Many would take this as a huge positive, a club poised high up the table without playing the football that they undoubtedly have the potential to produce, things can only get better at Spurs.
The main criticism has been a lack of goals, Spurs have more often than not edged opponents in what on the face of it has looked like tightly fought affairs. Eight goals from eight games is hardly the return that a Champions League chasing side would expect, and clearly the apparent bluntness of their attack is an area of genuine concern.
£26m shelled out on Roberto Soldado, with many more millions spent on creative talents to complement the Spaniard, is it time that AVB switched to a plan B?
AVB has always favoured the lone striker, be it in his 4-2-3-1 at Spurs or the infamous 4-3-3 at Porto, the Portuguese tactician has rarely seen the need for a strike partnership. I fully expect AVB to continue with this ploy for the bulk of the season, but for me the option to play with a combination of frontmen could be useful during the year.
The 4-4-2 has largely gone out of fashion amongst many of the top English sides, with teams like Arsenal and Chelsea showcasing just how incisive you can be with just a lone striker. Indeed Spurs fans must look back to the height of the Redknapp era to remember the kind of results a 4-4-2 system can produce. The Keane/Berbatov partnership was probably the most prolific of the last decade or so, and with it Spurs played some particularly eye-catching football.
Partnerships though don’t just happen overnight and sometimes they never happen at all, a risk that I would imagine someone like AVB has carefully weighed up. When they do begin to click though the results are particularly marked.
Pellegrini is grappling with this exact dilemma at City, and during the last couple of games he has favoured a forward partnership of Negredo and Aguero, the big man/little man approach if you like. Two individuals who are labelled by many as hugely egotistical, as most top strikers are, but if you were to watch their almost telepathic combination for the first goal against West Ham last weekend you can see why there are calls for a return to this very system.
Adebayor has polarised opinion at almost all the clubs he has been at and Spurs are no different. However, few would disagree that on his day he is a world-class frontman who is undoubtedly the best target man that Spurs possess. In Roberto Soldado the North Londoners may well have one of the most potent finishers in the world and someone who when afforded the service can finish from almost anywhere. Is it time to unleash this duo?
I’m not suggesting this should be the default selection, I think when the side settles and eventually Lamela is introduced the 4-2-3-1 will allow Spurs to play exactly the way AVB has envisaged. However, a 4-4-2 with say Dembele and Sandro in the middle of the park and Adebayor and Soldado up top wouldn’t be a bad change up option.
Particularly on occasions where opposition park the proverbial bus, as Spurs are regularly becoming accustomed to. The ability to go 4-4-2 will enable AVB to favour a much more direct approach and ultimately bypass the midfield blockade that any manager chooses to put up.
Anyone who thinks a team can get away with easy on the eye passing football week in week out is misguided, you only have to look at the way Mourinho sets out his Chelsea sides to realise in the Premier League the ability to go more rigid or more direct is a hugely important tool.
I don’t know how permanent Adebayor’s exile is, but for me AVB needs to act quickly to re-integrate the Togolese frontman and avoid wasting what is still a key component to the Tottenham masterplan in my opinion.
Emmanuel Adebayor offers something totally different to the other frontmen at Spurs, and he is clearly the most suited to partnering their £26m Spaniard.
Is it about time Spurs brought Adebayor in from the cold?
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