West Ham United – Tottenham Hotspur: Narrow Win At West Ham Papers Over Spurs’ Cracks… For Now (2-3)

Without seeing his team play brilliant football, José Mourinho got what he was looking for in his first match as Tottenham Hotspur manager: three points. Dissecting a narrow win, Spurs’ 3-2-4-1 buildup system, and some atrocious defending by West Ham. 

Tactical analysis and match report by Erik Elias

It can be hard to judge the work of a football manager. All training sessions and team meetings take place behind closed doors. All we can do is examine snippets that make their way into the media, do tactical analysis when teams play, and study the data. Tottenham’s results were bang average ever since the start of this calendar year – their fourteenth place in no shape or form took place because of opponents converting every half-chance or a finishing slump of their own. 

It is hard to answer all the questions surrounding their demise. Why did the Tottenham players stop pressing as well as they did between 2015 and 2018? Why were there so many more defensive mistakes than in previous years? Why did Harry Kane’s shot volume decrease so dramatically? Why didn’t they sign any players in the summer of 2018? Why didn’t they sell players who wanted to leave this summer?

In short: who is to blame the most for Tottenham’s demise; the players, the coaching staff, or the board?

Well, we don’t know, because we don’t have all the information. However, when a tactical teacher like Pochettino loses the dressing room, as he reportedly has, it’s probably time to go. 

In comes José Mourinho . . .

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Erik Elias (25) is co-founder and chief editor of Between The Posts. Dutch, so admires Johan Cruijff and his football principles, but enjoys writing about other styles as well. Former youth coach. Scout. 'Quality without results is pointless. Results without quality is boring.' [ View all posts ]

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