It is a measure of Mauricio Pochettino’s continued influence at Tottenham Hotspur that the Premier League side are now comfortable playing a number of different formations.
The Argentine trainer has surrounded himself with hard-working players that are comfortable operating in different roles and fit into contrasting systems.
— NinetyMinutesOnline (@90MinsOnline) December 19, 2016
However, after the 3-0 win over Hull City on Wednesday night, where a 3-5-2 system of sorts was fielded, there are real arguments that Spurs should use this formation on a weekly basis – here’s why.
Maximises the full-backs influence
Full-backs Danny Rose and Kyle Walker are two of the unsung heroes in the Tottenham team and the England international pair continue to thrive at White Hart Lane.
In the absence of any dedicated wing-play in the Spurs attack, the two forward-thinking defenders provide width, speed and quality delivery from the flanks.
A three-man defence allows Rose and Walker to focus on getting forward and makes the most of their mobility and attacking intent, while also leaving cover behind them.
Ideally in a 3-5-2 formation, Pochettino would field two central midfielders – most likely Victor Wanyama and Mousa Dembele, with Harry Winks as a very able deputy.
However, the Tottenham trainer would also have the option to mix this up if he saw fit.
For games where we wanted more bite in the boiler room, Eric Dier could be partnered with Wanyama, while in games were more creative play was needed, Dele Alli or Christian Eriksen could be dropped slightly deeper.
Eriksen can play centrally
Christian Eriksen’s importance to Tottenham cannot be understated – his creativity, guile and passing ability in the final third has been a vital component to the side’s success over the last 18 months.
However, in the mainstay 4-2-3-1 formation adopted by Pochettino, the Denmark international is forced to operate from wide more often than not.
In a 3-5-2 formation, Eriksen is given the freedom to play in his favoured role – a number ten behind two strikers.
This worked against Hull and means the former Ajax schemer is the focal point of the Tottenham possession play on the front foot.
Ideal Tottenham starting XI (3-5-2): Lloris; Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Dier; Rose, Wanyama, Dembele/Winks, Eriksen, Walker; Alli/Son, Kane