As was the case this time last year, major changes are underway at White Hart Lane. 

The hiring of Andre Villas-Boas, last season, signified a large tactical change, moving to a 4-2-3-1 formation after many seasons of the simple and more reactive 4-4-2. 

This led to a very different style of play, with much more focus on possession, frustrating opponents and forcing them to commit more men forward to try and break down the defence which was protected by the two central-midfielders. 

This allowed greater opportunities for the counter-attack, with the pace of Bale and Lennon stunning some of the best defences in the league. 

The best example of this is the flurry of goals against Manchester City at White Hart Lane. 

If you compare this to the tactics under Harry Redknapp, then you will see some vast differences. Tottenham had a responsibility at the back last season which they were sometimes lacking in previous times.

However, this 4-2-3-1 was not AVB's first choice set-up. This was the formation he used out of compromise due to the lack of players available, with Parker injured at the start of the season and Sandro after the christmas period. 

What this season will show, is a shift towards the more continental 4-3-3 formation. The first signs we have had of this are the signings of Lewis Holtby and the proposed addition of Paulinho. 

These central midfielders are both young with a view for the future, but the rumoured fee of £17million for Paulinho would be a key addition to the north London club. 

Tottenham sometimes lacked balance last season, particularly noticeable after the loss of Sandro to injury. Dembele had to play a more defensive role with Parker lacking the stamina and pace required to facilitate the quick counter-attack.

Paulinho is a box-to-box midfielder and Sandro a spoiler, protecting the defence. 

These players would free up Dembele for his driving attacking runs. This formation allows a large change in roles for the central midfielders with greater specialisation in role and more micro management. 

Expect Spurs to take the initiative in games more, whereas last season they played on the counter. Dembele now provides an attacking option up the central channel, whilst the quick wing options of Lennon and Bale allow a more balanced attack rather than a reliance on Bale. 

However, what this formation does mean is a loss of the typical Dempsey and Sigurdsson role. Does this mean they are on the way out? 

Tottenham are yet to sign a striker as-well. So the transition is by no means complete, but expect come the start of the season, Spurs to be setting up as a very different side, tactically.


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#Premier League
#Tottenham Hotspur
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