Total Football, Or How Tottenham Look Brilliant Just Kind Of Screwing Around

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 30: Armand Traore of Queens Park Rangers holds a water bottle in his hand as he evades Aaron Lennon of Tottenham Hotspur during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Queens Park Rangers at White Hart Lane on October 30, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

In his third game back in the Tottenham Hotspur team, Aaron Lennon once again looked a bit off the pace. He didn't really do a whole lot against Armand Traore, who is a demonstrably bad player. He looks nothing like the player who was one of the best wingers in the word during our campaign to fourth place in the 2009-10 season. And yet, yesterday against Queens Park Rangers, Aaron Lennon tallied two assists.

Neither of these assists came from crosses from the right wing, nor did they come in any kind of Aaron Lennony way at all. Both came from very short passes, and both came from the center of the park. Both goals were scored by Gareth Bale, who on both occasions was standing right next to Lennon.

Wait...what? Bale standing right next to Lennon? What in the world is this? Chalkboard after the jump.

 

Aaron Lennon drifted to the left frequently, but this was not because Tottenham were playing with inverted wingers. Instead, Bale was actually on the left the whole time. Rafael van der Vaart and Emmanuel Adebayor drifted around a lot to fill empty spaces, but neither was excessively right-leaning. Kyle Walker got forward a lot while Scott Parker drifted right quite a bit to make up for Lennon's positioning, but this didn't seem planned.

It's quite possible that Harry Redknapp rates most of QPR's team and thinks Luke Young is an absolute donkey, and therefore wanted to have players run at him and give him a lot to think about. However, if playing Lennon and Bale on the same side occasionally was actually a tactic...man, I don't even know what to think about that.

Someone here (I think Ashlock) posted a Harry Redknapp meme a few weeks back that said "Total Football: Just f--kin run around a bit." I feel like that's what happened against QPR. 'Arry told the boys to just f--kin run around a bit and have a go of it. What resulted was Lennon having no positional discipline and Scott Parker filling in the gaps. 

Ultimately, whether this was an actual tactic or Lennon just being a crazy person, it worked. Tottenham played their best looking football of the season and Lennon provided Bale with two assists. But, this doesn't seem like a sustainable thing. 

What do you guys think? Tactic, or just Harry not caring that Lennon is a headless chicken? Should we invent new and interesting ways to get Lennon and Bale close to each other on the pitch on a regular basis? I have no idea what to think of this.

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