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Spurs v Hull review and why Bentaleb needs protecting

Posted on February 01, 2014 by Guest Writer

What should have been a golden opportunity to take another three points and keep the pressure on the teams, particularly Liverpool, ahead of them. Sherwood saw it as a point gained but as was the case at the beginning of the season a game filled with possession and little penetration, three shots on target despite dominating the majority of the game and especially large chunks of the second half. Yesterday’s was an extremely disjointed performance with disjointed performances all over the pitch.

Lennon and Walker down the right hand side has always been one of our massive strengths but even that has stalled over the past couple of weeks, both are performing poorly at the moment with neither doing what they are best known for. Walker is a very good defender with the ability to maraude forward beyond the player ahead of him but his last few outings have been very different and it is almost like he has been asked to hold back, whatever the reason his performance has significantly dropped off. Lennon was poor against City in midweek which could be explained by the quality of the opposition and the ridiculous event early in the second half of that game, yesterday was similar as even he tended to cut in and ran across the pitch rather than go outside along the flanks, i cannot recall a cross coming in for two forwards and without that he offers little as his goal threat is negligible.

Tottenham reverted to a 4 4 2 and while there can be absolutely no doubt that the return Jan Vertonghen was the right thing to do and the back four chosen wasn’t an issue the can’t be said for the balance of the rest of the team. Paulinho is another who would always be on my teamsheet and he has presumably won over Tim Sherwood who also seems to have decided that no matter what the system and no matter whoever else is available Adebayor, Eriksen and Bentaleb will play in his teams!

Adebayor certainly put in the effort yesterday and cannot be criticised  for his workrate but rather than a striker he seemed to play more of a midfield role far too often, he was too deep and receiving the ball in that position with his back to goal simply slowed everything down and while the talk seems to focus on him helping Soldado in an advanced role I am still looking for evidence of that.

The width supposedly offered to the two forwards was supposed to come from Eriksen who we all know is a central playmaker and played in that position for the majority of the game, it was left to Danny Rose to provide the width and though he managed to deliver a few balls into the box it was simply not enough. Square pegs in round holes was the phrase often aimed at AVB and Sherwood is falling into that trap and it looks far worse ina 4 4 2 formation. Yesterday the play was far too narrow made worse without Lennon and Walker doing what they do best and the performance was as boring as it could get.

The youngster Bentaleb is the other player Sherwood seems intent on playing no matter what, he is the token youngster that Sherwood has built his reputation of bringing through youth upon. Bentaleb has certainly made an enormous impression and clearly, if handled correctly, he has a great future ahead of him, unfortunately he is in danger of being overplayed. He is young and very inexperienced, the City game was clearly too much too soon and another indifferent performance yesterday leaves him in a difficult moment, through no fault of his own Tottenham support has now begun to question his ability and worth to the team, when things go wrong that is what happens and that is why he should be taken out of the starting firing line and chosen more sparingly and at the right moments to aid his development rather than take the chance of destroying it along with the club’s ambitions.

There were few pluses from the game against Hull other than the return of Vertonghen and Paulinho who both showed their qualities, Eriksen centrally and not on the left, Rose did reasonably well and was the only threat down the left but with so few options rarely delivered a dangerous ball into the box and Adebayor who worked hard but not in the position as a striker.

To sum up, lots of possession but not much done with it, unbalanced lineup and performance and time to develop the youngster rather than overplay him.

4 to “Spurs v Hull review and why Bentaleb needs protecting”

  1. Stantheman says:

    already the fans are beginning to doubt the youngster and yet he has done nothing wrong. It is to much to ask the kid to dictate a game and Sherwood has a lot to answer for. No balance to yesterdays team at all and now the pressure is on against Everton next week. time now to rest Bentaleb and use him a bit more carefully this season.

  2. richo says:

    are you serious about Bentaleb, he had a good game and he will get better with experience. You get experience playing. Ade was chasing back, not a midfielder. Agree with Lennon really offered little and needs to use his pace. Be good to see Lamela and Kabool return

    • Tony says:

      He wasn’t bad but more unnoticeable, and at the moment if we want top four it has to be better than that. As Stan said experience is needed and not an experiment with a young player. If we want or need another midfielder let’s play a specialist in the position rather than have Adebayor run about like a lunatic all over the place, if he is the striker that sherwood expects to save our season then play as a striker, one shot from the edge of the box early on and after that rarely in the box at all other than for corners. If Kaboul is truly fit his pace and power in the air will be a ideal in place of Dawson and i still hope to see Lamela as the second striker or in a free role. Liverpool blew another chance to consolidate yesterday and only Everton took advantage of the slip ups all around them so it’s still all to play for.

  3. Stantheman says:

    Bentaleb was no disaster but he has to be allowed to grow as a player and not be overplayed. Experience comes in time not a dozen games at 19yrs old. We need experience not experiment. Ade worked hard chasing back but we had more than 60%of the ball and he is supposed to be a striker, if you want an extra midfielder choose a specialist don’t ask him to do job.
    Lamela, Kaboul and townsend will hopefully help.

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