Manchester City blatantly exposed a defensively week Tottenham midfield on Sunday, raising questions over the choice of Niko Kranjcar partnering want-away Luka Modric in the middle of the field.
After City took the lead through the impressive Bosnian front-man Edin Dzeko, it soon became clear that the absence of a strong, hard working defensive midfielder was costing Spurs dearly.
So who could be the solution to this dilemma? Scott Parker? Jake Livermore? As effective as these players could be if they were to start alongside Luka, I believe that the injured Brazilian star Sandro’s recovery will be at the forefront of Redknapp’s mind. With at least, it seems, another month on the sidelines, Sandro’s lack of playtime could prove even more costly if we continue to fail in breaking down opposition attackers in the final third.
This is precisely what Sandro did in the majority of games last season after a slow and rather ineffectual start in North London. The Brazilian international eventually provided excellent cover for our fragile and ever-changing defence in Champions League fixtures against Italian giants Inter and AC Milan, claiming the man of the match award in the 0-0 draw against the latter, to put us through to the quarter-finals of the prestigious competition.
Often it was the case that when attacking midfielders and forwards broke into our half, Sandro was present to break down attacks, clear up mistakes and prevent mishaps that would have almost certainly led to goals. This is exactly the type of relentless attitude we needed in our recent fixtures against Manchester United and City. Yet all we received – no, all we gave – was room for players like Rooney, Anderson, Silva and Nasri to show off their evident creative flair.
For me, the sooner Sandro is back the better. Hopefully the signing of Scott Parker from West Ham will give us hope in forthcoming fixtures.