With Andre Villas-Boas biting the bullet in the week, what is the ideal first-choice team for the White Hart Lane club going forward?
Tottenham are certainly a club in transition at the moment, with Andre Villas-Boas being sacked and the hunt for a new manager well and truly started.
With the playing squad much changed to the contingent that amassed a record points total last season, the first-choice starting XI is yet to be determined.
If everyone was fit and available, this is the starting XI that I contend should take to the White Hart Lane pitch in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
GK – Hugo Lloris
LB – Benoit Assou-Ekotto
RB – Kyle Walker
CB – Jan Vertonghen
CB – Vlad Chiriches
DM – Sandro
DM – Paulinho
LM – Andros Townsend
RM – Aaron Lennon
AM – Christian Eriksen
ST – Emmanuel Adebayor
There has been plenty of calls for a 4-4-2 system at Tottenham, and there is certainly a case to suggest that two strikers should be adopted. The only problem is that is nullifies an attacking midfielder like Christian Eriksen, who has the potential and ability to be a real star for the club.
At the back, Benoit Assou-Ekotto is the best left-back on Tottenham’s books at the moment; whether he has a long-term future at the club remains to be seen, but the Cameroon international is a better option than Danny Rose or Kyle Naughton.
Michael Dawson may well be club captain, but his one-dimensional approach, lack of pace and positional naivety have been the source of plenty of the goals Spurs have conceded this season.
Although the England international plays with his heart on his sleeve, Vlad Chiriches is a better option alongside Jan Vertonghen.
Despite the ability on the ball of Mousa Dembele, a partnership of the more-defensively minded Sandro and countryman Paulinho offer a more-rounded pairing in the centre of the park.
Aaron Lennon has nailed down a spot on the right-hand side, while Andros Townsend can do likewise on the other flank if given a chance. Playing him on the right was a mistake, and having the left-footed player on his natural side could offer Spurs great width and two gifted wingers.
In attack, with Roberto Soldado still adjusting to life in England, Emmanuel Adebayor looks like a more threatening option as the lone striker. Although he can blow hot and cold, the Togolese forward is tried and tested in the Premier League and has looked relatively sharp when given a chance this term.
Where do Spurs need to strengthen?
With the January transfer market just around the corner, Tottenham may well look to add new faces to their squad.
The priority needs to be a left-back. If one of sufficient quality cannot be found, Assou-Ekotto’s return to White Hart Lane is a short-term fix.
Apart from that, Spurs have quality throughout their squad, and just need to get the blend, tactics and personnel right to salvage their season.
image: © Shiraz Chakera