Tottenham, Newcastle, and a game of inches and goalkeepers 1

Remember Al Pacino’s speech in Any Given Sunday?

When I saw Brad Friedel’s name on the team-sheet yesterday, I knew that at some point Tottenham would miss Hugo Lloris’ speed off his line, be it in a one-on-one situation or from a defensive set-piece.

Here’s the start of the move which led to the game’s only goal:

This develops because of a series of mistakes from Tottenham players, so don’t think that the blame for this lies solely at Friedel’s door - it’s merely a point about what the American can and can not do at 42 years of age.

The ball which puts Loic Remy in on goal is really well-weighted, and the forward takes his opportunity brilliantly - but his first-touch doesn’t occur until he’s inside the penalty-box. The ball has traveled almost thirty yards by that point, and Friedel still isn’t beyond his penalty-spot and, subsequently, is gifting Remy with the space and angle with which he eventually goes around him.

If Lloris is on the pitch, Newcastle don’t score from this move.

There were many other issues yesterday, and Tottenham had the chances to render Newcastle’s solitary goal obsolete, but they didn’t and hence this moment remains the most relevant.

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