Grinch 1 Santa 0
All I want for Christmas is points. I'm not fussed with the January sales. Not to dismiss the potential for a bargain or two.
Mauricio Pochettino is working on the current squad, trying to get the best out of the players he has. He knows enough about the ones he wants to keep and has faith in others that require game time before blossoming. He's instilling his philosophy, It's been problematic as one or two have failed to react to his methods. Do we still need to adjust the squad to aid Pochettino's target for balance?
Will it all happen in January?
Andre Yedlin has been confirmed. The young super-fast right-back will offer us further cover for Kyle Walker. Kyle Naughton might find himself surplus to requirements (more so than usual).
Rumours persist about Aaron Lennon's future. I get quite cynical this time of year. Agents dropping stories into the mainstream. Clubs in denial. Most of the time it doesn't transition from fantasy to reality. On occasions the stories are planted to spike interest, either for contract renewals or because the player wants to promote his availability. Lennon is on the edge, sometimes productive with a cameo, but not as influential consistently to certify a first team start. It's got stale for him at Spurs.
Emmanuel Adebayor is another one that drifts ghosts around without ever truly fulfilling the potential he has to boss games in the final third. Will he stay or go is dependent on whether Daniel Levy could earn enough from the deal to be able to offer the profit to Poch so we can draft in a replacement. This theoretical new signing would have to be cheap(ish) and hit the ground running. Perhaps young and hyped with sell-on value (Levy's ethos).
Harry Kane seems to be our leading man now. Roberto Soldado continues to struggle but don't think we'll give up on him until the summer. If Santa could deliver the ideal forward I'd probably ask for Wilfried Bony. All we can afford is a pony. Am I right? Real Madrid are not sniffing around this time so no windfall is forthcoming.
As for the other touted positions from the last window, we wanted Morgan Schneiderlin (signed Benji Stambouli) and lost out on Mateo Musacchio (signed Fazio Federico). With Nabil Bentaleb and Ryan Mason casting doubt on the futures of Mousa Dembele and Etienne Capoue I still think we need someone with more tenacity and presence to help with the battles in midfield. Only if we sell one first. Or if someone on the outside forces their way back in.
With Paul Mitchell joining us from Southampton as the new head of recruitment to analyse what we have and what we need, I'm not expecting anything long term until next summer. Maybe that odd re-adjustment but nothing earth-shattering. The only guarantee is that Levy will probably make a bit of pocket money out of a loan deal or two.
Sorry to be the grinch wishing you all a Lilywhite Christmas and a low key start to the new year.