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

Premier League manager confirms that 22-year-old Tottenham target could be sold for the right price

Published

on

Tottenham target James Maddison would be sold if the right bid is submitted

Leicester City star James Maddison has been on the up since his move from Norwich City.

The 22-year-old midfielder is one of the most creative players in the Premier League and was recently called up to the senior England squad.

Moving from the Championship to the Premier League was a seamless transition for the youngster, and Football.london reports that Maddison was linked with Tottenham in the summer.

James Maddison
James Maddison

The report adds that Manchester United were also keen on the Englishman and speculation about his future will continue until January.

Leicester decided to sell Harry Maguire for a record fee in the summer and Brendan Rodgers told that the Foxes could be tempted to sell other stars for the right price. The former Liverpool manager was quoted by Leicester Live saying (h/t Football.london):

“In a player’s career, there will always be that temptation.

“This is a club that doesn’t want to sell its best players, but of course, if there’s a valuation that is met, which meets what the club perceive the player to be worth, then there will be a discussion.”

However, Rodgers didn’t want to lead teams on with bids for Maddison just yet:

“But it’s not something we want to invite. James is very much a talented player for us.

“He still has lots of improvements to make as a young player.”

Rodgers added that he was a “realist” and knew how the market works, but wanted to keep hold of his starlets.

A perfect player for Spurs?

Maddison would be a wonderful addition to the side and given Mauricio Pochettino’s history of working with young players, we would see the best out of the Englishman.

The 22-year-old has to keep on producing the goods in the midfield, and he should get a big move sooner than later.

More Tottenham News

Hopefully, Spurs can beat off competition from the likes of United and land Maddison.

Continue Reading

ARTICLES

Tottenham could be handed major boost with three stars set to return for Leicester clash

Published

on

Tottenham could see three defenders return for Leicester City clash

Tottenham have to dust themselves off after the 2-2 draw against Olympiakos as they face Leicester City at the weekend.

The 4-0 win over Crystal Palace seems long gone in memory as we squandered a 2-0 lead in Greece on Wednesday.

Our Champions League campaign hasn’t started off well and neither has our Premier League season.

Apart from some unexpected results, Tottenham have had injury concerns, but Football.london reports that Danny Rose and Serge Aurier should be back in action against the Foxes.

The pair was left behind for the clash against Olympiakos in midweek as Mauricio Pochettino is expected to rotate his side in the coming weeks.

The return of Foyth

Juan Foyth hasn’t played a minute for Spurs this campaign after injuring his ankle during pre-season.

The versatile defender, who can play as a centre-back or right-back, is also expected to make his return to the team against the Foxes. The Sun reports that the Argentine has returned to full training and is in line to make his debut on Saturday.

Foyth could solve our right-back problems as Davinson Sanchez’s move to that position hasn’t worked out all that well.

Having Rose and Aurier on the opposite sides should provide us with a greater attacking threat from the full-back positions while Foyth’s natural position is central defence.

More Tottenham News

Tottenham have to be wary of the threat possessed by Leicester. The Foxes have already done well against Chelsea this season, and it will be interesting to see how we fare at the King Power stadium.

Continue Reading

ARTICLES

“Just drop him”, “Disgrace” – Some Tottenham fans lash out at key star after Olympiakos draw

Published

on

Tottenham fans lash out at Christian Eriksen after poor performance against Olympiakos

Tottenham’s start in the Champions League didn’t go as planned as they threw away a two-goal lead against Olympiakos.

Spurs had more talented players compared to their opponents, but the home side showed a lot of spirit and heart as they clawed back from 2-0 down.

Things started brightly for us as we scored via Harry Kane and Lucas Moura. We didn’t play all that well but a team with our quality should have been able to keep the opposition at bay and close out the game.

Christian Eriksen

However, Daniel Podence got one back for the hosts before Mathieu Valbuena scored from the spot in the second half. The game opened up a bit in the final minutes as both teams tried to get the third goal, but we had to be content with a point from the first game.

There were several Tottenham players who struggled on the night but some fans picked on one player in particular.

Eriksen has a tough night in Greece

The Dane hasn’t been consistent this season, and it will be interesting to see how he responds at the weekend against Leicester City. Eriksen’s future is also in doubt as the midfielder is out of a contract at the end of the season, and he could leave on a free transfer next summer.

Many Tottenham fans were frustrated with the performance of the 27-year-old and lashed out at the Dane on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/kaden_FM/status/1174399310433312771?s=20

Read more Tottenham news, click here – Latest Spurs news

Continue Reading

ARTICLES

Spanish expert explains why Tottenham star didn’t join Real Madrid in the summer despite agreeing on terms

Published

on

Guillem Balague explains why Christian Eriksen didn’t join Real Madrid in the summer

Guillem Balague highlighted Zinedine Zidane’s struggles at Real Madrid this season after the Frenchman took the job again. The legend left Real at the start of the previous campaign only to be reinstated after a run of poor results.

Real haven’t been all that great this season either and were beaten by Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last night.

Tottenham also didn’t fare too well as we drew with Olympiakos on the night as several stars struggled.

Christian Eriksen was one of the stars who failed to do the job for Spurs, and Balague wrote in his BBC column that Madrid had agreed on terms with the Dane.

The Spanish expert suggested that the deal didn’t take place because Zidane wanted Paul Pogba, but the inability to sell other players also was an issue (h/t BBC):

“The club had agreed terms with Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen and Ajax’s Donny van de Beek, but Zidane stopped the moves because Pogba was the midfielder he wanted.

“The reality is that Zidane and the club were hoping to sell Isco, Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez, but no offers were forthcoming.”

The expert further added that Manchester United had no intention of selling Pogba in the summer, and Zidane is using the current players to prove they aren’t good enough.

Eriksen wasn’t the only player struggling last night

The Dane wasn’t the only Spurs star struggling in the previous game with our defence all over the place.

We were slightly fortunate not to concede a third goal and need to improve at the back.

Eriksen is a free agent at the end of the season, and it will be interesting to see what happens with him in the January window.

Read more Tottenham Hotspur transfer news, click here – Spurs transfer news

Spurs could sell him in the winter window or lose him for nothing next summer.

Continue Reading

Trending