What have we been missing over recent weeks, is it the Hudd having a stutter in his form or is it Malbranque settling in, the Lennon factor?
Well in my opinion the big player we have missed is JJ, he was in for a lot of stick from most of the Spurs fans due to the fact that when he came here he could not pass the ball five yards, well not to anyone in a Tottenham shirt. He has now settled in to become, begrudgingly in some fans opinions, a first team regular.
The one thing I have noticed over the Christmas period and more recently against <st1:city><st1lace>Cardiff</st1lace></st1:city> and <st1:city><st1lace>Portsmouth</st1lace></st1:city> is the lack of pace in midfield, Murphy and Huddlestone especially slow and cumbersome. With only Malbranque willing to get in the box and drive forward this made the build up incredibly slow.
Without Lennon we lack penetration, however without Jenas we lack pace and late runs into the box as well as a dogged fighting spirit, which I don’t see in Huddlestone or Zokora, and even Tainio has been very disappointing of late.
You will notice that when Jenas does come back Huddlestone will find himself with more time and a helping hand in the defensive duties and hopefully they can form a partnership which is not a diamond but an actual partnership where either one can make the runs.
Jenas is a better player than a lot give him credit for, if anyone watched the last game Jenas played in, which was second half against Arsenal, he made an impression and was the best out of a poor bunch and when Jenas comes back it will not be a surprise to see Spurs form return.
Murphy, another of one of our central midfielders ‘who can play on the left’ was more frustrating than anyone else in the team in recent games due to his severe lack of intelligence. His defensive covering of Lee was nothing short of average and his forward play was just plain idiotic.
When Lee, who by the way has come back quite impressively, makes his driving runs down the line it is the left midfielder’s job to either drop back and support Lee as an option backwards or make a driving run down the line, or at least make him available to a pass. He however decided to hug the closest opposition team member to make him unavailable for a pass, so there is absolutely no point in playing Murphy on the left wing.
Lennon’s return will clearly be a massive blessing, but in my opinion Jenas will be just as effective in Tottenham’s fight for Uefa/Champions League spots. Lets hope Spurs can keep the likes of Huddlestone, Jenas, Lennon and Malbranque fit and hopefully add a left winger to our squad and then I would say why not Champions league football.