A new formation?
So many have opinions on the manager, the players and the formation. But it's the latter I believe is the problem.
Don't get me wrong, with a fit squad I fully support AVB's 4-1-1-3-1 tactic, with Sandro as the defensive hold and Dembele in the middle. But we have injuries, players badly out of form, and a wafer thin squad. Against the Scum, I believe we should play to our fit players strengths; not put square pegs in round holes to stick rigidly to a system. And that means 3-5-2. Yes ladies and gentlemen, the time is now.
Let's look at why this is player for player. Firstly I would play Lloris in goal. Brad has done nothing wrong, but this system requires a quick sweeper-keeper and Hugo is your man. He will hopefully be fully fit after a game for France so stick him in. Now your 3 centre backs. We only have 4 anyway, but I wouldn't put Dawson in the side, his lack of pace against a fast Arsenal forward line could be telling.
Playing with Vertonghen, Caulker and Gallas would do two things. Firstly, it would help to counter wide men who have drifted in against us in previous matches. (Think Mata, Ben Arfa, Nani, Snodgrass, Morrison!!) Podolski and Walcott will do this for Arsenal. Simply by having an extra body at the back can make it more difficult for them.
Secondly it leaves an extra body at the back when we push forward and get caught, as has happened against Chelsea and Man City. Pushing Vertonghen back to his favoured role is also another plus point. The wing backs would be Walker and Bale. Walker needs a good old rest; I'm not sure he ever recovered properly from the injury before Euro 2012. However, Saturday's game is not the time for Naughton.
By playing Walker at wing back it would help relieve him of defensive problems he has suffered this season. I'm not saying he wouldn't defend, but it would help his positional play. As he goes forward he would hope Podolski comes back with him, and his job would be to track Podolski back as well. Again if Podolski cuts in there should be 3 centre backs waiting.
Gareth Bale may not like playing wing back but it's for the good of the team and he would still provide our best out-ball. Again he would be up against Walcott or Chamberlain and would have his share of defensive work, but we saw even against City how quick he can be from one box to the other with the ball at his feet. It would also stop him from drifting inside, although this has been less frequent this season.
I advocate playing 3 men in the middle against Arsenal and they would be Sandro, Huddlestone and Carroll. It would be a big game for young Tommy, but to be honest we haven't got anybody else if Dembele is not fit. Arsenal's midfield, if given time and space, can destroy Spurs. Wilshere, Arteta and Cazorla. I wouldn't fancy two men in there against those lot - 3 midfielders is a must.
Despite their talent, if we got at them, stifled their space and retained possession (easier to do with 3 in the middle of the park) the battle can be won. Sandro can sit deep, Huddlestone is your man in the middle, with Carroll pushing on. Up front is a difficult choice. Dempsey and Sigurdsson have been nothing short of awful so far, although the latter has shown endeavour. Dempsey looks like he'd rather be anywhere else.
I would go two up front and have a go at Arsenal's shaky back line. Ade was our best player on Sunday, and his dislike for the opposition should fire him up. He can play the hole, helping to bring our midfield and on-rushing wide men into the game. Defoe has been excellent and deserves to start.
This means no place for Lennon, but after recovering from a knock, the bench should be ok, and what a sub to bring on once the Scum are tired. There are ways to get at Arsenal. They hate it when it gets tough, their crowd are as bad as ours when things go wrong, and our set plays have looked great this season, while they look very shaky. I fancy a belter of a game, with a few goals. Fingers crossed for a win!
Written by sebbaspurs