Waking up at 6:30am after a big night out was not an easy task, but as any Spurs faithful would do I managed to face my morning hangover to watch our boys pull off a crucial victory against Southampton. The feeling I took away from this win was something similar to the victory dance Ade pulled off in celebration of his first goal and MOTM performance…. The reaction from Chris Foy is almost as entertaining as the goal itself.
The Lineup – We started the game with an aggressive 4-4-2 formation consisting of:
- Walker — Dawson — Chiriches — Rose
- Lamela — Dembele — Eriksen — Sigurrdsdon
- Adebayor — Soldado
- SUBS: Dembele for Bentaleb 50′
- Lamela for Chadli 60′
- Soldado for Defoe 85′
- Strikers: Sherwood’s decision to reintroduce Adebayor may just find him managing Spurs longer than most expected! Ade was hustling all over the place, very involved in the buildup play and he was a menace in front of the goal. I like his pairing with Soldado and if they can form a good strike partnership I think the goals will start to pour in. Soldado really should have scored at least one goal in the game, but you can see it in his face how bad he wants it and I’m still entirely confident this Spaniard’s goals will come!
- Wingers: Siggy and Lamela both had good, but not great games. I’m happy to see them both get a start and very excited about their potential as players, but I’m not sure they are the best pairing for wingers. They both play creative which we definitely need, but also tend to drift into the middle too often which can narrow us.
- Center Mids: In the center I was not a fan of Sherwood’s decision to pair Dembele and Eriksen. While Eriksen tried to track back frequently he looked out of place and I don’t think the 4-4-2 best suits his playing style. We have so many good possible pairing in this position (Capoue, Sandro, Dembele, Paulinho, Holtby, Eriksen) it will just be about experimenting. I’d like to see Sandro/Eriksen or Holtby/Paulinho…
- Defense: Rose had a decent game and I’m overjoyed to have him back in the squad. He did make a costly mistake in the back and too often he plays ‘hail mary’ balls over the top that get intercepted too easily, but he’s an enormous upgrade over Naughton/Fryers. Dawson is a huge upgrade over Capoue and he is one of the most solid CB’s in the air. However, he’s possibly the slowest player on the team and as much as I love Daws, I’m anxiously awaiting the return of Super Jan. If Vertonghen can control his temper I’d like him to eventually take the arm band for Spurs and captain us from the back. Chiriches is still fitting in with the squad and to be honest he’s all over the place, but I’m starting to trust him more and more and happy to see him start every game. Walker was solid as usual, I hope the rumors of Monaco trying to steal him away are false!!!
- Keeper: Lloris made an enormous mistake this game that cost us our second goal. Sometimes he’s far to eager to move off his line when he should really stay put. That being said, he made enough solid saves to make up for his mistake and I’m proud to call him our keeper.
Dembele was clearly injured and had to come off. The clear choice was Holtby to bring some energy into the midfield, but when a 19 year old CM from France called Nabil Bentaleb from the youth squad took his place I was intrigued and terrified all at the same time. At this point in the game we were tied 1-1 so the decision to bring on a youth player at such a crucial moment took some serious balls. The being said Bentaleb had an outstanding debut in my opinion. He was good on the ball, distributed nicely and maintained possession in the middle. He was physical and genuinely looked very confident on the pitch. Sherwood’s knowledge of the youth squad is a useful attribute to him being our manager as shown from this gutsy, but very successful substitution. Congrats to a stellar debut Bentaleb!!!
I like Sherwood’s attacking approach and I genuinely feel like he’s trying to bring more entertaining football to the lane. Forming a strike partnership between Ade and Soldado could be incredible and I love his integration of youth talent. You’ve made up for the West Ham defeat, but we need to see some consistency before we name you our man. However, with celebrations like this, we appreciate your intensity!!
Adebayor – 24′ – Off a fabulous ball from Soldado
Own Goal (Hooiveld) 55′