide the ball home to make it 1-0.

Trippier's throw-in springs Eriksen to set up Kane to score duing Fulham 0-3 Spurs in the FA Cup.

Trippier’s throw-in springs Eriksen to set up Kane to score.

Trippier’s runs and crosses caused issues for Fulham all afternoon. Our right back was also heavily involved in our second goal. Again he linked well with Christian Eriksen as the pair’s dovetailing movement opened the door once more.

The passage of play started with us quickly recovering the ball in midfield after we’d turned it over. Our speed of regaining the ball after losing it was impressive all afternoon, but particularly so here. As soon as we had it back, the excellent Harry Winks wasted no time in picking out Trippier’s forward run.

Harry Winks passes to the open Kieran Trippier during Fulham 0-3 Spurs in the FA Cup.

Harry Winks passes to the open Kieran Trippier.

Once again, Christian Eriksen had drifted inside to get free in the half spaces around Fulham’s Kevin McDonald. Eriksen’s movement had kept the left back playing narrow, freeing Trippier to race up the line.

As soon as Trippier had the ball, Eriksen made his move to float over and help. Trippier found him with a neat pass back inside. Eriksen now had time and space to pick out his target.

Eriksen has time and space to pick out Harry Kane to score during Fulham 0-3 Spurs in the FA Cup.

Eriksen has time and space to pick out Harry Kane to score.

Harry Kane, playing on the shoulder of the centre backs once more, snuck in-behind to divert the cross past the keeper to make it Fulham 0-2 Spurs. The away end erupted and a sense of ease emerged that the tie was close to being put away.

High line vs ball in-behind

Fulham also played with a high defensive line. This was a curious decision given the lack of pace at the back and our ability to get Eriksen and Dele in between the lines to pick them apart.

Throughout the game we tried several long balls over the top. Toby Alderweireld’s pinpoint pass that was plucked out of the sky by Dele was one great example. If only Dele could’ve supplied the finish after cushioning it down and we’d be talking of a goal of the month contender.

Jan Vertonghen also wanted in on the tactic. The returning centre back sent a beautifully guided ball for Son Heung-Min to race on to and get a shot away.

But it wasn’t just the long ball over the top. We also played through the high line and ran on to passes. Christian Eriksen had a glorious chance in the opening minutes that saw his contested left-footed shot pushed round the post.

We finally got our reward from running in-behind the high line by adding a third to make it Fulham 0-3 Spurs. All of our good work from the afternoon went in to the goal. Quick ball recovery in the middle of the pitch started it. Rapidly moving possession forward to get Christian Eriksen on the ball in the half space around the defensive midfielder then followed. Dele Alli in the opposite half space was next and then the precision pass for Harry Kane’s run beyond the high defensive line.

Eriksen and Dele in the half spaces spring Kane to make it Fulham 0-3 Spurs in the FA Cup.

Eriksen and Dele in the half spaces spring Kane.

The goal was a beautiful piece of football to watch and a culmination of everything good that we were doing on the afternoon. Kane made no mistake to fire his shot home at the near post, completing his hat trick and making the score line Fulham 0-3 Spurs.

The goal put the tie away and ensured progression through to the FA Cup quarter Finals. All that was left was for some nice touches by both managers. Former Spurs midfielder Scott Parker was introduced to solid applause. Likewise, former Fulham man Mousa Dembele entered the action to the adulation of both sets of supporters.

Fulham 0-3 Spurs overall

In need of a confidence boost, this game certainly provided it. Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli’s control of the half spaces destroyed Fulham defensive midfielder Kevin McDonald. Both Eriksen and Dele’s ability to then pick out Harry Kane for through balls and Kieran Trippier to cross saw us create and dispatch three goals.

Mauricio Pochettino named a strong line up. Is this a sign that Pochettino is now taking this competition seriously or was it merely to regain confidence that was knocked at Anfield and in Gent?

Return of Jan Vertonghen

Jan Vertonghen’s absence has left a huge void that we have struggled to fill. The return of the Belgian alongside Toby Alderweireld brought a calm and assuredness that ran through the whole team. It wasn’t just Vertonghen’s defending that we missed, but his positioning too.

What has been noticeable over the past few weeks is that our centre back pairing hasn’t been splitting as wide to stretch out opposition defensive coverage. That has meant that Victor Wanyama has had less space to work in when he drops in and he’s made errors or turnovers in dangerous positions.

The return of Vertonghen saw a very visible reminder of just how far apart he and Alderweireld can play. The knock on effect was just how much more Victor Wanyama dropped in to create a three to bring the ball out. Wanyama had so much more space here and it improved his game, he made fewer turnovers and improved his ability to start attacks moving.

Centre backs Toby and Jan split extremely wide during Fulham 0-3 Spurs in the FA Cup 5th Round.

Centre backs Toby and Jan split extremely wide.

Final score: Fulham 0-3 Spurs.
MOTM: Christian Eriksen.



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29 Responses to Fulham 0-3 Spurs: controlling the half spaces

  1. ashley collie 20th February 2017 at 5:59 pm #

    Mark, I believe the players had a heart to heart, after our two recent losses, maybe about better application. And it showed, we were relentless in our press and harrying again. And then quickly counter attacking to great effect. I think maybe sometimes we believe our own “press” that we just have to turn up. No, we have to apply ourselves.It also helped to have Toby and Jan’s composure back there, they helped Davies be more secure defensively, and allowed Trippier to attack. With Winks, he’s gaining in confidence, as I saw him moving forward with the ball, passing it quickly upfield. He’s a different player that Dembele, and ultimately, may even be more effective. Realistically, our off season buys, except for Wanyama, haven’t been contributing much, so we’re in the position yet again on relying on a basic core of maybe 15 outfield players. That’s not a lot with the games we have left — we can’t seem to depend on Sissoko, Janssen, N’Koudou, Wimmer, CCV & Onomah (yet)…Thoughts, Mark?

    • Spurs Fanatic - Mark 20th February 2017 at 6:17 pm #

      Good points Ashley. Alderweireld mentioned some discussions the players had after the Gent game so that formed some of the backlash. Poch probably felt he had to go strong here too to restore confidence and not encourage abuse if we lost again.

      We are reliant on a small core and that is the concern going forward if we are going to go for it in three competitions. Personally I’d prioritise the FA Cup then the league and then the Europa.

      Winks, Trippier, Dier, Lamela, Vorm and Davies are really the only current non first choice starters we can rely on and that is a concern.

      • james 20th February 2017 at 11:07 pm #

        Hi Mark,

        Thanks again for the great analysis – love seeing Jan back and his contribution recognised!

        Really interested in your appraisal of our squad players. And surprised that Davies makes the cut? He seems to be targeted by the opposotion every time he starts (unlike the others on your list), and hasn’t convinced [me] either offensively or defensively for 2 seasons? Would you be satisfied if he is still our back up LB in August?

        Similar question re: Wimmer. He did so well for us last year, am I being too naive in hoping that this season represents a blip rather than his natural level? I’m not sure who we could recruit as a back-up who would be an improvement on him?

        Your thoughts?

        • Spurs Fanatic - Mark 20th February 2017 at 11:55 pm #

          Hi James. I don’t think Davies future lies at left back. I’m with you in that we do need a replacement in the summer to back up and rotate for Rose. Where I think Davies future lies is being a left centre back rotation option for Vertonghen if we commit to playing a back three. We’ve played so well in this setup that it’s only a matter of time before Poch goes back to it. This of course would put pressure on Wimmer, but Davies has looked better at left centre back than Kev. Wimmer has looked very shaky this season and after being firmly in last term the jury is definitely out in him. There is something definitely up and I honestly think he is gone in the summer.

          • YouShubes 22nd February 2017 at 6:23 pm #

            Poch does like his players to be versatile which is harsh on Wimmer who is used to playing as part of a back 4…Dier from his time at Sporting and at FB for us, as well as Toby and Jan who play as FB for Belgium are good at going forward and knowing where to position themselves. WImmer at 6’4 lacks the mobility to do this and is not yet able to read the game well enough as well as offering that forward passing.

            I think we have made much progress in developing a first XI wthin two years of Poch managing us let alone a XV. We do need to progress and I think we will.

            Signings are usually 1 in 3 in terms of being successful and of our last 7 “ins” IMHO only 3 have been successful with Toby esp and Victor unqualified success. Sonny is a B/C grade, with the rest not showing enough to have yet passed the test of being good enough to contribute to Spurs YET.

            Fulham LET us play and were I think naive in their set up. Ghent and Stoke will be more formidable . If we do make it past Ghent do you think we should go two up front in Sonny and Jansen, strong man quick man combo?…it is old fashioned but I think our two other forwards simply lack the quality to replace Kane as a lone frontman. I think the next phase in Poch’s development as a coach will be to develop line ups when his first choices are simply not available

            Love what your do as do my mates around the globe Mark.

            • Spurs Fanatic - Mark 22nd February 2017 at 6:58 pm #

              Yes it is a bit unfortunate on Wimmer that he really only can play as a centre back. Poch did bring him in though so he must’ve seen something.

              If we make it past Gent then it really depends on who we draw in the next round of the Europa League as to how we play. Son and Janssen are unconvincing for me as neither of them has excelled at scoring goals when played up top… maybe as a pair something will click, but who knows. I’d personally at some point like to see how the Kane-Janssen partnership works in a 3-5-2 set up. Just curious to see how they’d both fare as twin number nines. It may get Janssen firing but would give us a lot of strength and power up top.

  2. ashley collie 20th February 2017 at 6:27 pm #

    Mark, no way we don’t prioritize CL qualification because of the money, new stadium naming rights (etc) and playing at Wembley again next year. There’s just too much money on offer. Sure, we’d all like to win the FAC again, but putting priority into CL (and really there’s no other way of seeing it), puts us in two minds. Do it thru top-4 or winning Europa, and that puts us with those two as priorities, a two-headed split strategy. Ouch…I can’t help but see a focus on all three…luckily, we’re only two wins from the FAC final. I agree on the players we can rely on (except Lamela hasn’t been playing so that’s only wishful, and Wimmer hasn’t been playing either to be honest), but as for outfield players, it seems it’s only Winks, Trippier and Davies (until Lamela returns). And include Dier because with Jan/Toby fit, he really is a rotational player, and not a bad one to have. COYS!

    • Spurs Fanatic - Mark 20th February 2017 at 11:45 pm #

      I don’t think going for the FA Cup is jeopardising champions league qualification. There are only 3 games left to win the FA Cup and the final is after the last game of the season, which means just 2 games to prioritise. The league should be our main aim to qualify for champions league. Four spots available and we have a run of highly winnable games till the end of the season. We can easily combine FA Cup with the league. Now the Europa should be slid down the list as it requires the most matches, involves the most travel and there are still some very good teams in it, which makes it difficult to win. Only the winner qualifies for CL so the odds of making it are vastly reduced and it’s a lot of effort spent on something that we only have a small chance of winning.

      The real issue will be faced next season when/if we are playing at Wembley. This will make getting in to top 4 seriously hard as we’ve struggled with the pitch there and it’s going to be a cup final and big day out for every visiting team. That will make CL qualification extremely difficult for our first season in our new home.

  3. Terry Steedman 20th February 2017 at 7:43 pm #

    I think you do need a little realism in all this, before we get much too far from the truth. Yes the words are fine, and it sounds all good, except when we face real opposition we fail. And we fail because we play much too much samet football, full backs bombing on, front and back pressing… plus lots of other ploys, now very well known by those that know. We still have very little reward for usually vastly greater possession, and especially away from home we often fail to rise the the task.

    Our ‘reserves’ are poor, and it only takes a couple of injuries to change the whole concept. Without mentioning names, many of our ‘stars’ have suffered of bad times this season, and these have caused severe problems.

    We need to decide what our priorities are, and to select teams on that basis. When you compare our squad with the top clubs we are very much second best, and we really do need to be stronger to succeed. We also need to have more direction, and drive to compete, since we now need to be even stronger, more direct and to have a much higher success rate in possession verses goals scored. If we don’t, we’ll end up the same as last year and allow the Gooners to have the last laugh when the final game arrives.

    I do want us to succeed, but when you have watched the Spurs for about 65 years you will know what I mean. FASTER, HARDER, FITTER, AND DRIVEN WILL ALLOW US TO SUCCEED.

    • ashley collie 20th February 2017 at 8:36 pm #

      A little simplistic, mate, and harsh. You’re still dreaming of the double squad — it’s a vastly different game, and Spurs aren’t top London dogs as we were. Poch has improved us a club and team, we’re on the move, yet we’re on some tenterhooks with budget constraints (new stadium looming). However, we’re solidly in top-4, punching way above our financial weight. The top-5 teams earn anywhere from £100-200million more than us. Impossible to compete with at this time in terms of wages. Poch will have more say in signings moving forward (which should improve the quality of buys and the type of profile he really wants), we’ve got all our young squad re-signed, and we’re going to break attendance records next season before moving into our new home. We must be one of fittest clubs around, so you’re blowing smoke with that comment. Playing more direct, really, like Wimbledon? And, just saying “faster, harder” sounds like words from an adult movie. Glad you’re not our manager, mate! COYS!

  4. Terry Steedman 20th February 2017 at 8:54 pm #

    I think the ‘simplicity’ comes from a very long experience at watching Spurs, my club for over 60 years. You’re like lots of people, statistics mad,and ‘punching weight’. I wasn’t rude or objectionable, to you, simply stating facts. Please wait till the end of the season, and then you have my full approval to be both rude and objectionable then, but certainly not currently.

    We may have a young squad, which is fitter, and other clubs may earn more than us, and its very obvious that crowds will be bigger with the new ground when it’s built, especially when you double the size for the spectators, Whilst you were an imagination in your parents minds, I attended Spurs against Benfica when there were over 80,000 spectators, when men were men, and Spurs were a truly great team, and whatever you may think most of this bunch wouldn’t come anywhere near this lot. But you would neither know of be able to judge would you?

    The only smoke you blow is out of you vociferous rear end. I suggest you just wait until the seasons end and then come on with your rudeness.

  5. ashley collie 20th February 2017 at 9:37 pm #

    Some of us like nothing better than a loud old moan, eh? A chacun son gout, Yiddo!

  6. Terry Steedman 20th February 2017 at 10:07 pm #

    What a silly thing to say, why not try to use your brain?

    It would be good to see your sensible responce in a cohesive.progressive and understandable manner, thereby allowing you to learn what it is about being a real Spurs supporter?

    • ashley collie 21st February 2017 at 2:50 am #

      I’ve been a Spurs fan since1965 and make my living off writing about sports. I’ve personally met Greavsie, Ossie, Hoddle, etc all the way to Harry Kane and Mr. Levy. I’ve seen too many older Spurs fans who live in the “glorious” past and whose vision is blurred by nostalgia.This is the best Spurs team since Burky’s early 80s team, let’s give it a chance. Not bury it in cliche, rose tinted and simplistic words “FASTER, HARDER, FITTER, AND DRIVEN” — PS Terry, “harder, faster” is from an old adult movie, truly classic. COYS!

  7. Terry Steedman 21st February 2017 at 3:52 am #

    Then you should be far more respectful, rudeness doesn’t endear you to people and neither will they listen to you. I can give you more than another 20 years as a Spurs fan, and in addition played senior football, followed by vets football. I can go back far far more than you, when it actually cost 9 old pence for admission as a boy, Harry Clarke, Eddie Bailey, George Robb, ‘Duke’, ted Ditchburn, and naturally Alf Ramsey, plus many many other you would have never seen.

    Never have I been rude or disrespectful, and you obviously are so better informed and able to judge? My comments are based on facts, and my arguments are in in a words of English, can you say the same?

  8. Chas 21st February 2017 at 4:33 am #

    I, too, can remember hanging off the railing as a 14 year old, watching Harmer, Brooks, Taylor, Norman, Blanchflower, etc., – and so what of it?
    Forgetting all about the to-ing and fro-ing of experience, insults, etc….the Fulham game showed what we are capable of when the two players guilty of slowing our team down the most are not on the park.
    Dier, an Easter Island monument that sometimes moves, and Dembele who I admire greatly but his dribbling absorbs so much time and the end result is rarely a benefit. Kane and company are smothered by the time he’s dribbled his 10 – 15 yards.
    I’m a little surprised that Mason didn’t warrant Mark’s attention in his analysis. His speed – both of foot and thinking – put a noticeable thrust into our play, found spaces and was largely responsible for the improved performances from Wanyama, Trippier and Eriksen.
    The kid has got it! He’s just plain good.

    • Spurs Fanatic - Mark 21st February 2017 at 4:03 pm #

      Hi Chas, I presume you meant Winks rather than Mason? I thought he did very well and kept the ball moving to those around him in better attacking positions eg his pass to Trippier on our second goal. He does a very similar job to Dembele although Mousa does it through running with the ball and Winks does it with passing. I think many Spurs fans are only going to appreciate what a good player Dembele is/was for us when we don’t have him anymore.

  9. Daudi 21st February 2017 at 9:35 am #

    A good read Mark, keep it going.
    Back to tactics.
    Vorm’s kicking was good and comfortable with ball at feet, except that one time when he passed directly to an opponent. Lloris on the other had, good keeper but I’m always panicking when he has the ball at his feet…. this brings me to my question and I see it in many teams… when trying to find a way out of defence, the ball will be knocked around the defence or mid, then back to the keeper, who will then kick it up field for 50-50 headed contests or even back to the opposition keeper. Most of the time they are not even under so much pressure when they kick it, I would rather they try and play back to the defenders, or even the defenders do that instead of the keepers.
    What am I missing here Mark?

    • Spurs Fanatic - Mark 21st February 2017 at 4:08 pm #

      You are not missing anything Daudi. The aim of many teams, especially those that press, is to create the situation of a downfield clearance and a 50-50 they can win the ball back. Teams will often not play out as they are nervous to make a mistake. We do play out though and frequently we’ll see the ball go back through the keeper to go to the other side or out to teh full backs. Michel Vorm is much better at it than Hugo Lloris, which is maybe why Lloris kicks it away more as he doesn’t have the confidence to make the pass in certain situations when under pressure.

  10. Chas 21st February 2017 at 4:39 pm #

    Sorry, Mark… yes I meant Winks, of course, and I agree with you re Dembele. As I said, I admire him for his strength, solidity in defence and winning the ball.
    But he does slow things down with his dribbles and, heck, how we’d all like to see him take a shot at goal every now and then!

    • Spurs Fanatic - Mark 21st February 2017 at 5:29 pm #

      I think Dembele’s role in the team is misunderstood. He is not there to score or create goals. Any production out of him is a real bonus. His job is to take the ball from the defence and build the first phase of possession. This means encountering and taking opponents out of the game and being resistant to being pressed by one, two or more opponents. Once Dembele has broken through that opposition line then he passes the ball off to the more attacking players to go to work having done his job.

  11. Chas 21st February 2017 at 9:19 pm #

    No argument there, Mark, and his pass success rate is outstanding.
    But the points I’m making are that, by the time he does pass, the defence is condensed and our attackers are under pressure, backs to goal.
    His work in our own half is exceptional and Spurs look so secure with him there. It’s his last little bit that bothers me.
    And although, as you say, his job is not scoring goals, neither is Yaya Toure’s. Dembele is just too reluctant to attempt it when the opportunity presents itself.
    I guess we agree to disagree!

    • Spurs Fanatic - Mark 21st February 2017 at 11:24 pm #

      I don’t think he does slow us down. I often think how he’s just opened the field up and set us moving by spinning away from two opposition players. He doesn’t shoot enough when a chance presents itself, which is a shame as he can strike a sweet shot with immense power. For me, my one concern is how Winks reacts if we are being heavily pressed by a Liverpool or Man City. He is exceptional with time and space, but we’re yet to see him tested with physical pressing play and limited time. That will be an interesting watch.

  12. toby4eva 22nd February 2017 at 2:33 am #

    Some nice stuff on this topic.

    Verts and Toby really do anchor this team and the observation (and photo) of them getting very wide apart to allow Victor more time is spot on.

    We seem blessed with this FAC draw, with a semi realistically becoming – perhaps against Woolwich! The Millwall game will of course be the last Cup tie at the Lane, so special.

    Agree re prioritising the PL is a no-brainer as per your analysis Mark. Gooners, Toffees and Utd all at home this time. We have averaged 2 points per game comfortably all season so 76 is very achievable – and will get us there.

    Winks turn, read and pass to set up the second goal against Fulham was pretty to watch – if he can take that form forward against better opponents we will be happy.

    Early doors this season I thought our squad was deep, but a few have let the Gaffer down badly.

    Surely Sissoko will be taking the big Chinese money in the summer.

    We can collectively hope so.

    What an absolute dud.

    COYS!!!

    • Spurs Fanatic - Mark 22nd February 2017 at 5:53 pm #

      Yes we do seemed destined for a Cup Semi Final with the Goons. Shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves but it looks on.
      Sissoko to China for upwards of £30 million would be an escape Houdini would be proud of!

  13. MurphyN 22nd February 2017 at 1:37 pm #

    With Davies showing himself better as cover for Jan than Rose, do you think the best route for GKN might be to learn the wing-back position? He seems to struggle in the front 4 – but with pace and crossing isn’t it worth developing him as a potential cover for Rose?

    • Spurs Fanatic - Mark 22nd February 2017 at 6:05 pm #

      Good quesion. I’m really not sure what GKN’s best position is. He came as a left winger, but he never looks that comfortable there to me and has far too much reliance on his right foot. I don’t know if he could convert to a wingback, sort of like Victor Moses has. It is a possibility as GKN is a willing runner, but he doesn’t so far have great defensive positioning, which would be a concern if trying to convert him. It would be an experiment that is for sure. Poch did convert Dier in to a very good defensive midfield, so maybe he can work his magic on GKN.

  14. Matt 22nd February 2017 at 11:38 pm #

    Three things I noticed in particular. Vorms distribution has a material effect on our build up. Lloris has to work on that. Trippier is a great back up and we are lucky to have him, he’d walk into most teams. How we’ve missed Jan for his passing.

    • Spurs Fanatic - Mark 23rd February 2017 at 12:11 am #

      Vorm’s distribution is one of the main reasons we signed him and, as you say, it makes a real difference. He and Hugo have to be working on it in training so it’s a wonder why Lloris hasn’t improved?!
      We are blessed at right back. Trippier would be a very good starter if there wasn’t Walker ahead of him, if only we had the same cover in the left!
      Jan’s passing is a very underrated part of his game. He’s not quite at Toby’s level over long distance, but he does still ping a few pinpoint passes. The team just looks much more assured with him and Toby at the back. It was noticeable just how many more runs Dele and Son were making for them as they knew the pass would come.