Harry’s Tactics & Naive Performances Lead To Stevenage Draw
Tottenham put in a disappointing performance during a 0-0 draw with Stevenage because of poor tactics from the manager and poor performances from the players.
For all the credit that Stevenage are due and will get, Spurs put in a disappointing performance at Stevenage and will now have an unwelcome replay at The Lane.
From the minute Harry Redknapp picked his team it was never going to go well. The England manager-elect decided to pick a team and formation to combat the strengths of Stevenage. If Spurs were the League One side we’d all accept that as good management. As it is, Spurs are the technically superior side and should have played to their own strengths not played down to their opponents level.
On the pitch the team compounded the managers failings with a sloppy performance full of naïveté. From Michael Dawson’s first long ball aimed at strikers who were physically outmatched by Stevenage’s centre backs it was clear that Spurs fans were in for a long afternoon.
With manager and captain setting the tone the whole team was poor in possession, constantly misplacing passes. To Redknapp’s credit he obviously realized this and through the first half bellowed at his team to keep hold of the ball.
However keeping the ball was only half the battle. Without the ill Modric and injured van der Vaart, Gareth Bale was allowed the free role he hankers for. Despite his dynamism and forceful running with the ball he’s nowhere near the creator that Modric or Rafa are and Spurs lacked a cutting edge.
With Niko Kranjcar warming up at half time it was to be hoped that Redknapp had realized the folly of his 3-5-2. Alas it wasn’t to be. At least until 15 or so minutes into the second half. When Kranjcar was introduced it meant Bale being forced into a wing role with Niko starting from the opposite flank. The Croat instantly showed more incisive passing than had been seen for the previous hour and a bit but even so there was to be no breakthrough.
Spurs truly only looked like themselves when Redknapp was forced to take Danny Rose off – once again effective going forward against lower opposition but clearly not good enough to make it as a Premier League left back – and bring Lennon on. Lennon instantly threatened and created a couple of openings in the few minutes he had on the pitch.
Yes Spurs had the ball in the net from Saha but the referee and linesman were unfortunately competent and correct for once in ruling Parker offside.
Spurs attention will now turn to next weeks North London Derby. That is a game where Spurs must play to their own strengths rather than lowering themselves to match weaker opponents.
Thanks to Stuart Watts from THFC1882 for submitting this guest post