Tottenham Hotspur Need More Focus, Less Fouls Defensively

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 22: Jose Mourinho, Manager of Tottenham (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 22: Jose Mourinho, Manager of Tottenham (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images) /
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Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur (Photo by Newcastle United/Getty Images) /

Spurs and Set Pieces

Three of the seven dead ball goals given up by Tottenham have come directly from a free kick and were scored with headers. One was the corner Lokomotiv scored to put a scare into Spurs at the start of Europa League qualifying. The other two were more damaging as both Everton and West Ham scored on nearly identical set pieces and it cost Tottenham five points.

In both instances Spurs committed – or were called – for a foul 40 to 45 yards away from goal, which is about 15 yards or so into the defensive half. If these fouls were in the middle of the pitch it probably would not be much of a problem, but given both occurred near the right touchline, now you are talking about the opposition having an angle to make things interesting.

Interesting indeed as Dominic Calvert-Lewin headed home the only goal in the opening day loss to Everton while Balbuena’s header gave West Ham late life in a draw that will be hard to forget. The plays were nearly identical for the opposition with flighted balls coming in from the right of the goal, just too far away from the net for the keeper, meaning it comes down to marking. Marking ultimately comes down to concentration and all it takes is a loss of concertation for one second and that results in the goal.

Now we can argue about the calls with  FOUR penalty kicks already converted against Tottenham in just 10 matches, but it is what it is. Those four penalty kicks – some more dubiously called than others – plus those three set pieces account for 7 of those 13 goals, which is just over 60%. While the penalty kicks against Southampton, Maccabi Haifa, and Manchester United ultimately did not hurt the team; that late penalty called against Newcastle – again costing Spurs two points – sure did hurt.

Seven is the number here, seven dead ball goals conceded, seven points dropped, all in the Premier League. On the one hand we can see Spurs 2-2-1 start and think it is okay, as they have not lost since opening day, but on the other hand, they should not even of lost then if not for a couple lapses in concentration.