Saturday, January 27, 2007

Much missed Jenas returns

With two assists and a great all round performance I'm sure it'll be Aaron Lennon who will grab tomorrow's headlines. However, mention must be given to Jermaine Jenas' return. Our England international made his first appearance since getting injured at the Immigrants Stadium in early December.

JJ played the full 90 minutes this afternoon, scoring our second goal and pulling the strings in the centre of the pitch throughout. What was probably most pleasing was his energy and constant running. Although he's known as a 'box to box' player with a great 'engine', he surprised many by his sharpness and high fitness level in just his first match in eight weeks. Other than showing off his stamina he also passed the ball pretty well - something that I think he is notoriously inconsistent at.

So was the absence of Jenas to blame for our recent run of poor results? I've heard four reasons regularly put forward by Spurs fans. The absence of JJ, the absence of Ledley, Robbo's poor form, and suspect tactical decisions from Jol. Personally I think BMJ is an excellent manager and any recent problems are more the result of a combination of the first three factors. With Ledley hopefully edging closer to a return (although unfortunately not in time for Wednesday night`s trip down the Seven Sisters Road) and JJ now back, things are looking up.

So what does this mean for our starting eleven? With our continued lack of a proper left sided midfielder I think we need to continue to rely on Aaron and Steed as our first choice wide players. But in the middle it's a bit more interesting. At Jol's disposal are JJ, Zokora, Huddlestone, Murphy, and Tainio (when fit). I've ignored Davids as I'm assuming he's going to head back to Ajax before the transfer window closes next week.

In my opinion the biggest failing of every one of those central midfielders is their inconsistency. Maybe squad rotation is the answer as none of them seem to be able produce decent performances on a consecutive basis.

But if I had to choose two? I think I'd opt for JJ and Huddlestone. With JJ's strong running and goals, and Tommy's clever distribution and tackling, they have the potential to form an awesome central midfield pairing. Sure we see a few flashes of brilliance from Zokora but I just don't think he's really settled in the Premiership yet. If I was in charge, I'd give the other two an extended run in the side and see how they get on together.

And as for Murphy and Tainio - nothing more than good squad players in my opinion. I don't think there's any great need to offload them before the end of the month, but depending on who comes in this summer could herald the end of their Spurs careers.

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