By James Lambert – Author of Tactical Series Mauricio Pochettino
This 1-3-4-2-1 playing system fits the Tottenham team Pochettino is building with positional profiles matching to perfection.
Lloris is a sweeper keeper who as great distribution, with good feet and an excellent shot stopper.
Rose and Walker are flexible to play in a back 4 and a back three system, but in a back three, they have even more license to push on and take the width.
Vertonghen, Alderweireld and Dier are all very mobile defenders with very good distribution long and short.
Holding Midfielders have the characteristics to screen, win balls but also have the technical skills to support the attack. Dembele is a complete footballer who is excellent in possession and often starts positive moves with his ability to run with the ball and change the tempo of the game.
Wanyama screens and breaks up play, he excels when the other team counters to slow or stop the counter attack. Wanyama is one of the best defensive midfielders in the game today.
The two deep lying creative players Alli and Eriksen have more freedom in this system, and it is this freedom that can add elements of surprise and creativity to the Tottenham attack. When Son is brought on he also give the team something different, he is excellent in tight areas. Positioning himself in the last line with perfectly timed runs or simple body shape to break the last line.
With Kane playing striker they have mobility, strength, a great team player and of course a goal scorer.
Tottenham also use a two striker system to fir in Janssen and Kane, this gives Dembele freedom to work with Alli, Eriksen, Winks or Son. The roles of Rose and Walker are the same, often pushing high to take the width.
When they have fall behind in games they have switched to the 4-2-3-1 to try and overload the central areas.
On the right side Eriksen plays inside inviting Walker to take the width, Son mostly plays out on the left but at times he may move to the right wing allowing Rose to push forward. The system is not rigid, it is very flexible with many central rotations to try and break down the opponent.
This article is an excerpt from our new book by James Lambert – Tactical Series Mauricio Pochettino