It's a squad game.... but not for Spurs

Discussion in 'Columns' started by Frozen_Waffles, Dec 28, 2011.

  • by Frozen_Waffles, Dec 28, 2011 at 4:01 PM
  • Frozen_Waffles

    Frozen_Waffles Well-Known Member

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    To win the premiership you have to rotate your squad, Alex Ferguson reminds of this year in year out as his make shift United sides storm towards the top of the table. However would Sir Alex rotate the Spurs squad at the moment, I very much doubt it.

    I hear Spurs fans cry for the likes of Kranjcar and Defoe to get more games, is it possible? At the moment Spurs are in a position to comfortably rotate three so called non first teamers in to the team without weakening it too much.

    With King and his sporadic appearances they have the two other fit central defenders in Kaboul and Gallas, not even the most cynical of supporters would see this as weakening the side no matter which two of the three play with the sparkling form of Younes Kaboul. They can cover centre back, just about and when Dawson returns to fitness harry will have four excellent centre backs at his disposal.

    However if we look to the right and left of these excellent defenders the massively underrated Assou Ekotto and the ever improving sprinter Walker have no understudy. Danny Rose a left winger turned full back looks suspect defensively and Corluka although relatively solid weakens the team if he is played instead of Walker as he is simply not good enough technically in today’s modern game to be considered a top class full back. Some would argue he is Tottenham’s very own John O’Shea, whether that is a good or a bad thing is a matter for debate.

    Looking to the wingers there are few better than the potentially if not actually the best player in the premiership Gareth Bale. I read a quote from Kyle Walker that says he would rather face Bale than Lennon, which tells you how good Spurs have it in these positions at the moment. Again however in back up Spurs have one other recognised winger in Andros Townsend who although has potential is nowhere near the level of Bale or Lennon at the moment.

    So how would Spurs cover a loss to one of these wingers, as Lennon’s recent injury has shown, they have inserted the second player that Spurs would have no problem playing, the gum shielded hardnosed Brazilian Sandro. Who in my humble opinion is one of the best ball winners in the Premiership, infact were it not for the immense Parker, this young central midfielder would have played all season for Spurs. He would of course step in if any of the midfielders were injured as he is simply a class apart from his nearest challengers Pienaar, Kranjcar, Huddlestone and Livermore.

    If you asked Ferguson which of his midfielders he would rather play Young, Nani, Valencia, Carrick, Fletcher,Giggs, Park, Anderson and Cleverley. He would probably reply with: depends on the game, form of the player, fitness etc.. Because in reality these midfielders are not a class apart from each other and all have their strengths and weaknesses. With Tottenham it is not this way, every Spurs supporter would rather see Modric out there than Kranjcar and Pienaar or Sandro and Parker ahead of Huddlestone and Livermore.

    Defoe is the last player that could be seen as a player the Spurs faithful would not mind coming on but only for Van Der Vaart. Defoe has always been a player who, when at his best, has had someone to lay it on a plate for him, a selfless player to counteract his selfishness. When he has such a partner (like Adebayor) and is on form he can devastate defences. However he lacks the footballing brain to ever become world class. His tactic of pick up the ball and get a yard by putting it on his right foot and smashing it in the net is brilliant when it works, more than slightly annoying when it does not. A player with massive talent but you can sadly never count him in the same league as Adebayor.

    Adebayor is what Spurs have been crying out for a striker who is an all in one player, technically excellent, a grafter, holds up play superbly and can find the net (sometimes). If Spurs can sign him on a permanent deal he will be a major coup for the club as he is one of the few world class strikers out there at the moment and perfect for the way Spurs play, perhaps perfect for the way any team plays. However if he gets an injury how will Spurs cope, they do not have the luxury of having four top class strikers like united have. To be kind to Pavlyuchenko he has never really settled in the premiership and as with his Russian compatriots, perhaps do not suit the English game.

    Which leaves Spurs with a team that cannot be rotated, that simply cannot be tailored to suit every game as on paper Tottenham’s first eleven is the best in the league and could beat any team. If Spurs do not get their full backs, striker or more than one midfielder injured they could lay a claim for the title. It is only a lack of experience and a lack of bottle that will stop them. How could Harry in all good faith weaken his team and risk losing a game or two from squad rotation. It is credit to the quality of the players mentioned that this is the case.

    Spurs are now the new Arsenal they are a team that is playing the most attractive football in the league but with more steel and only time will tell if Spurs can develop into the new invincibles.
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Discussion in 'Columns' started by Frozen_Waffles, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. Dharmabum
    Agree with your view on rotatioin and I agree that Corluka now would weaken the side a bit when compared to Walker but disagree that he's not "technically" upto it. He's in fact still got a better footballing brain and's still better defensively than Walker (or Ekotto for that sake), which he's shown the way he make Lennon a better player. But he's simply too slow and's not into the physical hustle and bustle game in the EPL. He'll do well in Seri A though should he join Roma.
    It's a pity that it was only Lennon's injury that lead Harry to "re-discover" what a monster Sandro can be in CMF. I doubt Sandro would have played if Lennon had been injury free. Same as it needed several injuries to Thud before Harry understood that Sandro could easily hold his own in the EPL.
    Harry simply have very little experience about how to manage huge quality squads and's still learning. It can prove costly in the end...
  2. peter_the_yid
    If he thinks its odd when some fans call for
    Niko or Defoe I can't imagine how much he'd
    laugh when people call for Gio to be brought it
    in in place of Bale, VDV or Adebayor.
  3. JimmyG2
    I am sure that Sir Alex would rotate our squad
    because he knows from experience that playing the first eleven
    until they drop, as we did with Bale last year doesn't work
    over a 38 game Premiership slog.

    Lennon,Defoe, kranjcar,Corluka,Rose Livermore, Huddleston and Dawson when fit, Gallas Townsend, Rose, Pavlyuchenkoand and Bassong can all play a crucial part in preserving the energy and fitness levels of our preferred 'First Team'.
    They should not just be used as emergency cover for injury.
    As with King and Van Der Vaart all players need 'managing' for the greater good of the club.

    I disagree that we cannot tailor the starting eleven to the occasion in hand and I think that Harry is becoming more aware of this and adjusting his formation and tactics to the game in hand.
    Earlier substitutions might help. At 2-0 against Norwich I would have brought on Townsend for Bale, Livermore for Parker or Sandro and Kranjcar for Van der vaart.
    Not all at once though.
  4. Phantom
    Completly correct, rotation is vital. Ferguson knows it and has shown it year after year.

    Arry has always seemed very reluctant to bring on subs (particuarly when we are winning), with many games playing the full 90 with the same 11 or perhaps one sub. This was the case particuarly last year.
  5. doom
    our cover for Benny is Bale, we have cover in central defence & midfield. Kaboul is good enough cover for Walker. What we really need is cover for Lennon or Bale & Ade. The experiment with Bale in the middle also opens up a spot for a new wing player who could still get games once Lennon is fit.
  6. dontcallme
    Rotation as a rule is vital but we don't have CL football and are out the league cup and Europa. With the backup we have at our disposal the OP is correct that a consistent first 11 is our best way forward. Look at how good a very average Newscastle side were performing when they had the same back five in.

    HR's next challenge is to buy backup that fits our squad. I don't want Lennon rested for Krancjar because our attacking threat is halved, but buy Hoillet or a different quick winger and I've no probem with either winger being rested occasionally.
  7. davidmatzdorf
    Our cover for Assou-Ekotto is obviously Danny Rose, now that he is fit again, and especially now that Bale is being asked to be more than a straightforward winger.

    Kaboul has already said that he doesn't want to play right back, but will do it if the team requires, so he's not cover for Walker, any more than Corluka is cover for Kaboul.

    I agree that the cover required is for Adebayor and the wingers.
  8. Phantom
    I disagree, we have a strength in depth greater than most squads in the league, if we are unable to rest Bale or Vdv for someone as good as Niko then we are in trouble. Bassong was more than enough to get us in to the champions league before.

    Our best performance of the season came with Niko playing on the right against pool. Not that I am advocating he starts on the right, because in general he is not great there.

    I am not saying we just rotate players for the sake of it but we have to consider at least resting players in the games against weaker premier league teams, just one or two at a time.

    Sandro is only in the team at the moment as lennon has been injured and we shuffled the players about, are you telling me you don't think there are games that Sandro could step into to allow parker a rest?

    This is as I said not rotation Fat spanish waiter style this is legitmate use of the squad.
  9. Mullers
    Hold on a minute Harry is constantly saying that the squad is good enough and that he only wants a "special player" if that is the case then surely he should rotate the squad because he believes that they are good enough. If he doesn't believe they are good enough then he had the whole summer in which he could have added more players to the squad but did not.
    Unfortunately time is a precious commodity that we don't have, King and Gallas are coming to the end of their careers, VDV and Parker have a relatively short shelf life and Modric won't stick around if we are not constantly in the CL all this.
  10. Kingstheman
    I feel that we rely quite heavily on the first eleven.

    But as long as the side is not over-burdened, this is not a problem.
  11. kreamy95
    it IS a squad game. squad rotation has two main purposes, 1. to rest key players and 2. to play others and keep them happy. the thing that worries me is that Harry keeps picking the same 11 or 10 over and over again. eg Lennon, parker, Modric, bale, vdv, ade, Kyle, benoit these guys are firm starters but definitely need resting. now, I say harry and Kevin train the subs like Kranjcar pienaar gio defoe townsend (if back) rose livermore sandro even more and make sure they all play a minimum of 20 first team games each season bcos they're fantastic players and this will keep them happy. the only problem with spurs squad is the 'pace' in the team in which only certain players fit in..... eg Kyle Lennon gazza dnt forget rose 25 is fast and so is andros... quality strength in depth we have, if only harry rotated often....

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