With their exploits in the Champions League, a stylish brand of attacking football, and one of the best squads around, the glory glory days seem to be returning to White Hart Lane.
But these good times will be short lived unless Spurs can get some league goals out of their reticent front line.
In Europe, the trio of Defoe, Crouch and Pavlyuchenko have been banging in the goals, with 14 scored in 14 games between them. The picture in the league however is depressingly bleak; just 6 goals in 46 games, with five of them being bagged by Pavlyuchenko. So what can be done to reverse this dreadful form: new signings, a change of tactics or something completely different?
Robbie Keane is clearly no longer wanted by Redknapp and Spurs’ friendly neighbours West Ham look likely to take the Irishman of ‘Arry’s ‘ands. So if we take Keane’s departure/irrelevance as read, what can Tottenham do to bring league goals to the forward line?
1. Bite the bullet, pay full price and get Andy Carroll
Newcastle say Carroll’s not for sale, but as we all know, if the money’s good enough, the player’s for sale. The battering-ram Newcastle number 9 may be as much of a handful off the pitch as he is on it, but his all-round forward play can be devastating, and with Van der Vaart, Bale and Modric feeding the crosses and passes, he’d surely provide that much-needed spearhead to Spurs’ blunted attack.
For Spurs to move up to the next level, they need a talisman like Carroll and the massive fee should be viewed in terms of the potential success the big striker could bring to the club. To help fund the move, offer Crouch in part-exchange or offload him to Everton or Sunderland.
2. Return to 4-4-2
Harry Redknapp’s tactical know-how is often derided as rudimentary at best, but his retention of 4-4-2 system for the most part of last season served Tottenham well and provided a more balanced team than the midfield heavy side of 2011.
It’s hardly revolutionary, but by returning to 4-4-2, Redknapp would provide opposition defenders with a more potent double threat of the Crouch, the handful, and Defoe, the pacy finisher, who scored 28 league goals between them last season. This would pose Redknapp with a problem though, because one of Modric or Van der Vaart would have to make way for the second striker.
Bale and Lennon are assured of their places on the wings and a more defensive-minded player like Huddlestone, when he’s back, or Palacios would be needed in front of the back four. But with Bale potentially out for a while with a back problem, bringing VDV to the left wing, with a licence to roam could be a short-term solution to boost the form of the strikers.
3. Drop them all and let the midfield do their stuff
The bountiful quality in Spurs’ midfield is there for all to see: Van der Vaart, Modric, Bale, Lennon, Kranjcar, Pienaar, Huddlestone, Palacios, O’Hara, erm…Jenas, Sandro and up-and-comer Jake Livermore.
So instead of persisting with the duds up front, let the creative lads have a bash and change to an innovative and seemingly inevitable 4-6-0 formation! Stick with one holding player, Huddlestone, and leave Bale, VDV, Kranjcar, Modric and Lennon tearing it up on the attack.
The opposition centre-backs wouldn’t know what to do, who to mark or how to cope, and the new formation would blow the mind of pundits, fired or otherwise, everywhere. Then Spurs could sell all their strikers, and if ‘Arry has his way, just buy them back again in a season or two.
Thinking the same? Disgusted by my ignorance? Got ideas of your own?
Let me know, follow me on Twitter: @stuartcfootball
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