Date: 30th September 2019 at 8:20pm
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Hugo Lloris is one of the most consistent players in the Tottenham Hotspur squad. He consistently demonstrates poor distribution of the ball and has the tendency to put himself, and his defenders, under unnecessary pressure. He also consistently comes up with world-class saves that have a positive effect on the result of a game. It is the enigma that is Hugo Lloris.

After the Southampton match, Pochettino said he did not blame Lloris for the goal Spurs conceded…as he has been told to play that way!? Pochettino was clear that the blame was his, not the fault of Lloris. Really? Apart from the world-class saves, which manager in their right mind would instruct their GK to ‘play that way’ in the first place?

Now it seems to me that what should happen in the first training session after a match is for the squad to sit together and watch the replay of the game. Sensible? It also seems to me that it is plainly clear that Hugo (bless him) does not have the skills required to safely distribute the ball when it is on the ground. He is not too consistent at distributing the ball effectively when it is in his hands either, due to a less than desirable sense of direction when he kicks the ball.

How often, during games, have we held our breath as Hugo gently rolls the ball out to a defender, eight yards from goal, with two opposing players breathing down his neck and absolutely nowhere to go. If I was a defender I’d be a basket-case about the fourth time it happened to me.

So, if it’s clear to me and many other supporters, it should be painfully obvious to the players. There has been a lot of media speculation lately about some players being unhappy with the way they are told to play. If this is true (and ‘truth’ is a rare media occurrence when it comes to football) I sincerely hope that one of their major concerns relates to the way possession starts from the back when the GK has the ball. Unfortunately, when Lloris has the ball, he is just as likely to start an opposition attack as he is to start one of our own.

From memory, (okay so my memory only stretches back to the last game}, I have had the above concerns for some time. As, I dare say, have many of us. It is not an insurmountable problem. It can easily be fixed with some minor tweaking.

Hugo should mix up his distribution with some long balls…which should be a focus for him in training. He should be more aware of where he sends the ball and the dangers that could be present. Basically, he should take enough time to consider his next move so that it is more effective! And Pochettino needs to be absolutely clear about what is expected when playing out from the back…because I really hope he has not instructed Hugo to play exactly the way he does, all the time, and it is a lack of understanding or communication.

Some GK’s have the ability to consistently play out from the back with great effect, but Hugo is not one of them. Few GKs can consistently make brilliant saves that result in a win for their team. Hugo is one of them. Go figure!

It just needs a little bit of tweaking. Gotta love football.

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10 Replies to “The Enigma That Is Hugo Lloris”

  • Geof… A good article, and spot on. Lloris must improve his distribution as I have also said, and that means not always kicking the ball out to Danny Rose / Sonny on left touchline, which 9/10 goes to a throw in against us. I noticed when he has the ball ready to kick out all players are crowded in that area. He could try to kick the ball into central / opposite area where we can fast counter attack. So after a few of these opposition will be spread out more and give us attacking impetus. I can remember previous season, Gazza throwing (kicking?) the ball out to forwards and sonny / harry scoring COYS v Bayern M. tonight…

  • It seems to be fashionable to play out from the back, but from what I’ve seen a lot of keepers aren’t really comfortable doing it. What happened with Lloris was bad but it certainly wasn’t unique this season. Just as defenders need to understand when they have time to control a ball and when they just have to hoof it up field keepers need to understand when they have time and when they don’t. If the opposition are trying to press the keeper that means there is a bit more space further forward and an accurate long kick could pay dividends.

  • Geofspurs….a great discussion article, but for me as has been said by jod “its fashionable to play out from the back”, I do agree that Lloris’s speed of decision making does get your nerves jangling sometimes and that the proverbial “boot it up field” or “into row z” can and does work in our favour sometimes, I think the new rule regards the 6 yard box isn’t helping, though it can open/spread the opposition, hopefully after Saturday maybe just maybe a big lesson will be learnt, we shall wait and see lol! COYS

  • The problem with playing out from the back, as I see it, is Lloris passes out to say Rose when he has no one “on” to pass it to. Surely Lloris should only pass it short when there is an”out” for the player to progress the play up field.

  • Playing out from the back makes a lot of footballing sense, in that it makes the pitch “bigger” – it creates space between lines, and if you have creative players who can exploit that space, it makes sense.

    However, there are a few prerequisites to play that way: 1) a goalkeeper who has good distribution, 2) defenders who are comfortable on the ball, and 3) midfield players who can use the space wisely.

    It can be argued that we don’t have any of those things. Lloris’ struggles are well documented. With the exception of Toby and Jan, none of our other defenders are comfortable ball carriers, and with the exception of Eriksen and perhaps NDombele, none of our midfield players have enough creativity to exploit the advantages of the system.

    I completely understand MP’s desire to play from the back, from a football philosophy point of view. But he simply hasn’t got the right players, and his chairman is never going to spend what it takes to get him the right players. Instead of stubbornly trying to push a flawed system down his players’ throats, MP should pragmatically change his system to suit the strengths of the player’s he’s got.

    I don’t blame Lloris one bit for following instructions. Sure, he could use a bit more common sense, but MP would have a go at him afterwards. The blame lies with MP in this case, as players like Lloris are merely following instructions.

    Another thing I touched upon in the Bayern thread: playing from the back requires confidence, something the team is desperately short of right now. When a team is struggling, you’ve got to go back to basics. Get back to a point where you’re solid defensively, if nothing else, and build from there.

  • Maybe Hugo and gazza should have a love child, then wed have a ‘keper with decent distribution, pretty good with the ball at his feet and pulling off world class saves.

  • As Geof has said we matched them for most of the first half playing some of our best football for many a month. It was undone at the end of that half by two brilliant strikes (in themselves huge blows to our morale after we had played so well and coming after other blows to our morale in recent games). . The damage continued in the second half as Saturday’s game took its toll and Bayern’s fantastic finishing finished us off. I doubt whether they will repeat such finishing in future games.

    In other words I think we lost by so many goals due to exceptional circumstances and my point is that these circumstances should be fully taken into account in the post mortem rather than just hunting down scapegoats as many posters are doing here.

  • Lloris is an iinigma. He is a great point blank shot stopper, gets beaten too often from outside the box, his distribution is substandard, and there is a howler in there waiting to happen, as demonstrated in the WC Final for France, and on Sunday v Southampton amongst others. I think he suffers lapses in concentration, and that his quality is waning and his future place in the team could be compromised, although the current second string keeper is not the answer.

  • Either throw the ball out,or kick long down the middle,his wayward distribution is costing us as the article states,or look for another keeper with good feet.

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