Tottenham Hotspur currently find themselves in 3rd position in the Premier League having won 7 of their last 9 games and pretty much the form team in the Premier League (Manchester United aside). AVB has just won Barclay’s Premier League Manager of the Month for December.
The Lilywhites are clearly in a good groove right now and enjoying supremacy over their North London rivals but they can’t afford to rest of their laurels and there are still some slight issues to sort out in terms of personnel.
One of these seems to be the situation of Tom Huddlestone (known as Tom Cuddlestone around Squawka HQ) who since being touted as a potential superstar at Derby has not had the impact he probably desired, relegated to the bench as each manager prefers not to wait for him to come good. But why is Huddlestone on the bench and what can he offer any other teams?
Good passing, but not the right passing
Huddlestone has made 12 appearances this season, starting 6 games. In these games his passing accuracy has been 82%:
First observation we can make about this graph is that Huddlestone attempts (successfully) a lot of long ball passes. Given that Spurs have been known for their incredibly quick incisive passing through the midfield areas, this might explain why Huddlestone has been fairly marginalised.
Also worth noting is that he has the lowest pass accuracy of any central midfielder at Spurs this season with Dembele completing 91% of his passes, Livermore 87%, Sandro 86%, Tom Carroll 83% and Scott Parker completing 89% last season.
Huddlestone is a consistent performer but maybe doesn’t hit the heights that are expected of a top four player.
The Nottingham born midfielder has only really had one poor game all season and otherwise been solid, but nothing outstanding.
He has no goals to his name and a shot accuracy of only 15% but has notched up three assists from the nine chances he has created for his team-mates.
In terms of other efforts on the pitch, Huddlestone has made nine interceptions and ten tackles which isn’t exactly groundbreaking. He does win the majority of his headed duels but that’s not something AVB will place a huge importance on when choosing his central midfielders.
With Dembele and Sandro striking up an instant rapport in the middle of the park and Parker providing experienced cover as well as the young pretenders Carroll and Livermore waiting in the wings; Huddlestone might be surplus to requirements. At 26 and with obvious ability, he will want first team football and could attract a decent loan deal or a good fee on a permanent transfer.
By Nic English