Ten games into the season and Tottenham are sitting pretty comfortably in fourth position. They have been grinding out results, and have been collecting points due to their strong defence, that has let in only six goals so far. While this is an incredibly flattering statistic, the attack that has only scored nine is certainly cause for concern for Tottenham supporters and for AVB. The main reason behind the lack of goals is, of course, the personnel in attack.
AVB has opted for inside-out wingers on either side of midfield. In recent games, the two players who have been occupying these positions have been Andros Townsend and Aaron Lennon. Neither of these players is suited for the job that is being required of them.
In Townsend’s case, it’s not about a lack of ability, rather a lack of a consistent goalscoring threat. He has amassed an astounding 40 shots, only finding the net on one occasion. While his dribbles are, at times, phenomenal, he has a tendency to shoot from range and therefore killing off attacks.
In the past, Aaron Lennon has been deployed at right wing. The new switch to the left side hasn’t seemed to fit him, and he has shown this. The Englishman’s lack of a left foot has meant that he has to frequently forgo crossing the ball into the box with cutting inside and attempting to find a pass or shoot. His passing has never been his strong point and his goals tally has never been remarkably high.
In addition to the wingers, AVB has decided to give Lewis Holtby a good run in the first team. While the German’s work ethic and short passing is very good, he isn’t a strong creative force that the Lilywhites need, like the Dane he is keeping out of the side – Christian Eriksen. There is no doubt that Holtby is a outstandingly good player, but it’s unlikely to see him thread any exceptional through balls for other players.
All this leads to less service for Spurs new Spanish striker Roberto Soldado. Last season in Spain, the former Valencia man thrived on expert through balls and crosses into the penalty area. Without these chances being created for Soldado, it isn’t surprising that he has only one found the back of the net from open play. If Soldado is to be used properly, some of the personnel behind him must change.
Townsend has thoroughly impressed this season, and deserves a place in the team. However, he could prove to be more effective coming from the left. As a natural left footer, there would be more chance that the 22 year old would attempt to cross the ball into the box more often than simply shooting on sight.
Moving Townsend to the left would leave a gap on the right. This could be a gap that Erik Lamela would most likely love to fill. The Argentinian has found his chances limited, and the Englishman’s presence on the right wing has seen him collect rust on the bench. But, with the chance available, Lamela might prove to be the goalscorer AVB has been looking for, with an impressive tally of 15 goals in Italy last season. He also has a very good creative ability, and could certainly fashion chances for Roberto Soldado.
The final change would be replacing Holtby with the Danish wunderkind Christian Eriksen. Even though his form can be up and down at times, the former Ajax player certainly has an eye for a killer pass and can put others in a very good position to score. This would help Soldado immensely as it means he doesn’t have to fashion chances for himself (one of his much weaker talents) and just focus on executing chances given to him (certainly his best talent). Soldado is 7/2 to score first against Newcastle which is worth a bet at william hill.
If all these changes are made, expect Tottenham’s attack to become more fluid. This fluidity will, over time, certainly lead to a few extra goals here and there. If AVB doesn’t change the system soon, Spurs could be in some real trouble. Their defence cant do everything.
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