Having spent the Gareth Bale money on a number of quality players to strengthen their squad, Tottenham’s lack of goals this season has surprised most observers of the game. With so many new arrivals at the club a settling in period is inevitable, but with only nine goals from eleven league games it is fair to say much more was expected from Tottenham this season. Only Sunderland and Crystal Palace have scored less goals in the Premier League. It must be said that Tottenham did look much better going forward against Newcastle this past weekend, and only an inspired Tim Krul performance kept them from scoring several goals, so perhaps things are already beginning to come together.
The major disappointment for Spurs has been the goal return from striker Roberto Soldado, a big money signing from Valencia who is keeping Jermaine Defoe out of the team. Soldado is a quality penalty box finisher, arguably only second to Falcao in world football. However, despite being prolific in Spanish football with a goal every other game, he has struggled to score from open play this season. I believe the key to Soldado scoring is Andros Townsend. The winger has been in great form this season, bursting onto the international stage to help seal England’s qualification for the World Cup. However, his tendency to cut inside and look to shot on goal leaves Soldado looking to feed off any scraps offered up by opposition goalkeepers. As Townsend becomes a more established Premier League player he is going to be given less opportunity to cut inside as teams look to show him down the line to nullify that threat. This was evident against Newcastle, but Townsend continued to look infield instead of taking the space offered to him in wide areas. If he takes the space offered to him and gets crosses into the box then he has a striker in Soldado who will score the chances he creates. Additionally, by looking to go down the line he will then open up opportunities for himself to cut inside on occasion as his opponents will need to protect themselves against crosses into the box as well. Variety is the spice of life as the saying goes, and if Townsend picks his moments to cut inside and shoot he will enjoy more space and success doing so, and create more chances for his teammates by going down the line when there isn’t the space to cut inside.
Is this an assessment Spurs fans agree with or are there other factors which have led to Roberto Soldado’s lack of goals? Let us know what you think.