Date:Monday March 11 2013
Despite the individual errors, can we also question AVB's selection or was it a sign of things to come?
No manager can legislate for individual mistakes, and you assume they alone were the main reason why Tottenham didn't pick up the points at Anfield yesterday and based on that, no blame can be directed at our manager, who aside from the scoreline, will surely have been quite pleased with the general performance, even though one or two individuals didn't exactly shine, whilst we also know he was without a few good players and also options from the bench to really make a tactical difference.
Upon seeing the Spurs side, it looked a little devoid of creativity in the middle and built more to counter Liverpool. as opposed to looking to take the game to them. After Suarez scored his excellently taken goal, it appeared that I was right and I was talking of an early substitution to put right the first half deficiencies. Before the game, I assumed that Lewis Holtby would have been the man to replace the injured Lennon in the starting XI, however I was also slightly worried that he hadn't quite looked his self in the last game or two, and perhaps was lacking that early zip or a bit of confidence. Without Clint Dempsey or even Emmanuel Adebayor, playing safe, with Parker, Livermore and Dembele, might have been his best and safest option, and with the equaliser on the stroke of half time, and then going into a 2-1 lead, could anyone argue that AVB had got his selection wrong?
For some time, it has crossed my mind, that the quality and form of Bale and Lennon, has to a degree forced AVB's hand in going with a 4-2-3-1, as opposed to 4-3-3, something that many people assumed would have been our default setting. Though we have been 'quite' successful in adapting Gareth Bale into a more central and more versatile player, Lennon probably still struggles to be anything more than a very good winger, whether played on the right or left. To his credit, his form and work-rate make him a vital member of the team, but is it his rigidity and lack of ability to strike fear into opposing keepers, that make us stick with a compromise formation, as well as perhaps not yet securing that lock picking play-maker, such as Moutinho or similar?
The fact that we are clearly developing nicely and doing very well in the Prem and Europa league, means that we have ignored the formation issue, because everything is running smoothly, but was yesterdays selection, a small hint at where AVB's medium - long term intentions lie? I don't really like getting too carried away with formations, because we all know that one player playing higher or lower, can alter a perceived team shape, but yesterday, I again wondered, if the selection was a toe in the water attempt at moving towards his long term plan and having his cannot drop wide man injured, made for an ideal opportunity, even if the players at his disposal where not quite his dream central three?
Perhaps in time, Holtby or even Tom Carroll, who again impressed me in his few minutes cameo, could be a very good option to work alongside, Parker/Sandro and Dembele, though there remains for me a feeling that we might need to bring in that play-making CM, over already having him at the club. Holtby, certainly has the bite and energy to play deeper and I wonder if that is where AVB and even the player himself, see his future, once he has bedded into the side. Once again we read that Christian Eriksen is a summer target and he might be well suited to the more offensive role, with would allow Holtby to play deeper, though with the uncertainty over Bale's future, can we take too much for granted?
Yesterday, may well have been a case of countering the opposition with limited resources, but I do question whether we will soon see the next stage in our development implemented in the summer. Some will suggest that Dembele was deployed on the right, but does anyone really see his place as being anything other than being one of a centrally based two or three in the future. Sandro and Dembele, make for a very useful pairing and also a great basis for a three, should that be something on AVB's mind. If that is his longer term aim, I do worry slightly for Lennon as a starter in the future. Sure he is a very good and influential player, but is his a case of adapt or die in the future of Spurs? This season he has been a Europa captain and you feel that AVB likes him for what he brings to the team, and perhaps that is why he is still playing and we are still evolving the system, but I do feel that we are still some way to go with the Villas-Boas revolution, and perhaps we got a small glimpse of his intentions yesterday...
Date:Monday March 11 2013
Early bird catches the worm (Friday May 24 2013)
Should we worry about AVB rumours? (Friday May 24 2013)
Jamaica 0-0 Tottenham. (Friday May 24 2013)
In Levy We Trust* (Thursday May 23 2013)
Bale to Stay; But where does he Play? (Thursday May 23 2013)
The Cantona of North London! (Wednesday May 22 2013)
End of Term Report (Wednesday May 22 2013)
2013/2014 - The year of change (Wednesday May 22 2013)
Damned if we do (Tuesday May 21 2013)
Silly season is here!! (Tuesday May 21 2013)
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