In some ways, yesterday was the perfect result in terms of Tottenham Hotspur’s transfer window. Against a Manchester United side in top form Andre Villas-Boas marshalled his team to deliver an excellent performance and a last minute equaliser. At the same time, Spurs didn’t manage to win the match, and this was as much to do with a lack of action in the transfer market as anything else.
Relying on Jermain Defoe as the only senior striker would be unwise at the best of times, and given his current poor form; it is a reliance that could end Spurs Champions League ambitions at a stroke. All in all Spurs had 25 shots on goal on Sunday, putting only eight on target. A little more ruthlessness in and around the 18 yard box, and Spurs could well have taken all three points, and it is possible that the north London side could fall short in their ambitions this season in a similar fashion if the manager is not backed in the final days of the transfer window.
Daniel Levy and others can point to the success that Spurs have had already this season as testament to the rigid transfer policy that is already in place, but Villas-Boas’ influence on the strong first half of the season should not be understated. The Portuguese manager has got the best out of his side despite regularly being without several key players, and yesterday gave a telling example of why it is time to back him.
Newly without Emmanuel Adebayor, Sandro and Jan Vertonghen, Spurs were able to pressure Manchester United and fight to claim a deserved point with the kind of last minute goal that fans might have come to believe only happens against their side. With more than half of the season gone Spurs are still in fourth place, if Villas-Boas had something to prove before the club pursued his targets, he has surely done so.
There is another reason that Spurs need to back their manager, and it is that the club has yet to truly cash in on the advantage that having Villas-Boas gives them in the transfer market. It’s difficult to know what exactly goes on in the murky world of football negotiations, but it’s easy to believe that one of the main reasons the likes of Willian and Joao Moutinho are considering a switch to White Hart Lane at all is because of the manager.
Spurs now face a crucial ten days. Andre Villas-Boas has taken to side into fourth place despite the clear limitations in the squad he has been given. It must be time to back the manager with at least one of the targets he has asked for, especially as having the 35-year-old in charge could well be the main reason that these targets are looking at the club in the first place.