Opinion: The Spurs conundrum – Analysing the issues in defence, midfield, and right-wing

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

We’re just five minutes in and Harry Kane slots in a peach of a delivery to Son, Son one-on-one with the goalkeeper……aaanddd it’s 1-0 to Spursss!

This seems to have become a tale heard time and again this season causing Spurs fans all over the globe to crack upon a cold one, expecting the best after such an impressive start to the game.

However, as we all know, the results almost always beg to differ. This brings us to the burning question, what is the real problem within the Tottenham camp?

Many have often alluded to the fact that the problem lies in Mourinho’s park-the-bus strategy. While this has often been the case, I feel that Mourinho has consciously made a change in tactics, especially after the 1-1 draw to Wolves, which was evident in our 3-0 win over Leeds a few days later.

There are a couple of reasons why I feel Spurs have not yet come into the form we would like to see in the Premier League.

Firstly, Mourinho’s use of Winks and Sissoko. While they have proven to be crucial in some games, I feel that the formation which best suits Spurs at the moment is a 4-2-1-3 with Hojbjerg holding in midfield, Ndombele playing ahead and Dele/Lo-Celso in number 10.

Taking Sissoko and Winks out of the equation would add that extra fluidity to the game and allow our front three to find those pockets of space often missing without the presence of a number 10.

Secondly, our defence. Despite us having kept six clean sheets this season, our appalling record when defending set-pieces is no secret.

Despite our full-backs putting in shifts almost every game, our centre-backs still have work to do. I feel that bringing in Rodon for Dier, playing alongside the experienced Toby, would bring that extra zest lacking in the defence and also bring the best out of Dier who would have to fight for his minutes.

This is similar to how Aurier and Davies have seemed to impress after the signings of Doherty and Reguillon.

Finally, while Son and Kane have, more often than not, found the back of the net, there still seems to be that lack of chemistry with our right-wing, be it Moura or Bergwijn, and on the odd occasion, Bale.

With 26 big chances missed, it would be unfair for our defence to get so much slack when so many more chances could be converted into goals.

Luckily, with half the season left and being within sight of the current leaders, Spurs are still in the mix for the top four and title contention this season.

With an important upcoming fixture against Liverpool, this should be a fitting opportunity for Spurs to get back to winning ways and make a real Premier League statement in the process. 

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  1. Been saying this about central defence and midfield all season. When analysing the goals conceded, the common factor is Dier closely followed by Sanchez. Enough has been said by all regarding Sissoko and Winks so best leave that. But don’t hold your hopes on Lo Celso. He’s a clone of Lamela. Must be an argie thing. Unable to play more than two games without having two months off after. Waste of space. Not good enough to lace Eriksens boots.


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