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Last Week’s Ivan Toney vs Tottenham: Individual Performance Analysis

Ivan Toney returned to football last week after a 9-month suspension, providing a significant boost for Brentford. His impact was immediate, scoring a goal in his return match as Brentford won 3-2 at home against Nottingham Forest. Toney continued to showcase his influence by scoring against Spurs and utilizing his qualities to ensure Brentford fought till the end. Although Brentford narrowly lost to Spurs, fans can take hope in their main man’s return. In this article, we will examine Toney’s performance against Spurs in detail.

Ivan Toney – Performance Analysis

Out-of-Possession: Shape

Let’s begin by discussing Brentford’s out-of-possession tactics. In the first half, they faced challenges maintaining possession, only holding onto the ball for 28%, yet they effectively kept Spurs in check. Brentford adopted a 5-3-2 formation with Toney partnering Maupay upfront.

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Their strategy aimed to maintain a compact shape centrally while effectively transitioning to wide areas. Toney’s role primarily involved shadowing his markers, shifting positions, and being prepared to make runs for counter-attacks behind the defense once possession was regained in advanced areas.

Press Organization

Before the game, Thomas Frank outlined his strategy to press high up the field and regain possession in advanced areas to counter Spurs’ high defensive line.


Brentford executed this plan by pressing high, with their wing-backs pushing forward. Toney primarily focused on covering the opposite side rather than directly participating in the pressing organization. Although Brentford performed well in the first half, they became vulnerable in the second half as Spurs began exploiting the spaces left by Brentford’s defenders during their pressing attempts.

Also read: As The Season Heads Into February Bournemouth Vs Nottingham Forest – Match Preview

In-Possession: Buildup Involvement

In the buildup phase, Toney played a vital role, as the strategy involved playing direct from goal-kicks and focusing on winning second balls.


Toney’s prowess in aerial duels is crucial to Brentford’s approach. Jensen and Norgaard are tasked with winning the second ball and playing behind Spurs’ high defensive line, capitalizing on Toney’s ability to win aerial battles.

Progression and Transition

Brentford excelled in attacking transitions, swiftly exchanging passes with their forwards in the middle before supplying balls to the wide players.


Toney’s understanding of positioning was evident once more, as his quick passing and exchanges provided Brentford with an advantage to play directly and exploit attacking opportunities.

Moreover, Toney’s aerial ability makes him a dangerous man from set piece situations. Brentford did looked threatening but didn’t capitalized on their chances.

Box Occupation and Movements

Toney’s greatest strength lies in his exceptional understanding of box positioning, enabling him to maneuver around the box effectively to lose his marker and create space for shots or headers on target.


Brentford heavily depends on Toney’s strengths by delivering low cutbacks or crosses to the far post.


Toney consistently situates himself between two defenders to disrupt the defense’s job. His instinct is to drift away from the opposition’s defensive line towards the far post to capitalize on long balls. Operating in the blind side of the defense is the most effective approach for a center forward inside the box.

Change in Approach

In the second half, Toney’s role shifted as he dropped deeper and began linking up with the wingers, resembling Harry Kane like movements in his involvement in deeper areas. He moved into wider areas to disrupt defenders’ positioning or facilitate ball switches.

Toney demonstrates excellent ball striking ability from long ranges and possesses a good passing range, making him a well-rounded center forward. His relentless work rate further enhances his effectiveness on the pitch. Toney capitalized on a defensive error by Udogie to score Brentford’s second goal of the night, showcasing his ability to sense opportunities and capitalize on chances when they arise.

Ivan Toney’s Impact

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Toney is undeniably Brentford’s main goal-scoring threat and a source of hope during challenging times. His impact has been immense, as Brentford struggled in his absence and found themselves in the bottom half of the table.

As a complete center forward, Toney excels both as a traditional target man inside the box and when dropping into deeper areas to support the midfield and supply runners from wide zones.

Also read: The Hosts, Brentford Vs Man City: Match Preview

His physical presence is often overlooked but plays a crucial role in dominating his marker. Additionally, Toney’s off-the-ball intelligence and movements inside the box are exceptional.

The prospect of Toney leaving Brentford raises questions about how the team will cope, as his departure would undoubtedly leave a significant void in their squad.

Final Thoughts

Ivan Toney’s return to football has provided Brentford a significant hope to turn things around in the second-half of the season. He has straight away showed why his presence is crucial for the team.

With tough fixtures coming, it will be interesting to see how Brentford approaches every game with Toney up front.

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