Aaron Lennon needs an arm around his shoulder
Last night I heard a West Ham fan on 606 saying what a fantastic match Daniel Gabbidon had at left-back. I couldn’t help but think that Aaron Lennon had made things easy for him.
Since returning from a spell on the sidelines last year, Lennon has struggled to re-find his brilliant form. So far this season he has looked nervous – he doesn’t seem keen to take on the full-back with regularity, and yesterday was a prime example.
Check out Lennon’s passes from yesterday – he frequently got into advanced areas, and yet passed backwards. This when he was up against a centre back playing out of position, who he clearly had the beating of (the cross for Modric showed him skipping round Gabbidon with ease).
Compare his passes to last year’s game away at West Ham.
Redknapp needs to put all of his famed man-management skills into action here, and attempt to coax Lennon back into form. I personally think the best way to do this is to use him as an impact sub in the short term, as against Wolves. Whether this means giving Rafael van der Vaart the right-sided berth for the time being, or bringing in David Bentley, I’m not sure, but things are not working out on our right at the moment, with Corluka also performing timidly.
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Lennon has been very timid in his play of late as your diagram clearly shows(I seem to recall Bale showing the same timidity after his long layoff following his injury). This is in stark contrast to his previous relishing and, in effect, bullying opposition left backs who, more often than not, were afraid to venture too far into Spurs' half for the risk of having to chase the Wizz kid's tail in an eventual counter attack. Once this fear is gone, you see a lot more attacking play from the left back.
Also, it being a team game, Lennon's hesitancy/nervousness invariably filters through to others around him; most notably, Corluka, who is looking less and less comfortable and assured of his positioning. Coupled with his natural slow pace and Lennon's lightweight defensive qualities, it invites attack down our right flank.
I believe an off colour Lennon is a luxury we can ill afford to start games with. Maybe an impact sub as you suggest. Whatever it it I hope he rediscovers his mojo soon.
and Bassong and co at times look more like 2012
tracka htletes than they do intelligent cultured footballers. Rednapp has reached his limit's, motivator becomes useless when he isn't motivating. Either I say what I see, or just except that we are on our way down from a short ascendancy. Losses in the worst way so far against Arsenl, West Ham, oung boys, Wigan and scraped a point against Wolves...worrying !!!
One thing I've noticed about Aaron since his injury is his somewhat static movement when our right-back has the ball.
Last season he would pass back, and then spin off his man into space behind and chase onto the ball, utilising his speed.
Maybe he's lost a little of that acceleration since his injury.
Gomes / cudicini Hutton king bassong ekotto Modric hudd bale Van der varrt pav keane
Playing a 4-3-1-2 formation