Tottenham Hotspur fans have had the privilege to witness some truly outstanding football in the 2010/2011 season. The outstanding talents of Bale, Modric, and Van der Vaart now grace the Spurs line up, terrorising the opposition with their skill and ability, as opposed to the days of average players like Postiga, (Michael) Brown, and Ghaly.

Whilst it is clear Spurs are a force to be reckoned with, in recent weeks drawing to teams like Wigan, Wolves and West Ham has harmed our chances of regaining the coveted fourth place, and our 4-0 defeat at the Bernabeu has left us needing a miracle to remain in this years Champions League (and if we do get through we will be up against Messi and co in the semis). Our Champions League experience for this year is likely to end, with no guarantee when it will start again. Why is this the case?

Problem No.1 – Strikers

Unfortunately this year Defoe, Crouch, Pavlyuchenko, and in the earlier half Keane, have not been good enough. Last year Defoe was on fire scoring 24 goals in all competitions. In stark contrast our combined goal total for the strikers this year is 30, hence not one of our strikers has been prolific. For Pav to be our top scorer (excluding VDV and Bale) with 7 goals in the Premier League is unforgivable. Ultimately, goals win matches, and our lack of them has lead to disappointing results.

Solution No.1 – Buy 2 new Strikers

Whatever happens this summer we should be looking to sell Crouch and Keane, who are both highly ineffective (except yes, Crouch HAD done quite well in the CL) for a combined total of 15-20 million. With this plus the Champions League money, we can buy a world class and upcoming striker. I’d buy Llorente/Forlan and Lukaku/Wickham, with first two proven goal scorers and the last two likely to become future stars of the game.

A big mistake this year was not buying Suarez, who although might have been ineligible for the CL would have almost certainly aided our push for fourth with his goals and frightening skill. Suarez’s arrival would have been well-timed, as January was when VDV began to lose form. We would also then not needed to play the out of form Defoe (who I’m sure will get back to his best next year).

Problem No.2 – Form against ‘Lesser’ teams

This year we have lost to Wigan (at home!), West Ham, Blackpool, and Bolton, and failed to score against West Ham and Wigan in both matches (links to problem 1).

Of course every team has the odd slip up – Man U have lost to Wolves, as have Chelsea and Man City, and Arsenal have lost to West Brom and Newcastle at home. However, this should be a reminder to Tottenham at a time when many teams are slipping up, we could have put up a serious challenge for the title! If we want to be in the Champions League on a regular basis, we will have to cope with playing many games. Europe cannot be an excuse for dropping ‘easy’ points.

Solution No.2 – Make greater use of squad

I believe we have the BEST squad in the league. Furthermore, I think players like Kranjcar and Jenas should get more game time when the likes of Bale and VDV are not fully fit, since they have the quality to make 1 point turn into 3 e.g Kranjcar vs Bolton and Sunderland.

Problem No.3 – Manchester City

This year the likes of Tevez, Silva and Yaya Toure have shown City are now close to becoming a great side. Add players like De Jong and Kompany to the equation and they have a strong spine to their team. Regardless of where they finish, they will continue to bring quality players to Eastlands. Therefore Spurs have to gain fourth place to make sure money is the only motivation for players to go for City, whilst we can tempt players with Champions League football.

Solution No.3 – Beat them in the League and hope for their form to collapse

Having watched Man City lose 3-0 to Liverpool it is clear City are on the brink collapse. If they go into their FA Cup Semi Final against United without Tevez, they will almost certainly lose. We must capitalise. Beating City at Eastlands is a priority, because as long as we are in a competitive position when we play them, I can’t see them finishing fourth if we beat them. Moreover, we cannot afford to lose to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, and it is likely we will need to win at Anfield. Next week’s match against Arsenal is a must-win as well.

Problem No.4 – Trouble in Paradise

A once positive and productive relationship between Redknapp and Levy appears to be well and truly over. This is because Redknapp appears to having not so subtle digs at Levy in his post-match interviews regarding our form and how he is valued. This may well be due to stress on Redknapp’s part over his upcoming court case, and his desire to become England manager (which I must admit irritates me).

Solution No.4 – Keep faith in ‘Arry

Whilst Harry may not believe his future lies with Spurs, lets hope for the final few weeks of the season, he regains the teams morale, and guides Spurs to a second successive fourth place finish. He defied many critics after our semi final loss to Portsmouth when many claimed our season was over – whose to say he cannot do this again?

Finally lets hope Daniel “The Weasel” Levy lets Redknapp get on with his job, by giving him money to solve problem 1, and perhaps give Redknapp his blessing over England if any problems lie there. Finally, he should give up on Stratford- it is clear the reason he persists is so he can receive a nice sum of money saved from building the Northumberland project.

Well there you have it. What is so fantastic about Tottenham’s current situation is that there is so much potential for success (all problems have a solution). Yes Madrid may be a step too far, but for god’s sake we are up against Real Madrid!!!! Achieve fourth place and we can address the problems we faced this year, continue to improve in the Champions League, and have a shot at the title. But for now I look to tonight, and pray we beat Madrid! COYS!!!

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Apart from those who hate Crouch with a passion, it is clear that Crouch is actually to one who mostly should remain out of the “quartet” of strikers. in terms of scoring, assisting and setting up goals, he is the joint SECOND most productive player – level with VDV (in all comps). If you have 4 strikers, you cannot have 4 kick-ass strikers. It is impossible.
    So you need a layered strikeforce, with one or two expecting to play most games, and the 3rd and 4th expecting less.
    Crouch, given his age, lack of threat with a shot, plus already being well-travelled, he will accept to be number 2 or 3.
    Number 4 needs to be up and coming. Given Defoe and Pav’s concerns about not playing, then one of these will go.
    Keane is out one way or another.

  2. Plus we had no choice with Suarez. He was always on his way to Liverpool. Besides, he is not scoring much either. BUT – he is causing problems for the defence, and this is what any new Spurs strikers need to do.

  3. Sometimes I feel that articles like this do more harm than good. The way you talk about “Buy Suarez”, implies that we had an automatic right to do so, but that we decided not to. Do you really think that we could have outspent Liverpool in the wages and transfer fee departments? Did he even want to play for us. And of course, we all knew that VDV was going to lose form in January! Hindsight is always 20/20, but somehow or other, you have elevated it a whole new artform.

    Regarding Jenas, you seem to be the only one who thinks he should get more games. Regarding squad rotation, are you sure you are watching the same team as the rest of us. The injuries we have had this season have been horrendous. We have had to play six different CB’s, and with the exception of BAE, Pav, and Crouch, every player has had a three+ match run on the injured or sick list at least once. If you look at our most popular M/F line up, Lennon,Thud,Modric, VDV and Bale, we played one game where the only member of that line up was Lennon as a late sub. On another occasion, we had to put two G/ks on the bench, such was our injuries, and in another game, we only had one fit striker. If you want to see the evidence for this, see http://www.myfootballfacts.com/Tottenham_Hotspur_Minutes_2010-11.html

    Squad players have had lots of opportunities this season, because we have had no choice but to play them.

    The only thing that City have that we don’t, is unlimited funds.

    In summary, this article tells us nothing we did not know already, and fails to mention the things that we do know that have been major factors that should have been added.
    A coupe of times recently, I have had a pop at Triffic Tottenham for some of the dross that they have sent out, but generally, they redeem themselves with the next itme. Usually, my complaint is that the article has been written for the sake of writing something. This article which purports to know it all, appears to have been written by someone who knows nothing.

  4. SpurredoninDublin – wow, some good stuff there. You even said some stuff that I was gonna say but left out for brevity!

  5. TonyRich: It really was badly written, and ill-informed.

    The problem with articles like this, are that we have some malcontented fans who when they see a comment like “we should have bought Suarez, read this as “we refused to buy Suarez”. What some needs to write, is “The Miracle of Spurs” and how a team with our limited resources have done as well as we have. I am not saying that we should be content and accept our losses as inevitable, but if you do the maths, we have no right to expect to be where we are today. The fact that we are, is because of a lot of hard work and thought has been put into those limited resources.

    When you read this article, it’s so casual, about buying Suarez, and squad rotation etc, that you have to wonder if the writer inhabits the same planet as the rest of.

    One thing the writer should think about, is if you are going to make a point, do a bit of research first to back the point up.

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