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The Rotation Question?

One of the biggest gripes about Harry Redknapp was that the didn't rotate enough, but AVB might be considered even more rigid in his selection.

At least with Harry we played the kids and squad players in Europe, whilst Villas-Boas, seems to prefer the regular picks game upon game, which could well come back to bite us very hard on the backside in the final third of the season. Of course Spurs made the decision to cut their losses on a number of players that weren't in the clubs long term plans and that has to be considered to be a sensible decision and I can imagine, or at least hope we do the same again with one or two permanent departures in the new year.

Getting rid of the deadwood is very sensible, but in the short term it does possibly mean we lack experience and numbers as and when we need to make changes. We do have some great youngsters coming through, but they are still learning their trade and I do wonder if AVB feels they are ready to make the final step up or perhaps he is simply being a little too cautious. Either way the mix of senior injuries and a lack of games for the kids, could well leave us regretting not resting one or two players when we did have the chance.

To date, I feel AVB has been a little unlucky in his ability to rotate and I also wonder if he is looking at getting a healthy mix of developing a tactical understanding and remaining competitive at the cost of a few tired legs later in the season? Long term losses of Parker, Kaboul, BAE, Adebayor and Dembele have massively restricted his options and perhaps the need to get Dempsey and Sigurdsson up to speed and also seemingly not really fancying the likes of Dawson and Huddlestone, he has left himself with little choice but to stick with his favoured group or play the kids.

Perhaps AVB has learned the lesson from Chelsea that he has to take time to make radical change and also has top get and keep the senior players on side. Is one of the best ways to keep the players happy, simply to play the big names and the rest have to wait their turn or for the transfer window to open once again. We all know that there is a pecking order in most squads, and playing Andros Townsend for example over one or both of Dempsey to Sigurdsson in an important game is a massive statement and one that risks unsettling a dressing room far easier and quicker than leaving out a young player that probably already see's his squad elevation as proof of his development.

In defence of AVB, it is no doubt far easier to drop the odd player into the team when they are playing well and full of confidence, but equally as fans, we talk about rotation, but only really shout about it, when things are not going well. Last season, everyone was talking the adage of sticking with a winning team and it was only when we were struggling for points, was there any real call for change and rotation. When a team is playing well, should you change things unless you have to and what is the best way to rotate a team? Do you change things game upon game or pick a best XI and only change that for Cups or when a player in injured or suspended? Should players feel they have to fight for their place as opposed to simply waiting their turn?

As fans we tend to be hypercritical and demand change when things aren't going as we want them, but when we win, we talk about picking a best team always, with the only exception being if our favourite isn't in or our pantomime villain is in. Problem is that we know from experience that playing the best team for 50+ games a season will only end in tears and that some rotation is essential. If we know it, I'm positive AVB knows it, therefore why isn't he doing it more? Perhaps with the returns of Kaboul, BAE and Parker, we will see the likes of Vertonghen and Sandro get well deserved rests, but we also appear to have a healthy mix of players who can and want to play every game, though sometimes players need saving from themselves.

With the usual busy Christmas and new year schedule, this can be the first indication of tired legs. With a few players returning from injury, is this an ideal opportunity to rest a few to keep them and us fresh. Facing a physically demanding Stoke for example, is that a perfect opportunity to rest William Gallas and start with Dawson at the back? Perhaps even go one further and play and Naughton, resting Walker for Villa. Sadly I have a feeling that Jan Vertonghen is undroppable until we get one or both of BAE and Kaboul back, However lets give him a week off in the build up to the FA up game against Coventry, if not sooner.

It has crossed my mind that we are not yet mentally ready to accept major rotation, partly because we are just about getting to grips with the new tactical demands of a manager and also have a squad that is used to either being in or out of the team. The likes of Man United are masters of making several changes and not detracting too much from the quality they can offer. Perhaps we are getting to a stage where we can rest almost anyone, but we are not quite there and perhaps have to get our minds more than bodies used to playing less and not take being rested in the same way as being dropped...

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The journalist

Writer: OxfordSpur Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday December 20 2012

Time: 9:51AM

Your Comments

With the exception of Vertonghen and Sandro due to injuries to Kaboul, BAE and Parker all other players have been rotated. The main difference between AVB and Harry is AVB wants to try and win all competitions rather than field a bunch of kids to get knocked out early doors because it's not important. If you field a bunch of kids against any side in Europe/Capital One Cup you get found out, last year for example. A winning mentality is key, resting certain players with the team still being strong is what rotation is about, not completely changing the starting XI, this way no consistency can be found.
All this nonsense about being tired, who makes this up? Lionel Messi played 60 games last season and scored 73 goals, he picked up the Ballon D'or and even managed to squeeze in a quick one with his missus and have a baby. Not a bad effort for someone who's tired!!!
who cares, it's all over tomorrow morning !!! the world is gonna stop rotating, never mind our squad!! But if you understand infinity, then you will realize that there are countless other dimensions where spurs are top of the pile..,, it's been fun, paddling around on this thin raft.
@ spurster, if the world ends tomorrow, I guess there is little point in going Christmas shopping in a minute...
OX ...get your gregory peck cashed and head for the local survival store...
dont think our squad is good enough to rotate. A few years ago with Pienaar, Kranckjar, Pav, Corluka and Bassong maybe, but not now. Not with Townsend, Livermore, Jenas, Falque
I have to disagree, AVB has shown much more inclination to rotate than harry. playing only kids in the europa and certain cups like harry did is not rotation, it is dividing the squad into the favoured ones and the second strings, then openly admitting that we have no interest in winning europa games and in fact hope to get knocked out further ostracises those players chosen for the task of losing. AVB rotates - more players from our squad had featured in the PL than any other club when i last saw the stats a few weeks ago. he has brought through youngsters in a far more meaningful way, caulker, carroll and townsend have had more significant roles, and the team changes according to whom we play. This is all good. I don't think we will see the stubborn refusal to rest players before they get injured (and even then) from AVB, and I think he is better at keeping the squad as a whole happy meaning that rotation becomes easier on players. He has however been massively restricted by the injuries we have had to contend with. Once kaboul, benny, parker, dawson are fit we will see even more rotation. The only players who have been really overworked have been vertonghen, sandro and walker, and this will change now there are viable options for them
Guernman I agree with everything you say there. HR didn't rotate at all and like you say divided the squad up. The way I see it, AVB has around 25 players who he can play at any time when fit, and he views that as a squad, not 14 first-teamers and 11 reserves. The biggest misses have been Kaboul and BAE, especially the former as the ability to play either centre back or right back would have meant more of a rest for Verts and Walker. Now these players are coming back I fully expect to see those given a first team shirt working extra hard to stay there, and those coming on working their damndest to get in the team.
you gotta be great to rotate....if the players on the sidelines aren't better you can't do it easily but a team is about balance and blend so there'll be opportunities....
The main difference IMO is that AVB tends to "rotate" the players to suit who we are playing, not just because they are run down. Its nice to see a variety on the bench aswell, rather than the same faces. Even the benches have players to suit the opposition rather than just the favourites sat there in case of injury.
Also I notice rumours of a move for M'Vila have resurfaced today - I didn't realise but apparently he is a bit of a naughty boy, and has been banned from the French National Team until 2014, and has fallen out with club management. Levy may spot a bargain, but do we want a disruptive influence? I can't help but think him and Sandro in the middle would be immense...
not sure if he rotating, or more picking the team according to the game ahead, as some players seem to play every game, and some players get dropped/rested/rotated. I also think with the small squad we have, we dont have the players to rotate as yet, I expect more rotation next season when AVB gets (hopefully) more of the players he requires.
Bookies give 2,000/1 odds on world ending on December 21, I've placed 10 on this happening, anyone know how i collect, if it comes up?
spu 4 life
Also placed 10 on le scum winning the CL, oh well look's like that's 20 down the pan.
spu 4 life
I have a really good feeling about the second half of the season with Scotty, Bae and Kaboul back, hopefully add a signing or two in January and have the rest of the team playing at their highest level fully fit, we will be a very difficult side to beat!
Rumour Mill, Interest from Reading for Hudd?
spu 4 life
We have not asked for change for changes sake but to put right things that were clearly not working, which he has largely done. Just needs to stop bringing on defensive players for forwards causing us to defend our own box for 15 minutes instead of continuing to defend with a high line.
but we have to rotate cos we have 12 other near world-class players (having bought them in January, cos the kids demanded it) at a cost of 100m transfers and another 600k a week in wages, on the bench to cover the 1st team (who are only just sligtly better).... it makes sense to use Erickson,Llorente et al, surely ?
If you re winning games comfortably with 15-20 minutes left, you can give the occasional young un a run out. In our case we have dropped a shed load of points in the last 10 minutes, which proves we are vulnerable, so don't have that opportunity.You cannot afford to compromise results just for the sake of rotation. It is not as if we have any stand out golden prospects whose form demands a 1st team place.
the main reason why we have dropped pts late on is cos teres not been an outball when defending leads, with only tiny Defoe upfront to aim at... this will correct itself generally speaking (never guaranteed each game) now that Ade has returned... I'm more encouraged by the fact that if/when this is corrected then we'll be at a similar level to the 1st 2 in the Prem... very encouraged indeed.
yiddyboy, Messi "even managed to squeeze in a quick one with his missus and have a baby. Not a bad effort for someone who's tired!!!"

My itk says that Messi was on the bench for that one and a reserve came and filled in for him. lol

but seriously, lad, if we had Messi we could play Bentley and Jenas and still win most matches even if neymar were sitting our manager wishing we still had Pav on the roster. (Whatever happened to neymar since Pav left?)

Total knobhead
What's everyone complaining about. Bale, BAE, Daws, Kaboul, Dembele, Parker, Adebayor were seated while such as Huddlestone, etc., were playing. Isn't this rotation enough for ya? Any more rotation that this and AVB would have to start claiming that players weren't playing because of injuries rather than his rotation policy. Anyway, if we go into the tradition established in the last two years of a Feb through May swoon it won't be because these men weren't rested sufficiently. It will be because players like Huddlestone are sitting while *****ers like Dembele are playing. Or something like that...
Total knobhead
Yes I know I'm being silly, but it's good to come back and be silly after so much time away with health problems and a huge natural disaster. I'm sitting on the beach and feeling alive. And Corinthians won the world club championship to put Chelsea down. That should make us all happy, no? Enough to turn downright sillyputty.
Total knobhead
Total knobhead - LOL. I just don't get the whole tried act! Viyyash-Ramosh - I am officially refusing to read anymore of your posts, you are getting boring. PS - Don't bother with a reply, coz I won't read it :-P
Youth is a permanent state of being tired because of all the running about. If you're young and you're not tired all the time, you're not doing it right.
Total knobhead
I would like to see if Messi can play 60+ games in the premier league...

But I agree with what some people say... 'arry did not rotate. Splitting the squad to team A and B is not rotation.
AVB is deffo more inclined to rotate and thats a good thing. players will need rest even without injuries and also its good to use certain players for sertain tactics eg. using pacier Naughton on Sunday to allow us to play a highline more, and possibly using Das for Gallas against Stoke and their long-ball tricks.... I even liked the changes against Everton, as we looked more comfy with the fresher legs of the 3 subs on (despite the flukey end to game)
1)Messi gets a winter break half way through the Spanish season. 2)Messi plays in a slower league. 3)Messi is 1 of the greatest players of all time. So not a good comparison.
Alright Guyver - I'm just trying to point out that it's all nonsense about being tired by playing 50-60 games a season. When teams are winning players want to play. Simple as that.
It must be Christmas! All of Franks preivous posts I have found myself agreeing with! Even Viyyash-Ramosh has kinda made since in his last couple fo posts. Rotation should only happen as rotation is required. Constantly switching players around makes the team unsettled and doesn't allow for understanding to be formed amoungst the core of the team. Frank is right about when the youngsters should be introduced!
Slurms McKenzie
Players will use "tired" as an excuse! Heard this the other day and totally agree. Don't play one or two against Coventry, with an addition of a wide man and forward, we have enough to cope.
yiddyboy, Man Utd are always winning and always rotating when necessary. Players might always want to play, but sometimes it's in their best interest to take breather every now and then.
A little harsh as avb has not had a great opportunity to rotate and good to see he has prioritised winning, unlike Europa last year. Townsend, caulker, naughton etc have been introduced, but when Parker, bae, kaboul and Dawson are back fit, am sure avb will keep things fresh. Good timing for them to be back with a busy period coming up and one which could define our season. Coys
AVB doesn't rotate. We play to our strengths and make the odd change here and there. Players work for their spot and will get changed if injured/off form. We need better quality in depth in order to make key changes, like last season. The fact that we have had a busy fixture list, EL etc means we have been allowed to play some youngsters as well. This is all very much the Spurs way, the way its been with the last boss as well. This whole 'rotation' thing was amo to use against Harry because some people haven't got a ****ing clue, the same people are now ok with things. If we manage to get some more quality for a few more positions then we really have to be challenging for the PL, FA Cup and CL. We on our way but still hard work needed to get ourselves in a better shape. Harry got us up there, and AVB I hope - is going to take us onwards. COYS.
The problem with overplaying players is you only know its happened when the form falls away and its too late to do anything.The whole area is complex, different players have different physical limits and generally central defenders can play more games than wingers. As has been said Ferguson is the master of squad rotation, we are a long way short of that. There is also the question of shape. While Townsend may be behind Dempsey and Siggi in the pecking order he plays a different game. We saw that against Swansea, when he came on he started running at the defenders and winning free kicks. Essentially if Lennon or Bale isn't playing and you want to maintain a threat down both wings you play Townsend, otherwise you accept you have to play differently. In terms of cover its very patchy, defensive midfield we have Sandro, Parker and Livermore but if dembele gets injured we're screwed.
Agreed Jod thats football mangement summed up nicely!
Slurms McKenzie
Harry did not rotate, ask Krankjar, Pav, Defoe and Chorluka all internationals that hardly got a look in with Harry. AVB hasn't been able to rotate as much as he would like to with so many injuries. Even so he has involved the squad so they all feel part of the team. COYS.
Regarding Townsend, he looks to me to be the ideal guy to bring on for the last 10-15 in games when you have been on top, defenders have got a bit tired and leggy, and he can "run them". Whether he is good enough to impose himself as a starter over 80-90 minutes is doubtful.
Good comment frank.

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