Suggesting an improvement for a team that are already doing extremely well seems a tad harsh, but I do have a recommendation for Harry Redknapp: drop the 4-4-2 and deploy a 4-5-1, it solves the only two problems I can think of with the current squad and can be altered to become more effective either offensively or defensively. When most teams adhered to 4-5-1’s a few years back it seemed boring, but the fact is that the formation is effective when used with the right players, and I believe Spurs have those players.
First to address the problems that could benefit from a change in formation: The first is the return of Luka Modric from injury – we all know how good Modric is, but Niko Kranjcar has been equally, if not more, impressive so far this season, outdoing anything we expected from him. With the rest of Spurs’ midfield pretty settled who should make way for the returning Modric? My answer is none of the other midfielders; give Modric a role in central midfield making attacking runs with Huddlestone and Palacios supporting him in the middle with Lennon and Kranjcar on the wings – sound pretty brutal to me.
And the other problem? Jermain Defoe’s the only striker who’s shown an ounce of consistency this season; Crouchy’s promising but barely scores, Pavlyuchenko’s as good as gone and I don’t know where to start with Keane. Well I do actually, he’s nowhere near the player who left for Liverpool and isn’t really good enough to be a regular for a club chasing Champion’s League football, he should be dropped. Redknapp’s tried to accommodate him already with a 4-3-3 but it didn’t really work out, Keane’s not the impressive type of player Spurs need. Although a 4-5-1 is a more defensive formation it would suit the fact that the club have just Defoe firing on all cylinders and Lennon, Kranjcar and Modric would be encouraged to get forward and support Defoe as much as possible.
Obviously the problem with a 4-5-1 is that the forward can get isolated on his own up front – particularly a little striker like Defoe and that’s why a big man like Crouch seems the pefect foil for him. If the more offensive midfielders got forward as much as they could though then there would be players around, and Crouch could always be an alternative to Defoe when something different is needed. Lennon’s delivery has proven perfect for Defoe time and time again and that wouldn’t change just because there’s one less strikers, there’d be other players rushing up in support after all.
This is all dependant on the squad staying the same though – if Harry buys in another striker then a 4-4-2 could yet flourish. But then what happens in midfield? Kranjcar shouldn’t be dropped but Modric should not be left out either – there’s no easy solution. A change of formation would remove the weakest players in the team and allow all the form-players to play; it’s at least worth a try and if it’s not working then Harry can modify it for his liking – I’d say it’s worth a go.
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