Over the weekend Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp told the press that, if Manchester City were willing to subsidize the players wages, Redknapp wouldn't mind bringing in Carlos Tevez on loan. Tottenham Hotspur are certainly short on striker talent, but would the want-away Argentine be a worthwhile addition to the squad? I don't believe so.
Before I tell you why, let me make it clear that Tevez's attitude does not concern me. If there is one thing that Harry Redknapp is, it is a man manager. Harry is capable of dealing with difficult personalities and he has proved that throughout his career. Currently he has Rafael Van der Vaart and Emmanuel Adebayor in his dressing room and he seems to be handling their personalities well enough to get good results out of the team.
Tevez's behavior off the pitch is not an issue that Tottenham should be concerned with and his behavior on the pitch is certainly not something that should preclude any club from acquiring his services. Despite being unhappy at times during each of his three stops in England, Tevez's effort on the pitch has never been questioned. When on the field he is as hard a worker as any striker in football and any team would certainly benefit from that.
The problem with bringing in Carlos Tevez is merely one of tactics. If you think Harry finds it hard to balance playing either Jermain Defoe of Van der Vaart, then imagine him trying to balance playing Van der Vaart and Tevez. The latter two, unlike the former pairing, actually play, essentially, the same position. Add to that the fact that both Tevez and Van der Vaart are absolutely world class goal scorers, something Defoe is not, and you have a tactical conundrum on your hands.
Is there a formation that would accommodate the attacking trio of Adebayor, Tevez, and Van der Vaart? Of course there is! A narrow diamond 4-4-2 formation (a 4-1-2-1-2 if you prefer) would be a perfect fit for that group of personnel. This tactic, and the addition of Tevez in general, would allow Adebayor to switch to his preferred role as a more advanced striker, rather than the more targetman-esque role he's been asked to play thus far at Spurs. Tevez would become the deep-lying forward and he and Van der Vaart would drift between the opponents midfield and defenders pulling players out of position and creating space for Adebayor to run into.
Sounds great doesn't it? The problem with this formation is fitting Gareth Bale into it. Many, including myself, are resistant to turning Bale into a central midfielder even if in the narrow diamond he would be allowed some freedom to roam down the left flank. The better fit for the other midfielders would be Sandro, Scott Parker, and Luka Modric. Moving Bale back to left back would mean dropping Benoit Assou-Ekotto to the bench or switching him to the right back berth. Both moves would make our defense considerably weaker.
While Gareth Bale hasn't been at his best of late it's hard to believe that a Tottenham Hotspur squad without him in it would be for the best. So to accommodate Gareth Bale Spurs must shift back to a traditional 4-4-2 (or the oft-advocated for 4-2-3-1) with Aaron Lennon on the right wing, or an unhappy Van der Vaart and Tevez playing, again, as the deep-lying striker (or as a trequartista in the 4-2-3-1). I don't particularly like either of those options either.
One remaining option is that Tevez plays as a lone striker. It's certainly something he's done before, but it would require us to drop Adebayor. Additionally having Tevez as the lone striker, to me, requires a bit more attacking power from the wings. We would almost certainly need to use inverted wingers in a formation with Tevez as the lone striker and we do not have players capable of playing that position.
So, while the addition of a player like Tevez is a tantalizing pipe dream, given Tottenham's current squad it doesn't make much sense. The addition of a player like Tevez (or Giuseppe Rossi) would almost certainly preclude Tottenham from playing one of their other best players, namely Gareth Bale or Rafael Van der Vaart. Spurs need to add a striker, but the problem with adding that player is how will they fit into the squad. Tottenham will be hard pressed to accommodate a two striker formation given the rest of their squad. That's why a player like Leandro Damiao who can play as a lone striker is a preferable option to Tevez.
What do you think about Tevez? Forget for a second whether it can or will happen (it can't and it won't). Would you want him? If so how can Tottenham best accommodate him in the squad?