Yesterday’s north London derby defeat made it three straight games without a victory for Tottenham; a spell in which they’ve only managed to score once.
In fact, they’ve only netted 37 goals all season in the Premier League, which makes them the 10th lowest scorers. With statistics like that, you do start to question the team selection of a lone striker. Emmanuel Adebayor struggled to get into Andre Villas-Boas’ side but with a new manager came new hope as Tim Sherwood made it very clear who he thought was the main man.
On paper Adebayor is the perfect solo striker with pace, strength, aerial ability and bags of confidence. However, yesterday’s defeat showed how paper and grass are two different things. The team selected, despite the absences of Kyle Walker, Mousa Dembele and Michael Dawson through injury, should have fared better.
Kyle Naughton has had many critics of late but in fairness he put in a great performance yesterday with some very difficult crosses from his natural right back position. Sandro was once again a rock in the midfield however his early booking meant that he was taken off before the final whistle.
Andros Townsend has struggled to get into the side in recent weeks but yesterday proved his worth by making some darting runs from both flanks over the course of the game. Nacer Chadli also put in a good shift although he should have scored one at least two occasions. However, Nabil Bentaleb failed to stand out once again and Christian Eriksen looked a little swamped down by the big physical Arsenal back line.
Tottenham were running the show with the possession, but on many occasions Adebayor was in the right positions yet had no strike partner to off load the ball too. The two highest scoring clubs this season (Liverpool and Manchester City) have flourished with a striker partnership, so why aren’t Spurs following suit?
More strikers equals more goals. It's simple logic but a notion that's non-existent at White Hart Lane.
A change of tactics would allow the electric pace of Aaron Lennon and Townsend, the creativity of Eriksen, the solidity of Sandro and the experimental partnership of Roberto Soldado and Adebayor to all be used. Tottenham aren’t in a crisis but they soon could be as they look set to be knocked out of the Europa League this Thursday and have a visit to Anfield before the end of the month.
Question marks continue to hang over Tim Sherwood’s capabilities and AVB’s summer signings, but fundamentally it’s down to the players to change the fortunes of the north London club.
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