What is Tottenham’s best starting XI for the 09/10 season?

Ollie Irish

5th, August 2009

79 Comments

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This is where you get to pick Tottenham’s best starting line-up for this season. First up, I’l dazzle you (ahem) with my selection (based on Spurs’ squad at time of writing)…
My XI, played in a fairly standard 4-4-2 formation:
Huerelho Gomes
Vedran Corluka, Jonathan Woodgate, Ledley King, Benoit Assou-Ekotto
Aaron Lennon, Wilson Palacios, Jermaine Jenas, Luka Modric
Robbie Keane, Jermain Defoe

In goal: Gomes gets the nod over Cudicini. The Brazilian still concerns me though. Terrific shot stopper but too erratic and causes panic in his defence. Hopefully he’ll tighten up in his second season at the Lane.
In defence: At full-back, Corluka is solid, while Assou-Ekotto is a greatly improved player. The big concern is at centre-back – King and Woodgate can be brilliant, but they’re way too fragile; the chances of them playing every league game together in 09/10 are slim to none.
In midfield: The idea is that Palacios does all the dirty work and Jenas does his best impression of a decent box-to-box midfielder (sometimes he gets it right). Lots of skill (Modric) and pace (Lennon) on the wing, with Modric free to cut inside when Spurs have the ball. David Bentley, Tom Huddlestone, Jamie O’Hara, John Bostock and Gio dos Santos offer a lot of (unfulfilled) talent in reserve. Didier Zokora’s grit and work rate will be missed.
Up front: Has to be Keane and Defoe as first-choice, with Crouchinho and the useless Pavlyuchenko as impact subs. Darren Bent’s goal threat is a bigger loss than many fans believe. It’s not the greatest striking quartet in the league, by a long way, but a good balance nonetheless. Also will be interested to see how the highly rated Jonathan Obika does on loan at Yeovil.
Overall: Lots of talent but is there enough steel? I’m worred it’s quite a small team too. The likes of Stoke and Blackburn should be able to physically dominate Spurs without any difficulty, but hopefully the team’s pace and guile will counter this. Finishing position in the league this season? I predict 8th.
That’s my take anyway. Now post up your best XI…

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79 Comments

  1. Spur says:

    Gomes
    Naughton King Woodgate Assou-Ekotto
    Lennon Palacios Modric
    Keane Crouch Defoe

  2. Ollie says:

    That midfield looks too bare for me, Spur. Not a bad formation to go to if you’re really chasing the game though, but I wouldn’t dare start with it.

  3. ant says:

    upfront will be Defoe plus Pav or Crouch!
    No room for keane!!

  4. Sam says:

    The useless Pavluychenko?
    And have you ever seen Defoe and Keane play together?
    You’re a fool.

  5. billy the yid says:

    gomes
    corluka woodgate dawson bae
    lennon palacios jenas modric
    crouch defoe
    love king but e’s finished i think

  6. Ollie says:

    Yes, the useless Pavlyucheno. One of the worst finishers I’ve ever seen in a Spurs shirt.

  7. Yidoman says:

    4-1-3-2 FORMATION
    GOMES
    HUTTON WOODGATE KING ASSOU-EKOTTO
    PALACIOS
    LENNON MODRIC KEANE
    DEFOE CROUCH

  8. Anonymous says:

    Sam
    Did you see the Asia cup Keane,defoe and Modric all limked really well with good movement and guile.
    Where as Pav looks lost.
    Your sir are the fool unless Sam is short for Samantha in which case dont bother to post as I,ve never heard any chick talk about football with any knowledge ever.

  9. tango says:

    Gomes
    Corluka Woodgate King Assou-Ekotto
    Palacios Huddlestone
    Lennon Defoe Modric
    Crouch

  10. Norm says:

    This article was written on the 5th Aug yet there is no mention of Crouch, did you forget that he is now a spurs player, or did you forget to put your brain in gear?

  11. Ollie says:

    Read the words, Norm. It helps.

  12. arry met sally... says:

    Gomes
    Hutton King Woodgate Assou-Ekotto
    Lennon Palacios Modric
    Pav Crouch Defoe

  13. Anonymous says:

    HG
    AH LK JW BA
    AL WP TH LM
    JD PC

  14. Anonymous says:

    Jenas will be replaced. Like the sold Zokora he can barely control a football. We need footballers not just workers. Players like jenas, Zokora and Bent are ok for lower teams whose remit is to stay up. We are expected to get top 6 so we need players wh can actually hold onto teh ball. With that in mind selling Bent, Zok and relegating Jenas to sqaud player is great moves by Harry. Why do you think Harry wants another centre mid? Apart from that team picks istelf. Will be Crouch and Defoe upfront. Another centre back is well needed. If we get Bassong plus a centre mid I think we are as good as we can be for now. Finally some sensible decisisons down at WHL.

  15. yid says:

    Gomes
    Corluka,Woodgate, BAE
    Lennon, King/Hudders/Jenas, Palacios, Modric
    Keane
    Crouch/Pav, Defoe

  16. Anonymous says:

    Gomes
    Corluka Woodgate King Assou-Ekotto
    Lennon Palacios Huddlestone Modric
    Keane Defoe

  17. Anonymous says:

    Gareth Bale should be left in the side until be gains confidence. Hiding him away is going to ruin him. He is an imense player.

  18. Ollie says:

    I’ll be doing similar posts on the other “big” (ahem) Prem teams before the start of the season, so I can’t wait for Arry to do more buying/selling. Jenas has better control than Zokora though and I wouldn’t sell him.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Gomes
    Corluka Woodgate King Assou-Ekotto
    Lennon Palacios Huddlestone Modric
    Keane Defoe

  20. mick says:

    cudicini
    corluka..woodgate..king..bale
    lennon..palacios..jenas..modric
    crouch..defoe

  21. Norm says:

    Ollie, I read your words, I stil cant see any mention of Crouch’s sorry saw ‘crouchino’ name. I know its you opinion, and you explain whay others should not play, but no reason why Crouchie shouldn’t play You state it has to be keane and defoe, whY?

  22. Anonymous says:

    Jenas control is better than Bent yes. But still awful. Do you watch any Spurs games? arggghhh

  23. Anonymous says:

    And I didnt say sell Jenas I said relegate to squad player

  24. Lee says:

    Attacking
    Cudicini
    Naughton Woodgate King AE
    Lennon Palacios Ohara Modric
    Crouch Defoe
    Subs:Gomes, Corluka, Hutton, Jenas, Keane
    Defending
    Cudicini
    Corluka Woodgate King AE
    Naughton Palacios Ohara Modric
    Crouch Keane
    Subs:Gomes, Hutton, Jenas, Lennon, Defoe

  25. AA says:

    Think all of you miss the fact that the defensive problems could be solved by using Naughton on the right pushing Corluca to the middle when Woody or King is out. Corluca is a great cb and don’t know why that’s not the best option. Daws is to fringe in my opinion. Some great games but not to be trusted week in-week out.
    Team: Gomes – Naughton, King/Woody, Corluca, BAE – Lennon, Jenas, Palcios, Modric – Defoe, Crouch

  26. Daniel says:

    Gomes
    corluka king woodgate Assou-Ekotto
    palacious
    huddlestone
    lennon modric
    keane
    defoe
    by far best team and formation would work. huddlestone gets criticised and fair enough he is abit lazy but with the right training his accuracy and reading the game his world class.
    crouch is bad buy in my eyes good price but to advance in the league we need higher quality players like we got in modric and hinting at making a bid for huntaleer

  27. yiddo says:

    gomes
    Naughton Woodgate King AE
    Lennon Palacios jenas Modric
    Crouch Defoe
    second 11:cudicini hutton corluka dowson chimbonda
    bentley hudd livermore bale
    keane pav

  28. yiddo says:

    gomes
    Naughton Woodgate King AE
    Lennon Palacios jenas Modric
    Crouch Defoe
    second 11:cudicini hutton corluka dowson chimbonda
    bentley hudd livermore bale
    keane pav

  29. BilltheNick says:

    Weak areas of this team are the fullbacks and Keane/Defoe pairing. Corluka is too slow and gives the ball away too much. BAE, too small, poor positional sense and weak in the air an obvious point of aerial attack by the oppo. Keane is too similar to Defoe and neither are very good at holding the ball up. Crouch has to play. I dont agree that Bent will be missed, all he does is score tap in goals, and mis control the ball when its played to him. Defoe can score tap in goals and do much more.

  30. London_Calling says:

    Gomes
    Hutton-Woody-King-BAE
    Lennon-JENAS-Palacios-Modric
    Crouch-Defoe
    or didnt we experiment with 3-5-2 last season?
    Gomes
    Corluka-King-Woody
    Lennon-Jenas-Modric-Palacios-Bale
    Crouch-Deofe

  31. Qatar John says:

    GOMES
    NAUGHTON KING BAE
    LENNON JENAS PALACIOS MODRIC
    KEANE
    DEFOE CROUCH
    Bench
    CUDICNI CORLUKA HUDDLESTONE BALE O HARA HUTTON(ANOTHER)

  32. Gary says:

    Gomes
    Corluka King Woodgate Assou-Ekotto
    Lennon Palacios Modric
    Keane Huntelaar Defoe

  33. WELSHSPUR says:

    GOMES
    HUTTON WOODGATE KING BAE
    LENNON JENAS PALACIOS MODRIC
    DEFOE CROUCH

  34. daryl says:

    gomes
    hutton woodgate dawson bale
    huddlestone palacios
    modric
    lennon or bentley rose or dos santos
    defoe or crouch
    the two wingers would depend who were playing against and with what striker. lennon and rose with defoe for quick attacking. or bentley and dos santos for crosses for crouch (the lanky ******* waste of space) but apparently he do the same bicyle kick as huntelar.

  35. Joe says:

    Gomes
    Naughton King Woodgate Bale
    Palacios Jenas Modric
    Lennon Crouch Keane

  36. VD says:

    Gomes
    Corluka-Woodgate-King-BAE
    Lennon-Modric-Palacios-Bale (come on, he’s better going forward)
    Defoe-Crouch

  37. Anonymous says:

    mine would be
    Gomez
    Naughton-King/Dawson-Woodgate-Bale
    Lennon-Palacios-Huddlestone-Modric
    Crouch-Defoe
    subs:Cudicini-Corluka-Jenas-Bentley-Pav-Keane-Bostock/Livermore/Gio
    Think Huddlestone can control games and was showing much more consistency towards the end of the season, he can create something from nothing and need someone like that alongside the excellent dogged Palacios.
    I dont understand some of the comments about Dawson – I think second half of last season before he got injured he was immense and gives his all every time!
    I think between Naughton and Corluka would depend on opposition – if away to big 4 go with more defensive minded solid Corluka but otherwise we should unleash Naughton who looks like an excellent prospect.
    Bale was our best player 2 seasons ago before he got injured so some consecutive games will hopefully bring him back, otherwise we have more than a capable deputy in BAE who has improved a lot
    Up front Crouch has been gettign some stick without even kicking a ball but his record speaks for itself and is an excellent option with his height and also can bring thers into play. I also think Pav is far from useless and although took time to settle i thought looked genuinely dangerous in 2nd half of the season and unlucky when he got injured to lose his place to Bent. Keane has not looked like the player he was and wouldnt complain if we sold him but again there is a good player in there somewhere – a bit of confidence maybe. Defoe to start every time for me though. I would loathe to play them together as not diverse enough.
    Hope we can bring some of our very exciting youth players through this season as Bostock, Livermore and Rose in particular look like they could fit in to the team with ease. Also i know Gio looks lightweight but it does take time to adapt and he is class for mexico and looked good for Ipswich last season. Maybe 6 month loan to Portsmouth etc. to see how he gets on in Prem.
    Feel free to disagree as i’m sure most will but just what i would do is all!
    Chris

  38. Tim Sherwood says:

    CUDICINI
    CORLUKA WOODGATE KING NAUGHTON
    LENNON PALACIOS JENAS MODRIC
    CROUCH KEANE

  39. Devonshirespur says:

    Back4 pretty much picks itself. Perhaps Hutton will get more of a look in at WHL, where his superior attacking skills can shine a bit more.
    Midfield will be contentious. I think we might see a different midfield away from home or for tough fixtures, thats if we fail to buy a new CM. JJ offers the energy but little creativity. Huddlestone offers creativity but little energy. O’Hara offers some energy & some creativity but masters neither. It will be horses for courses. Lennon on the right Modders on the left is a no brainer.
    Up front, I cannot see past Crouch and A N Other. He offers a constant threat and I think his partner will depend on the form of the others and the opposition. He’ll link well with any.
    Also, don’t be surprised by the occasional use of 433 or 451. Crouch up top, Keane & Lennon playing off him but dropping back in to a midfield anchored by Wilson and maybe JJ with Modders drifting ahead of them.

  40. Ginola's_Shampoo says:

    For home games, I would be slightly more adventurous with this 4-3-1-2 line up:
    Gomes
    Hutton Corluka Woodgate BAE
    Lennon Palacios Jenas
    Modric
    Crouch Keane
    Away games, I would beef up the midfield in a 4-4-1-1 formation with Defoe’s pace for counter attacking:
    Gomes
    Hutton Corluka Woodgate BAE
    Jenas Huddlestone Palacios Lennon
    Modric
    Defoe

  41. swaggerson says:

    I cant believe no-one has suggested Bale on the left of midfield. Why continue to carry Jenas (well 70% of the time) when Harry can use Bale on the left of midfield. this guy has great talent he just cant defend. Its like expecting Lennon to play right back.
    Gomes
    Corluka King Woodgate BAE
    Lennon Palacios Modric Bale
    Crouch Defoe

  42. Chris says:

    I’m worried the team’s a bit small then leaves Crouch on the bench. Jesus.

  43. Stratty says:

    You can’t put KING in, he can barely play! It’s a joke. You might put Modric out of position, if you’re determined not to buy a left-winger, but relying on King is ridiculous. How f***ing hard is it to buy a central defender? F***ing insane.

  44. Anonymous says:

    gomes, – defense: corluka, king, woodgate – mid: lennon, palacios, hudd, assou – att mid: modric (free role if you like) – str: defoe, crouch. 3-4-1-2 formation

  45. Haddenough says:

    The lack of ambition of some Spurs fans, it’s like supporting Fulham. “We’re so great cos we came eighth.” Danny Blanchflower will slit your throat.

  46. Sammyboy says:

    I would like to see Gio given a try
    Gomes
    Hutton King Woodgate Bale
    Lennon Palacios Modric Dos Santos
    Crouch Defoe

  47. Bob says:

    Going to be slightly controversial here:
    Gomes
    Corluka Huddlestone Woodgate
    Lennon[/Hutton] Palacios Bale/Gio
    Modric
    Defoe Crouch
    Or am I just bonkers?

  48. oziyid says:

    u have no idea. no idea at all.

  49. Matt says:

    Considering current injuries..
    Gomes
    Naughton Corluka Huddlestone Assou-Ekotto
    Lennon Palacios Keane/Jenas Modric
    Defoe Crouch
    Personally, i think ekotto is shit.. and needs to be replaced, also, i think crouch and defoe are a much better partnership than he and keane are. I would also like to see modric go back to his central midfiled role, and spurs to buy a decent left winger, which we have never had before.. e.g. cole/young/nani.
    My ideal spurs team…
    Gomes
    Naughton King Woodgate Assou-Ekotto
    /Corluka
    Lennon Palacios Modric Young/Cole
    Defoe Crouch
    I cant decide between corluka and naughton because i havent seen him play yet

  50. Anonymous says:

    king in midfield? u serious?

  51. cameron king says:

    Gomes
    corluka woodgate king bale
    lennon modric dos santos
    keane defoe
    crouch
    because they can all throw crosses into crouch and he will always get there coz he sooooo tall

  52. the joker says:

    robinson hutton king mabbutt bale lennon wilson hoddle ginola sheri klinsman

  53. the joker says:

    seriously gomes hutton/naughton king woodgate bale lennon wilson hudds/keane modric defoe crouch

  54. S. Purr says:

    What about Danny Rose – at least on the bench? He can play on the left and has shown up well with U21s and in pre-season.
    Given that there will be some transfers out and some in, a best eleven is a bit difficult to identify as yet.

  55. Richy says:

    Its a small side cos you picked Keane and Defoe together, you plum. Did Zokora have any grit? Yea, in his eye which is why he constantly gave the ball away. Overall, a poorly conceived article.

  56. Ollie says:

    Crouch may be very tall but he’s not imposing. If the article is poorly conceived, Richy, let’s hear your amazingly thought-out XI…

  57. Bob says:

    Oziyid – come on then, where’s your suggestions?

  58. Ollie says:

    Question: Don’t you just hate football fans who shoot you down and then offer absolutely nothing by way of a counter-argument?
    Answer: Yes, you do.

  59. Murfmensch says:

    Just a note:
    Gio dos Santos seemed like a wholly different player for Mexico in the Gold Cup, which can be a very physical tournament. He was constantly increasing the level of attack. He could be a very high impact sub.
    I will trust Harry and will be happy with any progress. Seventh place and a good cup run will do it for me.
    I think Dawson and Corluka, the two Kyles, and A-Ekotto offer quite a bit when King and Woody are recovering. Bassong and Samba would certainly do the trick.
    Hands off Jenas! He completes almost all of his passes and harasses the opposition. He is our most underestimated player.
    I hope we designate a different FA cup squad, like Wenger does with the League Cup. We can’t buy the depth we need to challenge the top 4 but these guys can develop with play. (The League Cup is a tournament in which we have luck so it should see our first team.)
    All fans need to budget craziness now so we don’t lose our minds. We don’t know what it will be but it will come. (Crazy good would be nice…) Last season was fun in retrospect.

  60. Rexacurz says:

    Giovani were awarded the most valuable player in the tournament and was MoM in the final. He was amazing in the CONCAF cup, and he deserves a chance. Defently in the pre-season too.

  61. Rusty Lee says:

    Nice to see David Bentley so popular. Is he that out of favour, even if he knuckled down and stopped doing his hair?

  62. Ozzy says:

    To start against Liverpool
    Gomes
    Naughton King/Huddlestone Corluka BAE
    Lennon Palacios Huddlestone/Jenas/O’hara Modric
    Defoe Crouch
    Keane on the bench, if King is fit to play, he obviously gets 1st team, but THudd is in if he is out
    Huddlestone 1st choise at CM but if King is out JJ or O’Hardnut steps in.
    Suspect Tottenham will get a new CM

  63. Murfmensch says:

    Anonymous–
    You have never heard a “chick” speak with knowledge about football because you are a butt-scratching moron and women with options are moving away from you as quickly as possible.

  64. Ran says:

    Gomes
    Naughton Woodgate Bassong BAE
    (Woodgate and King are the best if healthy but obviously for King, that’s not to be) (Corluka is excellent but Naughton probably fits Harry’s style better) (Bale needs to be loaned somewhere to get better by playing – such a physical talent)
    Lennon Palacios Jenas Modric
    (Huddlestone is as good a passer as anyone in the league but I can’t pick him over Jenas)
    Crouch Defoe
    (Keane doesn’t pair up with Defoe as well as Crouch does)

  65. Greg Leach says:

    Gomes,
    Naughton, King, Woodgate,
    Lennon, Palacious, Jenas, Keane,
    Modric,
    Defoe, Crouch.
    Pavlychenko Sub Striker, Keane Could Go In Defoe’s Position If Defoe Injured, Maybe Bring Bale To Left Mid. Left Center Back, Woodgate Or Bale Or Assou Ekotto, Could Replace Naughton With Hutton, Maybe Put Corluka At Right Back If Naughton And Hutton Are Unavaileble, Who-ever’s At Right Back Can Push Up And/Or Come Across. :)

  66. Rhys says:

    Cudicini
    Corluka Woodgate Dawson Bale
    Lennon Modric Palacios Bentley
    Keane Crouch
    Subs: Gomes, King, Naughton, Jenas, Defoe, Huddlestone, Pavlyuchenko

  67. TheLane says:

    (After today’s game against Olympiacos, in which Pav was great)
    Gomes
    Naughton Woodgate Bassong BAE
    Lennon Palacios Modric
    Keane
    Defoe Pav(/Crouch)

  68. Emmett k says:

    Gomes
    Corkulka Bassong Woodgate BSE
    Lennon Palacios Modric Dos santos
    Pav/Keane or Crouch/Defoe

  69. Liam says:

    gomes
    naughton woodgate king assou- ekotto
    palacios corluka
    lennon modric
    crouch defoe

  70. Anonymous says:

    Gomes
    Corluka King Woodgate Bale
    Huddlestone
    Lennon Palacios
    Modric
    Keane Defoe
    Subs – Bassong, assou-ekotto, Jenas, Bentley, Giovanni dos santos, couch, pavlyuchenko

  71. coco20 says:

    Have any of you actually watched Gomez,Jenas and Keane ??? ,they would not get a game for Burnley after a couple of weeks when seen…..we have options…
    CUDICINI.
    CORLUKA(Naughton,Hutton),WOODY,KING(Dawson,Bassong)ESSOU(Bale,Ohara)
    LENNON,PALACIOUS(Jenas),HUDDLESTON(Bentley),BALE (Ohara,weak on left)..
    MODRIC,DEFOE (Pav,Crouch,Keane)
    What you all think ????

  72. coco20 says:

    OR PUT MODRIC IN FOR THE HUDD(I LOVE HIM BUT NO ENGINE) AND PUT CROUCH OR PAV UP FRONT WITH THE WEE MAN…..WE HAVE OPTION GUYS AND COULD REALLY DO WELL THIS TEAR IF WE CAUGHT OURSELVES ON WITH A COUPLE OF CABBAGES WHO RUIN THE TEAM AND MORALE IM SURE…

  73. Ghnomes lol Jamie Redknapp Lousie Redknapp Harry Redknapp Sandra Redknapp Baby Redknapp Defoe and top assits leader Carlton Cole alright now do won u yid Cunts pmsl I,ICF ps thanks for callum davenport he gets stuck right in oh and your welcome for Defoe,Redknapp,Carrick you Tarts

  74. Spurs247 says:

    Cudicini
    Corluka
    King
    Bassong
    Assou-Ekotto
    Lennon
    Krancjar
    Palacios
    Modric
    Crouch
    Defoe

  75. david says:

    cudicini
    corluka woodgate bassong bale
    palacios
    lennon modric dos santos
    crouch defoe
    bench gomes, bassong, assou-ekotto, krancjar, bently, pavlyuchenko, keane

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  78. Anonymous says:

    gomes
    assou- ekotto
    bassong
    king
    corluka
    modric
    palacios
    huddlestone
    lennon
    crouch
    defoe

    by far the most succesful combo so far
    krancjar’s form of late has been good but modric scored 2day nad overall a better fit in the team

  79. Anonymous says:

    gomes
    kaboul
    king
    dawson
    assou ekotto
    lennon
    modric
    kranjcar
    bale
    defoe
    pavlyuchenko

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