At the start of the season, Spurs supporters were so looking forward to seeing a refreshing midfield provide a continuous supply of chances and goals. A few weeks later, they're left scratching their heads wondering how the exact opposite has been achieved.
So where has it all gone wrong?
The Spurs defence is not great, but it's the least of their problems at the moment. The problems this season have been many:
1) The width of the Spurs midfield is just too wide! The centre of the park is like a ghost town...which is why there are very few through balls or shots at goal.
2) The lack of tackles going in is the worst in the Premiership!
3) The lack of shots on goal; it's no surprise Spurs have one of the worst stats in the Premiership for "shots on goal", and Arsenal have the MOST shots on Goal...hmmm!
4) The misuse of corners and freekicks...David Bentley cannot afford to screw up anymore in this area. So far his set piece delivery has been abysmal. It's time Spurs drew the line so that if Bentley can't deliver on his first couple of set pieces in a match then someone else should step up to the plate.
No team can afford to waste genuine opportunities. This practice needs to stop...now!
On the goalkeeping front, Spurs have a tremendous keeper in Heurelho Gomes. His keeping and control of the penalty box has been outstanding.
Ledley King, so far, has been slow to perform to the standard that Spurs fans know and expect. Realistically, King will only play some 50% of the games this season. Which is why I believe his best role will be as holding midfielder, but more about that in a moment.
In central defence, the pairing of Corluka and Woodgate seems to be a very solid partnership. Both are big and strong and made Heskey look like a midget when they played Wigan. The fullback positions are a little more complicated—left back, Gareth Bale, and right back Alan Hutton, and if he's not fit then Zokora.
The reason to put King in that holding role is that he has all the attributes for being that perfect holding midfielder. He's strong, athletic, has accurate passing and will be an excellent link to the attacking midfield. And, on occasion, he can spring up into attack when you least expect him.
One thing is clear with the opening few games, Spurs need a bit of steel and grit in the side. They can't remain bottom of the "tackles" league and hope to achieve anything this season. Which is why Jamie O'Hara will play in front of the back four alongside King.
Thus allowing King to provide a surprise attacking option every now and again and at the same time providing that grit and determination when needed. Having two holding players in front of the back four also allows both attacking fullbacks to jaunt forward and work the wings.
With so many attack minded midfielders, I believe it's a good choice to go with just one up front, namely Pavlyuchenko. Having two holding midfielders means Spurs can stock up on attacking options on the bench, in the form of Giovani, Bent, Campbell, and Lennon.
Oh! and not forgetting Tom Huddlestone.
That way if they need to turn the heat up...they can!