Are Spurs a one-man team?


The key to answering this question is quite a simple one: it depends on your definition of one-man team. There is a subtle difference between a player being the sole reason that you win a game of football and a player being the focal point of your team and helping you win a game of football. Put it this way: if Spurs were playing badly but winning due to Bale (a la definition 1) then we would be a one-man team; but Spurs are playing well and winning with the help of Bale (a la definition 2).

Before I analyse the stats of the matter, I’ll talk about the rest of the Spurs team. This Spurs’ defence is the best I have seen in my lifetime. I’m not that old, but I’m old enough. We have the best strength in depth out of any PL team – arguably – which is a key contributing factor to why we haven’t conceded more than once in a Premier League game since the 9th December. Walker, Naughton, BAE, Caulker, Dawson, Gallas, and Vertonghen have all played in that time and we even have Kaboul returning from injury soon. We have appeared to overcome the difficulties we had in seeing out the closing stages of matches and the WHL faithful no longer expect defensive calamities that were so common as of old.

Our midfield (excluding Bale, the subject of the one-man team discussion) is solid. At times we lack creativity, but it dictates the pace of the game well and links defence with attack effectively. Dembele and co carry out an important defensive job, too, as Spurs keep opposing teams in their own half rather than being allowed to spend time in Spurs’ half. However, one thing they haven’t truly done as yet is contribute huge amounts of goals – including Dempsey and excluding Bale, we have still only added 10 league goals from midfield so far in this campaign – compare that with Chelsea who have 35! It’s clearly an area Spurs need to work on.

Our attack is unfortunately the clearest argument yet that Spurs are indeed a one-man team. Adebayor and Defoe have contributed a pitifully low number of goals from their forward positions and time and time again we have been let off by the sheer class of Bale. A few more goals from these two men, and Spurs would be less reliant on the Welsh wizard; but, coupled with our midfield’s inability to score, the striking drought has only been forgiven due to Bale scoring our last 6 goals.

But has Bale really contributed that much? This season he has ‘only’ produced 10 assists – a decent amount, for sure, but hardly setting the world alight. He has added 18 goals in all competitions but most of these have come since Christmas, 7 coming in a hat-trick and two doubles against Villa, Newcastle and Lyon. Certainly, in the last few games, he has been pivotal to us winning but we have won without him, for example, at home to Reading in January we were potent attacking-wise as we won 3-1.

Where would we be without Bale? Not top 4, certainly. But equally, we would still have a very strong side. At the moment, we play around Bale, relying on his sheer magic and technical prowess to guide us through matches and provide the attacking spark. But if necessary, we could use a different tactic. We have the players to employ a number of systems. Holtby could be a midfield playmaker, we could focus all our attacks on the right wing, or we could sit back and let teams attack before breaking with the pace of Lennon etc. Bale is critical, but he is not the be-all or end-all of Spurs.

As mentioned earlier, there is a difference between reliance and over-reliance. I think Spurs are just about at the reliant end of the spectrum.

Do you think Spurs a one-man team? Have your say below!

By Alex Beck

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  1. If Arsenal were a one man team last year, which most Spurs fans said they were, then we are now. It's a figure of speech meaning one player is having a disproportionate influence on results. Thanks to our idiotic striker situation Bale is scoring all our goals so it's fair comment.

    The fact is though we didn't buy him as the finished article, far from it; he is a player who we had the foresight to bring in and who has flourished under our influence. He is an endorsement of Spurs methods and a credit to the club.

    Playing above itself thanks to one player or not this is a very good Spurs team featuring one outrageously talented individual which is getting results. In short; who cares, we are winning.

    • RVP last year 29 goals, 16 assists out of 74 goals for the Arse= 61%. Bale 13 goals,4 assists out of 44 goals= 38%. No we're not a one-man team, strikers and attacking midfield players are there to score or provide goals. So what's the problem when they do, as long as it's not on the outlandish scale of RVP last year.

  2. Without Bale we wouldn't be top 4? Well if you take out Bale from Spurs who would have been playing instead? Willian? Or a goal scoring attacking midfielder? Who is to say they wouldn't have scored more goals and added more assists than Bale- giving us 2 extra points hence being 3rd not 4th! And since we are taking Bale out of Spurs why not take potent goal scorers out of other teams too, to level this DUMBASS argument. Eg; Suarez- Liverpool , Michu- Swansea, RVP- Manu, Benteke- Villa etc…………. this would also affect probably EVERY other team as well. Pointless task of trying to see what could've – would've been. Unless you can see into multiple universes simultaneously where every other possibility could maybe occur !

    • Thank god!! totally agree, and relieved that I am not missing something. What a pointless bunch of articles i have seen lately -showing a pretend table 'where spurs would be without Bale'???!!! bizzarre way to evidence your point!!!

  3. All teams have players who are the best in there squad but at the moment we are a one man team because Bale is making and scoring his goals. his has happened since Defoe has been injured and Ady away at Acon Bale has shown he can move allover the field and so he should i played in GOAL center forward and on the wing so did Hoddle. He proved wha a few fans where saying last season i did a blog on why he would be a very good striker. The reason we have become a one man team is we lack the missing jigsaw and passer in the middle Dembele Demps Parker are not passers passers are Hudds Holtby but ones new and ones still not fixed and lame if he gets back to is best we will become a team and Holtby.

    • Dav your mission; should you choose to accept it, is to leave a comment about any subject, any subject at all, without mentioning Tom Huddlestone. This message will self destruct.

  4. Are Spurs a one man team? No! Last time I looked there were 11 players wearing a Spurs kit. Is Gareth Bale having a good period? Yes!, Earlier in the season Defoe was knocking in goals and Lennon was playing well! Sandro and Dembele in the middle were running the show! Now it's Bale time, I think Holtby could score some goals, Adebayor is due to score some goals (when he puts in a little more effort) and then Defoe will come back and score some more goals in March!

  5. There's no such thing as a one man team, the statement itself doesn't make any sense whatsoever. What you have is a player who is playing at a higher level than anyone else in the team.

  6. Were we a one man team BEFORE Bale embarked on this incredible run of goal-scoring? The lads only got one EPL assist, this season, so we couldn't have been THAT dependant on him prior to the Norwich game.

    How about we DON'T get sucked onto the Gareth Bale, one-man team, bandwagon and just appreciate a player who if flourishing within a very talented team.

    The truth is, Gareth has come to the fore (in terms of scoring goals) at a time when our other attacking players aren't quite at their best. Does that make us a one-man team, I DON'T think so. I just believe Bale is performing at an exceptional level, just when we have MOST needed him to!!!

    Once Dembele (who has suffered defeat in our colours, no MORE than 2/3 times MAX), Adebayor, who I thought WORKED his socks off against Lyon, Dempsey and Holtby find their form again, we will ALL WONDER what all the nonsense of a 'one-man' team was all about.

    Jermain Defoe should also return shortly, after having a much needed break , which will only increase our options going forward.

    One thing that I do think needs to happen though, for Spurs to REALLY shine this season, is for AVB to show a little more ruthlessness in terms of his team selection. To cut a long story short, I think he NEEDS to replace Dempsey with Holtby/ Sigurdsson a.s.a.p.

    Now I have nothing against Clint. On his day he can be a real pain in the arse for the opposition to deal with, and he is ARGUABLY our MOST NATURAL goal-scorer. But its when things aren't going so well for the team that Dempsey looks like a fish out of water.
    In the current incarnation of the Spurs side, it is IMPERATIVE that we have as many creative players in the team as possible, as nine times out of ten we will DOMINATE the possession of the ball.

    Now with Clint playing in that no10 role, a position designed for an Advanced Playmaker, we are NOT making the most of our attacking threats as Clint simply isn't creative enough to EFFECTIVELY bring them into play.
    He does NOT posses the VISION nor the PASSING RANGE to feed killer balls, OR deliver defence splitting passes to our wide players, meaning that our game often slows down whilst he dithers on the ball, or we become reliant on Lennon, Bale and Dembele to produce LOCK PICKING passes, which isn't necessarily a strength in any of their natural games.

    I understand AVB sees Dempsey as one of our most identifiable goal-getters, but for the OVERALL performance and fluidity of the TEAM, it is important that AVB installs a more creative player in that no10 role.

    I also believe the knock on effect from removing Clint from that position will see the burden ease on individuals to produce moments of magic for themselves, as their WILL be a greater CREATIVE element within the side.

    • Agree that we need more creativity in midfield,but midfield creativity and possession dominance rarely go hand in hand, unless you are Barcelona. We dominant midfield because we have Paker and Dembele, two hard working players who are not the most creative. Even Holtby when coming on has been sitting quite deep in the no.10 role,only venturing forward on the break. My concern is that against the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea, our defence may be able to limit them to 1-2 goals, but our attack will struggle to find the net if Bale has an off day.I hope Im wrong. COYS!

  7. Are Spurs a one-man team? Definitely not! Though it is almost sacrilegious to say it, apart from 30 seconds or so before the end of each half, GB contributed little in the game against Lyon. Dembele, Parker and even Walker were more obviously in the game. If those two free kicks make Gareth Bale a one-man team then he qualifies with ease. However, if the presence and industry of others make Gareth an exciting and vital component of an overall team he can be considered a major influence in a promising outfit called Tottenham Hotspur FC.

  8. Are Spurs a one man team? No. Would they be winning as many close games without Bale? No. Would we be fourth without Bale? No. Do we need to get rid Adebayor in the summer? YES!!

  9. I am not sure what the stats show,but i do have a feeling that Spurs' resuls in the matches where Bale has not played ave not bee that bad, but i may be wrong.

  10. In a sense we are, sure there are teams we can play a tight game with and still win against without bale, teams like villa and others. Bale tho is a player who can have moments of brilliance and almost single handedly win games for us. Last season we had a few more players who could do that for us other then bale. This is more a tight bunch that thru hard work wins matches. A more even team i guess and i would say maybe not as great or dangerous as last season. We had a couple of more players who could due to their individual skill close matches for us.


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