Tactics Journal

by Kyle Boas

Analyzing football tactics

Burnley sit too deep and overcommit to the ball carrier

August 3, 2023 — I was disappointed in the disorganization of Burnley’s back-line. They sat too deep, creating space in front of their back-line and overcommitted to the ball carrier, gifting Tottenham easy goals.

Figure 1.1 - Son Heung-min runs forward to force Dara O'Shea onto his right hand side.
Figure 1.2 - Son Heung-min pivots perfectly to his left as the ball is played over the top to get behind Dara O'Shea.

Son Heung-min plants on his right foot and launches at the right time to bait Dara O’Shea, creating the separation needed to bring the ball down once it is played over the top.

Figure 1.3 - Son Heung-min takes the ball down.
Figure 1.4 - Son Hueng-min passes to Manor Solomon. Ameen Al Dakhil overcommits to Son's side, leaving Solomon free.
Figure 1.5 - Son Heung-min holds his run while Dara O'Shea overcommits to Solomon's side.

If O’Shea sticks with Son and Dakhil sticks with Solomon, I don’t think they’d get into the box. But both overcommit to the ball carrier leaving the far-side man free.

They are leaving one man free and chasing the ball, which overcomplicates what should be a simple defensive play. They made Tottenham look good, and Tottenham don’t need help looking good.

Figure 1.6 - Manor Solomon passes to Son Hueng-min.
Figure 1.7 - Son Hueng-min scores.

Son Hueng-min recognized the Burnley defenders overcommitting to the ball, so he held his run, opening up the massive space on the far side.

Figure 2.1 - Tottenham man-to-man mark leaving Burnley's full-backs free, forcing James Trafford to pass to the right.
Figure 2.2 - Burnley attempt to play out from the right, but Iyenoma Udogie positions himself well to block off the pass.
Figure 2.3 - Iyenoma Udogie intercepts the ball and James Maddison is in acres of space.

Goalkeeper James Trafford should be urging Burnley to push out at this point because James Maddison should never be this free centrally.

Figure 2.4 - James Maddison receives the ball and scores from an uncontested shot.

A chance from a turnover in your own end will always lead to a high-quality chance, but any Premier League-level player should be able to score when given this much space.

Figure 3.1 - Burnley sit deep, creating a large amount of space in front of their back-line.

Burnley created issues for themselves by pushing their back-line too deep, creating space in front of their back-line. Tottenham can easily take advantage of that space between the back-line and the second line.

Figure 3.2 - Space central.
Figure 3.3 - Pass to Son Hueng-min in space.
Figure 3.4 - Son Hueng-min completes his hat-trick.

Burnley should look to use a higher line to shorten the amount of space between their back-line and the second line to limit the possibility for chances like this.

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