Chelsea 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur: Analysis of Tactics and Formations

Soccer fans will long remember the Chelsea against Tottenham Hotspur match from April 30, 2011. It featured a wonderful long-range effort from Sandro, followed by a controversial goal awarded to Frank Lampard and then a winner from Chelsea which, if you ask most people, should have been disallowed because Salomon Kalou was in an offside position.

But that was just the beginning. There was plenty of other talking points in this game, namely the tactics and formations used by both Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.

Watch the above video, and feel free to share your feedback about the analysis in the comments section below. I look forward to reading your thoughts.

4 thoughts on “Chelsea 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur: Analysis of Tactics and Formations”

  1. As someone new to watching football this year (another World Cup convert), I really liked and appreciated this video. Seeing the “chalkboards” on the Guardian website or Zonal Marking just looks like a blob of randomly placed arrows, but the way you’ve presented it here makes it much easier to understand.

    I also must mention that I liked that you also explained what the managers were thinking and how they try to play to their teams strengths while negating the strength of their opponent.

    Thank you!

  2. One point I had built towards in this video, then neglected to mention, was that the reason the Corluka injury was so big was because Bale was in a position to mark Drogba on the game-winning goal. If you check out the video again at Fox Soccer, you can see that he’s in position to control Drogba’s run forward. Anelka was also in the vicinity, and may have picked up the pieces had Bale thwarted Drogba’s run, but we won’t know for sure.

  3. Well done Earl. I agree with you, Spurs back four has been decimated by injuries and moving Bale to LB after the Corluka injury was a factor in the final goal (as was the lack of an offsides call). Spurs need to retool the back four in the upcoming transfer window but having a healthy Hutton and BAE would be a good start.

  4. Analysis of Spurs squad and needs — Sorry if it’s a little out of place but this game really highlighted some glaring weakpoints for Spurs:

    With a healthy squad Spurs have a decent amount of depth. This year they’ve been constantly short in back but if they sign too many players then some years those players never feature and get frustrated (Kranjcar in midfield, for example; although proper squad rotation would help).
    Gallas/Dawson is a good combination with Kaboul as a good backup, but how many years can they count on Gallas? To me Bassong is too much of a liability to be relied upon. So another CD is needed. Hutton is a good backup RB, more attacking then strictly defensive, but that can be good for a change of tactics. Corluka might also be a decent backup, mediocre (in my mind) at attack and defense, so quality, starting RB is needed. BAE, despite occasional lapses, is good and seems to be getting better all the time. Unless Bale is actually considered his backup who do we have?

    Midfield is very strong, and young enough to keep getting better for a long time. I really hope they manage to hold on to Kranjcar (at the expense of Jenas and even Pienar, if needed) as a backup (to VdV) attacking mid. Holding/center mids can be rotated between Modric, Hudd, Sandro, and Palacios (who is great when in good form, as he hasn’t been this season). Lennon and Bale are quality wide mids, but backup for both is a little awkward; basically can be moved out of position to cover (Modric, Kranjcar, VdV, and — if they get him back — Bentley). Bentley is better than he’s given credit for. As a contrast to Lennon’s pace, Bentley is slower but more accurate and might be a good change against some teams. No new midfield needed, though (if anything lose Jenas and Pienaar but keep Kranjcar and Bentley).

    ALL the backup players need to be played somewhat commonly, though (Kranjcar, Palacios, Kaboul, Bentley, etc) otherwise you can’t be surprised when they look a little rusty the odd day they do get to show.

    Forwards are BY FAR the weak link for Spurs. The whole team, especially midfield, is setup to support classic wings and crosses in from out wide. I think a 4-1-4-1 would work well (1 holding and 2 attacking mids + the two wings and a lone striker). Defore/Pav are (my opinion) better players, technically than Crouch, but he’s closer to what they need. He’s not good enough, though. Spurs need a strong, capable center-forward; I’m thinking (as examples, not necessarily available) Carrol, Drogba, Dzeko, or Mario Gomez. They have the delivery they just need a potent target.
    In my thinking Dzeko would be ideal. He hasn’t looked good yet but is slowly getting used to the EPL. City is more built around Tevez’ type of play (also Rooney and Saurez would work) but Dzeko doesn’t get the delivery he could use from City’s use of inverted wings.
    Spurs and Dzeko would be a great fit and Spurs has shown they’re willing to spend the money City paid for him in the first place — the biggest catch is that City also seems to have a policy of buying players just so Spurs won’t get them so this is more for Fifa than real-life. Here’s dreaming, though, and either way it’s the type of player they need.

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