Various headlines have declared our intention to bid for Christian Benteke. Some say this has already happened, some provide for it to happen in the near future. These projected bids range from £20-30 million….who knows what may be true?

However, while I do not believe any member of the long-suffering Tottenham faithful could be forgiven for craving that striker they hope could provide 30 goals a season, is this wish blinding us to the prospects of playing a different type of football?

Barcelona play 4-3-3 and their front man is Lionel Messi. Spain played 4-3-3 in the World Cup, with some degree of success it must be said, and their front man for the majority of the tournament was Cesc Fabregas.

There is a commonality between each of the aforementioned players, and that is they began life as attacking midfielders, and to some degree remain so. Barcelona and Spain play with Pedro and David Villa as their other front men, both with an eye for goal, and both with the creatively and movement to create as well as finish.

Maybe Tottenham could learn from arguably the best club side and international team in the world. Tottenham have recently purchased Paulinho and a midfield three including him, Sandro and Dembele will be strong and powerful, but perhaps not the most creative. Gareth is also powerful, and his worth and difference comes through pace and directness, but again, he is not what could be termed a creative player.

However there is one such player available who could be: Christian Erikson.

This is a guy with huge ability to both create and score. His attacking play and vision are phenomenal and with his projected price tag at approximately £15 million, he will be a steal to whomever signs him. But if that club is Tottenham, where would the goals come from?

Well we would still have Gareth Bale, who could easily become our Messi, our Ronaldo.

Lewis Holtby is a similar player to Erikson, and with the two of them feeding Gareth Bale, supported by the physical prowess of the midfield three, Tottenham would have a team which incorporated strength, power and pace, and very possibly a few goals as well.

Terry Venables believed in the Christmas tree, and with through signing the right Christian, our starting eleven for the first game could look like this:

Lloris

Walker Kaboul Vertonghen Ekotto

Dembele Sandro Paulinho

Erikson Holtby

Bale

Now all of you fellow football enthusiasts and critics out there, tell me that wouldn’t be a side to keep a clean sheet and break through a parked bus!!!

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18 Responses

  1. russell hartnell

    lloris
    walker kaboul vertonghen rose

    dembele sandro paulinho

    lennon benteke bale

    Reply
  2. Timo

    That team is critically flawed and will lead us to see the same level of just missing out we have become accustomed to regardless of who is or isn't up front, or what formation we play. Our 2 full backs are our Achilles heel and we'd be foolish not to address that. BAE is inconsistent to say the least and seemingly suffers from narcolepsy on the pitch. And what the fuss about walker is I will never know. Yes, he is quick, yes he scored a free kick once, no he rarely beats an opposing full back and puts in a telling cross these days, no he can't defend for toffee and its lucky he is quick to consistently dig himself out of the proverbial when his positioning and tactical awareness are laid bare.

    Competent full backs are equally as vital a quality striker for us if we have an illusions of grandure this season.

    And if we spend 25-30m on someone with just one half tidy season in the premier league, I'll shave my dog and call him Daniel. It's not the Tottenham way, and as much as we may be interested in Benteke, Mr Levy will not pay the figures quoted in the press, we all know that. That young man needs to wind his neck in and set about having a better second season before he throws his toys out of the pram about wanting a nice signing on fee and more wages, and this kind of mercenary behaviour leads me to not want someone like that at our club anyways… How long till he does it to us… If he is as good as people make out that is…

    Reply
  3. COYS1

    playing this formation is to relelant on the full/wing backs imo – Holbty and Erickson woould have to cover this space….

    And not seeing a fit and on fire Lennon would be dissappointing

    Reply
  4. sybrian

    I tend to agree that Bale is thought of that way – that's why there is no real action on the forward front.

    Reply
  5. James McS. Prior

    Not a bad First XI at all. In my article for this very site, I also posited the idea of Bale taking the central forward position. With the right men behind him, it could be phenomenal.

    Two Points of contention, however:

    1. His name is spelled Eriksen…sorry to be pedantic!

    2. Assou-Ekotto is not fit to play as our left-back, and should be replaced with the £10+ million we could stand to save by following your good advice and picking the Danish Christian over the Belgian Christian.

    Those are my only objections, but there is one massive objection that would be levelled at the Club Hierarchy, by 99% of Spurs fans, if they followed through on your idea…it would be another Transfer Window without signing an out-and-out STRIKER. The protests would be loud and aggressive.

    Reply
  6. Rich brown

    That is a good starting 11 with no square pegs in round hikes like we are known for. Would be excited if this is how we started the first game but I would replace ekotto with rose

    Reply
  7. abe

    Hmm. not a lot of width there, but I am concerned that we lack a midfield schemer. Someone to make us tick and play. Holtby has not done enough so far to impress, Much prefer Siggurdson

    Reply
  8. Mart

    You still need a out and out forward in that team. Bale has a free role. If he is on the right, left or deep, neither of those midfielders could fill in up top to hold the ball. It would not work.

    Reply
  9. Kevin

    Your formation is way too narrow, we will struggle against sides who pack their midfield and impose a further enforcer right in front of the back 4.

    According to your formation, who's going to provide crosses into the box? We can't possibly be trying to pass our way through the middle for 90 minutes, any team with a smart manager will rectify that quickly.

    Reply
  10. Aaron

    Although this system has worked wonders for spain and barcelona in recent years and although we clearly have the players to pull it off (providing we buy erikson) I can’t help but feel we would be jumping on the bandwagon a bit late as we have seen teams working out how to play against this style (brazil and italy in the confederations cup, bayern in the champions league) and this will become more of a regular occurance hence why barca have purchased neymar to give them a different outlet. There is no doubt that bale could bag even more goals than last season if he was put up front however I feel he could do with a big guy causing trouble and dragging a defender or two out of the game to give him more room to run into and unleash one of those spectacular strikes we have become so used to seeing! Benteke has shown he could be the guy to do this even if it means not bagging as many goals he could still be effective if used in this way. Plus if we kept lennon on the right and went out and bagged a proper left winger this could be a very good season for spurs!

    Reply
  11. Jim Newman

    I wrote on another site mentioning this very point, though I said go for Chadli and Lamela to play either side of Bale. A hugely mobile and talented front three who can all score goals, and all interact with each other, though I like your idea about Eriksen. Its a good point, as if Spurs play 433 next year, then if Bale does not play up front next season, then where exactly does he play. I feel he is now beyond playing out on the left, and should be more central

    Reply
  12. Andy

    Spurs definitely need some creative spark in the midfield. At the moment the only creative player at Spurs is Tom Carroll. Spurs need to get players in like Eriksen and Pjanic.

    Sandro, Parker, Livermore, Dembele, Paulinho offer little creativity. Holtby offers a bit but seems more suited to a deeper role.

    This Spurs team lacks flair and creativity. Benteke is not the answer. He is a poor passer and only really offers strength and pace. We need strikers who can assist as well as score.

    Also Benteke handed in a transfer request at Genk after one year and has now done the same at Villa. Surely Levy has learned would have learned from the nightmares of Modric and Adebayor. Benteke has no loyalty and Spurs need a player who will stick around.

    Reply
  13. bob

    Eriksen is one of my favorite players and he seem like a perfect fit for Spurs but his position is not the most vital place to be filled.We need a forward who works in the 6 yard boxs whos strong and can get on the end of things.
    I kind of wish we signed him in Jan over Holtby hes more mobile and dynamic but onces Levy saw a chance to sign Holtby so cheap and we just signed a more physically solid midfielder in Paulinho this summer for 17 mill no way is he gonna join. We have a good squad Im now hoping and believe Holtby and Sigg will improve with less defensve duties.
    By the way people we are not made of money as long as we bring in a striker maybe a alternative winger to what we have we will be in very good shape lets be positive.

    Reply
  14. Subbed After 70

    Would still prefer to see Bale on the either side of a front 3, switching sides during the game. Left side he can go past people and get crosses in for strikers, right side he can cut in and unleash pile drivers, e.g Southampton (h) & Sunderland (h), while still being creative (cross for Dempsey Vs City).
    We would need a decent striker to hold the ball up and who can get on the end of crosses

    Reply
  15. Neil

    I like the sound of that 11 but agree there is a flaw. We would tend to play too narrow as the players mentioned are natural CM players wether it be Defensive or Attacking. Yes BAE and Kyle like to move forward but both have been found out of position on several occasions. However I totally disagree that BAE is a weak link. He is one of the most consistent and IMO one of the top 3 LB in the prem. (Evra, Baines, BAE – IMO).

    I would like to see the following if possible

    Lloris

    walker kaboul vertonghen BAE

    dembele sandro paulinho

    (Chadli or Lennon) Damiao Bale

    Subs: Friedel – Dawson – Rose – Gylfi – Parker – JD – Ade

    Reply
  16. Zorro66

    One other key point. Eriksen has apparently been recommended to AVB by Vertongen, who used to play with him. If he is good enough fore Verts, sign him up immediately,

    Reply
  17. Declan

    People seem to be putting to much focus on a starting 11!! Our problem last year was strength and dept!!! Football has become a squad game&most players know this… Not only do we need a Plan A but plans B&C as well!! Last year to many players passed the buck onto Bale when things weren’t going our way&tried to hide… We need players to add to Bales goals&help more with assists!!! I think Eriksen a quality player that wud b a massive assest to any team but we also need a big target man that can hold up ball&take pressure off when we are under attack!! We are looking at another season of 60plus games, 1 starting 11 won’t get us top4&progression in cups!! More dept&quality&players being pushed for a starting place is needed!! COYS

    Reply

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