4-3-3 or not 4-3-3 that is the question

Towards the back end of last season against Man City we were losing 1-0 and AVB made the bold decision to change our system to a 4-3-3 formation. Our midfield had space to operate and as we now know, we turned the game around. After grabbing an equaliser, City didn't seem really bothered and we romped to a comfortable victory in the end.

Under AVB in their treble winning year, Porto played 4-3-3. The media say it's his preferred system, Spurs fans expect it, the Paulinho purchase indicates it, but is it certain we'll start that way next season?

This window there are arguments for and against various positions, but a new left-back (cue Danny Rose debate), a replacement for Parker, an attacking midfielder, wing cover, a playmaker and two new strikers have been the areas the press and supporters have discussed most.

The signing of Paulinho surely signals a midfield of Paulinho, Sandro and Dembele, with Huddlestone and Parker put up for sale, deemed surplus to requirements.

With those three is there any other midfield we can play, 4-3-3 seems obvious, but is it?

We have been searching, if reports are anything to go by, for an attacking midfielder, someone creative to unlock a defence. Well surely the only position they can play with the midfield three we now have, is behind a front two, otherwise where do they fit in?

That would leave Bale +1 as our strike force, but it is generally accepted we are looking for 2 strikers so 4-3-3 looks favourite again. That means no playmaker role, but Dembele and Pauliho in tandem with two of a front three providing the creativity.

Running with a front three then, Bale starts one side. Who else?

Centrally we have clearly been after someone, Damiao, Villa, Soldado, cue discussion on Benteke now.

Who fills the third role?

Holtby, Sigurdsson, Dempsey, Lennon, another new signing? Is Lennon going to add goals to his game like Walcott has, where does he fit in a 4-3-3 otherwise?

Holtby and Sigurdsson can cover the midfield three but could also play as one of the wider front three, both have an eye for goal.

Back in September in the 3-1 away victory against Reading, while most assumed we were playing a 4-2-3-1 we were actually playing a 4-1-4-1 system.

So is this an option. Sandro sitting in front of the back four with Lennon, Paulinho, Denbele and Bale in front of him, behind a lone central striker. Quite frankly it's the only system I can see Lennon fitting into, otherwise he is on the bench and Townsend might as well stay at home.

What system are the players we have best suited to? Will 4-3-3 give Defoe the space to excel or is he not suited to it? The fact that he is modelling our kit suggests he is now staying. The only position he seems suited to would be the central striking role, the other two requiring an element of defensive work he is unsuited for.

I want us to play 4-3-3 and have been sure we would, but arguably 4-1-4-1 suits our current squad better. There are only so many square pegs you can have in round holes and our back up players are versatile, but not specialists.

Pre-season will tell us what is in AVB's mind but at the moment, the squad doesn't look right for 4-3-3.




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