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.