A strange summer at White Hart Lane


Daniel Levy has been branded as a magnificent negotiator over the last few seasons, and he has undoubtedly brought in some fine players this summer, but whether the players are the right ones to improve the squad, and most importantly the depth of the squad, is questionable.

When Tottenham’s first 11 were playing at their best last season, they were unstoppable. However, playing nearly the same 11 players, week in week out, induces injuries and fatigue, as well as a lack of motivation for the players. With players such as Steven Pienaar, NicoKranjcar and Danny Rose either sold or loaned out, and no replacements bought for them, the squad seems shallower than ever;  injuries to one of Gareth Bale or Aaron Lennon would completely change the shape of the team, with no natural winger in reserve.

Luka Modric – MoussaDembele

Dembele is a proven class act in the premier league, and although his goalscoring record in England is poor (ignore his goal against Norwich!), he is probably the best Tottenham could have brought in.

Rafael Van der Vaart – Gylfi Sigurdsson/Clint Dempsey

The Sigurdsson signing seemed strange. Granted, he did have a fine 5 months with Swansea, but when Spurs had a world class goal-scoring midfielder in Van der Vaart, did they need to replace him? It may have been the case that they didn’t want rivals to get him and he was relatively cheap, but whether he improves the squad is debatable. Clint Dempsey scored goals for fun at Fulham, but with Tottenham’s interest coming only at the last minute, it has the sound of ‘panic buy’ to it, to possibly fill multiple holes.

Emanuel Adebayor – Emanuel Adebayor?

Adebayor’s form last year meant that a permanent deal was likely, but with the only recognised back-up this year being Jermain Defoe, who has never seemed comfortable as a lone striker, and Clint Dempsey, who has been used more as a 2nd striker, another forward seemed a necessity.

Carlo Cudicini, Heurelho Gomes, Brad Friedel, all are proven goalkeepers at this level, and while the English media are labelling Hugo Lloris as a ‘youngster who needs to learn the ropes’, he is 25 and the French national side’s captain. Friedel has said himself that he was signed as a stop gap, but while Friedel was still playing well (or just still playing at all), it seems strange that Lloris was brought in at this time. Just like Sigurdsson, and maybe Dempsey, it may have been that he was available for a cheap price, but unlike Sigurdsson, the competition wasn’t sold.

Harry Redknapp, despite his irritating jargon and his willingness to present himself for the England job, had brought through a Tottenham side that was playing some of the best football in the league, as well as challenging for a top 4 place. Andre Villas Boas spectacular season with Porto proved that he is a great coach (even if he did have Falcao to rely on!), but his stint with Chelsea seemed to show fundamental flaws in his footballing philosophy in England.

With Arsenal seemingly stagnating following the departures of Robin Van Persie and Alex Song, and Liverpool rebuilding, the 2012/2013 season gives Tottenham a great chance of climbing back into the Champions League. However, with completely new players and a smaller squad, as well as with an unproven manager (in this league), it may be a bridge too far.

Matthew Morlidge

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