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Nabil Bentaleb

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If you are good enough you are old enough. Hardly madness, what have you been watching?

You lose your position if you've not played well, and our central midfielders have been pretty shite this year and last in terms of creativity. Sandro is immense on the defensive side, ball winning and physical presence, releases the ball early, tries to be progressive and shouldn't really be criticised. But Dembele and Paulinho have shown a lack of know how in how to play the position effectively. They are only higher standard Jenas's in the position so far. Dembele is a gifted player but he's not one to know when to release the ball well unless he's further up the pitch. Pauli doesn't do anything but sideways passes until he gets around the box and then he's good.

Bentaleb has shown he is a very good player with great ability and an old head. Talking about injuries or only getting a chance because of this or that is irrelevant. What does that matter? The fact is he got a chance and he's shown better ball retention and control of the passing than any other central midfielder this season. He also possibly has a better shot given the ones he's had a go at so far. These are things we have needed in central midfield. A top side requires a player that can control the tempo from midfield.

That's a basic and he's been the best at it without any doubt.

So hardly madness to suggest he should keep his place. More mad to suggest others should automatically retain their place, especially when Dembele and Paulinho been inferior.

Sherwood seems to like to play a box to box man with the passer so he might keep Dembele there but he seems to want him to break forward more. That might work very well, but the bread and butter of the position will have to come from someone like Bentaleb. Otherwise you end up with a Lampard Gerrard type combo, strong players no doubt, but there's no guile or control of the ball from midfield, which really hurts the team overall.

Dembele is the best player central player we have. Bentaleb can't wipe his arse. I have no doubt that Bentaleb will be a good player but TS has been using him because Paulinho and Sandro have not been available and he clearly does not trust Capoue. You have your opinion and I have mine. Dembele is criticized for not scoring more, comments like, with his talent blah blah blah. But he does everything well, wins the ball well, works hard, fantastic dribbler, decent passer and will score the odd goal. He is a beast, physically dominant. Did you ever think that part of why bentaleb has managed to do well is the fact that Dembele has played with him? I have said it before and will say it again. Dembele is perhaps save Adebayor the most important player in the squad.

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Still think we've been incredibly lucky, palace should have turned us over in the first half and swansea definitely had there chances and Man U should have knicked a draw, but to be honest I couldn't give a fuck the arseholes have been getting away with this for years..I've definitely seen an improvement but were definitely not as strong as our results suggest, I'm just hoping the players believe there proformances are better than they actually were and it breeds a fake confidence to push on with.

I think Sherwoods given things to the squad that you can't learn and that's believe, confidence and security to the players he believes can do the job, I'm personally annoyed we haven't seen more of lamela but I think he'll do right by him, Bentalabs been a great find, naughton has played by far he's best football under Tim as has freyers and paulinho one game wonder, chadli been piss poor soldado played he's best football for us but still needs massive improvement also eriksens playing his best football..think Tim has addressed simple but massive issues within the team and has started making his personal touches..

I'm not totally sold on Tim but I'm more than interested at this point to see what he can do for the club and will continue my support untill he gives real reason not to.

Lamela has been out with a thigh injury so couldn't play anyway.

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Dembele is the best player central player we have. Bentaleb can't wipe his arse. I have no doubt that Bentaleb will be a good player but TS has been using him because Paulinho and Sandro have not been available and he clearly does not trust Capoue. You have your opinion and I have mine. Dembele is criticized for not scoring more, comments like, with his talent blah blah blah. But he does everything well, wins the ball well, works hard, fantastic dribbler, decent passer and will score the odd goal. He is a beast, physically dominant. Did you ever think that part of why bentaleb has managed to do well is the fact that Dembele has played with him? I have said it before and will say it again. Dembele is perhaps save Adebayor the most important player in the squad.

I'm not questioning Dembele's abilities.  I think he's a gifted player and very capable off the ball.  But he doesn't do everything well, he clearly lacks a good football brain for passing and also goalscoring, despite all the athleticism and skill level in the world.  And saying Bentaleb can't wipe his arse is very short sighted.  He's a gifted player as well, anyone can see that straight away.  TS knows how good he is and based on how he's done he should keep him in there, which he probably will.  Just because a player is young or doesn't have a big name doesn't mean he won't be a big name.

 

It's not even about who is better it is about what a team needs.  Dembele, Pauli, Sandro all bring power in one way or another, but they lack creativity and passing skill.  Bentaleb is strong and creative.  He can't dribble like Dembele but do you need that in central midfield?  Time will tell you what an outstanding player he is.

 

A top team has to have someone to pass the ball well out from midfield, keep it moving and control the tempo.  You can get away with it a lot of the time when the players are strong, but over a season there will definitely be times when you get found out.  That's one of the main reasons we've had issues winning at home when teams sit back.  There's no one to play a quick incisive pass or to control good moves forward.

 

I'm more surprised than anyone that we've plucked this gem that is looking around him before he gets the ball and passes the ball so well.  He's got more of the attributes you need in that position than those around him, despite their brilliance in some regards.

 

I think he can work very well with either a box to box man like Dembele or Pauli or a holding player like Sandro.  But whether those players can function as well together is much more doubtful.  They've had many issues together so far.  And its pretty obvious why since they are all physically gifted but not ones blessed with great football brains or passing.

 

That's the reason England have had so many issues in the last ten years, because of the obsession with power and leaving out the guile.  There's been a litany of parterships like Gerrard, Lampard, Parker Gerrard etc.  One manager after another failed to see the biggest problem they had with quality passing.

 

When they had at least one football brain and passer in the middle of the park like Scholes or Gazza they had a chance.  It's not an argument of who is better it is about getting the right ingredients where you need it on the pitch first and foremost.

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I'm not questioning Dembele's abilities.  I think he's a gifted player and very capable off the ball.  But he doesn't do everything well, he clearly lacks a good football brain for passing and also goalscoring, despite all the athleticism and skill level in the world.  And saying Bentaleb can't wipe his arse is very short sighted.  He's a gifted player as well, anyone can see that straight away.  TS knows how good he is and based on how he's done he should keep him in there, which he probably will.  Just because a player is young or doesn't have a big name doesn't mean he won't be a big name.

 

It's not even about who is better it is about what a team needs.  Dembele, Pauli, Sandro all bring power in one way or another, but they lack creativity and passing skill.  Bentaleb is strong and creative.  He can't dribble like Dembele but do you need that in central midfield?  Time will tell you what an outstanding player he is.

 

A top team has to have someone to pass the ball well out from midfield, keep it moving and control the tempo.  You can get away with it a lot of the time when the players are strong, but over a season there will definitely be times when you get found out.  That's one of the main reasons we've had issues winning at home when teams sit back.  There's no one to play a quick incisive pass or to control good moves forward.

 

I'm more surprised than anyone that we've plucked this gem that is looking around him before he gets the ball and passes the ball so well.  He's got more of the attributes you need in that position than those around him, despite their brilliance in some regards.

 

I think he can work very well with either a box to box man like Dembele or Pauli or a holding player like Sandro.  But whether those players can function as well together is much more doubtful.  They've had many issues together so far.  And its pretty obvious why since they are all physically gifted but not ones blessed with great football brains or passing.

 

That's the reason England have had so many issues in the last ten years, because of the obsession with power and leaving out the guile.  There's been a litany of parterships like Gerrard, Lampard, Parker Gerrard etc.  One manager after another failed to see the biggest problem they had with quality passing.

 

When they had at least one football brain and passer in the middle of the park like Scholes or Gazza they had a chance.  It's not an argument of who is better it is about getting the right ingredients where you need it on the pitch first and foremost.

Bentaleb is not the player (at least not yet) that passes the ball out of from midfield. He doesn't lose possession but he also does not make deep penetrating passes. His stats show so well because he plays short and simple passes. This is the same thing Dembele does and takes criticism for FFS. I agree bentaleb could well be a top player but at this moment in his development I just cannot see how anyone could pick him over the likes of Dembélé, Paulinho and Sandro, especially against the likes of City.

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Bentaleb is not the player (at least not yet) that passes the ball out of from midfield. He doesn't lose possession but he also does not make deep penetrating passes. His stats show so well because he plays short and simple passes. This is the same thing Dembele does and takes criticism for FFS. I agree bentaleb could well be a top player but at this moment in his development I just cannot see how anyone could pick him over the likes of Dembélé, Paulinho and Sandro, especially against the likes of City.

Team game, getting a group of players to work together and compliment each other......

As long as the team wins it doesn't matter about stats.....

IMHO

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Bentaleb is not the player (at least not yet) that passes the ball out of from midfield. He doesn't lose possession but he also does not make deep penetrating passes. His stats show so well because he plays short and simple passes. This is the same thing Dembele does and takes criticism for FFS. I agree bentaleb could well be a top player but at this moment in his development I just cannot see how anyone could pick him over the likes of Dembélé, Paulinho and Sandro, especially against the likes of City.

Forward passes by Bentaleb v Swansea, 31, and 87% success: http://www.fourfourtwo.com/statszone/8-2013/matches/695118/player-stats/126407/1_PASS_14#tabs-wrapper-anchor

Forward passes by Dembele v Swansea, 19, and 79% success: http://www.fourfourtwo.com/statszone/8-2013/matches/695118/player-stats/39104/1_PASS_14#tabs-wrapper-anchor

Tackles by Bentaleb v Swansea, 9, 9 out of 9 successful: http://www.fourfourtwo.com/statszone/8-2013/matches/695118/player-stats/126407/3_DEFENCE_01#tabs-wrapper-anchor

Tackles by Dembele v Swansea, 5, 4 out of 5 successful: http://www.fourfourtwo.com/statszone/8-2013/matches/695118/player-stats/39104/3_DEFENCE_01#tabs-wrapper-anchor

Interceptions by Bentaleb v Swansea, 3: http://www.fourfourtwo.com/statszone/8-2013/matches/695118/player-stats/126407/3_DEFENCE_02#tabs-wrapper-anchor

Interceptions by Dembele v Swansea, 1: http://www.fourfourtwo.com/statszone/8-2013/matches/695118/player-stats/39104/3_DEFENCE_02#tabs-wrapper-anchor

Long passing is possibly not a strength of Bentaleb's, but he's a lovely passer of the ball overall. Xavi doesn't hit many long passes either and he's one of the best midfielders that's played the game. I was talking about dictating the play and playing us into good positions early. He's also hit a number of nice pings on the deck in his early spurs career. He will probably get more of range as he grows more confident, but I see far more range than our other midfielders right off the bat anyway.

Dembele was superior in take ons, 4 to 0 and created 2 chances, all of which happened in the final third.

So that pretty much shows what they add to the side. Bentaleb brings more in central midfield and Dembele can use his gifts far better up the pitch.

Could be a very good partnership, or Bentaleb and Sandro. But who gets on the ball and makes us tick with Sandro and Dembele? It's not as effective. We saw that last year.

In games we are expected to win, especially at home I would say Bentaleb and Dembele would be the way to go. But we will have to see how Sandro does in the new regime.

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I've got to say Knightrider your like a dog with a bone sometimes!! Once your convinced of something you try your best to convince us all that it is the only way!! 3-5-2, Sherwood, and nowBentilob!

One stat you seem to have missed, Swansea had the better possession, 53 to our 47, so does that mean they are better than us??

I seem to remember we won 3-1!!

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I've got to say Knightrider your like a dog with a bone sometimes!! Once your convinced of something you try your best to convince us all that it is the only way!! 3-5-2, Sherwood, and nowBentilob!

One stat you seem to have missed, Swansea had the better possession, 53 to our 47, so does that mean they are better than us??

I seem to remember we won 3-1!!

I don't really get what you are saying there. I'm not sure about 352, just that it might suit our personnel and solve one or two issues.

 

But the 4411 and 4231 against Swansea is working well.  Sherwood is a very new manager, I think he is doing well, but its very premature to make any judgements on him either way.  I was pretty unsure about him when he was appointed.

 

I don't understand what Swansea having more possession than us has to do with Bentaleb and Dembele.  Those stats pages took 2min to look at.  It's not rocket science, you don't even have to look at the diagrams, just look at the number of passes forward or what ever.  And they just point out in black and white one thing that is fairly clear, Bentaleb is doing better than others at the main jobs in midfield.

 

Somebody in a different game used those graphs to point out to me that I was wrong to assume Bentaleb was sitting behind Dembele, which he wasn't in a different game and that was proved to me.  I said, fair point, there it is in proof.  They since switched a bit recently, but it proved at the time I was wrong.

 

We were the better side by far on the day.  I don't think I ever said anything about possession being the most important thing. Where do you get that comment from?  Swansea were pretty ineffective with the possession they had and the chances they had were mostly not very threatening.  We had better players, athletes and a passer in Bentaleb who passed it forward well and made us tick.

 

If you want to engage the debate properly then do so, don't have a go at someone for posting their view or some good back up for a point.  I don't think that is very intelligent or helpful.

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fuck me Knightwiter, more links than a chain fence! Do you really look at all that shit? There's so many arrows I thought I was under attack from fucking Indians!

I just had a look to see if I was seeing things when I thought Bentaleb was a really good passer and that he was winning the ball well.  Only took a second.  You only have to look at the numbers, not really pay much attention to the feckin arrows.

 

I never knew that site was there until someone else posted some stuff off it recently.  Really interesting and in depth shit there.  It'd be a really useful rough or general guide if you had to find something out about performance.

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Forward passes by Bentaleb v Swansea, 31, and 87% success: http://www.fourfourtwo.com/statszone/8-2013/matches/695118/player-stats/126407/1_PASS_14#tabs-wrapper-anchor

Forward passes by Dembele v Swansea, 19, and 79% success: http://www.fourfourtwo.com/statszone/8-2013/matches/695118/player-stats/39104/1_PASS_14#tabs-wrapper-anchor

Tackles by Bentaleb v Swansea, 9, 9 out of 9 successful: http://www.fourfourtwo.com/statszone/8-2013/matches/695118/player-stats/126407/3_DEFENCE_01#tabs-wrapper-anchor

Tackles by Dembele v Swansea, 5, 4 out of 5 successful: http://www.fourfourtwo.com/statszone/8-2013/matches/695118/player-stats/39104/3_DEFENCE_01#tabs-wrapper-anchor

Interceptions by Bentaleb v Swansea, 3: http://www.fourfourtwo.com/statszone/8-2013/matches/695118/player-stats/126407/3_DEFENCE_02#tabs-wrapper-anchor

Interceptions by Dembele v Swansea, 1: http://www.fourfourtwo.com/statszone/8-2013/matches/695118/player-stats/39104/3_DEFENCE_02#tabs-wrapper-anchor

Long passing is possibly not a strength of Bentaleb's, but he's a lovely passer of the ball overall. Xavi doesn't hit many long passes either and he's one of the best midfielders that's played the game. I was talking about dictating the play and playing us into good positions early. He's also hit a number of nice pings on the deck in his early spurs career. He will probably get more of range as he grows more confident, but I see far more range than our other midfielders right off the bat anyway.

Dembele was superior in take ons, 4 to 0 and created 2 chances, all of which happened in the final third.

So that pretty much shows what they add to the side. Bentaleb brings more in central midfield and Dembele can use his gifts far better up the pitch.

Could be a very good partnership, or Bentaleb and Sandro. But who gets on the ball and makes us tick with Sandro and Dembele? It's not as effective. We saw that last year.

In games we are expected to win, especially at home I would say Bentaleb and Dembele would be the way to go. But we will have to see how Sandro does in the new regime.

interesting look those links. Question is in what context are all those lovely X's and O's integrated? A few comments I have. Bentaleb plays left, Dembele right side. Tackles first. 9 successful tackles, all but one in the defensive third in the middle of the park. Dembele has all tackles, successful and the one unsuccessful attempt on the left. Without knowing more about each situation one could easily deduct he has had to cover for Bentaleb. Or that Swansea were targeting our left hand side for attacks. Could it be that they were avoiding the bigger, stronger and more experienced Dembele? How many times did the ball get in behind Bentaleb vs Dembele? Do those stats show this? Now combine tackles with the location of passes completed/attempted. Clearly Dembele plays further up the park and his success rate would suffer somewhat on that alone. Surely you can admit that the opposition will be more tenacious in defending in their back third than when we have the ball in our half? My point is, stats are all well and good but are easily glossing over the obvious. Every instant in the match is different and covered in situational circumstance. Do you believe that for example 7 successful tackles by Bentaleb in the center of the park would be more important than 1 goal saving tackle just outside our box by Dembele? I'm going to watch the game again today because my recollection is hat Bentaleb was quite anonymous first half and merely solid yet unimpressive in the second. I will watch him closer second time round.

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First minute attempted tackle Bentaleb, foul but allowed to continue for advantage. That was missed on stats. Was Bentaleb not given 9 for 9 success in tackles. Bollocks. What good are stats if they are inaccurate?

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The problem with stats is that you can read all sorts of things into them. It's almost possible to make them back up what you want to see. That idiot Allardyce swears by Prozone and look where West Ham are, the way his teams play and the players he signs. Fuck me, even I don't need Prozone to spot a donkey!

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Dembele playing 15-20 yards forward of Bentaleb when we have possession. Set pieces Dembele shift back left and Bentaleb right. Dembele one successful interception, Bentaleb yet to touch the ball. 9 minutes in. Interception Dembele 10 minutes.two successful passes Bentaleb. Both square under NO pressure. Successful 30 yard pass back by Bentaleb. From their box to Dawson at center. Positive? All three of Swansea chances have come directly in and around Bentaleb. 18 minutes they seem to have switched position. Dembele brilliant turn and forward pass to Rose. Forward dribble and ball into box to Adebayor, Dembele. Nice ball in behind to Walker by Bentaleb. Once again, Swansea penetrates in behind Bentaleb with Bony hitting the bar. Good quick release from Bentaleb to create a counter attack by Spurs. No tackle but picked up a loose ball. Dembele strips Bony with Power. Failed tackle attempt Bentaleb. Two more simple back /square passes Bentaleb. Commentator mentioning how Swansea are getting in behind Bentaleb far too easily. 33 minutes not a single tackle/interception by Bentaleb. Forward attempt, given away, Bentaleb. Dembele forces interception and quick counter. Bentaleb drifts to the all and away from his man far too often IMHO allowing them in behind him far too easily. 40 min, again Bentaleb moved high, Dembele deeper. Dembele, critical challenge denying chance from a corner. Wonderful dribble into the box almost creates chance. Side note, turn by Eriksen top of the box...sublime. Bentaleb caught watching.saved by Walker. Two late passes by Bentaleb square and back presumably killing the clock. Half complete.

Side note 2: Eriksen and Adebayor linking very well. Get in behind Bentaleb again, Dembele breaks up the sequence. Shelvey off injured. Good header by Bentaleb maintains possession. Dembele beautiful ball wide to Chadli after another successful dribble. Ends in OG, 2-0. In fairness Bentaleb involved with a simple square ball to Dawson. Attempt at slide tackle Bentaleb, gets a piece, Dembele intercepts. Forward ball to Ade by Bentaleb. Ade works hard and maintains possession. Again behind Bentaleb! Eriksen breaks up the play. Side note three, Chiriches playing CF! LOL

Bentaleb again sucked to the ball, Swansea passes in behind him and chance created. He is ball watching, doubling on the ball with Rose and leaving his man. Two almost giveaways, prevented by tenacity and work from Adebayor. Good play break up by Bentaleb, Swansea regains possession and again gets in behind Bentaleb. Chance started and finished Dembele, brilliant run, not so brilliant finish. Dembele starts counter resulting in Rose to Adebayor. 3-0. Again Swansea breaks through on Bentaleb and Rose. Dembele much better at tracking his mark. Bentaleb too often gets sucked to the ball, leaving his mark. Good intervention Bentaleb. Failed clearance Bentaleb ends in Bony goal. Critical header clearance from Lloris punch. Saved a goal. Dembele again nullifies Bony with strength.

In summary, those stats are fucked and in no way represent an accurate portrayal of the impact on the match of Bentaleb and Dembele. They don't only skew actual contribution but they miss the importance and circumstance of each stat, missing the significance and threat around each play. Based upon what I saw, there is no way in hell I play Bentaleb over Dembele. Dembele offers better awareness, more strength and far more forward contribution than Bentaleb. In fact Bentaleb is really playing Sandro role and while doing a decent job, he too often is drawn to the ball allowing penetration in behind him. Sandro does a much better job deciding when to tackle and when to stay with his man. When Sandro tackles he wins the ball or destroys the man. For me, Bentaleb is a work in progress and may well become a real player. Currently Dembele and Sandro are heads above. Worth noting, Bentaleb looked much better after Shelvey injured, coincidence paralleling score line? Unsure.

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I just had a look to see if I was seeing things when I thought Bentaleb was a really good passer and that he was winning the ball well.  Only took a second.  You only have to look at the numbers, not really pay much attention to the feckin arrows.

 

I never knew that site was there until someone else posted some stuff off it recently.  Really interesting and in depth shit there.  It'd be a really useful rough or general guide if you had to find something out about performance.

Even easier - just watch the game......

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