Thursday, August 03, 2006

Two's company, three's a crowd... or is it?

Since Keane's recovery from a neck injury earlier this summer, Spurs have now played 4-3-3 in each of their pre-season friendlies to date (excluding the first half against Celta Vigo). This has obviously allowed Jol to keep all three of our key forwards happy. Defoe and Berbatov have both grabbed a load of goals and Keane has continued to look sharp and has been the provider on several occasions.

So far so good, but what happens once the new season really kicks-off? After watching us create a hatful of chances against Stevenage last week I thought we looked great going forward. But this is Stevenage (no disrespect to Boro). I feel it's fine to play such attacking football against the minnows of this world but by the time the real business starts on 19th August, we'll surely need to revert to a more orthodox 4-4-2, allowing us to really challenge in the middle of the park.

Or do we? After beating Inter on Sunday with Keane, Defoe and Berbatov, maybe Jol knows something I don't! I wasn't able to make the match so I'm not sure of what position the three of them played or how they interacted with each other, but assuming they played as a three-man forward line, is this something we can continue within the Premiership?

Well, playing all three would keep them happy obviously, as there would be very little competition for a starting place. But what cover do we have? Other than Barnard virtually none. And what about the impact in the middle of the pitch? The Premiership is a competitive and physical league, so trying to make do with just three guys in the middle may not be the best option. Especially as midfield is the part of the Tottenham game plan regularly labelled as our weakest link.

So by the time the season really gets going will we go back to Jol's traditional preferred approach? In other words one big guy playing with one little guy. And if that's the case, which of Defoe or Keane will miss out? Well from what I've seen so far I think it could be like last season. JD is in a rich goal scoring form right now so would definitely be in my first eleven. But I do believe Robbie is more the complete player, so as soon as Defoe stumbles I see no reason why Keane won't come back in with a run of quality performances that could leave Defoe frustrated again. Will both Keane and Defoe be here on 1st September? Highly likely. Will they both be here on 1st September 2007? That's a tough one to call.

No comments: