I decided to have a look at four of Tottenham's games in April against Wigan and Everton in the Premier League and the two games against FC Basel. In ALL of those games, Spurs conceded from corners so I wanted to see where things went wrong and the potential for Chelsea to expose those areas again.
As the ball is swung over, Tottenham seem to be looking OK. Everyone is covered with men to spare. However, Two Wigan forwards make their move to the near post and THREE defenders go with them. Loris in goal is left standing still as the goal scorer is about to make his run. He is being covered by Jan Vertonghen.
Now look! Loris is stuck on his line. The three defenders who have moved towards the near post to cover the movement of the forwards have no realised the ball is sailing over their heads and Vertonghen realises that Boyce has made his move and is too slow to react.
Another clearer angle. Look at Loris, look at the three defenders all ball watching and Vertonghen and Boyce at the back post.
As the ball comes over look what has happened. Loris is still stuck on his line. Four defenders have been taken out of the game as the ball was played to the back post and Vertonghen was too slow to react to the run of Boyce and he has leaped above him to head the ball down into the empty corner of the net. Notice no one on the posts for Spurs either.
Everton at home.
The same thing happens again, this time at home to Everton. Tottenham get caught ball watching with plenty of defenders in the box to cover. The ball is played to the back post and Vertonghen gets caught out again.
I have scrolled forward to the moment Jagielka wins the header and scores. Just look at what happened again. The three players towards the outside of the area haven't moved. Three defenders made moves to the near post and have been taken out of the game and Loris has hardly come off his line to punch or catch the ball and is out of position.
Guess what, Jagielka has out jumped Jan Vertonghen as he had the run on him again.
Basel at home.
It doesn't get any better in this game either. Again people are getting caught out ball watching and moving to cover the near post as the goal scorer makes a move towards the far post and scores.
Now looking at the way Spurs have set up it looks OK. Two men on the posts this time, three men on the edge of the six yard box, two marking the runners including our mate Vertonghen. Once again though, the defenders on the edge of the area are just making up the numbers.
Look at what has happened as the ball is struck. For some reason the defender has moved away from the front post. Two Basel forwards make their run towards the near post and Vertonghen makes his move to cover the run. The goal scorer has made one move forward and then checked his run and made a second move to the far post and has left his man for dead as he is caught ball watching.
Vertonghen has been beaten in the air again at the near post. The three players who were on the six yard box are standing still as the ball is flicked over them. Adebayor, arguably the tallest player in their team is beaten marking no one as the goal scorer has a free header into the bottom corner and scores.
Final example but again a common trend. It's the near post again as this time Vertonghen loses his man.
A familiar set up again. Men on the outside of the area doing nothing. Attackers about to make runs towards the near post. Tottenham defenders on the six yard box and covering the near post runs.
A better angle this time. The ball has been played in and three Basel attackers have made their move towards the near post. Three defenders are on the outside doing nothing. A defender is on the near post as three others try and cover the near post runs.
Vertonghen has been beaten as the attacker has got ahead of him, goal side and has managed to head the ball goal wards. Three other defenders are now in and around the goalkeeper in addition to the man on the front post.
The keeper makes a great save to deny the header but FIVE defenders have been taken out of the game leaving one of the attackers unmarked to tap home the rebound. The man on the near post has not moved forwards to close down the attacker and remains standing still.
- Chelsea must set themselves up to attack corners at the near post.
- Ivanovic, Luiz, Cahill, Terry, Torres - whoever starts must attack that area
- The likes of Ramires, Lampard, Mata, Hazard, Oscar to remain on the far post
- Vertonghen will pick up our biggest goal threat - expose his lack of ability in the air
- Take advantage of Loris and his weakness of dealing with corners, coming off his line
- Expose the defenders literally doing nothing on the outside of the box with a late run.
In what appears to be a tight game tonight with plenty at stake, these are two evenly matched sides. Chelsea CAN score from corners tonight and if we can keep Jan Vertonghen isolated, we can score!
Rafa Benitez and the Chelsea players - please take note!
Carefree & KTBFFH!