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Wednesday Hoddle of Coffee: That Was Neat! September 28, 2016 Edition

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Spurs won a Champions League match. That was fun.

PFC CSKA Moskva v Tottenham Hotspur FC - UEFA Champions League Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Happy Wednesday all. Things are looking up today: My family is closing on our first house and Spurs got their first win in the Champions League since the 1-0 “CROUUUUCH” win against AC Milan.

I just finished watching the game more closely and a few things stood out to me:

  • CSKA is better than we thought. This is a very good result.
  • It seems like both Dele and Vincent Janssen are really desperate for goals and both are trying just a bit too hard. It reminds of Lamela at times before his breakthrough last season. The goals will come for both, but they’re just snatching at things a bit right now.
  • I’m particularly worried about this with Dele, however, because I half-wonder if this 4-3-3 look with Dele and Eriksen ahead of a single pivot is just Poche’s way to try and get Dele, Eriksen, Lamela, Son, and a striker on the field at the same time. When Mousa Dembele and Eric Dier are both fit, we don’t necessarily need such a system, but if Dembele is out, a 4-3-3 makes a lot of sense. That said, when Dele starts to push too far forward, as he did about 13 of the way through the first half yesterday, it leads to a really out-of-balance formation that is vulnerable to counters. I suspect Dele is drifting forward just because he’s desperate to get a goal or assist a goal. But he left Eriksen and Wanyama stranded a few times yesterday. That is something to address for future dates, I suspect.
  • One of the primary attacking moves that Pochettino teams love to try is that quick, vertical ball into the central attacking third area followed by a simple through ball played down the channel that a player, often running outside-in will get onto the end of. It’s how we scored a couple of our goals in that 5-3 shellacking of Chelsea in Poche’s first season. It’s how we got our winner against City last season. And it’s how Sonny got his goal today. Toby got the ball up to Lamela quickly and Lamela made that delicate little through ball that Son was able to pick up on the other end and turn into a goal.

What’d you all think of the game?

On to the links:

David Rudin remembers the Sam Allardyce era.

TFF features Juan Mata

Clint Dempsey out for the rest of 2016