Well that was very stressful. We were a Tim Krul away from giving someone a pasting, something which we desperately need.
The first half was very poor, we kept giving the ball away but still managed to create a couple of chances and I felt we’d go on to win the game. Remy’s goal highlighted how good Lloris is. Friedel is still a good keeper; he’s confident, calm and despite his age has good reaction time. The thing he doesn’t have is pace, which is why he hesitated coming off his line to tackle Remy. I’m convinced had Lloris been playing he’d have got to the ball before Remy or at least got a hand to it before he was able to control it.
The amount of chances we created should be viewed as a good thing. Krul was fantastic and although a lot of our shots were straight at him he still produced a couple of world class saves. The frustrating thing for me was our wide play. Soldado is still yet to get going and is starting to look more and more frustrated. He just doesn’t get the service. I think there are a couple of things AVB could do to help with this problem.
Townsend needs a few games on the bench. He came into a great bit of form but for all the game time he has had he’s yet to create an assist and has just the one cross/shot goal to his name. He tends to be all dribble no end product, he looks dangerous without being so. Now is the time to give Lamela the Premier League experience he needs. He looked fantastic in the week, albeit against weaker opposition, he threatened every time he had the ball and unlike Townsend mixed up his play. He’d cut in and shoot one moment and then race to the byline to whip a cross in the next. It was refreshing to see after weeks of inverted-wing play.
Sigurdsson has got a bit of stick since he came to the club but has been much improved this season. One thing that he is not is a winger, but I don’t think that means he shouldn’t play on the left. He provides a good range of passing and has linked well with Soldado on a couple of occasions. What Sigurdsson does need is an overlapping left back to provide the width. The sooner we can get Danny Rose fit the better. Rose is another player who divides opinion but I think we saw flashes of what he’s capable of in the first few games of the season. His defending is much improved and he is more than willing to get forward into crossing positions. With Lamela and Rose providing Soldado balls across the 6 yard box he’ll soon start scoring, I’m convinced.
Another bonus of Rose getting back to fitness is Vertonghen would move into the middle and Chiriches (who looks fantastic) or Dawson would take up the other CB spot.
Lennon is another option on the right providing AVB is prepared to drop the inverted-wing play for a few games. There are great benefits to inverted wingers but with our current predicament I think traditional wing play is what we need. Eriksen and Holtby are both capable of sitting behind Soldado and providing him with through balls but both need to be more influential for longer periods. The fact that they are both very young is why they’re yet to completely control games but I can see them being capable of that playmaker role in the next couple of seasons. Eriksen in particular is a real star in the making.
It’s not all doom and gloom at Spurs. We’re a good team on the cusp of becoming very good, we just need to all calm down, be patient and stay positive.
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