Midfield a conundrum for Pochettino

Pochettino identified a problem at Tottenham apart from the obvious left side and centre-back issues. He was concerned that it took the side so long to get the ball from defence to attack.

Midfield a conundrum for Pochettino


For this reason he has looked to bring in a ball playing defensive midfielder to replace Sandro, who can be brilliant defensively but isn't as creative as others and has been looking to move to Italy. Mousa Dembélé is a talented footballer that you always feel is not playing to his full potential, he is a dribbler rather than a passer, he dribbles from defence to the front players, that is slow.

Pochettino's solution has been to try to bring in Morgan Schneiderlin from Southampton who is a converted attacking midfielder. Estaban Cambiasso was also linked and plays in the same style, passing from the back so it's clear this is what he wants. He wants the ball moved from defence to attack quickly and that means passing it there.

If we look at the USA & Canada pre-season tour we have seen evidence of this with swift one-touch passing. The front four then take over with Eriksen central switching positions with Lamela while Soldado stays mainly central but also interchanging as well.

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Aaron Lennon has taken to a new role from the inside left channel, coming central and again using one touch passing. Adebayor you would have thought would fit into the system well as the central figure. Will Paulinho be pushed further forward into a more attacking role or will Dembélé?

Nabil Bentaleb has a range of passing, we saw him pinging passes about against Benfica in the away leg for instance when with Fryers and Sandro at centre-back he put in a superb performance, as he did against Newcastle when playing further forward in our 4-0 victory.

How will he use him this season and has Ryan Mason shown enough to suggest we don't need Schneiderlin, we already have an attacking midfielder we can convert to a ball playing defensive midfielder. Étienne Capoue was in the French squad head of Morgan Schneiderlin but injuries cost him any chance of a World Cup place and further injuries allowed Schneiderlin to go.

Etienne has passing skills and then there is Holtby to consider, again not an out and out attacking midfielder. If Schneiderlin does arrive we are going to be overrun with defensive type midfielders again, even if Sandro does leave, yet we have unconvincing back-up attacking players.

Plenty of problems to solve, egos to massage, but at the end of the day we can only play 11 players, even if we do play over 50 games but our season may hinge on keeping Lamela and his first choice attacking teammates fit.



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