Jose Mourinho Must Switch To A 4-3-3 To Plug The Harry Kane Sized Gap At Spurs

In the absence of his club captain, the Tottenham boss should shake his formation up
17:30, 05 Feb 2020

For years now, Tottenham Hotspur's formation of choice has been a 4-2-3-1. It was Mauricio Pochettino's favourite way to set up in his five-and-a-half years at the club and Jose Mourinho has largely followed suit since he took over from the Argentine in November of last year.

Granted, there have been some deviations from the 4-2-3-1, most notably to a 3-4-3, but it's fair to say it's the formation that has been the norm at White Hart Lane, Wembley and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in recent years.

But we think it's time Spurs phased the 4-2-3-1 out and switched to a 4-3-3, and there are a number of reasons why that's the case. For starters, Spurs were at their best in a 4-2-3-1 when they had an out-and-out defensive midfielder in their first choice starting eleven. Whether that was Victor Wanyama or Eric Dier, the back four was suitably protected.

With Wanyama seemingly finished at the club and Dier struggling terribly to find any kind of form, none of Spurs' main midfield men are full-on defensive midfielders, which means the back four are seriously exposed when only two of them are on the pitch.

Packing out the midfield a little more would at least help to plug the gap a little, and having Spurs getting used to the formation in time for an actual defensive midfielder signing (hopefully in the summer) would stand them in very good stead for next season.

Harry Winks, Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso would suffice for the time being, but just imagine a Spurs midfield trio of a Wilfred Ndidi-esque defensive mid, Ndombele and Lo Celso going forward - it would be pretty formidable and would have a bit of everything.

More to the point, a 4-3-3 formation would undoubtedly suit the team during the current absence of star striker Harry Kane.

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Being the "1" in a 4-2-3-1 is no easy task for players who aren't out-and-out strikers, such as Son Heung-min and Lucas Moura, so playing a front three would take the burden away from them. Dele Alli could even potentially play as a false nine in a 4-3-3.

Again, switching to this formation now would mean Harry Kane could slot straight into it once he returns from injury. A forward trio of new signing Steven Bergwijn, Kane and Son would be very reminiscent of the Mane/Firmino/Salah strikeforce at Liverpool and the Sterling/Aguero/Mahrez front three at Manchester City.

And that's another key point for this argument - the best teams in the Premier League (and indeed the world - just look at Barcelona) operate with a 4-3-3 system, so Spurs should be looking to emulate that in order to match them man-for-man and not get completely dominated in the midfield areas.

Spurs might have beaten Manchester City recently, and it was a superb result, no doubt, but even the most staunch Lilywhite supporters would tell you they were largely outplayed until City went down to ten men (in much the same way they were against Liverpool a few weeks earlier).

It makes absolute sense for Jose Mourinho's team to adopt the 4-3-3, but that decision is, of course, ultimately down to the 'Special One' himself.