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Tottenham v Palace Review

Posted on January 12, 2014 by Tony

Tim Sherwood maintains his unbeaten run in the Premiership and with thirteen points from a possible fifteen some might think he he finds it all rather easy. The truth is that I doubt any of us really know just yet how successful or able he is or will become, the luck was with him yesterday as Palace tormented his team in the first half, missed a penalty and could quite easily have scored a couple more, the fact that he turned things around in the second half is hopefully testament to his ability to motivate the team and we move on to the next game.

For the third consecutive fixture the same team started which came as a surprise when you consider that four other players had recovered from injury and were available for selection as reported in an earlier press conference from Sherwood, he continues to persevere with Eriksen operating on the left which continues to expose our left back, no true defensive midfield player that exposes our two central defenders and the entire back four far too often BUT still, thankfully the results keep coming in the league.

Yesterday was a game of two halves as they say, the first tentative and the team too often exposed to the swift movement of the Palace team who had chances and who missed a great opportunity to take the lead with an horrendous penalty from Puncheon, in contrast the second half was much more efficient and the subtle changes and increased work rate that was extracted from the team certainly helped.

Many are still wondering why Etienne Capoue is not being given his chance in the continued absence of Sandro as currently Bentaleb and Dembele are the favoured two at least until such time as Paulinho is fit once more, in all honesty yesterdays pairing were the heartbeat of the team and this youngster should develop into something special but you have to fear for the future of Capoue and even our firm favourite Sandro unless Sherwood starts to experiment with other options. Bentaleb passed the ball more than any other player with a 93% success rate but tackling is not his forte with only 4 successes from 11 attempts, Chiriches was apparently another statistically successful player but his downfall is that he is not so good in the air.

One of the questions that we must ask is just why the team starts so slowly, especially at home, we have been exposed far too often and going back to the City game it was all but over in minutes if not seconds. Another concern still remains regarding the so called two up front which has been Adebayor and Soldado, City operate a similar system, albeit with a more balanced squad built for that purpose, but whichever pairing they use seem to work together to create chances for one another, now I have seen Defoe and Soldado make chances for Adebayor and I have seen Soldado create chances and assists for his other teammates BUT have yet to see Adebayor do likewise, OK yesterday he won a header to set up Eriksen but  other than that he seems to drop deep wide , left and centre to receive the ball which beggars the question why play him in midfield rather than a specialist midfielder?

Next week it’s Swansea away and another good opportunity for Sherwood and his team to put more points on the board before the visit of City, the coaching staff have another week or more to get their ideas across and to reintegrate those recovered from injury into the group.

At the moment we have to be thankful that we are still racking up the points and that we are scoring more goals to enable us to do so but there is still a long way to go, team play is still far from exciting, Lennon and Rose, who gets into great forward positions on the other flank, still cannot put their crosses into dangerous areas, just the one from Lennon yesterday, the two forwards don’t seem to be able to play together, without a true defensive midfielder to protect the back four they are too often exposed and it also takes away from the attacking capabilities of Dembele who is torn between his defensive and attacking duties. Eriksen is not only exposed on the left flank but so is Rose and as a central midfielder why continue with the experiment, look at the squad and you will see two players for just about every position, yesterday Chadli and Townsend we were told were fit for selection on the left, Eriksen and Holtby were available in central midfield, Capoue has been on the bench for the last few games and along with Sandro is a specialist defensive midfielder. AVB was accused by Redknapp, supporters and others for putting square pegs in round holes and yet Sherwood seems to be doing much the same and at the same time alienating many of the squad, Defoe has already decided to leave, Holtby and Capoue ¬†continually overlooked and Soldado do not look very happy at all and that could well get worse as players return from injury especially being without involvement in two cup competitions which Sherwood has overseen our exit from.

Yesterdays team performance was not good at all and against the leagues bottom club is of concern, the three points is welcome and all important but play like that against better teams than Palace and there will be only one result, teams above and around us will win comfortably and all hope for the season will be over. Sherwood is beginning to show an obsession with his own ideas of how to play the game and an unhealthy reliance on Adebayor who has let down almost every team he has played for, two up front works for City because they have four fantastic players to call on, it has worked for United in the past for the same reason and because they have had creative forces like Rooney and Berbatov with the ability to drop deep at the right moments to help the midfield four, at the moment Tottenham do not have players of that quality and have to compensate in other ways so let’s hope Sherwood finds that way soon.




12 to “Tottenham v Palace Review”

  1. Eric says:

    Not impressed but a wins a win.We move on

  2. yidarmy says:

    United was probably the best performance with Capoue and dembele or the Paulinho Dembele partnership against Stoke. Those games apart it has been pretty boring with decent results. Like Eric says not impressive as yet.

  3. Jeremy says:

    Yesterday once again, really felt the game was not in our control. Dembele started brightly but after giving away the penalty, i felt his confidence dipped and got a bit quiet. I still havent seen that ability to changing the formation and trying to seize control of the game. Credit to pulis for organising palace’s defence and they were undeserving of the result. As with the arsenal game, his refusal to even consider putting an additional midfielder in. I really am a fan of holtby and i have been impressed by capoue. I hope he is not freezing anyone out cause so far i feel right back in redknapp’s era.

    • Tony says:

      Like Harry it seems Sherwood has his favourites and is not frightened to run them ragged. A few more goals and some decent results but only against average teams. Come up against the top teams and found out e.g arsenal in fact every team we have faced have had many good moments.Dembele is real quality but alongside Bentaleb he has too much responsibility, defend attack create. Alongside Sandro or Capoue he can concentrate on doing what he does best taking on the opposition even alongside Paulinho he shares the responsibility. Bentaleb is a good player but he takes something away from Dembele.

  4. Eric says:

    I fear like harry he will insist with his favourites inspite of a large squad.Let’s hope he plays capoue or sandro against swansea and city

  5. Alee says:

    Agree with much of what you say Tony. It is puzzling that Capoui is not playing and I wish we would use Chadli on the wing more, instead of Eriksen, until Townsend is back.

    Both Cap and Chad haven’t had a huge amount of opportunity to get into a run of form although and I don’t think we’ve seen any particularly bad performances from either of them yet.

    BTW, saying “especially being without involvement in two cup competitions which Sherwood has overseen our exit from.” is a bit harsh. League Cup, he took over 48 odd hours before the game and FA Cup we lost to the league leaders.

  6. BigH says:

    We were lucky. Sherwood is a Rednknapp clone, tactically clueless and it will the old boys club again. I really want to give him a chance, but the more I see the more worried I get. No doubt he doesn’t rate Capoue or will have some sort of personality clash. Otherwise why not play him? Lets see what team is picked for Swansea. Barring injuries if it is the same then the season is really going to end with us finishing about 10th. Like Bentaleb but lets develop him and not ruin him

  7. Jide says:

    It seems everyone has suddenly woken up! Thank goodness for that. I have asked these questions about two weeks ago, but my fellow fans, you either took the decision to ignore me thinking I am another raving loony or you were simply basking in the glow of the few wins under Messrs Sherwood et all. I asked the question why the sudden fascination with the kid Bentaleb when we had a French and a German u-21 internationals on the bench. I cannot make any sense of what I call ‘kamikaze’ football we are playing. We have two upfront with one – Adebayor who contributes not very much to the team. Soldado to me plays more on the left than as a second striker, yet we are selling our best striker who simply has had enough of warming the bench. What can I say about our midfield? It is simply too weak, and it is not like there are no better players on the bench to shore it up. I only pray that we are not lambs to the slaughter once again playing the stronger, more technically gifted teams.

    I am still waiting for anyone to answer the question what exactly is the contribution of Ferdinand, Freund and Ramsey? Are they party to this selection? When Sir Les was a pundit for our Europa matches, this was not the system he was advocating for Spurs to play. Why has his tune changed?

    The folly of this system will be clear to see in the next two matches when we play teams who are more likely to hold on to the ball better than us. I do not know what the same tactics and system used and was an abject failure against Arsenal utilised again. If Palace had their shooting boots on, I wonder what would have happened. Also, what is going to happen when Paulinho returns to full fitness, will Bentaleb still be picked over him? I cannot decipher the system we are currently playing.

    Sherwood has been lucky, I am doing my best to keep the faith and not subscribe to the belief that he has his favourites. My response to that view has been this more or less is a winning team in the league, why tinker and change it? But the last match against Palace made me shift uncomfortably.

    When all is said and done, he is yet to lose in the PL, so I find myself asking, why I’m I still not satisfied? I guess that is why I’m a fan. J

    • Stantheman says:

      In answer to your question on Ferdinand, Freund and Ramsey they are there to act as “Yes” men and to leak rumours to the press. I would probably guess that Freund has been retained so that he does not leak the AVB goings on. Take a look at the stats in recent games and Sherwood team is less exciting than AVB’s, 2 forwards equals less shots taken and less on target. no decent balls into the box(one by lennon)Bentaleb is a good player great involvement and passing accuracy but he has yet to create a chance and is no defensive midfielder either with only 4 of 11 tackles won against Palace.
      Happy with the results of course but not with the performances, probably Stoke was the best. Still see Adebayor as a selfish player it’s him or nothing.

  8. Eric says:

    His obsession with Bentaleb is to prove his influence on youth development.I’m not against it but they should be introduced against teams like crystal palace and not arsenal.Also like his messiah he seems to have his favourites.It’s good for the English and youth lads but not for the other international.Remember how under harry we lost our tract at season end because everyone knew our starting 11 b4 hand and also his favourites got injured due to playing all the matches.Rose had said no matter how well he played Ekkoto was chosen ahead of him but under Avb only performances.Not to say avb was a better coach and all but to prove like harry,Tim too will play his favourites and hence Bentaleb

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