Is versatility killing our game?

I remember back to my youth playing Scouts football and I was number 8, inside right in those days. Now that may be a position unfamiliar to many of the readers of this blog given the number of you below 35.

The formation was a "W', two wingers and a striker, two inside forwards who teamed with the winger and assisted the striker, a deeper midfielder and then your flat back four.

Inside forwards disappeared from the game and 4-4-2 took over. Rarely seen now we have 4-3-3, 4-2-3-1, 4-1-4-1, 3-5-1 and other permutations. Have we over complicated the game? Do players actually know where they are playing now?

We life in a football age where, for those of us who can still remember what a proper tackle was, tackling is virtually banned. Yellow cards come out for the most ridiculous things. You'd have been laughed at for some of the things today's cheat feign injury over. Does anyone ever get tackled without being mortally wounded? They roll over and over, a sure sign it's a con, and clutch any part of the body available.

Anyway, back to the point of the article. Tottenham have an abundance of midfielders bought to play a system we have hardly ever played. All the talk now is of a 'Number 10', that used to be a striker, now it's the play maker or a secondary striker, the creative hub of the team playing 'in the hole'. We have one so we play him on the left wing!

Do wingers exist, we have a traditional one in Aaron Lennon but without a traditional centre-forward do we in fact need one? Inverted wingers, wide midfielders, wide left, left of a front three, sitting, attacking, defensive, link player, box-to-box. Aren't we just giving fancy names to the same position to try and make a mystery out of it or are we pandering to a few egos to make them think they are a specialist and indispensable?

We have full-backs who can't defend who now play in front of central midfield and centre-backs who spend half the time playing left and right-back with the defensive midfield as a third centre-back.

We have wingers we have inverted so they can't actually play as wingers anymore and play central players wide because the wide payers we have tried to make play central.

You look through our squad and have to ask do we have too many jack of all trades, master of none types in the squad. We have Zeki Fryers at 21 and nobody knows where he plays yet! Versatile seems to be one of our prime requirements.

It's a bloody simple game, kick the ball into the other net as often as possible. We seemed to have lost that art. Now it's play it around and try to look good.

The strikers job is to stick the ball in the net, not to contribute to beautiful build up play, how many strikers have we had that haven't a clue how to do that in recent seasons and now we have one we don't pass to him! Robbie Fowler, Jimmy Greaves, Michael Owen where are you now.

Has coaching turned more to producing footballers that can then be moulded to whatever you want rather than producing footballers that are experts in their area. You look at the England squad and there isn't a decent defender amongst them. They can all play going forward but as for defending, well they are all poor.

Isn't it about time we figured out what Gylfi Sigurdsson is, Christian Eriksen, Nacer Chadli, Mousa Dembele, Paulinho. What's wrong with saying that's your best position so we'll play you there!

Let's have a bit of simplicity to the squad shall we.



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