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.



  1. Couldn’t agree more – i believe Daws and Kaboul recieved unfair criticism when the lack of cover in front of them was obvious, Spurs were much too gung ho against the two best sides in the division. For me the answer is to play 4-3-3 with Sandro, Parker and modric in the middle (Hudd for Sandro while he’s out) with VDV Ade and Bale up front. (Defoe for VDV initially, giving hudd and defoe a chance to keep their place if they can.) We all want to see attacking football, but solid defence is the foundation for this (look at City) and we need to respect sides a little more, especially away from home.

  2. Sandro was immense for us tail end of last season and I hope this injury won’t set him back much. He will be our most important player in a years time.

  3. I totally agree and i mentioned this befor his arrival at Tottenham.Now for my next statement, if Spurs want a striker just as good as Sandro’s defensive skills buy Leandro his ex team mate from Internasionale befor it is to late. This guy is also dynamite.

  4. Couldnt agree more! Sandro really surprised me last season, as i didnt expect him to shine untill this season, but he proved to be one of our most important players! I really hope he will be back from injury soon, so we can have him back. He really brings a lot of stability to the team, and every match i watch without him i will miss him.

  5. Every team needs a DMC to cover the attacking runs of the opposition. why HR played Niko and Modrich is unknown to me, Livermore must have also been shocked. Sandro will be an important player for us when he returns for sure. what hurt most about the defeat to City is Dzeko could have been a spurs player had we made more effort to sign him, same as Squares 🙁

    • I completely agree — that it was Dzeko scoring hurt.

      I was hopeful last season and through this summer, that because Dzeko hadn’t really made an impact they’d let him go and bring in some other fancy player. …leaving us to pick him up.

      I still think he’d be ideal for Spurs, but after the start he’s had to this season there won’t be any prying him free… Too bad.

  6. DJ its pretty obvious why he played them. He needed to experienced Premier League players in the middle of the park to play against City. Livermore is the only other player that could have played CM and when he came on was just as out of sorts as Kranjar. Its not HR its the injury problems we have at the moment!

    • I would’ve opted to play Kaboul as a DM with Bassong or Corluka (Walker wasn’t sick still, was he?) paring Dawson.

      As everyone has pointed out you need defensive cover from midfield or any defense will have trouble.

      As a side note, and despite the recent scoreline, I like the look of Dawson and Kaboul.

  7. Sandro, Parker, and Modric in a 4-3-3 is spot on. In front of them it would maybe be worth giving Pienaar a few starts on the left if he comes back stronger. In two of our best away wins (Milan and Liverpool) Pienaar played instead of Bale and in that formation maybe Bale could bomb forward from left-back. Anyone have an idea how long Gallas and King will be out, or is that a silly question?

  8. Greekos – its not at all obvious why he played niko and modders in the centre. neither of them can tackle!! neither of them can track back, and neither of them have a defensive bone in their bodies. Livermore would have been a better option from the start, difficult to influence a game when the whole team has given up cos your getting spanked! what would fergie, or Mourinho, or even Sam Alardice have done?? they would have played a defensive option in the CM role such as Bale, Kaboul, Livermore, Huddlestone, Corluka, or anyone else with the ability to tackle and track. it isnt rocket science mate. its called balance

  9. You are right DJ we completely lacked balance but we would have lacked experience even more with Livermore in the center of the park. Bale as defensive option not sure what Bale you’ve been watching??? Kaboul played centre back and Bassong (our only fit back up) is clearly not trusted by Redknapp. Huddlestone still isnt completely fit or even mobile enough to do anything against the type of players we came up against and Corluka is completely untried for us in the middle of the park and if he had played there then we would have been left even more exposed at right back with Kyle Walker playing there.

    I’m not saying that playing those two was the best idea but to me it appeared to be the only realistic option we had. And in possession we looked pretty good until our heads went down. Agreed out of possession we were awful but Livermore looked out of his depth against Man U and only bossed it against Hearts cos Hearts are worse than a league 1 side. Redknapp was probably not trying to break Livermore’s confidence after exposing the poor kid against probably the two best teams we are going to play this year.

    You got to look at the effect on the whole team not just one position but to be honest I dont think it matters which combination of central midfielders were in there we still would have been overrun and chances are it wouldnt have changed the result of the game. So this tactical posturing is pretty inept from the both of us!

  10. fair points – i wrote an article before this one in which i mentioned Bale as an option in CM, he has played there for wales and has the stamina and drive that we need in that position. rather like Steve G for L’pool. If Giggs can play there for Utd then Bale could for Spurs. corluka played Cm in pre season in south africa and did a good job for us. we just needed someone to shield the back line and cover the runs. but we both have made fair points i feel. its all opinions at the end of the day 🙂

  11. Personally I could see harry playing this formation regulary.



    ——-Parker —- Sandro——



    • Dan Pink — I like the look of that.

      Obviously we have a second team of quality players also, who will hopefully get some playing time.

      Against weaker teams it might be interesting to play Bale as an attacking fullback and have an attacking midfield of:
      VdV—-Kranjcar—-Modric, or some variation.
      Granted, BAE is better in general for defense, but Bale is able to keep running all day, so putting him in back just opens up an extra attacking slot.


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