Spurs vs West Brom – Chalkboard Analysis.

Harry Redknapp, back from illness, made an important tactical change to come back from an early goal down to win 3-1 against West Bromwich Albion.
Spurs were without their two most creative central midfielders – with Luka Modric and Rafael van der Vaart both absent.

Redknapp has often played a 4-4-1-1 with van der Vaart in the support role for the lone front man, but he went with a 4-4-2 at The Hawthornes. Pacey (to put it mildly) wingers Bale and Lennon started, and were joined in midfield by Scott Parker and Sandro. Both central midfielders are capable footballers, but more known for their destructive abilities. This put a lot of the impetus for attacking down the flanks, and up front there was a classic big man/little man combo, with Adebayor and Defoe. Redknapp is more of a player motivator, coach, and astute transfer market buyer than a tactical innovator, and true to form here he sent out his team in a formation very familiar to followers of English football. The lightening quick wingers were backed-up by a pair of full backs who must be almost as quick themselves. I would reckon that any left back in the world would be asking his boss to provide extra support to him during a match where he found himself up against Aaron Lennon and Kyle Walker, and the same could be said on the other side of the pitch with Gareth Bale and Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
West Brom scored an early goal through Mulumbu, who found himself unmarked in the Spurs area and headed in from seven yards in just the tenth minute. There is often a sense that if a less favoured team scores the opening goal early on, it can be considered too early and allow the more fancied team to respond. This was certainly the case as Tottenham then ran in three past the Baggies. Redknapp asked his wingers to switch flanks regularly. As you can see form these heatmaps, Redknapp was able to take a bit of time to assess the situation, and made a tactical change without resorting to substitutions. Up until the 18th minute, Bale stays on the left, Lennon on the right. However, from the 18th-90th minute, they spend as much time on the opposite wings as they do on their own.
 In comparison, WBA’s wingers and full backs didn’t switch flanks, and in fact found themselves pinned back. This was important for Spurs, as West Brom’s goal had come from a cross by right back Steven Reid in an advanced position. By mixing it up and keeping their opposite numbers occupied and, to be honest probably terrified, Spurs gained control of the wings and were able to impose themselves on the game.
It’s not just the players on the wings that gave Spurs that territorial advantage. Scott Parker and Sandro are deep-lying players, and by having those two helping out central defenders Kaboul and King, Redknapp was able to let his wide players push up and pressure West Brom’s own defence.
Morrison (in central midfield for the Baggies) is more advanced than Sandro who with Parker helps out defensively for Tottenham, this allows Bale and Assou-Ekotto, and Lennon and Walker to push up.


Written by Tom Nash of The Frustrated Footballer. you can follow Tom on twitter @ffootballer

If you like our blog,then do vote for us here.



Read More

A look at Chris Wilder’s tactics at Sheffield United

It is perhaps no coincidence that the two in-form English managers were honing their craft in the Championship a year before, they now sit...

The Forgotten story of the Basque in South America

This article is sourced from a string of Twitter posts by Impedimento, translated by the author. Exactly 80 years ago, a French steamer called SS...

Manchester United’s biggest transfer mistake of last summer

Manchester United's disastrous run under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer starting after their famous victory in Paris can be explained due to a multitude of factors....

The tactical flexibility of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton:

  Hasenhuttl has certain areas of the first team’s play that he wants to improve before the Premier League kicks-off again in August. Having arrived...

Mason Mount: Chelsea’s Golden Boy

When Frank Lampard was appointed, Derby County fans everywhere collectively held their breath in the hope of whom his widely spoken about “contacts” might...

A look at Gian Piero Gasperini’s tactics at Atalanta

After almost 3 years with Gian Piero Gasperini at the helm of Atalanta, they finished 3rd in the Serie A this season, securing European...

How will Manchester City lineup in the 2019/20 season

Pep Guardiola will be looking to repeat on last year’s success and win the Premier League title for a third straight year. The Manchester...

Football Tactics for Beginners

Football Tactics For Beginners: The 4-4-2 Formation

The classic 4-4-2 formation might have become obsolete in the modern game,but there remains a certain charm in this basic but effective formation When football...

Football Tactics for Beginners:The 4-2-3-1 formation

The most widely used formation in international football at present is the 4-2-3-1 formation and most of the top clubs in Europe have been...

Football Tactics for Beginners: Multi-Functional Players

Introduction: In times gone by, multi-functional players may have been viewed less glamorously. No-one would wax lyrical about the right back who was able to...

Football Tactics for Beginners: Defending Corner Kicks

We are all afraid of it. It is the 90th minute, your team is up by one goal and the opposition is about to...

Football Tactics for Beginners-The Regista

The rapid rise of the 4-2-3-1 formation over the past decade has seen the importance of the regista or the deep lying playmaker skyrocket....

Football Tactics for Beginners: Pressing and Counter-Pressing

Introduction: The idea of pressing is to put pressure on the ball with the intention of winning it back off of the opposition. By forcing...

Football Tactics for Beginners:The False 9

Lionel Messi-The World's best false 9 What is The False 9? Pep Guardiola's tenure as Barcelona's head coach has changed the way modern football is being...

Conventional wingers: A dying breed?

In the good old days, the rules of playing football were simple, and so were the tactics. The big and sturdy lads played in...

Football Tactics for Beginners:Rebirth of the Back 3

One of the most notable tactical trends of the 21st Century is the death of the 3-man defense.  In the 1980’s and 1990’s the...