Monday, 17 October 2016

Wanyama nominated for an award

Summer signing Victor Wanyama has been shortlisted for the Confederation of African Football (CAF) African Player of the Year 2016 Award.

He is one of 30 nominees who include last year's winner Pierre Emerick Aubemeyang of Gabon and German side Borussia Dortmund. The favourite is 25-year-old (26 next February) Algeria and Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez.

The full list of nominees are:

1. Riyad Mahrez (Algeria & Leicester City) 
2. El Arabi Hillel Soudani (Algeria & Dinamo Zagreb) 
3. Islam Slimani (Algeria & Leicester City) 
4. Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon & Antalyaspor) 
5. Benjamin Mounkandjo (Cameroon & Lorient) 
6. Serge Aurier (Cote d'Ivoire & PSG) 
7. Eric Bailly (Cote d'Ivoire & Manchester United) 
8. Yao Kouasi Gervais 'Gervinho' (Cote d'Ivoire & Hebei Fortune) 
9. Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Roma) 
10. Mohamed El Neny (Egypt & Arsenal) 
11. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon & Dortmund) 
12. Andre Ayew (Ghana & West Ham United) 
13. Victor Wanyama (Kenya & Tottenham Hotspur) 
14. William Jebor (Liberia & Wydad Athletic Club) 
15. Mehdi Benatia (Morocco & Juventus) 
16. Hakim Ziyech (Morocco & Ajax) 
17. John Mikel Obi (Nigeria & Chelsea) 
18. Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria & Manchester City) 
19. Ahmed Musa (Nigeria & Leicester City) 
20. Cedric Bakambu (DR Congo & Villareal) 
21. Yannick Bolasie (DR Congo & Everton) 
22. Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool) 
23. Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal & Napoli) 
24. Keegan Dolly (South Africa & Mamelodi Sundowns) 
25. Itumeleng Khune (South Africa & Kaizer Chiefs) 
26. Mbwana Samatta (Tanzania & Genk) 
27. Aymen Abdennour Tunisia & Valencia) 
28. Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia & Sunderland) 
29. Dennis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns) 
30. Khama Billiat (Zimbabwe & Mamelodi Sundowns).

Lloris 22.22% success rate

Captain and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has faced 58 penalties in his career and saved 8 of them against Sergio Agüero (Manchester City), Mark Noble (West Ham United), Steve Sidwell (Fulham) and Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace).

The 29-year-old (30 in December) French national captain has faced 18 penalties while playing for Spurs, saving 4 and letting in 14, a 22.22% success rate. His career success rate is 13.79%.

Our number two, 32-year-old (33 in 3 days) Dutch international Michel Vorm, has faced 2 penalties for Spurs and both have been scored from. James Milner scored for Liverpool earlier in the Premier League and Jerónimo Barrales scored for Asteras Tripolis in the Europa League.

Over his career Vorm has also saved 8 penalties and let in 27, a total of 35 faced and a career success rate of 22.86%.

Number three, 21-year-old (22 in December) Spanish Under-21 goalkeeper Pau López, has faced 10 penalties in his short career and has saved 1 of them, a 10% success rate.

Pochettino press vs Gegenpressing

Pochettino press vs Gegenpressing

The fascinating game taking place tomorrow sees two different pressing styles come up against each other.

Gegenpressing basically means the counter pressing. It is a system that means you swarm the opposition when you lose the ball to get it back as quickly as possible. It is the same system that Jurgen Klopp plays and we looked as if we struggled against it when we played them earlier in the season.

Our back line particularly looked under pressure and not as sure of themselves as they normally do even when other sides try to press as WBA did at times. How we handle that tomorrow, particularly at the back, may well determine the outcome of the game.

Pochettino uses a zonal pressing system with the side looking for specific cues such as a player in his own third facing his goal. Against Manchester City, this morphed into more of a Marcelo Bielsa pressing style, which is basically man marking.

Playing a pressing system requires not only fitness but football intelligence and thus we have had to rid ourselves of limited players. It was one of the criteria Sir Alex Ferguson looked for in players and one that we didn't used to do enough of. Not all players can take on new systems and thus underperform at unsuitable clubs. There is a lot of work that goes into closing down passing lanes effectively as part of a team.

We use lateral passing to move an opposition's defence around from side to side until a gap appears. Where we sometimes struggle against a packed defence is that we don't shift it side to side quick enough. The less time the defence have, the greater chance for a mistake and a gap to appear. When it does we need to be more clinical in taking advantage of it.

An article worth reading

Danny Higginbotham was a former centre-half who now writes for the Sun and feels stories of Tottenham suffering burn out last season are complete rubbish, which I entirely agree with as you know.

He goes on to explain in his article and Spurs approach under Pochettino of the 'four-second press' to stop counter attacks and explain the press, retreat, breather; press, retreat, breather system we use. It is a nice piece that is simple to understand and will give a useful insight for some fans.

The Sun

Against Bayer Leverkusen tomorrow we will be coming up against a team who also use a high press, it is more prevalent in the Bundesliga than the Premier League. We will be under pressure and will have to deal with that ourselves, while they will have more experience than we have playing against it.

It makes for a fascinating game.

Why Wimmer will not cover for Alderweireld

Tottenham will look to Eric Dier to step into the Toby Alderweireld position on the right-hand side of the centre-back pairing because he is right-footed.

Fans calling for Kevin Wimmer have totally missed the fact he is left-footed and thus would be called upon to keep using his wrong foot thus maximising the chances of an error. You see it all the time, players go for the ball with the wrong foot and while it may be only a small point to some, it is an important one for a team challenging at the top.

Every little detail and edge matters and when he was bought Pochettino felt he could develop into an excellent centre-back, despite him having to cover at right-back. Since then he has moved into the defensive midfield position he played at Sporting rather successfully.

Cameron Carter-Vickers who is learning his trade will get his next game against Liverpool in the League Cup at Anfield on 25 October I expect.