spurs-5-3-chelsea-harry-kane

Spurs 5-3 Chelsea: 4 keys to victory

A scintillating performance at the Lane sees us obliterate Jose Mourinho’s side with it finishing Spurs 5-3 Chelsea in our Premier League clash.

2015 got underway with a bang, as Chelsea were lit up by a dazzling display at the Lane.

The game was fast-paced, frantic, end-to-end and often looked as if it was out of control, as structure was blown away by what appeared to be chaos, organised chaos.

Mauricio Pochettino was left praising the players whilst Jose Mourinho was cursing the officials. The reality was that there were a number of key factors and tactics flowing throughout this contest.

1. Midfield swarm

The first theme was both sides looking to get men in to central midfield to control this area.

Chelsea were playing Willian and Hazard extremely narrow to get them in close to Oscar, Fabregas and Matic. We were doing the same with Nacer Chadli and Andros Townsend to aid Eriksen, Bentaleb and Mousa Dembele.

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Chelsea midfield swarm.

Mousa Dembele was really a key player in all of this. Starting on the bench, the Belgian was quickly called in to action as Ryan Mason went off with a hamstring strain. Mason is very good at moving the ball forward, but in the opening minutes he looked a touch lightweight for this contest as Chelsea sought to gain early control of this zone. Dembele’s introduction added some much needed physicality alongside Nabil Bentaleb and the two became the basis for ball recovery and retention.

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Dembele ball recoveries, Spurs 5-3 Chelsea.

2. Numbers between the lines

With these two in here, it drew the Chelsea midfield in to them, allowing us to get Christian Eriksen, Nacer Chadli and Andros Townsend between the lines behind them.

Just after Dembele’s introduction he fed a ball through four swarming Chelsea midfielders to Nacer Chadli. The Belgian had got free between the lines with both Eriksen and Townsend, as we had three players to run at Chelsea’s exposed defence.

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Dembele passes the press as 3 Spurs are between lines.

The passage of play led to a shot for Chadli, but also highlighted a spin off factor. Both teams were moving the ball forward quickly either through or over this congested midfield battle area.

3. Rapid forward passing

The game wasn’t a direct route one long ball contest, but another theme was both sides getting the play moving quickly over or through this congested central zone.

The ball was being quickly shifted from back to front, leading to the rapid tempo of the contest, but also side-to-side from long diagonal switches.

Chelsea took the lead by doing just this. We had a corner that was comfortably gathered by Thibault Courtois. As soon as he caught the ball, he was unleashing a long throw out to Eden Hazard who picked it up out on the touchline in our half.

The throw took a number of our players out of the game, leaving Hazard to run at our defence, jinking past Danny Rose before hitting a shot against the post. Oscar prodded the rebound back across goal where Diego Costa had the easiest of tap-ins.

4. Moving Matic and Ivanovic

Along with congested midfields leading to quick forward ball movement, allowing men to get between the lines, a fourth factor was at play. This was our ability to move around Nemanja Matic, but also to take advantage of Branislav Ivanovic’s positioning.

Mauricio Pochettino arrived with his reputation for pressing, but also using a fluid system that saw the players interchange positions. So far at Spurs we’ve not seen so much of this, but the game featured the inter-changeable nature of our players and it pulled Chelsea all over the place.

Nemanja Matic had obviously been detailed to track Christian Eriksen. Branislav Ivanovic was often following Nacer Chadli. Ivanovic’s attack-mindedness and impetuous nature were something we’d looked at in the keys to Spurs vs Chelsea as something other teams have taken advantage of.

Matic and Ivanovic were pulled around in virtually every goal we scored, a prime example being on our equaliser.

1-1

We got back in to the game by taking advantage of Matic and Ivanovic.

Danny Rose played a vertical pass up to Harry Kane with Ivanovic coming tight to the striker. As Kane turned, Ivanovic backed off allowing him to run at the less defensively sound Cesc Fabregas.

Whilst this was going on, Christian Eriksen’s run across took Nemanja Matic with him opening the centre up for Kane. A subsequent run by Nacer Chadli caught Cahill’s and then Ivanovic’s eye, opening up the lane for which Kane could unleash a shot through.

spurs-5-3-chelsea-kane-goal-1

Kane runs against the grain.

Kane’s low-hit drive skidded in to the corner of Courtois’ net, leaving the Chelsea keeper clasping at air.

2-1

We then took the lead as our midfield was pressing over on the sidelines. Our midfield swarm had outnumbered Chelsea in this area causing John Terry to play a hurried pass to Cesar Azpilicueta. The Spaniard was then quickly closed down and under pressure sent the ball straight to Kyle Walker.

Our right back wasted no time in moving the ball quickly forward through the congestion to Christian Eriksen on the run. With the rapid turnover and change of possession, the Dane was able to skip past a hesitant Nemanja Matic and was suddenly free between the lines again with Nacer Chadli.

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Eriksen and Chadli run at the exposed Chelsea defence.

With Matic out of the game, this exposed the slow Chelsea defence once more. Branislav Ivanovic was pulled over to cover Chadli’s run as he was detailed to track the Belgian, but this left Danny Rose free.

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Rose racing forward.

Rose is a player we looked at in the keys to Spurs vs Chelsea for his speed to get up and back. This is a trait he has over Ben Davies that would be invaluable to take advantage of Ivanovic’s positioning and tracking.

As Chadli’s shot rebounded off the post, Rose was there to sweep home the rebound and make it 2-1.

Although Rose scored the goal, Nacer Chadli had once more run-in-behind the Chelsea defence, something he was looking to do all game. He had previously put the ball in the net, but was given offside, here he hit the post, but later he would get his reward.

3-1

On the brink of half-time, we added a third through a penalty. The passage of play started with a long switch in play out to Nacer Chadli to navigate the congested central midfield zone once more.

Chadli took the ball down with Ivanovic marking him. He laid it off to Christian Eriksen who had pulled his marker, Nemanja Matic, out of the centre once again.

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Eriksen beats Matic.

Eriksen flicked the ball around the corner away from the Serbian, but as he ran after it, Ivanovic recovered to knock the ball back towards Gary Cahill.

Ivanovic’s pass was a touch under hit, which caused Cahill to pause momentarily, allowing Harry Kane to steal in. Kane is an under-rated pressing forward and his willingness to close down and chase loose balls was evident all match. With Cahill’s indecision, the striker nudged the ball past him and his late challenge brought Kane down, penalty.

Andros Townsend made no mistake with he spot-kick to send White Hart Lane in to raptures and Jose Mourinho early to the dressing room.

4-1

Whatever Jose said at half time, he didn’t ease his side trying to close down quickly in midfield. Neither did he instruct Matic to let Eriksen drift and hold his central position. Whilst Ivanovic still continued to have his positioning and decision-making exposed.

Three became four as again the ball was moved quickly forward through the congested midfield zone to runners between the lines. Ivanovic’s rashness left him high-up, out of the play and Matic was pulled around once more by our players flooding forward from between the lines.

Nabil Bentaleb got the ball and swiftly moved it forward to Nacer Chadli who was on the run once more. Branislav Ivanovic was caught up the field trying to make an ill-advised challenge and was taken out of the game by the quickness of the play moving forward.

spurs-5-3-chelsea-kane-2nd-goal

Ivanovic’s rashness is exposed.

With three Spurs players between the lines and charging at the Chelsea defence, Matic was forced to rotate over between Cahill and Terry. With panic set in as Chadli swept forward, he laid the ball off to Harry Kane who rolled Nemanja Matic like he wasn’t even there and curled an exquisite shot in to the corner.

Another brisk movement of both ball and man caught Chelsea at sixes and sevens and the game was almost up.

Spurs defensive errors

Whilst this was an attacking master class of swift ball and player movement, with interchanging positions dragging Chelsea around, it wasn’t without fault.

The ball was being turned over in midfield and Fazio’s dawdling on it allowed Chelsea back in to the game to make it 4-2. The Argentinean was like a rabbit caught in the headlights and his indecision allowed Eden Hazard to dispossess him, exchange passes with Cesc Fabregas and slot the ball in to the net.

Another error at 4-2 almost changed the game. A shanked shot from Nabil Bentaleb squibbed sideways straight to Fabregas. His long ball downfield saw Eden Hazard looking to race in-behind as the play was quickly transferred from back to front once more. The Belgian was denied by Fazio lunging and getting just enough on the ball to send it back to Hugo Lloris in the nick of time, avoiding a potential red card situation.

Then, Cesar Azpilicueta saw his shot pushed past the post after Chelsea pressing in midfield saw them regain the ball back in our half. 4-3 would have really put the cat amongst the pigeons and tested our resolve.

5-2

Whilst there were scares at our end, Harry Kane and Nacer Chadli calmed the nerves by adding a fifth.

The ball was won by the impressive Mousa Dembele in amongst a congested midfield and sent back to Nabil Bentaleb. He exchanged passes with Jan Vertonghen and once more it was sent quickly forward through teh Chelsea swarm to a player between the lines.

This area behind the midfield was open with Nemanja Matic hurtling in to try and tackle Nabil Bentaleb, but the swift movement of the ball forward took him out of the action. What’s more Branislav Ivanovic’s position trying to mark Nacer Chadli saw him also caught out as the ball went in-behind him to Paulinho.

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Matic rushes in as Ivanovic is left high.

The Brazilian laid it off first time to Harry Kane, who ran behind Ivanovic, pulling Gary Cahill out of the middle.

With Nacer Chadli acting as a trailer and tailing the play, Ivanovic got pulled over, doubling up on Kane with fellow defender Cahill. This left an alley between their position and the rest of the defence that Chadli then accelerated in to. He took the pass from Kane in his stride before firing a shot that went straight through John Terry’s legs, deflecting it slightly in to the corner of the net.

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Kane draws a double team as the alley opens for Chadli.

5-3

The game was over, but defensive errors saw us allow Chelsea a consolation as well as a great chance for Ramires. The Brazilian slipped his shot wide of the post as he ran in-behind Fazio. However, switching off from a quick free kick saw John Terry tap home as Ivanovic diverted Hazard’s cross.

Spurs 5-3 Chelsea overall

In spite of the errors, this was our best performance under Mauricio Pochettino and some of the most scintillating football we’ve seen at the Lane for a long while.

Harry Kane and Nacer Chadli constantly looking to run in-behind did a lot of the damage. Christian Eriksen’s pulling around of Nemanja Matic was also key. Our players changing positions gave Chelsea’s midfield trouble with whom to track and when to pass them on. This was causing positional errors that were taken advantage of by the quick ball movement through or over a swarming midfield.

Jose Mourinho was quick to bemoan referee Phil Dowd’s decisions, but his side were torn apart by quick player and ball movement that exposed their lack of speed in defence.

Final score: Spurs 5-3 Chelsea

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32 Responses to Spurs 5-3 Chelsea: 4 keys to victory

  1. AnythingButPenalties 2nd January 2015 at 5:23 pm #

    Great post. Was interesting Mourinho gave Matic some extra help with Mikel next to him against Southampton but went with the more attacking Fabregas against us.

    • Spurs Fanatic - Mark 2nd January 2015 at 5:35 pm #

      Very good point, maybe he underestimated us?

      • YouShubes 3rd January 2015 at 12:07 am #

        Fabregas has drilled us with ability to play lofted balls. Given our high press, and not so quick Fazio, along with Costa’s movement I am not surprised Jose went that way.

        Playing that Ajax/Bielsa hybrid is energy sapping and that 3rd goal came from us not being at the races. Do we have the squad depth to maintain that level of intensity?

        That said Chelsea’s squad depth is also not as strong as I would have imagined.

        Chelsea, Everton et al are not bus parkers, we need to work out how to beat those sides (who make up the bulk of the league at home)

        RIghtfully praise goes to Kane, Chadli, and Eriksen but penalty aside I cannot remember anything that purposeful Townsend did to be honest. we need all 4 of our attacking quartet to be on song. Can Lamela do what Bale did 5 years ago

        Also I think rose needs to work on his crossing when running at full speed, he always looks slightly unbalance and that half second he takes to steady himself often results in the defender being able to nick the ball or a deflected/blocked cross

        What do you think Poch can do to reduce the errors

        • n4spurs 3rd January 2015 at 3:56 am #

          leaving a game with migrane basically means we had one of those nights that we all live for at WHL..

          But as fun as scoring five was (and crowding surfing on the 5th).. I did spent a lot fo the 2nd half hiding under the seat… I agree with lots being said on this page, but Rose – totally agree that he cant cross a ball – & Walker both scare the life out of me, Walker does things i have never seen a professional do and not in a good way.. and Townsend is still so baffling to me, Im not a fan of his.

          but the biggest thing for me was Harry Kane is the now the leader we were dying for and is the key to this new youthful, boisterous team harrassing and overflowing with confidence – like bale did at whl not long ago.

          – and yes totally agree that chelsea didnt park the bus was the main reason we were able to attack in the way we did, and i wish more teams came to play football at the lane it would be way more entertaining.

          I also thought although dembele had a good game we missed some of Masons running aswell at both end of the pitch.. and also we should give bentaleb his credit, a lot of panicking was going on by much older and more experienced players, he has a wise old head on his shoulders.

          • Spurs Fanatic - Mark 3rd January 2015 at 11:20 am #

            Great post n4spurs. Rose and Walker are aggressive full backs, who do take risks, this is in part Pochettino’s system and in part their nature, which we’ve seen over the past seasons. Rose does look unbalanced on the run and this is something he needs to practice, but his crossing is better than most give him credit for. Eg Rose has completed 12 of 48 crosses (25%) compared to Davies 3 of 21 (14%). Anything over 20% is considered decent in the Premier League.

        • Spurs Fanatic - Mark 3rd January 2015 at 11:11 am #

          I think we do have the squad depth Shubes, really only lacking another striker option, but then it brings about squad rotation which a lot of people don’t like as it breaks the consistency of team argument.

          Lamela is still another season away from being what he potentially could. He is a year behind every one else signed last summer, as he didn’t play enough last term. This is effectively his first season in the Premier League and he is still adapting. If he is still at Spurs by the end of next season (May 2016) that is when he can be judged if he is going to justify his price tag or is an expensive flop.

  2. Saesneg 2nd January 2015 at 6:53 pm #

    Great analysis as always. I always enjoy reading your posts, partly because you don’t give in to the default pessimism of so many of the fan forums. It’s suddenly getting pretty exciting seeing Pochettino’s influence coming through. This is the first game for a long time where I was reminded of the first half of Redknapp’s last season, with a skilful team playing with confidence and authority. And to think that Harry Kane looked like a Championship striker last season….

    • Spurs Fanatic - Mark 2nd January 2015 at 7:26 pm #

      Great comment and thanks for the reading Saesneg. Harry Kane is really improving at a rapid rate. His goals so far haven’t come against the top sides, so it was good to see him score against the league leaders to silence some doubters!

  3. Whitehotspurs 2nd January 2015 at 6:58 pm #

    Many thanks for another top article, Mark.

    We wouldn’t be Spurs if we didn’t mess up defensively now and again (and again, and again etc etc), but quick, accurate forward passes from defence and midfield give our front men a real chance to hurt opponents. it was a revelation to see our attacking players using both pace and intelligent movement against a highly-rated Chelsea defence that was in tatters by the end of the game. Harry Kane and Nacer Chadli deserve all the praise they are receiving for their superb performances yesterday evening, but I am pleased that you have also highlighted Christian Eriksen’s excellent work. He took Matic apart time after time in a tremendously skilful way. Who says Spurs don’t have world-class players?

    • Spurs Fanatic - Mark 2nd January 2015 at 7:30 pm #

      Some good points Whitehotspurs. Eriksen was excellent again in his movement and passing; to think he will only be 23 next month, exciting prospect!

  4. chazza36 2nd January 2015 at 11:07 pm #

    A great analysis of a marvellous performance, Mark, but don’t you think that Spurs look so vulbnerable as soon as that slow, negative passing to men already under pressure comes up? When it happens, it looks like the players are getting rid of the ball in fear of being responsible for losing possession. One hurried, negative pass leads to another and then another. Bingo, suddenly we are under threat.
    It was very apparent immediately before Fazio’s error and yes he was guilty of indecision, but positive ballwork prior would have meant he wasn’t even involved.
    Slow, neg passing was prolific in our earlier games and it’s encouraging to see so little of it in recent games… this one especially. Take a bow, Mr. Dembele.

    • Spurs Fanatic - Mark 3rd January 2015 at 11:31 am #

      We look vulnerable any time we try and defend a lead Chazza. It’s the one thing most Spurs teams have had in common over the last 30 years. We have always been better at using attack as the best form of defence. Anytime we try to sit back and defend a 1 or 2 goal cushion then the opposition comes back in to the game, it’s just the Spurs way!

  5. Zaph Mann 2nd January 2015 at 11:21 pm #

    It was notable to me how quickly Dembele shifted the ball, compared to his normal habit, he was caught a couple of times by the Chel$ki gegenpress but adjusted, he also held his central position with Bentaleb better, each watchful of the other needing cover.

    The game could have gone either way – which marks quite an improvement fro Spurs. Chadli was a revelation.

    • Spurs Fanatic - Mark 3rd January 2015 at 11:06 am #

      Dembele was excellent in this game. Mason is good for some matches, but against teams like Chelsea and Man City that have powerful midfields, you need that added presence that players like Dembele and Bentaleb bring.

  6. jerry 3rd January 2015 at 5:15 am #

    This really helps me understand what going on (I know/knew little about tactics, even though I’ve supported Spurs for 50+ years). Thank you Mark.
    Are you going to do something on the prospects for the transfer window? I saw today that Lennon is on the way out, shame really but nobody is going to second-guess MP for a while after this heart-warming, mind f********g victory!

    • Spurs Fanatic - Mark 3rd January 2015 at 11:26 am #

      Thanks for reading Jerry and the great comment. I will do something on the January transfer window. I will definitely do some posts on the players we sign as i have previously done for the likes of Stambouli, Yedlin and Fazio and i might do a speculation post on who we should sign, although i’m not a massive fan of these :)

  7. jimi 3rd January 2015 at 7:44 am #

    good writing.

    i bet u cant wait to write this after the 5-3 match.

    Rose was not fabulous until he got the goal. but i was right with a point about Rose, he is not cool headed-bad temperament, a risk for red card.

    • Spurs Fanatic - Mark 3rd January 2015 at 11:28 am #

      Thanks for reading Jimi, give Rose some love, he’s taken a lot of flack this season ;)

  8. Shub 3rd January 2015 at 12:27 pm #

    As usual, great analysis of the game, Mark.
    There were some brilliant performances all around. Interplay between Kane and Chadli was mesmerizing to watch at times. Eriksen was instrumental in creating space and Dembele, Bentaleb marshalled the midfield magnificently.

    But also I am very impressed by the Fazio-Lloris-Vertonghen partnership. Fazio and Vertongen seem to complement each other. Fazio, great in the air, wins almost all duels and Vertonghen great on the ground. Playing them together regularly definitely had has an influence in the stability of the defence.

    Looking forward to more brilliant analysis. #COYS

    • Spurs Fanatic - Mark 3rd January 2015 at 6:34 pm #

      Fazio and Vertonghen have struck up quite the partnership. Hopefully it’ll improve, as will Fazio’s decision making, as he plays more in the league.

  9. John Williams 3rd January 2015 at 5:20 pm #

    As usual, a fine analysis Mark. I thought Kane, Chadlii, Eriksen, Bentaleb, Dembele, Vert and Lloris were immense, with Fazio and Walker not too far behind. Rose and Townsend stepped up to score under real pressure and Rose made some very good tackles/interceptions to make up for his poor decision making on the first goal. Nevertheless, we shouldn’t forget that it was Hazard he was facing at the time and he’s mesmerized many better defenders. I am not a fan of him at LB generally speaking but I think we have to give him and Walker great credit for driving back the Chelsea full backs who are usually very dangerous when attacking. If only we can have more of the same from all concerned in the upcoming month.

    As far as transfers are concerned I would like to see us get someone like Mahrez of Leicester City. I think he would be fantastic competition for Lamela, Townsend and Chadlii and could even fill in for Eriksen. I can’t really see us getting a quality CF at this time as he’d have to play second fiddle to Kane.

    However, if Ade or Soldado are moved on then we’d have to get someone to share the load. Not at all sure who that would be. Bony has power and scoring, Benteke has the speed and power but seems to have lost his scoring touch, Berahino has talent but is very raw. Benteke would be the least expensive though and you’d think might be more achievable since Liverpool, Man City etc seem to be interested in the other two. Then of course there’s Ings……….

    • Spurs Fanatic - Mark 3rd January 2015 at 6:32 pm #

      Great comment John. Mahrez is a really interesting player as he’d fit a wide forward role quite well. I’m not sure if he’d be available and if Leicester would sell right now though. If they went down in the summer, then he’d definitely be on the market and one i would like to see us go after.

      Bony would be a great buy, but i can’t see us beating out Man City for his services. I also think he’d be a really inflated price right now too. Ings i’m not sure if he’d fit in to Pochettino’s system and just seems like the kind of player Harry Redknapp would buy if he was still here.

      • John Williams 3rd January 2015 at 7:45 pm #

        Agreed. Do you have an opinion on Benteke for us?

        • Spurs Fanatic - Mark 6th January 2015 at 6:43 pm #

          I like Benteke a lot and he has all the attributes to be a success in Pochettino’s system. I think he is still coming back from injury and trying to find his feet again, but it’s not easy in a Villa side that doesn’t create that many chances for him. I’m also not sure if he’d be available and if we can afford him. He only recently signed a new deal and that would push his price up, maybe over the £25m mark. He certainly wouldn’t be cheap!

  10. Zaph Mann 3rd January 2015 at 8:40 pm #

    BTW MArk – time to note you got the tactical plan wrong this time, recommending a park te bus style to cope with Chelsea, Poch instead took Chelsea on at their own game- high press fast foward balls and switching sides quickly.

    As I sadi it could have blown up the score could have reversed, it was similar at MAn City earlier this season – Aguero was thee difference there – imagine if we had someone like him!

    Lennon is going because he has lost his old directness and doesn’t seem to have the ability to adapt to this system, he also rarely scored…

    • Chris 4th January 2015 at 1:00 am #

      Well, to be fair, he just didn’t guess what Poch would do – it doesn’t necessarily mean parking the bus wouldn’t have worked. We’ll never know.

      Also, lets face it – every time we hit the ball it went into the back of the net. That’s not going to happen most games.

      But wow, what a match to watch!

    • Spurs Fanatic - Mark 4th January 2015 at 12:49 pm #

      Hi Zaph, I didn’t say we should park the bus, but suggested a counter attacking game, there is a big difference. Teams that have had success against Chelsea have played them on the counter attack – Man City, Southampton and Newcastle all did that. As Chris says, we’ll never know if this plan would’ve worked as Pochettino did something different – my 5th key about the game was that “The match would be dictated by Pochettino’s tempo” and it was, just a very rapid one. But would you tell me you wouldn’t have been bouncing out of the stadium and down the Tottenham High Road enthusing about a 1-0 or 2-1 victory over the best team in the country if we’d played a counter attacking game?

      I’m not a mind reader nor do I have any inside info from the dressing room or coaching staff, so i only make educated arguments backed up by recent events. I took a lot of flack on Twitter for suggesting we play Rose to expose Ivanovic’s positioning and Dembele to add power to the midfield in this match – Dembele didn’t even start and who knows what would’ve happened had Mason not gone off so early? Both of them had pretty influential games and I notice you failed to acknowledge these predictions in my ‘tactical plan.’

      Predictions are made before an event and are just that. Here are mine for our FA Cup trip to Burnley, i’d be interested to read yours…

      • Zaph 4th January 2015 at 6:19 pm #

        Hi Mark – You seem a bit defensive (pun), I actually agreed with you and usually do. What I was getting at was something that occured to me reading criticisms of Poch a few weeks back – along the lines of ‘why do these people get paid so much?’ and ‘anyone could do it’…

        That got me thinking that there’s a lot more to it, players not fitting a system, players being lazy or too thick, players just having an off day, mistakes and luck; these could all affect a plan. Yours is one of the few considered observations I can find and is much appreciated. What I took from this game was more; ‘so that’s why Pochetttino gets paid so much’.

        The Rose/Dembele questions are similar in that both can be defensive liabilities (Rose for poor positioning and rashness – Dembele for invariably taking 3,4,5 touches – so players know they can ‘swarm’ him) and both can bring offensive advantage (Rose speed up the pitch, wide threat; Dmebele Power to retrieve and retain balls and feed Eriksen) the key was Rose’s tackles came off and Dembele released the ball far quicker than I’ve ever seen before.

        Apparently Pochettino does a lot of player by player coaching and it seems to be working…

        • Spurs Fanatic - Mark 6th January 2015 at 1:04 pm #

          Hi Zaph, crossed wires! There are lots of things for a coach to take in to consideration, these go way beyond tactics and that is why they get paid the big money. It’s also why they are the figure for criticism and the first out the door when they might be working with players that have the atributes you list or just fail to execute the coach’s plans. Rose and Dembele certainly do seem to be making strides this season and player-by-player coaching could well be providing the impetus for this.

  11. anotherwisemonkey 4th January 2015 at 11:34 am #

    Great post as usual. COYS.

  12. Dr JAB 6th January 2015 at 6:16 am #

    Hi Mark

    Shock & Awe!!

    Donald Rumsfeld’s comment really applied to our glorious win. What a pleasure to stick it to Chelsea.

    My analysis of the game seemed to gel with your early comments. It seemed to be organised chaos with the players going from one end of the pitch to the other. Only your discerning eye picked up patterns of play which fitted into a technical sequence.

    Just a few points as we are already through the Burnley match. Firstly I thought that Mason’s injury might have been fortuitus for us as I thought that Dembele, who I have always admired for an ability to beat a man not just pass his way past him, played a pivitol role in our success. Chadli, who I had despaired of in an earlier note, played his best game and looked a threat out wide. The combinations with him, Erikson and Kane did not come out of left field but left wing where I thought he should be playing to give us some width.

    Rose’s goal was a testament to commitment and helped our momentum. Our debate about him continues!! In the 4231 system, like 433, it is important to have two full backs to overlap and help create width.My concerns are about his defending. He got skinned by Hazard – like many others – to be at fault for the first goal. Also his lack of height allows a lot of high diagonal passes to go over him and expose our left flank. Your stats on his crossing ability make a case. I guess we should make a final judgement at the end of the season!

    It was a marvellous win. I did not see that coming in the manner of attacking football which we have not seen from the team given a string of 2-1 scraped wins. My prediction was as pessimistic as yours. What we need is not a one-off great win, but a pattern to emerge.

    • Spurs Fanatic - Mark 6th January 2015 at 1:12 pm #

      Great comment John. We do need a pattern to emerge and last night’s game with Burnley was the inverse to the attacking display against Chelsea. Therefore, we are back to the one-off theory, although not all gamnes can be 8-goal thrillers!

      Rose is a devisive player and most fans either love him or hate him. I don’t think he is without fault, but i see more upside to his game than downside at the minute and think with good coaching he can get better. As you say, a final judgement at the end of the season may be the best course of action.