There was a moment during Arsenal’s visit to White Hart Lane on Wednesday night that highlighted just what a quality player Sandro is.
The Brazilian midfielder, usually accustomed to seeing out Tottenham’s defensive duties bust a lung to pick up a stray pass, knock it forward and smash a dangerous shot in the direction of Arsenal’s goalmouth.
The Gunner’s keeper Wojciech Szczesny may somehow have managed to smother it, but that moment served to underline something a lot of Spurs fans already believed – that this young lad can aid a Tottenham attack, as well as break-up opposition play.
He’s clearly a wonderful young player, who shows no fear in the big games – if this game and his performances against the two Italian giants are any testimony. The trouble Harry Redknapp has, is finding a space for him in an already congested midfield. At the moment Sandro seems to be favoured above the likes of Tom Huddlestone in games against opposition sides that are known for their ‘physicality’, or tough tackling, whilst Thudd is favoured in most home games.
I realise that Harry Redknapp wants his side to play attacking football, and thus the selection of Tom Huddlestone in the midfield seems like a positive thing, but I can’t help but feel as though Sandro would be a better choice. Apart from his goal against Arsenal, I thought Thudd’s performance was a little poor – his passing game was way off and he didn’t look as mobile as he usually does. Can you imagine Arsenal finding the space to create three goals had Sandro been on the pitch from the beginning of the game? It’s little coincidence, I think that Arsenal’s creative juices ceased to flow soon after Sandro’s introduction.
Of course, Tom Huddlestone’s been out injured for quite some time, so perhaps we shouldn’t expect so much from him so soon. It’s good to see that even when he’s not playing particularly well, he’s still capable of a rare sublime moment.
It’s possible for Tottenham to accommodate both players in a 4-5-1. Play Peter Crouch as the loan striker and have Thudd and Sandro sit a little deeper in the midfield, whilst granting Rafael van der Vaart, Luka Modric and Gareth Bale more freedom to get forward. That’s a fearsome looking midfield by any means. If Tottenham can bring in a decent striker next season and keep hold of their best players, they’re going to be a real force.
Tottenham’s midfield dilemma is one of those ‘good problems’ – they have a batch of quality footballers and not enough slots in the centre of the park to play them all. Sandro has rarely put a foot wrong since he’s entered into this Tottenham side and it’s clear that he’s still improving and adding to his game on a weekly basis.
He’s got drive and energy, likes to join the attack and can still fulfil his defensive duties. He consistently delivers and it’s for this reason that if I had to choose between Sandro and Thudd, I’d go for the Brazilian every time.
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