Tottenham Hotspur have been struggling to re-establish themselves in the Premier League since the Pochettino days. With few new players and a new manager, the team is currently in a rebuilding stage. Although Nuno has been experimenting with the formation, the Lilywhites have failed to create any major impact through their gameplay. They have been facing positional issues for a long time now and Nuno has failed to utilize Harry Kane and Son.
Tottenham responded to their 3-1 battering at the hand of their London rivals Arsenal by scraping a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa last weekend. They are currently placed eighth in the Premier League, grabbing points from their opening seven encounters. So far, they have registered four wins and three losses. Since the start of the season, Nuno has been struggling to find the right formation and the players who can provide them with an edge over their opponents.
In their previous game against Aston Villa, Nuno changed the position from a 4-3-3 to a 4-2-3-1. Dele Alli was benched and Hojbjerg and Skipp protected the back four. Nuno’s tinkering with the formation seemed to have worked in the game against Villa as they controlled the game and had better protection for their defence. In Ndombele pushed higher up the pitch to provide Spurs with an option to press and hound the opposition defenders.
Let’s look at the stats to understand the impact of change in formation and the areas where they can improve.
As displayed in the average position, the Spurs players occupied many spaces in the opponents half. Skipp and Hojbjerg sat in their own half to intercept any threats that Villa might pose, this allowed Ndombele to push up in the opposition half. Because of the change in formation Tottenham Hotspur had more freedom in the opponent half than their previous games.
Tottenham did not shy away from taking the shots in the opponent goal, as evident by their shot map. They took a total of 17 shots with seven of them being on target. They had plenty of shots both from inside and outside the opposition box.
Tottenham sit near the bottom at 17th place both in terms of xG and xG per 90. Despite having the attacking and goal-scoring talents in the name of Harry Kane and Son they haven’t been able to score many goals. If Spurs are to create more threat in the opposition goal they need to utilize Son more. In the game against Villa, he caused huge problems on the left-wing as Villa defenders struggled to keep up with him. He was the creative mind behind both of the Spurs goals and he allowed his teammates to get into position near the opposition box.
Tottenham sit at the second last spot in the successful progressive passes per 90 and successful progressive passes. This is an area where they can improve going forward.
Spurs narrow win against Villa can definitely be the launching pad for their season they were better organized in the defence and were threatening in their attacks. Perhaps Nuno should stick with 4-3-2-1 formation for his side’s upcoming games rather than more open 4-3-3 formation. Tottenham will be tested again after the international break as they make a visit to St. James’ Park their opponents, Newcastle will be desperately looking for their first win of the season.