Lewis Holtby, where does he fit in?

In the January window of last season, we bought Lewis Holtby for £1.5 million from Schalke in Germany. Bargain. The German U21 captain came with high expectation as a creative midfielder with bags of potential. He came in at a time in which Gareth Bale was making all the headlines in the number 10 role, so Lewis was forced to the wings, or more often the bench. Not a great start.

This summer, we brought in a lot of great talent, players who could make a big difference and we brought them in for big money. Erik Lamela, Roberto Soldado, Paulinho (to an extent), Nacer Chadli and Christian Eriksen are all players who will bring creativity and goals to the team. This makes it difficult for players like Holtby, who were already here to get an opportunity. Especially, when a player like Eriksen comes in as a proven, but still young, quality number 10. He’s been phenomenal since he came in for a cheap fee of £11.5 million.

The squad we have is brilliant, two players at least in every position that can fill each other’s boots very well. Players will get frustrated sitting on the bench, not playing week-in-week-out, but that’s football, you have to earn your spot in training and when you get a sniff of a chance, you have to prove that you are as good, if not better than the person ahead of you in the rankings.

What does this mean for Lewis Holtby though? Lewis has been getting his chances in the Europa League and other cup competitions, against opposition who are inferior to that of the Premier League, but in those games he’s been doing extremely well. He has 1 goal and 6 assists, which are the same as goals for a creative player like Holtby, with a hat-trick of assists against Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup. His playmaking abilities have been noticed, finally, by Spurs fans and he is loved by all, not just for his ability, but because of his passion for football, and more importantly, Spurs. Lewis Holtby gets what football is about, he says the right things, he does the right things and he does them for us. The fans. He’s on his way to becoming a legend, I truly believe that. All he needs now, is a chance to start in the Premier League.

Where he plays is something that Spurs fans have been debating about for a while now, how do you fit him in? He hasn’t got the pace for the wings, and our deeper midfield is packed with the talent of Dembele, Paulinho, Sandro and Capoue who are much more capable defensively than Lewis, the only place left is the number 10 role. This has been operated by Christian Eriksen so far this season, who as I said has been a revelation since coming in, quick thinking, perfect passing and hailed as the next Michael Laudrup, taking him out of the team would be wrong, he offers too much in my opinion. But could you fit Lewis Holtby and Christian Eriksen into the same team? Possibly. It would give you a lot of creativity and options going forward, and would help out Roberto Soldado a lot, the service he could get would be top notch and would guarantee goals.

This is my thought:
4-2-3-1
Lloris
Walker – Kaboul – Vertonghen – Rose
Paulinho – Dembele
Lamela – Holtby – Eriksen
Soldado

This line up may look like it lacks width, which it possibly does. But this is where the full-backs can come into play, we have two full-backs who love to get forward if given the opportunity, they are very pacey and Danny Rose can produce a great delivery, as can Kyle Walker on his day, this formation could be one that we use at home in a game where we won’t be getting too much attacking pressure from the opposition, but I think this is a team that if they were to work together they could create something great. Kaboul has the ability to cover the right back slot as Walker gets forward, as does Vertonghen on the left side as Rose goes forward. The balance in this team seems right to me. Eriksen has the ability to work in from the left side, and create opportunities, as does Erik Lamela on the right, who also can go to the byline if needed. Holtby being the figure head in midfield is something I’d really love to see, I believe he could shine in this position, and create a great partnership within the front four. Interchanging positions and roaming at the right time could be great as well. Soldado needs service, and I think this could be a brilliant way to get him that. Give it a go, Andre.

That’s the only way I can think to include Holtby, who I believe will be pushing the current first-team players very hard for a start in the cup competitions. Players like Gylfi Sigurdsson, Andros Townsend and Nacer Chadli are all missing from that line up, who have been good, especially Townsend and Siggy, but I believe Holtby could make a big impact in this Spurs side. I just can’t get enough of Lewis Holtby!

What are your thoughts on Lewis Holtby, should he start? Instead of who? Do you agree with my team, if not, what would your starting 11 be? Leave a comment! COYS!

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24 thoughts on “Lewis Holtby, where does he fit in?

  1. brilliant article. Now holtby is settled i truly believe he can make a big impact, siggurdson had all of last season to settle in and only just has now! i have faith in holtby :)

  2. Also has the advantage of leaving the guys you mentioned, especially Siggy and Townsend, as impact subs in matches where late goals are needed. Townsend, in particular, coming on against a tired defense, can provide real menace on the wings.

  3. I love Louie…too…but I don’t think he’s there yet. A year in the cups and subbing will tell us more. Kaboul is still too gimpy to start and Townsend too dangerous to leave out.
    Lloris
    Walker, Dawson, Vert, Rose
    Paulinho, Dembele
    Lamela, Ericksen, Townsend
    Soldado

    • I see where you’re coming from. If Lewis does keep up these performances in the cups, it’ll be very hard to keep him out! I hope Kaboul gets back to somewhere near his best, our best defender after Jan. Townsend has looked very good, on the left could be very dangerous!

  4. I agree Holtby has been sensational so far this season. The formation which I had in mind to get him playing in the Premiership is the 3-5-2 formation. Two wingback’s, Three CB’s with Chiriches playing in the centre of the three, to utilise his ability to bring the ball forward. Three CM’s with Eriksen playing as the Playmaker with Capoue and Paulinho either side. This would allow holtby to play in the advance midfield role, with Soldado as the lone forward. The system has the flexibility to play two strikers or bring on orthodox wingers if required. Spurs did experiment with the system previously under Glenn Hoddle, with Stephen Carr & Christian Ziege acting as the wingbacks.

  5. Surely cant leave Townsend out? He has been our most dangerous attacking option and adds an extra threat with his long range shots.

    Lloris

    Walker Dawson Vertonghen Rose

    Dembele

    Townsend Holtby Eriksen Lamela

    Soldado

    Dembele playing as a holding midfield, allowing holtby and Eriksen to work together, they would tear holes in teams defence, especially with putting balls in behind for Townsend to get behind defences playing balls in to Soldado who can recieve them in the box, his most dangerous position.

    A side like this obviously can’t be used against sides with a strong attack, but for bottom table sides this will give us great chances up front for our finisher, Soldado.

    • I think when Lamela comes in he will play right hand side, this is where he is most dangerous. Townsend on the left is a possibility.

      I agree Townsend has been very good, but I’d like to see Holtby given the chance, and I think Lamela will in time get his chance, who I rate above Townsend. There are a lot of possibilities! All look good.

      Paulinho has been integral in our success, so leaving him out would be wrong in my opinion. To play your system Sandro or Capoue would have to play, and leaving Paul and Dembele out would be criminal! So only way is to almost play without wingers. As I explained.

      Thanks for your thoughts :)

  6. Holtby is everything you say, passionate, energetic, in touch with the fans and good technical skills but he is not in the best XI yet, Eriksen, Paulinho and Dembele are ahead. Sandro has to start, he’s the best inforcer and with Paulino makes a strong core with ammo. Eriksen central is a no brainer. The wider men can all rotate. Azza will give Soldado some chances, if you look at a lot of his goals in Spain the service was from wide. Andros and Nacer should try going outside occasionally instead of cutting inside and shooting every time. It’s been too predictable and neither are Bale, yet.
    Getting back to the subject though, Holtby is great and we want him at our club.

    • Eriksen can effect from the left, has done for Ajax. I’d prefer him central, but as I say Holtby should get a chance! The way I would play could be interpreted as not having wingers and playing 3 attacking midfielders. This leaves Rose and Walker to create crosses for Soldado.

      Thanks for the comment :)

  7. Good read but I think there are a fair few flaws. Main one being that Townsend has been our best player this season so I don’t understand why he should be dropped for lamela, or a regular first team starter and arguably one of our best players in Lennon doesn’t get a start over either. I wouldn’t mind trying a midfield trio of:
    Sandro
    Holtby Eriksen
    Just to see how creative they could be.

      • Yeah flaws not the best choice of wording. As Roma are my second team so I spend a lot of time watching them (I would recommend watching pjanic this season). I just don’t think lamela will work well in the English game on the right of a 4231. His position I think may become in the hole behind the striker as he played their two seasons ago for Roma.

        Plus it will be hard to displace Lennon in the team, a fully fit Lennon is the second best player in our squad.

        • He needs to beef up, yes. His skill should shine through though! Think we’d get the best of him as a right attacking midfielder, instead of winger. I’ve been critical of Lennon, a little too predictable.

          Thanks for the comment :)

  8. I think that’s a really good post! Definitely my favorite so far! When do you think they will start Lamela in the BPL? I think we should have to partnerships in CDM role because Dembele and Paulinho are better when they attack. I think Dembele and Sandro and Paulinho and Capoue (when he’s fit).

    • Thanks! Hopefully soon, he’s very young and needs to adapt physically and mentally to England and the Premier League. That’s a good shout! I think both Dembele and Paulinho are crucial, but interchanging makes sense.

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