TFC's Tactical Autopsy Thread

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And your conclusions ?

Remembering that Spurs have had a number of injuries this season and many of the players have looked fatigued for much of the season (hence Spurs have pressed far less this season than before) I'm not surprised to see a Spurs player half way down the chart. Perhaps my biggest surprise is to see a Huddersfield player 2nd from the top - are you ?
 
And your conclusions ?

Remembering that Spurs have had a number of injuries this season and many of the players have looked fatigued for much of the season (hence Spurs have pressed far less this season than before) I'm not surprised to see a Spurs player half way down the chart. Perhaps my biggest surprise is to see a Huddersfield player 2nd from the top - are you ?
Not sure really, there’s plenty of busy ****s on that list that are no surprise. I posted it for information purposes really.

I think my surprise is that Alli is on that list and is showing as our most efficient presser. I would have thought Moura, Lamela or even Eriksen were more efficient pressers.
 
Not sure really, there’s plenty of busy ****s on that list that are no surprise. I posted it for information purposes really.

I think my surprise is that Alli is on that list and is showing as our most efficient presser. I would have thought Moura, Lamela or even Eriksen were more efficient pressers.
Well, according to that stat we should be buying Ndidi. We could do with the next Kante in midfield more-so than Tielemans imo.
 
Need both types or hybrids thereof.
In an ideal world yes, but in reality we are in a serious lack of the bite. The kind of job a Parker or Sandro would have done in the past. Dier or Wanyama when fit yes, obviously Dembele in the past a great hybrid to boss when he was fit too. Ultimately you win a league on your defensive record, and you win games by control of deep midfield, and tactically in defensive midfield we have been very poor this season.
 
In an ideal world yes, but in reality we are in a serious lack of the bite. The kind of job a Parker or Sandro would have done in the past. Dier or Wanyama when fit yes, obviously Dembele in the past a great hybrid to boss when he was fit too. Ultimately you win a league on your defensive record, and you win games by control of deep midfield, and tactically in defensive midfield we have been very poor this season.
No arguments with any of that (except the Dier bit - don't ever want to see him doing his impersonation of Phil Jones doing his impersonation of Marcel Desailly again).
 

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No arguments with any of that (except the Dier bit - don't ever want to see him doing his impersonation of Phil Jones doing his impersonation of Marcel Desailly again).
Well, personally I feel Dier has been treated harshly due to clearly his body not being able to do what his mind is trying to do, and on top of that lack of cover when coming back from serious injury, into a team out of form and with higher expectations, but that is for another thread. The manager asks him to do a job there when he is obviously unfit to, and therefore the player gets the blame. It is a bit like Trippier too.

The solution imo is not to keep playing and exposing Trippier at RB, or Dier at CDM. The solution is to play an extra CB and an extra CDM to cover these kinds of players and situations. That is the thing I feel a lot of fans miss when watching a game from a strategic point of view. It isn't just the player letting down the team. It is also the manager failing to recognise and cover for solutions more humbly and pragmatically. 0-0 is better than losing 13 games, and it is something we understood better in the past when Poch first took over.

The other thing about it is, if you make your team strong at the back, it frees the front three or four players even more-so. The likes of Dele or Eriksen wouldn't be asked to play on the back-foot. Creative players further up the pitch with a free license is better for all parties. If we don't have the quality for hybrids, segregate the roles. If the players aren't working in the roles, change the roles, add more roles. Your squad is your squad. No point in complaining half way through a season.
 
Well, personally I feel Dier has been treated harshly due to clearly his body not being able to do what his mind is trying to do, and on top of that lack of cover when coming back from serious injury, into a team out of form and with higher expectations, but that is for another thread. The manager asks him to do a job there when he is obviously unfit to, and therefore the player gets the blame. It is a bit like Trippier too.

The solution imo is not to keep playing and exposing Trippier at RB, or Dier at CDM. The solution is to play an extra CB and an extra CDM to cover these kinds of players and situations. That is the thing I feel a lot of fans miss when watching a game from a strategic point of view. It isn't just the player letting down the team. It is also the manager failing to recognise and cover for solutions more humbly and pragmatically. 0-0 is better than losing 13 games, and it is something we understood better in the past when Poch first took over.

The other thing about it is, if you make your team strong at the back, it frees the front three or four players even more-so. The likes of Dele or Eriksen wouldn't be asked to play on the back-foot. Creative players further up the pitch with a free license is better for all parties. If we don't have the quality for hybrids, segregate the roles. If the players aren't working in the roles, change the roles, add more roles. Your squad is your squad. No point in complaining half way through a season.

I think you make a very fair point regarding some of the problem being of the manager's making - and I agree, and have said the same elsewhere, some of the idiotic criticism Trippier gets for doing things that are part of Poch's tactical remit are very daft, and I also hold Poch squarely responsible for indulging Dier in his misguided belief that he's a midfielder (especially as Poch even said in his book he disagrees with Dier and sees him as a Cb going forward), but I don't agree with your solution that we need or should be playing another DM to cover Dier because he's not up the job as DM. Sometimes the solution is just don't play that player in a role he's not very good at.
 
I think you make a very fair point regarding some of the problem being of the manager's making - and I agree, and have said the same elsewhere, some of the idiotic criticism Trippier gets for doing things that are part of Poch's tactical remit are very daft, and I also hold Poch squarely responsible for indulging Dier in his misguided belief that he's a midfielder (especially as Poch even said in his book he disagrees with Dier and sees him as a Cb going forward), but I don't agree with your solution that we need or should be playing another DM to cover Dier because he's not up the job as DM. Sometimes the solution is just don't play that player in a role he's not very good at.
Right, but the thing is, we don't have a player who is very good at it, and half way through the season all our players seemed injured, so it is better to play, for example, Dier and Wanyama/Vertonghen/Foyth/Skipp/any available and fit CB or CDM, than to just throw Dier alone into an isolated diamond position. It is better to have two 5/10 players together, than one 5/10 player as your whole tactic. Also, Dier was great alongside Dembele when Poch first shaped him.

Honestly I can't understand some of Poch's tactics this season, especially when we were 1-0 up against Wolves, and at 1-1 against Burnley. I mean, I should balance that by saying sometimes he does completely crazy left-field surprises that work, and he clearly has a different personality to Mourinho, but even with all of the injuries I feel we have been lacking a lot second half of the season strategically. Sometimes I think Poch just plays players as a kind of fuck you, like, "Hi Son, you don't like playing on the bench and left wing for the team? Play left back in an FA Cup semi final". I don't know if that is the reason, but in general he has a thing about if a player complains, he'll make them do double in training of the thing they don't like.

I think that only works up to a point, but Poch is pretty crazy and will push it when no one else sees it.
 
Honestly I can't understand some of Poch's tactics this season, especially when we were 1-0 up against Wolves, and at 1-1 against Burnley. I mean, I should balance that by saying sometimes he does completely crazy left-field surprises that work, and he clearly has a different personality to Mourinho, but even with all of the injuries I feel we have been lacking a lot second half of the season strategically.
I'm with you on this.

Sometimes I think Poch just plays players as a kind of fuck you, like, "Hi Son, you don't like playing on the bench and left wing for the team? Play left back in an FA Cup semi final". I don't know if that is the reason, but in general he has a thing about if a player complains, he'll make them do double in training of the thing they don't like.

I think that only works up to a point, but Poch is pretty crazy and will push it when no one else sees it.
I don't think it's anything as Machiavellian is this, I think he just often gets his starting tactics very wrong, and sometimes compounds that with counter intuitive reactions, and we have seen time and time again in big games, against the best opponents (such as cup semi-finals or CL games etc) that can get found out. Even this season, the decision to put Llorente (a slow cumbersome forward) on in place of Sissoko (a midfielder) - in a game where we were getting overrun in midfield - and needed quick legs on the counter, was tactically bonkers, that so nearly cost us tactically. And yes, I get that everyone will say ultimately a corner flying off Llorente's arse is what put us through, but you have to work on the logic at the time of the decision, not hind sight and good fortune. Then you have the first leg 3CB/concede midfield debacle against Ajax that could have seen us 2/3 down before he reacts - this time doing the right thing in changing up.

There are many games where he realises he's set up wrong and does something to correct it, but it is kind of worrying how often he has to do this. Also how he stubbornly sticks to formats that clearly don't get the best out of some of the personnel.


With regards to the Dier thing, IMO he was never alone, even in the diamond he had two players flanking him. And Poch could have used Skipp (or Marsh) much more than he has. I think if the player (Dier) who is there to provide security, insurance and protection, needs security, insurance and someone else in there to protect him, it's not a good omen.

And again, this is on Pochettino. He's persevered with the whole Dier thing when it was clear he was not good as a midfielder, doesn't like the ball under pressure, is not dynamically mobile, can't move with the ball and doesn't think quickly in a 360 degree way.
 
Well, personally I feel Dier has been treated harshly due to clearly his body not being able to do what his mind is trying to do, and on top of that lack of cover when coming back from serious injury, into a team out of form and with higher expectations, but that is for another thread. The manager asks him to do a job there when he is obviously unfit to, and therefore the player gets the blame. It is a bit like Trippier too.

The solution imo is not to keep playing and exposing Trippier at RB, or Dier at CDM. The solution is to play an extra CB and an extra CDM to cover these kinds of players and situations. That is the thing I feel a lot of fans miss when watching a game from a strategic point of view. It isn't just the player letting down the team. It is also the manager failing to recognise and cover for solutions more humbly and pragmatically. 0-0 is better than losing 13 games, and it is something we understood better in the past when Poch first took over.

The other thing about it is, if you make your team strong at the back, it frees the front three or four players even more-so. The likes of Dele or Eriksen wouldn't be asked to play on the back-foot. Creative players further up the pitch with a free license is better for all parties. If we don't have the quality for hybrids, segregate the roles. If the players aren't working in the roles, change the roles, add more roles. Your squad is your squad. No point in complaining half way through a season.
In what other line of work would this be acceptable?* We aren’t playing Dier’s mind out their, we are playing the whole package and his body has never had the tools to cope with midfield. The romanticism of our league run needs to stop and Dier has no place in our midfield. He is a CB and nothing else.

*US Presidency
 
I'm with you on this.



I don't think it's anything as Machiavellian is this, I think he just often gets his starting tactics very wrong, and sometimes compounds that with counter intuitive reactions, and we have seen time and time again in big games, against the best opponents (such as cup semi-finals or CL games etc) that can get found out. Even this season, the decision to put Llorente (a slow cumbersome forward) on in place of Sissoko (a midfielder) - in a game where we were getting overrun in midfield - and needed quick legs on the counter, was tactically bonkers, that so nearly cost us tactically. And yes, I get that everyone will say ultimately a corner flying off Llorente's arse is what put us through, but you have to work on the logic at the time of the decision, not hind sight and good fortune. Then you have the first leg 3CB/concede midfield debacle against Ajax that could have seen us 2/3 down before he reacts - this time doing the right thing in changing up.

There are many games where he realises he's set up wrong and does something to correct it, but it is kind of worrying how often he has to do this. Also how he stubbornly sticks to formats that clearly don't get the best out of some of the personnel.


With regards to the Dier thing, IMO he was never alone, even in the diamond he had two players flanking him. And Poch could have used Skipp (or Marsh) much more than he has. I think if the player (Dier) who is there to provide security, insurance and protection, needs security, insurance and someone else in there to protect him, it's not a good omen.

And again, this is on Pochettino. He's persevered with the whole Dier thing when it was clear he was not good as a midfielder, doesn't like the ball under pressure, is not dynamically mobile, can't move with the ball and doesn't think quickly in a 360 degree way.
Well, I feel you make good points and it is a good discussion. I see it slightly differently with the decisions that do go right. I agree they are part in luck, but there is also a factor of we are genuinely a better team throwing caution to the wind than containing teams. Yes, this makes us lose a lot of games, but it also makes us take opponents by surprise. Personally, I think against Ajax, the issue was not the three at the back, but the three in midfield when he could have played four if he wanted a clean sheet. Again, with the Dier situation, I disagree that the diamond flank provides enough cover regardless who plays there, unless it is a 2016 version of Kante. Even then, I do not feel that we have the other two areas of the diamond sorted out effectively from a defensive point of view, or that the formation works at all to be honest.

I take the point he could be playing Skipp instead, but I don't feel Skipp is good enough alone there either, and we needed to sacrifice a striker to play both of them when our squad was depleted and we were losing games. That said, for the Champions League final, I feel it is a different kettle of fish, and I think we actually need to trust Sissoko as the DM to do a job and sit-in and attack Liverpool on the counter. Personally I would play a 3-4-3, and I would never blame playing three or five at the back for being defensively light across midfield. I would blame not having two in midfield, and expecting attacking players to cover on a flank position.
 
In what other line of work would this be acceptable?* We aren’t playing Dier’s mind out their, we are playing the whole package and his body has never had the tools to cope with midfield. The romanticism of our league run needs to stop and Dier has no place in our midfield. He is a CB and nothing else.

*US Presidency
Right, so if your boss hires an apprentice salesperson, and they do well with a partner as a secretary, and the secretary leaves, and they are now asked to do a job for the whole department, and they clearly don't have the ability and are having health issues which make them worse than their original best but are trying harder than anyone else, you blame that person at your peril.

I'm not saying it is not his fault in terms of something is missing in midfield, but it is not his fault in terms of blame, and supporters and the manager should not be turning on him imo. That is just the way I see it. Agree to disagree.
 
Right, so if your boss hires an apprentice salesperson, and they do well with a partner as a secretary, and the secretary leaves, and they are now asked to do a job for the whole department, and they clearly don't have the ability and are having health issues which make them worse than their original best but are trying harder than anyone else, you blame that person at your peril.

I'm not saying it is not his fault in terms of something is missing in midfield, but it is not his fault in terms of blame, and supporters and the manager should not be turning on him imo. That is just the way I see it. Agree to disagree.
Dier seems like a smart lad and a good guy. I don't hate him or question his drive. But this is about winning, bot maintaining friendships. He served his time in midfield, but has to be looked at as a failure to materialize. We must upgrade in the middle and Dier shouldn't see the light of midfield again, even if two injuries are sustained.
 
Dier seems like a smart lad and a good guy. I don't hate him or question his drive. But this is about winning, bot maintaining friendships. He served his time in midfield, but has to be looked at as a failure to materialize. We must upgrade in the middle and Dier shouldn't see the light of midfield again, even if two injuries are sustained.
I disagree. As a fan, Dier surprised everyone in the first season Poch played him in midfield. He was also a vital part of the machine that got us to where we are today. He has done jobs at right back and centre back in the past and filled in many positions when we were shit. Maybe his best position for the team is something other than CDM going forward, but no one has proven themselves good enough to boss the midfield and we have been shite tactically the entire second half of the season. Also, if he is injured and will never hit the same heights again, it is not good of supporters to forget what he did in the past. One minute he was God's gift, the next minute he was shit. Our fan base is the most fickle thing I have ever come across.
 
Well, I feel you make good points and it is a good discussion. I see it slightly differently with the decisions that do go right. I agree they are part in luck, but there is also a factor of we are genuinely a better team throwing caution to the wind than containing teams. Yes, this makes us lose a lot of games, but it also makes us take opponents by surprise. Personally, I think against Ajax, the issue was not the three at the back, but the three in midfield when he could have played four if he wanted a clean sheet. Again, with the Dier situation, I disagree that the diamond flank provides enough cover regardless who plays there, unless it is a 2016 version of Kante. Even then, I do not feel that we have the other two areas of the diamond sorted out effectively from a defensive point of view, or that the formation works at all to be honest.

I take the point he could be playing Skipp instead, but I don't feel Skipp is good enough alone there either, and we needed to sacrifice a striker to play both of them when our squad was depleted and we were losing games. That said, for the Champions League final, I feel it is a different kettle of fish, and I think we actually need to trust Sissoko as the DM to do a job and sit-in and attack Liverpool on the counter. Personally I would play a 3-4-3, and I would never blame playing three or five at the back for being defensively light across midfield. I would blame not having two in midfield, and expecting attacking players to cover on a flank position.

We didn't have a real midfield 3 at the start of the Ajax game because of the way Poch had set up:




We basically had a midfield one of Wanyama, which along with playing Llorente, meant Ajax could walk the ball through us and get straight onto our back 3 (and Ive highlighted the gaping spaces this left the Ajax midfield to play in) - we couldn't compete with them because Llorente can't press, meaning they could play the ball out easily to their midfielders, where they had numerical superiority (both with and without the ball) which meant they could press us into turnovers easily and Wanyama getting dragged all over the place trying to cover when they had the ball, creating overloads in forward areas.

It was really piss poor stuff.
 
We didn't have a real midfield 3 at the start of the Ajax game because of the way Poch had set up:




We basically had a midfield one of Wanyama, which along with playing Llorente, meant Ajax could walk the ball through us and get straight onto our back 3 (and Ive highlighted the gaping spaces this left the Ajax midfield to play in) - we couldn't compete with them because Llorente can't press, meaning they could play the ball out easily to their midfielders, where they had numerical superiority (both with and without the ball) which meant they could press us into turnovers easily and Wanyama getting dragged all over the place trying to cover when they had the ball, creating overloads in forward areas.

It was really piss poor stuff.
Yes, but part of the reason we didn't have a real midfield three is because Dele and Eriksen are forward players and shouldn't be behind Llorente and Lucas in the first place if the goal is to keep a clean sheet. We would have been better playing Dier and Skipp as the two behind or even Foyth and Sissoko, with Dele and Eriksen as the strikers. Llorente can press by the way. He did it at the Bernabau in a 4-4-2, when Winks started in a midfield two. I don't know if I have recalled that game correctly, because sky sports say we played a 5-3-2, but I seem to recall two banks of four pressing, or a four and a six at times. Regardless, formations tend to not make much sense on paper when a heat map is given or when watching the game.

That is kind of what baffles me about us. Sometimes the team sheet doesn't make sense and yet we are organised. And other times, I don't know what is going on and the team don't look well drilled at all, regardless of players and line-ups. I feel Sissoko and Winks in midfield is good in the Champions League, but for some reason in the league it doesn't work. It is like we are better against teams that are better.
 
Yes, but part of the reason we didn't have a real midfield three is because Dele and Eriksen are forward players and shouldn't be behind Llorente and Lucas in the first place if the goal is to keep a clean sheet. We would have been better playing Dier and Skipp as the two behind or even Foyth and Sissoko, with Dele and Eriksen as the strikers. Llorente can press by the way. He did it at the Bernabau in a 4-4-2, when Winks started in a midfield two. I don't know if I have recalled that game correctly, because sky sports say we played a 5-3-2, but I seem to recall two banks of four pressing, or a four and a six at times. Regardless, formations tend to not make much sense on paper when a heat map is given or when watching the game.

That is kind of what baffles me about us. Sometimes the team sheet doesn't make sense and yet we are organised. And other times, I don't know what is going on and the team don't look well drilled at all, regardless of players and line-ups. I feel Sissoko and Winks in midfield is good in the Champions League, but for some reason in the league it doesn't work. It is like we are better against teams that are better.
I wouldn't say we've been brilliant in the CL, lets not forget we skanked our way out of a group because PSV got a draw against a pretty meh Inter. We made a complete mess of the City away game (turning 3-1 with two away goals to 3-4 down) but just came out of a crazy tie on away goals, and first half of the Ajax home game we were awful. But we've been good in phases and sometimes in a knockout cup you get the breaks, or earn them, and we have both been lucky and earned some luck.
 

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