What Actually Went Wrong For Soldado?

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy
Roberto Soldado came from Valencia full of hope for a fee of £26m. Unfortunately for him, it did not turn out as he was dreaming it would be. In this post I will be trying to identify what actually went wrong for the £26m man last season.
Well the season did start as he was dreaming it would be. We won our first two matches 1-0 against Crystal Palace and then Swansea. Both goals in those two games from Soldado, both from the penalty spot. After those two games Robbie was most likely feeling very good about life and hoping for many more goals to come. But that was not what happened.

It took Soldado until 20th October to score his next goal, and this time it was from open play! Before that goal I was starting the get quite impatient, which is usually unlike me. To be fair the man, the whole team was not having the best of times, with the summer seven still trying to settle in. In recent weeks leading up to that game, I had been heavily criticising the AVB style of play, the slow build up, the slow passing and the unwillingness to attempt the killer pass. So it was possibly the system that wasn’t helping Soldado. But what could AVB do to change it to suit Soldado?

Soldado continued his poor run of form after his goal against Villa, despite his converted penalty kick the next week in the 1-0 win over Hull (a rather dubious penalty I thought). He continued to be a rather ineffective player. Just before a key match away to Manchester City, AVB hinted in a press conference that he would change his formation to 4-4-2 rather than his preferred 4-2-3-1 possibly after the Man City game. That would definitely have suited Soldado, having a supporting striker staying up top to thread crucial balls through for Robbie to finish off. This was the change that we all wanted.

As predicted, AVB played his favoured 4-2-3-1. And guess what! We were thrashed 6-0. Those plans that AVB had to change formation to 4-4-2 were quickly abandoned. Soldado showed promise in our next game against Manchester United. He started to make intelligent runs, one leading to a good chance in which he shot over the bar, but the Spurs faithful appreciated his efforts, giving him applause for his effort. I thought that Soldado was turning the corner in our next game, which happened to be in the Europa League against Anzhi. I was at WHL to witness a Soldado hat trick , where he looked good for his three goals. Just three days after that game, we were humiliated 5-0 by a free scoring Liverpool side. The day after AVB was sacked by Daniel Levy, and shortly after Tim Sherwood was appointed as head coach.

Soldado again shows some quality as he delivers a peach perfect cross for Adebayor to volley in to make it 1-1. He also plays well throughout the game against Southampton. The 4-4-2 formation working for Soldado? It seemed to then, but not much after that.

Many crucial chances were missed by Soldado after the performance at St. Mary’s. Although his overall play had been good, he just could not provide the finishing touches. Apart from 1 penalty against Stoke just after Christmas, there was nothing in the goals department up until March. I started to ask myself, we have given him the formation and system that suits him, but why no goals? ‘That’s a very good question’ I hear you say.

We next saw Soldado net at home to Cardiff on 2nd March, and once again we thought that he had turned at corner, but once again he failed to deliver in future matches. Nothing much really happened for the rest of the season as he was on the bench for the most part of it. That concludes the story of Soldado’s season. Now onto the question. I though about this for a long time, and came up with this answer.

Just imagine you are Soldado just for a moment. You arrive In a new country, you can’t speak the language and the climate and lifestyle is completely different. I know that it is hard to imagine this as many of you reading this will not have done the same as Soldado. And top everything else off, you arrive with a whopping £26m price tag to prove and Champions League football to deliver. Tough eh! And the English media being constantly on your back all the time can’t help either! That is my opinion on what went wrong for Soldado, that he simply could not adapt, not to just just things on the pitch, but off it as well. Hopefully over the summer, Soldado can adapt better to the English lifestyle, and maybe he will have a very successful season with us.

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  1. You missed the fact that he scored a perfectly good goal against Liverpool, at WHL (before half-time, at 2 – 0), only to see it disallowed. If a foul was committed it was by Mignolet, who could see he was in trouble, stopped and then barged into Soldado.

    Who knows how vital these decisions can be in a player's season?

  2. The simple fact was spurs did not set the team up to pplay to soldado's strengths. He is a fox in the box striker to use a cliché. He needs players to be feeding him the ball just as he running into the 18 yard box that is where he does his work. Problem was last season no one knew what spurs best formation was or how best to utilise the players available to their full potential.

  3. Yes second season is the time to judge our players, now theyve had chance to adapt. i actually think most people are being too hard on our new players. we finished pretty much level on points as when we had Bale. But with Bale in the team we were heavily reliant on one man. we finished level this season with more players contributing than before. as a team we are better than before.

  4. around the time he scored his hat trick his wife lost their baby in a miscarriage, so he has had a hard year..i hope this one is better for him.coys

  5. The author here conveniently misses out that his wife also had a miscarriage shortly after they arrived in England. Never mind moving to a new team in a new country and culture altogether, that experience alone could sway ANY mans focus from his day job be it footballer or not. The guy is a human being first and foremost so i feel scrutanising his every movement is frankly stupid when considering these facts, but i also appreciate that thats what fans feel entitled to do. However, omitting this occurrence from every article aimed at unravelling his season into a few sentences really has begun to pain me. If you think for one moment about how that traumatic experience might affect you as an individual it seems daft to have expected any more from him. Though to assume it did indeed affect him on a daily basis may also be naive it certainly can’t have helped him in the slightest bit. He’s a classy player who looked a little short of confidence and had a FAR less defined role in this Spurs team than he has been used to season on season in Valencia. He always seemed to be trying his hardest and showed nothing short of sheer delight when he did smash it in the net. The second part of the article correctly factors in the other experiences footballers have when moving to another country to play the game they love but in this case perhaps it could be the human element of his life that was the thing that ‘actually went wrong for Soldado’… Thats my ten pence on him, and i’m interested in seeing what people think now, if they were unaware this had happened before reading my comments. COYS!

  6. I think that Soldado had a lot of personal issues off the pitch as well. If you take these and the reasons you also give then it’s easy to see that it was going to be a tough year. I hope that the players we bought last year finally gel – if they do it will be like having new players. COYS

  7. 1. We didn't beat Hull 1-0!

    2. I remember his performance against Soton at The Lane in April/May…his was excellent. His movement and ability to draw defenders away from Eriksen allowed the latter to grab a few goals that day. You saw a good understanding between the two. Long may that continue

  8. We didn't play to his Lineker-esque strengths and as soon as he scored Dim Shitwood dropped him to the bench. Watch his first few games when his movement was amazing, and then watch as he gradually realised our players were utterly incapable of delivering the ball so he stopped wearing himself out making pointless runs. Rightly so.

  9. 2 shit wingers and nobody in behind who can create things is what went wrong with Soldado.. the man is not a magician he is a striker and if you put Gary Lineker in our current side he wouldn't score either.
    Ok Eriksen is a quality player, but he is always shoved out wide somewhere and even when he is in the middle he is not Luka Modric.. people slag Torres off but if you gave him a creative midfielder and 2 decent wingers he would score again, we are set up like Chelsea ( ooooh I wonder why ?) close the midfield off , let idiots like Dembele run up to people and pass it backwards and we blame Soldado ? shut up !


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