Article by Rory Thompson – Follow @rory4spurs
Despite all the negatives surrounding the lack of transfers or the delay in the stadium being ready, it seems a good time to focus on something we can all get behind, the team. We have (so far) managed to keep the first team squad intact and there is some good strength in depth.
In my opinion, the best formation that we can play is 3-4-2-1 with Toby, Jan and Davison as the back three. However, Mauricio Pochettino seems to be sticking with the 4-2-3-1 and as he knows a lot more than I do about football, I thought I’d line up the squad using his most used formation.
There are some contentious issues such as Davies or Rose at LB, Toby or Sanchez at CB, Lucas or Son at attacking midfield. However, based on form, previous selections and Son being at the Asian Games potentially until the 1st of September, this could be the first team for important games. When Son returns from the Asian Games, it could be fantastic to see the pace of Son and Lucas on both wings. When playing more defensive teams, Eriksen could move back into a central midfield role, where he can have an extra few seconds before making a pass. Although this would only be doable if he has Dembele, Wanyama or Dier next to him making the defensive tackles/interceptions. However, the most pleasing element is the strength in depth that is in the ‘second’ team.
Obviously, Toby is too good for the second team but until his contract situation is sorted, he will most likely be on the bench as a ‘back up’ CB. The rest of the team is strong and the only weak area is upfront with Llorente. Therefore, the board could justify that they didn’t make any signings in the summer window. There are also other players such as Kyle Walker Peters, Luke Amos, Josh Onomah, Paulo Gazzinga, Cameron Carter Vickers and Anthony Georgiou. Although it is likely that some of these will be loaned out before the end of the window.
Pochettino has stated that he is happy to let go of players who are not committed to following his plans. It is likely that Janssen will leave as he was not given a squad number. N’Koudou is also strongly rumoured to leave on loan and when looking at his competition for the left wing, it is not surprising to see him leave in order to get first team football. It would be fantastic if he would succeed at Tottenham but unfortunately, he has not shown the required quality needed when looking to push for a league title. Pochettino could also be allowing some youth players to gain some first team experience.
However worryingly it could be Toby, Rose or Dembele. Losing any of these players would significantly worsen our squad and our starting eleven. Rumours about Rose leaving seem to surface with a new club every couple of days but losing him would be a significant loss, especially with Mauricio looking to battle on more than 1 front. Levy will surely want Toby to leave this season (for financial reasons) but hopefully Pochettino will veto this and maybe even get him to sign a new deal. He is one of the best centre backs in Europe and we should be pulling out all the stops to keep him. Also losing him without the chance to buy any one else leaves us very light at centre back, especially if Jan or Davison get an injury. Positively, he still seems to care about the club and does this publicly on social media. So maybe not all hope is lost. Losing Dembele would be awful as he is incredibly strong and calm on the ball and has a fantastic ability to glide past players with ease. Which is something that no other player in our midfield can do with such aplomb.
The high pressing game that Spurs play will require rotation wherever possible. Losing either full backs would be foolish and for the past two years Spurs have had a weak end to the season. The hope must be that either youth prospects can impress in the League Cup games, working their way into the first team squad and help fill the void needed or that Spurs reinvest in January. Hopefully by then we will be in our new ground and pushing for glory and maybe, just maybe, still with a realistic chance of winning some silverware.