Spurs: Our Back Four's A Joke But Sandro's Return Is Vital
All Spurs fans can see things are just not quite right with the team right now. Results on the whole have been good, especially in the league with an average of 2 points a game under Sherwood. The style of play and team shape, however, have not been so good and from the stands it looks like Sherwood is learning as he goes - perhaps not surprisingly.
So how about this weekend? What have Tim and us fans learned so far?
1. The Return of the Beast
The return of Sandro is vital. After a 2 seasons troubles by injury Sherwood hopes a longer return period and extra strength training will ensure Sandro stays fit – Fingers Crossed. Tim does not trust Paulinho or Dembele to hold a defensive midfield role as displayed by his selection of Bentaleb to fill that role on several occasions including last night. On this one I’m not sure either Dembele or Paulinho can fill this role so I get Sherwood's choice in Bentaleb. Sandro has only taken part in eight PL games this season, it's clear the more he plays the better we will be.
2. Stick or Twist – Soldado
Watching Soldado is getting painful. Playing two strikers at home is a statement of intent, but it does leave us looking out of shape and puts a lot of pressure on the rest of the team - a pressure they can’t always handle. Tim can keep this strategy up, especially at home, but I’d rather revert to a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 and give our attacking midfielders a chance. For me now Soldado is a back up for Adebeyor and something to be thought about in the Summer.
3. The Midfield
When Spurs bought Paulinho despite having Sandro and Dembele it looked like we were headed for a 4-3-3 formation, apparently AVB’s system of choice, now I’m not sure what our basic formation is. The game against FC Dnipro showed further tinkering but showed again what Eriksen can provide, surely he has to go in the hole behind Ade, at the expense of Soldado moving us back to 4-3-2-1 with pace in Lennon and Townsend on either side of Eriksen.
4. The Back Four
It’s becoming a joke. Mourinho once said we had "two sides" but that doesn't mean we have to chop and change quite this much, does it? We have Kyle back soon, but what about Younes? The big Frenchman is a brilliant player but has only started two Premier League games this term. To be fair most of the changes in defence have been forced by injury, but with some better luck we can hope to go into the end of the season with better, more settled players in our back four.
4. Time Running Out.
March is going to be a make or break Month for Spurs and several other teams. Tim doesn’t have time to get our shape sorted. Thank God injuries are improving which gives us a chance of a strong run in. For me getting this shape and system right starts with Cardiff Sunday.
So here’s a formation for Sunday, an attacking 4-2-3-1 balanced, Eriksen where he can do the damage and pace on both wings, plus Sandro and Dembele right next to each other, where they should be. No starting spaces for Paulinho, Bentaleb or Soldado.
What would you do?
Follow Adam on Twitter, @AdamWright1991