Search This Blog

Friday, 11 May 2012

One or two issues.

So we are nearing the end of another season. Another year with Tottenham pulling the strings of the heart as Modric continued pulling the strings in midfield, in a Spurs shirt. We're reaching a pinnacle in Tottenham's progression, or so I believe. A side that has come on 'leaps and bounds' in the last 3 years after taking giant strides negatively immediately post Jol-era. We've assembled a squad capable of a Champions League finish, capitalising on the demise of Chelsea, Liverpool and, to an extent, Arsenal. The top 4 monopoly shattered quicker than our chances of winning the Premier League; cue eye roll.

So, this season will raise a number of questions and many what ifs; including Adebyor and Pienaar. Let's begin.

Without a shadow of a doubt without Adebayor we would not be favourites to finish 4th in the Premier league. He's been an unlikely breath of fresh air in attack and fits brilliantly into our system. His movement, hold up play and willingness to track is something we've lacked for the best part of a few years. He brings others into play and has proved a real team player. Never did I think I'd ever write that paragraph after he'd just put Arsenal 3-1 up at the Emirates a few years back; football eh. 17 league goals and 14 assists (correct me if I'm mistaken) is a fantastic return on a debut season for a forward that, more than likely, wouldn't even make the bench at City. Strikers can go missing in games. Many argue that Ade did in a few games last month but these have proved more of an anomaly than anything. On the face of it, I don't think any other forward we were supposedly in for last summer would've done much better than Adebayor.

I've no doubt Levy will fight tooth and nail to keep Ade permanently, but within reason. I don't expect us to break  the boundaries of our tight wage structure or pay over the odds for him. There's also the reality that his success this season wouldn't have gone unnoticed and would've more than ensured he won't be short of suitors this summer willing to offer him near enough the wages he'll demand. Would I love like to see him here permanently? Yes. Do I think we'll sign him? No. Money will forever shout louder than anything with a mouth.

After an arguably disappointing and rather bleak January transfer window, we let one player go out on loan that has found his element in the Premier League; no, not Sebastian Bassong. Steven Pienaar returned to former club Everton and has since found his feet again. He looks at home. He's playing without the pressure weighing on his shoulders to perform every week in a position that evidently wasn't comfortable.

Pienaar never looked settled at Spurs. I think it's fair to say we had high hopes when Steven arrived last January. A player that looked incredibly consistent for Everton and seemingly versatile in where he could play; just the cover we needed for the number of games that were to face us. Pienaar's best position is probably just behind the forward, an advanced midfielder, possibly in the vdv role. This was a position where game time would always prove limited with vdv cementing his name in that position on the team sheet. There was no doubting Pienaar's effort, he wanted to do well and be a success, but his failure to adapt to playing out wide saw his chances limited in a Spurs shirt; especially after the fantastic run of form we found ourselves in after the Manchester mauling.

It's a shame the transfer of Steven Pienaar didn't really work out; some you win, some you lose. Despite proving to flourish, as expected, at Everton, it would be best to part ways with the midfielder and invest the money into a brighter prospect that better suits our system.

I said in the opening that I feel we're reaching an important time in our progression. After missing out on a Champions League spot last season we were lucky enough to maintain the core of squad whilst improving in certain areas; note Walker, Parker and Adebayor. Missing out on Europe's most prestigious competition for a successive season would bring more uncertainty than certainty for the forthcoming summer. The summer could prove even more so a power struggle to keep hold of our key players and avoid repeating another giant leap backwards of a few season's previously that still haunts us today.

It is not a given right that Spurs 'should' be in the Champions League. Not at all. Complacency like that costs us. We should appreciate the speed in which we have progressed. We finally knocked through the door 2 seasons back after pushing for so hard. But, saying that, it's evident for all to see we do have a squad capable of putting together a successful Champions League campaign. By successful I mean more than able to make the quarter finals. Wow, and I'm the pessimist.

Do I think we'll do it? The way our fortunes have been this season we'll probably finish 4th then watch Chelsea win the Champions League on penalties.