Swansea vs. Tottenham Hotspur: 6 Things We Learned
Spurs are unbeaten in their last six games, winning five, and are level on points with Liverpool, a team that looked like Premier League contenders early in the season.
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No Longer Tim "4-4-2" Sherwood
Tottenham Hotspur manager Tim Sherwood is not just a one-trick pony.
He abandoned his trusted 4-4-2 for a 4-2-3-1 formation, dropping Roberto Soldado (about time) to the bench as Emmanuel Adebayor led the line with Christian Eriksen playing behind the No. 9 in a free-roaming role.
Sherwood proved he could go out of his comfort zone and adapt.
The Mauricio Pochettino to Spurs rumour should quieten now.
"The expectation at this club [Spurs] is far greater than they have at Southampton," Sherwood said, as per Ben Rumsby at The Telegraph. "There are a lot of English coaches—young English coaches—hoping I do well, a lot of well-wishers who hope it will open up the door for them to have an opportunity."
Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy's decision to upgrade Sherwood's status from interim manager is being vindicated.
Christian Eriksen Back to His Ajax Form
Christian Eriksen started the season at Ajax in excellent form, scoring twice and creating three goals.
As a Tottenham Hotspur player, he did have a seven-game stretch in the Premier League where he did not score or create a goal.
However, he is back to the Ajax Eriksen, scoring three times and registering two assists in his last five league games.
Some of the turns he made against Swansea City were incredible, and his cross to Emmanuel Adebayor was perfect.
Another Great Game from Nabil Bentaleb
Nabil Bentaleb's bleep-test score would have to be in the top percentile for Premier League footballers.
He just keeps on motoring around the field putting in tackles.
In possession, he receives the ball, turns, makes a high-percentage pass and then retreats back into his position.
Sounds simple, right?
Only six players in the Premier League have a higher pass completion percentage than Bentaleb (91.4).
What makes Bentaleb so impressive is that if you did not know anything about him, you would have figured he was a seasoned professional.
He blends in, he demands the ball, he makes the right decisions and he is one of the hardest working players on the team.
At this present moment, Bentaleb is making Tottenham Hotspur manager Tim Sherwood look like Arsene Wenger in terms of spotting talent.
Etienne Capoue and Lewis Holtby Start on the Bench (again)
The future of Tottenham Hotspur midfielders Etienne Capoue and Lewis Holtby remain up in the air.
While Holtby was a long-shot to make the final German FIFA World Cup squad, Capoue risks a minimal part (if any) in France's World Cup campaign should he continue to sit on the bench.
Do not be surprised if he and his agent start forcing Spurs for a transfer away.
Unless the club will make a substantial profit on Capoue, it is better to loan him out.
The problem with Holtby is that his best position is behind the No. 9, though that is Christian Eriksen's role (this is assuming Spurs manager Tim Sherwood does not revert back to playing the Dane in a false winger position).
In central midfield, Sherwood will be sticking with Nabil Bentaleb.
Why Mousa Dembele Never Turned into a World-Class No. 10
Gone are the days of scoring two goals in three minutes against Ajax for Mousa Dembele, nowadays a robust box-to-box midfielder.
He has the characteristics to be a world-beater in a more attacking position. He is physical, technically gifted, takes on players, is creative and has a strong shot.
Yet what has routinely let him down is his decision-making and inefficiency in front of goal, hence why he became a liability if played up front.
One play against Swansea City summed up why Dembele plays deeper now.
All he needed to do was pass the ball to a wide open Emmanuel Adebayor. Dembele didn't.
It was a brain fade on his part and in hindsight, he cost Adebayor the chance of scoring a hat-trick (now that would have grabbed more headlines).
On the subject of Adebayor, another superb performance.
Games like this make you wonder if only he played like this every week because if he did, he would be one of the world's best centre forwards.
Erik Lamela "Injured"?
Why did Erik Lamela not make Tottenham Hotspur's bench against Swansea City?
According to The Guardian squad sheets, he is struggling with a thigh injury.
He was left on the bench against Manchester United and has been excluded from the matchday squad for successive weeks due to an "injury."
2014 has not been a good start for Lamela.
For what it is worth, his brother, Brian, said Erik "is good" four days ago on twitter.
Looking at Brian's timeline, he has been retweeting Spurs supporters who are hoping Erik proves his critics wrong.
So maybe Lamela does stay with Spurs this season.