Search

Spurs boss feels he’s found a system that suits midfield pair

11:58 15 April 2014

Christian Eriksen

Christian Eriksen

PA Archive/Press Association Images

When Christian Eriksen followed Nacer Chadli to White Hart Lane last summer, it appeared that one would occupy a central role while the other would play out wide – probably on the left.

Nacer ChadliNacer Chadli

So it has proved in the last two games against Sunderland and West Brom, but not in the way that Spurs fans would originally have expected.

Chadli seemingly arrived as a winger, and that was how he started out at Spurs – on the left flank – while Eriksen immediately took up a position as a No10 under Andre Villas-Boas.

There was a variation on that idea in Tim Sherwood’s first Premier League game in charge at Southampton, with Eriksen dropping into a deeper-lying central midfield role alongside Mousa Dembele in a 4-4-2 formation, while Chadli replaced Erik Lamela on the right wing in the second half.

Since then, Eriksen has found himself out on the left of midfield, while Chadli had a spell as the No10, and now the Belgian has dropped back to play alongside Paulinho in the 4-4-2 system.

Eriksen’s move away from the middle has been a source of consternation for a lot of supporters, particularly in games where Spurs have struggled to break down their opponents.

The Dane is clearly the most creative player in the squad so it makes sense for him to be at the heart of the action, rather than being deployed out wide.

That tactical decision has strengthened the theory that Sherwood is out of his depth and that he doesn’t know how to utilise his best resources.

However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to insist that Eriksen has been marginalised and his influence weakened.

The 22-year-old scored twice against Southampton on March 23 and set up the first two goals against Sunderland last week before adding the third himself.

Add Saturday’s injury-time equaliser against West Brom and Eriksen has contributed four goals and three assists in his last four league games – not bad for someone who is supposedly being played in the wrong place.

Meanwhile, Chadli’s latest role is a new development – another trial in a season full of them – and it doesn’t look like a masterstroke at the moment.

Admittedly, Spurs have been struggling with injuries recently but Nabil Bentaleb, who was previously such a favourite under Sherwood, has been on the bench against Sunderland and West Brom so the head coach has had other options.

Chadli is neat and tidy, but the first 31 minutes against Albion on Saturday added weight to the view that Spurs are generally too open in the centre and, when Dembele is fit, he offers everything that Chadli can in that central position, and more.

Nonetheless, Sherwood feels he has found a formula which gets the best out of both signings.

Speaking last Friday, the head coach stated: “I said when I first came in that the new signings need time to settle, and they need to find a system that suits them.

“Certainly in recent weeks we’ve found a system that suits Chadli in central midfield. We’ve also found a system that suits Eriksen.

“It’s not only about him [Eriksen] playing in that position, it’s about getting the football to him and trying to find ways of getting him on the ball, because when he is on it he does affect it – so those two for sure have been very good.

“They are best suited to those positions. Chadli is a big boy, very powerful and he runs away from people. He turns on the back foot and drives away.

“He has got more power than Christian, who’s is a little bit more Plymouth to be honest – Ar-guile.”

Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

Yesterday, 17:10

Teenage speedster Brandon Abraham narrowly missed out on his third Rookie Trophy in the final race of the British Super One Series.

Yesterday, 17:05

While most cricket fans inside Lord’s and beyond were entranced by the exciting spectacle that unfolded on Friday, there were also some voicing outrage.

Yesterday, 16:30

Wingate & Finchley came from behind to beat Kingstonian 2-1 at home on Tuesday, securing their third league win from four games and establishing themselves in the top half of the Ryman League Premier Division table.

Yesterday, 15:33

UCS Old Boys suffered a late defeat to Saracens Amateurs, who scored a decisive penalty with the final kick to run out 17-14 winners in Saturday’s Herts/Middlesex Division One clash.

Yesterday, 15:25

Three Haringey Police boxers have made it through to the finals of the London Development Championships, which are taking place this Sunday.

Tue, 22:17

Heung-Min Son was on target again as Tottenham triumphed 1-0 against CSKA Moscow in Russia in their second Champions League group game. Here are five talking points.

Tue, 15:43

Cumberland’s men’s team have been crowned Middlesex champions.

Tue, 14:25

Summer signing Matt Guise-Brown struck twice on Saturday, taking his tally to five goals in two games – but Hampstead & Westminster threw away a two-goal lead and were held to a 2-2 draw in their London derby against Surbiton.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Interested in purchasing a flat and want to know the rules, rights and regulations as a leaseholder? Or maybe you are already a leaseholder and want to find out more about extending your lease?

Scores of people visited the opening of Composite Door Master’s first public showroom in Hayes at the weekend, where they were treated to a spectacular show by award winning magician, Marc Oberon.

You’ve got cash, you’ve got style and you’ve got a bursting social calendar, but no time. These Crouch End studio suites to rent could be your dream come true.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

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

Competitions

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

As we grow older it becomes more and more important to have means to travel about safely and quickly. Our friendship groups and families grow and the need to have a car that is not only safe but also fast and big enough for all our needs is ever more important. There are many cars on the market for such needs but none deals with them as efficiently or as neatly as a VW Golf Estate. These cars are build strong, long lasting and spacious for a reason. They cater to the needs of many and are some of the most popular cars currently on the market.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now