Over the last week, we’ve played three matches, cumulating in 7 points picked up from the possible nine, and considering this came on the back of five straight matches without a win, combined with this fixtures being two away matches and one home game against Manchester United, 7 points is a very impressive return. Despite the points gained, which has shot us up the table into a far more respectable 6th place, we’ve also learnt a number of different things about our club and team.
AVB can stand up for himself:
Andre’s post-match interview has become infamous to many, yet personally, I found myself after watching to feel far more dedication and understanding of what AVB wants to do and what he can do for the club. ‘We is us, we are everyone at the club’, more or less summed up the complete opposite of what we’d seen in our performances in recent weeks, with a group of individuals attempting to fit the 4-2-3-1, high line, fast style of play which Andre seemed anxious for us to play. Yet I still found myself completely elated and trusting in that in AVB, we truly have a forward looking manager, who believe in himself and won’t let the press push him down, which can happen in this league.
Defoe wasted his chance:
£28 Million man, Robbie Soldado has by all accounts, struggled to find his goal scoring form as far in the premier league, since the Spaniards big money move from Valencia in the summer. After a run of games without a goal and his general lack of effort to create goal scoring chances for himself, Robbie was relegated to the bench, for fan favourite Jermaine Defoe. Now whenever Soldado would miss an opportunity to score, everybody would scream ‘Defoe would score that!’, yet clearly on the evidence of the last two matches, the Spaniard isn’t the only striker in the squad who’s lacking confidence in front of goal. Defoe missed a whole hat of chances against Sunderland, whilst was almost invisible in the match against Fulham. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Soldado restored to the side, as we all said, he wasn’t receiving the service which a player of his style needed, but over the last two matches, we’ve played true wingers, providing service into the lone striker, but we’ve had 4ft Defoe in the middle, instead of good-in-the-air, prolific-when-provided-to Robbie Soldado.
Lloris isn’t as perfect as we thought:
Since Hugo Lloris joined Tottenham from Lyon last summer, he has been one of the best goalkeepers in the league, revolutionising the Spurs defence with his sweeper ‘keeper style of play, of which he is famous for. Yet ever since his head injury against Everton, he hasn’t quite been the same. His confidence is clearly drained and in his style of play, this cannot happen. A hat-trick of errors in the past three games, two of which led to goals, one of which leading to Manchester United’s penalty, highlighted this claim. Without a doubt, Hugo is still one of the most talented goalkeepers in the league, but he must return to confidence, something which the ever rotating defence in front of him, won’t exactly help with.
Our versatility is outstanding:
Specifically in the match against Sunderland, the versatility of our players has been prominent in our team selection. From Lewis Holtby dropping deeper to allow Paulinho to push forward, to Etienne Capoue deputising in centre half, due to injuries to Vlad Chiriches, Jan Vertonghen and Younes Kaboul. We’ve seen Andros Townsend, Aaron Lennon and Erik Lamela all playing wide right and left, we’ve seen Moussa Dembele and Paulinho play both behind a striker and deeper in a two or three, whilst Jan Vertonghen has played centre half and left back. The versatility of our current group of players is outstanding, with only a handful of players, excluding goalkeepers, only having the ability to play in one position. Under Redknapp, we played very rigid, with the only dynamic aspect coming front Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale switching flanks occasionally, now we have squad bursting with players who’re so passionate to play for the side that they’ll willingly play out of position, just to break into the side.
We can bounce back:
Before the Manchester United match, after conceding a goal, we hadn’t scored. That is not only embarrassing, but worrying, considering the inevitable goals of which a side will concede in this highly competitive premier league. Yet in the past week, we’ve scored five goals after conceding, with Sandro scoring after Wayne Rooney equalised for United, as well as coming from 1-0 down in both the Sunderland and Fulham games to win 2-1 each time.
Aaron Lennon is still important to our balance:
Despite the wave of new signings injected to the team over the summer, one man remained any pushed to reclaim his first team place, Aaron Lennon. His speed has always been prominent, but over the last few games, his maturity and intelligence is beginning to show. His decision making has greatly improved and gone are the days where we’d see Aaron constantly break on the right, hit the by-line, float a ball in and fail to clear the first man. Now he leads our counter attacks and is frequently looking up and seeing a pass rather than wasting possession and considering the pressure from the competition from the younger Erik Lamela and Andros Townsend, Aaron still remains our best right sided player and deserves to remain in the first team picture.
Lewis Holtby embodies passion:
Ever since coming off the bench against Fulham, Lewis Holtby hasn’t looked back. He turned the match on its head on Wednesday, introducing creativity and initiative into the midfield, from where on the night we looked clueless and lost. Lewis scored an impressive winner in that match and was rewarded with a start in the Sunderland game, where he was vital to our victory as he added fight and determination grit to our midfield and rotated with Paulinho and Dembele to give each license to roam further up the pitch, with one particular Dembele run leading to an own goal and another leading to Paulinho scoring. Yet who didn’t receive much recognition for both goals? The young German sitting back to allow the respective players to push forward.