Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ruh Roh! Trouble Ahead for Spurs?

photo by Brett L.via PhotoRee

Ed is back with some thoughts on Spurs' slow start to the season:

Spurs have now played three games against only mediocre BPL competition and they haven't won once.  Worse, they've only looked good in one half of one game – the first half last week against West Brom – and even then they didn't seem to get enough really good chances.  And double worse, it's painful to say it, but they look startlingly similar to Chelsea last year when they were managed by AVB.  As Scooby Doo would say:  Ruh Roh.

So here are my questions for AVB:

1.                  Defoe.  The offensive 4-2-3-1 is certainly a formation that works and is popular internationally. However, Spurs seem to be playing this formation with Gylfi Sigurdsson deep, the two midfielders holding even deeper, the wingers wide on the lines, and the diminutive Defoe all alone front and center. Defoe is obviously not someone that's going to win and retain possession.  He's also too small to capitalize on any high crossing balls launched in by Bale and Lennon.  So is Gylfi playing too deep?  If not, why are you playing this way with Defoe in the lineup?  And why did you sign an extension with Defoe if you intend to play this way? 

2.                  Double D's.  Spurs picked up Dempsey and Dembele.  Both are attacking midfielders like Gylfi Sigurdsson. Where are they going to play?  Why have you gone three deep at one position?  Are you intending to change formation?

3.                  Van Der Vaart.  Why did you part with VDV?  It seemed clear in from game one, and it seemed confirmed by your starting him in game two, that VDV outplayed Sigurdsson in the attacking midfielder position.  VDV possesses the ball better, passes better, and put 13 in the back of the net last year. Granted, VDV isn't fast, but what did you gain by letting him go?

4.                  Aaron Lennon.  Lennon has a long history of injury, and seems to get very few goals out of his game.  Who will be his backup?  Who else has the speed in the wide position that you're looking for?  Why did you drop VDV instead of Lennon?

5.                  Too Many Moves?  Spurs came in 4th, 5th, and 4th in the last three years.  This is far and away their best run in the BPL.  Yet now you have dramatically changed the team.  Why?  Don't good coaches get the best out of the talent they have on the team?

We're only three games in.  And while Arsenal has looked pretty good this year, we can recall they started horribly last year.  Plus, there are some other notable teams with new coaches that have had a tough start, such as Liverpool and Aston Villa.  To be sure, it takes teams time to adjust to new players and a new system.  Therefore, the patience AVB is asking for is understandable.  It may take as long as half a season before the team finally starts understanding their roles and how to play them.  The question is, considering the baggage AVB carries from last year's Chelsea debacle, does he have that much time?

This is farlieonfootie for September 5.

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