1. We now have the tools to grind out away results

You wait ages for a midfielder to come along who can both tackle and pass, only for two to come along at once. Sandro was magnificent for us in the second half of last season, while Scott Parker has made a very impressive start to his Spurs career. They made their first start together against Wigan and it looked like a very solid combination.

It’s not a partnership that I expect to see together too often at White Hart Lane this season, especially considering that by this time next week, we will have already played three of our toughest home fixtures. Away from home however, it seems like a great foundation and will make us very hard to beat.

2. Modric’s worst midfield position is on the right

Like his Croatian teammate Niko Kranjcar, Luka Modric looks far more comfortable when he plays on the left flank and can cut in on his right, than when he is picked on the right and is expected to cut in on his left. Of course, he looks most comfortable of all in the centre of the pitch and you could argue that he should have played there against Wigan, with Sandro and Parker behind him.

Instead Harry decided to play Rafael van der Vaart behind Emmanuel Adebayor, with Modric on the right in a 4-4-1-1. I think it would make more sense for VDV to play on the right, drifting inside onto his left, while Modric played in the middle. The presence of two defensive midfielders behind Modric would mean that there would be less necessity for a right-sided Van der Vaart to protect his full back Kyle Walker, who unlike Vedran Corluka, has the pace and energy to attack down the flanks when Rafa goes wandering into the centre.

Can I see Harry re-imagining Tottenham in the tactical image of Barcelona though? Nope. It’s all a bit complicated and I expect him to continue to put square pegs into round holes, in order to retain a traditional four man midfield.

3. We need to start looking towards the January sales

With Jermain Defoe ill and Roman Pavlyuchenko injured, we started with Adebayor as our only out-and-out striker. Adebayor and Van der Vaart are by no means a bad pairing, which was evident as they quickly combined to give us the lead, but you couldn’t help but worry as to what we’d do if Adebayor got injured.

Harry obviously had the same concerns, because he opted to keep Adebayor on the pitch, despite the fact that he could only see out of one eye for much of the game. The alternative was a Dos Santos/Van der Vaart partnership and whilst there has been a rise in the popularity of formations without a traditional striker, it’s once again hard to envisage Redknapp jumping on this tactical bandwagon.

We really shouldn’t be in this position, but the fact is that we didn’t buy a striker over the summer. We have to rectify this in January, because it’s frankly unrealistic to expect Adebayor to play in every league game this season. In almost every other position on the pitch we have plenty of cover and options, but there is no one to replace Adebayor and in that respect, he has quickly become our most important player.

4. Benny is still Benny

This season has seen the popularity of the cult of Benoit Assou-Ekotto reaching feverish heights and rightly so. He is a refreshingly honest and down-to-earth footballer, who more often than not gets through a game without putting a foot wrong.

He remains prone to the odd lapse of concentration though and against Wigan he made his first major gaffe of the season, as he failed to clear his lines and gave away possession, leading to Wigan pulling one back. Thankfully such errors remain a rarity these days. Last season saw him lose it at Werder Bremen, but generally he remained consistent. You just have to accept that he will have his moments of madness and look at his positives, of which there are many.

5. Bale is not just a left foot

Gareth Bale’s left foot is such a force of nature that it is easy to forget that he’s rather adept when it comes to using his head. Three of Bale’s last five league goals have been headed and a familiar Spurs tactic is to ping the ball over to his flank – especially when Bale is faced with a small full back.

Such is his ability in the air that he might well be the best option we have at our disposal as a striker, if the aforementioned injury to Adebayor ever happens. Until then, let’s hope that Bale can grab another headed goal against an Arsenal side that currently concedes more often from set-pieces than any other Premier League team.

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21 COMMENTS

  1. I have changed my mind about getting Cahill. However, we must get another first-class striker, then we will be in the hunt for the fourth place for certain.

  2. We kept Pav and Gio in the summer window presumably because the club still think they are up to playing for a team competing for 4th. Not sure Harry believes they are but he was more focused on getting Friedel/Parker/Adebayor and you can’t win em all. I expect we are in for a serious downturn in EPL form when Ade is unavailable because we have no real cover for him and I doubt that will change in January.
    One other thing, Harry was wrong to say Benny should have hoofed it. He never does and Spurs benefit from his risk taking 95% of the time. Occasionally all players get done but Spurs are better with BAE playing not hoofing.

    • No we kept them because nobody wanted Pav and Serville would not match the fee agree with Udinese for Gio who refused to go there showing he doesn’t really want to play football.

      • So you agree with me they are no use to a team pushing for 4th.

        We could have sold Pav for the 8m Newcastle offered and Gio for the 3m Seville offered and spent 10m on one striker to replace them and still made a profit.

        We chose not to do that.

  3. unless he’s changed his mind ade won’t be playing international football again after the togo incident, so will not be playing in the african nations cup!

  4. Another article that uses every opportunity to dig at the assumed feckless and baffling decisions made by one of the least sophisticated managers in our history. What does Redknapp have to do to earn your respect? Here’s something for all you Harry haters to stick in your pipes: his win ratio is now the best of any manager in our history. He leaves Venables, Burkinshaw and even Saint Bill Nick in his wake – only Arthur Rowe has come close. Give the guy a break.

  5. Yet another lover of 4411 let me tell you a little secret it wont work in the premiership where teams come out in the secon half and stifle it. If you studied our results like i did we had a period where we never scored with the midfield you are saying we should play in a 4411 untill Hudds returned and we beat Stoke 3-2. Van scored a goal set up for him then he went too sleep like he always does is work rate is ten yards in front or ten to the side 50 yards pulls his hamstring when Bale broke only Modric tried too get in the box. With Defoe we would have scored more and it was the first time One eyed Aby who suffered his injury in the first half drew a blank. We was secured against Liverpool and Wolves too much defence leaves too little creativity we will miss Huddlestone passing and Lennons pace rust me

  6. Actually, in the odd case we may be without all three of Defoe, Pav, and Ade (massive touch-wood), I could see playing Bale VDV and Gio up front with Sandro-Modric-Parker behind in a 4-3-3, it wold still be a fairly threatening line-up and I for one would like to see that tried in EL or FA cup early rounds

  7. Davspurs – take a breath between words and we can understand your opinion. what i learnt against Wigan is that even with King in the side sometimes we can be prone to switching off cos as good as he is, we still have 10 other players to consider. fingers crossed Ade stays fit til Jan at least, and fingers crossed we can set up the deal with Damiao. Bale could be our Steve Gerrard and play in diff positions, and i think he ll be used CM or maybe up front in emergencies. he would certainly offer more than Pav. re Pav- HR has made it clear he has until Jan to sort it out and if he doesnt we should bring in anothetr striker with the 8-10m his sale would bring. Peter Odimwingie or someone similar, maybe even cheeky bid for Berba or Anelka. signs are positive again now tho and we are rotating the squad correctly. HR is recovering the season well. re a striker if we are held to ransom by clubs in jan lets give Kane, Coulibaly a go. COYS

    • Never mind King switching off the whole squad stopped till we had numerical advantage rotaion is good when it works for 9o plus mins this one worked for 45. pause…… Defoe needs to come back lLennon and Hudds or we will suffer with biting finger nails and praying for the whistle or a sending off. pheeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwww finished

  8. A few points if i may… BAE bless him makes one mistake, so he didnt hoof it…so what.. still a top man, who in a few years will obtain legend status. I was talking about the Cahill busienss with a mate yesterday and we both agreed that although its appears now with Ledders playing so well the neccessity to make a renewed bid in January for Cahill is not as pressing, it would be a massive mistake not to try follow up on that deal. Ledders has a max numbers of games in him each year and come January he wont be in the side. Kabul is improving but he like Dawson is a just robin and we are lacking another batman. Gallas yeah still decent but at 33 or whatever his age he aint gonna be around for long. We definately need a new striker anyone who thinks Gio or Pav are the answer must be deluded. Overall I think lets be thankfull we have an amazing side and if we are being honest are biggest problem is how to fit in VDV. personally i think his best postion is on the right hand side of the bench. 442 works for us and he cant play that…

  9. Good article …Dont know why some are rubbishing it and I dont see it as a criticism of Harry ….

    One other thing I’ve learnt after the Wigan game is that we’re yet a ruthless efficient killing machine …. We go into a 2-0 lead then switch off . On another day , against a better opponent we will be made to pay with lost points …

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