By Stevie Grieve
Since Andre Villas-Boas was (wrongly in my opinion) sacked, Tim Sherwood has made a case for staying on as Head Coach of Tottenham Hotspur, by bringing back an old-school type of 4-4-2 formation, introducing Emmanuel Adebayor (mainly to get the fans onside as AVB didn't use him) and when asked about the turnaround in fortunes of the team during his initial few games in charge, his response was very much a case of “I just put an arm around the players and make them feel good about themselves” – something that the English media love, and something which wears off on the players after the coach has been found to be struggling tactically when it matters.
One part of Sherwood’s 4-4-2 is that there seems to be an insistence of a ‘see-saw’ midfield, with the deepest central midfielder covering the middle line of the field. This is fine, as the other central midfielder doesn't drift any more than 12m away from the covering midfielder, as this can leave the midfield open to penetration, especially in transition – even more so against a team with 3 central midfielders.
In the recent game against Benfica in London, Spurs lost 1-3, mainly due to Benfica being the better team individually, but tactically also. Benfica regularly won the ball in the final 3rd, and could counter attack through the centre of midfield as Spurs central midfielders were too far apart to close down the space, and definitely too far away to press and delay the counter attack.
Spurs attacking build up on the left side
Eriksen – a natural number 10 – receives on the left side, from Naughton, the left back. As he receives, there is a