Playing 4-4-2 Is Working
Tim Sherwood decided to be especially audacious in his first game managing Tottenham. He attempted to implement a 4-4-2 formation – something that wasn’t seen often when Andre Villas-Boas was in charge – using Roberto Soldado and Emmanuel Adebayor as his two strikers. This change resulted in positive attacking football that hasn’t been the Tottenham way so far this season. Emmanuel Adebayor was phenomenal, easily the man of the match, and Roberto Soldado looked like a player reborn (even though he was unable to find the back of the net). For now at least, it seems like a 4-4-2 formation is the way to go.
Soldado Was Unlucky Not To Score
At this point, Emmanuel Adebayor has more goals from open play this season than Roberto Soldado, despite the Togolese only managing a game and a half and the Spaniard starting almost every Premier League game since joining. This statistic makes it seem as though Soldado should be dropped instantly, however this is not the case. Soldado looked rejuvenated playing alongside another striker in Adebayor, and even added an assist to his tally. It was simply a mixture of bad luck, and possibly a lack of confidence, that lead to Soldado extending his goal drought period. It seems only a matter of time before the £26 million striker finds the net again.
No Protection From Midfield Leads To Weak Defence
Another bold move from Sherwood was to play an attacking midfield duo compromising of Christian Eriksen and Mousa Dembele. While this worked to great effect (until Dembele had to be substituted due to injury), it left the back four exposed. One would think that if Etienne Capoue (the only senior defensive midfielder available to Sherwood) had started, Tottenham would not have conceded two goals. This wasn’t to the detriment of the team at large, though, as the offence simply outscored their opponents on the day. This gamble paid off against Southampton, but it could work the other way against different opponents.
Solid Debut From Nabil Bentaleb
Debuts are never easy for youth players, but Tottenham fans should be satisfied by the unexceptional yet solid debut from Nabil Bentaleb. Given plenty of game time after taking the place of an injured Mousa Dembele, Bentaleb neither particularly impressed nor disappointed. It was another daring move by Sherwood to play Bentaleb when he had other options in Lewis Holtby and Etienne Capoue, but Sherwood obviously saw some potential in Bentaleb and thought it best to give the man some Premier League experience.
The Left Back Position Will Be Decided By Danny Rose’s Fitness, Not His Quality
Danny Rose played a decent game coming back from an unexpectedly nasty injury. The left back was even able to grab an assist for a Jos Hoovield own goal after a bursting run. His performance should be encouraging from Spurs fans, as when he is fit there will be no issue at left back. The only problem is that he has hardly been fit this season, and that has meant that Jan Vertonghen and Kyle Naughton have had to deputise at left back, neither a particularly appealing scenario. Rose has the quality to be a starting left back at Tottenham, but if his fitness is deemed to be too much of an issue, another strong left back should be bought in the upcoming transfer window.
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