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Do City and Spurs have the edge in midfield?

Posted on September 24, 2013 by Scraggs

Having watched a lot of football this season including all of Tottenham’s eight fixtures and a couple of Manchester City games, it seems to me that both clubs now have within their ranks the type of players that can overpower and bully the opposition almost to the point of submission.

Manchester City have had the edge in this department for the last couple of years with the likes of Yaya Toure, Milner and Barry within their ranks, with the skill and invention of Silva and Nasri added to the equation they have won the title and had a second place finish in those two seasons. They have now added an upgraded version to their ranks with the Brazilian Fernandinho whilst releasing Barry on loan. On Sunday City pitted their two mostpowerful midfielders, Toure and Fernandinho  against United, they supplemented that with the guile of Nasri and the pace of Navas and proceeded to destroy Manchester United. They have backup options in the form of Javi Garcia and James Milner , both willing to battle for control.

Dembele and Paulinho just 2 of a number of options

Dembele and Paulinho just 2 of a number of options

Tottenham already had Sandro and Dembele within their ranks to do a similar job but as we know to our cost, whenever they were injured last season, the backup options were Scott Parker, a fantastic player but a year or two past his best, and Jake Livermore, a decent young player but lacking experience through no real fault of his own. To put matters right Tottenham brought in Paulinho and Capoue at a combined cost of about £26m. As the season has gone on all four of the midfield enforcers have been utilised at some point and in different combinations, in every fixture so far Tottenham have dominated the midfield and possession and won all but one game.

Now that Christian Eriksen has arrived and is orchestrating matters with the two power players around him, and with Lewis Holtby also returning to fitness and finding a little form, Tottenham seem to be well served for the challenges that they will face this season, if they continue to dominate to such an extent then they will win far more games than they will lose or even draw.

The Beast -out of my way I'm coming through.

The Beast -out of my way I’m coming through.

Who else can match the blue sides of Manchester and North London? not many and certainly not in such depth which will become a key issue as the season progresses. Both will suffer setbacks of course, there are far to many clubs capable of causing an upset, but as the season goes on it is those clubs with strength in depth that invariably comes through to win the day. Tottenham have been on the receiving end in many of the last four or five seasons, this season though it seems it is their strength along with City.

Chelsea will argue about their strength in depth but unlike other Mourinho squads only Mikel and Essien are real defensive midfielders, United have lost Scholes and whilst they have replaced him with Fellaini only have Carrick and possibly Jones if played out of position. Arsenal leave that job to Flamini and Arteta while Liverpool have Henderson and Lucas.

It is surely difficult to argue against the better options of City and Tottenham at the moment and the others will probably have to look for additional backup come the January window. Fortunately the spine of the Tottenham team is now  in place and settling down, with four fantastic defensive midfielders and four quality central defenders to choose from, Hugo Lloris as good a keeper as there is and Soldado up top. Clearly City have the edge in the forward department with four expensive recruits to call upon, maybe that is an area being looked into by Baldini right now.


3 to “Do City and Spurs have the edge in midfield?”

  1. Eric says:

    nice in depth article there,would like more articles of such tone

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