How many pieces of the attacking jigsaw need changing?

One step forward, one step back, we haven't quite got it right yet have we.

How many pieces of the attacking jigsaw need changing?


The youngsters in the squad have been disappointed with the displays of the more senior players for Tottenham this season, believing they have not been giving it their all. This is exactly what Tim Sherwood saw and pointed out, time has proved he was right.

While the youth have bought into the Mauricio Pochettino philosophy, some more senior players had decided his tactics aren't working and were not giving it their all. It was a mistake from Pochettino listening to the players and making Younes Kaboul captain with Emmanuel Adebayor a vice-captain. That gave them a status when in fact they have the wrong attitude.

Kaboul wants to win, make no mistake, but he loses it and tries to do it all himself rather than concentrating on perfecting his own performance and driving others to improve theirs. When he goes wandering to the right wing the team is no longer performing as a team but a collection of individuals. We give the impression of being a team of individuals and not a team far too often to me.

Tottenham need players with a winning mentality as I've said many a time before, players who want to improve every day, players who will give it their all and that is certainly not Adebayor. There is little point players having a meeting to discuss problems with players like Ade, he doesn't believe the players have a problem, for him it's down to the head coach. It has taken the intervention of Levy and Pochttino to lay down the law to him and others.

The young players have made the right impression and Pochettino wants to introduce more of them, the senior players will have to knuckle down, leave the club or rot. Trouble is it's not easy to get rid of them and they know it.

We saw the first results of the Levy and Pochettino intervention against Everton, a team that actually resembled a team. That gave us hope for the future, a future in which their would be ups and downs, a down against Chelsea and an up we expected against Crystal Palace. Alas it was not to be, our creative players yet again couldn't create.

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The season for Spurs is now just beginning. The good news is that the season isn't over, as it had the danger of descending into a serious relegation battle without a change of mentality. I see the Guardian are now saying the flaw in our mentality is stark, the question now is will it change or was Everton a token gesture?

While the players know it's Pochettino's way or no way and we should be looking forward to the season once again, can we? We should be looking forward to the development of the side, but can we? For fans it depends upon how long-term a view you take, for players it's whether they want to.

If a player doesn't believe in a philosophy it is doubtful he is going to change his mind. He might have to work harder to play but without belief there is always going to be something missing from his game and thus nit the right player for the system. That presents a problem as you have to get rid of them, for us that's a question of how.

The system is not going to change, therefore the players have to. The attacking players have shown they don't have the creative ability to operate within it. Creation depends upon player movement. If players don't have the footballing intelligence to make the runs, that draw defenders away to create openings for someone else, then performances are not going to improve.

We seem to have a bunch of me me me players, they all want to be the star and none of them are. They don't play as a creative team but more one tries to use his individual skill and when that doesn't work they give the ball to someone else to try. Alternatively it's pass sideways in front of a packed defence while we look for non-existent openings, non-existent because we don't have the runners creating them.

The fact that we are only 5 points away from fourth, although with our goal difference it's actually 6 points, gives hope that the season can still bring a challenge for a top four slot, but that recedes with every home game.

Our creative front four are failing. We get very little from overlapping full-backs and seem to rely on two or three chances per game. A striker in form will survive on such meagre scrapings for a while before he loses form, but a striker out of form has no opportunity to regain it.

Apart from the inconsistent Chadli who pops up anywhere across the front line we have little goal threat. Kane is still learning his trade and should really be a back-up player. Why is Christian Eriksen always behind the ball, why does he never make a run into the box to receive the ball at home? We are stuck in we must keep possession mode, the opposition will get bored and give us an opening.

Until we resolve the attacking men in the team we will continue to struggle. Which do you retain, which do you sell? They all have flaws that affect our play and will affect the play of others. Which of them has the mental make-up of a winner and which of merely a player?

In the next two windows Pochettino has to fill the squad with winning mentalities, Fazio has one, but a host of players don't. We can not afford the next two windows to be as bad as the last year or the club will be back to a mid-table club aspiring to be better again. While defence and midfield still require upgrading, the attacking element is proving ot be the biggest concern.

Paul Mitchell has a big responsibility, it is he who now recommends the players in the first place.



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