Connect with us

ARTICLES

Who Spurs need to sign to bounce back to the top four

It has been a very indifferent season for Tottenham Hotspur this season. After last season’s exploits and a year where the club broke the monopoly, albeit temporarily, of the top four, expectations were high that they were going to achieve the same again.

Published

on

It has been a very indifferent season for Tottenham Hotspur this season. After last season’s exploits and a year where the club broke the monopoly, albeit temporarily, of the top four, expectations were high that they were going to achieve the same again. Things, however, didn’t go to plan. Too many dropped points to ‘lesser’ teams at home and on the road have seen Spurs drop to sixth in the league and with a resurgent Liverpool routing Fulham 5-2 last night, it looks as though European football won’t be back at White Hart Lane until late 2012 at the earliest.

While the team are left to lick their wounds and think of what could have been, now is the time to begin the re-building process at Tottenham Hotspur. Streamlining one of the Premier League’s largest squads will not be easy but, when the deadwood is gone, it will allow for the players of similar ilk to Luka Modric, Gareth Bale and Rafael Van der Vaart to take their places.

 

Goalkeepers

 

It is a shame to be saying this but Heurelho Gomes is becoming indefensible. His save from Charlie Adam’s spot kick on Saturday was one he shouldn’t have made but he performed his Jekyll and Hyde trick once more from the resulting corner, firstly by allowing a simple catch to fall from his grasp thus giving Gary Taylor-Fletcher the impetus to latch on to the resulting drop before bundling the Blackpool man over for the Seasiders second penalty in as many minutes.

 

Fortunately for the Brazilian, his blushes were spared by Jermain Defoe’s 89th minute equaliser but his mistakes haven’t been forgotten throughout the season. Both of Cristiano Ronaldo’s goals in the Champions League quarter-final, Frank Lampard’s ‘goal’ last week against Chelsea and Didier Drogba’s goal at White Hart Lane at the end of last year are just a few of the mistakes the goalkeeper has made over the course of the season.

 

He makes the saves he shouldn’t be making but continuously makes the most basic of errors that have cost his side points this year. In fact, he is joint top with West Ham’s Rob Green for the most blunders that have resulted in goals from open play this year. While Redknapp has leapt to the defence of Gomes, his patience must be wearing thin for his number one. A top class keeper is needed is Spurs are to challenge for serious honours next season and one of either Maarten Stekelenburg, Allan McGregor and Shay Given would prove more than adequate as a replacement should Gomes be shown the door.

 

As for his back-ups, Carlo Cudicini and Stipe Pletikosa, well the former is more than likely to stay on at Spurs as a number two for at least another year until a young England hopeful will take his spot on the bench while the latter has failed to challenge for the number one spot and, after making only two appearances all season in the first team, admitted his move to Spurs was a mistake.

 

Defenders

 

Starting with the full-backs, fans can expect to see Alan Hutton shipped out in the summer. Despite showing a glimpse of what he can do, the former Rangers man has failed to make the right back spot his own often playing second fiddle to the less than spectacular Vedran Corluka. With Younes Kaboul able to cover in the position with the Kyle’s, Walker and Naughton, both showcasing their capabilities and the two of them expected back at White Hart Lane ready for the new season, you can expect Hutton to be made available for transfer.

 

As for the left back scenario, fans have often criticised Benoit Assou-Ekotto and his ability to play the position. However, the Cameroonian international has been one of our best performances this season while the 3-3 draw at home to Arsenal has drawn plaudits from fans and pundits alike. Yet, with BAE currently sidelined with a hamstring problem and Bale missing the remaining three games with an ankle injury, the lack of depth in that position has been made blisteringly aware to everyone. Youngster Danny Rose did well to step into left back when asked on Saturday but isn’t a long term solution. Expect either of the Kyle’s to challenge BAE for a starting spot next season.

 

In the central of defence, question marks have been raised about the long term futures of both Ledley King and Jonathan Woodgate. The former has missed a substantial chunk of the season after groin surgery while the latter has played a total of thirty-minutes of first team football in the previous fourteen months. With Woodgate’s contract set to expire in the coming weeks, it would be difficult to Redknapp to justify extending his deal beyond June unless he is on a pay-as-you-play deal.

 

However, with the squad looking to be thinned out and more money made available for new players, the easiest option would be for both to have their contracts cancelled. It is a massive shame for both players as, injury free could well have been two of England’s top defenders and when both are available for selection, have formed a formidable partnership in the Spurs defence. Yet while Woodgate maybe released from the club, King will undoubtedly be offered a role on the coaching side of things.

 

With that aside, Spurs still have four centre-backs to compete for the two starting spots. Michael Dawson, William Gallas, Kaboul and Sebastien Bassong all have the ability to start for Spurs and help them in their quest for another top four finish. However, with Gallas approaching his mid-thirties and Bassong eager to move for first team football, it may be the case that Redknapp will be in the market for another centre back. Roma’s Philippe Mexes is out of contract at the end of the season and could well be persuaded that his future lies in England’s capital.

 

Spurs have also been linked with a host of defenders from the Premiership with Richard Dunne and Gary Cahill two names mentioned as possible signings for the club. Blackburn Rovers’ Phil Jones is a prospect that Redknapp may well want to add to his ranks and the potential for him to succeed with a host of top clubs linked with the youngster and while he may not be rushed into first-team football with Gallas and Dawson the starting pairing, Jones, like Cahill, could be a player that lines up next to Dawson in the future.

 

Midfielders

 

When it comes to the wide men, the natural starters would be Bale and Aaron Lennon. Both have the ability to cause full-backs problems and with them on the pitch, can stretch defences. While Bale has been courted by some of Europe’s elite, he has affirmed his commitment to Spurs and wants to remain with the club despite the lack of Champions League football. As for Lennon, reports have suggested that Redknapp would be happen to get rid should the opportunity presents itself. A lack of playing time, prior to Bale’s season ending injury, fuelled rumours that Redknapp had lost patience with the England winger, reportedly quoted that he failed to listen to orders and hasn’t improved as much as Redknapp would have liked.

 

However, Redknapp would be foolish to get rid of Lennon. He still has room for improvement and would likely come back to haunt Spurs should he be sold to a rival. In terms of back-up, the likes of Rose, Andros Townsend and Stephen Pienaar are more than adequate replacements should either, or both, become injured.

 

However, it is a shame that one man will miss out and is likely to be sold in the summer; Niko Kranjcar. Signed from Portsmouth eighteen months ago, the Croat has been a consistent performer in the Spurs shirt and was part of the team that won the club their initial top four spot. Scoring the winning goals against Bolton and Sunderland this season has done little to persuade Redknapp that he should be part of the starting XI and the signing of Pienaar in January would have done little to persuade Kranjcar that his future lies with Tottenham.

 

Fans can expect a Kranjcar exit this summer and he is likely to be joined by Giovani Dos Santos and David Bentley in bidding farewell to White Hart Lane. The Mexican arrived from Barcelona hyped as the new Ronaldinho yet failed to make an impact in a Spurs shirt, making ten appearances and spending more time out on loan to Ipswich, Galatasaray and Racing Santander then in and around the first team.

 

Like Dos Santos, Bentley has had a torrid time in a Spurs shirt, often missing out in the starting XI to Lennon. A loan spell at Birmingham has seen him return to first team football but his chances of the same at White Hart Lane may well be slim at best.

 

Moving into the centre of the pitch, Tottenham pack an abundance of talent with the likes of Tom Huddlestone, Luka Modric, Rafael Van der Vaart, Sandro, Wilson Palacios and Jermaine Jenas all vying for a starting spot in the centre of the park. However, with Sandro, Modric, Van der Vaart and Huddlestone the four main contenders, it remains to be seen whether Palacios and Jenas will remain at Spurs in the future. Both have had bit-part roles to play during the season and at least one of them is likely to be sold in the summer especially with Jake Livermore, Dean Parrett and John Bostock all set to re-join the first team in the summer and, should West Ham be relegated, Scott Parker would look likely to join up with the squad at Chigwell in time for the new season.

 

Another loanee, Jamie O’Hara, is also set to move on once the transfer window re-opens again with first team football his priority having spent a majority of the past two seasons on loan with Portsmouth and Wolves respectively after failing to hold down a starting spot with Spurs.

 

Strikers

 

Up top, Spurs have struggled for goals on a regular basis this season. With thirty-two goals between Roman Pavlyuchenko, Peter Crouch, Jermain Defoe and Robbie Keane, fans can expect a huge overhaul up front. Keane is definitely set to leave the club having found playing time hard to come by at Tottenham while two of either Defoe, Crouch or Pavlyuchenko will most likely be shipped out.

 

With Redknapp opting for a 4-4-1-1 formation, a striker that can successfully play the role of lone striker is a must. It has been made no secret that Daniel Levy placed bids for five Spanish based forwards in January with none wanting to join up with Redknapp and co. at White Hart Lane.

 

The club have been linked with Porto duo Falcao and Hulk, Athletic Bilbao target man Fernando Llorente, Espanyol’s Pablo Osvaldo, a return for former striker Dimitar Berbatov currently of Manchester United and even a move for Chelsea’s Didier Drogba. Any of the above would be an improvement on the current crop of strikers at White Hart lane especially if Van der Vaart is utilised as the man in the hole behind him.

This is where the biggest changes will occur in the current first team especially with top four the aim for next season. A few minor changes elsewhere and the club are ready to re-break the top four and take back the position that Manchester City won off them last night.

In – Mexes, Stekelenburg, Parker, Falcao, Hulk, Loach, Cahill

Out – Gomes, King, Woodgate, Jenas, Palacios, Keane, O’Hara, Hutton, Kranjcar, Dos Santos, Pavlyuchenko, Defoe, Bentley

 

 

Advertisement
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

ARTICLES

Tottenham close to signing exciting Dutch starlet with £30m release clause

Published

on

Tottenham close to signing Steven Bergwijn in £30million deal

Tottenham Hotspur are close to securing the signature of PSV Eindhoven winger Steven Bergwijn. (h/t Mirror)

The North London club are currently in the market for another attacker after the injury that Harry Kane sustained. Bergwijn was left out of the PSV squad to face FC Twente.

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho is impressed by the versatility of the 22-year-old, who can play anywhere across the frontline. Bergwijn has played 24 times for PSV this season and has scored 5 goals and an impressive 10 assists.

Steven Bergwijn
Steven Bergwijn has won seven caps for the Netherlands national team

Mourinho and Daniel Levy met Bergwijn’s representatives last week and the player has a release clause of £30million and Tottenham’s bid is in that region as well. The winger came close to a move to Sevilla last season but instead chose to stay put and pen a contract extension until 2023.

It is debatable if Mourinho will be better served signing a versatile attacker than an out-and-out striker. Spurs already have the likes of Son Heung-Min and Lucas Moura who can play anywhere across the attack. What we currently lack is an infallible scorer to put the ball in the back of the net.

Leicester City are also said to be interested in the Bergwijn, who is a fan favorite in Eindhoven. (h/t Mirror)

More Tottenham News

Bergwijn has won three Eredivisie titles at Eindhoven. He was also nominated as the UEFA European Under-17 Championship Golden boy in 2014. He has so far won 7 caps for the Dutch national team.

Continue Reading

ARTICLES

Transfer news: Tottenham keen on a reunion with £650,000-a-week superstar

Published

on

Tottenham are keen to re-sign Welsh superstar Gareth Bale

Tottenham Hotspur are keen on re-signing Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale in the January transfer window. (h/t Express)

Mourinho has been keen on adding to his squad in the January window following the injuries to Harry Kane, Moussa Sissoko and Tanguy Ndombele. Signing Bale would be a statement given the Welsh international’s pedigree and status.

Bale currently earns £650,000-a-week at Madrid and it is difficult to imagine us offering anything close to the figure. A loan deal for the player is out of the question, with Madrid keen on a permanent switch.

Tottenham Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale joined Real Madrid from Tottenham in 2013

The six-time Welsh player of the year has been a hit in the Spanish capital and was a part of the Madrid squad that won four UEFA Champions League crowns from 2013 to 2018.

Bale has, however, never been a fan favourite with the Madrid faithful and has received nowhere near the adulation he was used to at White Hart Lane. Injuries have limited the winger’s appearances this season, with him making just 17 appearances.

Tottenham have made just one signing this month, with Portuguese midfielder Gedson Fernandes joining on loan. The signing of Bale can be a gamechanger in our push for the top-four.

More Tottenham News

Bale spent six fruitful years at Tottenham where he went from a promising talent to a superstar. He made 203 appearances for us, scoring 55 goals. He started out as a left-back before being transformed into a world-class winger. It remains to be seen if any deal can be reached for the winger.

Continue Reading

ARTICLES

Tottenham academy midfielder sent to Spanish league on loan

Published

on

Armando Shashoua loaned to Spanish Segunda B side Atletico Baleares

Tottenham Hotspur youngster Armando Shashoua has joined Spanish second division side Atletico Baleares on loan until the end of the season, subject to international clearance. (h/t Tottenham Hotspur)

Shashoua is an academy graduate who has represented the Tottenham Under-18 side 19 times, scoring six goals in the process.

The 19-year-old midfielder was also the captain of the Under-18 side and holds the distinction of being the first player to lead a Spurs side out at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium.

Armando Shashoua scores the opening goal in the Leasing.com Trophy match against Ipswich (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

The loan move will reunite Shashoua with his brother Samuel, who is also on loan at Baleares until the end of the season. Samuel joined the Segunda side in August and has been central to the side’s push for promotion. (h/t Tottenham Hotspur)

Although it’s the second division, it will be a step up from the Under-18 level and will provide a good test for the young midfielder to grow. Adjusting to a foreign country and league will also be a good test for Shashoua’s resolve and temperament.

More Tottenham News

The 19-year-old has made three appearances for Spurs Under-23s in the EFL trophy this season and has scored one goal. (h/t ESPN)

Continue Reading

ARTICLES

Done deal: Tottenham goalkeeper joins Danish first Division side on loan

Published

on

Goalkeeper Brandon Austin loaned to Danish club Viborg FF

Tottenham goalkeeper Brandon Austin has joined Danish side Viborg FF on loan for the season, subject to international clearance. (h/t Tottenham Hotspur)

Viborg are currently third in the Danish Superliga, 5 points off Vejle BK at the top. Austin came through the youth ranks at Tottenham and has been on the bench for the first-team six times this season. He has also made 5 appearances for the Under-23 side. (h/t Tottenham Hotspur)

Branon Austin
Brandon Austin came through the youth ranks at Tottenham Hotspur

The youngster recently got called up for the England Under-21 squad and also agreed to a new deal to keep him at Tottenham till 2022.

Austin was the starting goalkeeper for Tottenham Under-23s last season and also represented the U19s in the UEFA Youth League. He played eight times in the competition, captaining the side in six matches. (h/t Tottenham Hotspur)

With Hugo Lloris now back in the squad, Austin will be the fourth-choice goalkeeper at the club behind the likes of Paulo Gazzaniga and Michel Vorm. It makes sense for the youngster to be sent out on loan and continue his development at a club where he is more likely to get playing time.

More Tottenham News

Austin holds dual nationality and represented the USA Under-18s before being called up for England Uner-19s and Under-21s. (h/t Football London). He was also a part of the Spurs side that won the South Korea Cup in 2014.

Continue Reading

Trending