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Sunday, 12 August 2012

Are we ready?

We face Newcastle in under a week. Just thought I'd point that out to those that have been OD'ing on the Olympics rendering you unable to remember that you support a football team besides the minimal interest that was taken in Team GB; I also envisage that a tear may roll down the cheek of one or two as the closing ceremony edges nearer. Come Saturday, only one thing matters - 3 points (although a point would be nice).

So we've had a rather twist of a summer. Harry was shown the exit door that both brilliant and abysmal players have seen the front of before telling us that Levy felt we needed "a change of direction" from, you guessed it, the window of his car. We've also brought in two players in the form of Jan Vertonghen and Gylfi Sigurdsson whilst seeing the back of Niko, Corluka and Pienaar. I know, we've made signings before August 31st; AVB must've dropped something in Levy's tea during their first official meeting.

Although, the indifference comes in the shape of Luka still sweating blood and tears to escape Levy's wrath. It appears apparent that the exit door is in sight for Luka but no club has stumped up enough cash to pay for the key. I think the majority of us are resigned to the fact that this "will he won't he" prolonged saga will only come to its' conclusion on deadline day. Depressing, I know. Although how this unproven Lucas Moura can command £38m from PSG yet Modric reportedly barely getting £30m is beyond me. Talk about a distorted market. I trust Levy has Spurs' best interests at heart but it's time to let go. The relationship has hit a brick wall. We've had our fun, our good times, but we should invest our energy into the Portuguese guy from Porto that's fancies us. Times change, let's move on.

I don't think we'll ever be truly ready until the Modric debacle has been killed. We're also a good striker or two short of ideal. Our only senior forward in Defoe leaves us with a real lack of a Plan B should things not be going right. Defoe himself is actaully more of a Plan B than anything. I see Harry Kane as a "oh we're losing, let's chuck on another forward for a holding player and hope he turns this around," type plan. This isn't really an effective Plan B for me. In fact, I wouldn't class it as a plan at all, It reeks of desperation.

Even if we signed a forward or a creative midfielder prior to our trip up North (I know, I can't believe I even suggested that either) I still don't feel we'll be any more ready for Newcastle as we are now. Anyone brought in will need time to adapt to our system and the player's around them. Of course, in the long term it would be ideal and getting our deals done before deadline day would prove beneficial. But, for Newcastle, we will travel up atleast a midfielder and striker short. So, I picture us lining up in one of two ways as shown below.
Possible line-up 1 v Newcastle
The first image shows both Livermore and Sandro starting. I feel it depends whether AVB chooses to be more cautious considering it's his first PL game and a tricky one away at Newcastle. The line-up would ensure that the space between midfield and defence is cut out and would aid our pressing game despite a lack of creativity sitting in front of the back 4.

Possible line-up 2 v Newcastle
The second image shows Sigurdsson sitting alongside Livermore. I felt that when played here in pre-season Sig did well at controlling play, acting as a deeper playmaker. He also has the ability to drive into the box from midfield. My choice of Livermore over Sandro in this picture is because Jake has had a full pre-season with Spurs and would be better prepared than Sandro. Despite Sandro evidently being match fit after featuring for Brazil in the Olympics, he's yet to play our system under AVB.

It's evident that we're still a few players short from having a complete squad. Defoe doesn't seem capable of playing this formation and this is why our need for a target man will become more and more urgent as these games start coming thick and fast. These formations are obviously missing Modric and whether he will make the trip to Newcastle is anyone's guess. In a sense I'm almost "preparing for the worst" and don't expect our Croat to feature at all. I do feel we have enough to get a result at Newcastle but can only see our line-up being almost a stop-gap before we have the targets in that we need.

It's clear that we're not yet ready, but which side completely is for their first game?