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Emmanuel Adebayor

Can Emmanuel Adebayor and a Formation Change Reignite Spurs Attack?

Spurs have scored only six open play goals in twelve Premier League matches and while the side has feasted on European opposition in the Europa League something is badly wrong domestically.

Andre Villas-Boas spoke after Sunday’s humiliating defeat against Manchester City about possibly moving to a 4-4-2 formation to suit Emmanuel Adebayor. AVB prefers a 4-2-3-1 formation (which pkays more like a 4-1-4-1 with Paulinho bursting forward) but this setup despite some outstanding buildup play all season has failed to deliver goals.

Should Spurs switch formation a central attacking midfielder will likely be dropped. Following the injury to Christian Eriksen on international duty, Tottenham could use the next few weeks to experiment with a new formation rather than play Lewis Holtby whose game has not acclimated yet to Spurs style or English football, after nine months in the country. Playing Adebayor and either Jermain Defoe or Roberto Soldado as a pair up front will allow Spurs to get back to basics as far as goal scoring and potentially become more direct in the attack.

If AVB would prefer to stay with some form of a 4-5-1 formation, A potential scenario would be to play with a set of three central midfielders (a position where Spurs have bought freely in the past few years) and two wingers. This would give the back four who were so horribly exposed against Manchester City an additional shield. Moussa Dembele or Etienne Capoue can play in this role flanking Sandro and giving Paulinho continued freedom to go forward.

Adebayor is a notoriously temperamental and unreliable character. Building a formation or tactic around him requires a certain degree of good faith and time that AVB perhaps cannot afford following the 6-0 thrashing at the Etihad. Nonetheless, Adebayor is a proven goal scorer whose playing style, when in the mood tends to bring other attacking players into the game.

Reigning Premier League champions Manchester United visit White Hart Lane on Sunday and AVB will need to get his tactics, team selection and formation right if Spurs are to have a shot taking all three points.


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  1. Bucky

    November 27, 2013 at 11:33 am

    This team of players are strangers. The core of the team that was there two years ago is completely gone. You can not turn over entire squad in two years and expect to win the league. It will take the entire year and then some for these players to gel. The Spurs teams of the past five years have not been the most talented (even though they did have some talented players) but they had identity. They played for each other and played hard. They used that togetherness to play and beat teams above them.

    It would be stupid for AVB to go when you are only 4 points off of 2nd place. Given time (another two years) this squad has potential. Looks at the physical make up of the boys that were bought. Big, strong and quick mostly. I mean Chadli is a massive guy that has great quickness and seperation on his first step, but he will take at least a year to adjust to the league.

    So much harder for new players to come into a new team and new league and much harder when the squad you are going into has zero stability.

    Once again it is the expectation from fans and the media that is the problem. Spurs will finish 5th at best.

  2. Bruce Minnick

    November 27, 2013 at 7:59 am

    They need to move Vertonghen back to the middle on the backline. He doesn’t have speed to play on along the sides and is better suited for the central positions. Since his move to the left, their defense has been horrible.

    • Bucky

      November 27, 2013 at 11:23 am

      I agree that Vertonghen doesn tbelong at LB, but up until this match, their problem is not their problem.

  3. Flyvanescence

    November 26, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Yeah 4-4-2 is the answer. Just look at how great Man City have been using it every game!

    Seriously? Tottenham arent creating chances. So lets remove a creative player for another finisher. So now theyll create even fewer chances and have 2 strikers with nothing to do instead of 1.

  4. Balboa77

    November 26, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    If someone is going to get the best out of Adebayor, I really don’t think it is going to be AVB.

  5. Marc L

    November 26, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Department of “How you know things are going badly” – when you are mulling over ways to get Adebayor more involved in your attack.

    Some Spurs fans I know think the problem boils down to “not enough service for Soldado” and his classic poacher’s ways.

    More Ade = more service to Soldado? Not saying you’re wrong here, but that is the thought immediately occurring to me.

    • dck

      November 26, 2013 at 12:29 pm

      HA! You absolutely know things are going badly when you want to build around Adebayor.

      What say you Dust? Has it come to this?

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