Hold Up Play
Villas-Boas looks set to run with the 4-X-X-1 formation,
leaving the front man to lead the line on his own. Neither Defoe or Soldado are
blessed with great physicality (if there is a route back to the starting XI for
Emmanuel Adebayor, this is it) but that does not mean either are unsuited to
being the only striker.
Of course, people will point out that Jermain loves to play
alongside a big man, and that is obviously true, but if he is surrounded by
players who can slip balls into his path on goal then he will score. However,
when the ball is cleared upfield from the keeper or the back line, Defoe can
only offer a token attempt at getting a touch. With Spurs struggling to play
the fluid, high tempo football that can open up teams this season, they can be
pressed back to Hugo Lloris in goal, whose only out ball is a lump up field.
Soldado at least gives a 1 in 5 chance that Spurs might retain the ball high up
As Soldado showed against Norwich and Chelsea, he can be an
effective focal point for the likes of Christian Eriksen and Lewis Holtby to
play a pass into, knowing that the Spaniard will not be brushed off the ball.
They also know they are more likely to get the ball back, which leads to....