Tottenham Hotspur 20/21: Do we suck?

67YAZ

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Bergy has many great traits - hard worker, willing defender, fantastic with the ball at his feet, quick & agile - but he’s not a great finisher. And when faced with Kane in the middle and the hotter-than-the-sun Son cutting in from the other wing, Bergy is the poison you pick. He’s still young enough that there should be some improvement in this department. Getting to practice alongside Kane has got to be an inspiration.

As a Liverpool fan, I have to say Jose got it exactly right. That match turned on a matter of inches at a few key moments. Pool haven’t lost in 66 matches at Anfield - this was never going to be easy. I’m much more worried about the return engagement.

Spurs are in peak 2nd-season-Jose form right now. They are a legit contender for the league. So I’d say save your complaining for next year when 3rd-season-Jose starts opening feuding with Kane, benches Son, and won’t acknowledge Levy’s existence.
 

Zososoxfan

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Bergy has many great traits - hard worker, willing defender, fantastic with the ball at his feet, quick & agile - but he’s not a great finisher. And when faced with Kane in the middle and the hotter-than-the-sun Son cutting in from the other wing, Bergy is the poison you pick. He’s still young enough that there should be some improvement in this department. Getting to practice alongside Kane has got to be an inspiration.

As a Liverpool fan, I have to say Jose got it exactly right. That match turned on a matter of inches at a few key moments. Pool haven’t lost in 66 matches at Anfield - this was never going to be easy. I’m much more worried about the return engagement.

Spurs are in peak 2nd-season-Jose form right now. They are a legit contender for the league. So I’d say save your complaining for next year when 3rd-season-Jose starts opening feuding with Kane, benches Son, and won’t acknowledge Levy’s existence.
Regarding the first bolded section, my complaints are a matter of degree not wholesale. In other words, a slightly more aggressive approach was merited. I'm not suggesting that Spurs try to go toe-to-toe with Pool and get up and down the pitch, but not deploying Tanguy at all tells me that he was OK with a draw and obviously would've taken 3 points. Reguilon starting on the bench also fits in with this narrative, although I think he had a slight knock. To be fair, the other piece of this is that Spurs have another huge matchup with LCFC on Sunday, so having some of the best XI well rested for that is also valuable.

Regarding the second point, this is so spot on it hurts.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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As a "neutral" I agree with Coremiller's take. Spurs have ridden their luck in other games this season but their approach against Liverpool really worked to perfection, they just didn't have the finishing/luck to get the result.

I don't think the stats back up the idea that Bergwijn is a poor finisher, at least in his very limited PL sample so far, in which he has an xG of 2.1 and has scored 3 goals. In a lot of ways, the match yesterday was a huge aberration, in that a player other than Son or Kane actually got into good positions to score. The biggest thing that stands out about Spurs statistically this season (and I think the eye test also reflects this) is that Jose has the team set up so that only two players ever really are in position to put the ball in the net. Kane and Son are the only two guys in the squad with a npxG >1. In contrast, Liverpool and City both have six such players, while Chelsea and United have five. Kane and Son have still been scoring at unbelievable rates, which is partly due to their immense talent but also riding the very high side of variance (together they have 18 npg on a npxg of 10, Kane and Son are both clearly superior finishers but nobody in the long run really outperforms xg by more than about 25% so you could argue that Spurs may have benefited from around five or six variance-induced goals from them this year, which is pretty substantial). Jose needs to figure out how to get other players involved in the attack, unless regression to the mean just isn't a thing this season for Kane/Son. In that sense, maybe the most encouraging thing for Spurs about the Liverpool match is that Bergwijn did get into those positions and have those chances. I think he is a good bet to start putting them away if Spurs can keep doing that.
 
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DJnVa

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The caption to the pic below is: Heung-Min Mum, Heung-Min Son, Heung-Min Dad.

37171
 

Kliq

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Here are all the Puskas winners, from 2009 through 2020.

They're all good obviously, but Zlatan in 2013 and that one in 2016 were awesome.
Not sure if you were trying to post a link, but I'm familiar with all the winners. It's a shame the Mo Salah goal turned the Puskas into a punchline because its a really cool award that is theoretically open to anybody who plays soccer.
 

67YAZ

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As a "neutral" I agree with Coremiller's take. Spurs have ridden their luck in other games this season but their approach against Liverpool really worked to perfection, they just didn't have the finishing/luck to get the result.

I don't think the stats back up the idea that Bergwijn is a poor finisher, at least in his very limited PL sample so far, in which he has an xG of 2.1 and has scored 3 goals. In a lot of ways, the match yesterday was a huge aberration, in that a player other than Son or Kane actually got into good positions to score. The biggest thing that stands out about Spurs statistically this season (and I think the eye test also reflects this) is that Jose has the team set up so that only two players ever really are in position to put the ball in the net. Kane and Son are the only two guys in the squad with a npxG >1. In contrast, Liverpool and City both have six such players, while Chelsea and United have five. Kane and Son have still been scoring at unbelievable rates, which is partly due to their immense talent but also riding the very high side of variance (together they have 18 npg on a npxg of 10, nobody in the long run really outperforms xg by more than about 20% so you could argue that Spurs may have benefited from around six variance-induced goals from them this year, which is pretty substantial). Jose needs to figure out how to get other players involved in the attack, unless regression to the mean just isn't a thing this season for Kane/Son. In that sense, maybe the most encouraging thing for Spurs about the Liverpool match is that Bergwijn did get into those positions and have those chances. I think he is a good bet to start putting them away if Spurs can keep doing that.
We don't get xg data for the Eredivise, but over his 3 seasons as a regular starter at PSV, Bergwijn put in a goal every 235 minutes (includes 2 PKs) and an assist every 219 minutes. For his last half-season, we have shot stats - 5 goals on 36 shots (17 on target) in 16 matches. The Eredivise is a more attacking league, and PSV are often around the top of the table playing on the front foot. A friend who is a die-hard PSV lifer was very upset to lose Berwijn last season - he was their main creative focus. PSV were jockeying between 2nd & 3rd when Bergwijn left; after, they dipped as low as 5th before finishing 4th.

All that is to say, Bergwijn was on the ball a lot for an attacking team in a high scoring league. He was the guy making things happen. But he wasn't putting a high volume of shots on frame or banging them in regularly. It's still a small sample size for the EPL so far and he probably has improved as good young players do. I don't watch Spurs as much as you all, but it seemed to me that against Liverpool, Jones & Wijnadlum were much more focused on Son & Kane while Henderson was leaving Bergwijn more space to help centrally.

I didn't characterize Bergwijn as a poor finisher. He's not great at it right now, certainly much less dangerous than Kane & Son.
 
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Zososoxfan

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Serge's foul was inexcusable, but he looked exhausted to me. Serge has been playing very well this season, and he played a huge match against Pool and was running himself ragged all match--the broadcasters even mentioned his fatigue. Yesterday was a perfect time for Doherty. What's Mou's deal with the lack of rotation at RB?
 

coremiller

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Spurs didn't play very well against Leicester, but they weren't awful either. It was basically an even game decided by a dumb penalty and a bad bounce.

That said, it was a weird formation and the team, esp. in the first half, looked like they were playing a system they'd never played before, which they were--it was a clear 4-3-3 but with no natural wingers. N'dombele in particular looked like he didn't know where he was supposed to be, which is understandable because he was playing as a weird sort of playmaking inverted wide player and I don't remember him ever playing there before. Was he supposed to come inside to get the ball? Who was he supposed to track out of possession? If he comes inside, are the fullbacks supposed to get forward to provide the width? But they never really got forward. The plan wasn't clear.
 

Kliq

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It's not raining in Stoke...yet. Spurs with a strong lineup; Kane, Lucas and Bale up top; Doherty and Davies are the FBs, Dele gets a start in midfield along with Winks and Hojbjerg.
 

Kliq

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Bale with a really clever header that sneaks into the bottom right corner; he just re-directed the ball's momentum with a little flick. Nice ball in from Winks. All Spurs right now.
 

Kliq

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Stoke somehow equalized while I was eating my lunch, despite the fact that I don't think they had a single touch in Tottenham's half during the first half. Anyway, Ben Davies hit a really nice low shot from outside the box to put Spurs back on top.
 

Kliq

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The ball finds its way to Sissoko after a Stoke miscue; he slides it right to Kane, who holds off a defender and smokes the ball past the keeper. 3-1 Tottenham with ten minutes to go.
 

Kliq

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I appreciate that Jose has gotten the team to play a very disciplined, compact defense that limits mistakes; but how many points are we going to see Tottenham drop to lesser teams, because Spurs have openly conceded possession to them? It is very frustrating to see the start of games and seeing Tottenham control possession because they are the better team, only for Tottenham to score a goal and then turtle for the remainder of the game, hoping to avoid letting in a tying goal. Almost the worst thing to happen for Spurs against Wolves was to score in the opening minute, because that gave Wolves 89 minutes to control the ball and find an equalizer, which they eventually did. Spurs are good enough to control the game against most EPL sides and to score 2-3 goals before parking the bus.
 

Zososoxfan

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I appreciate that Jose has gotten the team to play a very disciplined, compact defense that limits mistakes; but how many points are we going to see Tottenham drop to lesser teams, because Spurs have openly conceded possession to them? It is very frustrating to see the start of games and seeing Tottenham control possession because they are the better team, only for Tottenham to score a goal and then turtle for the remainder of the game, hoping to avoid letting in a tying goal. Almost the worst thing to happen for Spurs against Wolves was to score in the opening minute, because that gave Wolves 89 minutes to control the ball and find an equalizer, which they eventually did. Spurs are good enough to control the game against most EPL sides and to score 2-3 goals before parking the bus.
That's pretty much the frustration at this point. Play to get 2 goals before bunkering instead of 1. If it's a particularly tough fixture, prioritize defensive shape for the last 30 minutes, ideally more like 15-20 though. That is the majority of my Mourinho gripes, that and not rotating Kane, Son, and Hoj enough.
 

DJnVa

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Very nice win yesterday, as Leeds plays in a way that plays right into Spurs strength, and hopefully get them back on track.

Cup games on tap.

Additionally, Kane and Son have tied an EPL record for goal combos. With half the season to play.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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That's pretty much the frustration at this point. Play to get 2 goals before bunkering instead of 1. If it's a particularly tough fixture, prioritize defensive shape for the last 30 minutes, ideally more like 15-20 though. That is the majority of my Mourinho gripes, that and not rotating Kane, Son, and Hoj enough.
Something will have to give with these three players at some point. Looking at Transfermarkt data:

Minutes played

Kane 1844
Son 1791
Hojbjerg 1979

Highest career minutes played in a season

Kane 4027
Son 3379
Hojbjerg 3200

Spurs will have a minimum of 26 remaining fixtures (if they get knocked out of all three cups immediately) and a maximum of 39 remaining fixtures (if they make all three finals). That is a range of 2340 to 3510 remaining minutes to be played, most likely somewhere in the middle around 3000. Jose is going to run these guys into the ground if he keeps insisting that they play the vast majority of cup matches and also frequently go all 90 in the league. Taking a player like Hojbjerg or Son who has never gone above 3200-3300 minutes and playing them 4500 is asking for trouble. This is also occurring during an unusually condensed and congested season that came after a shortened summer break.
 

coremiller

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Something will have to give with these three players at some point. Looking at Transfermarkt data:

Minutes played

Kane 1844
Son 1791
Hojbjerg 1979

Highest career minutes played in a season

Kane 4027
Son 3379
Hojbjerg 3200

Spurs will have a minimum of 26 remaining fixtures (if they get knocked out of all three cups immediately) and a maximum of 39 remaining fixtures (if they make all three finals). That is a range of 2340 to 3510 remaining minutes to be played, most likely somewhere in the middle around 3000. Jose is going to run these guys into the ground if he keeps insisting that they play the vast majority of cup matches and also frequently go all 90 in the league. Taking a player like Hojbjerg or Son who has never gone above 3200-3300 minutes and playing them 4500 is asking for trouble. This is also occurring during an unusually condensed and congested season that came after a shortened summer break.
FWIW, FBRef has slightly different numbers, perhaps from not including internationals? But yeah, the point still stands, this bill is going to come due sooner or later. They've already been showing some signs of fatigue the last few games. But this is a challenge for everyone who doesn't have City's squad depth. Liverpool have the same issues with Robertson, Salah, Mane, Fabinho. Man Utd have Bruno. Chelsea have Kante.
 

DJnVa

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Yeah, I'd have to find the article, because it was a few weeks back, but the top 6 teams basically all have this issue--playing players more minutes despite a condensed calendar, and also voting against more subs.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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FWIW, FBRef has slightly different numbers, perhaps from not including internationals? But yeah, the point still stands, this bill is going to come due sooner or later. They've already been showing some signs of fatigue the last few games. But this is a challenge for everyone who doesn't have City's squad depth. Liverpool have the same issues with Robertson, Salah, Mane, Fabinho. Man Utd have Bruno. Chelsea have Kante.
This is definitely an issue for other clubs too. I agree that City's depth may really give them a leg up in the title race. The next few months are going to be absolutely brutal, with most of these clubs playing twice a week over and over again. I think many clubs will have to make strategic decision to punt other competitions as well. I expect nobody to play strong teams in the FA Cup and think its possible that one or more of the Spurs/United/Leicester group will just throw in the towel in the Europa League.
 

Zososoxfan

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Or you know, maybe play those other guys like Vini and Dele. Seriously, as much as I might lose my mind, if this team is really going to compete for EPL, UEL, and a domestic cup, then we're also going to have to see more of players like Lucas. Getting half a player between Lamela and Bale would be a win. At this point, Mou should think about trying one of the backup CBs at DMF (Tang?!?), although I expect Levy to acquire a bona fide backup DMF this month.

The silver lining here is that aside from those 3 (and Eric Dier surprisingly), the rest of the squad has been properly managed via rotation and/or minor injury! Davies is at 1,547 minutes played and no one else is above 1,500. Doherty actually has more minutes played than Serge, which I found hugely surprising.
 
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coremiller

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Part of it also has been that Kane and Son have been in such good form that they've made themselves undroppable. Son is 1st in the EPL in (G+A-PK)/90 and Kane is 2nd. If they hadn't been playing as well they might have been rotated more.
 

Zososoxfan

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Part of it also has been that Kane and Son have been in such good form that they've made themselves undroppable. Son is 1st in the EPL in (G+A-PK)/90 and Kane is 2nd. If they hadn't been playing as well they might have been rotated more.
Valid point. However, if Kane and Son and Hoj are on such good form that they can't be dropped then I'd hope they'd have built a lead at the top. In other words, if you're going to ride your best XI hard, then you need the results to follow. Spurs are right there with Pool, Citeh, United, LCFC, and [checks notes]...Southampton and Everton, and frankly should be higher with some easy points dropped, but trying to replicate this first half performance is going to be difficult with necessary increased rotation.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Part of it also has been that Kane and Son have been in such good form that they've made themselves undroppable. Son is 1st in the EPL in (G+A-PK)/90 and Kane is 2nd. If they hadn't been playing as well they might have been rotated more.
Kane and Son have been absolutely amazing and I don't think many would argue with riding them hard in the league. The more questionable decisions involves involve their usage in other competitions. For example, in EL group stage and Carabao Cup games where they were healthy and available, Son played in 6 of 7 matches, Kane in 5 of 8. In comparison, Vardy played in 2/7 of the same type of games, Auba played in 1 of 9. Kane and Son also played in all the EL qualifiers, which I can understand more since those matches were one and done, but the fact that you had those games on the schedule is an argument for using your stars less in other competitions, not more. To me, it seems like Mourinho just doesn't have a lot of faith in his other attacking players. The problem is that if you don't play them and give them chances then its hard for them to hit and maintain form so that they are ready to contribute when you do eventually call on them. I think Mourinho also embraces this old school, hard man mentality in which your leaders and top players are supposed to go all 90, which is how you end up with Kane rarely or never being subbed even when Spurs are up multiple goals after 80 minutes. He did the same thing with Eden Hazard.
 
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Zososoxfan

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Kane and Son have been absolutely amazing and I don't think many would argue with riding them hard in the league. The more questionable decisions involves involve their usage in other competitions. For example, in EL group stage and Carabao Cup games where they were healthy and available, Son played in 6 of 7 matches, Kane in 5 of 8. In comparison, Vardy played in 2/7 of the same type of games, Auba played in 1 of 9. Kane and Son also played in all the EL qualifiers, which I can understand more since those matches were one and done, but the fact that you had those games on the schedule is an argument for using your stars less in other competitions, not more. To me, it seems like Mourinho just doesn't have a lot of faith in his other attacking players. The problem is that if you don't play them and give them chances then its hard for them to hit and maintain form so that they are ready to contribute when you do eventually call on them. I think Mourinho also embraces this old school, hard man mentality in which your leaders and top players are supposed to go all 90, which is how you end up with Kane rarely or never being subbed even when Spurs are up multiple goals after 80 minutes. He did the same thing with Eden Hazard.
WRT the bolded, I don't disagree but it's hard to reconcile this with Mou's adherence to periodization. I vaguely recall that he was one of the first managers to take it seriously, and I certainly think Mou believes in it and that it has value, but unless he starts playing Vini, Dele, and Lucas a lot more, it seems like he's throwing caution to the wind.
 

Zososoxfan

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DJnVa

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Tottenham's match Wednesday is now against Fulham, as Villa is dealing with an outbreak.
 

DJnVa

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Tottenham draws Wycombe in 4th round of FA Cup. Wycombe currently sits at the bottom of the table, with just 3 wins in 23 league games.

Winner plays winner of Everton/Sheffield Wednesday.
 

Zososoxfan

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Fuck this shit. Why start Winks AND Sissoko against Fulham? This is a damn good squad and it's being squandered. Jose may win a domestic cup and claim he is once again the special one, but seriously, fuck this.
 

Kliq

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Pretty much an example of why Spurs aren't real contenders for the league. Have all of the talent but tactically the manager does not put this team in a position to consistently get three points. To be fair to Jose today; Spurs had a bunch of chances to score more than one goal and they failed. Son missed two great chances. Kane missed a good header right after he buried the first goal. Reguilon had a good chance to score but missed the target. Hojbjerg got played in by a great pass from Kane and weakly hit the ball right at the keeper.
 

coremiller

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A really good first half, they should have been out of sight by halftime but they sat on the lead in the second half and allowed Fulham the chance to knick an equalizer. Same old script. They now have one win in 6, and in four of those matches they conceded a late goal to drop points.
 

Zososoxfan

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Pretty much an example of why Spurs aren't real contenders for the league. Have all of the talent but tactically the manager does not put this team in a position to consistently get three points. To be fair to Jose today; Spurs had a bunch of chances to score more than one goal and they failed. Son missed two great chances. Kane missed a good header right after he buried the first goal. Reguilon had a good chance to score but missed the target. Hojbjerg got played in by a great pass from Kane and weakly hit the ball right at the keeper.
Football is weird. You can create a million great chances and sometimes they just don't go in. Hell, that was the story about Citeh for the first two months of the season. The response to today's result should not be that they had enough chances to win, but rather why didn't they create MORE chances against a promoted side. Spurs' xG today was over 3--why not aim higher?

Moreover, Fulham got 4 shots on target on 15 shots (xG = 1.06). This wasn't a lockdown defensive performance either. Fulham are averaging under a goal/game. I can't find the data but I'm guessing their xG/90 is less than 1.06.
 

caseumsd

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May 28, 2008
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While Jose may bring Tottenham a trophy, what will the cost be? Alienating Dele, playing the most boring football week in and week out, wins feel like draws, draws feel like loses, etc. You just know what is coming around 70 mins in with a one goal lead. Instead of making changes to see the game off, he waits until they concede and brings on Lamela? His tactics are stale and outdated. I have a feeling after the season, they decide to mutually part ways, with Jose keeping his streak alive of winning a trophy and Spurs getting someone more dynamic in.
 

Zososoxfan

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While Jose may bring Tottenham a trophy, what will the cost be? Alienating Dele, playing the most boring football week in and week out, wins feel like draws, draws feel like loses, etc. You just know what is coming around 70 mins in with a one goal lead. Instead of making changes to see the game off, he waits until they concede and brings on Lamela? His tactics are stale and outdated. I have a feeling after the season, they decide to mutually part ways, with Jose keeping his streak alive of winning a trophy and Spurs getting someone more dynamic in.
See, I actually disagree with the bolded. My ire from yesterday aside, an xG of 3+ is insanely high and the match against Liverpool was basically a masterclass. HOWEVA, his tactics don't suit this squad. This is not a lockdown defensive side and defending 1-goal leads reflects a conservatism that just doesn't mesh with this squad's strength in attack.

If you put Mou in charge of the Portuguese NT, or another club with defensive stalwarts across the backline and at DMF, then his approach would make sense. But Spurs have really good attacking options at just about every position. Whether Mou likes it or not, the best approach for this team is to get a 2-goal lead before bunkering for the last 10, 15, 20, or even 30 minutes of a match depending on the opponent. Against Fulham? The team shouldn't really bunker for more than 10 minutes, if that.
 

caseumsd

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See, I actually disagree with the bolded. My ire from yesterday aside, an xG of 3+ is insanely high and the match against Liverpool was basically a masterclass. HOWEVA, his tactics don't suit this squad. This is not a lockdown defensive side and defending 1-goal leads reflects a conservatism that just doesn't mesh with this squad's strength in attack.

If you put Mou in charge of the Portuguese NT, or another club with defensive stalwarts across the backline and at DMF, then his approach would make sense. But Spurs have really good attacking options at just about every position. Whether Mou likes it or not, the best approach for this team is to get a 2-goal lead before bunkering for the last 10, 15, 20, or even 30 minutes of a match depending on the opponent. Against Fulham? The team shouldn't really bunker for more than 10 minutes, if that.
I agree with you completely about not having the defenders or CDM’s to play his style. But if that’s the case, shouldn’t he also realize this and adapt? I see why you play this way against Pool, Man City and Chelsea, but against a team like Fulham or Brighton for instance, how does sitting back and countering work?

There is no reason for Moussa Sissoko to be playing on the right wing. You are telling me there is no one better suited for that role on the roster? This is where I believe he has lost it. Yes, up 2-0 with 20 mins left, sub out a Dele, or Lucas, etc. and bring on Sissoko, but to start the game with a midfield trio of Winks, Hojberg and Sissoko basically offers you nothing going forward and teams know it. Teams realize they need to just shut down Kane and Son, (easier said than done, I know) and wait for either Ndombele to get subbed out at 65 minutes or run out of gas.

As someone who has watched Spurs games for the past 20 years, I just can’t stand watching a team go into a defensive shell so early. I know I am going to be critiqued a lot for this take, but if it’s a trophy and watching shit football or no trophy and watching enjoyable football week in and week out, I’ll take the second option 100% of the time.
 

Kliq

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If Spurs were winning all of their games 1-0 it would be tremendous. They are instead blowing games left and right to inferior teams. It's not a question of watching compelling action vs winning, because Spurs are not winning under this formula.
 

Zososoxfan

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I agree with you completely about not having the defenders or CDM’s to play his style. But if that’s the case, shouldn’t he also realize this and adapt? I see why you play this way against Pool, Man City and Chelsea, but against a team like Fulham or Brighton for instance, how does sitting back and countering work?

There is no reason for Moussa Sissoko to be playing on the right wing. You are telling me there is no one better suited for that role on the roster?
This is where I believe he has lost it. Yes, up 2-0 with 20 mins left, sub out a Dele, or Lucas, etc. and bring on Sissoko, but to start the game with a midfield trio of Winks, Hojberg and Sissoko basically offers you nothing going forward and teams know it. Teams realize they need to just shut down Kane and Son, (easier said than done, I know) and wait for either Ndombele to get subbed out at 65 minutes or run out of gas.

As someone who has watched Spurs games for the past 20 years, I just can’t stand watching a team go into a defensive shell so early. I know I am going to be critiqued a lot for this take, but if it’s a trophy and watching shit football or no trophy and watching enjoyable football week in and week out, I’ll take the second option 100% of the time.
Your first paragraph is my point--we agree. This a shortcoming of Mou.

I'm among Sissoko's biggest stans, but I also agree with the bolded. Sissoko came to Spurs as someone who could play RMF (likely in a system like Mourinho's), but he's been forced to play centrally and provide defensive cover for the past 1-2 seasons. He's done that very well IMO, and last year he was the closest thing Spurs had to a DMF. Looking at this season, in a double pivot with Hoj, I think he's one of the best 3 options, along with Tanguy and GLC. Tanguy has been deployed like a #10 a couple of times recently and he's good at it, but he's also at his best a little more withdrawn (i.e. he's a playmaking CMF). GLC is also a true CMF, although he has different strengths/weaknesses than Tanguy. Mou could have a cool fluid MF 3 with Hoj, Sissoko, and GLC/Tanguy. I've actually been pretty impressed with Hoj's passing and ball movement--the 2nd assist to Reggie yesterday was beautiful. With those 3 sitting a little deeper and a front 3 ahead of them, Spurs would be tough. However, it's clear at this point Mou is typically going to stick with playing Bergy, Lucas, or others (i.e. Sissoko yesterday) as SMFs and keep a pretty rigid 4-4-2. TBF to Mou, this allows the FBs to attack more. Nevertheless, I think you could pull off a very balanced 4-3-3 that gets Spurs' best talent on the field and puts them in a more generally aggressive stance:

Lloris
Aurier-Toby-Dier-Reggie
GLC-Hoj-Sissoko
Tanguy-Kane-Son

GLC, Sissoko, and Tanguy is a lot of central players, but if the FBs push forward to get more speed opposite Son, Sissoko-Hoj can cover for them and I think system can have balance.
 

SeoulSoxFan

I Want to Hit the World with Rocket Punch
Dope
Jun 27, 2006
20,784
A Scud Away from Hell
If Spurs were winning all of their games 1-0 it would be tremendous. They are instead blowing games left and right to inferior teams. It's not a question of watching compelling action vs winning, because Spurs are not winning under this formula.
A whopping TEN points dropped by conceding late goals so far.

Hopefully Kim Minjae would provide a boost. The hunt for the talented SK defender and Son's national teammate is back on:

 

coremiller

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
4,787
It's not really formation or personnel so much as philosophy and mentality. That group with three DMs played Fulham off the pitch in the first half, but once they got to halftime with the lead they changed approach and became much more passive and reactive:

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