Tottenham Hotspur: Should AVB Stick with Soldado Against Fulham?

Guy MartinContributor IIDecember 3, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01:  Roberto Soldado of Tottenham Hotspur kicks the advertising board in frustration during the Barclays Premier League Match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at White Hart Lane on December 1, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Roberto Soldado's miss against Manchester United was, along with Sandro's stunning strike and Hugo Lloris' ill-advised rush off his line to concede a penalty, a moment that sticks in the mind from Sunday's match.

There were encouraging signs for Tottenham Hotspur in what was an improved overall performance following the 6-0 humiliation at Manchester City, but again, none of the team's attacking players managed to find the back of the net.

Not since Oct. 20, when Spurs scored to round off a 2-0 win at Aston Villa, have any managed to score a league goal from open play.

The scorer was £26 million summer signing Soldado, and his record since of a single goal from the penalty spot in five matches has made him and Tottenham's attacking play in general the subject of much debate.

Paul Wilkes argued in FourFourTwo that the Spaniard was not to blame for the scoring drought:

It's a little unfair to simply maintain that this is all Soldado's fault. Tottenham were fully aware what they were getting when they made the signing: a finisher, in and around the area. It's up to the manager to impose a style upon the team that enables them to get the best out of their club-record purchase.

Theories that Andre Villas-Boas' insistence on playing with inverted wingers and a lone striker were hindering Soldado were among those put forward.

But on Sunday, the sight of Soldado blasting way over the bar from Paulinho's perfect pass when he had only David de Gea to beat, blowing the chance to put Spurs up 3-1, could have changed the views of even those who have defended him most avidly.

Should Spurs look to start Defoe instead of, or alongside, Soldado?
Should Spurs look to start Defoe instead of, or alongside, Soldado?Michael Regan/Getty Images

Suddenly, talk of a lack of service turned to talk of a lack of confidence as Soldado's detractors were given their best evidence yet that his coolness in front of goal, as well as movement around the box, were a potential cause for concern.

It means that, when Spurs fans see the team-sheet for tomorrow's match at Fulham, they will look keenly to see if Soldado's name is on it.

Would they feel more confident if Jermain Defoe's name was there instead? Or should both be accommodated in a 4-4-2 formation?

Certainly if Soldado is selected, even with Emmanuel Adebayor injured, he will have to show a greater goal threat if he is to remain a first-choice striker for long, let alone convince those doubting he is the man to spearhead Spurs attack.