Pundit reveals why Spurs don’t ‘necessarily’ need a creative midfielder

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg
(Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)

Alan Shearer has claimed that while Tottenham lack creativity in the middle of the park, they don’t necessarily need it due to the firepower they have up front.  

Spurs were happy to cede possession and territory to Nottingham Forest on Sunday, especially in the first half, but Spurs’ front three of Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Dejan Kulusevski were on their bikes every time the away side won the ball back.

As we have come to expect of Antonio Conte’s system, the wing-backs often joined in the attack, with Tottenham not shy of committing bodies forward during counters.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Rodrigo Bentancur put in another industrious display in the middle of the park to ensure that Forest were not able to fashion too many clear-cut goal-scoring opportunities.

Shearer remarked that having the type of quality that Spurs do in the forward areas allows Conte to set his team up the way he does without a chief creator in the middle. 

The Newcastle legend told Premier League Productions (28/08/22 at 6:35 pm): “The three players (Kane, Son and Kulusevski) that are there are going to be a handful for any team that plays against them. And they punished them (for Tottenham’s opening goal). 

“But there are the three players coming at you for Tottenham. If you stand off, like McKenna did, and give Harry (Kane) two or three yards, then he will punish you. It’s not his best strike, is he bothered? Absolutely not. He wants that ball in the back of the net, in any way, shape or form. 

“Once Tottenham go 1-0 up they are very difficult because of those forward players because they can dig out, defend and scrap. Not too much creativeness in midfield. But when you have those three up front, then you don’t necessarily need it.”

Spurs Web Opinion 

There is no doubt that we will score plenty of goals, given the firepower we have upfront. We have also shown in the game against Southampton, in the second half against Wolves and in the final 10 to 15 minutes against Chelsea, that we have the energy to press opponents high up the pitch if required.

However, my only concern is regarding how much defensive control we can really have when we cede so much possession and territory. I fear there will be games where the opposition puts two or three past us if we continue defending so deep.

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