Tottenham Hotspur Need to Push the Attack and Forget Hanging on to Leads

Trent Scott@ IIINovember 1, 2012

NORWICH, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 31:  Alex Tettey of Norwich City celebrates a goal during the Capital One Cup Fourth Round match between Norwich City and Tottenham Hotspur at Carrow Road on October 31, 2012 in Norwich, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur had a second date with Norwich this term Wednesday night in the Capital One Cup and, for the second time this term, took the lead midway through the second half.

And, much like in the first meeting, Norwich drew level late on some rather suspect defending.

Unlike the last meeting, Norwich went on to find a winner.

Tottenham had a chance to send the match at Carrow Road but Clint Dempsey did not cover himself in glory after his spot kick was saved by Canary back stop Mark Bunn.

Why Spurs were in this position, however, has been readily apparent multiple times this season: they stop attacking.

Fans who have been watching the Premier League and cup matches this term have noticed that a fair amount of score lines have been staggering

Arsenal’s 7-5 win over Reading and Chelsea’s 5-4 win over Manchester United, following a 3-2 loss, are just the latest examples of Goals Gone Wild.

Tottenham are no exception to this trend as they have gotten into a bad habit of taking a lead and allowing the opposition chances to get a result by simply taking their foot off the pedal.

It’s not a secret right now that the defense, which has been given a hard time by myself and others, is not of the same quality that the attack is.

It does lead to the question: why stop attacking?

Clearly Spurs have been kicking themselves for blowing opportunities to score this season but often they are drawing and losing matches when they stop creating chances altogether.

Outside of scything Marc Tierney, Gareth Bale once again had Norwich players and fans alike holding their collective breaths every time he dribbled at the defense.

It is, therefore, a mystery when they take the fate of the match out of the attack and put it into the hands of the defense.

Clubs around England are not defending very well. Why go with the flow?

Against Southampton during the weekend, when Spurs collected their second goal, they began to coast towards the finish line, expecting that the Saints, who had been better since the interval, would simply fall apart.

But, much like Tottenham, Southampton’s offense is far better than their defense and they relished the chance to get on the front foot and attack.

As they have shown multiple times already, the south coast outfit can score and they nearly snatched a draw that Spurs could ill-afford to give up.

Tottenham have had leads in every match after the opener against Newcastle and aside from the 0-0 draw against Lazio. Only an inept Aston Villa side, Carlisle United and QPR, who had scored the opener, did not score after Spurs had taken the lead.

For whatever reason, the message that the North London outfit is not good at holding leads has reached everyone except, you know, said North London outfit.

Until they can shore up the defense, Tottenham have to keep pushing the attack and not allowing teams to settle into a rhythm.

Norwich is not on the same plain as Tottenham but when Spurs, or any club for that matter, allow another club to boss the match, they are setting themselves up for defeat.

Arsenal spotted Reading four goals before they took charge of the match and potted five unanswered goals.

What happened after that fifth goal? The Gunners sat back…and promptly gave up a goal!

It matters little that the players on the pitch were not the first choice outfit; they had already given up four goals yet expected that line to hold off the attack.

Only when they were forced to go back on the attack did they win the match.

The same applied to Manchester United against Chelsea in both matches this week.

United grabbed leads and expected the defense to hold onto them. Normally, it would be a pretty safe bet that the Red Devils could do that.

Of late, that is very much not the case.

In two matches now, both back lines have shipped seven goals apiece.

Considering both are ahead of Tottenham, and even if they were using some backup defenders, what on earth makes Spurs think their back line is going to hold up any better?

While clubs are going to have stretches in matches where they get into small attacking grooves, quality teams limit them to short stretches and go back to defining the tempo of the match.

For now, Tottenham’s best course is to make attack their best form of defense.

A lead is currently the most suspect thing in the Premier League this campaign.

And yes, that even includes the officials.


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