Home » ? Stats: Pochettino Playing A Very Dangerous Game

? Stats: Pochettino Playing A Very Dangerous Game

By The Boy -

A cursory look at the post match stats give us some strong indicators as to what went wrong, but not as to why.

By the time we rendezvous at the last paragraph, we’ll have got some coherent answers.



Simply saying ‘oh we had an off day’ isn’t an answer, Liverpool were barely going through the gears and they were unfortunate not to score more. 


Worse yet, it becomes apparent that whilst Spurs were incredibly busy, they managed to achieve absolutely nothing of any note.

An apology to Erik Lamela here, his great goal was much welcomed but ultimately, it was desperately atypical. 


Yesterday I referenced our two best performers against Liverpool, namely Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen.

The problem here is that yes, they were the only two players with authority, but their play was heavily compartmentalised – presumably because we had no midfield worth a damn.

It’s only when we look at the passing that went on in detail, we see how restricted it was for them.



Vertonghen made 66 succesful passes, 24 of which were effectively safety passes to Toby 



Alderweireld’s map is essential a mirror image.  



In previous analysis, we’ve looked at how both of these players created the link passes that transition the team from defence to attack.

Ordinarily, we’d expect see Eriksen and Trippier as notable recipients.

Trippier only got the ball to Christian Eriksen 7 times in the whole game.

Toby got the ball to Kieran on 19 occasions, but he had to pass it backwards to him on further 16 occasions.


So where was the midfield?

Truth be told, we virtually were playing without one.

Hence the congestion on the edge of our box, the welcome mat in the middle, and Kane and Moura fighting over soup bones up front. 


Eriksen – the fulcrum – the pendulum – where was he?

His biggest passing combinations were with Rose and Alderwiereld, to whom he successfully got the ball to 7 times each. For those of you thinking in black and white; this is our key distributor, mostly sending the ball backwards.

No shock that Eriksen only created 2 chances.


Mousa Dembele also had an utterly unforgettable game, his two biggest passing combinations were to Dier and to Toby. 

How went the war for the Belgian warrior?

He made just 2 successful take-ons all game.


So is the conclusion here that the game was lost in midfield?

Well, it certainly looks that way.



When you dig into the super nitty gritty overall team stats – looking at the component disciplines – we get closer to the root cause.

First paragraph I said Liverpool were barely going through the gears, this comment was based upon me just watching the game.

Trying to frame this ‘feeling’ with analysis isn’t happy reading.

Takes ons, ball recoveries, aerial duels, crosses, corners, dispossessions and even offsides, the numbers are all pretty much neck and neck. 


What of Lucas Moura who so many were raving about after the match?



Our man Moura was trying, but he looked like he was pushing water up hill – only 2½ of his passes actually went forwards



One killer was overall chances created, 11 to 1 in the visitor’s favour.

Another killer is that we YET AGAIN fluffed our tea ball opportunities. 

Tripper provide 3 duff corners and Rose chipped in with another 1 that didn’t work.

Trippier also attempted the cross the ball 5 times and all 5 crosses failed.

Rose chipped in with another 3 that didn’t work.



Pochettino has got problems and I don’t think he understands quite how deep they run.

Toby  – who he plays under sufferance –  has been our best player in virtually every mach this season.


You cannot operate as a top flight club and simply opt out of a transfer window.

It doesn’t work like that.

We have players who are either mentally or physically not right and that list is too long for a squad that on a good day can rustle up a decent starting XI, but no credible bench.

What Spurs offered quantity, was of poor quality, whereas Liverpool got a lot of very basic things right.

Liverpool were cohesive and Liverpool were believable.


Pochettino is rapidly becoming Poche-Nero, fiddling away while the team burns.

A 4-4-2 that didn’t keep it’s shape  -as the likes of Milner and Robertson dragged and dredged us about – that eventually morphed into a 4-3-3 after the subs then disintegrated into a 4-2-3-1.

Tottenham spent the first 40 minutes looking entirely confused, and the last 60 wondering when this might be over.


No pressing, no threat, no nothing because the team fundamentally wasn’t set up right, or fitted out with the right personnel.


Pochettino is playing a dangerous game here. 

We all knew Liverpool were going to be a bigger challenge than Manchester United and yet all Mauricio did was to set up like a swarthy Sam Allardyce.

Most depressing.






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