Opinion: Why Tottenham Must Drop Paulinho And Play Holtby

It is no secret that finding the back of the net for Tottenham has proved to be analmost- impossible mission this season – on three occasions this season penalties were needed to secure 1-0 wins. On the bright side, though, Ttottenham were able to hold on and not concede in the dying moments of the match, which signals an improvement in the defence and the resilience of the team.  

Andre Villas-Boas has switched between central midfielders this season with such combinations as Mousa Dembele and Paulinho, or Paulinho and Sandro. When Paulinho and Dembele played together it did not help improve the attack but rather left the back four exposed to counter attack if either were to make a mistake,  like in the Newcastle and west ham game when Paulinho’s mishandling of the ball led to Newcastle only goal and West Ham’s second goal.

When Sandro and Paulinho played together it helped keep clean sheets, mainly due to Sandro and his defensive roles.

One thing is for sure, when AVB uses either combination it does not improve the attack. A solution, for me, would be using Holtby and Sandro in that role. Holtby has already previously stated that central midfield is the position he plays the best, so using him in that position would allow The Portuguese coach to give him a chance to play a similar role to Luka Modric during the time of Harry Redknapp, providing clever runs from midfield combined with intelligent passing to the creative forward player “Eriksen”.

 A highlight in Holtby’s  game is his build up play from deep midfield even when his playing as an attacking midfielder, so giving him the position for himself and placing Eriksen in the attacking midfield role would allow Villas-Boas to take full advantage of the talent he possess in the midfield.

Ahmad Elmi