Spurs boss considers ‘change of style’ to incorporate Chadli and Lamela

09:00 11 January 2014

Nacer Chadli

Nacer Chadli

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Tim Sherwood believes that Nacer Chadli and Erik Lamela would both be most effective in central roles behind the striker – and he is considering a “change of style” to get the best out of the pair.

Sherwood has been playing with two forwards since he replaced Andre Villas-Boas in the Tottenham hotseat last month, but he is set to lose one of his frontmen at the end of February when Jermain Defoe moves to Toronto in the MLS.

The head coach insists that will not be a problem, and that he would prefer to adapt his tactics than sign a like-for-like replacement.

Chadli and Lamela have both been vying for wide positions in the first half of the season, and they have struggled to stay ahead of the likes of Andros Townsend, Aaron Lennon and Gylfi Sigurdsson in the pecking order, while Christian Eriksen has recently been deployed on the left of midfield - albeit in a free role.

However, Sherwood feels the summer signings would both be more comfortable in the middle of the pitch - and he may soon give them the chance to prove it.

Sherwood said: “We’ve got Nacer Chadli - for me his best position is going to be off the front - and Erik Lamela. I think he will play in the hole behind the main striker.

“They haven’t played really so it’s hard to judge them. I don’t see it as a risk. I won’t be banging on the door saying ‘I need this player or that one’. Whoever you bring in would be a risk anyway because he has got to settle.

“These boys are halfway through the settling-in period so I don’t want to bring somebody else in and knock them back.

“We will crack on with what we have got – and I believe in them. I believe they can do a job and we will change the way we play, maybe.

“I’m looking for a change of style, possibly, to freshen it up - and we have the options within the squad already.”

When Sherwood was asked whether he means he is developing a Plan B, in addition to the 4-4-2 system he has preferred so far, he replied: “Not a plan B.

“A lot is made of formations. I see it quoted in papers and the pundits making a lot of it - either 4-4-2 or 4-3-3. It’s all a load of rubbish.

“It’s all about principles of how you play - shuffling across, being responsible in defensive areas, filling up in the middle of the park and having attacking options when you go forward.

“It doesn’t matter about formations. Football formations don’t win games, football players win games. I keep saying it so it’s boring, but it really is as simple as that.

“What did Manchester United play under Fergie [Sir Alex Ferguson]? 4-4-2? I think so. That’s what everybody said and they won everything.

“Arsenal, who are probably one of the best football teams at the moment, what do they play? 4-3-3? Who knows?

“When you’re out of possession, you’re always out of balance. It’s about how you shuffle back in and defend it.”

Sherwood made similar points after last Saturday’s 2-0 derby defeat at Arsenal in the FA Cup, and he went on: “I’ve seen a lot of games at the Emirates. I’ve seen teams go there with five across midfield and still get murdered. It means nothing.

“I’ve seen Dortmund go there with 4-4-2 and that was a very tough time for Arsenal. I keep mentioning these numbers but they’re just numbers and it’s about principles of how you play within those numbers.”

Meanwhile, Sherwood is yet to decide whether to recall Tom Carroll from his loan spell at QPR – but he is sure that Benoit Assou-Ekotto will stay at Loftus Road until the end of the season.

“Are we still looking at bringing Tom back? Possibly, but we’re only monitoring the situation to see who can come back to fitness here and how long it might take,” said Sherwood. “Benoit? He’ll stay where he is.”

Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs


Latest Sport Stories

Yesterday, 12:35
Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez (right) leaves the field injured against Norwich City.

What we predicted

Mousa Dembele (left) attempts to dodge a challenge from Oscar during Sunday's goalless draw with Chelsea at White Hart Lane

Mousa Dembele says Tottenham’s frustration after Sunday’s stalemate with reigning champions Chelsea shows how far they have come under Mauricio Pochettino.

Sunday, November 29, 2015
Mesut Ozil puts Arsenal in front at Norwich

Norwich City 1 Arsenal 1

Tottenham's Heung-Min Son (left) battles with Pedro at White Hart Lane

Tottenham extended their unbeaten run to 13 Premier League games and maintained their 10-point lead over Chelsea after a goalless draw at White Hart Lane.

Friday, November 27, 2015
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho

Former Tottenham and Chelsea midfielder Micky Hazard says Blues manager Jose Mourinho has lacked dignity this season and believes the Portuguese could benefit from showing greater humility.

Friday, November 27, 2015
Arsenal fans show their colours and support in the stands. Picture: Nick Potts/PA

In our weekly Arsenal fan column, Alex Bellotti suggests the sanctity of match-going is being replaced by passionate fan communities online.

Thursday, November 26, 2015
Mauricio Pochettino (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Harry Kane fired Tottenham into the knockout stages of the Europa League as they finally overcame stubborn Group J minnows Qarabag 1-0 in Baku.

Thursday, November 26, 2015
Maksim Medvedev of Qarabag challenged by Christian Eriksen  (Photo by Epsilon/Getty Images)

Spurs beat Qarabag 1-0 to qualify for the Europa League last 16 in Azerbaijan, here’s how we rated the players.

Most read sport

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


Nike Trainers

Nike’s motto is ‘to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.’ With this in mind it’s no surprise why Nike is the preferred training gear for most A-list athletes. Get an extra boost in your run or height in your jump with £500 to spend on Nike trainers.

MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!

Digital Edition

Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder