I've been playing alot of Football Manager, reading quite a few forum posts and smoking and drinking quite a bit and this has gotten me thinking.. There is no reason we cannot beat any team with basically the same starting 11..
Defenders: Kaboul/Corluka, Dawson, which ever other CB is healthiest (Kaboul, most likely), BAE
Midfielders: VDV, Modric, Sandro, Parker, Bale, sometimes THudd is relief of Parker and Sandro (or even Modric depending on starting formation)..
If we take these 11 players, say against Real Madrid, we'll have be able to start in a 4-1-4-1, with Sandro as an anchorman and Hudd as a CM, modric as CM and VDV as RM.. get a lucky goal on the counter or what have you and we could take it from there..
4-4-1-1: Modric on the right and VDV as a no 10..
4-5-1: Modric and VDV as either RAM or CAM - all of the other positions are fairly obvious..
4-3-3: Modric in Mid; VDV, RW
All of these formations are doable with the starting eleven presented and to some degree without parker (in the case of the last season) entirely. I am aware that our biggest problem last year was the inability to score, but this also falls on the midfield, we have to commit not just VDV to attacking but also the two outside midfielders (and responsible overlapping from the full backs) once we are in the final third ( 4-5-1, not just running to the byline and getting an acrobatic cross). we are trying to play with one striker but at the same time use the wings as if there are two (head to the byline and cross) - who did we expect to get a head to the ball besides Pav/Crouch and what a job they did!
Something has to be said about Harry's tactical inflexibility, but that is not where I want to go.. I know it is possible for things to get confusing with all of the shifting, but we have an intelligent squad.. There are no dummies at Spurs.. City has the best 4-5-1, United the best 4-4-2 and some midtable team the best 4-1-4-1, but we would definitely be the most fluid.. What do you think? Is this too ambitious or can we pull this off and finish top four every year like this team is capable of? At the very least we would draw with Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool both home and away, which would surely be enough even though a 4-1-4-1 is not "attractive football."