Saturday’s win over Crystal Palace was like watching the Spurs of 16/17. We played with pace, desire, and tore Roy Hodgson’s men to pieces in the opening 30 minutes.
This was without the full force of what our fans refer to on social media as DESK. DESK is an attacking quadrant made up of Dele, Eriksen, Son and Kane.
During the game, we played Lamela in place of Dele, and then replaced Kane with Lucas for the final spell of the game. This was, by all accounts, our best-attacking performance of the season, and got me thinking about what our best-attacking quartet is.
Before we think about putting players together, it is important to remember who we have, what their strengths and weaknesses are.
In terms of attacking personnel, we have Harry Kane, Son Heung-Min, Lucas Moura, the latter of the two able to operate centrally and in the wide space, Dele, Christian Eriksen, Erik Lamela, as well as new recruits Giovani Lo Celso (who can operate in any central midfield position) and Ryan Sessegnon (who can play as a left-back as well as a left-sided winger).
Looking at these players, we have a good array of choices and combinations that may suit a range of opponents.
You’ve got Kane’s hold up play and impeccable finishing, the pace of Lucas, Son and Sessegnon, Eriksen’s vision and ability to thread a pass, Dele’s ability to drift into space and finish as well as create, Lamela’s work rate and ability to press and tackle high up the pitch and Lo Celso’s dribbling and progressive runs.
This gives us the ability to attack in a number of ways which can cause problems to any defence.
For me, it’s less a question of ‘best’ attacking set up, it’s more of what do we need in order to beat whichever opponent is put in front of us.
Notoriously, we have struggled to break down teams who play extremely conservative and defensive football (2-1 loss at Turf Moor last season, 1-0 loss to Newcastle this season) and usually scrape through with a late winner whereas we see our rivals tear these teams apart.
With this in mind, I think that when we come up against these opponents, it would be wise to operate with SELK (Son, Eriksen, Lucas and Kane). Make Lucas and Son push out wider, really challenge their full-backs, have Eriksen pull strings and make chances for Kane, as well as the wide players.
Then if it doesn’t go well, you’ve got Dele to come on later in the game, and you can make changes to bring Lo Celso forward if he is playing further back, or Sessegnon to come on as well.
This creativity, pace, and ability to score with Kane and both wide players would make these defensive teams really shaken up and create lots of opportunities on goal.
If the opposition is more willing to play and isn’t content sitting back and holding a 0-0, then I do think that DESK is our best quartet to play.
For me, it has everything that we need to get goals against teams that want to play football properly against us. Dele with his pressing, passing and runs make him tough to deal with for defenders, Eriksen again with his chance creation and deadly passing range, Son to use his pace for counter-attacks and finishing ability to make us less 2D in attack, and then Kane to do what he does best; hold the ball up, make space and score goals.
With this front four, with Lucas, Lamela, Sess and Lo Celso not involved, this makes us a real threat going forward against any team that wants to try and give us a game of football.
Hopefully, before January, we get all of our players signed down on new contracts, keep everything calm and the dressing room unified, and kick on to win some silverware this season.
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