Eden Hazard: Picking a Tottenham Team to Include His Potential Transfer
Arsenal's dominant French-speaking squad seems a perfect fit for Hazard, but for whatever reason the tabloids believe he is going to Spurs.
For the purpose of my article, let's assume Hazard ends up at Spurs.
Here is a possible starting XI featuring the Belgian wizard.
Goalkeeper: Brad Friedel
The seemingly ageless Brad Friedel is still going strong and has enough in the tank to go another season.
How does Friedel statistically compare to Joe Hart, Tim Krul and Michel Vorm?
|Goals Against Average||1.15||0.81||1.27||1.26|
|Saves to Goal Conceded Average||2.95||3.38||2.55||3.26|
Right-Back: Kyle Walker
Kyle Walker is one of the fittest players in the Premier League.
He's constantly sprinting up and down that right flank from the first to the very last minute.
At just 21 years of age, he's already the second-best right-back in England.
Centre-Back: Younès Kaboul
Younès Kaboul loves to engage in aerial challenges, winning 71 percent of headers.
He has accumulated 59 tackles and intercepted the ball 62 times in 29 Premier League games.
He is mobile, he distributes well and doesn't get that much recognition outside of Tottenham Hotspur supporters.
Centre-Back: Steven Caulker
I don't understand why some Tottenham Hotspur want to sign Jan Vertonghen when the Belgian wants to go to Arsenal; not to mention, have those supporters been following Steven Caulker?
With the uncertainty surrounding Ledley King's ability to produce, why not give Caulker a chance next season?
I'd take him right now over Michael Dawson, William Gallas, Ryan Nelsen and Sébastien Bassong.
Left-Back: Benoît Assou-Ekotto
Benoît Assou-Ekotto is prone to occasional lapses at the back but he has been pretty solid this season.
He reads the play very well as evident by his 91 interceptions.
He loves charging down the left flank and has created 45 shots.
Defensive Midfielder: Scott Parker
I'm not going to lie; I would have done exactly what Darren Bent did in this video—duck and cover.
Scott Parker is a player every manager wants in their squad because he is fearless, selfless and generally always gives 100 percent.
Centre Midfielder: Luka Modrić
Luka Modrić's slight frame was deemed a weakness, yet stronger and taller opponents have no answers when the Croatian weaves his magic.
He's got a high football IQ, expansive passing range and is just a technician you have to admire.
Attacking Midfielder: Rafael Van Der Vaart
Fitness is an issue for Rafael van der Vaart because he seems to run out of fuel from time to time.
I don't blame him because he's so talented, but it would partly explain why he's yet to live up to the lofty expectations placed on him when he was a prodigious teenager at Ajax.
Right Forward: Eden Hazard
Rudi Garcia has started Eden Hazard as a left-sided forward in the majority of Lille's games.
However the recent 2-1 win over Toulouse demonstrated Hazard's effectiveness as an attacking midfielder.
Hazard has also played on the right, and I suspect he'd start as a right-sided forward for Tottenham Hotspur.
This is to suit Gareth Bale because his shooting has been woeful this season when he has cut in from the right.
Signing Hazard means Spurs' 4-4-2 would have to be changed to a 4-3-3 because the Belgian's nonexistent defending would be a liability as a winger.
Centre Forward: Emmanuel Adebayor
A few months back, Emmanuel Adebayor reportedly refused to pay a £50 fine for being the worst player in training and then took insult when a teammate misquoted his salary: "Don't insult me, it's 225."
That's 225 being £225,000 a week after his teammate assumed he was on £200,000 a week.
I love Harry Redknapp for disclosing that story. That's gold.
What has impressed me with Adebayor is his team play, something he has carried on from his loan spell at Real Madrid.
Under José Mourinho, Adebayor was running around making tackles that totally surprised me.
At Tottenham Hotspur, Adebayor has consistently made incisive passes when he could have taken shots.
He's accumulated 11 assists in the Premier League, which is 11 more than Stewart Downing.
Left Forward: Gareth Bale
I'm slightly confused with Gareth Bale this season.
1) Why is he diving? 2) Does Harry Redknapp allow Bale to roam around?
To my understanding, Redknapp is a simplistic manager, so the left winger stays on the left wing, gets to the byline and crosses.
Sometimes you see Bale on the right cutting in as if he's an inside-out winger. Other times, Bale is rampaging through the centre.
He's taken 119 shots, compared to 44 accurate crosses.
It seems Bale wants to score more goals but he is at his best when he's leaving right-backs for dead.
An alternative theory is allowing Eden Hazard to play on the left and Bale on the right meaning two inside-out wide forwards.
Since 1999, Harry Redknapp has used the 4-4-2 in 371 Premier League games.
How many times has he used a 4-3-3? Only 13 times.
The 4-4-2 is a simple formation where the defenders defend, the midfielders create and the forwards score.
With a 4-3-3, there is a high emphasis on the full-backs to provide width because there are no wingers. You need the three central midfielders to play their roles accordingly and you need the wide forwards to work in tandem with the central forward.
At Chelsea, Daniel Sturridge wouldn't pass to Fernando Torres, Juan Mata would play as a de facto attacking midfielder and Torres wasn't consistently scoring.
Signing Eden Hazard looks good on paper but it does pose a tactical quandary for Tottenham Hotspur.
Especially when Hazard doesn't do enough defending, meaning you cannot risk playing him out wide.
You couldn’t play Rafa van der Vaart out there because Leighton Baines would have run forward and Rafa would have had a problem chasing him all day if you stuck him wide right.
Please read 9 Replacements for Marouane Chamakh.