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Essays For Yids
PaddySpurs4Life (Tottenham Hotspur) 1 year ago
Well we know how much us Yids like our essays, but most times they tend to get buried. So here we can debate to our heart's content. Me and Hatmundo will tell you whats on the agenda in the main Forum...
PaddySpurs4Life (Tottenham Hotspur) 1 year ago
Here's the first one on squad depth:



Hatmundo

(Tottenham Hotspur)

18 hours ago



So.... Solid win for Spurs in the season opener. I gotta' say I was a little bit worried before the game. Lots of new players and an awkward preseason for our centre backs. At halftime I was wasn't sure if we were going to be able to break them down without a playmaker. Then we got the goal that gave us the lead and closed the game out well. I have got tip my hat to AVB as he looks to be doing a fantastic job during our early transition stage of this season. Putting points on the board early is so very vital to us achieving our goals this time round.

We played a 4231 with Gylfie playing behind the striker. It made sense as we can't really play a 433 without Gareth Bale in the squad. This is due to Lennons inclusion and inability to play on the left. It also highlights why we need to have more competition in the wide forward area, if we honestly want to play a 433 all season. The other thing I think the game demonstrated is that for some games we will need a No 10 style playmaker that can unlock a parked bus.

Capoue - We only saw a substitute appearance from him but I think he could well become my new favourite player. I thought he was unbelievable! Sandro is currently my fav player but if Capoue and him can be on the same pitch together.... I think opposition midfielders would flat out s**t themselves! Seriously those two on at the end of the game will be the key to us closing out games this season. Can't tell you how excited I am about this guy!

He was exceptional at breaking up the play and intercepting the ball.... That was obvious! What was most surprising for me was that he seems to have the passing range of Thudd when he came on. He picked out some fantastic long balls and through balls from a deep position. What is significant about that is he has only been with the squad for a few days. So Cap has not had time to adjust to where player will be, like Thudd has. Capoue was able to pick out these fantastic passes simply by having tremendous vision while on the pitch. Give him half a season to learn his teammates positional habits and he will be unstoppable!

Soldado - Made some very smart runs and his hold up play was better than I expected. That penalty really was a thing of beauty. If this season is actually fair and we win some penalties.... Then I back Soldado to put most of them away. Isn't it a great feeling knowing that we finally have that elite striker in our squad.

Vert - I thought he was immense during the game. Some moments of pure class and always calm under pressure. He played so well without a preseason but I am very worried about how he seemed to pull up during the last minute of the game. Lets hope he is fit for the next league fixture as he is such an influential player for us. Glad to see Kaboul gaining match fitness too. If we can have Vert and Kaboul fit and in form then we have a superb base for our defence this year.

Lloris - Best keeper in the league as far as I'm concerned. I accept I may be bias but I firmly believe he will win us points on his own this season. There are many quality shot stoppers out there but the way he comes of his line as a sweeper keeper is what makes him something special. It's also vital to the way that AVB wants to play a high line. Just that one time he came of his line and tackled the palace player outside his box this morning has saved us 2 points already this season.

Jedinak - maybe its cos I'm Australian but I think he was the player of the match. If it was not for him Spurs would have been much more dominant. He protected the Palace back 4 and showed that despite all our size and strength in midfield we won't always be able bulldoze our way through. Bale centrally probably would have done a better job than Gylfie did against Mile but a top playmaker is usually the best option against the parked bus.

Paulinho - He did everything I wanted him to do in that game. He was central to most of midfield passing. His offensive movement was first class and his defensive contribution was great. His fits in perfectly with our physically intimidating midfield but is probably the best technically. Great job but I don't think we will truly get to see his best for a few months yet.

Rose - I was impressed with his work rate. He was clearly out to try and make the left back spot his own. Super engine on the young lad and he made some incisive runs with the ball. In defence he simply took no chances. He certainly kicked the ball into touch more than I would like but I can appreciate the fact that his number one concern was not to concede a goal. I still have my heart very much set on Coentrao but I won't be upset if Rose is expected to play a lot of games this season. He still has plenty to learn but in my opinion he is learning quickly.

Chadli - Very big and strong in his physique and in his running with the ball. What I liked about him is that while he was on the left he naturally wanted to cut inside and score. Granted he didn't get anything on target but it shows how perfect he is for the 433 system that we will eventually be playing. He is good with both feet so he can potentially cut in from either side too.... Which is important cos I think we may be adding another wide player to compete with Chadli but that's below.

Ade - Ade was on compassionate leave as his brother died. My sympathies go out to him and his family. Nevertheless I do think Ade will be leaving this window. I think he will be replaced by a flexible forward. A player like Lamela or Willian would fit in that mould perfectly. Willian can compete with lennon on the right in a 4231. He can compete with Chadli on the left in a 433. He can ALSO be third choice striker if Soldado and Defoe are unavailable. Finally he could also play as our No 10 playmaker! Lamela is almost identical positionally so either player would be massive upgrades on Ade.

Preemptive answer - gylfie will provide cover for the wide roles as well as competing with Bale for the central role in a 4231. Most often he will come off the bench when AVB wants to make changes midgame. He provides plenty of tactical options through his flexibility which are valuable throughout a long season. He will still get enough starts in various cups competitions as well as during busy schedule times like Christmas.





+3





FootballDoc

(Tottenham Hotspur)

17 hours ago



Well what this game did show us is what we're missing. I think we missed a player to play behind Soldado and feed him and be creative. Sigurdsson played that role today but he was very ordinary. I'd prefer to see maybe Holtby in there or we bring in someone like Willian. Of course VDV was the perfect player for that position....

The other thing is a good young CB as cover and I think that's pretty much it.










Spursaussie3

(Tottenham Hotspur)

16 hours ago



Eriksen + Alderweireld....










Nippro

(Tottenham Hotspur)

15 hours ago



You guys think Kaboul will start next game?










Hatmundo

(Tottenham Hotspur)

15 hours ago



In my ideal world we would get Papadopoulos, Eriksen, Coentrao and Lamela. Selling Ade, Benny and Parker. I accept it's unrealistic for multiple reasons.... But that's who we would get in my ideal world. I would also loan out Carroll to a premier league club. Give him a full season to prove himself worthy of the Spurs first team.

It would involve us spending another 40mil including sales. Taking our total expenditure up to 80mil. I always expected us to spend between 70-80mil this window so it's not impossible.

Truth is though Papa's asking price is around 14mil and we will probably only spend half that on our 4th choice back. Eriksen will probably go to a big club in Italy who are offering the champs league and big wages. Coentrao I think we are a chance of signing so my fingers are crossed. Roma is no rush to sell Lamela so I think we are much more chance of signing Willian.

Willian is not as good as Lamela but he probably won't cost as much either. I can see the billionaire Anzi owner accepting an installment plan like Levy normally uses. On the other hand I can see cash strapped Roma demanding most of it up front.... Which may or may not not be a problem I have no idea.










PaddySpurs4Life

(Tottenham Hotspur)

9 hours ago



Getting Eriksen AND Lamela would be a waste of money. That would mean having 3 players who have played many games as a left-attacking forward (Chadli, Sigurdsson, Eriksen), six players who have played many games as a central attacking forward (Lamela, Sigurdsson, Bale, Holtby, Chadli, Eriksen) and 4 players who have played many games as right attacking forwards (Lennon, Townsend, Bale, Lamela)....

Lamela would be a good acquisition but only if we were serious about challenging for the title this season. I think personally that Spurs as a club is building very quickly, but it needs to be a steady growth. With this squad, we should very easily be able to challenge for 3rd and win the Europa league....

We also have to take FFP into consideration










Hatmundo

(Tottenham Hotspur)

6 hours ago



@Paddy of the players you mentioned only Eriksen and Holtby can play as the deep playmaker in a 433. That's what I'm thinking about. We can't be thinking in terms of the 4231 that we are currently playing when signing new players. This is our final transition season from Harry's 4411 designed squad. I'm thinking of using Eriksen as a deep playmaker and Lamela as the starting left forward.

Like this.

Walker/naughton--Dawson/Kaboul--Vert/Papa--Rose/Coentrao

-----------------Sandro/Capoue----------------------------

----------Paulinho/Holtby----Dembele/Eriksen--------------

--Bale/Townsend-------Soldado/Defoe-------Chadli/Lamela---

Gylfie can play multiple positions so is the perfect squad option depth wise. Lennon makes the ultimate tactical option if AVB wants to switch to a 4231 at any point. That would give us the 24 quality players I reckon we need to compete in all cups and potentially win them. As I said it's unrealistic for multiple reasons but that would be my perfect squad by a country mile. In fact just looking at that team sheet gets me a little giddy.

Re FFP: If City, Monaco, PSG and countless other teams can do what they have been doing then we have nothing to worry about. Trust me Levy has thought this s**t through and either way we have 3 years to balance the books.










PaddySpurs4Life

(Tottenham Hotspur)

5 hours ago



I think 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3 are going to be our main formations this season. We shouldn't assume that just because AVB used 4-3-3 at Porto, that he's going to implement it constantly here. Moving between these two formations will be key to dominating midfield and ensuring Bale finds the space he needs to work....

I know you said that its unrealistic and I agree that on Fifa it would be an unbelievable squad. However, with your team you have to look at the Bench and who would be in the reserves. For your team:

Subs: Friedel, Kaboul, Rose, Eriksen, Lamela, Capoue, Defoe.

This means that Townsend, Lennon, Sigurdsson, Holtby, Papadopolous and Naughton won't even make the squad....

Another thing wrong with your formation is that Lamela is a right-winger, devastating when cutting onto his left foot and unleashing a rocket.... Like Townsend, he can play left winger, but is in his element when on the right.

Gylfi can't be the perfect squad option if he isn't even on the bench. If he is in the squad, then Eriksen can't be. Lennon can't come on as an impact sub if he's in the reserves. Put him in the squad, then Lamela has to be in the reserves.

My main point would be that there is such thing as too much depth. We have spent amazing amounts of money and hopefully will spend on a good Centre Back. We have spent the 2nd most money in the league after city, and while they have stopped spending at 88 million, your squad would end up with us spending roughly 120 million, which is far too much.

Levy has thought this s**t through, which is exactly why, if Bale stays, we won't be spending too much more....












Hatmundo

(Tottenham Hotspur)

4 hours ago



This will be a season of switching between a 4231 and a 433 due to the fact that our squad can't support playing a 433 all the time. Every signing avb has made since Gylfie has been a 433 signing. Trust me I have been calling this transition period on here for over a year.

Yes Lamela has been playing on the right but he is two footed so can play on the left. He is leaps and bounds better than Townsend. Don't put Townsends limitations on Lamela. Lamela can play any attacking position on the pitch!

I already said my team is unrealistic but it's not for squad size reasons. Papa will not come to a team and be 4th choice. As I said we will probably only spend half of what papa costs on a 4th choice option or just use Capoue. Eriksen and Lamela can certainly fit in the same squad. It a simple case of replacing Parker and Ade. Our squad numbers are not getting any bigger. We are just improving the quality of the squad.

In terms of money we have only spent 40mil so far if you factor in our sales. Adding the sales of Ade and Parker would give us another 10mil to work with. Meaning out total is 30mil. I have been saying I expect us to spend about 70-80 mil for months. This leaves us around 40-50 mil to sign Lamela, Coentrao, and Eriksen while using Capoue as 4th choice CB. It would be very very difficult for Baldini to pull off but not impossible. Its much more realistic for Spurs to just sign one flexible creative player (Eriksen) and a top class left back (Coentrao) before the window closes. If Ade goes however.... Then we will need to sign another forward (Lamela/Willian).










PaddySpurs4Life

(Tottenham Hotspur)

3 hours ago



Agree with everything you say in this post, apart from the 2nd half of your 3rd paragraph.... Eriksen and Lamela certainly can fit into the same squad, however, like I said, this would mean players that are good enough to be in the starting 11 being in the reserves. I mentioned this in my above post when I noticed that, with your squad, Lennon, Townsend, Sigurdsson, Holtby, Papadopoulous and Naughton would be in the reserves. Considering Lennon and Sigurdsson's constant involvement in pre-season and in the Palace game, can we really see this happening?

You kind of address this in a way by saying "Our squad numbers are not getting any bigger. We are just improving the quality of the squad".... However, we need to accept that players such as Livermore, Naughton and Ekotto are a lot more willing to not play an active part in a team's season than players of the calibre of Lennon and Sigurdsson and the potential of Holtby and Townsend.

Rose is 22, and with Ekotto seemingly not caring so much about not having such an active role in the team, we have back-up to his position. Vertonghen can play there in desperate situations, so Coentrao is not needed. I think Rose will go on to be a class player, and his defensive and offensive attributes have really impressed me so far. Why resign someone that has worked so hard to be in Spurs' first 11 to the bench?

I agree about our last paragraph, although I would say that 70-80 million is a colossal amount of money to spend on a squad that got a record amount of points despite having the worst luck in the world.

If Ade goes, we do need another forward I agree. Maybe Lamela could be bought for the future and moulded into a Bale-esque player while getting game-time as a striker. However, Lamela, Eriksen, Coentrao and someone as good as Papadopolous is still excessive in my opinion.
FootballDoc (Tottenham Hotspur) 1 year ago
So then squad depth.

Well if we consider our squad we're probably strongest in central midfield where we have the likes of Paulinho, Sandro, Dembele, Capoue etc so that area is very solid and probably one of the best in the league.

So then where do the problems lie? As far as I'm concerned the striker situation for now is okay with Soldado, Defoe and Adebayor. If one of them leaves then of course things are different and we may not to spend some cash. But I would say go for a younger option with potential rather than a big name signing. Also, I do think it may be time for Harry Kane to finally make the step up. He has looked really goood this season and has scored a lot of goals already. I was impressed with him in the pre season friendly against Monaco also. Perhaps Coulthirst and Ceballos are not quite there yet but I'm sure with a few loan spells they could reach their potential as well. Personally I feel Kane will never become a 20 goal a season striker but it is very hard to judge how well a player is going to do in the long term at such a young age. Nevertheless I have hopes for him!

So then the area where I feel we need to strengthen is the attacking midfield position. At the moment we probably only have 2 true CAMS in Holtby and Sigurdsson, I'd like to bring in someone more experienced and already established especially since we will often be using Siggs as a wide option and Holtby is injured so we are quite shallow in that area. Potential candidates could be Willian, Pjanic or Mata. Yes, even Mata, we have been linked with him, which is quite amazing. Somehow he doesn't really seem to have a good relationship with Mourinho. But that one is very far fetched and unlikely to happen. The other two though could very well happen. Personally I'd be in favour of Willian because of his flair, and more importantly his flexibility as a player. What I mean is that he can play in the wide areas and behind a striker. Pjanic is the slightly cheaper option but I wouldn't mind him either to be honest. Another potential candidate is Eriksen of Ajax. Again, he's another one who can play wide also and is very flexible, and then another advantage of Eriksen is his age, he is very young and is far from his potential, he really could be world class in the future. I really think Willian could happen given his realtionship with AVB but it remains to be seen if it does.

Next is the wings. We've signed Nacer Chadli but I don't think that's enough. I'd like to see Townsend be fully integrated into the first team this season and also I'd like to see Falque get a run out too (he can play the wings) - the other thing is the right hand side where Lennon usually plays. If we're going to play a 4-3-3 than Lennon is not going to work, sure Bale would be perfect there but there's A LOT of uncertainty regarding his future so I can't consider him at the moment. I would be pleased with a move for Lamela who I think is a terrific player. He is also prolific with 16 assists and 5 goals last term. He'd be the perfect Bale replacement. Another option is the youngster Vadillo who we have been linked with. He's dubbed as the new Ronaldo and he really is very similar to him. Here's a Youtube video of him to give you an idea of what he's like;




Bit raw still but great potential.

So this is how we'd be setting up if we get Willian and Lamela (I'm assuming Bale leaves)

Lamela-----Willian-----Chadli
----------Soldado----------

Now as far as I see it that is an absolute class front 4 and probably enough to win the league! But it is highly unrealistic though. I can see one of them coming but not both.

Okay so now having discussed strikers, midfield and wingers we come to the all important defensive options. Now this is a major concern area for us. With the release of Gallas and the sale of Caulker we have only 3 CB options in Vertonghen, Dawson and Kaboul. 2 of them are recovering from injuries. Zeki Fryers has been touted too be converted to a CB and become 4th choice this season but I don't think he's good enough. Jedvaj would have been the prefect signing or even better would have been to just keep Caulker! I really feel this is an area that the club needs to address.

So then there are the full backs. Walker has been excellent all pre season and played well against Palace also so he's turning out to be a solid right back, he just needs to erase the stupid fouls he gives away in dangerous areas from his game and he'll be perfect. Naughton as his back up is also great, he played well last season whenever called upon so I'm satisfied with the RB situation.

At LB we have Ekkoto and Rose, now Ekotto is being left out of the team for no reason which is very strange and only means thatr he may be on his way out. Rose was excellent for Sunderland last season but I'm really not sure whether he's Spurs quality as yet. The option heere is Fabio Coentrao who I really like! He's handed in a transfer request and could be available for just 13-15m which I think is a bargain price for a player of his quality!

Then the keepers. Personallly I think we have the best keeper in the league in Lloris and Friedel is a great back up. He is 40 though so maybe time for Archer to become 2nd choice now as soon as Friedel gets his coaching badgse completed.

If I could have my dream starting line up for us if Bale leaves then I would probably have it looking somewhat like this:

Lloris
Walker Vertonghen Kaboul Coentrao
Dembele Paulinho
Lamela Willian Chadli
Soldado

But of course that's just a pipedream and will never become a reality. But yeah squad depth is very important especially considering that we're in the Europa League also so it becomes even more important for us.

Another thing we could do us promote a few of the youth players, I think only Caroll, Kane and Falque are at a level where they can be integrated into the first team but I would love to see them play in Europa a few times!

I know we all say our transfer window has been excellent cause of the players we have brought in but I think the deadwood we've let go has been beneficail as well. I mean we let go Jenas, Bentley, Gallas all just recently and they were eating into our wages. So that's another good thing that club has managed to do.

This was an article by cartilagefreecaptain before any of our new singings or sales on squad depth;


Link: www.cartilagefreecaptain.com/2013/7/1/4482502/tott...

I know we've signed 4 players but if you look at their intial analysis we really haven't added that much depth in A LOT of areas.

This is very interesting btw:

"Let's look at the current Tottenham roster. It has an uncanny resemblance to Porto's but in my opinion, even better. Let me start with Roberto Soldado, a natural goal-per-game striker and the Lane legend, Jermain Defoe.

We have the best player in the Premier League in Gareth Bale, a complete game changer and his trusty and equally important cohort Aaron Lennon.

We then have the Belgian maestro in Moussa Dembele, the beast Sandro and the flair of Paulinho.

At the back we have the super Jan Vertonghen and Michael Dawson, who formed a pretty formidable defence, and the attacking and high-flying full-back duo of Kyle Walker and Benoit Assou-Ekotto.

Finally, Spurs boast a world-class 'keeper in Hugo Lloris, tasked with keeping the likes of Robin van Persie at bay week in, week out.

Spurs also have a proper depth in the squad with the German wonderkid Lewis Holtby, the Icelandic magician Gylfi Sigurðsson, the skilful Belgian Nacer Chadli and the upcoming talent of Andros Townsend and the others.

The Spurs squad hasn't been this good since, well, ever!

The squad, even with the departures of Steven Caulker, Clint Dempsey and William Gallas, looks fresh and strong throughout.

I believe this team is the best yet and good enough to reach more than the top four in the Premier League, whilst you cannot rule out Europa League glory."

This little article from givemesport really does highlight how good a squad we do have. Of course I'm the perennial pessimist and would like to sign a few more players so...

So there you have it my little essay on squad depth, I feel I've addresed some key issues that the club really needs to consider. But you know what overall I'm satisfied with the squad and I like the direction the club is goin in. I'd love to hear your guys input on these issues and which players you'd like to see come in and play for the might Spurs of North London.

I would apologize for the length of the post but as FayJay once told me never apologize for long posts here on the Spurs forum so I won't

FootballDoc(user)
PaddySpurs4Life (Tottenham Hotspur) 1 year ago
I agree with most of what you say, so i'll only concentrate on the things I disagree with.

1) I believe that Rose should be given a serious shot at the chance of being first choice left-back. I think he is a great attacking player with a decent defensive mindset and is only 23! To dismiss him for Coentrao after all the hard work Rose has put in would be barbaric in my books. In Vertonghen and Fryers we have significant left-back cover in my opinion.

2) I also don't think we should assume that Bale is leaving. Until Lamela is signed, I won't believe that Bale is on his way out. Lamela would be a fantastic replacement, but I would insist on Townsend getting significant chances to prove himself. I would feel a lot mroe aggrieved if Townsend was sold than if Lennon was sold....

3) Getting Falque and Carroll gametime this season is just not realistic. Carroll needs a low Premiership team loan or a high Championship team. Falque is good, but Townsend is better in my books and Iago is not good enough for Spurs in my opinion. He's also nearly 24.

Basically, I agree that the creativity and pace of Bale means that if he goes, 2 players need to come in to replace him. Eriksen and Lamela would be my choices, but I would welcome Willian equally. However, I would be interested to see what people think about where we need to strengthen if Bale stays (see above debate)....
Surajloks12345 (Tottenham Hotspur) 1 year ago
Thank you for this thread, Paddy. The essays are brilliant but an eyesore(honestly) when you are scrolling through it. I hope this thread remains active.
PaddySpurs4Life (Tottenham Hotspur) 1 year ago
Cheers mate!
Spursaussie3 (Tottenham Hotspur) 1 year ago
OH MY GOD esssaaayyyyysss! These are some long arse posts. This won't quite be a essay-ic, but wanted to post my thoughts on the game anyways.


Dinamo tbilisi 0 - 5 tottenham hotspur.


Player reviews:


Lloris: Incredible display. Made some amazing instinctive saves, but not only that, continued to show his ability to dispell danger before it becomes an imminent threat by running off his line and dealing with it. His relationship with the back 4 is getting better and better, and I see him, based off of preseason and these two games, having a great run in the PL and europe this season. Two clean sheets in two games? Brilliant. I feel so comfortable having him in between those posts.

Rose: People tend to criticize him, but I thought he had a great game. He is still a little off positionally sometimes, and can let the RW past a little too often than I would like, but he today and against palace showed a solid stint at LB. He has worked hard for his place, and I would like to see him continue to be there.

Kaboul: Had a decent game, although can see he is still a bit rusty getting back from injury. But I noted that that only began to show after the 60minute mark, which makes me think its still just a fitness thing as opposed to losing any form after this injury.

Dawson: Solid as always. Was actually a bit disappointed to see him not get given the Captain armband for this game. I respect the fact that Kaboul needs to be given some confidence boost having worked so hard to come back, but Dawson was our rock in defence last season along with Vert, and I think that as long as he is playing he should have the captaincy.

Naughton: really impressed with him. My god he looks so much better on that RB position than the LB haha. And seems he has improved from last season. His link up play with Townsend was great, especially setting up that run down the RW for Townsend who went on to assist (Soldado I think?). I am confident we are set in RB with Walker and Naughton battling it out.

Overall BACK 4: I think it still is our weakest part, we looked a bit shaky near the end of the game and Lloris had to pull some master class saves to keep his well earned clean sheet. But I think that is purely because we have some great defenders coming back from injury and playing with brand new players, and are beginning to gel again. It should be sorted come September.

Capoue: Fantastic. Great defensively, some incisive passes, and made that hilariously awesome bomb upfield where he could have almost scored himself if not for three players finally blocking him. So glad to have him on the squad.

Paulinho: I was saying to my friend, that I think Soldado will be the marquee signing of the season that everyone will know about and love. However, Paulinho will be the most important, acting as that engine room and defensive wall all at once. He will be the hardest worker on that field. So glad to see him get his debut competitive goal.

Dembele: Looked a little rusty, but even rusty he plays well. Don't know how well he suited being behind the striker once Siggie came off, but had enough quality to show he couldn't definitely assimilate back to that position having been played for so long so deep the last two seasons.

Viking LORD OF THE north: People have been mentioning their worry at Siggie's inability to finish plays off, but I say not to worry. He is coming off a season where he was played for the majority in a position he has never played before on the left middle. Now he is back where he belongs in the hole behind the striker, and I am sure he will get back to his form he had at Swansea and showed brilliant moments of last season. Palace he looked great, and although not at his best this game, he will get there.

Chadli: Well, there you are, nay-sayers. Would a great performance put in by him after coming in for a sub. What was it, 2 assists and almost a 3rd for Kane? Chadli looks like he will be really making that LW his own as he continues to play.

Townsend: MoT freaking Match. Enough said. He proved me completely wrong, and a lot of others, in that he has a strong Defoe-esque selfishness in his play. But 1 goal and 2 assists? Fantastic. Paddy is right, I see him taking Lennon's starting spot by christmas.

Soldado: Bobby soldier doing exactly what we need him to do. Wasn't brought very effectively into play at the beginning of the game, but he is so class that he will be where he needs to be, exactly when he needs to be. Shown in the setup from Townsend and then Chadli. I never got to celebrate him coming into the team properly because of the whole Bale saga, but after a brief infatuation with Negredo, Soldado has since always been my first choice to lead our line. Good to see him gelling with the team already. And I love the fact he looks like VdV.

Carroll and Kane: So glad the two lads got some decent game time. Poor Kane, can't believe the post denied him. But he made some great runs, and also some great balls. Unfortunate that the other players were too tired to go for them (like the through ball for Chadli near the end). Carroll was the terrier running around causing havoc, being that nice link in between the defence and attack. Would still really like to see Carroll go on loan once more, preferably to a PL club, but a championship front runner like Watford would be great.

Avb: great display there, Gaffer. Would like to see a very rotated squad for our next game.

----------------------Friedel--------------------

-Naughton-------Dawson------Fryers--------Rose--

------------Capoue---------Carroll--------------

-Townsend------------Gylfie-------------McEvoy--

----------------------Defoe--------------------

Don't know whether McEvoy is ready to start, but could be sweet to see him get game time, looks really good in U-21
Hatmundo (Tottenham Hotspur) 1 year ago
Thanks for posting that SA. I unfortunately couldn't watch the match but I've seen the highlights. Townsend really did look unstoppable. Soldado seems like a man on a goal mission and all our new players have been impressing. It really is a grand time to be a spurs fan!
FayJay (Tottenham Hotspur) 1 year ago
I'm hoping you meant that team for the return leg of the Europa fixture and not actually "our next game" because I think that squad is a bit too much rotation against Swansea at the lane. Even though we are playing at home we cannot start slacking. We need to start the season as strong as possible
FayJay (Tottenham Hotspur) 1 year ago
-posted twice-
FootballDoc (Tottenham Hotspur) 1 year ago
Yup tottaly agree with you guys
Spursaussie3 (Tottenham Hotspur) 1 year ago
Haha @Fayjay sorry, that was definitely meant for the next leg at the Lane.

I think we play the same team we played against Dinamo for Swansea, including starting Townsend on the right wing
FootballDoc (Tottenham Hotspur) 1 year ago
Guys expect an essay from me on reviews of all our new signings so far and what I expect from them this season. Plus another essay all about Townsend! Would love to hear from you guys on these topics too!
PaddySpurs4Life (Tottenham Hotspur) 1 year ago
Can't wait mate, hopefully there will be something we disagree on (a rare occurrence) just to make it itnto a spicy debate haha
PaddySpurs4Life (Tottenham Hotspur) 1 year ago
Can't wait mate, hopefully there will be something we disagree on (a rare occurrence) just to make it itnto a spicy debate haha
Hatmundo (Tottenham Hotspur) 1 year ago
So.... It's deep into Levy time and we have the NLD coming up. So much exciting stuff for us Yids. We have had two penalties so far and that's two more than we had all last season. Something tells me the refs were finally starting to believe us when Bale was not playing.... Then Townsend did that and I'm pretty sure that's our last pen for the year. Either way we need Bale or Bale's replacement/s to start playing asap for us to score goals.

At the moment we lack an incisive touch. This is personified by the fact that our two most incisive players recently have been Paulinho and Townsend. Paulinho is a box to box player who has 3 other players in front of him on the pitch that should be creating more, not including Soldado. Townsend is realistically in a battle with Lennon for second choice on the right and shouldn't be relied on as our main playmaker with so little top experience. So who are our main playmaker options this season?

Last season it was Bale playing behind the striker or off to the right. This season he could potentially stay and continue to be our prime creative outlet. When Bale was not playing or played wide we often saw Dempsey play in the hole and while he scored some goals he didn't really unlock too many defenses. Dempsey is now gone and if Bale leaves as well then that role is up for grabs.

Options

Gylfie: The Iceman played quite a few games in the hole of a 4231 last season. He didn't play awfully well but I personally have faith that he will come good. He can also play wide in a 433 which is where I see him playing quite a few games. Even though I am a huge fan of Gylfie I question his ability to be the main man at Spurs this season. His peak is still a few years away and we need to be patient with him. I don't see him being the key that unlocks too many parked buses this season. For example. He is much more likely to attempt a screamer from just outside the box than he is to provide a weighted through ball to Soldado, from the same position, just outside the box.

Chadli: I like so many things about this guy. His strength and pace combined with a willingness to cut in and score make him a great addition to our squad. The thing is he has just arrived in the league. We have to give him time to settle and adjust. It would be unfair to look at him as our main playmaker atm. I hope more than anything he can prove me wrong but again he will score more goals than he sets up.

Lennon: Still has that unbelievable acceleration. On the down side he is predictable and his final ball is way too unreliable. As Paddy said Townsend will probably steal Lennons minutes this season. He is an impact player and tactical option but not our main playmaker. That being said he was our assist leader last season so if he gets less playing time then where are our assists gonna' come from?

Holtby: Still a very young player but I think this will be a real breakout season for him. He has shown that he can be the main creator at a lesser level so in time I'm sure he can do it at top level as well. I have a feeling that Holtby's flexibility will see him playing in a few positions this season. The onus is on Holtby to establish himself as an important player at Spurs. This season Holtby's goal is to make himself a starter.... Its too much to expect him to be our goto playmaker already. Lets just see how he progresses under AVB this year.

Dembele: Even though Dembele is playing slightly ahead of Paulinho during the game he seems to be getting completely overshadowed in attack by the new Brazilian. I don't question Dembele's ability for one second. I just feel that if he is going to be the man we look to for attacking inspiration.... Then he has some work to do. I believe as he develops a better understanding with Paulinho, Sandro and Capoue he will get better so could potentially adapt his game. Still not really the player to provide that pass to Soldado though. He is much more likely to try and beat a player off the dribble.

Lamela: It's about now that we start thinking that if Bale leaves then we need someone incisive to replace him. He is as much a like for like with Bale that we could realistically find. He scored 15 goals and could unlock some of the tightest Italian defenses. He only had 5 assists though and is not really a creator per se. He can play in the hole like Bale did last season but I'm convinced he will play most of his games in a right forward position like he did at Roma. He will play his natural game and cut in to shoot. This results in goals but does very little to help anyone else on the pitch score.

Soldado:

Now Soldado is not a playmaker of any kind. He is the man I expect to be finishing off the move created by the "playmaker. " He is very much a fox on the box and relies on people creating his chances for him. This makes me greatly concerned about who is going to give him that required service this year. I honestly don't see anyone in our squad atm who can be relied on for over 10 assists this year.

Lamela: 5 assists in 33 league Italian league games
Holtby: 9 in 30 (2 in 11 in EPL and 7 in 21 in Germany)
Paulinho: 2 in 27 (Brazil)
Dembele: 3 in 32 (EPL)
Lennon: 8 in 34 (EPL)
Chadli: 5 in 22 (Holland)
Townsend: 2 in 17 (EPL)
Gylfie: 4 in 33 (mostly set pieces in the EPL)

A quick look at those stats shows that we have no out and out final ball provider in our squad. Soldado will not be used to his full potential without the service of a true playmaker in the squad.... In my opinion anyway. He makes such intelligent runs but he needs someone with the vision, anticipation and technique to pick him out. Only with that addition can anyone honestly claim that Soldado is being used properly. I firmly believe we need to sign a creative maestro in the mould of an Eriksen for our squad to be truly complete.

The other alternative is that the assist load is spread out over the whole team. That is fine in theory but its in the tough away games, against parked buses, where you just need that individual spark of genius. If a squad lacks that particular spark it will result in dropped points and a very real failure to challenge for any honors.

Mancini said something along the lines of.... "You can't be a top team in football today without a world class number 10 like Silva. " I'm on the same page as Mancini in that regard. Every top team in the world has an elite playmaker in their ranks. The very best of them usually have a few! I would be happy with just one. Eriksen, Mata, Pjanic or whoever.

What do you guys think? Is Holtby or Gylfie ready to assume the playmaking responsibility? Can our wide players score and create enough of their own goals to make up for it? Will Dembele grow into the more attacking role like he used to play in Holland? Are Paulinho's runs from deep going to become as important as Lampard's or Cahill's used to be? Most importantly is the team effort of all of the above going to be enough for Spurs to challenge in multiple huge cups?

My personal opinion is, yes the team can make up for it but we would still be much much better off with a world class playmaker to feed our front 3. Last season Bale played behind the striker and even though he scored lots of goals he didn't really help too many other players on the pitch. In fact I would say that our strikers, Ade and Defoe, actually suffered once Bale moved centrally. Last season Bale helped paper over the cracks of our lack of playmaker but its still a clear issue that needs to be addressed.

Even if you think Holtby is ready to take the step up then again we are only one unproven player getting injured away from no real options or depth. That is not a sign of a squad that can compete for honours in 3 huge cups. Lets not kid ourselves here. What we are trying to build is a team capable of competing with the Man Uniteds, Man Citys and Chelseas of the world. All 3 of those teams have massive depth and its the only reason they can pull off League and Cup doubles.

We need to think big and not just about what it takes to make top 4. This is Levy's big move and the most important thing before September 3rd is that we have a complete squad. Another season of wishing we had that missing link would just be stupid after this much effort. The last few years we have been missing either a creative player or a striker or depth for Sandro and it has cost us. Depth is about covering for injuries as much as it is about competition for places. Why on Earth would we take another risk and just hope that someone will step up and not get injured or lose form. It would be the same mentality as relying on only Defoe and Ade upfront again this season. I look forward to your essays back guys. I'm pretty sure there is a lot of stuff there that people will disagree with and I look forward to reading why
PaddySpurs4Life (Tottenham Hotspur) 1 year ago
A perfectly phrased essay; persuasive, coherent and undogmatic. I have to say that this was 10X better than the last time we had a debate about a playmaker......

I actually completely agree, which is fairly boring as I wanted to argue. But I think I can add to your essay slightly, so here goes.

Here is a website that I posted that shows our passes in the Swansea game:


Link: www.footyplace.com/features/tactics-talk-capoue-im...

This demonstrates two pictures that catch my eye


Firstly one that shows that all our passes seem to avoid passing into the box. We played 4 passes into the box that reached their target. That is just not acceptable at all. There is also a massive hole in a sea of lines (passing lines) in front of the box, in that no passes were even attempted there.

Secondly, look at the passes that Soldado received in the other picture. He received 13 passes in the match, and none of them (bar the one where he held it up and drew the foul off Williams) were anywhere near to the box. How can he therefore score goals any way other than crosses (something we can't rely on as a top top team)......

Sigurdsson has disappointed me since the start of the season slightly. He was given a chance against Dynamo to really prove himself as a starting number 10. However, his touches were awful and he couldn't even buy time after receiving a pass, to look up and judge his options. For me, he is best used against tired legs as a substitute, until he gets his confidence up (same situation as last season)......

Holtby could be the answer like you say. However, although he is the closest thing we have to a top playmaker, he is a very different kind of player to the Matas, Coutinhos, Cazorlas and Silvas... I have never seen him successfully beat a player in the premier league due to skill, something that all the above four do regulary. This agility means that a playmaker can create space for himself to have enough time to pick a tricky pass. It is vital.
Holtby will be given a shot, however, I think he's better as a box to box/sit-back-spray-passes kind of midfielder.

In my opinion, if Bale leaves, Lamela should come due to his great potential and his ability to play as a second striker. He could play down the middle, who knows, we could mould him into a Van de Vaart player, able to beat a player, pick a pass and score goals. He can play on the right or the left as well, or as a striker. He is the perfect depth option (not that he'll be a rotation player) and can provide us with a lot of options...

As well as a £30 million Lamela, I'm not so sure that it would be a good option getting another player (apart from a defender).... Eriksen maybe due to his young age and thus ability to grow with Holtby, Sigurdsson and Lamela, all learning from eachother and competing for those coveted starting spots. However, would it be too greedy?

At the end of the day, it all depends on what AVB has seen in his scouting trips to see Lamela. If he sees him as a potential no.10 then we don't need anyone. However, if he sees him as the future starter as a right-attacker of a 4-3-3 then we do want a number 10. However, this would almost certainly involve Lennon being merely an impact sub, with Townsend and Lamela rotating for the starting place. Would Lennon be happy doing that so close to the World Cup?

In my eyes now, we need a backup striker, a number 10 and a Centre Back. Chiriches seems like he's on the way, so now ideally a number 10 who is also a back-up striker is wanted ideally by me. This kind of player is a rare player; Willian was a good example of the perfect number10/backupstriker but he's gone to the rent-boys.

Lets have a look on a formation map of where we are with depth if Eriksen and Lamela come in:

------------------------------------------Lloris------------------------------------------
-Walker---------------Kaboul-------------------Verty-------------------------Rose
--------------------Paulinho/Capoue--Dembele/Sandro-------------------------
-------------------------------------Eriksen/Holtby------------------------------------
-Lamela/Townsend---------------------------------------------------------Chadli
------------------------------------------Soldado---------------------------------------

Subs: Lamela/Townsend Eriksen/Holtby Paulinho/Capoue Dembele/Sandro Friedel Lennon Defoe

Second team:

----------------------------------------Lloris----------------------------------------------
-Naughton-----------Dawson-------------------Chiriches------------------Ekotto
--------------------------Paulinho/Capoue--Sandro/Dembele--------------------
------------------------------------------Eriksen/Holtby--------------------------------
Lamela/Townsend------------------------------------------------------------Sigurdsson
-------------------------------------------Defoe--------------------------------------------

Subs: Lamela/Townsend Capoue/Paulinho Dembele/Sandro Eriksen/Holtby Soldado Lennon

That is depth enough to challenge for the title, win the Europa league and compete in the FA Cup as well this coming season. As you can see, for the positions that I don't know who is definitely better between two players, I've put a dash between them. As you can see, 2 players competing for each of the 3 midfield positions is the depth that we need. I don't think we need it for all positions, but for the hardworking, most tiring positions, it is vital.

What does everyone think of those formations? Have I got anything wrong? I know that if Ekotto leaves, another LB is needed, but for now I think its fine (don't forget Verty and Fryers can play there). Do you think 2 strikers (Soldado and Defoe) and one backup striker (Lamela) is enough? Am I being unfair on Sigurdsson? Am I being unfair on Lennon?

P.S Hat, its interesting to see the lack of assists in our team. One could say that we should judge after this season, but I would say to them, "after these first few games, who do you see getting the most assists in our team?" The answer would be either Townsend/Chadli or Walker, which demonstrates our lack of cutting precision through the middle. For Arsenal its Cazorla, For Chelsea its Mata, for Liverpool its Coutinho, For City its Silva for United its Rooney.... Maybe its our new style of play, however, with the acquisition of Eriksen, him and Holtby would be competitive options who can slice open defences, while our wings can do their usual damage. We'd be unsttoppable! COYS





PaddySpurs4Life (Tottenham Hotspur) 1 year ago
Repeated post        
AndyCT5 (Tottenham Hotspur) 1 year ago
I agree. We've come this far with some very decent signings to solidify our midfield and protect that back 4, now we just need a little spark. Like you mentioned, our 2 options in Siggs and Holtby are both young, and they are also cover/options for the wing positions, and also a role behind the no. 10. So if we do rely on them and they get injured, then not only have we lost our No. 10, but also our cover for Chadli/Lennon/Townsend etc.
Buying one player who can play in 3 positions is NOT cover for all 3 positions. Its cover for one and gives us options for the others. Its easy to neglect that, but I believe that's the case.

I agree with what you say. Levy give this guy some cash and let him sort it!

Edit: Paddy your post wasn't there when I replied! I'l read it in a bit!
Northstream (Tottenham Hotspur) 1 year ago
As I've stated elsewhere I think Paulinho will be massive for us. Both Holtby and Carroll could play big roles if AVB trust them with it. Further up front I think either Bale or Lamela would be ideal to join up with Soldado. Our defence and midfield are otherwise pretty solid and the pace we have on the flanks will frighten any opposition. So to summarise what Hatmundo also opened with, it's just that incisive touch we need to get sorted
Hatmundo (Tottenham Hotspur) 1 year ago
So.... Levy time has ended and we only really saw departures on the final day. Bale left and we wish him well. Benny left and I was very surprised we didn't sign a replacement. Ade refused to leave and so we must hope that he can find some form. We lost to Woolwich but we know our team is not complete. It's pretty clear that getting Soldado the appropriate service will be a key early challenge for AVB this season. Lastly I think our left side could be AVB's biggest problem this window. I want to write an essay about all of these things but I'm gonna' try and do it in point form.... Although the left side is probably going to have to be a new and separate really long essay.


Bale: We got a world record fee! Levy got a loan from Lewis so that we could spend the money in advance and avoid overpaying. We targeted the 2nd tier of best young players in the world and thanks to Baldini we actually signed them. We didn't have champs league so on a quality level I personally believe we signed the best options we possibly could. The exception to the pattern being Soldado as we just needed an elite striker urgently.

*Warning I'm about to swear a lot in this paragraph. Please feel free to skip it if you are offended easily. *

All in all I believe we did as well out of Bale leaving as could be expected by a Spurs fan. I wish him the best with his career but if I'm really honest I f*****g hate Madrid now. They were just a bunch of c***s the whole way through the window. Even selling Ozil to Woolwich at the end was like a big f**k you Levy and Spurs as a club. I would find it easier to accept if we were not in some bullshit partnership with them. Perez, Zidane and the rest of them can go take long walk off a short bridge as far as I'm concerned. I still think Bale is a good bloke but if he got injured due to his lack of preseason and Madrid struggled this year.... Well I just might struggle to hold in my smug smile.


Benny: So Disco Benny is going to have is wages paid by a championship team so he can leave on a free next year. It's certainly not a Levy type of move and therefor I assume must be mainly AVB. I've been very vocal since last year about how Benny is not suited to AVB's system.... Not that many are! One thing is I firmly believe that Benny is better than freaking no one!

Rose is clearly the starter in AVB's mind. I understand Benny would have the largest wages of anyone on the bench so I agree with the need to move him on. It also must signify that AVB has a plan in mind for Rose possibly getting injured. Our options are Vert, Naughton, Fryers and from what I've read Chiriches. All in all even if Rose has a decent season I still think left back is the weak point in our squad. More on that in my left side essay.


Ade: So the big Togolese striker is sick of moving all around the place. Who knows what is going on his mind these days. He has been frozen out of so many squads over the years and I guess he finally doesn't really care if he is first choice or not. Maybe he honestly thinks he can work hard and win his place back? Maybe he thinks, well I'm just happy to get my big pay cheque each week and London is as good a place as any for my family to live? I guess we will just find out by his attitude during the season which if any of the above are true.

Tactically he can be hugely important for us!The style Defoe offers us is much closer to a like for like with Soldado. Ade offers us a different option when for example, our supply lines are being stifled in midfield. He also theoretically makes a better partner for Soldado and Defoe than they do each other. When the two little poachers play together I think it's destined for failure. I'm eager to discuss this point further in the comments if anyone disagrees. All in all if Ade is fit and in form he is brilliant alternative in our striking department.... Sadly I think I'm being overly optimistic to think it will happen this season.


Woolwich: So we lost our first big game of the season against the scum. I know many of us like to think in our hearts that top 3 is a good chance but I'm nowhere near convinced of that. I believe that once Bale left, we are firmly back in the battle with Woolwich for 4th place again. For that reason the game last week was vital to our points tally. The thing is, it was in no way indicative of how good the two teams are or will be this season. We were without the two players AVB is expecting to create our chances and Woolwich was without a certain fish eyed German.

Our team had not gotten used to each other of AVB's system yet and quite frankly it showed. Our midfield triangles were almost non existent and our movement confused. Once Woolwich started sitting deep we looked totally bereft of ideas. The introduction of Lamela was the personification of AVB's attempt to provide a spark. Once out there Lamela looked the most positionally confused of anyone on the whole pitch! These are all issues that will be sorted out in training and games over the next month or two. In reality the true test of how good both clubs actually are will be in the return leg at The Lane. Revenge in that game will be massive and arguably our most important game of the season for Spurs.


Soldado: I'm gonna' say it, we were lucky to score in our first two league games. They were both penalties and even though Soldado scored he spent most of the games isolated and alone. Our current setup of inverted forwards on either side of him does not give him enough supply. Both Chadli and Townsend provide attacking impetus towards scoring a goal but Soldado can't rely on rebounds off the keeper to score. He needs service and it has to come from the centre of the pitch if we play with inverted widemen. At Porto AVB used Moutinho and at Spurs it's clear that responsibility is being thrust on a young Dane named Eriksen.

If Eriksen can develop an understanding with Soldado and Lamela similar to the one Moutinho had with Falcao and Hulk.... Well Spurs are going to create many many chances. The trick will be getting all the players to implement AVB detailed plan on the pitch. Unfortunately until the team gets to grips with AVB's expectancy I can see Soldado spending quite a lot of time isolated over the next few weeks. I'm glad Soldado is scoring from pens and in Europe. That way he can keep his confidence up while the midfield gets its s**t together.

I think I better leave my essay on the left side till next time or this will be just too big a block of text
Northstream (Tottenham Hotspur) 1 year ago
I agree with all points except about Benny. It's a shame he didn't tick for AVB, so I'll give Harry that much he made it/him work. Think I'll have to watch a few QPR games this season....

Regarding the Woolwich game and also the games vs Palace and Swansea. I am a bit concerned because we had the exact same problems all of last season, against teams defending deep. Last season Bale kept bailing us out when we just couldn't get through in the final third. This s**t should have been sorted ahead of this season. As it is we will need Herr Eriksen to step up mighty fast. Let's also hope Lamela quickly gets over his debut shock. (I'm still baffled by the desperate decision to throw him into that when a keen and ready Holtby was available.)
We need three things to fall into place for this to be a good season:
- start playing as a team, not like a bunch of individuals
- those individuals must be settled enough to be capable to provide individual brilliance
- a play maker to run the show, whom we're hoping is Eriksen and for him to develop a partnership with Paulinho.
The signings Baldini got us are certainly as good as we possibly could hope for at this stage.
I've still got faith in AVB and his coaching team. Can they get things right in the next couple of weeks we can still have a fantastic season. I'd just love it if we get a trophy or two this season and Madrid get none. And I can't wait till Woolwich come to WHL later in the season!
Hatmundo (Tottenham Hotspur) 1 year ago
André Villas-Boas. At the age of 16, André Villas-Boas wrote to Bobby Robson, then manager at FC Porto, criticising one of Robson's decisions. Intrigued by the comments and by the fact that they both lived in the same apartment block, Robson replied, challenging the teenager to back up his claim. Villas-Boas provided such detailed statistical information that Robson was impressed enough to offer him a place on the club's youth coaching staff. And so began the meteoric rise of AVB. Under Robson's guidance he achieved his first coaching licence at the age of 17. And at the age of 21 he became head coach of the British Virgin Islands national team before getting the chance to become an assistant coach at Porto under José Mourinho. Mourinho was to later describe Villas-Boas as his eyes and ears , and so it was no surprise that Mourinho asked him to join his coaching team, first at Chelsea, and then at Inter Milan. But, as his experience grew, Villas-Boas was beginning to have his own management ambitions and after a year at the San Siro, much to the annoyance of Mourinho, he left to return to Portugal and take control of Academica, a team struggling against relegation and having not won a match, until Villas-Boas arrived and hauled them back to safety. In June 2010 Villas-Boas moved on to became Porto manager despite the doubts raised about his inexperience. He was an immediate success. That August he won his first trophy when Porto beat Benfica in the Portuguese Supercup. Porto went on to win the league title, undefeated all season and drawing just three games to win the league by an incredible 21 point margin. Just as with Mourinho, the Portuguese Cup and the Europa League followed. It was an extraordinary first full season that did not go unnoticed in the wider football world.

The above is an excerpt from the blurb of AVB's auto biography "Special Too." AVB's story really is amazing and I'm convinced he is one of the very best tacticians in all of world football. I believe Spurs as a club are lucky to have such a football brain who seems completely committed to building something special at Spurs.

AVB has a very clear plan in mind of how he wants us to play but it's important that the team is given the required time to learn how to execute this plan. You might think the 433 relatively strait forward and in a rigid 433 that is true. In a rigid 433 like Jose used to play at Chelsea the team will try and spread the ball to wingers to run at pace (Duff/Robben). A big centre forward will occupy the 2 central defenders (Drogba) and the midfield will try and time a late run into the box.(Lampard) It's all pretty dynamic and up tempo.

In AVB's 'fluid' 433 its all about building up the play through short passes and movement off the ball. What makes it fluid is the players are roaming and indeed swapping their positions on the pitch. This fluidity is what changes the angles for available passes and makes it essentially impossible to stop. Problem is without a clear understanding of how to adjust our teams shape when someone roams, everything breaks down. Soldado will not be living off service out wide like in Jose's 'rigid' 433 nor will he be expected to hold off any defenders. Instead he will rely on our midfield bringing the ball up slowly and feeding him a ball when he has space and time to turn.... Or a through ball to run onto.

Below is a visual interpretation of a fluid 433 that explains more than I could ever hope to explain via text. It was created by a current Crewe Alexandria coach. You may need to pause and read some of the annotations to follow exactly what he trying to say. After a while you will be able to predict what is going to happen. The problem is even when defenders know what they are trying to do, if the 433 plan correctly then the opposition still won't be able to contain all the options. Notice how the players swap their positions during the consolidation and build up phase and therefor changing the angles. It also becomes pretty clear how a lack of positional understanding will result in Spurs being static like we saw against Woolwich. Also notice how important Paulinho and Eriksen are to our incision phase (Represented by numbers 8 & 10). Eriksen is already used to playing in this system and Paulinho seems to be timing his runs well which are both good signs. I'm convinced these two will be the keys to Soldado getting the right supply this season.

This visual representation is by no means exactly how every team must play their fluid 433. A top manager will make variations to utilise the strengths of individuals in a squad but it explains the basic framework from which the team will work in.




I applaud you if you watched all 5 mins of the vid! So.... It's all about little triangles and movement. Notice when the left wide man cuts inside and the wingback overlaps. This creates a new positional triangle with numbers 11, 3 and 8. Not only that but the number 10 has to adjust his position to provide the switch the play option. (pass to the other side of the pitch) This switch option is essential for to changing the angles or the player in possession of the ball can be cut off. What I'm trying to point out, maybe not so clearly, is that 4 players need adjust their position significantly for just one triangle work. If just one person is in the wrong place then the whole system breaks down and looks completely static.

Our performance against Woolwich was simply a result of one or two players not providing the correct movement and therefor players with the ball simply having no real incisive option to pass to. There was also a failure in our speed of ball movement. This whole system is about constantly changing the angles and exploiting the time it takes for oppositions to adjust their shape. The longer it takes for us to pass and move then the less time we have to exploit. Against a well drilled defence in the premier league you certainly don't get much time in the first place!

So.... In an ideal world we need our whole team to have an almost telepathic understanding of each other and know where and when to pass the ball without having to check and see if the player is actually there. That won't come this season but if you look at Barca you can see the understanding that develops when a young team grows up together. We have a young team and after Christmas I expect we will start to see AVB's plan start to really show fruit.

-------

Ok....I had a little visit from my room mate and Mary Jane. Now I feel like writing another essay. This essay is about our left side. Our options at left back, left wing and what I who I would ideally like to play. Firstly I want to say that I think our left side will be a challenge for AVB to manage this season. He will have a few decisions to make and I honestly don't know what he is planning in the medium term.

Left Back: So this is an easy one in terms of who is first choice. Rose the young home grown winger come wingback has been given the full confidence of AVB. While I expected Benny to move on I was more than surprised when Rose was given no competition via a replacement. I think this might be a decision by AVB to show Rose confidence while leaving room for a January reinforcement if Rose fails. The other thing is I don't think Levy expected Madrid to refuse to sell us Coentrao.... The Assholes!

It may be a little risky but when you think about it.... Its a actually a pretty smart decision by AVB/Baldini. Bringing in a top class left back without giving Rose a chance would mean a homegrown young talent with lots of potential would leave sooner rather than later. Signing a deputy to Rose would mean we couldn't upgrade on Rose during Jan if we want to. We are taking a risk especially if Rose gets injured but it's a calculated risk that will pay off big time if AVB's hunch about Rose is correct. Notice how much movement is required by the wingback in the above video. One thing that Rose has is pace and the engine to keep running. His delivery is decent and he is actually starting to make a believer out of me. I'm not all the way there but he is convincing me. I think judgement time will come during the January window for him.

So... What happens in cup games and if Rose gets injured. The options are Vert, Naughton, Chriches and Fryers. None of them are really options that fill me with lots of confidence.

Vert: Vert is needed in the centre. He is our best central defender and playing him on the left is not the best use of one of our stars. I expect him play a few games out wide but not any kind of a regular solution in my opinion.

Naughton: He is better on the right and with the man in front of him cutting inside.... It means he has to overlap wide. This does not really suite Naughtons natural instincts and his final ball with his left foot is not good enough. I only like him on the right but I again expect him to play a few games on the left this season.

Chiriches: I've not convinced he can play on the left. I read it a couple of places and it seems to have spread but never seen it said anywhere I deem reliable. I have no idea though and I hope he proves me wrong.

Fryers: Not good enough. I would be filthy if AVB ever become desperate enough to start him in a league game this season. I have been disappointed every single time I have seen him play. He has lots of work to do in my opinion.

In summary it's lucky that Rose has such a good injury record cos if he goes down before January then we are in trouble. I'm very curious to see who AVB plays on the left during cup games.

------

Left Wing: It's the complete opposite situation to left back where we only have one option. At left wing/left inside forward we have more options than I can count. I'm honestly not even sure yet I'll count how many options we have at the end.

Chadli: He has started most games on the left so far and like to cut inside and shoot. Probably the best bet for the starting role this season. He fits all the criteria for an inverted forward. If he can start getting some shots on target then he will become very dangerous indeed.

Eriksen: My ideal player to play on the left.... But he is needed centrally so I think a similar job could be done by Holtby with the two of them interchanging at times during the game.

Holtby: Has played many games on the left in the last few season and while he has had varying degrees of success, I think he has all the attributes needed to make the position his own. His instinct to drift inside will work well with Eriksen's instinct to drift into the space out wide.

Gylfie: He provides a different option to the others. He lacks the pace needed to really exploit the space out wide but I think he has more to offer than what he showed us out there wide last season. He is genuinely two footed and that is very useful in that role.

Townsend: He generally likes to cut in from the right but he is naturally left footed. I think he is a good option if Avb decides he wants to play more rigid for a particualr opponent or we are playing a 442 at the end of the game. In a 442 he would be valuable in providing crosses to our front 2 form the left.

Lennon: I'm just gonna' say it... He can't do it. His only asset is his acceleration. If he has to cut back onto his right foot to deliver then his acceleration is negated. I don't consider him to be a real option on the left.

Lamela: He can certainly play on the left. The thing is I expect AVB will start Lamela on the right for most games but I could be wrong. In truth if Lamela plays his share of games on the left then our squad becomes significantly more balanced. While Erik favours his left he is pretty much two footed like Eriksen. I think Lamela is one of our better options on the left but like in Vert's case I believe we need to use our stars in their best positions. For me that means playing Lamela on the right just like playing Vert centrally.

So.... That means we have 6 options for our left side without counting Lennon. That's a hell of a lot of options and it must make most managers in the league green with envy. Who would you choose for our left side and why?

Well this is what I would do. I'm going to use Eriksen in my example but I want add the caveat that I think Holtby could do the same job. I would start my front 3 of Eriksen, Soldado and Lamela. Soldado would start slightly to the right and it would look like this.

-----------Soldado-----
-Eriksen-------Lamela--

Soldado will make diagonal runs towards the left side of the box while Lamela makes a similar run to the right post. Eriksen on the other hand will cut inside into the space known as 'the hole' At the end of their runs it would look something like this. Paulinho and Holtby will of course move up the pitch as the ball moves up the pitch...

---Soldado---Lamela---
--------Eriksen-------
--Holtby----Paulinho--

This means several things for each player.

Soldado: If he meets the through ball during his run then he can hit the ball first time with his preferred left foot. If he is marked well or gets the ball at the end of is his run then he can either cross to Lamela with his preferred foot or just simply recycle possession.

Lamela: I can see Lamela being the closest thing Solado will get to a support striker. If I was AVB I would be telling Lamela to get into the box as much as possible. If he is starting out right then I would expect him to make countless runs to his near post. It's up to our other creative players (Eriksen) to find that run and therefor make Lamela a legit weapon.

Eriksen. I'm not convinced that a mirror image of Lamela on the left (Chadli) is the way to go. I would personally much prefer for a player like Eriksen to drift inside and occupy the space between the oppositions midfield line and back 4. This would give Eriksen all the space he needs to pick out Soldado and Lamela when they run into the box in front of him.

Holtby & Paulinho: Both move up the pitch to provide angle changing options. Holtby can easily take up Eriksens place on the left from there and Paulinho can perfectly time a run into the box from his position. This type of movement drags markers all over the place and drives them completely nuts! Remember the longer it takes them to react and adjust their shape then the more time we have to exploit.... And the more dangerous we are as a team.

So.... What do you think would be the best way for Spurs to set up their left side? Do you like my Eriksen/Holtby combo on the left? Do you like the current directness of the Chadli on the left and Lamela right combo? Would you prefer a natural left footer on the left life Townsend or Lamela. Do you think we took too big a risk with just having Rose this season? I look forward to your comments on this epicly long post
PaddySpurs4Life (Tottenham Hotspur) 1 year ago
That really was a fantastic post. There is nothing to say about the first essay apart from "I am very impressed"!
I'm knackered now so I'll reply to your second essay tomorrow!
Espelho (Tottenham Hotspur) 1 year ago
Wow that was some read Hat! I had to come back to read the second part! Lol
So my thoughts:
4-3-3: I thought you gave a real good account of what AVB is trying to achieve with our system and I do think what we saw against Woolwich was most players working out the cobwebs. I will focus on two points though. First the need for a plan be while the team is still learning and secondly the need for speed in the transitioning from defending to attack.
Plan b: It was pretty obvious at certain points against Woolwich that we were making mistakes from players not reading the play properly, this meant we gave the ball many times allowing Arsenal to run at our defence when both fullbacks were out of position but also meant that chances only came from individual efforts rather than any tactical play. I think seeing this sort of play shouldn't necessarily mean that AVB should switch tactics, but he should definitely have a plan be for when it is not working. He did try and switch it up to a 4-4-2 for the last 30min in the match but it was more him playing a 4-3-2-1 with two out and out attacking players rather than a traditional 4-4-2 and so failed to create any goal scoring chances (except for the one chance after the Capoue injury).
I think switching to the 4-3-2-1 is a safe option in future, but I think for that to work it will need a midfield player like Dembele and/or Holtby, who can beat their players and hold the ball for the team to move up. Also the tactic would need someone up front to protect the ball and bring the midfield into the attack, sort of like what Ade did for us last season.
Need4Speed: We have really lacked any fast flowing forward movement this season, it has been surreal at times to think that 'Arrys Spurs were the counter attacking kings but the current squad, despite having the speed to spare, are on purpose slowing the attacks down. And although I agree that the pace will pick up when the team learn the system, I am still not convinced that we will fix this problem. I think we need the back four and DM's to move the ball up the pitch faster than what I have seen. I get what Daws is trying to do (you explained it in another post nicely) but he is ponderous and just not good enough for that role. It will be interesting to see how Kaboul and Chiriches fits into this system, but I think what might be needed is one of our holding midfield's to hang back and help distribute faster the ball, I am not sure how this works in the 4-3-3, it might not be a problem in future, but we definitely need to address this problem currently.
What do you think about the plan be? Do we need one? Is the speed issue going to be solved eventually? How else can we fix this problem? Is Daws just not technical enough to work for AVB's system?

Onto the left hand issues:
Rose: Unlike what some people have said, I have been impressed with Rose and have no problem with his defensive capacity. But he really hasn't managed to show any kind of partnership with the left wing. Both in attack, where many times he has not looked to see where the winger is, or where he is not receiving the ball back from the wings. But also in defence, where many times I have seen both the Very and him not communicating who is covering who in attacks, this led to a few dangerous plays, but also means that there might be a communication issue. Hopefully it gets sorted soon.
I think Fryers is our cover for LB, and I have liked him in that position when I have seen him play. I also think Verty fits in nicely as does Naughton, meaning that AVB probably doesn't see it as a problem. But I think we will get someone else in come January, although probably only as cover for Rose, maybe an experienced second choice LB.... Any ideas?

As for the wing, I think you are spot on with all your suggestions. But just to raise a problem I have seen so far in both wings.... The lack of defensive cover, I want to see Both wings providing more defence and helping cover for when the wingbacks are out of position. Especially though down the left, where Chandli has seemed uninterested in the role.
That's all from me! Lol

Edit: plan be is plan be and Very is Verty.... Bloody autocorrect.... I'd go back and change it but my fingers are cramping.... Lol
Northstream (Tottenham Hotspur) 1 year ago
For the time being Vertonghen would have to be our second option on left back and I'm fine with that. Dawson, Kaboul and Chiriches should be more than adequat central options and Vert has had some good displays at LB. In getting this fluid formation to work I think Walker would be the one who needs some more help. Because of that I think a fit, experienced Lennon is still the choice ahead of Townsend on the right side. I think we'll soon see this as the starting line-up:

Lloris
Walker Dawson Vertonghen Rose
Paulinho Holtby
Lennon Eriksen Lamela
Soldado

Back-ups from Kaboul, Sandro, Chadli, Townsend and Defoe. I can see Dembele falling down the pecking-order. He's struggling both at club level and for Belgium at the moment. He is also without doubt injury prone.
I can also see Defoe thriving when the team settles and formations working. He should find himself more in time & space in and around the box which makes poachers like him lethal
Espelho (Tottenham Hotspur) 1 year ago
@North, if Sandro or Capoue is fit, you have to play them in the team. With the high line AVB plays we need a DM that can protect the CB's and slow attacks down, as well as providing forward movement from the defence. So in your system, you would have to sacrifice either Holtby or Eriksen.
I think with the team settled we will see a team like this:
------------------------------------------Lloris/Friedel
Walker/Naughton -Kaboul/Dawson- Vert/Chiriches- Rose/Naughton/Vert
---------Sandro/Capoue--- Eriksen/Holtby ----Paulinho/Dembele
Lennon/Townsend ---Soldado/Defoe/Ade ---Chandli/Gylfie/Holtby

This can also be retrofitted to a 4-3-2-1 in the meantime while we are still picking up the tactics. This would look like this:
Lloris/Friedel
Walker/Naughton-Kaboul/Daws-Vert/Chiiches-Rose/Naughton/Vert
Sandro/Capoue-Eriksen/Holtby- Dembele/Paulinho
Lennon/Townsend- Chandli/Gylfie/Pamela
Ade/Soldado/Defoe

In both cases my first choices for each position are written first.
Northstream (Tottenham Hotspur) 1 year ago
Yes, Sandro/Capoue will be played a lot of the time. I'm just desperate for some creative attacking power and Holtby himself regards himself at his best when he's lying deeper.

PS. Pamela.... Lol.... I know he's good looking but not that good!
Hatmundo (Tottenham Hotspur) 1 year ago
@Paddy. Thanks mate. I look forward to your post.

@Espelho. Yeah I think the 442 has to be our plan be if we are chasing a goal. I would say bring Ade on and partner him with either Soldado or Defoe. Then have our inverted wide men switch sides. That way they can deliver crosses with their preferred foot. It will be too crowded in the middle for them to cut inside anyway. It's a very attacking line up and I wouldn't expect to start many many games like that. I think it's a solid Plan be in the last 20-30 mins though.

@North. What about in the cup games when AVB wants to rest most of his first team. That means Vert, Rose and Walker will potentially get a rest. Naughton will probably play on the right and Fryers becomes the only one left for the left wingback spot. The other option is a very careful rotation policy by AVB where only a few players from the first team gets a rest at any given time.... He actually did quite a bit of that last season.
PaddySpurs4Life (Tottenham Hotspur) 1 year ago
I think as well as the fluid trio in midfield, fluidity across the attacking midfielders is also vital. This is why I considered this formation the other day:

-Townsend--------------------------------Lamela--------------------------------------Eriksen
-----------------------------------------------Soldado----------------------------------------------

With those 3 behind Soldado rotating (with Lamela/Eriksen initially at the top of the midfield 3) I think it would be very effective. If Townsend is beating players but struggling to get shots past the Centre-Backs, shove him on the left to beat players down the wing and cross into Soldado and Paulinho (always seems to be in the right place) while Eriksen moves into the middle and Lamela tries his luck on the right.

This would enable us to have an inverted forward, a traditional winger and a creative playmaker at all times on the pitch, playing different roles and positions depending on the flow of the game.

Thoughts?
Hatmundo (Tottenham Hotspur) 1 year ago
So its the end of the AVB era. I was personally shocked when Levy decided to pull the plug on AVB's "project. " that's what it was. A project and it was always going to take time. The problem is or was that we still needed to be competitive while the project was building. When we look at AVB's record this season against out top 4 rivals, it is abysmal. Quite simply we were not even competitive with them most times. We were even steam rolled by a Pool team that we were considerably better than only last season.

When I chat with my Pool mates I can't deny that the reds have overtaken us in terms of top 4 credentials. United still has a better squad than us so unless we have a major purchase in January, we probably have the 6th best squad in the league. That is a distinct backwards step from last season. I don't think Levy expected us to improve this season but we had to maintain at the very least.

We don't know what kind of relationship Levy had with AVB. I think it's pretty safe to say that Levy was not particularly impressed with the way Spurs were playing during the season. It's not like we were entertaining to watch. Over here in Australia I admit I fell asleep, more than a few times, at 4am on my couch cos the game was boring as bat s**t. Regardless I don't think anyone was too upset as long as we were picking up points.

So the project stared well with our defence being the best in the whole freaking league! Lloris was a beast in the net, Vert was a beast in defence and we even had "the beast" back in midfield. So what if we couldn't score a goal from open play our defence meant we were picking up points and the offence will gel later.... Then later happened and our offence didn't gel. In fact nothing really seemed to gel with the squad.

The squad was imbalanced in so many ways.

-In the centre of the park we had 4 top class defensive midfielders and only one real creative spark who got injured during a tough run of games.

-We had one left back with another already owned experienced option sent out on loan with no replacement. Sure enough that lone left back (Rose) gets injured almost strait away for most of the season.

-We have our highest paid player (Ade) rotting in the reserves for no apparent reason. Seriously AVB was not even trying to get him in the shop window to sell him? There had to be something personal there or it just does not make sense. Even more so when you see that the player AVB put all his faith in (Soldado) has been utterly woeful. It's not like our highest paid player could have done much worse if given a chance.

-Then there is our most expensive player (Lamela) who can't even get a start for most league games. It smelled like the whole Lloris/Freidel kerfuffle of last season. The difference is Lamela is a young guy who needed the manager to show faith in him. AVB is not the type of manager to put an arm around the shoulder or even explain to a player why they are on the bench. It clearly messed with the young Lamela's confidence and that obviously translated on the pitch. Lloris was the freaking captain of France and strong enough to deal with the situation. Lamela is not and the way AVB handled the Lamela/Townsend conundrum was shithouse in my humble opinion. I'm predicting Lamela with thrive under the right management! An interesting point is that we all know Lamela is Baldini's pet player and AVB's refusal to play the youngster would have certainly made Baldini look bad to Levy.... And that odds are that would have pissed the Italian off.

All of those things above are forgivable in my opinion.... BUT ONLY IF YOU ARE winning! As soon as you have a team that is not preforming then all of the above questions have to be asked. I can't think of any acceptable answers that AVB could give other than Baldini built the squad and "I miss my Baley Waley. "

Yes we can talk about Bale leaving but if AVB was able to get the best out of Lamela and Soldado then we would not be missing Bale at all. Our two record purchases got over 35 goals between them last season. This season they have only 6-7 between them and if you take away penalties its about half that. Yes they need time to gel but can anyone say they think AVB's tactica were getting the best out of either of them? Lamela couldn't get a run of games or a clear position and Soldado was constantly stranded all alone in the box. A player like Ade would have been a great partner for him in my opinion. Especially late in the game when we need a goal. The Soldado/Defoe partnership made me throw s**t at my screen!

I'm sure Baldini has to take part of the blame due to his influence on recruitemnt but as far as Levy is concerned AVB is much easier to replace and Baldini is much easier to control. Therefor in my opinion Baldini is being given AVB's project and the requisite time to see it through. I believe Baldini will be instrumental in deciding who our new manager is. It's for that reason I believe the new manager will be relatively happy with the squad we already have. He will obviously want to make his own tweaks but I don't think it will be like starting the whole project again. Baldini will most likely target a manager that likes to play with a 433/4411. That way we don't need to sell or buy too many players. I also think Baldini will want a "players manager" like Harry who can nurture young Lamela. AVB's project is still continuing. It's just that its become Baldini's project now.

I'm gonna' post this in Essays for Yids on the right just to keep it updated
AndyCT5 (Tottenham Hotspur) 1 year ago
The way I see it is Harry did pretty well, he finished fourth a couple of times, but it was a different league then.
City were still just starting out on their money injection and Arsenal were plodding along not spending much after their new stadium, so that was our real time to kick on. Our team was great. We sacked him as lots of us were enjoying the ride, but we weren't the most professional. Harry playing the same 11 week in/out. Lots of us didn't like his "just run about" philosophy. So AVB came in to herald a new age at spurs, a European setup and a more modern, possession based philosophy with plenty of planning. I was excited, and thought we could finally build for the future and AVB could bring us some professionalism and take us forward to the new stadium.
Since Harry We've never truly replaced Modric, VDV, King or Bale. 4 players that are some of the best for a generation, and City have grown massively, Arsenal are spending again, so 2 more clubs have sharpened their act from when Harry was manager. Liverpool too gave Brendan time and now they appear to be a force again. I feel its stupid to compare AVBs 5th to the couple of 4ths Harry got, as the league is far harder now.
He got us record points tally for a season. He made us far harder to beat, our away performances so much better. We are now (or were) one of the best away teams in the league (only united better our tally) sure our football was laboured, but Brendan Rodgers finished 7th when he tried to instil a radical change at Liverpool.

So this season we started off really well then get slapped twice and knee-jerk levy pulls the plug on this grand plan after only 14 months, after selling our best player 2 seasons running, after waiting until after the season had started before finally concluding business and buying in a raft of new players, some wanted by AVB some not. Levy - hang your head in shame. You chickened out on us and our project.... Again. He's the man who gets the managers, so if they continually "fail" then surely the spotlight has to fall on Levy eventually.

Anyway, that's happened. Nothing I can do about it. I can see AVBs reluctance to change his tactics didn't help, but I still feel that the "best interests" of a club isn't to change when we hit a bumpy spell. The talk was that players needed time to gel, so now all these new players were learning and adapting to AVBs plans and now they have to do it all again, this time with a manager whose never been a manager.

I wish Tim Sherwood well, I thank AVB for his efforts and apologise for his casting off. Seems to me like Levy wanted us to become more European, so sacked Harry. Then he got scared it wasn't working so sacked AVB and got in Young Harry Mk. 2. So the 14 months of avb was basically completely pointless. Levy can't decide what he wants. Shame in him for putting our club through all this. It seems he is a business man not a football man, and we can't keep letting him pull the plug all the time. If he's as intelligent as we thought, then why is he making the same mistakes over and over?

Sherwood appears to be Harry mk. 2, so was Levy wrong to appoint AVB in the first place? When will his glaring errors go punished? He's ultimately the guy responsible. Thanks avb, good luck Tim. Spurs have my support regardless, it just seems like we as fans craved modernising, then decided actually we'd rather play 442 and try and win every game 3-2.
I preferred the professionalism, I feel the goals would have come, definitely, but was at times frustrated myself. Hey-ho, football is crazy!
Coys
Northstream (Tottenham Hotspur) 1 year ago
As for managers coming and going....
- It's 10 years since Martin Jol came in as Jacques Santini's assistant. In November 2004 he was promoted to manager when Santini was sacked. Jol did a fantastic job for us but when the board made more money available to the first team, Levy started undermining Jol by ignoring which players he wanted to bring in and who he was desperate to keep (leaving this in the hands of Damien Comolli as Director of Football). That whole sorry saga ended with turmoil, the team underperforming and Jol being sacked and Juande Ramos installed.
- Ramos managed to stabilize the the team and most notably won the League Cup after beating Man City in the quarters, hammering Arsenal in the semis and rolling Chelsea in the final. Ramos still experienced the same undermining as Jol before him and the following season started again with the team underperforming. Ramos, his assistant Gus Poyet and also Damien Comolli were sacked, paving the way for Harry Redknapp.
- Redknapp was given more free reigns and we were back up around the same level Jol had kept us. The biggest glory came in achieving qualification to Champions League. That promised land almost disappeared before we got there but in the end we managed to get past Swiss team Young Boys in the qualification. We were humiliated against Inter at San Siro until our savior appeared in form of Bale scoring a hattrick and stepping into superstar status. In particular as he repeated his performance in the return leg. Our best performance in that campaign was probably going back to San Siro to beat AC Milan 1-0 and reaching the quarter final, in which we were undressed by Real Madrid. Bale had already become a figure to save our blushes time and again. Redknapp lost our playmaker Modric to our new "partners" Real Madrid but had also himself started acting as if he was bigger than the club and its supporters. Then fighting court case for tax fraud while he assumed to continue on to be England boss, we handed our rivals back 3rd place which had been all in our hands. Redknapp would confront anyone in the media, to blow his own trumpet, including our chairman Levy. So Redknapp dug his own grave and simply had to leave. Just as much remembered for finishing 4th and getting Champions League, as repeatedly losing to the worst teams and underachieving in the domestic cups.
- All English go-ho was replaced by tactical thinker, young analyzer, failed Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas, who previously had big success with treble winning Porto. In his first season, we narrowly missed out on 4th place even if he was still finding his feet and we were still without a new proper playmaker. It was still the highest point tally we've ever recorded in the EPL. Bale was the one who kept bailing us out but credit to Villas-Boas for recording wins at both Anfield and Old Trafford. We got a new Director of Football in Franco Baldini. Bale left for Real Madrid, even though AVB had been desperate to keep him, with seven new players coming in. It's unclear how much say AVB had in these buys but it's an understatement that many of them had little initial benefit to him in way of performances. AVB was still wary after having been undermined by the older stars at Chelsea. He sent Assou-Ekotto away on loan and had to drop Adebayor after the striker basically tried to humiliate him. Adebayor's own account was that he first spoke with AVB in private, the decided to air his opinions in front of the team mates as well. In his second season our fans were bemoaning an unexciting football, which basically was due to us not scoring goals. Adebayor was unused while our new striker Soldado couldn't buy a goal, but still being persisted with instead of Defoe. Fans were unhappy and Levy suddenly decided to release AVB from his contract. We were four points behind Chelsea in 4th at the time, we were unbeaten in the Europa League and still in both domestic cup competitions.
- In lack of any decent candidates being available mid season, which makes the sacking even more questionable, Levy opted to install Tim Sherwood. The biggest change under him is that Adebayor has been called in to the starting XI and fairly unknown youngster Bentaleb was given a massive vote of confidence as a regular starter. Bentaleb has shown a lot of quality but Sherwood gets criticism for keeping him on the pitch even when playing bad, while the nearest we have a playmaker sits on the bench in form of Eriksen. Adebayor has been the one to let Sherwood hit the ground running but he has always proved to be unreliable in the past. How long can Adebayor shoulder the team while Soldado still has no idea where the goal stands? We've dropped out of the domestic cups, struggled badly in our first Europa game under Sherwood and look unlikely to get top 4. Sherwood is too inexperienced to manage a club like Tottenham. Therefore it is a likely necessity to have him replaced in the summer.
- Louis van Gaal appears to be the one we want and he wants to come to the Premier League. It did however seem extraordinary naive that we approached him to join us few months before he's due to travel to the World Cup with Netherlands. Let's hope our return to a Dutchman will be what we need to get back to the Spurs way and let our stars start performing!
Hatmundo (Tottenham Hotspur) 1 year ago
Hey guys. I have not posted an essay for quite a while. Did anyone miss them? I actually wrote an essay a couple of weeks ago. It was about Sherwood and I just attacked every single aspect of his mangement. I mean I tore him apart. I attacked his tactics, his media interviews and his man management. It ended up being this massive massive diatribe that would have filled half the page. At the end I just decided it was simply too depressing and long to post on here. Instead I waited till I could come on here with something a bit more positive.

We finally got an important win against South Ham on the weekend. Now if I'm honest I still don't have anything positive to say about this season. I still think Sherwood is a cancer and the only good things I can see about the future starts with him leaving.... So I guess that's what I'll write about....

When Tim Leaves.

Van Gaal: My deep seated hope is that when Tim finally fucks off we will be lucky enough to snap up LVG. The guy is a proven winner at every level imaginable bar the Premier League. He has more experience than any other manager in the league and would be on par with Jose for best tactician in the league. He has the balls to deal with the big egos and is an exceptional judge of talent. He has shown he can get the very very best out of underperforming players and knows how to rotate to keep a squad healthy and win multiple cups. Both skills were on display when he managed to get Robben playing at his best all the way through to a champs league final with Bayern and narrowly missing out on the treble. He is my 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice for next manager at Spurs without question!

Eriksen: The talented young Dane is someone I've been a big fan of since before he even came to Spurs as some of you would remember. What I wish more fans knew about Christian is that we have not seen anything yet! The guy is a little genius and when we finally get a manager who know how to use him properly, he will be the shining crown jewel in our midfield for the next 5 years at least!

The important thing for me is that he really needs another creative player to work with in midfield. If we can find the correct jigsaw piece then Eriksen will find more space to work with. Trust me if we can build a formation that gives him that kind of space then he will absolutely thrive for Spurs. I firmly believe LVG would make another VDV and Modric combination for our midfield if given the opportunity to work with us. Think about this for a second.... LVG has been working with the Ajax system since before Eriksen was even born! If anyone knows how to get the best out of him, it's LVG.

Soldado: When we were linked with Spurs I wrote an essay about how I didn't think Soldado was the right choice for Spurs. I wrote about how his goal tally was flattered by penalties and I didn't see anyway he could be out 20 goal a season man. I spent a fair bit of time on that essay and I was widely derided by everyone. I was called naive and told that I didn't know anything. I argued at length that Negredo was a better player and that he cost significantly less so we were being ripped off. I wrote about how he doesn't add enough to the team when not scoring so is just a really expensive upgrade on our current super sub Defoe.

With my hindsight being 20/20, I think my views are exactly the same as they were before he arrived. He is at his best in a poaching role and we don't need or want a poacher as our loan striker. We need a true lone striker like Negredo, Benteke or Lukaku to work with and Soldado is not good enough for us to change our system to suit him. LVG plays a 433 at the start of most matches and am sure he would only consider Soldado as a bench option. Ideally I think he needs to be sold asap! The problem is he is on huge wages and is aging which means no one is going to buy him from us at a reasonable fee. This unfortunately means I believe there is a legit chance that Soldado is going to be our Torres.... Meaning we are stuck with him till he finishes his contract.

I went from thinking we massively over paid to thinking of him as an utter disaster of a purchase that will be a drain on our wage bill for the foreseeable future. Did anyone else read the rumour that Levy had Benteke all tied up ready for confirmation when AVB pulled the plug cos he wanted Soldado instead? If I was Levy I think that particular vetoed decision combined with the refusal to play Ade would play a considerable part in my wanting to fire him.

Lamela: The one thing I am hoping for this season is that the young starlet can get healthy enough for Tim to play him in the remaining fixtures. That way he can gain a bit of confidence in these last few "less pressure" games.... Or at the very least get him in the shop window if he is determined to leave.

If a manager the calibre of LVG comes then I think Lamela will finally get the right manager to work with. Just think about what LVG did with Robben as a left footed inverted winger on the right at Bayern. Everything that Lamela should be aiming for was achieved by Robben under LVG and I can't think of a better person to work with Lamela's specific skillset.

Vertonghen: At the start of this season I loved Vert. I was really hoping he would be captain by next season. Now I'm not so sure. I actually agree with him in almost every aspect of his criticism. I just don't like him saying it to the media. I agree with him when he gets upset at his team mates. I just don't like the way he acts when we are playing badly. As someone who has captained Ajax he has to know its not about making faces and shaking your head. He needs to step up and really lead from the back. I agree that's harder for him to do when shunted out onto the left side but he shouldn't be looking for excuses.

It's pretty clear that Vert doesn't respect Tim. He has only become chirpy in the media since Tims arrival and Tim's outburst after Chelsea was obviously directed at Vert at least in part. His quality of game play has also deteriorated under Sherwood to the point that he seems to be having multiple brain farts each and every game. This is really why we need a manager who commands respect from the big names. LVG will drop his pants to show Vert he has big enough balls if he needs to.... But importantly he will do it behind closed doors! Tim on the other hand has little pea sized balls that's why he needs to blame everyone but himself and do it through the media. Another thing to consider is that LVG is Ajax through and through, so Vert will be totally at home in LVG's system and will obviously respect what he did for the club. Remember LVG won the f*****g champs league with Ajax and is one of the clubs biggest and most respected legends.

I think I'll just leave you with that last image of Tim's little pea sized balls before this gets any longer. I'll chuck this in essays for Yids as well. COYS!
Hatmundo (Tottenham Hotspur) 1 year ago
So I've been thinking about who our back 4 will be next season. Pretty much the only position we have sorted for sure is at right back with Walker. Other than that I really have no idea who will be the other 3 in our starting back 4.

Kaboul: After this season he will only have one more year left on his contract. I can't see Kaboul playing out his contract as Levy will either want to resign him or cash in on the player. The decision as to which will most likely come down to the input of the new manager early in his reign.

He was our best defender before he spent a season out injured and since then he has not been able to recapture anything like his previous form. Not only that but he has not been quite susceptible to little injuries throughout this season. As much as I am a Kaboul fan I do think he could well be on his way during the next window.

Vert: it's pretty clear the player is unhappy and some would say he has been agitating for a move through the media. He still has 2 or 3 years left on his contract so could command a fee upwards of 20mil. There are few clubs around that would pay that much for a defender and his main link Barca is now under a transfer ban.

Personally I think Jans biggest issue is playing under Sherwood. He never made a peep to the media before Tim arrival then almost immediately had a spat with him through media interviews. If a new manager like LVG or De Boer was to come in I can see Vert wanting to stay and in fact being reinvigorated by it.

Rose: In my opinion making Rose our starting left back was a calculated risk at the start of the season. Not signing a back up left back was a stupid risk. Not signing a left back in Jan was a perplexing risk. Not signing a left back next season would be a disastrous risk and not a risk I can see any quality manager taking. I think a left back is just as, if not more important than signing a striker this coming window. Rose may want to stay and fight for his place or he may want to leave. I expect he will stay and fight for his place unless we sign a big name like Shaw.... Which is never gonna' happen!

After those guys we get our back up back four.

Naughton: He has been vilified by fans a bit this season and I think its been a bit unfair. He is not a natural left back and his constantly being played out of position combined with our lack of defensive support on the left side has made his job very difficult. He is a better player when played on the right and I think he is a capable if not exceptional back up for Walker. I would keep him next season if I could. He would be second choice right back and third choice left back meaning Vert would never need to play on the left either.

Dawson: He is our club captain and all Spurs fans have a soft spot for him. That being said every Spurs fan would agree that he doesn't have the pace to play in a high line and is often a our main liability when we push our line that far up the pitch. He also lacks the technical ability to play a possession passing game out of defence. He naturally likes to punt the long ball to a taller player on the pitch initiating a counter attack, which is a throw back to our old Harry days.

All that being said I don't think Dawson will go anywhere. Our team is in dire need of leaders at the club. A player like Dawson would be invaluable to a new manager in what is obviously a very delicate dressing room. Whoever comes in will need to identify this and even if he doesn't keep Daws as our captain, a smart manager would use him as a back up in games and as a leader in training.

Chiriches: Vlad is another guy who cops a fair bit of flack and after the game against South Ham its hard for me to defend him.... But not impossible. Everyone talks about how it takes time to adjust to a new league. I would say that Vlad had arguably the hardest transition of any of our players to make. He doesn't speak english and is making the biggest step up in league quality. That doesn't make up for him being exploited for pace in the last game but I do firmly believe he will be leaps and bounds a better player next season. Ivanovic took his time adjusting and eventually turned into arguably the best right back in the league.

Fryers: I'm not convinced about young Zeki. I don't like him at all at left back for many many reason and believe he would be best developed as a ball playing left sided central defender in the future. In training I would tell him to just shadow Vert and just copy everything that he does from after he gets changed, to how he walks off the pitch.

Next season if Rose does stay then I expect Zeki will be shipped out on loan. I expect a loan deal would be best for him and the club next season in terms of giving him the game time needed to develop. I certainly don't want him playing too many games for Spurs in any position at his current level of ability.

All in all is pretty hard to say for sure who our starting back 4 will be next season but I would not be surprised to see two big changes back there. If it was up to you who would you keep in your starting back 4 next season?



   
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