Opinion: Five worrying problems hidden in the Burnley away win

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Image: SpursWeb

A trip to Burnley on a cold, wet, miserable October night is not the most glamorous way to spend a Monday evening but Jose Mourinho’s newly rejuvenated Spurs squad dug deep and managed to grind out an impressive three points in an old fashioned Jose 1-0 win.

However, it is important not to let the excitement of being two points off top spot cover the fact that the display at Turf Moor was far from our best and was definitely not a sign of Premier League title contenders.

All that watched the match could see how Burnley were looking the stronger side with an impenetrable defence and dangerous attacking options, but the best teams find a way to win when things are going wrong, which is exactly what Spurs managed to do.

Nevertheless here are five worrying problems that were shown in Monday night’s game.

Defending from corners

One of our own, Harry Kane, has looked like a man on a mission throughout this campaign so far and it’s great to see. He is consistently helping out the side in attack and midfield but also doing some great work at the back.

Kane’s clearance off the line from a Burnley corner was a pivotal moment in the match but it is frustrating to see Spurs so vulnerable from set-piece scenarios over and over again.

West Ham’s comeback in our previous league outing started from a set-piece goal and it looks as though it will not be the last time we get punished from a dead ball this season.

With so many physical sides plying their trade in the Premier League this season, defending set-pieces is something that needs a long-term solution, or else we could be letting some huge points slip through our fingers.

Lack of creativity when opposition sits back

Teams such as Burnley who struggle to pick up regular wins are always going to be tough to breakdown. Their lack of attacking intent other than the odd punt up the pitch to a target man makes it incredibly tough for Spurs to play the attractive football we have been used to seeing so far this season.

However, this will not be the last time we come up against as side with similar tactics, so we need to find a solution.

Giovani Lo Celso did not start the game yesterday which left us somewhat weak in the build-up play department, but we need someone other than Kane to drop in deep and pull the strings.

Not testing the keeper

A frustrating trait of Spurs, which goes hand in hand with the lack of creativity, is the unwillingness to have shots on goal and test the keeper.

Do not be mistaken, we all love to see the ball worked around nicely and walked into the back of the net, but this will not always be possible.

Nick Pope is a quality shot-stopper, but he looked noticeably shaky and mistake-prone throughout the 90 minutes, yet Spurs never forced him into any real testing saves.

Despite having way over half of the possession, Burnley still managed to record more shots on and off-target which is something we need to change.

Slow on the counter

When playing a negative footballing side such as Burnley, counter-attacking can be the key but yesterday Spurs did not seem switched on enough to take advantage of their vulnerable situations.

With the likes of Heung Min Son and Lucas Moura, both of whom have bags of pace on the field, they need to be used more. Instead, we passed the ball around too much and allowed their whole team to resume their shape, firmly fixed in one half.

Need to show more urgency to capitalise on rivals’ results

After a disastrous draw against West Ham last weekend, it looked as though we had already crashed out of what is set up to be an interesting title race, having not taken full advantage of major rivals dropping points. Monday night was almost the same.

Another weekend of results went in our favour and, being the last game of the week, the squad knew what was at stake.

Thankfully, a piece of brilliance from our two danger men spared the blushes but when put in situations that could send us flying up the league table, it is essential that we are ruthless and smash teams out of the park.

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