After the disappointment of missing out on the Champions League places last season, followed by losing badly to the two (albeit strong) Manchester clubs in our opening fixtures this campaign, for most Spurs fans it is great to see that manager Harry Redknapp finally has selection problems – in a good way.
The strength of our squad seems to have dramatically increased in key positions due to Redknapp/Levy’s summer signings, and this new found strength in depth has produced points as we look towards a potential fourth consecutive league win this Sunday against Arsenal. Spurs now seem to have a range of available top class players ready to perform in the Premier League and Europa League as we look towards cementing a place in the top four.
In ex-Villa stopper Brad Friedel we seem to have found an effective mix of experience and long-standing athleticism that so many of our previous goalkeepers have lacked. At the age of 40, Friedel is still one of the Premier League’s best; this is great to see after a range mishaps from the hit-and-miss Brazilian Gomes last season.
However, having Gomes as a second option should be seen as an asset that a lot of teams still do not have – an (at times) highly rated reserve goalkeeper. Regardless of his constant tomfoolery in the penalty area, Gomes is a world class shot stopper, and with veteran Italian Carlo Cudicini pushing him all the way to be considered as second choice, Spurs’ goalkeeping squad is without question the envy of most of our Premier League rivals.
Moving one position up the field – and putting behind us the opening two league results – Tottenham’s defence isn’t looking too shabby either. With just one goal conceded in our last three Premier League games, Ledley King seems to still very much have “it”; “it” being the defensive prowess that has often seen the English centre half regarded as one of the best around. If it was not for his frail knee leading to injury tendencies, I would even go as far as saying that King would be a strong candidate for the England captaincy alongside current skipper John Terry.
In addition to this, the recent strong performances of Younes Kaboul mean that Michael Dawson and William Gallas may find it difficult to retain a place in the team on return from injury. In my opinion, this is the definition of a ‘good problem’.
Daniel Levy’s decision to not back down on his stance over selling Luka Modric has more recently proved to be an outstanding decision by the Tottenham chairman. The Croatian playmaker possibly looks better than ever at present, meaning that the difficult decision comes in the form of who should start alongside him – Sandro or Scott Parker.
This debate once again shows just how strong a squad we have this term, with Parker and Sandro both playing brilliantly in the 2-1 victory over Wigan last weekend. Modric played out wide on the right, where he is clearly not as effective as he is when playing a central role. With Aaron Lennon and Rafael Van der Vaart both able to play wide right, the sensible thing to do would be put Modric back in the middle, playing next to either Sandro or Parker.
Finally, after a long wait, Spurs seem to have required a striker with a touch of class and the ability to put the ball in the back of the net. Not only have Emanuel Adebayor’s goal scoring tendencies come in handy, but his partnership with Jermain Defoe has already started to prove to be one of the best in the league.
After last season’s top goal-scoring striker Roman Pavlyuchenko was once again left on the bench at the DW Stadium, a January move looks on the cards for the big Russian, freeing up funds for a new striker to come in to hopefully challenge Defoe and Adebayor for a starting place.
Regardless of the fact that I still think we do need to invest in a new striker, Spurs’ strength in depth is something to behold this season. As we push to rejoin the Champions League elite, having top class players in most positions could prove a vital aspect in the team’s journey this season; Redknapp should relish this opportunity.