Andre Villas-Boas was one busy bee this summer. With a huge transfer budget to dig into thanks to the impending Gareth Bale move, he moved for several players. They have made a good start to this season, sitting three points off the top in fifth. But, for me at least, some players haven’t quite hit the mark.
It will have been frustrating for Sandro that, after such impressive performances in the first half of last season, he picked up a serious knee injury that kept him out for the second half of last year. Players such as Paulinho have come in and he has struggled to regain his form. He has been limited to just one full game and three sub appearances but his lack of impact in these games has done nothing to convince AVB that he should play. When in full form Sandro can display a wonderful array of passing and a thundering shot, but AVB may feel he is too a like Paulinho and Sandro may face a battle to regain his place.
Another man who has found himself down the pecking order after the all the new recruits is Lewis Holtby. After joining the club in January, he struggled to make any real impact and it hasn’t been much better this season, not scoring or creating a goal either. With the likes of Townsend shining this season, Holtby will need to find some sparkling form to wrestle a place into the team.
I was very excited to see Eriksen come to the Premier League, he’s been a standout youngster in Holland for a few years now, but an early injury set back his start and he hasn’t really found his feet yet. Just one assist next to his name will have not been how he would’ve wanted to start. He hasn’t been great so far this season but the last couple of performances have shown some form and I think once he is fully fit we’ll all see his wonderful creative ability that will suit Spurs’ strikers down to the ground.
But even more disappointing than Eriksen has been Lamela. In a way the emergence of Townsend has taken the pressure of the £30m man, who was the one most thought to be replacing Bale, when it comes to like for like. The 21-year-old has publicly admitted that he has seriously struggled with the physicality of the league which is not really what you want to hear from your new record signing. One thing is for sure though, if he can overcome these troubles and find the form he had for Roma then Spurs may be bracing themselves for another big move in a couple years’ time.
Yes, a lot of you may disagree with this one as well. Yes, you’ll point out that including a couple of goals in the Europa League, he’s had a good start to his career at White Hart Lane. But a couple of goals against Dinamo Tbilisi doesn’t really wow anyone, and when you break down the three premier league goals he has, two are from the penalty spot. The difference in Premier League football and La Liga is big and it can take a player a while to adapt from one to the other, but if Tottenham are adamant on playing just one up front then he will need to be scoring far more regularly. They won’t be able to rely on Townsend to be like Bale all season. They don’t have a player who can score whenever and wherever and unless Soldado finds his scoring boots soon I won’t be the only one criticising.