How Tottenham Will Line Up Against Arsenal
In response to Spurs' big spending, Wenger suggested it could be a mistake.
Breaking News: Tottenham have now gone 2 hours in this transfer window without signing a player. A new club record!— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) August 30, 2013
Which team will win?
"It's always difficult when you bring so many players in to predict how well they will do," Wenger said, via Jonathan Liew at The Daily Telegraph. "There is a technical risk when you buy more than three players."
The underlying message is Wenger giving Gooners a reason why Arsenal aren't buying players because he hasn't even shown the same level of ambition as Cardiff City—a team that's broke its transfer fee record three times this summer—let alone Spurs.
Here's a probable starting XI André Villas-Boas will use against Arsenal.
GK: Hugo Lloris
Who is the better player?
When Crystal Palace's 40-year-old veteran Kevin Phillips knocked the ball down for Kagisho Dikgacoi in the 89th minute with Spurs leading 1-0, the South African was set to score a dramatic equaliser.
Hugo Lloris to the rescue.
He's in a different class to Wojciech Szczęsny, who had a calamitous game against Aston Villa, making another mistake in conceding a penalty which has been a trend in his career.
Did you know Wenger has never signed a goalkeeper who has featured in a Ligue 1 or 2 Team of the Year?
Grégory Coupet and Lloris are the two blatant misses.
RB: Kyle Walker
If Kyle Walker can reclaim his 2011/12 Premier League form that saw him named the PFA Young Player of the Year and a PFA Team of the Year member, he'll be England's starting right-back at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
CB: Michael Dawson
Club captain Michael Dawson has started the first two league games but faces competition from Younès Kaboul and new signing Vlad Chiriches.
Dawson has spoken about the club's summer transfer deals being a potential turning point.
"It's about taking the club to the next level and bringing the best players in," Dawson said to Simon Johnson at the London Evening Standard. "That’s what you have to do in the Premier League, you can’t stand still."
Someone tell that to Wenger.
CB: Jan Vertonghen
Who is the better player?
Jan Vertonghen ruled out joining Arsenal when asked by Wenger to play in midfield.
"[Arsenal's interest] was concrete, but they wanted me to be a controller in the midfield, an Emmanuel Petit-type," Vertonghen said, from NUsport via Sky Sports. "Ultimately, I just came to play at centre-back."
Vertonghen expanded upon negotiations with Arsenal, from David Hytner at The Observer via The Guardian:
I knew it would be very difficult for me to play in central defence if the captain [Thomas Vermaelen] and one of their best players plays there.
ou mention that when we were talking with clubs and then they say: "Yeah, but you can play somewhere else?"
I wanted clubs to get me not just for the bench but for the position I wanted to play.
I chose Tottenham because they gave me a very good feeling from the beginning. They invited me, they showed me how badly they wanted me.
Fast forward to the present and if you look at both team's centre-backs, only Vertonghen is world-class.
He completes 96.9 percent of his passes, is brilliant at reading play and rarely gets dribbled past.
LB: Danny Rose
...there we go, mention of Danny Rose's goal against Arsenal. The only thing he's ever done in his career.— LadyArse (@LadyArse) August 22, 2013
Everyone knows Danny Rose scored a great goal (he also netted a rocket past Dinamo Tbilisi) but instead of talking about something that happened several years ago, focus on the present.
Is he world-class? No.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy should be looking for potential left-back signings.
Paulinho is smoothly transitioning into Premier League football as you'd expect because he's a strong tackler, he has great stamina in running box-to-box and he possesses excellent technique.
However, his shooting has been wayward and he's actually taken three more shots than Roberto Soldado.
DM: Étienne Capoue
Etienne Capoue had some noticeable positioning problems during the latter stages of his Toulouse tenure. Instead of protecting the back four, he wanted to play as a quasi-attacking midfielder which is why he took some unnecessary shots, scored eight goals and even put his hand up to take a few penalties.
The way he played against Swansea City is how he should perform week in, week out.
He completed six tackles, completed 90 percent of his passes and tracked Michu's runs.
RAM: Andros Townsend
If you were to list the top dribblers right now, Andros Townsend would have to be top five.
Unfortunately for such a gifted player, his time as a starter is up.
Once Erik Lamela, a world-class talent, is fit enough to start a league game, he'll hold the right attacking midfield position or right forward position (if Villas-Boas uses a 4-3-3) for the rest of the season.
Regarding Lamela's availability against Arsenal, there are conflicting reports on twitter and The Guardian didn't provide a definitive answer:
Lamela and Chiriches are understood to have been registered with the Premier League before midday on Friday, which could see Villas-Boas include them in his squad for Sunday's north London derby against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. It is unclear, though, whether Tottenham received the international clearance for them in time.
CAM: Mousa Dembélé
Mousa Dembélé is a wonderful dribbler, has superb vision and can create something out of nothing.
But he doesn't score enough or create enough goals, as evidenced during his stint at Fulham, and he's clearly much better as a deep-lying midfielder with the green-light to charge forward.
Villas-Boas is of the same mindset hence the signing of Christian Eriksen, who has scored twice and registered three assists in four games this season in a free-roaming role for Ajax.
For the time being, Dembélé will fill in against the Gunners in a more advanced role.
LAM: Nacer Chadli
Yes, Nacer Chadli has donuts in the Premier League goals and assists column (for the time being) but if you've watched Spurs, you can see his impact in creating key chances for his teammates and having the ability to go past his man.
With his mix of physical and technical tangibles, he has the potential to be one of the best midfielders in the league.
CF: Roberto Soldado
Who is the better player?
Roberto Soldado is a good fantasy Premier League alternative if you don't want to pay big for Robin van Persie.
With the incisive play from Lamela, Eriksen, Chadli and Dembélé, Soldado—who has scored 20 goals or more in four straight seasons—will receive plenty of opportunities to score.
The Spaniard also takes the penalties, meaning cheap goals, so that's another reason why you should consider him.
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