Lessons Learned From Southampton Win


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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  1. I wish Sherwood the best of luck and really hope he turns out to be a successful manager for Us and hopefully the one who will make Us finish in top four. But,from what we've seen at Southampton,I'm concerned about his tactics. First, no defensive midfielder. It may get Us exposed a little too often, especially against better sides. Sandro or Capoue HAS to start. Second: I like the idea of playing two strikers but when we finally have two great strikers in the box, why do we play inverted wingers? There is no one There to deliver a cross to our strikers who are both strong in the air. That is why, in my opinion, we should play traditional wingers. Against West Brom I would go with Chadli (who is improving game by game and was one of our best players against Southampton despite playing only 20 minutes) on the right and Lamela on the left ( would prefer Townsend, but he's injured). I'm also worried about the news I read earlier in the morning, which is that Sherwood was to say that Holtby and Capoue are not part of his managerial plans and were ordered to train with the youth team and even played a half in their game. I hope it's not true. We finally Got rid of one dictator and I hope the story isn't repeating.
    Therefore my starting 11 on boxing Day would be: Lloris, Walker, Dawson, Chiriches, Rose ; Chadli, Capoue, Eriksen,Lamela ; Soldado, Adebayor.

    • I agree with most of your points, but with Sandro and Paulinho out for the game, I think your worries about not having a defensive midfielder playing are slightly premature. Otherwise, I agree.

  2. Lamela is a right winger!!! He scored 15 goals from there for Roma in a similarly gung ho set up. He has played on the left since his early teens. I think Lamela's positional sense makes him a liability though that couple with the fact that the English game is still too quick fro him. Needs time. A lot of time.

  3. Pamela put in determined performance which as encouraging to see and I must say

    Bentaleb looked awesome. We as spurs fans always expect too much too soon but I believe that Tim Sherwood can get the new players to gel and start helping each other. COYS

  4. Looks as though Lloris is having confidence problems. this then leads to nervous defending in general. Friedel needs to be recalled.


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