What is Tottenham’s best 11?

Tottenham’s squad is undoubtedly one of the strongest and deepest in the Premier League, the amount of international regulars we have throughout the entire squad is staggering and holds us in good stead for the rest of this season and beyond, but what is the best starting 11 that can be put out in our biggest and most important games? It’s a difficult choice that will most likely differ in choice from one person to the next, but here is my choice and my reasons for picking them in my 11:

Formation

Early on in pre season it looked as though a change of style could occur, and we could go to a 4-3-3 formation, similar to Porto when AVB was in charge, but the addition of Eriksen who plays in the hole and also Lewis Holtby, means that we have stuck with the 4-2-3-1 formation, which adds more guile and creativity to the team than the 4-3-3. An easy choice. 4-2-3-1.

GK – Hugo Lloris

Most likely the easiest choice I have to make in the line-up. One of the best ‘keepers the Premier League has to offer. Fits our style of play with the high-line perfectly with his pace, agility and sharpness. Saved us numerous times so far this season, our nailed on number 1.

RB – Kyle Walker

Kyle certainly has his critics. Defensively he can be vulnerable, and his positioning is quite poor for a right back, but he is the best we have in the position and is still learning the game at 23. He will continue to improve defensively. Offensively, I think Walker is a real asset to the team, given the freedom to attack the right flank he can create for the team and cause threat to the opposition. Hopefully he improves more as the season continues.

RCB – Younes Kaboul

I think Younes is a quality centre back, who fits in with the way AVB plays. Pace, power and defensive composure. Two seasons ago he was arguably our best player, a rock at the back. Sadly, Kaboul really struggles with injuries, wether he can recover fully from these injuries is a definite question mark. I really hope he can, because if he becomes fit again, he will in my opinion start alongside Jan Vertonghen. While Younes isn’t fit, club captain Michael Dawson should get the nod.

LCB – Jan Vertonghen

Another easy decision. Vertonghen has cemented his place in our starting 11 from more-or-less day one. Commonly known as ‘Super Jan’, he performs consistently as one of the best centre backs in the league. On the ball he plays like a midfielder, off the ball, he plays like a world class defender, certainly one of our best players. Sometimes can be caught a little flat footed, but that’d be a very harsh judgement from myself.

LB – Danny Rose

Danny Rose proved himself in the Premier League with Sunderland on loan last season, being awarded player of the year. He’s come back, and he’s been very solid. An unsung hero so far this season. Offensively he has been good, but I’ve been disappointed with his final ball, hopefully it improves as he continues the season. Where I’ve been very impressed with Danny is defensively. Some picked him out as a ‘defensive liability’, but I don’t think this is the case at all. Sometimes he can be caught out while pushing up the pitch, but not too often as Jan Vertonghen is usually there to cover. When he is in defensive situations, he deals with them very well, he’s also made some extremely important blocks so far! Hopefully he continues his good form when he comes back into the team.

RCM – Paulinho

I’ve been very impressed with how Paulinho has settled into life at Spurs, he’s been one of the stand out players. Defensively he is strong and offensively, he’s even better! A true box to box midfielder that adds another goal threat to the team, but also a player who can pick a pass when needed. I believe he has to start, even with the fierce, and I mean FIERCE competition he is getting for his position from players like Capoue and Sandro.

LCM – Mousa Dembélé

My toughest decision in the team. Dembele, Sandro or Capoue. I was really tempted to put Sandro or Capoue in there, as they can add the defensive toughness to the team that Paulinho and Dembele possibly don’t have, certainly not like Capoue or Sandro do. Dembele makes us tick, I rate him very highly, his ability to glide past players and bring the ball out from defence to start attacks. To take him out could be a big mistake, but to leave him in could be a mistake in itself. Capoue has been phenomenal since coming in, and Sandro has been a rock for a while now. The toughest decision AVB will have to make is this one, in my opinion.

CAM – Christian Eriksen

Eriksen has been a great signing so far, bringing a creative touch to our powerful midfield. Controlled the game on his debut against Norwich and has already scored a beauty for us in the Europa League against Tromsø. It is still a tough decision to decide between Eriksen and Lewis Holtby. Both have been excellent so far this season, but Eriksen just tips it at the moment. Good competition for places in this area, with Erik Lamela able to play here as well.

RW – Erik Lamela

Erik hasn’t set the Premier League, or the Europa League by storm so far this season, and some may doubt his £30 million price tag, but I can assure you he will come good. 15 goals last season for AS Roma in Serie A, and at only 21, I truly believe he’ll be a star in the future. He hasn’t adapted to the physicality and pace of the Premier League just yet, and he also doesn’t speak English, but in time, when he does settle and maybe beef up a little, I believe he will gain his place in the Spurs side. The competition on the right flank is high, with the Premier League experienced Aaron Lennon and Andros Townsend both fighting for the spot, but I think Erik will take it after he settles properly into the team.

LW – Andros Townsend

Having played right wing this season for both Spurs and England, it may be a bit of a surprise that I’ve placed him on the left. This would be my choice, to fit in two very very good wingers into the Spurs team, Lamela and Andros. Andros has lots of experience on the left, having started his career in the position, so I’d give him the left wing slot over Lamela. Townsend has shown he is very capable with both feet, he can come inside and shoot with his right, or have more of the option to go to the by-line and get a dangerous cross in. I believe this would get even more out of Townsend. He’s has a great start, hopefully he starts banging the goals in for Spurs like he has for England!

ST – Roberto Soldado

There is no doubt that Soldado has struggled to adapt to the Premier League’s pace and physicality, a bit like Erik Lamela. With only 2 goals in 7 games, which were from the penalty spot, it hasn’t been a great start for the Spaniard. It takes time, and I have faith in him to score the goals to help us reach the Champions League. His 24 goals last season in La Liga for Valencia show that he’s more than got it in his locker. His conversion rate in Spain was extraordinary, and when he finds his feet and gets the confidence back, I’m sure he’ll be banging them in for fun. His link up play has been excellent, despite not scoring, he’s made 11 chances for others in 7 games, which shows he helps us out in more ways than just goals.

Conclusion

It is very difficult to pick just 11 players, when the squad is so vast. Leaving out players like Sandro, Capoue, Sigurdsson, Chadli and Defoe is difficult, but it shows you the quality we have. I could name a second team quite easily, so the cup competitions should be quite an experience this season! It’s going to be a long season, and I think our squad will be right up there this season. Blips like against West Ham happen to the best teams, it’s how you respond that makes you a top team. COYS!!

Thanks for reading! What team would you play? Comment and SHARE!

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Squad Depth. The many ways we can play this season.

This article is to show you the force we possess in squad depth and how it will be a key factor in our battle for top four plus the cup competitions we are in.

During the summer transfer window we picked up 7 new players in Soldado, Lamela, Eriksen, Chadli, Chiriches, Paulinho and Capoue. Add to that Andros Townsend and Danny Rose returning to Spurs after Premier League loan spells.

Departures included Bale, Assou-Ekotto (loan), Tom Carroll (loan), Parker, Huddlestone, Livermore (loan), Dempsey and Caulker, excluding other youth loans.

As you can see, we replaced with quality while getting rid of players not up to ‘Tottenham standard’ (excluding Bale). All round a very successful transfer window, with the only massive blemish being Gareth Bale’s departure.

With all the new signings coming in, we have the ability to play different formations and execute something we desperately lacked last season. A plan B.

Two styles we can use for the new season, the main two in which AVB likes to play, are 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3. Both formations have a different impact for different scenarios which will help us to overcome tough obstacles this season, I believe.

With 4-2-3-1 we allow a playmaker, a number 10, to play and use creativity to support the striker, while two deeper midfielders hold and protect the back four, maybe taking turns to help out the attack, like a box to box midfielder. Wingers are obviously very effective in the Premier League and are key to supplying the striker with chances from wide areas and crosses. Possibly home fixtures at White Hart Lane most effective to use.

With 4-3-3 it is about the midfield three controlling the game and helping to start attacks, while also being ready to help defend opposition attacks. The wingers are offensive and aren’t relied on making too much of an attempt to help out the full-backs, this is again left to the midfield. Wingers again are key, as they need to be creating opportunities for the striker, the same as the 4-2-3-1 formation. Possibly most effective for tough away fixtures.

These are the styles in which we have the ability to play. Teams to use them, in my opinion:

4-3-3, first team.
Lloris
Walker – Kaboul – Vertonghen – Rose
Paulinho – Sandro – Eriksen
Lamela – Soldado – Townsend/Chadli

4-3-3, second team.
Friedel
Naughton – Dawson – Chiriches – Fryers
Holtby – Capoue – Dembele
Lennon – Adebayor/Defoe – Sigurdsson

4-2-3-1, first team.
Lloris
Walker – Kaboul – Vertonghen – Rose
Paulinho – Sandro
Lamela – Eriksen – Townsend/Chadli
Soldado

4-2-3-1, second team.
Friedel
Naughton – Dawson – Chriches – Fryers
Capoue – Dembele
Lennon – Holtby – Sigurdsson
Adebayor/Defoe

These are just examples of how our squad can adapt to the formations. To say we have two teams that we could quite easily put out (on paper) against some other teams in the Premier League and compete is brilliant! We’ve built and improved so much from last season on paper, it’s time to put it into action. The squad needs time to gel and work together and hopefully this won’t take too long, but when they do we’ll be a real force.

There are certainly some players that are in serious danger of losing their place in the side. The key players being Mousa Dembele and Aaron Lennon. I believe these players do have a lot to offer, but do they place ahead of players like Lamela, Paulinho, Sandro and Capoue? Not to mention the competition that Lennon has got from Townsend. These are problems for the players, but problems that AVB will more than welcome. All the players I’ve mentioned are top quality.

This season, success will be top four. That is the main target which MUST be achieved this year for the club to move on and hopefully challenge for the title in the coming seasons. The team, and more importantly the squad, we have is more than capable of achieving that, even with the stiff opposition we face from Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea. We’ve got to concentrate on us and hopefully we come out on top. COYS!

Food for thought for AVB…

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International Round Up. 29th May, 2013.

We had four players involved in internationals last night, Clint Dempsey for the US, Jan Vertonghen and Mousa Dembele for Belgium and Jermain Defoe for England.

Belgium 4-2 USA

Clint Dempsey captained his USA team, and had a good game, grabbing an assist and a goal from the penalty spot. He played the full 90 minutes, but couldn’t prevent his team from losing 4-2 to a very good Belgium side.

Jan Vertonghen and Mousa Dembele also featured in what turned out to be a very exciting game. Jan played the full 90 minutes and put in a solid defensive effort to help his team to victory. Mousa Dembele looked tired throughout the game, and was substituted at Half Time, he didn’t really make much of an impact on the game.

Here are a few pictures from the Game:

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England 1-1 Republic of Ireland

Only Jermain Defoe featured for England in this game, our striker didn’t start, but came on for Daniel Sturridge in the 34th minute. Jermain only had a couple of half chances, but didn’t have the impact that he, or Roy Hodgson would have wanted. Unfortunate. England, on a whole were really poor, and I’d like to say I was really angered by Roy Hodgson’s decision to leave out Aaron Lennon and Michael Dawson from the squad. Poor decision. Poor result. Same old England.

Here are a few pictures from the game:

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More internationals are coming up, including Lewis Holtby with the Germany U21s, and Steven Caulker for the England U21s in the U21 Euro 2013.

Lets hope all our players come back from their international duties with no injuries, and have a nice break to come back fresh in July for pre season. COYS!