Tactical Overview: Burnley 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Tottenham’s title race takes a real hit after losing 2-1 away to Burnley, such a difficult defeat. Let’s dive in to review the tactics and players after such a defeat.

Tactical points of interest


Burnley are back in form again, they haven’t lost a game in the past seven – a real turnaround in comparison to their form all season until the new year. They seemed to come into this game with their typical game plan – sit off, and make life difficult for their opponents. But something was different about them, they wanted to keep us in our own-half, they had a real go at pressing us, and it definitely made life difficult for our back three – with Foyth constantly being haggled by the Burnley striking force, routinely resulting in him losing possession.

Spurs news:

But there was some serious developments in the Spurs camp – Harry Kane is back, weeks earlier than expected. Rose is back in the starting line-up after being placed on the bench during the game against Dortmund.


We stayed with a back three, this is to counter Burnley’s aggressive front partnership. They really look to get tight to the centerbacks, so the decision to play three creative defenders in Foyth, Alderweireld and Vertonghen was to allow us to play past their front line of play by having a numerical and creative advantage in our first line of play.

We also saw my favourite partnership, Aurier and Sissoko. The two have a great understanding for one-another, and Sissoko’s role in the team is to cover the advancing right wing-back, as we prefer to attack down that side. Aurier’s crossing has improved hugely, and he certainly impressed again Dortmund in our win of the season – so it makes sense why he’s started over the out of form Kieran Trippier.

Danny Rose has never really hit the form he’s achieved during the last season at the lane, his confidence and fitness overall has held him back. Something we all wish him the best in recovering from his difficulties as of late.


Winks and Sissoko started, with Eric Dier left in the capital due to an illness. Winks played his normal role, providing creativity and energy in our transition from defence to attack.

Sissoko had the role of providing box-to-box energy whilst covering for the ever attacking Aurier, something he has made his own in the past season. You’d have never thought that they were the same player, amazing what confidence can do to you.

Winks had a fairly quiet game, he was often guilty of overplaying – because of this, Pochettino moved Eriksen to his role after he made the decision to swap Winks for Llorente and with Foyth coming off for Erik Lamela, we moved to a 4-2-3-1 with Kane in behind the striker. With Son on the left-wing, and Lamela is his favoured right-wing role.


In the 62nd minute, Winks left the field for Fernando Llorente. As mentioned above, Kane dropped in behind Llorente,offering him the freedom to receive and attack the ball in deeper pockets of space, something he excels in doing.

Llorente was fairly quiet, he didn’t have much impact on the game. Though, the decision to move Kane to a deeper role was intelligent, as it allowed Kane to get involved in the build up of the play and to often go unmarked, as seen with his goal.

Eriksen had a fairly quiet game, whilst not being directly marked, the compact shape of Burnley rendered Son’s movement fairly useless. In the 88th-minute due to this fact, Pochettino opted to bring on Lucas for Son, to add a different style of direct threat.

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