What formation should Spurs play?


AVB has some crucial decisions to make this week about which eleven players will make it into our starting line up. But this depends on our formation – which could be a number of different strategies. For this article, I am going to assume (hopefully correctly, Mr Levy….) that we sign a striker to lead the line – even if it’s just Adebayor.

The ‘Spurs’: 4-5-1

Last season’s formation took us to 4th place in the EPL. But will it work again this year under AVB? I think not. His favoured high line doesn’t really fit in with what we did last season because it only accommodated one defensive-minded midfielder – yet AVB seems keen for two, possibly Sandro and M’Vila. Playing a midfield of Bale-Sigi-Sandro-VdV-Lennon with the lone striker doesn’t seem like a realistic option if they set up the same way as last year….but if we transform it into this next option then it might work better:

The ‘AVB’: 4-3-3

Playing Bale-Striker-Lennon, or Bale-Striker-VdV would fit into AVB’s favoured system as it allows him to have two defensive-minded midfielders behind those three, along with say Sigi, and so looks like the most likely option. Having a three of Sandro-Sigi-M’Vila (if we sign him, the Hudd if not) gives us incredible stability and supports our high defensive line – whilst Sandro and M’Vila can also be creative (we know that Sigi can). However, this relies on how much faith AVB has in our right-winger’s crossing and finishing ability – Lennon and VdV may not be quite up to scratch. I still think though that this is our most likely formation for the season.

The ‘Spain’: 4-6-0

A very similar system to the one above, but with an attacking midfielder, say Sigi or VdV, in the striker’s role. This will (very hopefully) be only used as a last resort if (heaven forbid) we fail to land a striker – but if AVB really doesn’t trust Kane or JD then it could well happen against Newcastle. But this system has risks – like being incapable of scoring goals – and so I think it will be avoided by AVB.

The ‘Two Striker’: 3-5-2

There are so many problems with this formation that I don’t even know why I am bothering to write about it. Firstly, fan favourite and youngster with huge potential, Kyle Walker, doesn’t have a place in the system and also we don’t even have two strikers who I would be happy putting in our team! It is a hugely risky strategy when playing a high line and doesn’t include full backs to support in both defence and attack. So this can hopefully be quickly discounted by AVB.

All these systems have both negatives and positives (except maybe the last one) and so AVB could pick any of them. But which one do the fans think should be chosen?

By Alex Beck

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    • Even if we play a 4-3-3 it will be essentially and functionally a 4-2-3-1 with Bale and Lennon's experience playing midfield.

  1. What happened to 4-4-2? With the pace we have on both flanks, wouldn't it open up an otherwise overcrowded midfield and allow our creative playmaker/s (if we have any) to work their magic?

  2. The formation should change depending on where we are playing (home/away), the players available to us at the time and who we are playing (top sides, or lesser teams). This was something the previous management always struggled with, preferring to send the team out with a plan A and hoping there was no need for a plan B or C.
    This made us extremely predictable in terms of team shape, thus giving opposing managers a clear indication of what to expect when setting their teams up to counter us. Align this to the fact that the teamsheet also often stayed the same and it is little wonder that we didn't perform well against the other top sides, who have players of equal standing to our own.

  3. I got to admit im not convinced one bit that this is goin to work out everything was goin well harry got us in champion league twice shame chelsea won u scum and we av broken that up should av kept harry and given him the money!!!!!!

    • My sentiment exactly, Coys. I thought we'd learnt something after the Gross and Ramos episodes. Apparently not. Here we go again with a non-British manager who did fairly well with his previous Continental club. But that's typically Spurs. Champions League one season and we think we should be there every season after.

  4. i dont trust jd up top on his own not big enough and kane is billy average so i think 4-6-0 will be played on saturday if we dont get a striker much rather that than 4-4-2 which leaves us just to get raped in midfield remember the last time we turned to 4-4-2 midway through the 2nd half vs chelsea at wembley when vdv came off for jd and we got overpowered and went from 2-1 down to losing the game 5-1, only 4-4-3 or 4-2-3-1 when we get a striker in

  5. Cuducini, Walker, Vert, Kaboul, Bae, Sandro, JJ (hopefully not but I feel it will be unless we do sign Villa) Sigi, Bale, Vdv, Lennon. Unless we get a striker in.

  6. Defoe, can't play in a 433. If he's the one up top in the middle, we've had it. He can't hold the ball up. he needs someone close to him, for a knock down, or a flick on. He could be left or right in a 3; but how it's going to play out, I'm not sure.

  7. I’d go: 4-2-3-1. Benoit, Dawson, jan, walker – 2 of Sandro, Parker, HUD, m’vil. – Bale, VDV, Lennon – JD or ade or kane

  8. 3-5-2 would work – second half against Stoke (a) was one of our best 45 mins of football all last season. Bale and Walker as wing backs, with three defenders bringing the ball out. Modric and Parker coming deep for the ball, with VDV playing as an advanced midfielder, with Defoe and Adebayor up front working the channels and/or playing through the middle

  9. My biggest worry is not Defoe but 41 year old Friedegg he showed with the two goals against Valencia he is not a top four keeper. I played in goals and has a striker and he was way of his line when Jonas let fly and when they scored thee other goal he left his line again and left a gaping hole behind him. To get in the top four you need a top keeper and a good defence our attack will score we created a lot of chances and there keeper saved them if Hudds is fit we wil be okay he can shoot from distance somthing we failed to do at Valencia. Friedel Walker Kaboul Dawson Vertonghan Lennon Siggy Hudds Bale Vaart Defoe subs Gomes Townsend Ekotto Sandro Kane Rose Coulibaly

    • ok, so you played as a goalkeeper and striker? so you were what? 10 years old maybe? I'm fairly confident that a 41 year old professional goalkeeper, who had 15 clean sheets last season, knows more about positioning than you do. Also, if Friedel is your biggest worry, why did you put him in your first eleven?

  10. I'm gonna be brave as Bale has the number 9 shirt for some reason. This is JUST as experiment.

    4 -3 – 3


    Walker Kaboul Vertoghen Ekotto


    Sigurdsson Van Der Vaart

    Santos Lennon

  11. But right right now, has to be; 4-2-3-1

    Walker Kaboul Vertoghen Ekotto

    Sandro Livermore

    Bale Sigurdsson Lennon


    (Start Bale and Lennon on opposite flanks as Defoe won't fully utillize crosses with his height.)

  12. VDV is useless. He can only play AMC. He can't even play inside forward because he just moves into his AMC position. Sig can play midfield. VDV is horrid.

  13. 3-1-2-1-3 i feel is the best option for their style of play, while utilizing the players strengths
    dos santos defoe vdv
    bale sigurdsson lennon
    walker vertonghen daswson/assou-ekotto

  14. 4-3-3 with Bale as a centre-forward? Obviously Bale's better as a left winger. But playing bale up front allows for gio dos santos/bentley to play on the wing.

    Walker Vertonghen Dawson Assou-Ekotto
    Sandro Sigurdsson Parker/Hud
    Gio/Bentley Bale Lennon

  15. i'm just a little worried about who's going to be in our midfield this season, as AVB has used Jenas in every pre-season match :| i hoped we'd have sold him by now, he's just not good enough..

  16. I think 4-2-3-1 will work but only with the right personnel. I don't know why no one has ever suggested it before, but if we do not manage to secure Adebayour, Kaboul will make a very good centre-forward. He is strong, quick, holds the ball well, dribbles well, beats players, heads well, shoots well from a distance with both feet and can also tap in from close range. He will be a handful for opposing defenders. The other position of worry is the two just in front of the defenders. Up to know, we've playing Jenas with Livermore. The trouble is the two do not not link up play at all between defence and the attacking midfield. Which is why something like Jenas or Huddlestone with Sigurdsson would do much better. I even think that Kaboul can fill one of the two positions – he is such an all-round footballer. The other player I am really impressed with is Andros Townsend. He is every bit as fast and skilful as Gareth Bale, with the added advantage that he can score brilliant goals with both feet. Hence, I would suggest something like:

    Friedel, (Walker, Dawson/Gallas, Vertonghen, Ekotto), (Jenas/Huddlestone, Sigurdsson/Modric), (Bale, Townsend/Defoe, Lennon), Kaboul

      • Not when Sol Campbell actually started off playing as a centre-forward but ended up excelling as a centre-back, or when Chris Samba actually plays quite often as a centre-forward for Blackburn when they need someone powerful up there. Even Michael Dawson has sometimes been used as a centre-forwad as a last-ditch attempt to salvage something. Given our striking options and the fact that we have played really poorly all pre-season simply because no one is up there to head a good cross in, or hold the ball up to bring others into play, I can't see a better possibility. The reason why Livermore and Jenas spend so much time playing the ball back to the defenders is because they have no one upfront they are confident they can get the ball to and keep it up there. We waste 70 percent of our possession playing in our own half among the defence and the two covering midfielders. That's why we haven't been able to score very many goals. If we continue in this vein, we'll make another horrendous start to the new season. This time around, I'm not even sure if we'll recover from it. We are extremel light-weight up top and there is a huge gap between the defensive and attacking players which no one is really trying to breech. Without anyone up top who can get the ball and immediately put the opponents on the defensive, we are simply going to get a repeat of the heavy defeats by Man Utd and City, and get trampled all over. The match against Valencia demonstrated so clearly how toothless and ineffective we are with this current team.

  17. Using only players from our current squad, and guessing that Modric won't be available then I'd go with Friedel; Walker, Kaboul, Vertonghen, BAE; Sigurdsson, Sandro, Vaart; Lennon, Defoe, Bale.

  18. They say no news is good news but in this case no news is bad news as there is 4 days to go and we need 2 strikers n a midfielder who aint gonna throw is toys out the pram oh and it gets worst if newcastle start the season how they finished it we are in deep trouble clocks ticking levy dont leave it till the last minute just to make the back page of the sun then lose saturday 4-0 come on move faster every year this happens!!!!!!

  19. SHort of Ade or any other strikers coming in before Saturday, I can see us lining up with 4-5-1. Friedel – BAE – Vertongen – Kaboul – Walker – Bale – Sandro – LIvermore – Sigurdson – Lennon – VDV. Sigurdson sitting in just behind VDV and LIvermore/Sandro holding. Of who we have available, VDV has the most skill in holding up the ball/passing game and also has a great finish in him. Defoe will come off the bench, but I feel with unfinished transfer business, AVB will be happy to take a point away from Newcastle and bring the strongest team together once Modric money comes through. Ramirez, Medo and perhaps a second striker if Ade doesnt want in….COYS!


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