After enduring a different start to the 2013/14 season under Portuguese manager Andre Villas-Boas, Tottenham seem to have turned their fortunes around under new boss Tim Sherwood.
While Villas-Boas was in charge, Tottenham mainly used a 4-2-3-1 strategy, which left Soldado isolated up front. Although this formation is gaining popularity within England, probably due to the increasing foreign influence in the Premier League, Soldado struggled to cope as a lone striker and failed to produce his best performances, scoring just 4 goals in their first 15 league games, 3 of which were penalties.
Tim Sherwood, being a more traditional manager, has reverted to a more traditional 4-4-2 formation, giving Soldado a helping hand in the form of Adebayor. Previously demoted to train with the reserves by Villas-Boas and almost forgotten about, he has been a vital part of Tottenham’s turnaround in form, scoring 8 goals and assisting 2 in the league under Sherwood.
Sherwood’s side have shown staggering improvements and their 2-1 win away to Manchester United at Old Trafford was a clear indicator of the leaps and bounds they have taken since their 6-0 and 5-0 losses at Man City and Liverpool respectively. Although Sherwood may not be be the best manager technically, his decision to give youth players such as Nabil Bentaleb and Harry Kane more minutes in the first team has paid off and given his squad, which previously seemed so lacking in quality, some depth. Bentaleb has especially impressed, putting in a sold performance on his Premier League debut, appearing on the 50th minute and anchoring an Tottenham midfield with assurance and flair beyond his years.
4 – Tottenham have scored four goals in a Premier League game for the first time since Boxing Day 2012 (4-0 at Villa). Bonanza.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 12, 2014
Despite the improvement of Tottenham’s attack since the arrival of Sherwood, some credit must be given to the defense, who have only conceded 13 in the last 11 league games. This is clearly an area that still needs improvement and I’m sure a new centre back will be a priority for Tottenham in the summer, but the record is still impressive if you consider the previous 7 games — only 11 goals were conceded. Walker and Rose have done well in getting to the byline and supporting the attack as well as defending solidly, and Chiriches and Dawson have formed a formidable partnership at the back that has recently kept the likes of Luuk De Jong, Rickie Lambert and Wayne Rooney from scoring.
Although there is long way to go in the season, and Adebayor — who has been vital for Tottenham — has a tendency to lose form dramatically after a good run, Sherwood will manage to keep his players focused and continuing to flourish from his traditional methods that are clearly working. At this rate, Tottenham are strong contenders for an UEFA Champions League spot.
For more Spurs news, analysis and opinion, visit the Tottenham team page.
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