Van der Vaart or Defoe?

I do not think that this is such a big deal, and that this a great headache for Redknapp to have. Perhaps it doesn’t even have to be a headache.

I think that it has been established that Spurs can play two systems fluently. A simple 4-4-2 and a more fashionable 4-4-1-1. It is clear that Defoe and Van der Vaart cannot play up front together, and neither can VDV play out wide.

Against Arsenal Spurs looked vulnerable, they could not keep the ball and most of their chances came through Arsenal mistakes. When Sandro came on they looked a lot better on the ball and were able to see the game out.

The solution I think is to adjust to the situation, something I am not sure Redknapp likes to do. He likes a settled side, which certainly has advantages but for a top side it doesn’t hurt to rotate players a bit. There just needs to be the right balance.

With games against the bigger teams, such as Arsenal, Chelsea, both Manchester clubs, or at other clubs like Stoke away from home where they will want the extra man for some extra creativity then play Van der Vaart with Adebayor. At home though, with teams where Spurs should have more quality than their opponents then play with two strikers.

It surely cannot be too hard for the players to adapt to both systems and perhaps play both systems within a week.  It should also help with fitness levels, keeping both players fit for when they are needed. This holds true for the rest of the squad too. Playing Sandro and Parker together will be better when Spurs need to be more defensive, but equally one will be able to replace the other if one needs resting. Likewise Modric is capable at playing on the wings, as he did against Arsenal giving Lennon a rest, and providing another option. Lennon is better placed in a four-man midfield that suited Spurs throughout their European exploits last season, with two out and out wingers running at defences.

Redknapp needs to best learn how to exploit all the players that are available to him, so he does not alienate those who do not play as much as others. The likes of dos Santos, Pavlyuchenko, Kranjcar and Pienaar are all capable premier league players and they need to get minutes in all competitions.

The real big teams in the league are those that can rotate and players can come in and do their jobs without fuss. Spurs need to learn how to do that.

Josh Giles

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