Last season’s position: 5th (W21 D9 L8 F66 A46)
Key man: Mousa Dembele
Predicted position: 4th
It’s been a roller-coaster summer for Spurs. Not only have they broken their transfer record twice (which in itself is a big statement) they are threatened with losing star man Gareth Bale and with it, in the eyes of many, their chances of a top 4 finish this coming season.
As exciting as the last two months have been for Spurs fans, they have also been nervy and uncertain as the Gareth Bale saga drags on with continuing mumbles of discontent. The team’s performances in pre-season minus Bale have done little to suggest that Spurs will better their performance of yester-season.
If you listen to the superstitious/idiotic they will say that a bad pre-season for Spurs means a good season in the Premier League…what a load of rubbish! That said, in reality Spurs fans should be optimistic about their team’s chances this season, but with the way pre-season has gone, they should also be wary.
This wariness is not a reflection on Spurs business in the transfer market per se, and we will come on to that in a minute, it is more to do with the fact Spurs best XI have not played together as yet, there are also fitness doubts in respect of key players, and the situation with Bale is an unwelcome distraction.
Come September 2 the situation will be largely resolved, but between now and then are 3 Premier League game (one vs Arsenal) and if the team don’t instantly gel and results go badly, this could cost Spurs come May.
Let’s not be too negative, though, as there is plenty for Spurs fans to be excited about.
Daniel Levy has backed his manager this summer and Spurs transfer incomings represent some good business, quality players that will enhance the Spurs starting line-up and squad.
Roberto Soldado is a much needed classy poacher that can bag 20+ a season – his style of playing off the shoulder of the last defender with amazing movement suggests that Soldado should be a hit with the Spurs faithful and not with Premier League defences.
Spurs fans will be hoping Paulinho lives up to his billing as the ‘Brazilian Frank Lampard’ and arrives at Spurs as something of an unknown quantity other than the odd YouTube video and an enhanced reputation after some standout displays on the Confederations Cup 2013. Nacer Chadli is another largely unknown quantity, but has all the attributes needed to be a success, both physical and technical, but could take time to bed-in and adjusting to life in the Premier League.
Spurs fans are keen on seeing the club add another winger, striker, left-back and a centre-back, but the latest arrival is that of defensive midfielder come makeshift centre-back Étienne Capoue and he won’t be the last. Andre Villas-Boas admits Spurs “haven’t finished our business” in the transfer market and will no doubt be active in the market right up until deadline day…hardly a shock, why break the habit of a lifetime?
Out of the other side of the revolving door that is the transfer window go a host of young talent on loan, plus the departure of promising defender Steven Caulker, passing genius/immobile lumux Tom Huddlestone, and Clint Dempsey – a player who was tied as Spurs third highest goal scorer and second best player for assists last season.
The affects on the ability of squad will be minimal with these departures, but the effect on the changing room remains to be seen as Spurs lose a core of English players which will not be aided by the expected exit of Spurs fan Scott Parker to QPR.
Further departures are possible as AVB continues to “trim down the squad to make it strong” with players expected to leave both on loan and permanently – Beniot Assou-Ekotto, Heurelho Gomes, Jermaine Defoe, Emmanuel Adebayor and Gylfi Sigurdsson are all possible departures.
This is a big season for a host of players at the club who will be aiming to enhance their performance levels and cement themselves as some of the best players in the league. Hugo Lloris, Jan Vertonghen and Mousa Dembele all need to step up in there second season at the club and are the backbone Spurs can build their success from.
Younes Kaboul and Sandro will be hoping they will both be able to recreate their form prior to long-term injuries. Youngsters Andros Townsend and Lewis Holtby will also be hoping to make a solid impact this season and get some game time under their belts – either player could turn out to be just the creative tonic Spurs need if Bale does finally depart.
Spurs have gone from a team needing just “one or two players” to challenge, to a team undergoing a major overhaul as AVB begins to shape Spurs into “his” team. There is already a strong culture at the club and a positive vibe in the dressing room (which seems a million miles away from AVB’s problematic period at Chelsea) that will be key to Spurs chances this season.
Spurs no doubt have the talent, their success this season will depend on whether the team gels together quickly, doesn’t drop early points and whether the team has enough match-winning potential or creativity without talisman Gareth Bale. AVB is no fool and has started to address issues that Bale’s talent covered up last season, but there is no doubt that this season is absolutely massive for Spurs following such big investment in the team.
Will Spurs manage to hang on to Gareth Bale? Will they be competitive even without the Welshman and can they finally secure a top-four finish?Let us know below or get in touch via our Facebook or Twitter.