Home » Analysis: After The Villa Win, Has Nuno Finally Cracked It?
Analysis: After The Villa Win, Has Nuno Finally Cracked It?
By Harry Hotspur -

Nuno made two key changes.

No Dele Alli, and he dispensed with his trusty 4-3-3 and opted for a radical 4-2-3-1. This allowed our midfield to function more satisfactorily than it has been, not to mention providing our backline with notably more cover.

Sergio Reguilon had a much-improved game. For example 92% passing accuracy. But if we’re honest with ourselves, his passing accuracy and total successful actions numbers routinely jump up when we play lesser opponents.

Against Slovenian minnows, – 90%Now you can furrow your brow all you want, but that’s the truth. Against Arsenal and Chelsea his passing slumped to 77% 82% respectively

Romero finally had a decent league game – you will recall his only other was against Chelsea.

His passing accuracy was low at 80%, but he was nice and busy elsewhere 77% duels won, 8 interceptions, and 60% of his aerial duels.

Emerson was hit-and-miss. 8 interceptions, 70% duels won, all undone by losing the ball 21 times, 7 times in our half.

Dier was solid enough, hitting 90% passing accuracy, making useful long passes, and winning 63% of his duels, plus 6 interceptions

Hojbjerg was back to his best form. Beyond what was a truly intelligent goal, we saw a 93% passing accuracy 3/3 successful dribbles, plus 5 interceptions

Skipp did not have a great game. 92% passing accuracy was pleasing, but as a defensive midfielder, he was close to being as scary as a ‘caution wet floor’ sign, winning just 3 of 20 attempted duels. Just 2 interceptions.

Tanguy struggled. Lost possession 13 times, on 4 occasions in our half. Should have been hooked at halftime. 4/4 successful dribbles

Lo Celso’s 19-minutes yielded little of note, beyond 3/3 successful crosses – but Nuno might consider this Plan B if he can’t ever squeeze more than 50/60 minutes out of the Frenchman.

Moura offered plenty of huff and puff but achieved very little. His average incidents of possession loss are 12 per game. Here, he hit 19 occasions, 7 of which were in the Spurs half.

Sonny had an influential game. An assist and 2 shot assists, plus an unrelenting appetite to make a difference

A stark contrast to Harry Kane whose numbers look like he wasn’t on the pitch for very long, despite his 96-minutes of involvement. 4 shots on target, 1 successful long pass, 1 successful dribble, 1 successful cross. Lost the ball 16 times, one 4 occasions in our own half.

I appreciate own goals are borne out of pressure, but whilst this game was an improvement, the fireworks should be stored in a cool dry place until they are truly deserved.

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Lord Croker
Lord Croker
3 months ago

The glaringly obvious decision he made was to exclude Ali. He was part of the conundrum which he finally had the balls to drop. Certainly an improvement. Now a 2 week period of banality.

JimmyGrievance
JimmyGrievance
3 months ago

One swallow doth not a summer make.

Villa are organised but they ain’t no top 10 team. Bit like the pub team we beat on Thurs. Soft opposition we should expect to beat. Let’s see how we fayre against better opposition.

We let, or rather Dier let them score yesterday we also conceded against the pub team. We need an unbeaten run and not to concede stupid goals. If we can do that, then yes, Nuno may have finally cracked it.

coys1882
coys1882
3 months ago
Reply to  JimmyGrievance

You seem oblivious to the fact that Villa were above us in the table before the match, plus had a 7 goal better goal differential and were just coming off of a deserved win at Old Trafford. Far from being a ‘pub team’, they are a well organised, hard, physical, outfit, who are still a top 10 team even after our victory.

So setting your rather blase comments about ‘expecting’ to beat them aside, I am sure most of us, at least those not disconnected from the reality of the present, grasped the concept of just how poor we had been recently and were therefore happy for the win, as well as a much improved performance!

coys1882
coys1882
3 months ago

Agreed H. A definite improvement because the tactics and personnel selection were spot on, unlike the disastrous personnel selection and formation employed against the Arse, which was only remedied at half-time after the damage had been done.

Hojberg and Skipp in tandem offer greatly improved defensive solidity with Ndombele being given licence to roam, simply on the basis that he cannot defend, but is our most creative midfielder. I thought Emerson and Romero both had good games and handled Villa’s physicality well (unlike Tomiyasu against Brighton!)

Sonny was the outstanding performer for us and Harry once again looked utterly perfunctory (aside from that sublime back heel and an almost brilliant free-kick), only emphasizing what a huge mistake it was not to sell him in the Summer. Notwithstanding, an improved performance and at least a step in the right direction.

Glory Costs Too Much
Glory Costs Too Much
3 months ago
Reply to  coys1882

Yep Tommy didn’t look so hot against Brighton did he? Maybe we plumped for the best option after all. I think N’Dombele will gradually improve given plenty of game time, and as you say he’s the closest we have to a creative midfielder.

Sonificent
Sonificent
3 months ago

We must be paying Alli, GLC and Tanguy around 400k per week and not one is a decent option replacing Eriksen – even as he faded in the last 18 months at the club. Levynomics at its finest.

Harry
Harry
3 months ago

It’s not rocket science, we have to play 4231 with the current squad. 9 players pick themselves, the only 2 places which are up for discussion is who partners Romero and who plays number 10

Our squad is too lightweight….15 players you could rely on, the rest is deadwood.

Until this is resolved we are where we are

Dino
Dino
3 months ago
Reply to  Harry

Largely agree but I’d be tempted to drop Kane…he hasnt had much service but his body language understandably isnt great .. may give him the kick he needs as it will be difficult to remain England captain if hes on the bench for an extended period…

Glory Costs Too Much
Glory Costs Too Much
3 months ago

Probably best summed up as “a step in the right direction” then.

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