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Before January, Spurs played with the same formation in practically every game. With the players at his disposal Redknapp recognised that the system that suited his team best was a variation of 4-5-1.
Without doubt, this system provided the best shape to get the very best out of his players.
Emmanuel Adebayor has excelled as the lone striker. Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon have developed as wingers, where a four-man midfield would have required them as wide midfielders. Scott Parker has slotted into a midfield five perfectly, while he is vulnerable in the centre of a three- or four-man midfield, and the defence have reaped the benefits of better frontal cover.
Overall the system has worked well.
However, when injuries, suspensions or loss of form have appeared, Harry Redknapp has changed the system to suit the replacements rather than making straight swaps. In doing this, he is making two to three changes for the sake of one.
This is never a good thing to do, as it can disrupt the natural rhythm a team develops over time, where every player knows exactly what is expected of them and what is expected of his teammates.
Take bringing Jermain Defoe into the side, for example. Defoe is not good at link-up play and prefers to play on the shoulder of the last defender, where he can utilise his pace and lethal prowess in front of goal. He likes through balls and is often half-turned in a direction he wants the ball played in rather than playing with his back to goal to bring other players into the game.
With that explained, Defoe is obviously not the same player as Adebayor. But instead of making the one change and making the player suit the system, Redknapp has often dropped either Aaron Lennon or Rafael van der Vaart to bring a partner for Defoe into the team, making the team move to a 4-4-2. This formation instantly exposes Parker's lack of pace through the center and van der Vaart's or Lennon's lack of positional awareness out wide.
The same can be said of when Redknapp has gone to a four-man midfield while Bale was out of the side. Instead of playing Danny Rose or one of the other reserves, Redknapp has often moved Modric out wide, away from his most influential position in the middle, thus weakening two positions.
Foe me, it's simple: play your best players in the formation that suits them best and then make like-for-like changes. Especially if they are going to be short term because long-term absences may require the shape to be changed.
Before Redknapp started tinkering, Spurs had huge momentum, were full of confidence and were playing well.
Now they simply aren't.