All Action, No Plot

Tottenham Hotspur – latest news, opinion, reports, previews, transfers, gossip, rants… from one bewildered fan
"AANP - nobody knows what it means, but it's provocative."

Spurs 3-1 Wolves: Who Gets Your Full-Backing?

As if a flight across time-zones was not discombobulating enough, I found myself stepping off the plane to be greeted by the news that Alan Hutton had scored for us, while Jermaine Jenas had put in a decent performance and Robbie Keane had started -all of which left me wondering whether I had flown into a new space-time continuum rather than simply across continents.

 

No Match Report Around These Parts

 

No comment can be passed from AANP Towers on the specifics of our win over Wolves, as I was airborne at the time, but certain areas of the team selection certainly caught the eye in the aftermath. In particular, a penny for the thoughts of Messrs Assou-Ekotto and Corluka, once upon a time nailed-in as one quarter each, respectively, of the back four, but now looking like the weaker of the links in the Tottenham team.

 

Left-Back: Assou-Ekotto or Bale?

 

On reflection I’m not sure I would ever like an insight into the mind of BAE, given that few men in Christendom have ever been possessed of a gaze more suited to that of a cold-blooded murderer. That aside the chap is currently enduring something of a fall from grace. Season 2008-09 was rather the making of him, as he turned into a mighty dependable left-back in the wake of the Wendy Ramos debacle. Last season however saw Gareth Bale emerge from his cocoon like some infantile god hatching from a celestial egg – meaning that BAE’s selection now largely depends on how far up the pitch Bale will play.

 

BAE’s concerns have in this respect been exacerbated by the arrival of van der Vaart, as the inclusion of VDV, Modders and Bale is arguably best facilitated by switching Bale to left-back, even despite his defensive frailties.

 

BAE is nowhere near the equal of Bale when marauding forward, and it hardly helps that his defensive showings have been far from watertight this season. His erratic form so far this campaign seemed neatly encapsulated by the two legs against Young Boys: shoddy in the first leg he was hauled off after half an hour; but he followed up with an impeccable defensive display in the second.

 

In the final analysis therefore, in common with those undertaking the oldest profession in the world, much of BAE’s fortune depends on others, for if Modders and VDV are to be included in a 4-4-2 then Bale would get the nod at left-back.

 

But Isn’t Bale Rather Wasted At Left-Back?

 

This does of course beg the question of whether left-back bring the best out of Bale. Arriving from deep he has the advantage of a midfielder cutting infield ahead of him, creating room for him to overlap as, effectively, a fifth midfielder. Nevertheless there is always the nagging sense that Bale’s all-round attacking wondrousness is curtailed when he slots into his abode within the back-four.

 

Right-Back: Corluka?

 

On t’other flank, in his capacity as the complete antithesis of Usain Bolt, Corluka has generally expiated for the total absence of pace with his positioning and fairly sound reading of the game. Nevertheless, show me a Spurs supporter who does not panic whenever a winger knocks the ball beyond Corluka and scuttles, and I’ll show you someone who is blind or quite possibly an Arsenal fan.

 

Kaboul?

 

The stakes have been raised at right-back by the curious renaissance of Younes Kaboul. Having initially taken to the role like an elephant to ballet, he swiftly learned the ins and outs and while he is still not exactly a classic full-back, he does now combine purposeful defence with speed going forward.

 

Hutton?

 

And then there is Alan Hutton, who was evidently hauled out of his two-year stint in a cryogenic freezing chamber on Saturday, and responded by reminding us that deep down he would probably like to be a right-winger. He rode his luck in scoring – first in his cunning use of a one-two with himself, and secondly in the handy deflection off his knee – but I cannot remember Corluka making too many determined sprints into the heart of the opposition area. As with Bale on the left however, Hutton’s attacking instincts have generally gambolled hand-in-hand with concerns about his defensive ability.

 

As at left-back, much also depends on the selection in midfield, because the Corluka-Lennon combo has befuddled many an opposing left-back, with that weighted diagonal ball inside the full-back a particular favourite here at AANP Towers. Neverthless, in terms of hand-picking the best from both the attacking and defensive worlds, AANP currently plumps for Monsieur Kaboul.

 

All academic at the moment, with both Kaboul and Corluka currently injured, but something for ‘Arry to consider each morning as he chews on his Weetabix. Your own musings on these topics are very much welcomed below.

5 Responses

  1. elwehbi Says:

    I hope Hutton’s performance wasn’t a one-hit wonder! We could use some competition at the RB position as Charlie needs a little kick in the behind to come back to life. BAE is making costly mistakes but I cannot deny that it is still comforting having him in the back. His pace, passing ability, and dribbling are all things we could benefit from if he just stays focused for all 90 minutes.

  2. dRb Says:

    Hutton and Bentley to start tomorrow on the right?

  3. davspurs Says:

    Kaboul can play centre half if Hutton learns to tackle . The lad who his brimming with confidents and performance his our old whipping boy Jenas the player with everything except the will to show it. Harry need to find a place for him because if he benches him now he could ruin his confident’s forever this has gone beyond his one game and three crap ones to three and counting and if he hadn’t had a nose bleed on his good run against Wolves he could have created or scored a cracker but he run into Fanny Craddok’s boot. What about playing him wait for it left bac surley he cant be worse than Ekotto the more i think of him and Bale the more i like it. Gomes Hutton King Kaboul Jenas Lennon Van Hudds Modric Bale Defoe or Pav Crouch Keane Dosantos Santos Palacios Kranjcar. Has for the game we deserved to win for Football should always beat effort and some weeks it doesent. Coys

  4. SiberiaSpur Says:

    Kaboul for me too I think – Hutton might be a bit more adventurous but that’s Lennon’s job. BAE stays for me also. Bale simply doesn’t need room to overlap, the bugger just beats whoever gets in the way. Not sure who your spy was for “Jermaine Jenas had put in a decent performance”. AANP Senior? OK so he didn’t have a shocker but that’s not going to cut it in our current squad. GO TEXANS!

  5. SimpleIs Says:

    Really good read. Was only discussing today with a fellow yid about the full backs. We happen to think that Corluka is slow and a bit useless. Would love to see Hutton carry on his performance in to tomorrow nights game and eventually replace Corluka. Him and Lennon on the right could great. Tricky with the left side though. Bale could actually be useful from left back as the opposition right back wouldn’t be able to track him so easily. Makes a nice change for us Spurs fans to be discussing different players for the positions. Never have I struggled for who should play on a Saturday.

All Action, No Plot © 2010. Theme Squared created by Rodrigo Ghedin.