As it was, Adebayor looked isolated upfront, not working as a partnership with Defoe. Adebayor came in for a lot of criticism from Tottenham fans for a poor performance. This is something that is backed up by the stats. His 10 passes attempted in the Everton half at a success rate of only 60% is the worst that he has managed all season. Added to that, he only managed 29 touches of the ball – again the poorest performance of the season by far. Additionally he had no attempts at goal. I would argue that it is slightly unfair to criticise Adebayor’s performance as he was starved of service. No one was getting close enough to Adebayor to play off him and the passes that he was receiving were not short, incisive passes, they were often long balls that he was expected to compete for and do something with. The chalkboard from Stats Zone highlights the passes that Adebayor had received throughout the game.
Again, had the formation been different, Adebayor would have had a lot more support in advanced areas and with Modric playing centrally he would be able to play to Adebayor’s feet rather than hitting him long.
The stats below look at the passing performances of Parker, Sandro and Adebayor. Modric had the most passes but being on the left the majority of these passes weren’t in positions that could really hurt Everton. Sandro was the most defensive of the midfield pairing, and he only attempted 9 passes in the Everton half. Parker attempted a lot more in the opposition half (34) but his range of passing is not as quick and incisive as Modric so we lost a lot of creative intent from playing Modric out wide. Adebayor has been included in this table to demonstrate the points made above about his performance.
There is no doubting that Harry has done a fantastic job this season but some of his recent tactical decisions have been rather baffling. It is time to get back to basics and play to our strengths. For me this means that Bale HAS to play on the left and Modric HAS to play in the centre. With vital games coming up it is essential that we hold on to 3rd position and I am confident we can do this if we keep our best players in their best positions.