It started as the two teams came out onto the pitch side by side. In all most every case (apart from Rom) we looked weaker, shorter and less athletic than than Spurs. This lack of physicality was then displayed all over the pitch. We seemed unable to win any battles anywhere on the pitch. We were bullied in every individual battle and came off second best.
Gana, Baines, Coleman and even the willing Davies were matched against players who were bigger and quicker and often brushed them aside. Even the " physically stronger players" were bested in most challenges. It was hard to watch and must have left an impression on Ronald as he talks about projects etc.
The only reason I can think of why he included Barry is that Ron thought he could bring in a physical presence to play alongside Schneiderln in front of our back 4 but that never worked as Garett could not get anywhere near the white shirts who buzzed around the Blues for 80 minutes.
I certainly cannot work out why Macca was left on the bench for 65 minutes. At least he would have supported Ross in standing up to the "White Hart Lane Bullies". Forget Hull and Stoke, Spurs are now the "Big kids in the premier league playground". But to match their physicality they have an abundance of skill and sharpness.
I hope Ronald can build a team that has the mix of physical and technical abilities that we fell well short of yesterday. WBA will be a chance to show that we can bounce back.
Lastly, buried in all this doom and gloom was the fact Rom is now our highest scorer in the Premier League. Another fantastic finish in a game where he otherwise did very little. Comparisons between him and Kane are meaningless. How many more would Rom score if he played on a team like Spurs?
Onwards and upwards! I do believe Ronald is going in the right direction and what we are watching is always a roller coaster ride but the peaks and troughs are less painful than for many years.
Reader Comments (21)
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1 Posted 06/03/2017 at 18:06:56
I've been saying for a while that, in the main, we need a pacey, big, imposing midfield to boss games and basically do what Spurs did to us.
2 Posted 06/03/2017 at 19:09:54
3 Posted 06/03/2017 at 19:14:21
Like many posters, I was so disappointed with the manner of the loss yesterday. I just wish we could've taken the game to them from the start. Remember, this is the same Spurs that folded within 20mins only 2 weeks ago across the park as the RS ripped them apart by attacking them right through the middle.
I truely believe that we could've got something out of the game yesterday but to start with 3 defensive midfielders was just inviting pressure. Last season, we got away with a point at WHL with Tim Howard having one of his "Secretary of Defence" games and it could be argued we are a much improved team since last season but Koeman got it wrong yesterday and for some reason too many players just didn't perform.
Maybe it's a mental block when playing the so-called 'big six' at their place but it will be interesting to see how Koeman approaches the derby in 3 weeks.
4 Posted 06/03/2017 at 19:14:55
I think Koeman once again got his tactics wrong. Why have we got so many centre-midfield players on the pitch... how does that ever work? It's really irritating when we set out not to lose instead of setting out to win and show faith in the players... more and more of those he bought into the club.
We tried to pass around our own box and limited the space we played in. We had no width. Baines was too exposed. What was the plan exactly? I'm sure Koeman has the respect of the players. James McCarthy looks a new man. But I want to see some ambition instead of throwing in the towel before we even kicked off. All 3 goals conceded were appalling.
5 Posted 06/03/2017 at 19:15:33
Yes they did or at least that's what I heard, subtle difference being is that Tottenham are nearly as bad on the road against the top sides as Everton. Had the other lot 'battered' them at White Hart Lane, you may have had a point.
6 Posted 06/03/2017 at 20:17:14
Spurs were good, but no more than that. Before scoring with their first shot they were every bit as ponderous and clueless as we normally are at home when having to break down an organised, defensive opposition.
Thing is with Spurs, they don't do anything particularly clever or unexpected. So we should have been capable of holding our own if organised for the full 90 minutes. Instead we fell apart from the 20th minute onwards and our resolve disappeared.
7 Posted 06/03/2017 at 20:29:48
I can see Koeman adopting similar tactics for the derby; it wouldn't surprise me at all if Barry plays and we pack the midfield again. As a few have said on here, bar Liverpool, playing the top four/five away is almost like a free hit at the moment, so why not just go for it?
I'd much prefer a valiant loss than a park the bus, spoiler at the moment. It felt like a strange game yesterday, we let Spurs dominate and dictate.
8 Posted 06/03/2017 at 20:36:22
9 Posted 06/03/2017 at 20:46:54
It will be different at Anfield they will press at speed but also break on us at speed and the likes of Barry and Williams will struggle to keep up.
The Holy Trinity used to do the same but with far more skill and flair. At the moment we have too many players who aren't able to compete against the big rough approach but they aren't able to move the ball quickly enough either.
It took Catterick a few years to put the Trinity together and Spurs and RS have had to buy an entire midfield so hopefully in a couple of years we will have done the same albeit with a couple of local lads as part of it.
10 Posted 06/03/2017 at 21:13:53
I thought our team was set up to deny the supply lines. I'd have gone for McCarthy over Barry but was happy with how Koeman set them up. Then Kane scores from nothing (Gana was poor at closing down) and the plan is out the window, Spurs gain heart and suddenly were rocking... badly!
It was a tough lesson though. I aree that the physicality of their team combined with the skill they possess is impressive. Hate to say it... but something to aspire to.
11 Posted 06/03/2017 at 21:23:46
Frankly, Gana was doing something he's not used to... coming back to challenge for a ball that's between him and his own goal. This was something he was doing for most of the match and mostly from an advanced wing position.
Gana should've been where Barry was for that first goal.
12 Posted 06/03/2017 at 21:29:40
Fortunately I missed that game as I was too busy having a few pre-match pints, prior to the Everton v Stoke match, in a pub without Sky, but it's nice to know that we are back on to how good the other lot or should I say Liverpool FC are, now that we've lost at WHL and they beat Arsenal to extend their lead over us.
Doubtless the 'I am not a clown' manager will regain his worshippers following Everton's next away match.
13 Posted 06/03/2017 at 23:08:47
We were also playing very narrow and so the wide outlet ball was rarely an option as we were relying on the full backs to provide that option and they struggled to do so.
I think this game also exposed our weakness at centre-backboth in terms of composed defending and also their distribution from the back when under a bit of pressure. I think Koeman, however, probably knows this as much as anyone and I'm sure he will look to address some of our deficiencies over the summer.
14 Posted 06/03/2017 at 23:46:42
These days successful teams are full of players with presence. Delli Alli, Wanyama and Dembele are big units, all 6'-2"-ish. The latter two have plenty of presence too. In comparison only Ross and Morgan are of that sort of height across our entire midfield options but Ross ain't noted for "presence", yet, and Morgan's not been with us long enough to judge. Idrissa, Tom, Jimmy Mac and Besic show attitude a-plenty but none are even 6'-0". That's what I hope Koeman and Walsh address in summer, with skill and goals a given too.
15 Posted 07/03/2017 at 07:09:28
16 Posted 07/03/2017 at 08:44:45
17 Posted 07/03/2017 at 08:56:56
Exhibit 'A' Bobby Collins.
If we go into The Derby with the same line up / mind set as last week well that's Koeman finished for me... or is it. Teams that go there and play 'rope a dope' seem to do well, iirc, the Spurs method saw them get beat... Just not Barry eh, that's all we ask.
18 Posted 07/03/2017 at 10:42:47
To have an extra attacking option is far better, hence us coming on stronger with the introduction of Macca and Super Kev. I hope Ronald realizes this and does not make the same error, and plays to our strengths. Lukaku needs support!
19 Posted 07/03/2017 at 14:39:33
20 Posted 07/03/2017 at 16:24:09
Unless he gets the tactics and team selection right, the likelihood is that no amount of new signings will maximise our performances. We have a very good squad, and his job is to get the best out of these players NOW. Yes, we do need some new signings for the long haul, but Koeman needs to get the best performance in the short term.
I hope he doesn't repeat his tactical errors, especially in the Derby, or there will be serious concerns about whether he's fitted for the job.
21 Posted 10/03/2017 at 11:25:04
The mighty Gent knocked them out of Europe due to the energy of their game and stifling Kane. We just invited them onto us which was fatal. It's Barry or Schneiderlin not both in the same team alongside Gana.
I don't agree with the physical difference, today's refereeing and rules protect smaller players from that side of the game. As someone once said "It's not the size of the man in the fight but the size of the fight in the man".
We are playing a very big physical side tomorrow let's see how that one pans out.
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