How can Tottenham Hotspur Women improve their worrying WSL performances and results? – scout report
Tottenham Hotspur Women have been making numerous successive negative results lately following a not-so-convincing start of the season. As a result, they are actually holding the 9th spot in the WSL and they are still failing to improve their situation at the moment. In fact, Tottenham made some significant transfers during the summer transfer window, especially from an attacking perspective since they signed Beth England from Chelsea and Celin Bizet Ildhusøy from Paris Saint-Germain and they loaned Mana Iwabuchi from Arsenal as well. One can say that such names could have normally performed better from an attacking perspective and contributed to making Tottenham win more points.
However, it is important to note that football is a team sport that requires readiness and excellent performance from all players plus adequate tactics and movements on the pitch in order to perform well and challenge the best teams.
In this tactical analysis scout report, we will be exploring what is going wrong at Tottenham so far despite their key signings which did not only occur in attack but also in defence since they have recently signed Tottenham Hotspur who came from Orlando Pride and who has experience in the WSL, knowing that she played for Manchester United previously.
The analysis will consist of analysing Tottenham’s seasonal statistics so far and comparing them to those of some of the top WSL teams to note what is inferior to the standards and needs to be improved, and what is already excellent. Moreover, the article will focus on the defensive issues and the attacking aspect of the team.
Tottenham’s defensive statistics can be considered as worrying and not good enough for a team that intends to compete for the top spots and disturb the top three. In fact, Tottenham concede a lot from high pressing and can’t resist such pressing, which indicates that there is a problem in the team’s build-up phase under pressure. Rehanne Skinner should therefore look for alternatives to their build-up strategies and resort to more direct solutions if possible in order to prevent teams with high-pressing abilities and who have quick attacking players from succeeding in their plans.
Resorting to long passes or direct distributions to the wings would represent a possible effective solution to this issue that is causing problems to Tottenham’s defence. Moreover, what is also worrying is that the team’s passing and goalscoring statistics are all below the average. The team does not have a lot of possession per match and do not provide key passes in an efficient way. Individual and collective training on the importance of passing and key passing towards the box and the final third would help improve Tottenham’s midfield performances.
This lack of key passing impacts automatically the average of xG and the number of shots per match. Therefore, it would be very important to tackle this issue concretely while working on the attacking players’ finishing abilities as well.
Comparison with Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City
It is true that comparing these three teams with Tottenham doesn’t need an answer since we all know that Tottenham is inferior to these teams in terms of performances and results so far. Nevertheless, comparing Tottenham to Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City gives us an idea of the difference between these teams and more importantly, it allows us to spot where Tottenham should improve in order to get closer to these teams in the standings and in terms of performances.
In fact, it is very easy to notice from these pizza charts that the three teams’ attacking and midfield statistics are way higher than those of Tottenham, which explains their poor attacking performances. Tottenham will have to work a lot on passing and on movements inside the final third in order to improve their xG per match and their shooting rates too. Nevertheless, it is important to note that not only Tottenham are suffering from high pressing but also Arsenal and Manchester City. Only Chelsea are having excellent statistics in this regard. This is not an excuse to not work on alleviating the high-pressing impacts on Tottenham’s defence but it just shows that this is not too simple to fix and that most teams are suffering from it.
Attacking and defensive issues
Tottenham’s attacking issues are mainly related to poor finishing and at times to the lack of ideas inside the final third. Moreover, being slow in the build-up and always having less possession than the opposing teams reduces the team’s goalscoring chances per match.
Nevertheless, we need to say that Tottenham’s attacking players are good enough and can cause trouble to any WSL defence. The following example shows how Tottenham were able to exclude Manchester United’s defenders thanks to an excellent key pass from Iwabuchi to England. However, the latter missed the chance in a strange way since she was not even able to shoot at goal despite having the time for shooting accurately.
From a defensive perspective, Tottenham often commit some dangerous defensive errors inside their half and these errors lead to conceding goals. The team’s defensive players are a bit too slow and therefore they suffer a lot when playing against teams with quick attacking players such as Chelsea. In order to resist such teams, it is preferable to not use high defensive blocks and remain low to prevent counter-attacking opportunities.
Tottenham, however, preferred to remain high during some instances of their match against Chelsea and their aim was to prevent Chelsea from reaching their half. They were ultimately punished by Guro Reiten who intercepted the ball from Tottenham’s Ildhusøy and found herself alone in front of goal with plenty of time to make a shooting decision and score while there was no one from Tottenham well-placed to cover for their teammate.
In addition to this type of error, Tottenham committed numerous mistakes in their own half ranging from marking errors to goalkeeper errors (such as the dribbling error against Everton). Plus, the team suffers a lot during counter-attacks and can’t really prevent quick players from reaching the box in such situations. The following example shows how both Tottenham players were not able to catch West Ham’s forward and prevent her from reaching the goal or at least deviating the shot despite being on the same line with her at the beginning of the action.
Tottenham Women failed to achieve their seasonal goals so far and they are not putting on convincing performances despite being able to score more goals recently, especially against Chelsea. A lot of work is still needed from the coaching staff and from the players in order to improve their situation and why not achieve a winning series very soon?
But in order to do that, they will have to be much more decisive inside the final third in terms of passes and finishing. And more importantly, they will need to be more compact and aggressive in defence either in marking or in chasing players in open-play situations. To succeed in this, the defensive line must be quicker and playing with a very high defensive block needs to be avoided for the moment to not concede easy goals.