The ‘Wing Play’ Debate

Last week we put together a well written document to Andre Villas Boas about how he could improve Tottenham’s attacking fortunes. He must have binned it, cause they got dicked on Sunday. And it wasn’t a document to him, it was an article on here – yes, this one. Here we referred to turning to Adebayor, which Boas did during the game, but also about how their wingers are currently set up to play and how this is affecting their attacking play. We’re going to continue on this point in further detail now.

Interesting Stat

  • Spurs have the highest amount of shots per game – 18.3
  • But scored 9 in total (joint 3rd lowest in the league)

This may sound random, but it’s worth raising considering their formation is predominantly one up top with 2 wingers whose favoured foot is the one they cut in with. The highest amount of shots per game makes sense because we’ve watched Townsend and Sigurdsson play…and they like shots. The low scoring is also obvious and we think it relates directly to how they play their wingers.


  • Man City have had 17.2 shots per game (slightly less than Spurs)
  • But have scored 34 goals in the process (23 of which have been from open play)

Wide-midfielderOur opinion of this is that they play with wingers and 2 strikers, and this seems to be working well for their attacking purposes. The classic English way. Yes, Silva and Nasri are not typical wingers, but they are deployed to be their wide men and are both very effective when they do attack. Plus they have Navas who is a classic winger with pace to beat any full back and good with his deliveries. Look at his performance against Spurs. Two goals, one assist. Effective. For this reason we can see why Man City have scored as many as they have, and why Spurs haven’t. It’s down to the wingers and the amount of strikers they play with and are in the box to finish those crosses.

Now we are not saying 4-4-2 or any other formation with clear wingers is the way forward, it depends on personnel. But we can safely say the 4-2-3-1 with inverted wingers is not working for Spurs. Maybe trying Townsend on the left and Lennon on the right could change their luck slightly. You’ve only got to look at the type of striker Soldado is to know he needs crosses in the box to be deadly.

Whatever the solution is, AVB needs to find a way to integrate his new players into his system in a way which will help Soldado and ultimately bring his team more goals.

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