Despite the massive expenditure on players in the Summer, Tottenham have found it difficult to score this season. Whilst they have been solid at the back, only conceding 6 goals, it is at the top end of the pitch they have had their troubles so far. They have the second highest possession percentage of any team in the league and have the most shots per game, yet only the bottom two have scored less; why is this?
If you look at the way Tottenham play so far this term, they have largely stuck to AVB’s preferred 4-2-3-1 formation. A formation used by many teams, such as Arsenal and Chelsea, but unlike these two, Spurs haven’t got going with it yet. The managers reluctance to change this formation isn’t just out of stubbornness, it worked well for them last term, although a big part of that was that they had a certain Gareth Bale. For us the main thing hindering Spurs at the moment is the two wide men and their main Striker. Roberto Soldado arrived in the summer for a hefty fee, but so far he’s only managed 4 goals and 3 of these were from the penalty spot. The way Soldado plays is purely in the penalty area. He thrives off service from the wide men and if he gets a chance inside the box, 9 times out of 10, he’ll score.
However the way Tottenham are using their wide men at the moment isn’t helping out their main striker at all. By deploying Andros Townsend and Aaron Lennon/Gylfi Sigurdson on either wings he is playing the way so many teams play in this day and age with ‘inverted wingers’. This is all fine if you have someone like a Bale or Ronaldo who can cut in and unleash a thunderb*stard on a regular occurrence but with no disrespect to Lennon or Townsend, they just aren’t as good. Soldado needs wide men who are going to get to the byline and cross, any other method just doesn’t suit his game. His build up play has flattered to deceive so far.
The solution? In our opinion AVB needs to change it in 1 of 2 ways:
1) Swap Townsend and Lennon over and give more support to Soldado. Tell the wide men to get to the byline and help their striker out. Soldado has shown in his time before Tottenham that he can finish, if he gets the service the goals will come.
2) Take a deep breath Tottenham fans….recall Adebayor. Although he wasn’t at his best and is at times a moody bloke, on his day he can be brilliant. He’ll suit the way Tottenham are playing at the moment as he has the strength to play the lone striker role better than both Defoe and Soldado and bring others into play.
For us, option two sounds the best one. By recalling Adebayor you could keep the inverted wingers either side of him, with either Eriksen or Holtby just behind. He could hold up the play bringing in Midfield runners such as Paulinho as they burst into the area. Adebayor isn’t going to win any popularity contests at White Hart Lane, but something needs to be changed about Tottenhams attack.
Adebayor was recently quoted saying ‘any lower than this means I’m dead’. At least he’s got a positive outlook on life ey? Despite the general view that he had a poor season last term, he scored 5 times in his last 11 appearances. We think he could just be the man to fit Tottenham’s system.