Writer: OyVeh Maria
Date:Saturday December 21 2013
Let`s talk football! After all results on the pitch is what we need right now to prevent us starting a momentum downwards when we want the team to battle back.
We were mugged again by West Ham on Wednesday night just after the subs came on and changed the shape of the team that is when we went behind! Somehow we need to find someone who can be more creative in midfield, as once again we are still very predictable with regard to that final ball. We are all feeling a bit shell shocked after the last few days and we now need Tim Sherwood to get a grip of the situation.
We have four games between 22 December and the 1st January and it is now time to dig deep as some of our key players, especially in defence, are missing. We can still rescue our League form as we have a half decent chance of winning our next 3 games before we meet Manure at OT on the 1st January.
Let`s start with our back four. Southampton are a tidy and organised unit and our back line has to be organised. As Verts is going to be out until January I assume we only have Dawson and Chiriches for CB, as Kaboul has no return date, with Walker and Rose either side, it is just a question of how long Rose can play.
So how does Tim set us up? 4- 4- 2 against the Spam looked good for a while but we lost something in midfield and we will need a playmaker in the middle of the park on Sunday. Sandro is doubtful and Paulinho has two more matches to go until his red card ban is finished.
If Eriksen could find the form he showed at the start of the season then perhaps he could play in the pocket whilst Dembele and Capoue sit in front of the back four to add some much needed over. Lennon on the right and Lamela on the left might add some width but I expect Chadli will once again get the nod or probably Siggs for the left.
Adebayor and Soldado? Better than Adebayor and Defoe? There is no doubt that Adebayor looked rusty but he looked useful as well and he might just add something to our attack but I can`t see Sherwood going for anything other than a 4 -5 -1 away from home until he and the coaching squad can work out what is the right blend for the team. In reality we have not had a full squad since Danny Rose went off crocked in September. We have subsequently been punished for not having a decent left back and whilst Verts has played that position he was obviously unhappy with AVB.
If we can just get to string some results together until the January windows opens and then maybe we can hope that Levy can bring someone half decent into that Left Back position. If we can stay in touch with the top 5 by the end of January maybe our season can be turned around especially if we can get Verts Kaboul and Townsend fit again.
Our problems seemed to have dramatically reversed. We were sound at the back and dreadful up front now we have started getting goals, albeit from the outfield players, but now we are leaking goals at the back. It may be a negative but for the moment we need to concentrate on defence and start keeping clean sheets again. How we do that with Kaboul only having a part time job, Vertonghen out and Chiriches clearly not the best in the air, is the challenge that faces the coaching squad. We are going to have to drop the high line tactic and get some taller bodies like Chadli helping out at the back. Lennon and whoever takes over left wing will need to track back and help the left back.
It`s time for some players to too step up to the plate. AVB cannot take all the blame for the Citeh, Spam and Bin Dipper results. As much as I love him, Dawson is great against the lower half of the table teams but he is not at the level we need for the top 6 teams. The truth is we need another quality CB and defo a high class LB. The problem for us at the moment is our stock has fallen big time so the next appointment is important not just for getting us back on track but for any player looking for a move to the Premiership from abroad may be thinking twice about coming to us.
We don`t have to spend big to get a team together. Everton and, to some extent, Scum, have shown that you don`t have to buy success like Citeh and Chavski we just have to be a bit more savvy. We have all seen the list AVB wanted as opposed to the players Baldini brought in but there is nothing wrong with this squad it just needs a couple or three better signings. Whoever takes over at Spurs has a really good squad to work with. Recent results are not a fair reflection on our players. It won`t be a dodle for Hoddle or any other manager coming in but it`s on the pitch now that counts so we need to continue our away form and get a result at Southampton.
Written by OyVeh Maria
Date:Saturday December 21 2013
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