Tottenham Spurs fight back to win against Saints


Tottenham Tottenham fight win Saints Spurs back to against

Wed, 21 Apr 2021 19:00:00 +0100

Son Heung-min's late penalty gives Tottenham victory against Southampton in interim head coach Ryan Mason's first match in charge


Spurs fight back to win against Saints

  1. Match ends, Tottenham Hotspur 2, Southampton 1.

  2. Second Half ends, Tottenham Hotspur 2, Southampton 1.

  3. Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur) is shown the yellow card.

  4. Harry Winks (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Foul by Ibrahima Diallo (Southampton).

  6. Foul by Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Tottenham Hotspur).

  7. Ibrahima Diallo (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Kyle Walker-Peters.

  9. Goal! Tottenham Hotspur 2, Southampton 1. Son Heung-Min (Tottenham Hotspur) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.

  10. VAR Decision: Penalty Tottenham Hotspur.

  11. Moussa Djenepo (Southampton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  12. Penalty Tottenham Hotspur. Sergio Reguilón draws a foul in the penalty area.

  13. Penalty conceded by Moussa Djenepo (Southampton) after a foul in the penalty area.

  14. Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Jan Bednarek.

  15. Substitution, Southampton. Nathan Redmond replaces Nathan Tella.

  16. Foul by Erik Lamela (Tottenham Hotspur).

  17. Moussa Djenepo (Southampton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  18. Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Steven Bergwijn replaces Gareth Bale.

  19. Foul by Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Tottenham Hotspur).

  20. Stuart Armstrong (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.


Wed, 21 Apr 2021 19:00:00 +0100

Despite a very short window to prepare, here are five tactical areas we are looking forward to seeing Ryan Mason impact for Tottenham against Southampton


Five tactical tweaks to look for under Mason for Tottenham

April 21, 2021

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 24: Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur scores their team's first goal with a overhead kick during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 match between Tottenham Hotspur and Wolfsberger AC at The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on February 24, 2021 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Ryan Mason has only had two days to train with the side but that does not mean Tottenham Hotspur cannot do some things differently Wednesday against Southampton. Despite a very short window to prepare, here are five tactical areas we are looking forward to seeing Ryan Mason and the staff impact for Tottenham.

How Progressive is Tottenham

A big part of the problem for Tottenham Hotspur under Jose Mourinho was a mismatch in personnel to a coaching style. Tottenham had built a team that was designed to pressure the opposition and limit their opportunities. To change a team built on pressure to one with a more laid back, what for the opponent’s mistake approach as just a bridge too far given the circumstances.

Now with Mason stating in his initial press conference that he wants the Spurs to be brave and aggressive, that is more in line with the kind of team and players on the side. Of course, that starts by playing in a way that really is the anti-Mourinho, which is playing with the ball.

Point 1 – How much more does Tottenham try to play with the ball

Under Jose Mourinho, it was not uncommon for Tottenham Hotspur to lose the possession battle, something the Spurs were rarely, if ever, willing to concede under Mauricio Pochettino. While Pochettino at PSG shows he has matured, Spurs have not and we want to see the team attack. I think most would rather see a 4-5 loss like at Everton than to lose in a listless 0-1 defeat.

Just how much Tottenham works to get on the ball and play on the front foot will be telling. Does the team look to dominate possession and limit the opposition opportunities again? Can Tottenham ramp up what has been a lackluster passing game and against hold possession for 60% of the match and suffocate an opponent? Seeing Tottenham try to play with the ball from the front foot is step one in getting back to that aggressive, entertaining football we all crave.

Point 2 – Where is the Press?

Something that was almost always front and center under Mauricio Pochettino that was rarely seen in any real coordinated fashion under Jose Mourinho is the Tottenham press. Given the schedule requirements for much of the season, the Spurs were in a difficult position to play an aggressive brand of defense where they press from the off.

At this point in the season with more space between matches and everything on the line, there is no excuse not to press. Given we are likely to see Carlos Vinicius in the starting XI, expect to see the young man playing as if his career depends on it defensively.

If Tottenham can get some semblance of a coordinated press going, it can really help the defense. The inability for Tottenham to press under Mourinho and the subsequent ease teams could pass through the side as a result has to be addressed and it starts with on-the-ball pressure from all XI men.

Point 3 – How high is the defensive line

The reality is even under Mauricio Pochettino the Tottenham defensive backline had been slowly getting closer and closer to Hugo Lloris. A combination of Lloris getting older and a bit more reluctant to come off his line and the fact Spurs never replaced Kyle Walker‘s recovery speed have forced the Tottenham line back.

If you add a non-existent press in the front to the lack of pace in the back four and suddenly Tottenham are playing far, far too deep. Even if Mourinho were not trying to employ a low-block that is essentially what has happened for the Lilywhites. With the right pressure up top and a little protection in the back, that line can move up the pitch and provide more room to make up for any mistakes that may occur in the back.

Point 4 – Can we get some service, please?

Tottenham really struggled under Jose Mourinho to get the ball into the box. It is ironic that the last two goals under Mourinho both came off of crosses considering only 10 were attempted in the match. While Tottenham does not have to become Liverpool overnight and start going for 30 crosses a match, knocking the ball into the box a couple of dozen times at least creates the opportunity for something good to happen.

Just as important as getting some crosses into the box from the flanks is using those wings to push back the opposition attack. We know Kyle Walke-Peters will be looking to bomb up the right-wing for Southampton. If Heung-Min Son and Sergio Reguilon are constantly pushing forward, causing problems, and delivering crosses, KWP cannot attack. Part of solving the defensive issues is having more offense and more offense can come with some service from the outside.

Point 5 – What kind of runs do we see

Regardless of the cause, the runs Tottenham players were making at the beginning of the season to create chances and score goals have really dried up over the last several months. Rarely have we seen Son in behind the defense or another wing chasing the ball down toward the flag.

The diagonal movement needed in the front to create space has been lacking. The third man running, who is ultimately the target of the ball simply has not been there for Tottenham. With new management, new ideas, and hopefully at least a little new pride, we need to see players making runs. It is running that puts the defense under pressure and creates opportunities.

When players are running for the ball and to get space of others to get the ball, you know a team is working. We have not seen that kind of effort in a while and it is definitely something we will be looking for.

The bottom line for early Mason/Tottenham tactics

The bottom line is that we need to see Tottenham be bright, be offensive, and be Tottenham. For too long now the team has played scared to lose and running to avoided defeat. Often when trying to avoid something, you find it quicker than you want, which is what happened to Mourinho and Tottenham.

Now with some new ideas, a new face, and just a little time, will we start to see the team respond in a way that tells us change is possible? If we can see these five points, we’d sure like to think so.

– April 21, 2021
Tottenham Spurs fight back to win against Saints