Bale error exposes lack of cover

by Matthew Harris on September 25, 2012

Harry Redknapp once predicted that Gareth Bale would ultimately revert to his old left back position and finish his career there but that’s not a view shared by Spurs head coach Andre Villas-Boas. On Sunday against QPR, injuries to BAE and Kyle Naughton meant that Gareth dropped back into defence at the start but the lack of a cutting edge up front saw AVB switch things around at half time.

“We decided to play with Gareth at left-back because we thought he would give us more width,’ said Villas-Boas after the QPR game.

“But we were much more steady in the second half when we made changes.”

AVB also hinted that he wouldn’t be repeating the experiment so it seems as if Jan Vertonghen will be filling in until BAE returns to fitness.

Benny has previously highlighted his own fitness levels and he certainly has been a consistent fixture at left back for a few seasons. Without him however, Naughton, a natural right back was used before Bale and now Vertonghen were also played out of position.

Maybe it’s time for some permanent cover and perhaps some tangible competition for BAE’s role.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

tony September 25, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Danny Rose at Sunderland looks a good prospect – we should try to get him on loan in January

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Tonys Dad September 25, 2012 at 4:36 pm

You are one sexy yet thick fucker son. The way you write is well sexy hmm come back to bed son.

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geoff vader September 25, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Although Rose isn’t that hot, he certainly beats the likes of Bale at LB.
And I’d like to see Vert at CB so….maybe we sent out a loan too many.

Anyhow. That’s by-the-by. For Sat it has to be Vert at LB with Caulker and errrrr………hmmmm…. Dawson in the middle. Walker at RB.

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Stevie T September 25, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Yes, beggars belief that we let him go instead of Jenas to Sunderland. Thought it was daft when we let him go. Does anyone know why these loan deals are not cancellable by the host team if injuries demand? I assume they put it in the contract but why? Is it Premiership rules?

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Shady September 25, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Lack of cover? hardly, we just have our two first choice LB’s currently injured, any team in the league would suffer under the same circumstances.

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geoff vader September 25, 2012 at 3:44 pm

“two first choice LB’s” who are they? Benny and?

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Shady September 25, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Naughton

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geoff vader September 26, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Naughton is really a right back filling in on the left hand side though. Isn’t he?
Personally him and Walker make the right strong. but we do need a new (dedicated) LB to give us more options. IMHO.

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Ramos28 September 25, 2012 at 3:52 pm

The problem on the weekend, was not that Bale played at left-back but more the fact that the team (including Bale) failed to string more than two passes together, all first half, meaning it was near impossible for either of our full-backs to advance into any sort of attacking position.

Also if Bale was to play at left-back again, Spurs would need to find a player to fill his boots, in the left -wing position better than Clint Dempsey did on the weekend. Ironically, Kranjcar or Pienaar would have been perfect for such a role, given their ability to maintain possession and effectively link play down the flanks.

Personally, I would be tempted to play Bale at left-back again (against opposition where we are expected to dominate possession, like QPR) but only if we can get the right kind of cover in that left wing position.i.e Isco, Willian or even young Townsend.

AVB had the right idea on the weekend, the problem was the players failed to show up in the first-half.

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top dog September 25, 2012 at 4:42 pm

I think the problem is that half our players havent got a clue how or where they should be playing due to Avbs complicated tactics.

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Ramos28 September 25, 2012 at 6:09 pm

I think your looking for the easiest scapegoat, mate!
The formation/tactics don’t actually appear to have changed too much from the system Harry employed.
4-2-3-1 (with the ball) IS basically the formation the players did so well in last season.

The main difference, this term, is the frequent use of Defoe in that system. This means unless Jermains movement and link up play is good (which it wasn’t in the first half), AND the team move the ball around ACCURATELY and QUICKLY, there will be games in which Spurs struggle to make an impression on the opposition, in advanced positions.

Last season Spurs had Adebayor upfront as an out-ball, which meant if we weren’t passing the ball around so well, we could look to hit a longer (percentage) type pass to the big-man, whose physical presence was a major feature in our attacking play. Due to Ades injury, AVB hasn’t been able to utilise this option.

Remember, the formation used on the weekend was the same system (albeit with Bale at Left-back) that worked so well against Reading and Lazio, where the players understood what AVB wanted perfectly. THE PLAYERS ARE NOT STUPID, AND WHAT AVB WANTS IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE!!!

The players simply did not play well on sunday. Nor did they show the right levels of desire or commitment required to be successful in the EPL, in the opening 45mins. Simple.

Managers tactics had NOTHING to do with the teams inability to pass the ball accurately in the first half.

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top dog September 25, 2012 at 6:26 pm

Avb normally plays with a smaller more mobile striker than Adebayor so it will be interesting to see who he picks when Ade is fit. I agree with your Ade comments and i would prefer him myself, how many chances has Defoe needed to score his goals?!
Avb does talk in too much detail imo (Burnley!). Your wrong about tactics, they could easily affect the players confidence and therefore affect the passing, mate!

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Ramos28 September 25, 2012 at 9:55 pm

So a bunch of execs (not football men) at Burnley didn’t understand the ideas of a forward thinking, dynamic,young manager. Shock, horror!

AVB goes on to manage Porto to 3/4 cups, whilst Burnley goes on to, eerrr….. the championship!
Great example mate!

Look while a respect your right to an opinion,, your points are vague to say the least.i.e. tactics, that have already brought success in the previous two games , have suddenly become complicated when the team don’t play well.
Tell me how tactics can prevent a team of internationals (who play in various systems for their countries) from completing a chain of passes, in a period of 45mins? How does it prevent them from being able to judge the flight of a ball (in kyle walkers case)? or how does it stop them from running/chasing down the opposition or appearing motivated? Truth is, it doesn’t, attitudes/slash mentalities do.

It’s easy to say the tactics effected the players confidence against QPR, despite the previous performance suggesting otherwise, but how?

Have you even considered praising AVB for the improved 2nd half performance? or the apparent change in tactics that tactics, that you so desired?

Daniel September 25, 2012 at 7:10 pm

AVB’s tactics seem fine. He’s still getting accustomed to what the team can do, and the team still getting comfortable with playing that style (not a lack of understanding).
Results haven’t been great, so far (turning around, though) but the team has generally played well and either through poor luck or refereeing haven’t supported that.

I thought that Bale played well at LB — at least as well as the rest of the team was playing in their respective roles. For now I’d still like to see him up front, but he put in a solid performance back there. The problem was that what he adds up front wasn’t being covered by the rest of the team — hardly his fault.

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