December 19 2013 Latest news:
By George Lacey
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Tottenham blogger George Lacey discusses Andre Villas-Boas’ selection dilemmas as Aaron Lennon and Etienne Capoue close in on their first-team returns.
With Aaron Lennon and Etienne Capoue close to first-team comebacks, you have to wonder where the pair will fit in, given the stand-out performances of those who have been playing in their positions.
Most notably, Andros Townsend was given a chance to shine after Lennon picked up a foot injury on the opening day of the season against Crystal Palace – and despite the £26million signing of Erik Lamela from Roma, it is Townsend who has made the right wing position his own.
Townsend’s form for Tottenham was rewarded with an England call-up for the final Group H fixtures against Montenegro and Poland at Wembley - and boy did he deliver.
A goal, an assist, and a man of the match display helped England to a resounding 4-1 victory over Montenegro last Friday, and the 22-year-old was unlucky not to score again against Poland on Tuesday night, hitting the bar from 25 yards in another fine performance.
However, despite the heroics of Spurs’ and England’s brightest new talent, fan favourite Lennon has been a first-team regular in recent years.
Despite Townsend making all the headlines of late, the view from the terraces is that Spurs have missed Lennon, who generally aims to beat his man on the outside and try to deliver crosses from the by-line rather than cutting inside and shooting.
Spurs’ recent tactics of playing with two ‘inverted wingers’ has been offered as one possible reason why Roberto Soldado has struggled for service – and Lennon may help in that respect.
Whatever happens, it is a healthy conundrum for Andre Villas-Boas.
I think we have seen the last of Gylfi Sigurdsson in a starting XI, in the Premier League at least.
A few goal-scoring displays on the left raised Spurs fans’ hopes but, with Nacer Chadli also back fit, I feel Sigurdsson’s playing time could be limited now.
The likes of Chadli, Lamela and Townsend all have that extra yard of pace that can be so decisive, especially when playing off the striker.
Meanwhile, Villas-Boas suggested before the international break that Capoue could return to the squad, giving us more options in the middle of the park.
Another one of our summer recruits, having arrived from Toulouse, Capoue’s physical prowess and passing ability could add a different dimension to the midfield.
Paulinho has impressed immensely so far this season and looks irreplaceable in the heart of the new-look Spurs side. His box-to-box style has yielded three goals in 10 games so far, and
long may it continue as the ‘Brazilian Lampard’ looks to build on his promising displays in our colours.
However Mousa Dembele, who was the man of the match in the recent draw with Chelsea at White Hart Lane, was poor in the disappointing defeat against the Hammers last time out, and I don’t feel the two have clicked so far.
So there are a few selection dilemmas for AVB as Spurs look to avenge the defeat against West Ham last time out in the Premier League. Here’s hoping we seal the three points that send us back into the top four come Sunday night.
Follow me on Twitter @Georgie_Lacey