On Reflection, West Ham Defeat Is A Blessing In Disguise


I like many Spurs fans hate being negative about our beloved club, but when we see performances like the one from the team on Sunday, it’s quite hard not to be. However, after a long reflection period (that’s why the article has taken so long to write) I can now see that this sort of defeat was coming, and why I honestly believe it could be the best thing to happen to us all season. Therefore here are a few points the game has taught us:

Sandro must start Premier League games

Many Pundits have labeled our midfield as one of the best in the league and I can’t really argue when you have players like Paulinho, Eriksen and Dembele in it. However, when you properly analyse the wonder goal that Ravel Morrison scored against us you have to wonder where our midfield went. Diame shrugged off Dembele with ease and once he gave the ball to Morrison he was left alone on the half way line with no midfield player to even make a challenge. In my opinion, at the half way point last season Sandro was our player of the season, and that’s because of the role he plays and how effective he plays it. He may be of Brazilian nationality but he doesn’t have that Brazilian flair, he sits deep protecting our sometimes leaky back four and isn’t afraid to put his body on the line to win the ball and if he does then he always looks for the forward pass to start a new attack. I believe that if he was on the pitch at the time of the goal then he would have sat deep and would have tried his hardest to make sure that Morrison hadn’t progressed further than the center circle. And this is a problem that will continue to haunt us throughout the season. The only problem with including Sandro is that we have to lose one of those star performers, and the one who loses their place is unfortunately Sigurdsson. I understand that he is the one who is scoring goals for us but I feel that he looks awkward on the left wing as dribbling is not his forte and he always seems to make the left wing that little bit more narrow. So with Sandro in the centre defensive role with the roaming Paulinho to his side I would use Dembele to cover the position left by Sigurdsson. It’s not his natural position but he has all the qualities to cover that position more effectively than Sigurdsson, he’s a much better dribbler and would probably fill the physical hole which Bale left when he vacated the position. It would also help Dembele’s game because you would hope that playing in that more advanced role it would add the much needed goals to his game which it misses.

Soldado fits the system we play much better than Defoe

A lot of people in the press were calling for Jermain Defoe to start in the lone striker role, when Soldado has done no wrong. I believe it was pressure that made AVB start Defoe on Sunday, because after playing all 90 minutes of a mid-week game in Russia, I wouldn’t say he was in the best physical state to rack up the goals a hard working defense. Soldado may not be scoring the goals at the moment however he is still relatively new to the English game and games against physical teams like West Ham can only help him learn. The guy needs confidence and will only gain confidence when he is scoring goals and if he’s not getting the minutes on the pitch he will never get the goals. And whilst he hasn’t been scoring goals at the moment, he has still been working hard for the team, he holds the ball much better than Defoe and is very good at bringing Eriksen into the game, therefore if I was to play a solo striker Soldado would get the nod over Defoe all the time.

The players need to understand what each game means for the fans

The team is relatively new and I’m still under the illusion that the team hasn’t fully gelled. I’m also one of those really worried fans when it comes to match day, I’d worry about a match against a team who are bottom of the pub league. So when I see quotes from Dembele saying we need to win the games against “small teams”, it doesn’t feel you with the most confidence. I don’t know if the quotes have been taken out of context but a game in front of the home fans against probably our biggest rivals only second to Arsenal, isn’t exactly a game against a small team. Most of the players have only been at the club for a couple of seasons but the experienced players like Dawson and genuine fans like Townsends need to remind these players that at this club there is no such thing as a small game, because when you are aiming for big things every game must be treated like a cup final. No slip ups.

And finally, we’re only 3 points off top

It’s true we are only 3 points off the summit of the table. So if this game actually teaches the newer players and other experienced players who didn’t do themselves justice, that no game can be taken for granted, there’s no reason why we still cant aim for the bigger things. I’m under no illusion that we will not drop another point all season, because we will, but so will other clubs so if we can win the games which we really should and maybe get a few iconic wins against teams around us we can really go onto the next level. However, it all depends on how the players react to this defeat on Sunday that really wasn’t acceptable.

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  1. How did you end up getting your thoughts published on team stream?

    Anyway… after a pretty amazing defensive record up to this game, it might be a little premature to judge the need for Sandro’s added defensive talents just yet…

    I would like to see him in the team myself though too… but as for the question of who he replaces, I wouldn’t be scared to put Dembele on the bench either, especially with Lennon returning. His performances haven’t been good enough and he needs to improve. Sure, he has the elements of a great player there – but he just hasn’t sewn them together yet.

    Why not give us some width properly… Sandro, Paulinho and Erikssen in the middle, put Townsend left and leave Lennon and Lemala to fight it out for the right.

    Beauty of our squad is that we can rotate as we see fit and for different opposition (eg wider vs narrow formation etc).

  2. Agreed. I have been writing this on any forum I can. WIDTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    No more Naughton at LB, unless there is a left footer in front of him. Likewise, we can get away with a right footer on LW as long as Rose plays LB. Its simple balance.

    We do massively miss one of Sandro & Capoue in midfield. Dembele & Paulinhio are both box-box really, so one of each, with either Holtby or Erkisen in front. …. On this point, Eriksen may have well have sat on his arse sucking his thumb on Sunday, it's all very well banging on about a 'hole' player, but this requires himi getting space to make/find holes!! – This comes from Width!!! – If we play a high line (which I quite like tbh) then we MUST have width!!

    Lastly, I don't know how popular it will be, but Defoe and Dawson are both ausing us trouble. Anyway, in AVB I trust, so time to move on and get behind the team. COYS.

  3. This possession game: Daws-Verts-Lloris-Daws-Verts-Lloris.. You have to beat 11 players every attac.
    They can park "The Bus", your midfield advantage is gone. Very hard to make goals. We have fantastic
    players , but the tactic have to change several times during the game.

  4. Minus Sandro, we had only conceded 2 goals before that game. The reason why we lost the game was because we were so ineffective in possession. Their first goal came from a set piece, and from that point on, we were chasing the game, and got caught out. Sandro or no Sandro, it makes little difference. The only real blessing in the defeat was that the home defeat did not give points to a rival – which would have been even more of a disaster.

  5. I agree with most of your comments. We should use Sandro in midfield, although I really can't see who we can leave out of Paulinho or Dembele, but last deason fell to bits when Sandro got injured. He is a massive prescence.

  6. I have always thought that getting stuffed 3-0 was a grerat way to challenge for the titlte and I can only pray my team have such an epithany this season. Happy Hammer

  7. we were shite, no blessing in disguise, theres more of this shite, think when we lost the 4th plòace at home to fulham, avb has no game plan, wanker but nice


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