Tottenham Hotspur are playing some brilliant possession based football in patches under Andre Villas Boas. Spurs have controlled and dictated the tempo in most of the matches this season; still they are finding themselves in some trouble. Why? It’s just because Tottenham are too comfortable with a one goal lead! Spurs are not able to keep the pressure and momentum throughout the 90 minutes, especially in the last 10 or 15 minutes, where they are taking the pedal of the wheel.
In modern day football, there are goals galore and scorelines that reflect tennis matches rather than football. Many teams are conceding a number of goals similar to Spurs, but that doesn’t stop them from trying to outscore their opponents. Currently, attack is proving to be the best form of defence. This team is more successful in outscoring their opponents than protecting their lead. This football is attracting more neutrals, while taking severe criticism from the perfectionists.
Tottenham have seen several games slip from their grasp this season. Tottenham conceding in the dying minutes has become a regular pattern. If we take a closer look, it always happens in the same way. Spurs takes the lead in the game and then tries to shut up the shop in last 20 minutes or so. While trying to protect their slender lead, things don’t always go according to their plan and the game often ends up as a draw or loss, in games which Tottenham really should have won!
Tottenham’s defence abandon their high line and drops deeper into their own box, the attackers joins the defence to see out the danger and Spurs end up camped in their half. The attacking instincts are curbed to such an extent that even the possibility of counter attacks are ruled out sometimes. More defensive minded players are brought in to see out the game, there by inviting more pressure. In a way, it eventually puts more pressure on Tottenham players as the opponents are get more confidence to take the game to them. Tottenham are more than happy to defend the lead and it is leading to their downfall.
Spurs need to close out matches; they need to take the game away from opposition by increasing the lead rather than protecting it. We have seen so many games in which Spurs have dominated and then conceded the initiative after being put under pressure. Is it because of tiredness or lack of fitness? It’s mainly because they are giving a lifeline to the opposition to get something out of the game. Some teams gladly accept this offer and as a result Tottenham lose precious points.
Tottenham possess good a armoury of players who can take the game to the opposition, who can control the tempo of the game, and who can kill the game. Is it really necessary to close out matches by hanging on to slender leads? Instead, they should go in for the kill, as that’s what champion teams do. They will take the game away from you in a flash and Spurs should adopt this daring tactic. It may just change their destiny.
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