Escaping to victory

 

Review part IV

 

Might force a move (2)

Lloris
Vertonghen


One is world class, the other thinks he's world class but probably would be if he got rid of his miserable mannerisms and was surrounded by players of equally good quality. Hugo would be nigh impossible to replace. Vertonghen hasn't impressed and hasn't led and although I'm willing to appreciate that he's been frustrated with the collapse of the footballing promise we all fell for as part of the THFC/AVB project, he could have shown a little more in our time of need. Perhaps if more players showed fighting spirit we'd still be clutching onto dreams we should have let go a while back.

Jan has dismissed suggestions he wants out and with Barcelona's transfer embargo (if it's still in place) might mean he'll have to flirt with out suitors to make an escape. Holding onto both is imperative to build around them and gain some balance with our defence, rather than have this mixture of good, bad and should be good.

The recent Eriksen revelation is nothing of the sort. He was interviewed and mentioned a secret plan. I blame no player for having aspirations to reach the very top. It shows hunger and self-belief. Also, what odds would you give for Spurs getting to a title win and Champions League final before Barcelona do? It's not that we're a stepping stone, it's that other clubs are simply bigger and will always be bigger and therefore sit at the top of the footballing universe. If we somehow manage to hold onto players, appoint the right coach and build towards something then anything is possible. But that's a monumental task and the collateral damage is having to lose our very best players.

Players these days prioritise personal gain over any given club in that they aim to maximise their career with marketing allowing branding and sponsorship to guide their career path. If you want to be known as the best you need to be playing for a club that is synonymous with the best. Hence why Real Madrid is akin to utopia for many as you can't go any higher once you're there (in terms of fiscal clout and prestige).

Football is bossed by the money. If you have the money you'll likely to have a title contending team and CL football. Easy choice for the likes of Eriksen that dream much like we dream for similar riches of success for our club.

Hugo, if anything, might wonder 'what am I doing at Spurs if I can be playing for PSG/Barca?' etc. He's no different to the rest and we've lost far lesser players in recent years with the same mind set.

 

Positions that require strengthening/sorting out -

Backup to Hugo Lloris
Full-back positions
The flanks
The attack

 

We need a  back up to Hugo, someone preferably younger than the heads on Easter Island.

The full-back places go without say. We need to match our quality with the same standard we have at centre-back. We need balance here and we need experience. It's a specialist position, one that needs to work defensively but be supportive to the winger/midfielder ahead of them and work in effectively as part of a fluid system. The options we have are not good enough.

Rose is struggling. Naughton is played out of position and is as good as he'll get. Fryers is akin to a utility player, nothing spectacular sometimes solid but not in anyway special.

The flanks are dependent on how we seek to shape up next season. We don't have out and out wingers that work. Lennon hardly beats his man. Townsend cuts in too often and is raw with his decision making and finishing. We've persisted with the inverted system and its not been fruitful. Chadli and Lamela might in the long term provide us with a lot more than we're getting. If we want to play with a target man we want to drill/cross/float in crosses. We need traditional wingers with pace. If that's the way we plan to go.

Adebayor hasn't got long left on his contract. Will Levy cash in? Harry Kane; is he only good as back up? Will Soldado stay or fly back to the sun in Spain?

It seems that we either have all the players we need or we'll have to sacrifice some to make way for better replacements. There are far too many question marks for a club that just spent £100M on new players.

With a positive spin, it's the full-backs that are guaranteed in need for a fix. The system as a whole has been detrimental to the form of so many of our players so the new coach might be able to find the system that fits the players rather than vice versa. I get the distinct feeling there is no abundance of cash to spend on players this summer, much like there wasn't last season (thanks to Bale for the bail out).

It's stunning to me that even with this calamitous mismanagement of our players, we have somehow remained in contention in terms of points accumulated and the chase for top four, only conceding the chase recently. Dare to consider what we could be capable of it we got our act together? But that would hardly be the Spurs we know so well.

 

concluded in part V