Tottenham have hit new lows this year, and with Carrick sold and Lennon and Berbatov out injured, the squad is being slowly found out as not being of any real quality.
To be fair to the Spurs, the slump is unfortunate – Tottenham have played away at Old Trafford, Anfield and Reebok this season, and all three fixtures were expected losses for them. Considering that they are having trouble finding the net this season (Tottenham have not scored in 5 games out of 7), playing away to these sides wasn’t ideal.
After last season’s high and the pre-season hooplah, Tottenham fans will be understandably distraught at their team’s current table position (they lie 4th at the wrong end of the table). The knee-jerk reaction is to blame the manager, and I feel that Jol’s tinkering nature (in the mould of one Claudio Ranieri) may lend some credence to the idea that the manager is responsible for their problems.
However, you can’t just blame Jol and absolve everyone else from blame. Right now, Tottenham have an excellent defensive lineup – Chimbonda, King, Dawson, Assou-Ekkoto – and with Robinson in goal this side should be the 5th best defensive side in the Premiership. Jol (with King and Robinson) needs to settle the defence down quickly – Riise should never have been given the space to take that shot (even if it was the 90th minute and the game was lost).
The left-side remains a problem, but playing Tainio / Murphy there is not a bad idea, especially if you have A-E overlapping and providing crosses. It’s a makeshift solution, but something has to be done. The other possibility would be to play Robbie Keane there, with Defoe/Mido/Berbatov taking the striking roles.
Seeing Berbatov play reminds me of a more elegant version of Ruud van Nistelrooy, and it makes me wonder if the current Tottenham squad wouldn’t be better playing a 4-5-1, like this:
The service Berba would get out of this lineup would be amazing, and it will allow Tottenham excellent defensive cover as well in away games. A plan B then? Surely that’s more than Jol seems to have right now.