I started the Olympic Games drunk and ended it hungover. A fitting end, if you ask me. It was 16 days of pure sporting entertainment that gripped the country by the balls and saw fans take an interest in the likes of Handball, Volleyball and Dressage; sports many wouldn’t have showed the slightest curiosity towards mere hours before the opening ceremony a little over two weeks ago.
But that is exactly what it did. Football took a temporary back-seat as Great Britain threw their weight behind the likes of Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah, Tom Daley and Bradley Wiggins and their quest for a medal. London was a happy place, emphasised by the sweltering sunshine that shone upon Olympic Park. Sunday’s closing ceremony brought tears to the faces of many as they struggled to grasp the reality that the greatest show on earth was coming to abrupt end.
The rain pelting against my window sums up my feelings today; despair, sadness and the stark realisation that many wouldn’t witness a similar showing in their life-times. However, a mere 132 miles up the M40, the beginning of the football season was kicking off. At Villa Park, Manchester City and Chelsea were playing out the inaugural ‘season opener’ as the two battled for the Community Shield.
The Citizens eventually came away victorious 3-2 winners over their Blues counterparts in a game many have dubbed ‘El Cashico’. It signalled one defining factor for football fans; the Premier League was back and with a Branislav Ivanovic-esc bang. Nevertheless, with just five days between now and the start of the campaign, Tottenham Hotspur fans are anxiously biting their nails ahead of the daunting trip to Newcastle United.
Summer started off with a bang; Harry Redknapp was sacked and Andre Villas-Boas drafted in as Spurs did all they could to divert the attention of the watching world away from the ongoing European Championship. Jan Vertonghen and Gylfi Sigurdsson arrived and Spurs agreed a fee for Emmanuel Adebayor. All seemed well at White Hart Lane.
Fans were becoming expectant; at one point there was an announcement a day in North London, whether it was Steven Caulker signing a new long-term contract ahead of his participation with Team GB or further developments in the Northumberland Development Project. Exciting, yes? That’s because it was. Spurs fans were giddy. Who was going to sign next? Was Luka Modric the next to commit to the club? This was all happening at the beginning of July.
Fans have been on the edge of their seats, rapidly tapping F5 on the Spurs website to see who was next to arrive for the past five weeks. As such, Spurs are yet to bring anyone else in, Modric is still at the club with Real Madrid, thus far, failing to cough up the required £35m to take him to the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu and, once again, the club are in desperate need a striker with a tough trip to St. James’ Park looming.
ITK’s have been proclaiming that Leandro Damiao was to sign over the weekend; Adebayor has been close to completion for weeks now, while the odd Andy Carroll rumour was doing the rounds. Smokers have added that extra cigarette to the usual daily quota and fingernail biting is at an all-time high with the season looming.
The 2-0 defeat to Valencia last week proved that a proven target-man is essential. The loss may not have been ideal, even if it was only pre-season, but it is painstakingly evident that a new striker is vital. Since the departure of Dimitar Berbatov in 2008, Spurs are yet to bring in a truly world class front-man, permanently.
Adebayor may have temporarily filled the Bulgarian shaped void and his 18 goals and 12 assists are hardly stats to be scoffed at. But with the deal stalling, the investment up front is pivotal. Any deal for a striker is reportedly dependant on the sale of Modric, which is ‘believed’ to be close to completion, according to speculation emanating from Spain.
If that is the case, the sooner the Croatian is shipped out; the better. One cannot emphasise the importance of signing the big name front-man, especially when you consider the prospect of Jermain Defoe or Harry Kane firing Spurs into the new season *shudders*. For those that follow me on Twitter, you will know this week could be big for the club.
Movements are expected and, to be honest, are desperately needed. The Modric saga needs to come to an end and a replacement bought in. The money needs to be invested into a striker, be it Leandro, Adebayor, M’Baye Niang; anyone but Gregorz Rasiak.
Five days will soon become four and so forth. The season is approaching quicker than a Usain Bolt world record run and it’s safe to assume that Spurs are, somewhat, unprepared. While transfers are long, drawn out affairs, movements need to happen this week or else a season opener reminiscent to last year is very, very likely.
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