Five things we learned about Tottenham in City defeat

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The north London side were put to the sword at the Etihad Stadium today, losing 6-0 to Manuel Pellegrini’s men.

Tottenham’s season has slid into mediocrity with a nightmare 6-0 defeat to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Despite the dominance of the hosts, what can we take from Tottenham’s performance?

Vertonghen must play centre-half

Michael Dawson and Younes Kaboul looked lost against the constant movement of the City forward line, and lacked accountability, discipline and control.

Consistently caught out of position, Dawson’s place in the starting XI must be in doubt for next weekend’s clash with Manchester United.

Spurs need to find a solution at left-back – and soon. The resumption of Jan Vertonghen at centre-half if needed for the Spurs backline to have a player capable of commanding his defence at the heart of the rearguard.

Time for 4-4-2

The 4-2-3-1 formation is the system of choice for most of the big sides in England and in Europe, but the time has come for Spurs to abandon it.

The lack of goals this season has been down to Roberto Soldado being isolated for the majority of matches, with Paulinho the player most likely to help him.

With Emmanuel Adebayor looking sharp upon his second-half return here, the time to play two in attack has come.

Lloris uncharacteristic with ball at feet

The onslaught was started with a poor clearance by Hugo Lloris, who is usually adept with the ball at his feet, while City’s second goal also came after another ordinary kick upfield by the France international.

Although the Spurs goalkeeper needs to take some accountability for the two goals, there are a number of things that could have been different.

Tottenham’s midfield need to win the first balls, even if clearances are poor, while both full-backs could have offered themselves more for Lloris to look to.

Inverted wingers mean lack of space

Andre Villas-Boas has used players on the opposite wings than their natural foot suggests they should play.

The left-footed Andros Townsend has been on the right, with the right-footed Gylfi Sigurdsson and Aaron Lennon occasionally on the left.

Whoever has played in wide areas tends to cut inside and try to get involved centrally, limiting the space of the number ten and central midfielders.

Spurs must revert to wingers who stay wide, on their natural flanks. This will allow more space to attack in and mean the side will not have to overelaborate with intricate play in built-up areas.

Top four still the goal

Many will say that the defeat to City means the end of Spurs’ title challenge. The truth is that the north London club should not have been considered as potential challengers, as they have struggled to finish in the top four, nevermind towards the top of the table.

Spurs’ objective should be to qualify for the Champions League, a feat that will not be easy, but is still well within the club’s sights.

image: © firepower23

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