Tactical Genius or all down to the players?

Our 2-1 home win over QPR was a game of two halves in every sense after Spurs went in 1-0 down on 45 minutes. At that stage, the visitors had enjoyed six shots on target while Tottenham failed to trouble Julio Cesar and signs for the second period weren’t good.

A quick switch to 4-4-2 and it was an entirely different game in the second half but Head Coach Andre Villas-Boas chose to give all the credit to the players after our first home win of the season.

“We had to do something to look sharper and more attacking, we didn’t create a lot in the first half and we felt going with two strikers was the best for us at that period,” AVB said.

“The players really wanted to win this game for our fans, it is more that will than the tactical change that won the game.”

An own goal from former alleged Spurs target Alejandro Faurlin and a Jermain Defoe strike sealed the win and lifted us into the top half of the table. After our trip to Carlisle in the week, it’s Manchester United away in the ESPN game next Saturday.

So the first home win is in the bank but would you credit AVB or suggest that we should have started the game with 4-4-2?

 

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20 Responses

  1. Seaside Spur says:

    AVB – Tactical awareness PLUS Verts for a masterclass on defending and carrying the ball forward.

  2. Neil says:

    I would give both credit, the change was made and at half time not 60 minutes or later so credit for that. Also credit to the teams response they played much better after being booed off. People have been negative about the result but if Man Utd won that game they would be getting praised for winning whilst playing bad. Maybe Spurs deserve a bit of praise for winning ugly.

  3. TonyRich says:

    Tactical genius? Do me a favour. Was it tactical genius to be outplayed at home? Was it tactics to rely on a freak own goal and then a counter attack goal when our defender run the length of the field with the ball to set it up? Was it tactical genius to make the mistake of playing players out of position (a la Harry) and then merely rectifying it? At half time I suggested Caulker on and Vertonghen at LB. The substitution was not rocket science, but the tactics were far from “genius”. Hughes won the tactical battle – as did Hughton a few weeks back.

  4. robbie says:

    We can all look at it now and say he should of started 4-4-2 and played Vertonghen at LB and Caulker CB but for me i was impressed with the fact that he realised it wasn’t working and made the change at half time! Sign of a good manager!

  5. IoanX says:

    We looked clueless during most part of the game.
    I didn’t see any tactical game from Spurs.
    Just individual and mostly ineffective actions.
    I think that the main issue is that we have to many brainless players
    who are athletic and fast but ineffective when it comes to delivering
    with accuracy the ball or passing it instead of shooting.
    Lennon and Bale make the most of Spurs game and JD is receiving most balls.
    Unfortunately all three players are more characterised by their physical skills
    than by intelligence and effectiveness.
    The only good moments in attack came when Vert was involved.

  6. Ray says:

    Thats right robbie, that is the sign of a good manager who realises that his tactics in the first half wasnt working and made the necessary changes.
    Would Arry have done that or just simply continued in the same vein hoping for the best?

  7. Jayme says:

    It was never 442

    It was still 4321, the thing is he pulled of the quiet Sigurdsson (who hasnt impressed me at all) for Dempsey to play in the middle behind Defoe. That made a huge difference.

    For me we always struggle during and in the aftermath of set plays, one MAJOR reason why I feel Lloris needs to come in for Friedel as he just comes off his line and claims those.

    Also Caulker what a big guy for 20 years of age, he won everything and was a reason we got the equaliser.

    Next game against United it should be:

    Lloris
    Walker Caulker Verts Naughton
    Sandro Dembele
    Lennon Dempsey Bale
    Defoe

    Let Sigurdsson actually do something of note against Carlisle before he starts for this club again

  8. didier zokora says:

    At home, we should always start 4-4-2 ( or 4-4-1-1). The 4-2-3-1 system suits us well when playing away as it encourages counter-attacking football. However at home we should set up with a more attack minded system.

    We could not keep the ball in the first half yesterday. There seemed to be a massive gap between our midfield and Defoe, and we just could not get the ball to the little man. I feel a 4-4-2 system, with Adebayor (when fit) or Dempsey starting along side Defoe would help keep the ball up the oppositions end and would bring our midfielders into the game. This would also help releave some of the pressure we invite on ourselves as we tend to sit back too much with the 2 in front of the defence.
    This was all evident in the second half where Dempsey looked very dangerous, and provided the link between Moussa and Defoe.
    Its also evident that Bale should never be played at left back again!Too much of a threat to be left stuck in our half.

    On to AVB. I was very pleased to see he changed things early again. We looked a completely different team in the second 45 so he must of had an effect at half time. The players seem to respond to him, and there seems to be a good spirit in the side.

    I hope we play the fringe players against Carslile.Give the boys some rest before United

  9. Jimbo says:

    Worrying that AVB’s preferred formation of 4231 didn’t work again at home. Funny also that the only time we looked anything close to dominant against Norwich was when we reverted two strikers, and then conceded when we went back to the original shape.

    Moving to a 442-esque formation and pushing Bale up wasn’t rocket science, but it was good to see it changed early and we looked a different team.

    Funny also that the only time we looked anything close to dominant against Norwich was when we had the two strikers on

  10. john says:

    Another articlel here had Defoe completing only 5 passes in the game. Bale at left back has been tried before by Harry with the same effect. The selection of Defoe who was rightly left on the bench by Harry does not assist the team. But needs must at the moment, when Adebayor is fit expect Defoe to throw a strop when he is back on the bench

  11. Alan Haslett says:

    Friedel v Lloris. Friedel makes good reflex saves but doesn’t command the area (no clean sheets yet this season). Lloris is not just a good keeper he is proven world class. Everyone, including AVB, seems to have missed that fabulous piece of work that put Klose off scoring what would have been an easy goal, when he dived across him. He takes full command of his area and instills extra confidence in his team mates. If Lloris doesn’t start against Man U we will definitely lose yet again to them!!!!!!!!!

  12. Ramos28 says:

    Tactics had nothing to do with the fact that ELEVEN international players couldn’t string two passes together all first half.
    That was the biggest problem in the first 45, at WHL yesterday. NOT the tactics, NOT the formation and NOT the manager. 4-2-3-1 or 4-4-1-1, it makes no difference if the players can’t/don’t get the basics right.

    Simple fact is QPR passed the ball better and showed greater desire to scrap and work hard when out of possession.
    Tactics had nothing to do with Kyle Walker not being able to judge the flight of a ball, or position himself goal side when defending certain situations. Tactics had nothing to do with us not picking up Clint Hill at a corner either.

    The players have got to take responsibility for the showing in the first half no else. Indeed, our best player, as has been the case all season, was Lennon in the first half. Tactics/formation never seemed to effect his performance yesterday.

    4-2-3-1 or 4-4-1-1 basically amount to the same thing when the team is out of possession, anyway, with the wingers supposed to drop back to support the central mids and full-backs alike.

    What deserves greater credit in my opinion, was AVB’s ability to inspire a greater level of commitment, focus and desire after the interval, although if these players can’t motivate themselves after last seasons Champion League heartbreak than something is wrong.

    Back to something I touched on earlier, and that is the form of Kyle Walker this season, which has been alarming to say the least. The guy is struggling and becoming somewhat of a liability this season. At fault for conceding the first goal at Newcastle (and the late goal for the Royals last weekend), nearly giving away a penalty against Reading and countless issues with his positioning, Walker seems to have gone backwards this term, with his passing and composure also coming under the spotlight in recent games. I seriously think that Naughton, on his return to fitness, should replace him at right-back- if only to give Walker the kick-up the backside he may need in order for him to rediscover his best form.

  13. serious says:

    Llores is the better keeper but Brad form is unbelievable at the moment and what I most love about AVB over harry is he creates compertision for places. And the players love it becouse they know if they perform well that will get in the team culker is another example and Kabul is not even back yet Dempsey and gilfy will be fighting for a place to and then there’s ady and defoe there’s good potential we will get stronger all we have 2 do is relax and back the boss COYS!!!!

  14. gbewing says:

    I give AVB full credit for making in game changes that were needed. Some say he’s too stubburn but that’s mainly unproven newspaper snarking, he used a short bench perfectly.

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