Observations on Tottenham’s 3-3 draw with West Brom

Tim Sherwood Press Conference 12/02/2014

Tim Sherwood’s men found themselves three goals down, but fought back to get a draw at The Hawthorns.

Tottenham’s slim chances of finishing in the top four have all-but dissipated after a 3-3 draw away to West Brom on Saturday.

Although the manner of the side’s fight back from three goals down must be commended, the game was a reflection of the club’s season as a whole, with some key changes needing to be made for the North Londoners to challenge next season.

Here are five key observations on Tim Sherwood’s men that need to be taken into consideration.

Another slow start

West Brom scored their quickest-ever Premier League goal yesterday, with the ball bundled into the Spurs goal before the clock had even hit 30 seconds. A couple of minutes later a second followed and the visitors were three down by the half-hour mark.

With early goals leading to capitulation away to Manchester City and Liverpool this season and the side also conceding early at home to Arsenal, a change in mentality is needed.

This surely must be something to do with preparation and mindset, but no team is going to excel if they have an immediate deficit to overcome.

Defensive chaos

Tottenham’s first-half defending against West Brom was simply diabolical; a complete nightmare. All four defenders were guilty of terrible positional play, being beaten to easily and panicking.

At the heart of the defence, Vlad Chiriches was rightly replaced at half-time after a despicable display - almost as bad as his showing at White Hart Lane against the same opposition. Sherwood should not select him again this season.

Younes Kaboul is a magnet for mistakes, is clumsy and his positioning for West Brom’s third was completely comical.

Both full-backs have more inclination to get forward than defend and are not good enough to play in a team with top-four ambitions.

With Kyle Walker and Jan Vertonghen to return, Spurs MUST buy a centre-half and left-back of quality this summer for fortunes to change.

Adebayor’s malaise

Emmanuel Adebayor has been inspired since his return to the Tottenham first team under Sherwood and has proven that on his day he can be one of the best strikers in the division.

Yesterday, however, the Togolese attacker did not look interested in the slightest and played without care. His penalty miss evaporated any motivation the African had for the game and he was largely anonymous afterwards.

The threat that Adebayor has proven himself once more and will now go back into his shell is a very real one for the Spurs faithful unfortunately.

Eriksen’s brilliance – play him centrally!

Christian Eriksen is really starting to find his feet at the club and now looks like an inspired summer signing. The Dane’s ability on the ball and vision are a pleasure to behold and he will become a key man for the side next season.

However, playing him from the left in a 4-4-2 formation does not work against top opposition and as such Spurs must change to accommodate their most-gifted player.

Having Eriksen playing centrally is a must, with a case building that Andre Villas-Boas’ 4-2-3-1 could get the best out of the mercurial Scandinavian in the number ten role.

Nacer Chadli is not a central midfielder

The jury is still out on Nacer Chadli, who has shown fleeting glimpses of his technique and ability but has not really found a position to call his own.

The Belgium international has been used on both flanks, in the number ten role and yesterday as a central midfielder.

His showing against West Brom shows that he does not have the style of play for the boiler room – despite his physique. Moving him further forward is most likely the best plan of action.

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