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How will theTottenham team look for Villa?

Posted on October 08, 2013 by Scraggs

After what had been a very satisfactory start to the season things started to to unravel slightly in the second half against Chelsea, Mourinho made the changes at half time that transformed procedings after a superb opening forty-five from Tottenham. The squad then travelled to Russia to take on Anzhi and they came away with what was a comfortable win after making eight changes, it turned out to be a better result than performance as the game was littered with errors and a distinct lack of goalscoring opportunities, to be fair we were happy to put that down to the state of the pitch which obviously contributed massively to a disjointed performance.

Going into Sunday’s game at home to West Ham home supporters, pundits and all the betting favoured a Tottenham win, we were aware that Danny Rose was unlikely to play despite the positive words of AVB leading up to the game, the shock was probably the inclusion of Defoe over the ¬£26m man Soldado, whether AVB had bowed to the press shouting for his inclusion or the fact that he was genuinely not yet satisfied with what Soldado had done we shall never know, but it probably played into the hands of West Ham who know everything there is to know about the Defoe way of playing, having a player like Soldado who is an unknown to almost every defender in the land must be an advantage but one not taken on this occasion.

Soldado will profit from this international break.

Soldado will profit from this international break.

It is no secret the fact that the Tottenham way, without Aaron Lennon available, has been to utilise players on their opposite flanks enabling them to cut in onto their favoured foot to threaten the opposition goal, unfortunately it has now been taken too far and both Townsend and particularly Sigurdson rarely use any other option, condensing the play has benefitted the opposition, whilst Tottenham continue to dominate possession and threaten they are making fewer clear cut opportunities rather than more.

I don’t think we should buy into this having a team for league fixtures and another for the cups, although some key players should be regularly rested and excused from even travelling on more regular occasions, especially to places like Russia. When the next game gets underway there are likely to be a few changes, not because of poor performance but simply to change the style a little, enabling the midfield to have options and giving them the chance to stretch opposing teams offensively and so create gaps for the likes of Soldado, Paulinho and Eriksen to exploit.

Soldado will regain his strikers role as Defoe is not the answer and hasn’t been for years or since the 4 4 2 system was relegated to the past, Lennon will almost certainly return on the right flank while over on the left Chadli should return unless AVB feels that he would like to see what Townsend has to offer on the left. Danny Rose will return of course while it might also be the right time to give Moussa Dembele a break and bring back Sandro or Capoue, choosing either one of them would really release the offensive powers of Paulinho who would surely relish the extra space created by the stretching of the play ahead of him.

Perhaps Sunday’s game was the wake up call needed to tweak the pattern a little, having players capable of offering something different fit again will help. There will of course be many circumstances when Tottenham will need to revert to the narrow pattern of play to suit certain circumstances, at home and against weaker opposition intent on defending their lines is not one of them, there will be times when only stretching play will do. An early goal might also help as at some stage the opposition would have to go looking for a goal themselves if they have any ambition about them.

Aaron Lennon will offer the width the team needs to combat defensive setups.

Aaron Lennon will offer the width the team needs to combat defensive setups.

Many won’t admit it but Rose, Lennon and even Chadli have been missed of late as they all offer something different going forward, while Lamela needs time to settle and perhaps be afforded the opportunity to play in a league fixture in a dominant performance rather than be thrown on in an attempt to change the pattern of a game.

Sam Allardyce knew exactly how Tottenham would set up and play as would any other decent coach, it is no good starting with the same players and pattern week after week as the opposition work out a way to nullify them, with the squad and variation of player available Tottenham should be able to confuse the teams they face and alter the style significantly for some fixtures, that might be how they set up at the start or during the game but change is sometimes needed.

There should be no concern that Tottenham are still capable and on course for their best ever season, they are not yet the finished article but then we all knew that and that it would take some work, more time and patience before the team would be firing on all cylinders, it took until the middle of December last season before it really clicked into place, they are already much further along the road this time around and have many more quality players to help them achieve their aims. The end of the international breaks will certainly help significantly as the constant loss of most of the squad is a problem with so many new faces onboard.

Once these internationals are over and the season restarts AVB will have  more options available with the return of some of the walking wounded fit again, he will have been reviewing the game on Sunday and will find a way to get more from his squad, especially against teams now so concerned with the quality Tottenham now possess that they set out to smother and defend whether playing home or away, Tottenham are now one of the top teams and they must learn to overcome such tactics as all the other top teams have had to do, and they must do it quickly.

10 to “How will theTottenham team look for Villa?”

  1. Eric says:

    Soldado Rose Chadli n one of kaboul chiriches should start n also this Europa obsession should stop cause just like season we drop points after a Thursday game.Let’s play the non starters in those games to keep Sharp if needed in league games

  2. lou says:

    one more win and qualification to the knockout stages almost confirmed and then he can play the kids. probably would only take the bare minimum of players for these trips as well, whats the point of taking more than 15 or 16 players. fly in late and take the bare essentials.

  3. Alee says:

    I’m sure I heard from one pundit that Chadli is actually right footed. If that’s so, I’d love to know why he hasn’t been playing on the right whilst Lennon is out, with Townsend on the left, and with both getting crosses in for the likes of Paulinho and Soldado to bang in. Soldado in particular needs those crosses.

    • Tony says:

      that is correct he is right footed but it is all the rage to threaten from the wings at the moment, chadli has specialised in it and scored lots of goals doing so but as shown when he set soldado and rose uo in the away game at Tblisi he know how to put balls int box and set up chances.. Even if they switched regularly to keep defenders guessing would help, lennon and bale did so often and it worked for bale.

  4. Eric says:

    Siggy isn’t a winger,yes he’s scored for us but he’s inconsistent just like defoe.Playing him in the long run will hurt us bad but makes a very good squad player tho

    • mick says:

      While chadli settled and had to overcome injury Sigi slotted in and did well and scored goals, now it’s time to play Chadli and occasionally Townsend on the left while Sigi becomes an important member of the squad rather than a permanent starter. He has done well but the method of playing has become a little to similar, opposition need to go into games not knowing the opposition so well or how they will play as they can train to counteract as the hammers did.

  5. Eric says:

    Call me plastic but in the Jan window I’d love to replace defoe with chicharito.He said he may consider leaving n we can definitely give him more games

    • Tony says:

      would be ideal although this other forward linked Mbokani looks a likely candidate as well and he is decent in the air. Just got a feeling Defoe is off in jan and to be honest not worried one way or another. Never scored 20 in season and never will, he is only there for cup games and to come on from bench and until he accepts that this rubbish about lack of opportunity will persist. His goals have come against poor opposition, Soldado got 2 away at Tblisi and would probably have double figures in the games defoe has played in. If soldado was left out then AVB made a serious error and mustn’t do so again.

  6. Eric says:

    prefer Chicharito to replace defoe n someone physical who heads to replace adebayor like Benteke,hulk,Diego costa etc

    • Tony says:

      There was talk of Mbokani from kiev last week, have a look on youtube he looks the part and pretty powerful in the air, him instead of JD would do nicely.



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