Gary Neville questioned Pedro Porro’s role as Tottenham Hotspur used full-backs against Manchester United.
Pedro Porro’s attempt to play at reverse full-back against Manchester United did not impress Gary Neville.
Ange Postecoglou has made it clear he will continue playing at Tottenham without a break.
That means expansive, attacking football – a far cry from the football served under Antonio Conte.
Sometimes that means exceptional attacking play, as we saw at times against Manchester United on Saturday.
Tottenham’s 2-0 win over the Red Devils was well worth it as Pape Matar Sarr and a Lisandro Martinez own goal secured the three points.
From the confidence of Yves Bissouma to the drive and creativity of James Maddison, Tottenham were great in the second half.
Postecoglou will be happy with a big home win and a promising performance, but there have also been some problems.
Gary Neville is unconvinced by Tottenham’s Pedro Porro
In the Postecoglou season, full-backs return to the center of the pitch to act as additional midfielders in the build-up play.
This is a real phenomenon right now, with many coaches taking this tactical approach.
Postecoglou has done the same throughout his time at Celtic so now that he’s at Tottenham he’s not just jumping on the buzz.
This is a new role for Destiny Udogie and Pedro Porro, who are more used to playing as full-backs, let alone full-backs in a four-man defense.
Udogie, Porro and Emerson Royal learn on the job and that means there are bound to be mistakes.
The first half wasn’t ideal in that regard as Porro and Udogie seemed a little stuck on the ball in front of their own goal.
In one moment, Porro lost the ball just outside his own penalty area, prompting Gary Neville to voice his doubts.
Neville told Sky Sports (19/08, 18:15) that he does not want to use Porro as a reverse full-back.
Neville slammed the Spaniard for acting like he was Rodri or Xavi in the middle of the park and urged opposing players to put pressure on him.
United legend Neville added that the idea simply “doesn’t work” if full-backs aren’t comfortable enough on the ball and believes Porro doesn’t sit well with Postecoglou’s approach.
“I’m not letting it, I’m definitely not letting it,” Neville said. “Honestly, Porro thinks he’s Rodri meets Xavi! Honestly, as a Manchester United player, when you’re pushing all day you want the ball put into his goal and that almost cost them goals. “It doesn’t work if you’re not comfortable with the ball,” he added.
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