Tottenham Hotspur. In August, they were dubbed top four contenders. Perhaps even battling for the title. But things haven't gone their way so far this season, and GMS Academy member Luke Adcock has taken a look at how they can improve.
The main problem with the North London club is the lack of goals. This is emphasised when you see that Manchester City (34) have scored almost four times as many as Spurs (9). They have been subject to some unfortunate circumstances, such as Tim Krul's heroics at White Hart Lane before the international break.
Spurs spent £26 million bringing in Roberto Soldado in the summer. He was prolific in Spain, scoring 81 goals in three seasons, but has had a slow start at Tottenham. Some say this is down to a lack of service, where others say it is a problem to do with getting used to the English game.
In my view, it's a bit of both.
Moving from Spain for a huge transfer fee, expectations will always be high. You've been in red-hot form in La Liga so the fans want to see results fast.
This can add a lot of pressure to you. In a team that is still gelling with the seven high-quality foreign additions, this makes it more difficult. However it's not completely his fault, as there has been a lack of long balls over the top for him to chase as well as crosses flying in from the wings. It's no secret that the Spaniard can finish - he simply needs the chances; when they come, so will the goals.
On to the other issue at hand - they're on the back of two defeats, including a 6-0 loss to Manchester City at the weekend that doesn't need a mention.
Tottenham have, on the whole, been solid at the back. Before the game at the Etihad, they had only let in six goals in their previous 11.
The six they let in against City has damaged their reputation but clean sheets have been a regular feature at the Lane which is still to be commended.
A positive to come out of the match in Manchester was that after going 1-0 down, Spurs looked very threatening.
If they had grabbed a goal it may have changed the complexion and perhaps the outcome of the game. But as with Spurs all season, they couldn't find the net, which is a problem they need to overcome, and fast.
Their priority right now, is to not get overrun by Manchester United. The best possible way to respond to a heavy defeat is to come flying out of the blocks in the next game and grab a dominant win. This will be a huge boost in morale for the Spurs lads and one that is desperately needed.
So, how can they go about improving themselves?
It seems that the manager - André Villas-Boas - has made some tactical errors which is where many fingers are being pointed for Spurs' mistakes.
It seems a tactical switch up is on the cards.
Spurs have been commonly playing in a relatively solid 4-2-3-1 this season. The problem with this is although the defence is incredibly apt, the attack is lacking.
Soldado is a striker who feeds off another striker, rather than being a lone man. Townsend has been in great form this season, and Sigurdsson has impressed on occasion, but Lennon, Lamela, Eriksen and Chadli have yet to make a significant impact. AVB needs to find a way to get his players performing for him on a regular basis and scoring goals - and I think there's one way to do this - a dramatic change in tactics.
So, here I propose a change.
3-5-2. What? No. Surely not?
My ideal line-up is as follows: Lloris, Chiriches, Kaboul, Vertonghen, Lennon, Paulinho, Eriksen, Sandro, Townsend, Adebayor, Soldado
There are sacrifices and controversial decisions in here, but I think anything's worth a shot after the humiliating loss to Manchester City.
One major omission is Kyle Walker, who has been a consistent performer all season, playing confidently and his pace has been crucial at the back. However I think it's time to juggle other systems and see if one works.
The back three has plenty of pace and strength throughout. All three centre-backs are known to be quick on their feet, plus being solid in the air and on the ground. We may be punished if teams play a wide game against us but hopefully, if the defense holds firm, we should be able to see off any potential threat.
The midfield is a 3-2 situation. The three centre midfielders boss the middle of the park with their passing and strength, with Eriksen providing a crucial creative spark in the middle.
Paulinho and Sandro will use their Brazilian strength to bully the opponents (fairly, mind) and dominate the midfield area.
The wingers are full of pace in Townsend and Lennon. In my system they would be the main focus when going forward and emphasis will be put on utilising their pace to open up gaps in the opposition behind.
The winger gets the ball out wide, the other players overload the penalty area, then swing the cross in and get a head/foot/shoulder/knee/shin on it to deflect it goalwards. Another tactic could be threading a long ball over the top, Adebayor heads it down, Soldado acrobatically fires it into the top corner. Sorted.
The front two is a tall and short striker combination. We have missed height in our attacks, with Soldado at 1.79m and Defoe at 1.67m, it's been difficult to dominate games in the air.
Adebayor, towering at 1.90m, will provide the height that is so crucial in the modern game, and be used mainly as a target man to fling the ball to, for him to touch it down and either have a shot or lay it off to Soldado, to do what he does best - scoring goals.
There's my short term action plan for Tottenham Hotspur - I had much more to say but I've taken up enough room as it is...
Look out AVB, I'm coming for that managerial position at White Hart Lane!
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