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

15:15
Brondesbury spinner Anthony Wilkinson took four wickets. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Brondesbury extended their winning run to five games in all competitions after another successful weekend.

12:00
South Hampstead captain Leroy Shepherd (left) congratulates Touqeer Ahmad after his fourth wicket. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Touqeer Ahmad bowled a five-for and then hit an unbeaten 36 off 15 balls as South Hampstead triumphed for the second week in a row in a rain-affected Division Three match.

Yesterday, 15:06
North Middlesex captain Tom Nicoll (left) has praised Rob Fahrenheim (right), who hit 96 against Teddington on Saturday. Pic: Max Flego

New signing Rob Fahrenheim led a much-improved batting display from North Middlesex – but the Crouch End outfit suffered their second successive defeat in the Premier Division of the Middlesex County Cricket League.

Yesterday, 07:10
Middlesex's James Franklin bowling.

Middlesex all-rounder James Franklin fears the new County Championship toss rule is stifling the competition and generating “attritional cricket”.

Friday, May 20, 2016
Dominique Janssen went close with a last minute free-kick in Arsenal Ladies' 0-0 draw with Birmingham. Pic: Sylvester George

Dominique Janssen hopes Arsenal Ladies’ Wembley triumph will give them the self-belief to challenge Chelsea for the Women’s Super League title.

Friday, May 20, 2016
Middlesex's Ollie Rayner (right) celebrates a wicket with team-mate John Simpson

Middlesex’s bowlers will make former skipper Chris Rogers their top target when he returns to Lord’s with Somerset this weekend, according to Ollie Rayner.

Thursday, May 19, 2016
Arsenal's Olivier Giroud (centre) celebrates putting his side ahead against Aston Villa

How do you define a good season? Or more importantly a poor season?

Thursday, May 19, 2016
Great Britain's Jo Pavey won the 2014 European Championships and will be aiming to qualify for her fifth Olympics when she competes in Highgate Harriers' Night of the 10,000m PBs at Parliament Hill on Saturday

Olympic dreams will be realised and dashed on the Parliament Hill athletics track on Saturday night as Britain’s top 10,000m runners battle it out for seats on the plane to Rio.

PROMOTED CONTENT

There are no rules when it comes to buying studio pottery beyond choosing what you love

With The Great Pottery Throwdown captivating viewers across the nation, pottery courses at capacity, and hipsters snapping up vintage studio pieces to display their succulents in and post on Instagram, studio pottery and ceramics are definitely having a moment.

Newsletter Sign Up

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

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe