Now the dust has settled from our defeat and the Hammers prepare for their open top bus parade around east London, we now had just over a week to prepare for a vital game away to Villa and the big question is… Who should start the game to get our season back on track?
My team in AVB’s favoured 4-2-3-1 formation would be:
(GK) Lloris would remain in goal as he’s been very consistent and should Benteke and Agbonlahor start for Villa then we may need him to sweep any through balls that get past our back four playing the high line.
(RB) Walker would start right back mainly because we have no one else and his pace will be needed when Villa attempt to hit us on the break. AVB really needs to get some competition in this area in January because unless Walker improves his distribution, we may need a long term replacement.
(CB) Vertonghen has been in fine form this season barring the West ham game and is integral to AVB’s style of play due to him being the only one out of our back four who seems comfortable and confident enough to take the ball into midfield and start phases of play.
(CB) Kaboul hasn’t started any of our league games which could be down to fitness but personally if he’s fit by the end of the international break I would start him. Physically he’s our only defender who can handle Benteke who would fancy his chances against Dawson as most would with a yard of pace and he’s much more comfortable on the ball.
(LB) Rose will hopefully be back and will add balance to our back four because Naughton is not comfortable playing left back and it really shows by him persistently cutting in on his right foot. Rose has started the season well and has proven a lot of people wrong including myself but if he doesn’t make the squad I would maybe shift Vertonghen out there just for this game.
(DM) Paulinho depending on jet lag will play in one of the holding roles to keep things ticking over and retain possession because villa will sit back at times and it’s important we keep the ball and use it effectively. Paulinho also has an eye for goal and makes late runs in the box which are hard to track by the opposition.
(DM) Dembele was back to his best in the Chelsea game and showed how vital he is to us playing well and creating a tempo similar to what Modric use to do. We need him to demand the ball and control games more because I don’t think there’s a midfielder in the league who can handle him at his best.
(RW) Lennon would make my starting line depending on fitness. This would be a back to basics move of having a right footed player playing on the right wing going on the outside of defenders trying to get crosses in. I believe Walker, Eriksen and Soldado would all benefit individually from Lennon’s return as Lennon making the pitch wider provides space for others.
(LW) Townsend on recent form deserves to keep his place in the team by moving onto the left. This will encourage him to be more direct and less predictable as he tends to preferably cut in from the right on his left foot and come into traffic. With both wingers looking to beat their fullbacks, the team has a better balance and becomes dangerous from both sides.
(AM) Eriksen would benefit from having more space to work in with the extra width and would also have the option of threading balls in behind the full backs. This option hasn’t been available to him before as Sigurdsson and Townsend instinctively make runs towards him making the pitch very narrow. The West Ham game highlighted this problem.
(CF) Soldado would regain his starting role up front in an attack that would bring out his best attributes. With Lennon and Townsend looking to get crosses in the box and Eriksen always on the lookout for slide rule passes, Soldado should now get the service his runs off the ball deserves. Soldado isn’t a target man so we have to play to his strengths and the goals will definitely follow.
If AVB starts this team I predict a 3 – 1 Spurs away win. COYS
Have something to tell us about this article?