Rating the Tottenham Players Against Stoke

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistDecember 22, 2012

Rating the Tottenham Players Against Stoke

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    On Saturday, Tottenham played to a 0-0 draw with Stoke City at White Hart Lane.

    The North London club faced the frustrating task of trying to score against the stubborn Stoke back four. 

    The draw was only the third in 18 EPL matches for Andre Villas-Boas' squad. 

    Now in fifth place with 30 points, Tottenham heads into a crowded holiday fixture list that includes Aston Villa, Sunderland and Reading

    Here are the player ratings, based on a scale of 1 to 10, for all of the Tottenham players who took to the pitch against Stoke. 

Goalkeeper

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    Player: Hugo Lloris

    Grade: 6

     

    Lloris did not have much to do against the Stoke attack on Saturday. 

    The Frenchman was only forced into making one save, which came in the 59th minute on a shot by Ryan Shotton. 

    Although Stoke brought on two forwards in the second half to try and bolster their attack, they failed to put pressure on Tottenham's first-choice keeper. 

Defenders

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    Players: Kyle Walker, Steven Caulker, Matthew Dawson, Jan Vertonghen

    Grades: Walker: 6; Caulker: 6.2; Dawson: 6.2; Vertonghen: 7.8

     

    The best player on the pitch for Tottenham on Saturday was their left-back, Vertonghen. 

    Vertonghen was a constant force in the Spurs attack and benefited from the return of Gareth Bale to the left side of midfield. 

    The Belgian won all of his aerial battles and amassed a pass accuracy of 83 percent. 

    Vertonghen may be moved back to center-back when Benoit Assou-Ekotto returns to the lineup to strengthen the middle of the defense. 

    Dawson and Caulker were caught sleeping in the first minute when Kenwyne Jones snuck through to get a chance on goal.

    After Jones' first-minute threat, the center-back pairing did not have much to defend against a Stoke attack that only attempted four shots, one of which was on target. 

    Walker was not in his best form on Saturday as he failed to forge a combination on the right wing with Aaron Lennon. 

Midfielders

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    Players: Aaron Lennon, Sandro, Mousa Dembele, Gareth Bale

    Grades: Lennon: 6.2; Sandro: 7.2; Dembele: 7.4; Bale: 7.5

     

    The return of Bale to the midfield provided a spark to the left side of the 4-4-2 formation that Andre Villas-Boas sent out to the pitch on Saturday. 

    Just like he has all season, Bale teamed up well with Jan Vertonghen to create chances on the left wing. 

    That was not the case for Lennon on the right wing. 

    For the third straight match, Lennon could not get anything going on the right side of midfield.

    Luckily for Lennon, the duo of Sandro and Dembele picked up the slack in the attack. 

    Sandro has been the Spurs' most improved player this season and continued his stellar form alongside Dembele on Saturday. 

    The move to the 4-4-2 formation in the last three EPL matches has not been productive for most of the Tottenham lineup, but Dembele has made the best of it and has starred in the role of going forward from the central midfield position.

    The summer signing from Fulham completed 95 percent of his passes and had the third most touches of all Spurs players with 74 before he was taken off in the 85th minute. 

Forwards

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    Players: Jermain Defoe, Emmanuel Adebayor

    Grades: Defoe: 6; Adebayor: 6

     

    The transition to the 4-4-2 formation over the past three weeks has not helped the forward combination of Defoe and Adebayor.

    The two forwards had six shots on Saturday, but none of them reached Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic.

    The best spell of play from either forward came towards the end of the first half when Defoe sent two shots towards goal, but both of those shots were sent wide of goal and did not provide Begovic with a challenge.

    Adebayor's best chance came in the 34th minute when he missed a headed shot off a perfectly placed cross from Gareth Bale.

    Something has to change in the future for the Tottenham forwards to succeed in scoring goals. 

    The solution to the ongoing problem may be a switch back to the 4-2-3-1 formation from the 4-4-2. 

Substitutes

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    Players: Gylfi Sigurdsson, Scott Parker

    Grades: Sigurdsson: 7; Parker: 6

     

    Andre Villas-Boas waited until the 78th minute to make the first of the two substitutions he made on Saturday.

    Deciding to replace Aaron Lennon with Sigurdsson turned out to be a brilliant decision by the Tottenham manager. 

    Sigurdsson made an instant impact on the match and created the best chance of the match in the 90th minute.

    The Iceland international's header was directed towards the left side of the net and was saved by Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic. 

    Parker made his second appearance of the season in the 85th minute when he replaced Mousa Dembele.

    Parker was not on the pitch long enough to make an impact on the match.

     

    All statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com.

    How would you rate the Tottenham players from Saturday's match?

    Comment below or leave me a comment on Twitter @JTansey90.