Football as we know around the world, the history of the game, the blueprints all show that it is played in a 4-4-2 formation, and sometimes with 1 striker upfront and one behind (i.e #10 role). There were the likes of Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke for United, Robbie Fowler and Stan Collymore for Liverpool, Chelsea had Eidur Gudjohnsen and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbank and Tottenham’s immediate rivals Arsenal had the fierce partnership of Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp who won 4 premier league titles for the Gunners, and these are the partnerships we grew up watching to.
There is quiet a buzz in the premier league about which is the best striking partnership currently with the likes of Rooney and RVP, SAS (Suarez and Sturridge) or Aguero and Negredo and all these partnerships are pushing their teams towards the top of the table and there are teams like Arsenal, Chelsea, Barcelona, Bayern even Madrid at times play with one striker up top and its working for them as their midfield chip in with goals and their style of play and the system they employ works for them.
Tottenham have scored 9 goals in 12 games in the premier league, less than Fulham who are struggling to stay above the drop zone. Spurs display against Manchester City last week with an astonishing 6-0 loss even after having majority of the possession. It shows that the style of football and mentality of the manager and players is negative and wrong.
It’s not that Spurs lack striking quality with Soldado, Lamela, Adebayor and Defoe who is a veteran with 90+ goals in the premier league are struggling for goals. They also have a record for the least number of goals from open play with just 5 goals. Soldado who first broke Tottenham’s transfer record in the summer was the third best in Spain with Valencia after Messi and Ronaldo before his move to London. He also represented Spain in the Euro’s ahead of Torres and to represent Spain as a striker who normally prefer six midfielders in the starting 11 is quite an achievement for a player and show that he knows the back of the net if proper support is given.
Now let’s go back to 2011 when Andre Villas-Boas who won the Europa League Treble with Porto had 84 percent winning record and the surprising fact which led to such a high win percentage was that striking partnership of Falcao and Hulk who scored 74 goals between them and it’s a toughest pill to swallow that he refuses to play 2 strikers upfront and only when Tottenham trail he uses his striking option.
Last year AVB’s tactics were shadowed when many questioned his abilities as a manager by the performance of Gareth Bale who always saved the day and also the aquad he inherited from Harry Redknapp who were already a Champions league squad and missed out the spot in 2012 because of Chelsea who qualified by winning the Champions league and in 2013 they missed it by 1 point from their rivals Arsenal and Everyone expected free flowing football and a definite qualification to the Champions League for Spurs this season with the signings they acquired in the summer.
It is not a long shot yet for Spurs to change it around and put in serious performances to make a Champions League dream a reality as teams like Liverpool and Everton are putting serious competition for that spot and might even knock Tottenham from Europa League spot which seem to be theirs from previous 2 season and if that happens it will be a disaster for the North London team.
Tottenham had the meanest defense until the rubbing they got from Manchester City and it’s just a matter of technical adjustment and formation which needs to be changed for them to get going again and for a top team a 1-0 victory is not impressive at home and with the squad they have. AVB needs to get his managerial cap on and look back to what he did with Porto and implement the same ploy in his current team who have a better variety of Midfielders compared to his previous Porto side and if he doesn’t act fast the Chairman Daniel Levy will soon wield the axe if they continue the same performance.
I definitely see goals in Tottenham and the manager needs to know how to extract it from his players and also play players in their positions who are being paid big wages not mix and match and Manchester United up next at the Lane will be no easy task for the Manager.