Who Should Start For Tottenham Against Reading Next Weekend?

The first few weeks of Andre Villas-Boas’s start as Tottenham Hotspur manager has been underwhelming to say the least, particularly in the results column. Small pockets of supporters at White Hart Lane booed the manager at the half-time and full-time whistle of the recent 1-1 draw against Norwich. But fortunately for Villas-Boas, he has a match this weekend away from White Hart Lane and against an opponent that the Lilywhites should beat. When your team is under pressure, there’s nothing better than being able to go away from home and play your game without your supporters on your back.

The criticism that Villas-Boas has received is a combination of letting in late goals and a selection policy that has some Tottenham supporters scratching their head. Not starting Dembele against Norwich? Playing with two holding midfielders at home? The list goes on and on.

Villas-Boas has an abundance of riches. He has two world-class goalkeepers to choose from (Brad Friedel and Hugo Lloris). Should he start Clint Dempsey? If so, should he play him as an attacking midfielder or striker? How does he choose from Adebayor and Defoe up front? Where should Sigurdsson fit in? Should Bale continue to play in a more forward role, or should be be placed back on the left wing?

Against Reading this Sunday, who should Andre Villas-Boas start? Post your recommendations in the comments section below.

After all, who is best poised to know who should start a match for Spurs? Is it a manager who has been in charge for 68 days, or the average Tottenham Hotspur who may have supported the club for 10, 20, 30 or more years?

If you have a strong opinion about what Tottenham Hotspur’s starting line-up should be for this Sunday’s match against Reading, play the free Beat The Manager prediction game where you get a chance to win an Apple iPad 3 simply for (1) predicting your preferred starting line-up, (2) predicting who you think AVB will select to start, and (3) what the final score will be. Register today at epltalk.com/beat-the-manager-introduction  Or, if you’ve already registered, play Beat The Manager now.

50 thoughts on “Who Should Start For Tottenham Against Reading Next Weekend?”

  1. Lloris; Walker; Caulker; Vertonghen; Ekotto; Sandro; Dembele; Siggurdson; Dempsey; Bale; Adebayor

    Spurs lost Modric, he made everything tick for them. AVB had no choice but to play Livermore, his options were next to none – Dembele had signed a few days before.

    1. I like that selection, one change would be at left back, Kyle naughton instead of Benny a liability, he will give away a penalty or free kick that leads to a goal.

      Dempsey on the right or siggy.

      I hope reading are rusty, they were unlucky to not get 3 points at Stamford Bridge, one can only think they will be up for a scalp..

      I think we win 2-0 if we start that squad you listed

    2. Got to be (4-3-3):


      Walker – Dawson – Vertonghen – Ekotto

      Sigurdsson – Sandro – Dembele

      Dempsey – Adebayor – Bale

      Bench: Lloris – Gallas – Caulker – Naughton – Livermore – Lennon – Defoe

  2. friedel

    walker gallas vertoghen assou

    dembele sandro

    lennon dempsey bale


    but then again i am very bias since i am american…

  3. Gomes, Walker, Gallas, Vertonghen, BEO, Sandro, Huddlestone, Dumbele, Dempsey, Bale, Adebayour.
    Subs Lloris, Caulker, Livermore, Sigurdson, Lennon & Defoe

      1. The last time we won a place in the Champions League, Gomes played all season and saved us on numerous occasions. He was good enough then and is good enough now….just needs to be given a fair chance. Our goalkeeping coach is obviously a big fan of Brad. Gomes has got a reputation for making errors just like David James did but that doesn’t make them bad goalkeepers.

        1. “Gomes has got a reputation for making errors just like David James did but that doesn’t make them bad goalkeepers.”

          What does it make them then? First-choice keepers? You need to go back and watch some of the games from the 2010-2011 season, before we signed Friedel (and now Lloris), and tell me again with a straight face that you think Gomes should come anywhere close to our first XI.

          Yes Gomes has made some spectacular stops in his time, but he is also prone to loosing his head and committing an absolute howler every time he is in goal.

  4. LLoris (got to happen sometime, why not sooner than later besides he can help move the line up)

    Walker Caulker Vertoghen BAE

    Dembele Sandro

    Dempsey Defoe Bale (if anyone here goes invisible, sub on Siggy)


    All this aside, AVB sees the training matches, fitness reports, practice shots and drills the normal fans are not privy to. He should be in a better position to decide and plan strategies for opposition teams. personally I do feel that he needs to have a holding mid and an attacking mid like Sandro / Dempsey to stop opposition and recycle the ball forward.

  5. Totally agree – Bennie has been a liability. Vertonghen is an excellent left back, plays there for Belgium….. Maybe AVB could employ him there when Kaboul is back.

    There’s another issue of finding the best playing position and/or approach for Bale so we derive maximum utility from his strong points

  6. They key will be the formation, I hope it is…


    ————————–“The Sig”——————–

    “The Sig’s” ball distro is way underrated I think, he could unlock a congested midfield, releasing Dembale through the middle or Bale or Dempsey..

      1. I think they will be interchanged for the next season until parker is sold in the summer.

        If it wasn’t forth injuries I would have suggested Kabul and Caulker with Benny replaced by Vert.

  7. Yes Gomes is the only goalie we have who is prepared to come and claim crosses. Brad has done well shot stopping wise but is a liabilty defending corners and free kicks as he is super-glued to his line. Gomes has made the odd clanger but has more than made up for it with wonder saves.

    1. I agree brad is not good from set pieces (it’s why i call him brad freezal) and its set pieces that have cost us in 2 games now. But Lloris is 5 times the keeper Gomes is. Gomes has to many howler moments for me. Depth at goalkeeper is

      1) Lloris
      2) Freezal
      3) Cuddicini

    2. Gomes is a joke big style loan him out ASAP or let him transfer out for nothing he has cost us so many points to date please no more Gomes!!

  8. For me it’s:


    Walker, caulker, vertonghen, Benoit AE
    Sandro. Dembele
    Lennon Dempsey. Bale

    friedel is unlucky, he is 41, plenty of games this season. If Lloris does start, I’m sure that’ll mean friedel will play all Europa league games, or something of the sort. Not too sure why not many people have chosen Lennon to start. I think he was brighter than Bale against Norwich, brightest player until dembele came on. Would love to see siggurdson, dembele and Dempsey in the sae starting 11. Can’t see it working nor happening at all this season. Unless injuries pkwy a part.

  9. I watch all Spurs games at least 3 times in a week 2 of those on demand using http://www.foxsoccer2go.com (coaching badges and studying the game)

    If you watch them again after the initial emotional viewing experience and take the time to examine whats going on, it will become clear the Benoit Assou Éliability and Lennon’s lack of vision, Livermore’s “nightmare after passing” and that Bale needs the service if he stays out wide, if he is allowed to drift in and find the ball then he is fine, but needs to not take so many shots outside the 18 and should put people through more.

    1. Allegedly October, butI wouldn’t be so sure, it depends on the extend obviously but in general Achilles are a b******d to heal, all ligaments are, they get the least amount of nutrients from the body, bones and muscles heal much much faster. for footballers planter and Achilles are a real issues when they go.

  10. The reason I put Lennon on the bench is quite simple. He has no football brain!!….9 times out of 10 he makes the wrong decision (and that’s being generous)….passing when he should shoot and vice versa and not picking out a colleague with his crosses. I agree he had good games against Newcastle & West Brom but he is unreliable, especially away from WHLane. Against Ashley Cole forget it he is scared to take him on, ditto with Evra. Needs to work on his shooting and crossing, especially with his left foot. Scores about once a season.

    1. I agree Lennons football brain often let’s him down. I just think that without him there the team will be unbalanced. Unless spurs are controlling the game, meaning less defensive responsibility for walker, then its not as much of a problem, he can get forward and give them width. I don’t want to see what happened last season whenever VDV played on the right, as soon as we’re under pressure everything is out of order. Also now with three attacking central midfielders, hopefully AVB will play Sandro deep with someone in front of him. Hopefully this can help Lennon, neither him or bale got any help from Sandro and Livermore playing together. I’m all for AVB, hope he does well at spurs. I want to look to the future, but under Harry, spurs were feared for having two lightning quick wingers running at fullbacks. This balance throughout the team is what has kept them in the top five for the last three seasons.

  11. our best team.. Lloris – Walker- Vertongen – Gallas – Ekotto – Dembele – Sandro – Sigurdsson – Dempsey – Bale – Adebayor .. subs lennon – defo -naughton – falque – friedel

    1. nice call on Falque, I expect to see him in the cup competitions this year playing behind the strikers. one of which i hope is obika for the cup comps.

  12. Friedel

    Walker Dawson Vertonghen BAE

    Lennon Bale



    Friedel has earned his place, Spurs are a team in transition and need some continuity from last season.
    Dawson has fallen down the pecking order, despite the fact he was our star defender for our champions league debut and played far more games than the sadly retired Ledley King. He deserves a shot after overcoming injury. Parker will be back, but until then Sandro is getting better and better. Dempsey is a goad machine, but Sigurdsson is one for the future. We spent so much time and effort trying to sign Ade, when he’s fit he has to start.

  13. If you have a strong opinion about what Tottenham Hotspur’s starting line-up should be for this Sunday’s match against Reading, play the free Beat The Manager prediction game where you get a chance to win an Apple iPad 3 simply for (1) predicting your preferred starting line-up, (2) predicting who you think AVB will select to start, and (3) what the final score will be. Register today at http://epltalk.com/beat-the-manager-introduction Or, if you’ve already registered, play Beat The Manager now at http://epltalk.com/btm

    The Gaffer

  14. For me….



  15. Gk- Lloris
    RB – walker
    Cb – Caulker
    Cb – vertonghen
    Lb- BAE


    St – Adebayor
    St – Dempsey

    I know I may get stick or sticking Defoe on the wing but he is quicker than dempsey and also Dempsey is on fire in front of goal at the moment do he should be able to Play up top.

  16. Caulker——-Gallas——-Vert






  17. AJ … you are very confident .. playing without a goalie?
    I think in a way this is seeing who would like to risk seeing our new goalie and who would marval in the longevity of Friedal. Personally I think Friedal saved some beauties against Norwich but has let some in in our earlier matches that Lloris might not have.

  18. Lloris

    Walker – Caulker – Vert – BAE

    Sandro – Dembele

    Dempsey – Sigg – Bale



    It’s a good match to put in the new boys and give them a chance out. Why buy them if you’re not going to use them? Especially since it’s not like the rest of them have been winning.

  19. I love BAE and his work ethic and will to win for Spurs, but I think he has been below par so far and found out of position too many times. I wouldnt be surprised to see Bale to left back, Keep Lennon on the right and bring Dempsey in on the left. Dempsey has the skill to hold the ball up and bring Bale into the game and then get into the box and onto the balls that Bale is wipping into the box. Siggy in middle behind Ade….keep Vertongen in the centre, he’s been strong and his pace has saved Gallas/BAE more than a few times so will be needed to cover Dawson as well…. so I would go with an attacking formation as I believe Spurs more likely to put scores on teams who are at home and less likely to park the bus, as WBA and Norwich did so frustratingly well at WHL….and Spurs clearly lack the precise passing game to break sides down when they defend deep in numbers….how long before a 4-4-2 needs to be considered? AVB must play to the players strengths and that is fast moving,flowing movements on the break, not stop start,slow moving possession passing…..we are Spurs NOT Barcelona…. Anyhow…..

    Lloris (Brad great reflexes but struggling to get off the ground – set pieces and Demba Ba goal)
    Walker,Dawson(need his aerial ability and organisation),Vertongen,Bale
    Ade or Defoe (Ade still looks a yard off the pace to me)

    A win this week is a must! COYS!

  20. I seem to be the only one to have started Defoe again, thing is I would start him, because he is scoring at present. I put Dempsey on the right because, while he doesnt have the speed of Lennon he will cut in and either pass or try to score. Lennon created a great chance last week then bottled it. This all depends on if Ade is fit, however I am seriously beginning to wonder if the second season syndrome is happening with Ade. All the fans that had him playing for them had warned this. Wonder season when getting into the team once in lazy and cant be bothered so he can get himself moved on again and get paid for the gap time? I Hope this isn’t the case but if it is we have four years of what we have seen in the last two matches.


    Walker Caulker Vertoghen BAE

    ———-Dembele Sandro———–

    ——–Dempsey Defoe Bale——


  21. The more angles of attack we have the more opposition teams have to spread out and the more space our strikers have to score in. We have a lot of attacking players seems to me this could be an opportunity to try a real blitzkrieg on some poor team? After all what we have been doing hasn’t been all that great so far, although I am sure when we gel as a team it will improve.

  22. We need to score GOALS to win matches !!!! With players like Lennon, Livermore,Parker and Huddlestone in the side, we always fall short. They just haven’t got the ability to score and although they give 110% effort, must
    only be used in emergencies. My selection for Reading will be :

    Walker / Dawson / Vertongen / B.A.E.
    Dembele / Sandro / Siggy
    Dempsey / Defoe / Bale

    Bench : Friedel / Gallas / Huddlestone / Adebayor / Naughton / Lennon

  23. 4-3-3 formation


    Walker…….. Caulker…..Vertonghen……..BAE




    Lloris over Brad as he will allow us to play a higher line.
    Sandro as the our out & out DM, Dembele as the link & Sig furthest forward in the ‘3’.
    All 3 front players to interchange positions throughout the 90mins.
    Lennon & Defoe to be used as impact subs from now on.

  24. For those making the remarks about BAE being left out, you make a good point. He’s done well getting himself forward and helping the attack, but I could see AVB dropping him in favor of a more defensive set up (perhaps Naughton).
    Reading have shown that they are willing to go forward in the Premier League this season so it could end up being a very open game.

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