Spurs’ striker situation this season has been peculiar. At the start of the campaign, Andre Villas-Boas opted for Jermain Defoe as his lone forward, despite the permanent signing of Emmanuel Adebayor, who was probably more suited to that role. Defoe performed well early on, combining goalscoring with impressive movement and improved link-up play.
Surprisingly, Villas-Boas switched to a 4-4-2 to accommodate both together, even after the initial setback of Adebayor’s dismissal at Arsenal when that formation was first tried. However, this was largely due to the struggles of Gylfi Sigurdsson and Clint Dempsey in Spurs’ attacking midfield role, and the arrival of Lewis Holtby means Villas-Boas is less inclined to play both strikers, despite opting for them together at the San Siro in midweek.
Now, we’re back to the situation at the start of the campaign. Villas-Boas has stated his admiration for Defoe, but in recent weeks he’s been far from impressive. In the confident home victory over Inter, he seemed to be going for personal glory rather than setting up his team-mates to put the tie to bed; and against Liverpool last weekend, his mistake contributed to Liverpool’s winning goal.
Therefore, Adebayor is probably a more likely choice this weekend against Fulham. Martin Jol’s centre-back pairing of Philippe Senderos and Brede Hangeland is impressive in terms of strength, but Adebayor’s pace might be more vital. Fulham have often depended upon Aaron Hughes to sweep up behind one of the centre-backs, but without him Fulham lack mobility in the centre of the side. Defoe is, arguably, the more logical option tactically, but his recent performances haven’t enhanced his reputation in Villas-Boas’ mind.
This post courtesy of Pick Our Team is by Michael Cox. PickOurTeam is a new type of football community giving fans an opportunity to have a meaningful say on the formation and selection of their team. PickOurTeam is the voice of the fans – collecting views on who should play where and ratings on how the players, manager, and referee perform each week. Every match the findings are compiled and presented back to the fans. The article was originally published here.