Spurs are in some major flux right now with such a new system being put in place by new gaffer Andre Villas-Boas.
I must admit that it's still early and while there are going to be some crazy struggles by Spurs early in the season that I'm all over AVB at this moment. He just seems to have a presence so far which shows me he believes in himself and has the respect of the squad.
I like that he's got a smart mind and that all the quotes I've read from the lads have said he knows what he's doing. Players in any sport other than football don't usually like plays or systems. They just want to freestyle and do their thing. Harry Redknapp just let the guys do whatever they wanted. I like that Villas-Boas has a structure to his football as that will keep the players on their toes as they need to adapt and come together with the same group of players but in a defined role.
While I'm no tactical expert the things I've seen (and liked) about the new system so far are things that the team will struggle with initially but by November I think they'll have them down
The first thing I noticed is how the fullbacks really push up the flanks. Kyle Naughton at right back specifically was almost playing a right winger. Benoit Assou-Ekotto was getting forward constantly but not even close to as much as Naughton. The centrebacks played very wide leaving quite a gaping hole in the middle of the pitch.
When Tottenham dropped into a defensive position the deepest central midfielder would quite often dip in between the centrebacks and become a "third" centreback to cover that gap in the middle.
Everyone knows about the high line AVB plays and how he really likes to press the opposition when they get the ball so it was fun to see the guys try that stuff.
I watched many games of Spurs with Harry as boss and was always looking for a style or system that I could pick out or basically anything that showed me some type of plan. As someone who has been a fan of the game for about 25 months I still don't know the little tactical details much but that's what I'm really going after this year along with broadening my knowledge of the names of players and how they play.
As the new Spurs regime moves forward I'm going to either write more about the things I'm seeing in AVB's style that is different from the old Spurs of Harry or just talk about them on our podcast.
AVB definitely has the better tactical mind when compared with Harry so I am very much excited about seeing what type of role Andre has for each player and where they are on the pitch. Harry essentially didn't do much and had "his guys" and there was a lot of static play by the team last year.
AVB, I want to see some genius decision. Please teach me some deep football things!
Third place in 2012-2013 it is.