Why we play 4-5-1 or "You don't know what you're doing"

Discussion in 'Columns' started by Rob, Sep 28, 2008.

  • by Rob, Sep 28, 2008 at 4:05 PM
  • Rob

    Rob The Boss Admin

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    As the chant of "You don't know what you're doing" echoed from the away end of Fratton Park, we were 2-0 down to what should have been a fragile Pompey side. With what looked like no chance of getting back into the game, all that was left was time for reflection on what had gone oh so very wrong in our win-less season.

    The problem may very well be that Ramos indeed doesn't know what he's doing with the personnel we have. As soon as the team was announced it seemed clear to apparently everyone apart from the manager that there were several strange choices in there. Gilberto back from the wilderness to replace the injured Bale and provide support down the left of midfield? A 5-man midfield with Pavlyuchenko again on his own up front but with no sign of our supporting midfielders? Dawson brought back into the centre of defence in replacement of King with Corluka shifted back to the right and the impressive Gunter missing out yet again.

    Does Ramos know what he's doing? All we can analyse is what's put in front of us and that's what I'll attempt to do in this column, taking a look at our season so far, focusing on the squad and the apparent deficiencies which an ultimately poor transfer window has left us with.

    As I see it, the problem we have is a complicated one. We certainly have quality players but do we have the right players? Take Zokora for example. In a 2-man midfield he’s poor at best. He often struggles with the simple pass, losing valuable possession carelessly and fails to get into space for his team-mates to pass to so rather than relieving pressure we get forced into mistakes.

    Contrast this with his performances in a 3-man midfield and he’s like a completely different player (and maybe the one we thought we were buying). With more time to sit back and read the play, his positioning in front of the defence is superb. He’s always there to receive the short pass back from his midfield team-mates when they’re under pressure and with more options in midfield in front of him to play the pass to he looks calm on the ball. When he picks the ball up from deep and surges forward with it, not only does he relieve pressure on us, he makes a significant attacking contribution.

    Sound great doesn’t it, so what’s the problem? With a 5-man midfield as we’ve put out in the last few games it means playing 1 up front and unfortunately we just don’t seem to be getting the system right. I’ll start off by saying I’m fast becoming a huge fan of Pavlychenko. He’s worked tirelessly on his own up front with shockingly bad support and shown real heart, a complete contrast to a certain sulking Bulgarian. He may not have the class of Berbatov but he’s certainly an accomplished striker as his record shows and if we manage to get things right I think he could have a far bigger impact for us than he did and become dare I saw prolific. So how do we go about getting it right?

    If we’re going to play with only 1 striker as it seems our midfield setup almost deems necessary then it’s up to the rest of the midfield to support but that’s just not happening. We have two direct players, GDS and Lennon, who despite turning around every performance when introduced Ramos seems intent on not playing and instead it takes a poor first half before they’re brought on and allowed to influence our play. Is the problem here that we have too many midfielders without having the right ones?

    Bentley and Lennon both clearly prefer the right side of midfield but are very different players. Bentley, although not showing it recently, can put in a great cross from deep and it was really expected that out front two would feed on those crosses all day. Of course our “front two” are now playing for Liverpool and Manchester United and instead we’re left with Bentley playing poorly in a system where he’s not necessarily suited. When he does put in a good cross (and these will get better as he settles and his confidence returns), there’s only the lone figure of Pavlychenko fighting a losing battle against strong defensive partnerships trying to make space for himself to get any chance at goal. In contrast, Lennon’s major weakness is his poor crossing and despite some recent improvement in this area, it’s really his pace and direct play that’s his major benefit, especially in a system where the striker needs this support running from deep. Similarly, the direct play of GDS is often a welcome addition to a side that’s simply struggling to get further forward and fill the space between midfield and attack. Thankfully, unlike Tarrabt who his style does have a passing resemblance too and despite his small frame, GDS is certainly not just a “luxury” player. He works hard for the ball, when he gets it it takes a lot to get him off it and when that does happen he isn’t afraid to come back and make amends by tacking and fighting for it. If it wasn’t for this I would be really worried that we have 3 players with only 1 position to accommodate but because of GDS’s versatility and with Lennon looking more comfortable on the left then it may not be so bad after all.

    I’m not so sure if the same can be said about our other midfield options, namely Jena and Modric). It would seem to be an easy choice between the two. While still acclimatising to the pace of the premiership, Modric is by the far the more accomplished midfielder and with a touch of the Ossie Ardiles about him, our midfield and whole system should be built around getting the best from who’s going to prove to be one of the best midfielders we’ve seen for years. The problem here is vice-captain Jenas who Ramos clearly sees something in that many fans don’t. It may just be a case of once Modric is fully fit that Jenas will play less and less of a part but for years now we’ve waited for him to reach his potential and to be fair in some games we have seen glimpses of the player he could have been for us but in my opinion it’s now time to cut our losses with him. If he was going to step up to the next level he would have done it by now and persisting with him means we can’t settle on a system or style of play that works.

    I’m trying to base my opinions here on more than the typical knee-jerk response and on the back of an absolutely awful performance against Portsmouth it might not be the right time to be critical of Jenas whilst praising O’Hara but the latter has shown far more fight and spirit befitting a captain of our club and if we do persist with a 3-man midfield I’d be more than happy for those 3 to consist of Modric, Zokora and O’Hara with Jenas being moved on.

    It’s coming to the stage of this column now where I just put all my cards on the table and name my first choice 11 but a few comments on our defence is maybe in order first. Gomes, superb. I was worried that we might be signing the “Brazilian David James” (and that’s the “dodgy” David James, not the one who just kept another clean sheet against us) and while he’s already shown a few eccentricities such as a penchant for punching rather than taking the easy catch I’m confident in saying that he’s the best keeper I’ve seen play for us (which admittedly only goes back as far as Thorstvedt or so). In front of him Woodgate is a rock and alongside King (oh Ledley, where forth art though?) forms possibly the best defensive partnership in the premiership. Unfortunately despite repeated assurances from the club with regards to his fitness, King still looks to have problems and the last thing we need now is an unsettled defence to accompany the chopping and changing with the rest of the team. Having said that, Corluka looks an adequate replacement at least in the short term and with Hutton and Bale that completes one of the strongest defences in the league. Unfortunately, and some people may forget this, we’ve been missing 3 of our first choice back 4 for much of the season with Bale and Hutton joining King on the treatment table. However, with Corluka and Gunter we have adequate backup with the only weak-link at left back where BAE still isn’t convincing many fans that he really has a future at WHL.

    So time to pick my team. I honestly feel that the team below should still be capable of finishing in the top 6 this season.


    Hutton Woodgate Corluka Bale

    Bentley Zokora Modric O’Hara Lennon


    Gunter as a temporary replacement for Hutton doesn’t weaken that line-up significantly and leaves a strong bench. GDS can replace any of Bentley, Lennon or even O’Hara in that midfield depending on the opposition but it’s vital that Modric provides the link between midfield and attack that we’ve been sorely lacking so far this season. As I explained above, whilst I dislike playing 1 up front as it leaves Pavlychenko isolated, with the personnel available in our midfield, it’s extremely understandable why Ramos is persisting with it. If we moved to 4-4-2, while the front line improves significantly with Bent and Pavlychenko both capable of running the channels and dragging defences apart, the midfield just doesn’t work. If we had a defensive midfielder who was more comfortable than Zokora (Veloso or even Diarra may be the answer) then we could revert to 4-4-2 without too many problems and whether that happens in January is something we’ll have to wait in see.​
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Discussion in 'Columns' started by Rob, Sep 28, 2008.

  1. Revan
    What total pants, sorry but it need to be said. We cant play one up front as our midfield dont suport the striker. Might as well become Bolton Hotspur, shocking thing to say. Pav isnt a good player, he is over priced and doesnt know when to shot. For god sake how many times is he gonna shot from 30yards, totally idiot. He is a easy way of playing the player we need.


    There you go, an attacking team which leaves Zork In good company Lennon should be given a freerole as his pace would scare ant defence. It also means we dont have to rely on his crosses. If Ramos can't see this as the best opition than they guy should be out. Com should be out no matter what!​
  2. BringBack_leGin
    It's the wooden spoon for you in the posters awards methinx
  3. Rob
    Interesting response and whilst I completely disagree about Pav, Lennon in the free role was something I considered but you've just placed someone who's been about the best right winger in the league over the last few years (and one we paid £16 million for) in central midfield.

    I assume the idea there is that Bentley breaks to the right and crosses from deep, a la Beckham and O'Hara does likewise on the left. The problem that leaves us with is that teams would plough straight through our centre and with Zokora tending to either sit back in front of the defence or go on one of his runs, we wouldn't have a single player anywhere near the centre circle apart from maybe Lennon but that places a lot of defensive responsibility on him that he's just not suited for with the need for him to win the ball in advanced positions.
  4. BringBack_leGin
    A lot of people seem to think that just because he is less flung forward than Lennon, Bentley offers more defensive solidity. This is tripe. Lennon covers his full back brilliantly, beter than any other winger I can name. because of his pace and energy he is almost always there when anybody attacks his flank, be it the right or the left, and in general works very hard for the ball.

    Conversely, I've lost count of the number of times already that Bentley has slid in for a tackle and been left for dead.

    Like I said, Lennon on the left, Giovani on the right. Bentley is not suited to a 451/ 433. Lennon and Giovani both have the pace and trickery to, when as high up on the pitch as they are in a 3 man attack/ 5 man midfield, lose their inevitable heavy marking by coming infield and getting close to the striker, which is what we need if we play with Pav on his own up front. I know we are no Barcelona, but at their best, with their 3 man attack, when Messi had the ball on the right (on his wrong foot) Ronaldinho became a centre forward with Eto'o, and when Ronaldinho had the ball on the left (on his wrong foot), Messi became a centre forward with Eto'o. Then in the middle they had a perfect blend, with Deco painting the picture, which leads me to my next point.

    In the midfield it is a case of finding that blend of battling and passing, because this formation needs someone who can get the ball effectively to the flanks, as well as push up himself and support the striker. That makes Modric a must as he is the only midfielder there with the ability to play a splitting pass. Then in the DM position Zokora is really the only option because we have a bad bunch of which he is the best. And in fairness to him, I thought he was exempt from criticism v Pompy. That final midfield spot... well who do you pick? Is it the all talk but no substance Jenas? The slow as hell and combersome always Huddlestone? Or the full of heart but limited as a footballer O'Hara? I would go with the latter because at least he seems to fight for every ball and put himself in the line of fire. Huddlestone is just too off form and has even lost his confidence to pass, while Jenas is a pretender. All he does is make short passes backwards and sideways (after demanding the ball from more useful passers it must be said). It is as if he is just thinking about artificially beefing up his stats to show him being in possession a lot with many completed passes, so that then he can show that to his bosses in contract negotiations.

    We're all pretty agreed about defence so I won't waste my fingers there, but the key to any team, regardless of the quality around it, is midfield, and that is something that we need to put right by the time Hull visit on Sunday if we want to salvage anything from this season.
  5. Hartfelt
    Ermm, sorry but you're way off the mark. The side Rob suggests is the right choice, currently, although I might put Dos Santos on in place of Lennon.

    Where is Modric, our best midfield player in your set up? How can you make a judgement on Pav when he's barely played for us or in the Prem? His quality is clear. Whether he'll adapt remains to be seen but he won't if we don't play him. Lennon's lack of end product is his whole problem. I certainly wouldn't play him up the middle. His pace is a weapon down the flanks. That's where he should be played.

    In terms of formation, playing two strikers just because we have them, doesn't make it our best team. We have to play to our strengths in the side we have. That's the whole point. That's what Ramos is trying to do. We are midfield-heavy and strike-light due to the idiocy of the timing of our sales. Our midfield, shockingly, lacks a true defensive midfielder but Zokora steps up more when there are three in the middle. Bent and Campbell would both be benchwarmers in any decent, balanced Spurs' side. Pav should start.
  6. InOffMeLeftShin
    Rob, interesting piece with some things I agree with and some I don't.

    First I'll start with the things I do agree with. I am also liking Pavlyuchenko a lot. His work off the ball is great even though he ever really gets any decent balls into him. He tries to make movements to pull the defender out but it is clearly not easy to do when you have two men mountains monitoring you as he did yesterday. I also agree we need to be more direct and need to build our midfield around Modric's creativity.

    Where I have difficulty understanding the concept is continuing with a 4-5-1. Yesterday was a flat 4-5-1 where we set out to try and flood the midfield away from home. The way we play it we may as well play 4-4-1 for the effect it has. We had two deeper wide men and the support for Pavlyuchenko was poor. Unfortunately Bentley could have played 1000 crosses into the box and I am not sure Pav would have got any return from Campbell and Distin. I couldn't understand at the time and still can't understand now how our offensive plan was to cross balls into Pavlyuchenko against one of the biggest most aerially dominant defences in the entire league. Even if he had have got his head onto anything there wouldn't have been anyone to pick up on the loose ball.

    We have to offer something that makes the opposition have to think a bit harder about how to stop us. Playing with such a flat 451 allows the opposition to sit and soak up anything coming into the area and they don't have to worry about any real penetration. Even if Modric had played as a playmaker yesterday he would have had very little joy as the outlets just didn't exist.

    Also I see no reason why Zokora can't play exctly the same role in a 442 as he does in the 451, he just gets pushed too high up the pitch in a 442 and we lose the shape of the midfield. But it doesn't have to be like that. There is no reason that a defensive midfield role can't be employed in a 442 (Diarra showed us that yesterday).

    I suggest that we need to play 2 up top and try and at least challenge the centre backs. Have plenty of movement up front from the two strikers, backwards and forwards, diagonal runs across the 18 yard box to stretch the opposition centre backs rather than the isolation we were left with yesterday. We can form a midfield with Zokora deep covering for Modric as a playmaker who can then take advantage of the extra movement up front to expose gaps in the opposition defence. Out wide Bentley would probably have far more joy with Modric playing him in and more options in the box. On the left in an attempt to offer something different we should use some of the strength and energy that goes missing when he plays in the centre by employing Jenas into a specific role out there. Working hard defensively to help the full back and then when attacking he can be direct and can pose a real threat by breaking late into the box and towards the back post to give Bentley even more options. He can attack the opposition players and try to work onto his right to get some shots in (something we didn't manage to do until Lennon did exactly that in the 88th minute, but I think I would prefer Jenas having a crack than Lennon). Then we have possibly two of the best overlapping fullbacks in the league in Hutton and Bale. Attacking fullbacks are so difficult to pick up because they are essentially breaking from deep and are matchedup against the opposition winger. Bale gets more space when attacking from full back than he does in a more advanced role. We don't we take full advantage of that by playing him at fullback. If our fullbacks are going to defend badly when they are playing more defensively why don't we go at the opposition more so that they have to take more care over what we are doing rather than thinking about attacking us. Our defence should play even higher and Gomes can mind the box.

    So I would play something like:




  7. Freddiehotspur
    Thing is, we started the season with an attacking formation, with attacking players and with an attacking mentality. Lack of movement off the ball made our life difficult, the players looked like statues after our first defeat. Tracking back became more important than knowing where to deliver the ball when we were in possession. No one wanted the ball, especially Jenas, who just shrugs his head and waves his arms when in possession. He doesn't have a clue who to pass to and there isn't one attack that looks organised.

    The 2 players who can save this farce are Modric and Bale. The only two who will want the ball and who run into good positions... The rest are just statues, looking for an excuse to not reach a ball, just pass a ball, and wait to find someone to tumble into when they've lost the ball...

    It's shit, we're total utterly crap, and i miss the days of Rob Hulse.. Even Woody looks like he's given up... My only demands are the following:
    1) Play Modric and Bale, it doesn't matter how many games they've played
    2) Play Corluka in CB, he is lost on the right back. (Obviously Dawson has not earned the right to be anywhere near the first team.)
    3) Play Bent, Lennon and either Campbell or Bentley on the right...

    Maybe relegation is needed to open people's eyes...
  8. Revan
    The reason for Lennon playing there is that he comes inside no matter what wing he is on so why not give him a freerole in the hole. As for teams going though the middle I dont think that would be the case. You have three midfielder that cover a lot of ground. Lets be honest, its not our defence thats the problem, its the fact we have no opitions when we get into the attcking third. We need to go out there and win games not hope that we dont lose. Which is how we have played all season and will continue to until we have the balls to play two up front.

    Ramos doesnt take risks even when we are two goals down, why does anyone see this as acceptable? Yes Com has screwed him over big time and should lose his job. Yet Ramos picks the team and there is no reason for us to only have two we havent played nearly anyone of quality. Yes Aston Villa and Chelsea but Portmouth, Sunderland, this isnt good enough.

    Seriously would anyone think he was doing a good job if you took away the Carlin Cup win???
  9. JimmyG2
    You are quite wrong in your criticism of the posts in reply to this article.have another in depth look instead of skimming before you you go off on one of your rants(Which I usually agree with)

    There were nearly fifty posts prior to yours and on re-reading most of them were well argued responses and generally not overly critical of either Jenas and Zokora except in the general analysis of the team
    I can find only one post that describes either as 'shit'.
    There are about 15 of the 50 that are critical of Jenas and Zokora,mainly Jenas but all have reasons apart from one that declares Jenas 'should be shot'.
    There are another half a dozen posts which raise other matters or a jokey interventions 'send for venables.

    So whilst I share your frustration don't take it out on contributors to the Spurs Community columns,most of whom are just as passionate as you.
  10. spursintheblood
    As far as I can see the advantage of 4 -5-1, other than supposedly dominating the midfield, is that that 2 of the 5 can bomb forward when there is possession, turning it into a 4-3-3. When they were the invincibles the Arse used to sit back and then the entire midfield would rush forward and overwhelm the defence of any opposition. This is what we should be doing with the team that we have. Individually I have no problem with any of our players. They mostly look assured on the ball and have the ability to pass. The system needs time and personnel to bed in. Confidence is going to be low as we have started incredibly poorly, but I doubt we will be relegated. Also I see few prima donnas who will be desperate to leave should we fail to achieve Europe again. So they should work all the more next year.

    1. We have to get out of this penchant for swapping the entire bloody team every transfer window.
    2. Stability is now the key. Longevity for Ramos and Poyet.
    3. No response to ANY offers for our best players.

    I would play:

    Hutton / Woody / King / Bale
    Bentley / Zokora / Modric
    Lennon / GDS

    Lennon can cut in, as can GDS so with their pace they would tear defences apart. Bentley can drift out to the right and pop in crosses and Zokora just sits there in front of the back 4.

    All these players have the ability to take it to opponents when we have possession. So without moaning about missed transfers and players we don't have anymore, sod the ones who wanted to leave (Keano you'll always be a legend to me and I wish we had not sold Defoe! What was wrong with leaving it as a loan? Shame), We have to get on with the season as it is and pray to any of the fickle Gods of Football listening.
  11. gloryglory
    Anyone else not seen any evidence that Pavlyuchenko will cut it? Anyone else believe in Bent?
  12. Paxtonite
    it would help if we didn't therefore play long balls for them to chase. the forward has to hold the ball up i agree and Pav can certainly do that far better than bent, however our team play in getting the ball to him is beyond poor.
  13. Paxtonite
    thats not stereotypical at all is it ?? Zokora has imense stamina and is the only player bar lennon that has shown bursts of pace and movement.
  14. Gilzean's Hairdresser
    A view from a newbie...

    Well, at least a newbie on this forum. But I have been watching Tottenham since long before the last time were this bad (the mid 70s vintage looked similarly aimless and directionless - and I'm sure nobody needs reminding what happened to them....)
    So, for what it's worth, here's my two pennorth. Beginning from a starting point of reality - in other words, the here and now, not the 'what might have beens' of a different outcome over the summer transfer window - my thoughts, in no particular order are:
    1) At least try to find some semblance of a settled, first choice 11 and give them a chance to gel. All the constant chopping and changing smacks of a lack of confidence, and this has clearly been transmitted to the players, and now the fans (hence the chant when Big Pav gave way to Bent yesterday.)
    2) Following on from above, more specifically decide on who, when fit, constitute the first choice back four. For instance, can anyone see the logic of picking Corluka at centre back last week v Wigan (where I thought he looked quite assured) over Dawson, then bringing in Dawson yesterday and shifting Corluka back out right? It looks like tinkering for tinkering's sake - I know tactics and team selection are not always as straightforward as we 'mere fans' sometimes think, but for fuck's sake how hard can it be??? At least Jol, while no rocket scientist admittedly, brought a kind of logic to the things he did, which in turn bore some sense of continuity and stability.
    3) Give Lennon - the only creative player who's looked half way decent this season, and the only one who has actually improved his performance AND his attitude - a run of games.
    4) I seem to recall that one of the reasons why preening, over priced pretty boy Bentley left Arse was because he fancied himself in the Bergkamp role, but that he never got a fair chance (ahhh, diddums) because it was occupied by....er...Bergkamp. So, why not put our (ridiculously over inflated at £17 million) money where our mouth is and be the club to give him that chance? We DESPERATELY need someone playing closer to Pav than anyone has been able to get in the last few games. That person cannot be Bent who is, at best, an ALTERNATIVE to Pav, not a partner for him. In the absence of anyone else over 5'6''/9 stone to be the second striker (which, having had enough of naming it after one of my least favourite players of all time, I will change from calling it the Bergkamp role to the Robbie role) why not see if Bentley is even half as good as he seems to think he is - and as he really should be, for the ridiculous amount of money we stumped up for him.
    5) Last but not least (for now), I'll eschew the obvious (ie make sure that clown Gilberto gets nowhere near the first team ever again) and go for something far more controversial: make sure that honest-as-they-come-but-so-slow-it's-ridiculous-fans'-favourite Jamie O'Hara gets nowhere near the first team either. To the buffoons who sing his name, just because he puts his foot in and runs around a bit (although when I say run did anyone see him allowing Pompey players to go past him at jogging pace all day yesterday?) I have the following message: is this really what it's come to? A deeply limited player - who happens to look like half the crowd, and not one of those suspicious looking 'exotic hairband types', and so apparently can do no wrong in the eyes of some people - puts the occasional bit of huff and puff in AND BECOMES A CROWD HERO??? We are talking about Tottenham Fucking Hotspur here, not Rochdale or Bury. He's not good enough, he never will be good enough, his position in the club was just about right when Ramos arrived (out on loan in a lower division - and not getting a game!) and personally speaking, I think that the sooner Ramos starts to concentrate on getting the best out of the real class acts (eg Modric) and stops his odd fixation with someone who looks like a competition winner who's ended up in the Premier League, the sooner we will have a chance of getting back to playing the way we should be playing....
    Ah, glad to have got that off my chest....
    PS - I assume you've all noticed that MJ's Hamburg won again yesterday, and are still top of the Bundesliga? I wonder what the German is for Schadenfreude.....?
  15. Revan
    Lets all put tactics t one side for a moment and take up the really issue, who should go? Ramos, Comilli or both?

    Ramos since the CC final has won three games out of 18 and lost 8. Is that good enough? Comolli has screwed up every transfer window he has been in charge of. Paying for over priced players and not replacing quality ones. Neither should be safe but why have us fans never called for there heads?

    Ramos people might wanna give more time to but why arent we cahnting for Comolli's sacking?
  16. Paxtonite
    Newbie welcome! Excellent post and totally agree.

  17. Lucky22
    I have to say that was a superb analysis and spot on. One of biggest problems for many seasons has been the midfield and, by that, I mean a lynchpin in the middle of the park to hold the whole team together. As much as I like Jenas and feel, at times, he takes a lot of undeserved flak, he is not the answer. For me, Modric is, but only if the midfield includes some of flair players, such as Lennon or Dos Santos. Yesterday, with the two workhorses of Zokora and O'Hara beside him, Jenas should have been busting a gut to get forward at every opportunity - sadly it didn't happen and that is where the system (among other things) fell down.
    We need a consistent spine and I feel that with Gomes, Woody and now Pav are the central characters - but we still need the lynchpin. Every successful side in the world has a key figure in their engine room, and that is what we are lacking. Yes, Modric has been injured, but then you have to build a system that covers that. Jenas had his chance again and he has let us down. Saying that, Ramos playing Gilberto on the left and moving Corluka to right back didn't help matters.

    Finally, two things. The points about O'Hara being poor and always going backwards instead of forwards are a bit short sighted. We need confidence and at least he is allowing us to keep possession. The fact that the passes go backwards say more for those in front of him, than his actual ability. At least he is showing passion and fight for the cause and, when he does pass backwards, he's always moving to get the ball back.
    Lastly, Pav is a hard worker who is getting into some great positions. A little support yesterday and he'd have had his name on the scoresheet for certain. A lot of you fired the same accusations at Berbatov when he arrived - remember it took him until Christmas to start firing. At least Pav is working his arse off in a thankless task - I couldn't see Berbatov doing the same. Another difference is, Pav has scored this season - Berbatov (or Keane for that matter) hasn't.
  18. richardh
    we simply cant play 4-5-1 end of story.
  19. StokeSpur
    I think that Ramos got one player he wanted this summer, Modric. I think Ramos wanted to build a team around this player but he had to use what was got for him and we are now seeing the end result from this mental way we do things.

    I think he's been fkd over, in a way, by a greedy Levy. I think Levy has not learnt as much as he should have by now and he should take a good long look at how he does things, that said, i do believe that he believes he's doing the best he can for Spurs and i dont think there are many better chairmen out there than Levy, he just needs to learn quicker and stop making repete mistakes.

    We were too quick to sell seasoned premiership players too imo. When you have a manager of Ramos's capability, surely it makes sense to buy who he wants and sod the DOF role, let Ramos build his team and let Comolli scout and buy young players who have enough about them to come and learn Ramos's systems instead of throwing them to the lions straight away, all were doing is shattering their confidence, we seem to buy good young talent and destroy it. When they come to us its because they are a star at the club their at, they are high on confidence because their doing so well, then they come and doubt gets put in their mind, 'well maybe i'm not so good after all', 'maybe this level is too much for me'.

    We need a first 11 of quality & experience who the kids can watch and learn from, enjoy their time with us and get some time on the pitch via the bench now and again and improve as players. We should have this in place by now the amount of time and money the club has had but we always seem to go one step forward and two backwards.

    All i want is for Ramos to get a team in his mind that he thinks is the best team and play it all the fkn time, i like the 451/433 system and agree with a lot of your well thought out points Rob, its the best formation for our players atm but certain things have to happen.
    Hutton needs to get fit so that Corluka can partner Woody when King has to rest then play Hutton, Woody, Corluka, Bale accross the back four all the time, use King as cover for injury (and ekotto for Bale).

    Also like you i am becoming a big fan of Pav, his work rate reminds me of Kuyt (who dosnt half put a shift in every game btw), like you say, his trouble is being marked out of games but here is another area where i feel we let ourselves down because our midfield never seem to 'be there' on time to gather any 2nd ball, fine, get it up to Pav but ffs get there for the knock down. One of us, and in a mid of JJ, Zok and O'Hara who you sugest, it would have to be JJ who is following the long ball up the pitch and expecting Pav to win it. Here lies the problem, Zok and O'Hara sit too deep for this role and JJ often comes back too far to be the one who anticipates Pavs knock down or lay off.

    Its because of our confidence that we sit so deep, we do not move forward as a unit when we have the ball, many time its moved to the wing and insted of it going forward its passed sideways or backwards.
    One thing is for sure, Ramos has got to start doing something and doing it quickly because the longer we're down there the harder the games will be, you can always see fight in the relegation battling clubs teams but sadly, none in ours.

    Make Woody captain.
    Pick the same 11 for more than a game.
    play to our strengths and not others weaknesses (for now)
  20. ChrisW
    I'm a newbie myself and I figured I'd have my say.

    Unless you have seriously top class forward players 4-5-1 doesn't work in the premiership, the defenders end up getting jumpy, humping the ball forward from inside your own half and the lone striker gets "fairly challenged (or kicked in real terms) and loses the ball.

    4-4-2 seems to be the only formation english league players really understand.

    Also if you can't play Bent and Pav together, how's about putting GDS in the hole? Just a thought, his running is bound to scare defenders and I feel he's best placed to fill the Robbie Keane sized hole in the team. I think Bentley will eventually get his eye in a prove his worth out on the right wing and is best left there to settle.


    Never ever play Assou-Ekkoto again!

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