clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Chalkboard Analysis - Tottenham vs. Liverpool

Getty Images

There were a bevy of encouraging things coming out of the Liverpool match for Tottenham Hotspur. Most valuable, of course, was the three points that pushed the team up to midtable. The Luka Modric saga seems a million miles away as the Croatian midfielder has returned to his talismanic status. Scott Parker and Emanuel Adebayor continue to look fantastic additions. And we may have just seen Kyle Walker's breakout game in a Spurs shirt.

Getting to thorough analysis of this game is tough though. It's long said you can throw the gameplans and analysis out the window after a sending off, and that is doubly true when we get to a point where a team is playing 9 vs. 11. Tottenham must be complimented though for not letting up after gaining leads and continuing to push for goals.

Craving some logic on the Reds' destruction? Check it out after the jump:

1. Shut Down the Strikers

Coming into the Liverpool match, I was terrified of what the vaunted Reds' duo of Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll could do to the Tottenham defense. The pair compare very well to the Manchester City duo of Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko that absolutely skinned Tottenham a few weeks ago. 

However though, Tottenham were able to completely shut down the duo, holding them two a combined single off-net shot. The key was keeping the ball away from the strikers, a task achieved as they had only 60 combined attempted passes. By comparison, Emanuel Adebayor had 72 passes himself. 

Taking over the midfield and keeping possession away from the strikers was Tottenham's biggest weakness in its first two matches against the Manchester clubs, but it seems Parker's arrival and Ledley's return may have began to have changed this.

2. Rampant Luka

Having a healthy, motivated, and happy Luka Modric is going to pay serious dividends for Tottenham this season. Modric was good last week against Wolves, completing 58 passes at a nearly 90% completion rate. This week? Absolutely rampant. Modric completed 40 more passes while keeping his completion rate the same. 

Getting Luka so involved this week paid off. Not only did the Croatian score a stunning opening goal, but he bossed vaunted midfielders like Charlie Adam, Lucas, and Jordan Henderson off the pitch. 

I, like many other Tottenham fans, wondered when hearing that Chelsea offered a reported £40m for Modric whether Daniel Levy had made the right decision. But if Modric continues to be this influential, the Chairman is going to look very vindicated for his stubbornness. 

3. Benoit Balls

I made the argument on last week's episode of Wheeler Dealer Radio that Benoit Assou-Ekotto is currently Tottenham Hotspur's best defender. Well, after a game like Sunday's I'm feeling pretty vindicated in my belief. BAE was dominant on the left side of defense, completely shutting down the attack of Jordan Henderson down the right. 

Along with this, BAE's passing was top-notch, completing 65 passes at an 87% completion rate. And no pass was better than his last, a beautiful ball played into the box that gave Emanuel Adebayor his brace. BAE's down the left flank gave the Liverpool defense fits, having to account for the left back and Gareth Bale's probing runs that tore Martin Skrtel to threads.

In the seemingly thriving 4-4-2 system Tottenham is now operating under with Adebayor, having BAE as a supplemental wide threat makes Bale that much more dangerous and the attack that much more potent. Combined with Assou-Ekotto's seemingly better decision making and decrease in fouls, and it just may be that the Cameroonian fullback becomes the marshall of the Tottenham defense.