Seb Stafford-Bloor has a piece over at UMaxIt that says the right things about new-boy Vincent Janssen, I think. This excerpt in particular makes the key point:
Janssen is a different type of forward (than Harry Kane). He represents a doubling of Pochettino’s resources in that position, but also a diversification of his options. 2015-16 was incontestably an excellent season, but there were times—even during games which they would ultimately win—when Tottenham butted their head against a tactical brick wall.
Without the right rhythm or against a stubborn opponent, they would occasionally lose their footing and grow frustrated at their inability to exert disruption in advanced areas. In retrospect, it’s tempting to see that as a consequence of being fairly predictable: Spurs were heavily reliant on a group of core players a year ago and, as a result, were unable to significantly change their shape as situations demanded. On the one hand, that adds real perspective to their third-place finish and amplifies the performances of the players and, ultimately, the manager. On the other, it made a summer evolution imperative if the club hoped to hold or advance their position.
Janssen is that evolution.
The Janssen signing reminds me in many ways of the Dani Osvaldo signing at Southampton when Mauricio Pochettino was managing on England’s south coast. Osvaldo did multiple things for the Saints:
- He provided depth and competition at striker.
- Given the flexibility and playmaking ability of Rickie Lambert, he also provided tactical versatility as he could be played on his own or in a lineup that also featured Lambert.
Janssen does the same thing for us. He’s got a strength and energy up top that reminds me a little of Diego Costa, plus he seems to have the technical chops and finishing ability to work in Mauricio Pochettino’s system. So he can play on his own in Harry Kane’s place and introduce some different dimensions to the attack or he can be played with Kane, which allows us to see Kane as more of a playmaker/second striker playing behind Janssen.
We’re likely looking at a 60+ game season this year so added depth and greater tactical versatility are two things we’ll likely need. Obviously we only saw 30 minutes of Janssen at the weekend, but it was an encouraging half hour. What do y’all think?
On to the links:
Former FIFA president Joao Havelange died yesterday at age 100. Lineker’s obit seems about right:
Joao Havelange, the former FIFA president has died. Football gave him so much. Yes, you read that correctly.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) August 16, 2016
Spurs are apparently unwilling to loan Nabil Bentaleb and are only interested in selling him outright. (This is according to the Mail, so take it for what it’s worth.)
Jonathan Calleri, who had previously been linked with Spurs, has joined West Ham on loan.
The Arsenal-Liverpool game was the most-watched opening weekend Premier League game ever in the USA.
On my personal site, I’m going to be recapping each weekend’s EPL matches with the help of Michael Caley’s xG results. I won’t link it regularly, but if you’d like to follow, here are week 1’s results.
Thore Haugstad’s tactical review of week one in the EPL is helpful, particularly when he’s talking about Pep’s City and Everton’s handling of Harry Kane.
The Set Pieces interviewed a guy who turned his love of Football Manager into a career.
Villa gonna Villa: