Spurs to a 442. Having a system you believe in is important. Knowing when to change it to counter opposition is just as valuable. #avb
Villas-Boas still waiting for first win after Spurs falter late again
What happened to the attacking team that was a joy watch? Thus far the AVB era at White Heart Lane has been marred by timid play and strange tactical decisions. Up 1-0 against West Brom last week, Villas-Boas opted to replace Jermain Defoe for Jermaine Jenas. The decision proved costly – James Morrison equalized in the 90th minute and two points were lost.
History repeated itself today. Nursing a one goal lead – thanks to a marvelous Moussa Dembele strike, this guy is pretty good – Defoe was once again taken off, this time for Tom Huddlestone in the 82nd minute. Three minutes later Scotsman Robert Snodgrass leveled the game. Norwich were the better side for the majority of the match. Manager Chris Houghton’s homecoming saw The Canaries dominate the midfield and befuddle a Spurs squad that was booed off the pitch after 45 minutes.
It is rash to write off AVB’s ability to turn things around, but the same issues that plagued him at Chelsea have been on display with Spurs. Defensively, Tottenham is not strong enough to sit back and play to the final whistle. While attacking with a lead opens up vulnerabilities to counter attacks – it also allows a team with immense talent to do what they do best. Via opta sports, Villas-Boas has picked up only three wins from his last 15 Premier League matches as a manager.
Much has been made of the business Spurs conducted this week – the additions of Dembele, Dempsey and Loris are big – but this season will be defined by AVB’s ability to adapt his style to suit the players at his disposal.
After a lackadaisical first half he did just that, bringing on Adebayor and Dembele. 11 minutes after Adebayor’s arrival they got their goal. While AVB showed he was willing to change, the Defoe substitution shows he has a ways to go. Huddlestone received a straight red minutes after he came on – not AVB’s fault of course, but the sub is even more damning in light of it.
It’s a process – a frustrating one at that for Spurs supporters.