Date: 21st May 2018 at 8:00pm
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The report in the Standard today that we will prioritise a move for Anthony Martial in the summer is an intriguing one. It looks as though the main reason why Mauricio Pochettino is looking at the Frenchman is his versatility.

In previous transfer windows, the club have repeatedly looked at conventional strikers to provide backup for Harry Kane, but with the long list of failures, it seems we are going to go in a slightly different direction.

The French international is described as a forward, but during his time in England, he has more often than not been employed on the wing.

Before arriving at Manchester United, he was almost exclusively used as a central striker, but after his switch in 2015, 93 out of his 136 appearances have been on the left or right-hand side of an attacking trio.

Only in 36 appearances has he played as an out and out striker, with a goal to games ratio of 1 in 4. The 22-year-old actually has a better record scoring from wide positions so on the face of it, it does seem an unsatisfactory solution.

Yet, for me, it is more sensible than punting on another striker who will just come to sit on the bench. As I mentioned in a previous post, all number nines need rhythm to score goals. Coming off the bench for 20 minutes or getting a start once a month is unlikely to get you much return in terms of goals.

Choosing to go with a different type of player, one that can play in different positions is probably a safer bet. Not only will he offer you tactical flexibility when required if other options are unavailable, it also means that if Harry does get injured, his replacement won’t be thrust in without match practice.

They may have played a number of games out wide whilst our no.10 is fit, but if he is sidelined, they will be match sharp and ready to fill in through the middle. It doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be Martial. There are other options on the market, but it’s a solution that could bear fruit.

We could simply use Son, but that removes one of our options in wider areas. Having another option through the middle is definitely something this squad could benefit from.


41 Replies to “Poch Set To Take A Different Approach To Solve Spurs’s Striker Problem”

  • I really don’t think Martial is the answer but have always thought there is a lot of sense in having am extra goalscoring winger or am in the mix, the way we attack is pretty fluid and Poch clearly doesn’t want to change that to accomodate a more orthodox striker.

    For me though I’d rather see some of the other players linked-Bale maybe a bit unlikely as would top options like Ousmane Dembele or Isco but maybe Pusilic or Sessegnon they seem to have higher potential than Martial and maybe could provide that extra bit of magic that conjours up a goal when a team is struggling

    • As an orthodox Striker I’d take Rashford over Martial anyday but as someone who can provide competition and for Eriksen, Alli, Son, Lucas and Lamela and ensures that Sissoko never plays a single minute for us then yeah I’d take Martial.
      I think Poch can do a lot to improve him and make him more consistent.
      The other option may be signing Martial to allow Eriksen to play in centre midfield in the Lampard / Scholes role giving us someone who can create from deeper on the pitch and us have the pace of Martial, Lucas or Son on the wings with Alli or Lamela behind Kane

  • Spurs doesn’t have a “striker problem” .
    Kane is one of the best strikers in the world. Pretty hard to find a striker who wants to be “behind Kane”.
    Poch does overuse Kane and Kane wants to play so badly that it’s hard to hold him back.
    We lost at least 8 points near seasons end by playing Kane when he wasn’t 100%. Some of our other regulars were also struggling with exhaustion too. We have the solid back ups in most positions. Poch has to trust the whole team to deliver. Son, Lamela, Dele and Llorente can all be adequate back up for Kane even starting so that Kane can come in for the last 20 minutes and do his magic. With Moura in place and if we add Martial- Ericksen might get a breather occasionally as well. sessegnon is Tottenham’s “must sign” in this window.

  • If Bale joined, he’d get in the starting eleven. If Zaha joined, also get in the starting eleven. Nor arguments. Nobody can surely build a case for Son, Lamela or Moura over those 2.

    The question becomes, would Martial get in the starting eleven? Surely we have enough “squad players” to play in our 4-2-3-1 system. What we need is players that can take us to another level in our attacking play. The answer to my question is…I’m not sure. I’ve never rated his tracking back but I don’t doubt there is a great footballer in there and one that Poch could just bring the best out of.

    There’s also rumours that Chelsea want to swap Willian for Martial though.

  • Bale (apparently) has said he’d be happy to return to us, so if true he obviously is willing to take a drop in wages as he already knows the set up.
    IF and I stress IF this is true, then I think with his winning mentality and his European footballing experience we should go all out to buy him.
    I know he’s had injury problems, but hopefully that is behind him now.
    If he came to us we would still have enough dosh to buy a defender and a midfielder, especially when we sell off our dead wood, then we would stand a far better chance to win things
    Personally I think bale over Martial, so SELL Toby to manure rather than a swap for Martial and buy Bale.

  • If martial isn’t good enough for Manure’s regular first 11, why would he be good for us as a first 11 starter?
    Do we really want Maureen’s cast offs and failures?
    NO, we need proven winners who play on a regular 1st team basis.

  • Martial is good but he isn’t better than Son in my opinion. I don’t think he will add anything to the team other than being a substitute for Son when injured or resting. Zaha would be a slightly better shout given homegrown status and form, but we know full well Gareth Bale is going to provide more goals than both of these guys. Erikson and Bale leaning over a set piece must be ridiculously scary for a GK.

    I don’t think it’s sensible this year to focus on a backup striker we have a few youuth players making waves, Llorente, and Janssen to accommodate and besides, there’s plenty of goals in the team without Harry up front. The bigger problem is, even with this supposedly world class defence we seem to concede or give away possession too easily and it’s coming from the middle of the park.

    The Dier, Wanyama, Demebele, Sissoko combo in the middle of the park doesn’t work for me. They don’t have a great deal or vision or passing finesse to make this team as good as it should be. I seem like I’m recollecting the good old days after mentioning Bale but we miss that Modric type player badly. If we could sign that calibre of CM playmaker it would sure fix a lot of our problems. That’s where I hope we focus our attention this window.

  • Its the old “can play as a striker” trap that we seem to keep falling into. We’ve already got five players competing for those three spots behind the striker next season, making it six won’t change anything. Meanwhile not only don’t we have a back up for Kane in the centre forward position we are looking weak in terms of the two positions in front of the defence. You strengthen where you are weak not where you are strong (unless you have the money to buy a new squad every season).

  • As I mentioned recently… Bale would give all players at the club a massive increase of belief in themselves / spurs, and knowledge of how to win big games. Which we have been lacking in doing so. Martial is good yet the same as Sonny, we have Moura already who can also do both wide and AMF. We do need a replacement for Moussa Dembele, and Sissoko. To make way for new players, Llorente, Sissoko to leave, with Davies or Rose if the fulham lad comes in, with his brother who is a right wing player. As back up for Kane, we have young players like Griffiths..already so give them a chance. (KWP) at RB for trippier / Aurier Then we have toby’s situation, if he goes, buy the young dutch player, so we have him, sanchez foyth, jan CCV to cover 3 or 4 CB line players. In goal, vorm to leave gazza to step up. as from what I saw of him at wembley, he is good enough… So if poch / levy agree on any or all of this we can have a squad improvement for the new season / stadium games, as well as some financial net spend figures that Mr Levy can live with… COYS

  • chrishove123 , “If martial isn’t good enough for Manure’s regular first 11, why would he be good for us as a first 11 starter? Do we really want Maureen’s cast offs and failures?”

    You mean like De Bruyne, Mo Salah and Lukaku? Martial was Man Utds player of the month 3x last season, more than any other player, but for whatever reason has fallen out of favour with Jose, who seems to prefer older players rather than working on younger talent. I’d definitely sign him if possible, to challenge both Son and Kane.

  • Martial doesn’t get along with Mourinho. That’s sufficient for me to take a look at him. Think of how motivated he would be to show how wrong Mourinho was? Mourinho is a horse’s pitoot.

  • “Martial was Man Utds player of the month 3x last season, more than any other player, but for whatever reason has fallen out of favour with Jose”

    Of course that reason was 29 year old Alexis Sanchez, on £500k per week. How could I forget. So far he’s been a flop.

  • I personally don’t rate Martial very highly. I think he’s been over hyped because of the price Man U paid for him, and he’s had very limited success as a striker. The talent is there for all to see, but when it comes to translating that talent into numbers, the stats just aren’t there. A bit like Lamela in some ways.

    I know some will point to his limited chances, and the fact that he’s played on the wing, but some players do tend to make the most out of “super sub” opportunities and Martial hasn’t. Additionally, chances are he’d face the same situation here, with very high competition for minutes alongside Kane, or very limited opportunities as Kane’s replacement.

    He’s a decent player but I’d expect a high price tag. And for the money it would cost to sign him, I think we should be targeting a proven out and out striker (not a hybrid player like Martial). If we’re going to take a gamble on a player, it would have to be for a limited investment.

  • I’ve heard that Son was going to be covering HK10 next season. I guess if we bought Bale he could also do it. N’Koudou linked with Bordeaux – part of a swap deal for Malcom?!

  • How many top 6 squads have more than one orthodox striker though? Perhaps Chelsea if you include both Morata and Giroud.

    Liverpool don’t even play with one. They interchange between their awesome front 3 and any of them can score at any time. Ditto City who have played Silva, Sterling, Jesus etc up top at times this season and left Aguero on the bench. Arsenal are trying to emulate that with Aubamayang, Lacazette and Wellbeck but none of them really lead the line. Outside of the top 6, Zaha has been really effective given license to play instead of Benteke.

    What’s most important is that these attacking players can find the back of the net AND contribute to the team play. We have Lamela and Son that do one of those well but not the other. Shame we can’t morph them into one player. Can’t imagine how many goals Zaha would have got in the Spurs setup. He managed 1 in 3 just in Palace’s struggling side. There’s also no questioning how many goals Bale could get or even Sessegnon at his tender age in our setup.

  • “but when it comes to translating that talent into numbers, the stats just aren’t there”

    Thats not true, BS. Martial has almost 40 goals and assists in just over 80 premiership appearances, many as a sub. In his debut PL season as a teenager, he scored 11 goals in 29 apps, which btw is 1 more than Lamela has scored in his entire spurs career. there aren’t many kids doing those numbers in any of the top leagues in Europe and he’s still only 22. This season he has 9 goals and 5 assists in 18 starts plus multiple POTM’s prior to Sanchez signing in January. Those are really good stats for a 19-22 year old and the reason most Man Utd fans are about as annoyed and worried by the prospect of him leaving, as Newcastle fans were excited about the possibility of getting £30m for Sissoko.

  • Guyver – I haven’t broken down the stats like you have, I’ve just had a look at his overall stats at Man U. Over the last 3 seasons, 24 PL goals in 86 PL apps. According to Wikipedia, that’s 11 goals in 31 apps in his first season, 4 goals in 25 apps in his second, and 9 in 30 in his third. Respectable numbers (second season aside), but are they worthy of a 40+ million price tag that he would surely command? I’m not so sure. I’d venture to say that the PL probably offers other players who are better value for money.

    The reality is that he’s very unlikely to start as a striker when Kane is fit. He may have scored 9 goals in 18 starts, but how many goals has he scored coming off the bench? That stat would be a lot more telling.

    We’ve already got an abundance of attacking midfielders at the club, especially since the arrival of Moura. I’d much rather find out what we have in Moura first, instead of spending a large fee on a player who may or may not improve us.

    Llorente had just scored 12 PL goals when we bought him, yet he’s been a terrible signing for us because we don’t put him in a position to succeed. We’re unlikely to do that for Martial (give him a run of starts), so why expect different results?

  • To say that Martial is a cast-off and failure because Mourinho doesn’t always start him is nonsense. And as a reason for him not to be a Spurs player is silly.

    Toby was out on loan to Southampton the season before he came to Spurs. Harry Kane was 3rd choice to Soldado and Adebayor and not so long after spending time on the Foxes bench, when Poch first came to Spurs. When we paid a mere £5m for Dele, he was being loaned back to 3rd tier club MK Dons before he landed on the WHL pitch…

    Are we even after the lad? I don’t know but If we are, then maybe Pochettino really hasn’t got a clue and we should all be calling him Botch. LOL.

    I’ve watched Anthony play many times and I think he is a bloody good and very talented player. But, I aint no coach or scout or expert.

    As you were…

  • BS, as he has spent most of his time on the wing, I think assists shouldn’t be ignored when looking at numbers and productivity. Neither should the fact that he’s played for very defensive managers and is still 4 years younger than Lamela and 3 years younger than Son.

    This from Man Utds own official website, days after they signed Sanchez. He was actually having an excellent season, prior to be dumped by Jose.

    His price tag is as a result of age, potential, ability he has already shown at the highest level of the game and a the current transfer market.

    Im not sure how many Martial has scored coming off the bench, but he scored the winner against us this season in October, coming on as a late sub. I don’t think he’d have a problem coming off the bench. But given how inconsistent Son can be, and even Kane at times, he’d have lots of opportunities to start anyway, if he can reproduce those numbers, or even improve on them as he matures (like Zaha) and with the benefit of playing for a more offensive manager, he’d make an excellent signing.

    How many attacking players individually shine under Jose anyway? Pogba? Sanchez? Mkhitaryan? Mata? Nope. Only Lukaku really (who Jose also dumped while at Chelsea).

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