a question of balance
With a double defeat at the start of the
new season, Peter Lis looks
at the possible reasons why Spurs have failed to set the Premiership alight.
‘God grant me the
serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the
things I can; and wisdom to know the difference…’ - The Serenity Prayer
... and Theo Wreticle has his ideas too ...
To say Martin Jol is unbalanced might be going too far, but there is a need for the team to be set up better with at least one left footer in the side. Adel Taarabt can operate effectively on the left wing and although his Premiership experience is limited at the moment, he is a young man with confidence, which not all of our players are playing with at the moment.
Playing players out of position does not give them a real chance to do themselves justice. We have seen with YP Lee, that his crossing is often less than accurate because he is not a left footed left back. Right footed players on the left mean they have to check back to cross the ball and be confident about their delivery, thus giving defenders time to work this out and show them the outside route only (knowing the ball will be on their weaker foot) or it means that they will be crossing from a less dangerous position, with the ball being aimed down the middle rather than being played in from a position close to the dead ball line and across the goal (thus making it more difficult for defenders to defend it).
Without an outlet on the left, our play becomes predictable and with the stand-in players having to be fielded, other sides are playing on that. Stalteri's position on the left makes him an obvious target for the opposition, while Gardner's occasional lapse in concentration can also be a weak point the other side pick up on. With Malbranque playing out of position in front of Stalteri, it makes it a double whammy on our left aide, which has seen the goal at Sunderland and two of the Everton goals stem from that side. I am not saying that Taarabt will give a greater defensive ability to the left of midfield, but it could mean that the opposing midfielder is tied up with other things than attacking our team.
Added to that we have some players who are not currently playing to the level that is expected of them. Among them are Jenas, Berbatov, Chimbonda.
While Jermaine Jenas has
become the new David Howells, his contribution should not be
under-estimated as much as everyone thinks he is over-rated. So
far this season he has been lacking the runs into the area which brought
him goals last term and his strong running from midfield has also been
something that has not stood out in the two games played. Early
days I know, but these trademarks of his game make him a player who can
make a difference. Goals from midfield were what the side had been
missing and not only scoring them, but making them for others, Jenas
brought that to the table. However, he is a player who doesn't
hide and makes himself available for the ball, while chases back to
cover on a large number of occasions. Sometimes you have to
realise it is not just what players do on the ball, but do off it as
well which contributes to their overall performance.
Dimitar Berbatov set the
Premier League alight last season. This season he has flickered
into life occasionally, but has suffered by tight marking and lack of
quality service from the rest of the team. His frustration has
been clear to see and his reaction at being taken off at Sunderland was
plain to see, although it was probably the right move by Jol.
Having suffered the groin strain, he is now out for a while making the
choice up front more limited for the manager, but if the break means
Berba comes back refreshed and fully fit, hopefully, it might coincide
with some other returnees and a stronger side all round.
Much talk surrounds Paul Robinson,
with other keepers as well as the Press taking pot shots at him, which
he ahs little chance to react to. Much like the last minute
Sunderland goal where he was unsighted and the deflected free-kick,
which wrong-footed him against Everton.
On the subject of centre-halves, I fully understand the buying of young English talent, but I cannot see the point in spending out £10 million on Curtis Davies ... a player who is not worth more than £4 million, which equates to about £7 in today's money. I am sorry, but if we are spending £10 million, then let's go out and buy a world class centre-half, who can play at the top level straight away ... not one who has just one season's experience in a team that got relegated. I think he's a good player, but not the one for Tottenham Hotspur at that price at this time.
While it is not that he has
not been playing to his potential, Aaron Lennon has just not been
playing. His pace and the attention other teams have to pay him
has had an impact on our play. No lightening breaks from defence
to attack, no mazy runs tying defenders in knots and no runs direct at
goal through the heart of their side to set up others for shooting
opportunities. It has been obvious by his absence that he is now a
very important member of the side.
So, just a few things which struck me as to why the team might be failing to produce the sort of results and performances we had last year, but with two games gone and two games lost, there is still time to salvage something from this season and a fit first choice eleven might well help things on that front.
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