Tottenham Hotspur: How Can AVB Get More Consistency from Spurs?
After 15 matches, Tottenham sit in fourth place in the Premier League.
Sounds like a great start, right?
Well, let's be honest: This season hasn't been the smoothest ride.
Poor individual performances, mental errors and overall shaky play has made watching Spurs akin to a roller-coaster ride.
Yes, the squad has fought well to get into fourth and should be commended for that. I mean, just look at the past week, where they won three league matches in six days.
There are lots of positive words that can be used to sum up Tottenham's season thus far. "Scrappy," "plucky" and "attacking" immediately come to mind. However, one word that certainly cannot be used to describe the team is "consistent."
Throughout the season, almost every player has had both an amazing performance and a no-show, even sometimes fading between the two within the same match.
Aside from this past week, where some semblance of consistency may have been found (here's to optimism), it has been nearly impossible to know which Spurs side would show up each week.
And therein lies the problem.
Tottenham may be in fourth place right now, but what should we expect if they're constantly fighting themselves for form?
Clearly, a level of consistency must be found.
For this, we must turn to (relatively) new manager Andre Villas-Boas.
Now, don't get me wrong: I would not pin Spurs' up-and-down play fully on the manager. Obviously, there have been more than a few factors that were beyond his control.
The defense has been hit with injuries, as Younes Kaboul and Benoit Assou-Ekotto have missed considerable periods. Further, on-the-field leader Scott Parker has yet to take part in a league match this season.
However, there are still some things that AVB can do to help his side find some ground.
His early experiment with keeper rotation just didn't work; handing the reins to Hugo Lloris on a permanent basis would be well-advised. Also, it could help to use a bit less squad rotation until the team finds their feet.
To his massive credit, the Portuguese manager began implementing both of those changes over the past few weeks.
On the other hand, AVB hasn't yet found more consistency in his tactics.
If one thing has irked me about Villas-Boas' management at Spurs, it is his tendency to drastically change the approach to a match.
Where do you think Spurs will finish the season?
On multiple occasions, Spurs will take a lead and immediately drop off into a shell that, given the injuries in the back, will inevitably be broken down. There's a reason why they've conceded eight goals in the last 10 minutes of matches this season.
Why pull back when attacking got you to where you are, especially when the back is your most injury-ravaged spot? It's a question that is at least worth asking for AVB.
In any event, something needs to be done about Spurs' inconsistent play, whether it be the suggestions I've put forth or something else.
If not, this fourth-place standing could quickly turn into a mid-table finish.
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