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Saturday, 27 October 2012

The experiment.

I'll jump right into the sea of beyond doubt here and state merely at what a fantastic season Jermain Defoe is having this year. Having ended 2011/2012 with more questions than answers raised, his status at the club remained on a knife edge. His future hung on a cliff edge as many clubs tempted him to let go. Then AVB was appointed Spurs' Head Coach. He flung a rope to Defoe and convinced him that grabbing on to it was the best for both parties. He fuelled him with a confidence, brought back that spark, that hunger, and gave him a new two-year deal. Neither have looked back since.

Although, amongst our ranks is a forward that contributed 29 Premier League goals last season. A forward we managed to bring in from Manchester City's Poundland in the summer and one in which expectations were amongst the highest. There's no doubting that without Adebayor leading the line last season we'd have struggled to get into the top 6. The guy slotted into our system proving the final jigsaw piece to paint a magnificent portrait that was our quality side. A side that brought both flair and, ahem, "swagger" to the Premier League, and football that we really couldn't get enough of. 

Things haven't been quite so bright as yet this season for Adebayor. The forward arrived back at Spurs Lodge (eventually) apparently overweight but, ironically, has lacked the hunger he had last season. This only brings back memories of the Mido situation all over again. Despite this, Ade's quality isn't lost over a summer. He looked his usual self when arriving onto the scene at home to Aston Villa and it's clear that he is a player that would bring more to the side when in the starting 11. AVB has recently said that Ade has to wait for Spurs to switch their formation for his chance. I understand that playing the same formation every week will enable the players to understand both their roles and that of their team mates', although, I do feel that changing it up every now and then leaves us far more unpredictable and offers us a different approach. 

The following is undoubtly hypothetical, but just what I personally would like to see be given a go (apologies for the poor layout).  [25 - Lloris; 5 - JV, 13 - Gallas, 33 - Caulker, 28 - Walker; 19 - Dembele, 30 - Sandro, 7 - Lennon; 11 - Bale, 10 - Ade, 18 Defoe]

1. 4-3-3 - We have an incredibly quick and powerful side, so why not play to those strengths? Pushing high up the pitch will give us the chance to press the ball and keep it in opposition territory. We also have stability with Dembele dropping back in alongside Sandro when defending. This also leaves us in a great position to counter-attack. My decision to put Lennon slightly wide of centre midfield is to give him the chance to pick up the ball early and drive. He'd also only have to look up and see both Adebayor & Defoe in front with Bale offering an option on the other flank.

2. 4-2-3-1 - This becomes a more natural line-up. Although, I would have Defoe almost playing off of Adebayor. There are two issues that I have with this formation. Firstly, the amount of space in front of both Sandro and Dembele. One would most likely have to sit in front of the other. Secondly, with two players almost sitting in front of the defence -arguably Dembele could pick up the ball and start off certain plays - it restricts the defence from playing a high line and pushing up. We've always looked nervous when we've sat off and allowed the opposition to play in front of us. In my opinion we seem far more comfortable playing higher up the pitch and pressing the play. 
3. 4-1-3-2 - This has sought to go some way in highlighting the potential issues from the second line-up and amend them. I feel this formation offers more stability. When we defend we have both wingers and 2 CM's that can drop in and revert to a 4-4-2 yet we'd have the pace in midfield and the attack up front to break quickly if need be. 

I'm not suggesting this is the answer to accommodating Adebayor. I'm merely offering a suggestion as to what I'd like to see be given a try. We should seek to fit Adebayor into a system that suits both him and the other 10 players comfortably. Defoe doesn't and shouldn't be dropped. Our plan B can lye with Dempsey and Sigurdsson.

At our disposal we have two very good forwards. Two different types of forward. Two forwards that can both score goals and create them. We have a very strong starting 11, despite having big pieces of our jigsaw sold abroad this summer. We've sought to fill these gaps with slightly different types of players and bring them into a new system under a new manager. At times we've looked close to clicking as a team but we're yet to fully find our feet as a unit. Every game is a another step in the learning process and trying different things is all part of this process. We know what Adebayor can bring and, in my opinion for what it's worth, involving him would be one step closer to making us click.


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