In my last blog I citied Hugo Lloris, our sparkling youth players and touched briefly on our creative hub in Christian Eriksen and Mousa Dembele. Maurico Pochettino has a good first team but our squad depth is still questionable due to several long running sagas that resemble a tv show that has run out of ideas with the studio ready to swing the axe.
The left-back conundrum
Ben Davies joined us in the summer from Swansea. He's played a part-time role in our season and he's given Danny Rose more than just competition. He's forced Rose to reboot and to a far more combative standard. Both are young and with plenty of football to play I think it's important to note that Pochettino has made an impact here. Is it enough? That depends on whether you believe Rose (and Davies) are going to improve defensively. They are both better getting forward. Rose (as seen in the Arsenal game) pushed into their penalty area time and time again. He got caught out by Danny Welbeck for their goal. His positioning and decision making on the back-foot can leave us exposed but then if Poch can improve him as much as he has, how much more can he if we look towards next season?
If we've not got Harry Kane, what do we have? Two headaches that linger with pain. I'll not cover old ground but Roberto Soldado covered plenty of it in La Liga where he scored with confidence. He hasn't quite fit into Spurs and I'm not sure he ever will. Emmanuel Adebayor looks destined to leave. So, we've got Harry Kane and not much else. We have players that might be able to deputise up front but that isn't a perfect solution. The club, I guess, made a decision not to buy a cheap/stop-gap player in the last transfer window so that they can seek to purchase someone with proven quality in the summer. Soldado was meant to have that quality. Our new recruitment structure will be busy scouting (or going back to Southampton) to bolster our attack. Kane's 'second season' will be a tricky one as everyone will wise up to him. His reaction to that will tell us just how far he can go. Support in fire-power is a necessity to help guide him.
The creative hub (redux)
This is our paradox. We have creative players but they're mostly in a state of flux. Eriksen is so important but if he's out injured where does the vision come from? Dembele could support us. Nacer Chadli from the flanks and Erik Lamela are the two with undoubted ability but remain tentative currently as both seek to truly nail more than just a starting role but a definitive influence in the team. Chadli loves to sniff out a goal but both players have not quite peaked their potential. Probably because in their first season it felt less like a bedding in period and more like a pillow fight with bricks.
As for Lamela? I'm going to need a separate blog for him.