Sit back and watch the start of Tottenham’s 2011/12 Premier League season on Sky Sports HD.

It all seemed so easy to rectify over the summer. Buy at least one striker, who didn’t need someone alongside him to keep him company and we would instantly be transformed into a top-four-bound, title-chasing, goal machine.

I’m not quite sure why I got lulled into this false sense of security. Our need for a quality forward was equally apparent in both January and last summer. On neither occasion did we sign anyone and with just over a week to the season kick off, it looks like we’ll start this Premier League campaign with the same bunch of reliably useless strikers.

The transfer window might not close till the end of August, but the season starts on the 13th. If we leave our shopping to the last minute, not only do we deprive any potential striker of a pre-season bedding in period, but we also have to tackle a tough opening three games with an attack that we know aren’t up to the task.

We might get away with an opening day win over Everton, playing Crouch in front of Van der Vaart, or the Dutchman on the right side of a 4-4-2, but our televised Monday night trip to Manchester United the following week, promises to be much trickier. The third game then sees us face a Manchester City side who we failed to score against last season, despite completely dominating the possession over both games.

The fixture list continues to challenge us over the next few games, with the Sky cameras showing our encounter with Liverpool in September and the North London derby against Arsenal in early October. It’s as tough a start as I can remember and it would have been to our advantage to get our transfer business dealt with early, as both Manchester United and Liverpool have managed.

A lot of us have been moaning about Daniel Levy’s traditional transfer window tactics, which have seen us do our business late to get the best price. Sometimes he pulls a Van der Vaart out of the hat, but equally we have suffered by not having the time to replace players that we’ve sold at the last minute, or been caught desperately submitting bids to clubs who are reluctant to part with a vital player so late in the day.

Recently, the conspiracy theorists have been speculating as to whether Levy has darker motives than penny pinching. With Harry Redknapp embroiled in a court case with the HMRC and possibly due to spend some time in prison, could Levy be reluctant to blow millions on players that a new manager might not want?

Redknapp has sounded increasingly tetchy during his regular media appearances lately, as he’s repeated the fact that Levy wants to sell players before Tottenham buys anyone. You just get the sense that something is not right in the relationship between manager and chairman. Perhaps Levy would welcome the chance of getting rid of Harry on the cheap, should he get banged up.

At a time when we should be enthusiastic about the start of the season, I’m feeling slightly trepidatious. We could sign the players we need within the next week and Harry might get away with a slap on the wrist, but equally there’s the potential for the sort of early season chaos that would see The Sun dig out their ‘CLUB IN CRISIS’ banner.

They say that the Premier League is a marathon and not a sprint, but if you’ve ever watched a marathon you’ll know that the athletes at the front by the end, are rarely the ones who are tripping over in their fancy dress costumes at the start of the race.

Getting off to a flyer is always something to strive for. With a tough set of opening fixtures and uncertainty about who will fill key roles both on and off the pitch, Spurs have made that tricky start even more daunting.

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18 COMMENTS

  1. Well. Look at the positives. There is no way in hell that Defoe will have as bad a season as that. I am sure Crouch will score more this time out, and his effectiveness in Europe will be appreciated. Pav scores at a higher rate than Bent – when he plays… Keane……is Keane. Cannot sign striker until one of those is sold. Cannot sell until someone bids. No one has bid…or at least bid a respectable amount of money for them.. So they stay. The same strikerforce finished 4th & 5th in consecutive seasons….and got to the quarter finals of the CL. I just would like to see more pace & power up front. But if it won’t happen, then so be it. I view last season as somewhat transitional. Now this season: Sandro (once fit) is ready to go, VdV should be fitter and more accustomed to EPL, Pienaar – whole season, Bale – has past the usually tricky 2nd breakthrough season, Kingy surely will get more than 4 apps, we have genuine competition for goalie spot. Hudd was injured all last season, so we’ll have him back.

  2. Love the marathon joke!

    There isnt much of a feelgood factor amongst supporters (at least not on blogs) at the moment – understandably. I desperately hope we have some sensible/realistic players in mind for when the exciting players (but long shots) like Rossi, Adebayor, Llorente, Benzema etc dont come to fruition and that we dont leave it too late to sign them.

    Have to remind ourselves that we were 5th last year and could have done better with a bit better squad use/tactics/rotation, so we arent in danger of relegation quite yet! I know Harry is negative about the Europa but at least we dont have to play the likes of Bale and VDV in every game, thereby burning them out. Walker looks like a potentially very useful new (sort of) addition.

    Harry’s key attribute is supposed to be man management so hopefully he is insulating the players from any doom and gloom and keeping a happy, positive atmosphere.

  3. 1st team 4-2-3-1
    Gomes
    Walker Gallas Daws BAE
    Sandro Thudd
    Azza VDV Bale
    Llorente

    2nd Team 4-4-2
    Freidel
    Charles Kaboom King Rose
    G.D.Santos Wilson Mods Kranks
    Pavs Defoe

    Modric and VDV cant play on the same pitch to full potential unless Mods is playing on the left hand side, its unfortunate but true, plus with all the whingin’ he’s been doing i wouldn’t mind collecting the £35mil.
    VDV kind of threw everything off balance when he joined, Mods and Thudd were EXCELLENT in the 4-4-2 but it doesn’t work so well when vdv’s dropping deep to cover the midfield. Where playing the physical, defensive, ball winning Sandro with Hudds allows Bale Lennon and VDV all to play slightly more attacking and further support the lone striker who im hoping will be Llorente(fingers are currently crossed and will continue to be until Sept 1).

    If you notice in those lineups the 1st and 2nd team do not include Bentley Jenas Pienaar Crouch Bassong or Keane that is because im hoping by Sept. 1st they are as far from WHL as humanly possible. Townsend Livermore Kane and (Coulibaly, Ceballos maybe not yet?) COULD be the future of Spurs and are, in my opinion, ready for some Europa action, if we fail, loan them in January.. simple as dvda. I will now proceed to gentley masterbate myself back to sleep.

    • Van der Vaart and Modric can play in the same midfield- they just need to play more together- Huddlestone Modric and van der Vaart played once last season together and what was the score- 3-1 verses INTER MILAN! Please do not tell me they cannot play together because it ‘creates imbalance’ that is such bullshit! Last season they might have got in each others way a bit but it was the FIRST time they had played together and were now working out how to play together. When it works we are unstoppable and add Bale and Lennon to that equation with a world class striker and i dont think many teams can beat us! Just need the world class striker now- Llorente, Benzema, Rossi- anyone?

  4. I agree with a lot of your points and comments here.

    It’s also pretty obvious to me that outside of the sensationalist media crap, the many average players we need to ship out, have not been subjected to any real offers. I think it’s time to bite the bullet and just put them up for transfer, even if it means we lose money, as in the case of players like Bentley and Keane, for example, but at least they’d be off the wage bill.

    If we do not get rid of somewhere in the region of half a dozen players, even more, who are just not up to it, to be honest – and I’d hazard a guess most fans would come up with a similar list – not only will we not be buying anybody, given Levy’s restrictions and the size of our squad, but players like Modric, Bale and Sandro would definitely be justified in seeking transfers, if not in January 2012, certainly next Summer.

    There’s some big decisions that need to be made at White Hart Lane before this new season starts, and given Levy’s stand on Modric, which I totally agree with, if we do end up letting him go, Spurs have then become a second tier club.

    In a way, our transfer policies and practices are a cause of great concern. For example, given that we did not try to buy Charlie Adam from Blackpool once the season actually finished – and I, for one, am still scratching my head as to why we didn’t go for strikers in January – what was the actual point in making that last-minute offer to Blackpool for Adam in January?

  5. 1st team 4-2-3-1
    Gomes
    Walker Gallas Daws BAE
    Sandro Mods
    Azza VDV Bale
    Llorente

    2nd Team 4-4-2
    Freidel
    Charles Kaboom King Rose
    G.D.Santos Wilson Thudd Kranks
    Pav Defoe

    Just changed Thudd from 1st team for Modric

  6. Let’s face it. Harry knows we need new strikers but Levy won’t buy them so we’re screwed.

    I saw a report this morning (ok it’s the press) that Stoke have been quoted £20 mill for Crouch for goodness sake.

    If Levy won’t spend the money on new players, at least buy-out the contracts of the so-called balance sheet “assets” and get them off the revenue stream outgoings instead of bleating about sell before we buy.

    It’s true that there maybe a surprise 2 weeks into the season just as the window closes, by which time we could be sitting nicely at the foot of the table with 0 points given our poor record against lower clubs and having to play 2 teams that finished above us last season.

    As of today, this club is going backwards and it’s down to Levy to take some action that will go some way to justifying his over-inflated reputation with some of the fan base.

  7. That is 20m for both Crouch & Palacios. Which would be excellent business, even if Stoke counter offer with 18m which is the rumour.

    I am trying to keep cheerful by remembering we are where we are with the current lot. At least we shouldnt get worse and at least one striker needs to catch fire at some point.

  8. To improve on what we have already we need some top strikers and I wonder if we just don’t pay enough any more (wages that is) for top players. If that is the case then until the new stadium comes along this problem will continue.

  9. In defence of Levy, he is getting a lot of flak for demanding high prices for outgoing players (although we fans are quite happy for him to lash out mental amounts of high risk money for incoming players.

    What we need to understand is that if Keane (for example) goes to Blackburn for 2 million, he will rightly expect us to make up the difference between what he is contracted to earn with us (65k pw?} and what they might pay him (3ok?) ie around 1.5 – 2 million pounds per year at a guess. Same applies for Crouch and Pal to Stoke, so although we want these players off our books, we cant just give them away. If the price gets low enough, there is an argument that we may as well keep them rather than pay them to play for someone else. Some of our ‘dead wood’ players are still capable of giving us good service.

    Also these players are on our books as assets with a value and if we sell them below that value we are actually making a loss. If you look at our profit last year (not that much) writing off millions of pounds on David Bentley is a big pill to swallow.

    Not that I’m not frustrated, just wanting to put another perspective on it.

  10. Face facts all 4 Spurs strikers are International footballers.
    All can score goals in the Premier League-so what is wrong?
    The answer-Redknapp.He is no better than Jol-both are tactically inept.Levy will not spend with Redknapp as he more than likely to go-the sooner the better.

  11. There is a really good striker the plays for Monaco he is a 6 ft 1, strong, quick and could hold the ball up very well, he had a good season at S.L (Belgium Club) scoring 35 goals in 81 apps. he’s just 25 and i know with the type of supply we have on the wing maybe he is a more realistic option.

    • lol nice, Mbokani? he is good i would exclude the word ‘really’.. scored 15 in 32. 16 in 29. 7 in 24. in three years at Standard Liege.. failed at Monaco, was loaned to Wolfsburg, didnt work out. I’d say he’s sort of a mix of Gyan and Pav.
      If you’re looking for realistic, potential targets, i could name a handful before Mbokani lol and i will.. Moussa Sow, Papiss Cisse, Garra Dembele, Dame N’Doye, Loic Remy, Mevlut Erding, Jose Rondon, and i’ll throw in Negredo.. Mbokani is good and maybe if he gets back to the form he had at S.L. he could be a target though i see him signing with everton for various reasons.

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