Bringing Balance back to Tottenham’s team.

We have seriously struggled at home to break teams down, create chances and kill teams off. Not just this season, but under André Villas-Boas too during his 18 months in charge. It’s difficult to put your finger on why these games at White Hart Lane are so difficult, why we look stuck for ideas and unable to win games in a comfortable fashion. Many suggestions have been made, whether it’s the lack of atmosphere & support at the Lane and general expectation that Tottenham will & should win at Home, and it’s the player’s responsibility to entertain & not our responsibility to be the ‘twelfth man’; the fact teams set up in an organised and defensive nature, or my personal favourite from Mousa Dembele, ‘the pitch is too small’. All may have a point, especially the lack of atmosphere at White Hart Lane in recent times, but personally I put it down to a lack of balance in the Tottenham team that is emerging so far this season and at times the two seasons before.

In the 2011/12 season, especially the first half, I think we had the most balanced team in the League. Harry Redknapp was a good manager, he knew how to man manage these players, give them confidence and set them up in a good way which was full of flair, offensive nature & a clinical edge. The balance in that side was extraordinary. With Kyle Walker and Benoit Assou-Ekotto in the full back positions, Gareth Bale on the left of midfield, Aaron Lennon on the right, with Rafael van der Vaart just behind Emmanuel Adebayor. Not forgetting the midfield pivot between Luka Modrić and Scott Parker/Sandro. Look at that, with those players in their prime, we had a team capable of challenging for the League title, but it wasn’t to be, we tailed off at the end of the season and finished fourth, with the unlucky event of Chelsea winning the Champions League and sending us into the Europa League. We lost Luka Modrić, Rafa left for Hamburg and it all went a little tits up. But, that’s beside the point. What I want to look at is how to recreate the sort of balance that team had within it’s ranks in the class of 2014/15.

The key to a balanced side is the full backs and wingers. And at the moment, this season, we haven’t seen that balance. One of the reasons for this is the absence of Kyle Walker through injury. 7 long months of not having a natural outlet at right back, who understands the balance of offence and defence. This season, we have relied on Eric Dier for the most part, and as a natural centre back, he’s done a very decent job, especially defensively apart from his mistakes against Newcastle, but he hasn’t been able to give us an offensive outlet and this makes the team lopsided. On the left, Danny Rose has had a tremendous season so far in my view, he’s come on leaps and bounds from last season’s performances and you have to give him full credit for working hard and coming back stronger, fitter and a much more competent left back under the pressure of new signing Ben Davies. Danny has given the team an offensive outlet on that left hand side, and has been relatively good at balancing his defensive duties with his offensive ones. If we can get Kyle Walker back into this team as soon as possible, and keep Danny Rose in good form, I truly believe we will see this team flourish so much more than we have done so far this season, stretching teams and creating more space for our creative players. The addition of DeAndre Yedlin possibly in January could also be a really big addition and help with this problem of balanced, attacking full backs when Walker is not available.

The reason that offensive full backs are so important to this Tottenham team is Pochettino’s use of ‘inverted wingers’, or having three players behind the striker with the freedom to roam and find their own space. The problem with this is that all three that we play – Eriksen, Chadli & Lamela, like to come inside and this makes our play really narrow and more difficult to find space and create clear cut chances to score goals. With the outlet of offensive full backs, it stretches the opposition and then and only then, will we be able to find space, create chances in the middle of the park and hopefully, score goals! Nacer Chadli & Christian Eriksen have been fairly impressive so far this season, with Nacer really the only player who looks to take on the defenders and try to get in behind an opposition’s defence, and Christian Eriksen is always looking to thread a killer pass, spread the play to our wide players or score himself. Erik Lamela has been slightly underwhelming, it’s true, he needs to improve and be much more efficient on the ball, but sometimes being given this freedom he has too many thoughts running through his head and his decision making seriously deteriorates because of it. It’s part of his game he needs to work on and become a more effective player with goals, hopefully his first Premier League goal comes sooner rather than later; he needs it. If the understanding of the three players behind the striker improves, and the players themselves become more effective, alongside the offensive full backs, I think we can get a good balance in this team.

Upfront, in the striker position, there is no doubt that we lack a clinical goalscorer, except for the young Harry Kane, who needs to be given a sustained chance in the Premier League before judging fully whether he is ready to lead the line. In January, I’m really hoping we can add another striker, even if that man is Southampton’s Jay Rodriguez, someone Pochettino knows well, who occupies the left forward role a bit more than leading the line, but bottom line is, we need someone who can stick the ball in the net more often! In the central midfield position, it looks like Etienne Capoue & Ryan Mason have nailed their places there with good performances, with Etienne only really having a bad game against Newcastle & possibly Manchester City. Their midfield pivot needs time to develop, because I think it’s the starting of a good partnership, with Ryan Mason the more attacking of the two, pushing forward and playing the more incisive passes to get the team going, while Etienne Capoue screens the back four and helps break up play, which he is capable of for sure. It’s important those two increase their understanding. At centre back, it seems Jan Vertonghen and Younes Kaboul is the first choice pairing, and they have been rather inconsistent together, performing in stellar fashion against Arsenal and Southampton, but being poor against Newcastle. With offensive full backs, I think, because of Kaboul’s ability to cover at right back, and Jan Vertonghen’s ability to cover at left back, they would be able to cover when Rose and Walker attack, with Etienne Capoue dropping back further into a ‘sweeper’ position. That, gives us good balance and hopefully the players would have a clear indication of what their roles are in the team. That is just how I would set out, though.

I’m not naive to think that the inclusion of Kyle Walker in the team makes us world beaters, of course. But, under the guidance of Mauricio Pochettino, I think it makes us much more of a threat going forward and able to create chances easier than it has been so far this season. At Southampton, Pochettino had a balanced team with offensive full backs, Nathaniel Clyne/Calum Chambers and Luke Shaw were fantastic under his tenure and playing with inverted wingers of Lallana and Rodriguez worked wonders alongside Rickie Lambert leading the line. His Southampton team created loads of chances, attacked with pace & purpose and scored goals because they had a balance and understanding alongside a good work rate and clear game-plan. That is what Tottenham need to develop and that is Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham challenge, to recreate and better the football he played at Southampton with this team, which I think has better players, but they need to be guided in the correct way.

We need to manage expectations this season and back the team and manager. Despite results not being what we wanted we must be patient and not act in a knee jerk fashion. Back the club. Pochettino is managing players that aren’t his at the moment and needs time to build his own team, hopefully he is given that opportunity by Daniel Levy and backed in a good way, with decisions made and money spent. That’s the dream. I still hold hope that it can be reality. When Tottenham lose it seems the end of the world, but we must look beyond the short term and give the manager and players support and time. That’s the key to success. Hopefully the fans do realise that, but also hope the club see that too. Wishing Kyle Walker a speedy recovery, with reports he could return to training very soon and possibly be in action by late November. That would be a massive boost!

In an ideal world, without injuries at this moment in time, my Tottenham team would be:
Lloris
Walker – Kaboul – Vertonghen – Rose
Mason – Capoue
Lamela – Eriksen – Chadli
Kane.

Up the Spurs!

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Remember to follow me on Twitter, here: @AddictedToSpurs and also vote for me in the Football Blogging awards! Info on how, here: FBA Voting info. COYS!!

Welcome to Tottenham Hotspur, Ben Davies and Michel Vorm!

Tottenham have completed the signing of Welsh left back Ben Davies and Dutch keeper Michel Vorm from Swansea in a deal rumoured to be worth around £15 million with Gylfi Sigurdsson going the other way to Swansea for £10 million in virtually a swap deal for Davies. A deal that suits Tottenham, and I’m sure Swansea will benefit from too. Sigurdsson is a fantastic player and being the key man in Swansea’s midfield will definitely make him show his undoubted quality but he doesn’t fit in at Spurs, with too many players in his position, and he’s too good for our bench, so a move is best, but Tottenham get in return a player who will fill our left back slot for years to come, in a position we desperately needed to fill and a keeper that can be a like-for-like back up to Hugo Lloris. We’re signing Davies not only for his previous performances, but also for what those performances have shown he can do in the future. It’s filled a weakness that’s been quickly spotted by Pochettino and his coaching staff. We’ve been waiting quite a while for our first piece of business in the transfer window, but it’s apparent that Pochettino believes in the squad we have and only wants to tinker in key areas, something we expected after last summer’s spending and the 7 signings we made that haven’t all clicked into place just yet, but that’s what Pochettino was hired to do. Make those players into what we believed they would be when they were first signed. Now, Ben Davies and Michel Vorm have been added to the ranks and I think it’s a good news for Tottenham.

Ben Davies is 21 and already has two full Premier League seasons to his name with Swansea, also having 7 games in the Europa League with appearances against Napoli on the résumé, so he’s a very experienced player for someone so young. He made 85 appearances for Swansea in all competitions with a League Cup trophy to his name. He came through the ranks at the Welsh club, getting the chance to play because of an injury to first choice left back Neil Taylor, and he grabbed it with both hands and within a season was definite first choice after a great season under Michael Laudrup. The second season Swansea struggled because of Europa League commitments, but the experience of trying to juggle both will surely only help Ben Davies now that he’s at Spurs. Davies’ performances have earned him a place in the Welsh national squad, too, having 10 appearances to his name and of course that will only increase with time. It’s been a pretty amazing 2 seasons for Ben Davies, and now securing this deal to Tottenham is the next step and hopefully, it’ll be even more successful than his Swansea time, in trophies and performances.

At 21 years of age, Davies is a raw talent, he will learn with experience, but the fact he has only made 2 defensive errors in two full Premier League seasons, compared to Danny Rose’s 3 defensive errors last season alone shows what a cool head is on Ben’s shoulders. Davies is a very competent left back, he does his job well, isn’t rash, doesn’t make many mistakes and is composed on the ball with an 84% passing accuracy last season. Consistency is his game, he’s a 7/10 or more week-in-week-out, composed, technically and tactically astute, finding his left winger and his strikers, or his central midfielders who can do more damage than him in the opposition half.

But offensively, Davies created 31 chances last season from the left back slot, that’s compared with Aaron Lennon last season who created just 4 more chances from a much more advanced role at right wing, so you can see he is able to provide good chances for our more attacking players. Obviously there are a lot of things he needs to learn, but he will be nurtured by Pochettino, who has seen the potential in him through signing him it seems. Signing Davies solves a problem that we’ve had since Benoit Assou-Ekotto got injured and never returned to the level that he once had, we’ve tried Jan Vertonghen there, Danny Rose has had a season at left back after a successful season at Sunderland, but he’s failed to nail down his place with Davies seemingly replacing him now. At 21 years old Ben Davies can become our left back for many years to come, and hopefully he can be even more successful than our last Welsh left back, Gareth Bale.

Michel Vorm’s signing was rumoured to be worth £3.5 million – £5 million, another Swansea player. The goalkeeper is 30 years old has vast experience in the Premier League for Swansea and has a decent amount of appearances for his native country Holland, as well as in the World Cup this summer, even if it was only for 5 minutes. At a cut price deal, this is without a doubt a good signing, as a back up to our number 1 without question Hugo Lloris. A strange transfer in many ways, as Michel could easily be number one for another team in the Premier League, but he has chosen Tottenham and wants to fight, playing in cup competitions and if, God forbid, Hugo Lloris sustains an injury. He’s a much more like-for-like swap for Hugo, quick off his line, very assured on the ball, and very agile in the save and around his area, which gives me much more confidence with him in goal, with the high line we play than with Brad Friedel, a model professional, and for sure still a top goalkeeper even at his ripe old age of 43, but he doesn’t fill me with confidence when Hugo doesn’t feature, and now we can allow Friedel to become more of a coach and use his vast experience to help Hugo, Vorm and the younger ‘keepers develop even further. With Lloris, Vorm and Friedel, we without a doubt have one of the top set of keepers in the League.

The signing of Ben Davies and Michel Vorm kicks off this summer’ business for Daniel Levy, Franco Baldini and Mauricio Pochettino to create a team ready to compete. I think the signing of Davies and Vorm shows the direction we are taking in this window, signing players who have experience in the Premier League and in Europe, so they can fit straight in without the period of getting used to the League like last season, but now we can link this Premier League experience with quality who have now had a season in the Premier League and know what to expect. It’s going to be an interesting transfer window, but we’ve kicked off our Summer signing plugging a big hole and signing a good back up keeper. Now let’s get the rest of our business sorted early, so more can bed in and we can hit the ground running for the new season. COYS!!

What do you think of our new signings? Comment below!

Welcome to Spurs, Ben Davies and Michel Vorm!

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The Ins and Outs at Tottenham in the Summer Transfer Window 2014.

The season is over, we’ve got a new manager and the World Cup is about to start. Time to relax, right? Far from it. The transfer window is fast approaching, with the window officially opening on July 1st, but all throughout June deals will be rumoured, proposed & some will be done all ready for pre-season. It’s a long window in the summer. July 1st until August 31st, so plenty of time for Tottenham Hotspur to get their squad sorted all ready for a massive Premier League season for the club. In this article I’ll be discussing the ins, outs & what I think the club has to do during what will be a busy summer for Daniel Levy, Franco Baldini & Mauricio Pochettino.

Firstly, I believe that during this summer window it’s crucial that we keep the core of the squad we have. That includes most of the 7 new signings and our longer serving players, this is because I have a lot of faith in the individuals we have and think the road to success is making the current squad click, not change it all up and starting again. Before last season, I was extremely excited with the signings and the structure of the squad we had, with a lot of depth, experience and young flair, but it didn’t work out as we wanted, the team failed to gel and in the end it cost Andre Villas-Boas his job. But, after having this first season in the Premier League, they are much more experienced and have learnt a lot, ready for them to hopefully, make the impact that we first hoped they would, especially with the guidance of Mauricio Pochettino who has a long history of getting the best out of his players. But, there are definite weaknesses in the squad that we have to address as to push on next season.

INS.
As I said; I don’t want an overhaul of the club and another 7-8 signings, we have extremely strong foundations of a World Class squad, but, in specific places we have to be aware of getting new players to possibly replace some fringe players & some that could unfortunately be sold to raise funds.

Centre Back – We currently have 4 senior centre backs, 5 if you include the promising Zeki Fryers, but Michael Dawson is now 30 and did not have a good season in my view, along with Younes Kaboul is the wrong side of 25 and is extremely unpredictable in both performances and injuries, so I think adding one could really be good for the team & add a bit of youth to the position.

There are a lot of options for centre back, but my favourite would be Southampton’s Dejan Lovren, who had a very good season for the Saints and has the connection with Mauricio Pochettino who brought him into the Premier League. A partnership between Lovren and Vertonghen would be great, wouldn’t it? Lovren is just 24 years old, the same age as Vlad Chiriches, so he also has a big future. In terms of price, I think he’d be worth around £12 million – £15 million, a reasonable price for a player of his age and level after Southampton paid £8 million for his services. I’d also be very happy if we could bring Atletico Madrid’s Toby Alderweireld to the Lane, the 25 year old ex-Ajax defender knows Jan Vertonghen and Christian Eriksen well & we have been heavily linked, both last summer & this year, after he has expressed his disappointment with his game time in Madrid. I think he’d be a stellar option at the back, with his ability to bring the ball out of defence and with his pace. He can also play at right back, so has versatility too.

Other options could include free agent Joleon Lescott, who would be a much less exciting signing, but he has Premier League experience and it’s always a bonus that he would be free, although I’m sure his wages would be quite high. Another, would be Ezequiel Garay, but he would be a much more difficult signing because of the interest he already has from Champions League clubs, but he’s a 27 year old with incredible pedigree, but unlikely I think. Some would suggest Steven Caulker, but personally, I do not think he is at our level and is only being suggested because he’s a product of our academy, plus, I don’t think he’d be willing to play second fiddle again.

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Left Back – Probably the most important position that we strengthen this summer. Danny Rose had a torrid season and although he is only 23 years old, it’s difficult to believe that he will improve to the level that we need him to. So, I believe we should turn to either Swansea City’s Ben Davies, who is just 21 years old & now has 2 years of Premier League experience, performing extremely well & showing incredible promise, & I believe he’d be a brilliant addition, but difficult to obtain because of his personal connection to Swansea City, but it’s certainly someone we should enquire about, I’d speculate that his worth would be around £10million – £15 million.; the other is Ricardo Rodriguez of Wolfsburg, a 21 year old Swiss left back who has been incredible in the Bundesliga, but has a lot of admirers around Europe, so if we could get in early and show strong interest you never know what could happen, he’s an incredible player with a lot of potential, his value would be higher than Davies’, and I’d say the investment would be around £15 million – £20 million.

Other options could be Ajax’s Daley Blind, who is a 24 year old Dutch left back/midfielder who currently plays for Ajax, and his versatility and quality could be a really good addition to the club, but, is again, unlikely because of admirers from clubs in the Champions League. Finally, one other player who maybe, just maybe be possible is Luke Shaw, who although looking highly unlikely, his connection with Mauricio Pochettino could sway the deal in some way, at just 18 years old it would be a fantastic addition but he would be extremely expensive, with Manchester United rumoured to be offering £27 million for his services. As you can see, there are definitely players out there that could fill a gap in our team, & they are young players too who could grow under the leadership of Mauricio Pochettino.

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Left Midfield – We do have quite a few options on the left, Nacer Chadli, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Christian Eriksen & Andros Townsend can all play there, but we lack someone who is an out-and-out left winger who can bring pace and a crossing ability to the team. Eriksen and Sigurdsson both prefer central positions, with Townsend growing into a right midfielder, this leaves Nacer Chadli, who at times last season also looked more comfortable in the centre or the right, but I think over time on the left is where he’ll play. There is a gap. This gap can be filled by quite a few really talented players who I’d like to see at the Lane.

My first & realistic choice would be 24 year old Dnipro & Ukraine winger Yevhen Konoplyanka, who has consistently been linked with a move to Tottenham and has a confirmed buy out clause for foreign clubs such as ourselves of £12 million, which in this market is an absolute bargain for a player who has a high pedigree of talent. Konoplyanka is known for his pace and ability to score a goal, as we saw when we faced Dnipro in last season’s Europa League, he was Dnipro’s outstanding player both home and away, giving our full-backs a torrid time. Of course, there are other options if this deal were to go pear-shaped or Liverpool decide to move for his services, & one of the options could be another Southampton player, Jay Rodriguez who was transformed by our new Head Coach into a goal scoring left forward last season, bagging 17 goals. Jay is 24 years of age, so has plenty of time ahead of him to improve, but the thing that obviously holds back this deal is his injury, in which he will be out until October because of a torn ACL. Surely this would put the deal into jeopardy, as paying big money for a player that’s return is unpredictable is something Daniel Levy normally wouldn’t do, although maybe this injury could force Southampton to sell at a lower price, I’d say he’d be worth around £10 million.

Other players that could tempt Baldini or Pochettino’s fancy could be Mauricio’s former captain at Southampton, Adam Lallana, who has been heavily tipped with a move away from the Saints, & of course speculation is rife that his relationship with Pochettino could sway Lallana’s decision to leave Southampton for Tottenham, instead of Liverpool. The 26 year old midfielder can play on the left, the right and through the middle and is rumoured to have an asking price of £20 million and rising, possibly close to £30 million depending on his performance for England at the World Cup. Last summer, we were heavily linked with Brazil winger Bernard, who eventually moved to Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine for for £21.5 million, but recent quotes suggest it’s not exactly his dream to play in Ukraine and would be interested in a move to the Premier League, possibly sparking our interest.

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Striker – In January, we agreed to sell Jermain Defoe to Toronto, and he left the club in March, so we decided not to buy a replacement at the time, and stuck with Roberto Soldado, Emmanuel Adebayor and Harry Kane. Now, with rumours and speculation of the sales of Emmanuel Adebayor possibly to Monaco, & Roberto Soldado a possibility to leave for Atletico Madrid, it seems we’re going to be in the hunt for a new striker once again. Personally, I’d like to keep hold of both Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado, but if we want to sign a new striker funds may need to be amassed, and that could mean their sales, or one of their sales.

My number one target for the striker position is Swansea City’s Wilfried Bony, the 25 year old Ivorian scored 25 goals last season in all competitions for the Swans, cementing himself as one of the best signings of last summer, & I believe he could be the striker we’ve been missing for a long time, with his link up play being exceptional and having that clinical touch which is now proven in the Premier League after being outstanding in Holland. A right handful for any defender and can grow at just 25 years of age, it’s said Bony has an expensive price tag on his head, though, with some reports saying only £25 million would prise him away from the Welsh club. Another option, although seemingly unlikely has to be Chelsea and Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku, who has had a good season with Everton on loan, it could be time someone took him off Chelsea’s hands and he can have a permanent club who love him very much. At just 21 years of age, Lukaku has a massive future ahead of him, being Belgium’s number 1 striker and scoring 35 goals in 2 Premier League seasons, proving his suitability to the Premier League, the question is, after proving himself, do Chelsea want to let him go? It seems after the expected signing of Diego Costa, Romelu Lukaku could be up for grabs, & I reckon we could, just could have a shot for around £20 million.

Other options up front include 20 year old Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi, who plays at Standard Liege, with comparisons between himself at Lukaku, & a reported £8 million fee wanted from Standard Liege, he could be a striker that could grow eventually into our first striker, & is someone I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to taking an ever so slight gamble on, plus he has a definite resale price, which is right up Daniel Levy’s street. Another player who has been constantly linked with Tottenham over the years is Loic Remy, the 27 year old QPR striker had a very good season with Newcastle on loan and I know some would be very happy to see the Frenchman who’s going to the World Cup this summer, grace the Lane next season. I am unsure on Remy, but if we could get a deal at around £8 million, I wouldn’t have many qualms.

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There is a lot of talent up for grabs, & without a doubt Daniel Levy, Franco Baldini and Mauricio Pochettino will be searching throughout the market for the players to improve the Tottenham squad, so if you’re reading Franco, have a little look at the players I’ve mentioned, eh?

OUTS.
In every transfer window, especially for a big club like Tottenham, players need to be let go. The reasons are differ but the fact is it’s ruthless, because you have to make difficult decisions for the best of the whole squad, which may mean getting rid of fan favourites, good quality players & those that could have a big future. In other cases, it’s the fact the players just aren’t good enough, or don’t fit into the way you want your squad to look. In this transfer window, I hope that we won’t be too ruthless, & I hope we keep what I have already said is the core of a World Class squad, but there are some players that can be let go, to help the team improve, not in depth, but in quality.

Benoit Assou-Ekotto – I think time is up on Benny’s adventure with Tottenham. He’s had great years at the club, but now, he’s not at the level we need him to be, to be our number 1 left back, or even a back up at the age of 30. I’m sure a Premier League club would be willing to buy him permanently, and for £5 million or so I would say goodbye and thank you without hesitation.

Danny Rose – It’s been a difficult season for Danny Rose, after a good loan move with Sunderland he’s found it difficult to adapt to the level we would have wanted him at. A new left back is in order, & some may say, getting rid of Assou-Ekotto and Danny Rose leaves us dry, but I believe Zeki Fryers could well be a very good back up for a new left back at the age of 21, and with Mauricio Pochettino’s emphasis on youth he could well turn to Zeki Fryers. I’m sure Rose would have a host of buyers, at a Premier League level, and I’d let go happily for around £6 million – £8 million.

Jake Livermore – It’s more of when than if with Jake Livermore leaving Tottenham. He’s had a great year at Hull City and deserves to play regular first team football, and it’s a simple fact that he won’t get that at Tottenham. Hull City could well buy him after his loan spell there, & he has said he would be more than willing to make his move to the KC Stadium a permanent one. Reports suggest Tottenham will ask for around £8 million for the 24 year olds services.

Gylfi Sigurdsson – I say this with a heavy heart. I like Sigurdsson a lot and believe he has tremendous ability, technique and mental attitude, but it hasn’t really clicked at Tottenham, as he hasn’t been given a sustained place in the starting line up in his favoured central role. It could be possible that we loan Sigurdsson, to se how he does playing regular football at a Premier League team, but at 24, I think Tottenham could look for a permanent sale, and I’m definite he’d have a host of teams interested in his signature. I like Gylfi a lot, but it is a choice between him, Holtby & Chadli on who goes and I think I’d prefer Sigurdsson to go than the previous two.

Roberto Soldado – I’m undecided on this one. Part of me says, get rid, get the funds and buy a striker that seems to suit us better, but another side of me thinks that we should keep him, as with all our new 7 signings, & let him have another season in the Premier League to prove himself. Although, he is 29 and I can’t see him improving too much. I’d put Soldado down as a possibility of leaving, with Atletico rumoured to be interested in his services, and I’d probably let him go at the £15 million – £18 million mark.

Other players I’d let go include Jonathan Obika, Iago Falque, Ryan Mason & Grant Hall after their loan spells last season – read about our loan player’s last season HERE. Players that I don’t want to leave who you may think aren’t good enough, or it’s time to get rid include Kyle Naughton, who I think being on the bench is fine as a good back up to Walker and at left back, Michael Dawson, our captain who I think deserves more respect from our fan base, and I’m sure he’d be happy to stay and sit on the bench too, playing in the cup games; Aaron Lennon who I believe still has something to offer Tottenham, and again, is a good back up player for the squad & Lewis Holtby who I think deserves a season with Tottenham to prove his worth to the fans and the new manager.

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It’s simply crucial that Tottenham hang on to their best players this summer. It is paramount to any sort of success that the club want to get this coming season and it will make Mauricio Pochettino’s job ever so easier.

Hugo Lloris – Our best player. World Class and my player of the year last season. It’s so important that Mauricio gets Hugo on side in his project and pushes on with him as an integral part of the squad and dressing room. We have to do everything to keep hold of Lloris, as in my opinion he is our only irreplaceable player and earns the team at least 10 points a season, he’s that good. Thankfully, it seems Lloris is happy to stay and doesn’t want a move back to France, so that holds us in good stead ahead of this summer. Part of me doesn’t want him to do well in the World Cup, just so the interest dies down! I truly believe Hugo will stay.

Jan Vertonghen – Thankfully, Jan has confirmed that he will ‘definitely’ be staying at Tottenham, which is fantastic news for the club. Jan is a leader & a wonderfully gifted player who brings so much to the team. He didn’t have a good season last season, but I truly believe without injuries he’ll further improve, & he can become a crucial part of the team once more. Get him a new contract.

Christian Eriksen – Along with Vertonghen, Eriksen has confirmed he doesn’t want to leave Tottenham after just 1 season, which is excellent news for us, although I never doubted that he would leave as he’s not the type from my eyes to just give up at the first hurdle. Obviously, Eriksen is going to only improve next season and I can’t wait to see him in Pochettino’s team. Hopefully, we will build the team around him for years to come.

Erik Lamela – An injury hit season for our record signing. At just 22 years of age, Lamela has a massive future at White Hart Lane and it’s of paramount importance that we don’t let him go after one disrupted season. Under the guidance of Mauricio Pochettino I really believe Lamela could be one of our most important players next season on the right hand side. It’s important Lamela has a good pre-season and goes into next season fit and raring to go.

Others who are going to be crucial that I really want the club to keep are most of our summer signings last season, including Paulinho, Vlad Chiriches, Etienne Capoue & Nacer Chadli. I believe all have big roles to play at the club.

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Conclusions.
It’s going to be busy, unpredictable and extremely exciting. It always is with Tottenham in transfer windows, but I hope we can get our business done swiftly and have an undisrupted pre-season in which Pochettino can implement his ideas on the team and we can start the season ready with a team that compete with the top. It will always be the aim to get top four, but, this season, all I want is for the team to play with dignity, passion & good football, & if they could win something that would be fantastic.

What are your thoughts? Who should we sign, who should we sell and who should we keep? Leave a comment below, subscribe and follow me on twitter – @AddictedToSpurs. COYS!!

Welcome to Spurs, Mauricio Pochettino!

Tottenham Hotspur have confirmed that our new Head Coach will be 42 year old Mauricio Pochettino on a 5 year deal after he resigned from his post as First team manager at Southampton. He is joined by assistant coach Jesus Perez, Miguel D’Agostino as First team coach and Toni Jiménez as goalkeeper coach, who all worked with him closely at Southampton & Espanyol.

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Mauricio Pochettino’s Career.

Mauricio Pochettino is a 42 year old manager, who was born in Murphy, Argentina. He is a former centre back who has played for Newell’s Old Boys in Argentina, before moving to Espanyol in Spain, before joining Bordeaux in France, Paris Saint Germain in France again, & then returning to Espanyol. His career spanned from 1988 until 2006, in that time he played 578 times, scoring 29 times. He also played 20 times for Argentina scoring 2 goals.

Mauricio Pochettino started his managerial journey in 2009, when he was appointed Espanyol manager, the club were at the bottom of La Liga when he took charge in January, but under his guidance managed to escape relegation by a long way, finishing 10th. Mauricio then guided a young and inexperienced Espanyol side to 11th in 2010, but then secures a wonderful season in 2011, when he took Espanyol to 8th just one place outside a place in Europe, which with the team he had there, is remarkable. He spent another full season in 2012, but couldn’t replicate the same sort of season, but as others improved their teams ahead of his, Espanyol’s team continued to be using youth players, the club finished 14th, only 5 points off the relegation spots.

Espanyol then had horrible financial problems, forcing the club to sell their best players & these off the field problems were directly effecting the results on the pitch, & Pochettino’s efforts weren’t enough to stop a land slide in results & saw his team at the bottom of La Liga, and then, the club and Pochettino decided to terminate his contract by mutual consent with enormous regret and disapproval among the fans. During his time at Espanyol, Pochettino had to sell all his star players that were developed through his youth system, including Dani Osvaldo, Jose Callejon and Victor Ruiz. The club didn’t replace these stars due to financial problems, and could only use youth, much older players with short contracts & loan signings. Pochettino brought through 20 youth players to the Espanyol first team in his time there, a spectacular amount. Pochettino managed 161 games for Espanyol, winning 52 games, drawing 38 and losing 70 times. This looks poor, of course, but in the circumstances he was under his time there has to be seen as a success, on his part, but the club above him failed in their duty.

After leaving Espanyol in Late November, Pochettino landed a big Premier League job in late January with Southampton. Saint’s Chairman Nicola Cortese saw the potential in Mauricio, who replaced the highly popular Nigel Adkins who got Southampton into the Premier League, but the club were only 3 points off of the relegation places and Mauricio Pochettino was brought in with a history of making teams a regular in the top devision & threatening the European places. He did exactly that in his first season, securing 14th place, and recording wins over Chelsea and Manchester City. He impressed with his high tempo football, with an emphasis on attacking football, building from the back and getting the best out of his individual players, while creating an ethos that the team didn’t need to be afraid of the big clubs, inspiring the victories at St Mary’s to Chelsea and Manchester City. In that time, Pochettino visited White Hart Lane and lost 1-0 due to Gareth Bale’s late goal. I thought that day Southampton were outstanding, they restricted us and frustrated us and Gareth Bale really was the only difference between the sides.

In what turned out to be his last season at Southampton, Pochettino had his best season. They started the season wonderfully, and the football Southampton were playing was delightful to watch and at the time many of our fans were jealous of the football Pochettino was bringing to St Mary’s. During the first half they were there to be shot at, playing with no fear with a core of young, talented Englishman throughout the side, which were promoted through the youth system, such as Lallana, Chambers and Shaw as well as Rodriguez and Lambert. Southampton were 4th in November, but dropped off that pace after a run of playing very difficult games. But, the Southampton team were consistent in playing extremely attractive football and getting good results which in the end guided them to their best ever Premier League finish, 8th.

You may say that Pochettino underachieved with a good squad at Southampton, but I disagree. He built Southampton into a good squad, adding Dejan Lovren & Victor Wanyama who played vital parts in the Saints’ season, along with the new youth prospects Callum Chambers and James Ward-Prowse. Also, Pochettino brought out the best in Adam Lallana who was absolutely incredible and earned an England World Cup call up through Pochettino’s influence, as well as Ricky Lambert and Jay Rodriguez who scored a remarkable 17 goals and his game was really well suited to Pochettino’s system. Pochettino’s strength is getting the absolute best from what he has at his disposal.

The Future under Pochettino.

Mauricio Pochettino has signed a long term, 5 year deal at the club, and prides himself on seeing out projects with clubs, he said that the project that he had with Southampton had come to an end, and so now he is looking to start a new journey, and I think we are fortunate to be the club in which he sees a future with. 5 years is a long time in football. A long, long time in football. It’s paramount that we give Pochettino the time to integrate his type of football into the Tottenham squad and bring in his own players to create ‘Pochettino’s Tottenham’.

We can’t predict what the future will hold. Nobody can. But we can show hope, belief and expectation in what we want and think it will be like. Under Pochettino I expect the future to be bright. Brighter than it has been since Harry Redknapp took us to the Champions League quarter finals. The project we had with AVB prospered in the first season of his 3 year deal, but, was halted with poor football and bad decisions. What we could get, is the project we ever so wanted under Andre Villas-Boas. To get the team playing attractive, yet effective football.

Mauricio Pochettino’s style of play includes high pressurising, lots of possession & effective swash buckling counter attacking football. That, in itself, is the way Tottenham strive to play. We lacked discipline in defence last season, and Pochettino, as well as being effective offensively, makes his teams strong and hard to break down in defence. Tottenham’s current squad suits Pochettino’s style. One of the many reasons I believe Daniel Levy decided to opt with Pochettino, to see his investment on the young, talented players he brought in fit into his system and get the players playing to the best of their abilities.

It’s difficult to say whether Pochettino will see out his contract. A lot of things can happen which are unforeseeable & the history would suggest Daniel Levy is not too patient with managers and giving them time to implement their ideas, but also the fans, not being willing to see out long term projects because of impatience and extremely high expectations, which some would say are completely unrealistic. What we have to do as fans is unite behind the new Head Coach and support the team through the thick and the thin.

My opinion.

I am extremely happy with this appointment. I think Pochettino suits our club and I believe that he will prove those who don’t believe he is the person to take the club forward wrong in due course, but he could use a good start! Having a person with ambition, passion and classiness take over at the club is lovely to have. His ability to get the best out of the team he manages is exciting, and I can’t wait to see how he adapts to Tottenham and how the players perform under his leadership. Having his Assistants come with him is a big bonus for us, he can build something as a group and I believe strongly, that after waiting so long for things to ‘click’, we could have our wishes come true under Mauricio Pochettino.

We are going on another adventure. We will learn to love Pochettino, just like the Southampton fans did after meeting his appointment with disdain. I am extremely excited to see what the future holds under Mauricio Pochettino. Wishing him all the best of luck, and of course, COYS!!

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Tottenham Hotspur Season Review – 2013/14.

20140515-200108.jpgIt’s been a topsy-turvy season at White Hart Lane, a season with expectation, hope and excitement at the start, having a middle of uncertainty, anger and disillusionment, ending with relief, hope and an ounce of positivity. We’ve been through it all, every emotion from elation to despair, and everything in between. Two managers, 7 new players and yet another transition season, with another one to come next season.

August – September.
Such promise. 7 new signings for a total of £110 million, but also selling Gareth Bale for a World Record £85 million, therefore from other sales such as Tom Huddlestone, Scott Parker and Steven Caulker. It was out for the English men, and in with the European talent, with Erik Lamela, Roberto Soldado, Paulinho, Christian Eriksen, Etienne Capoue, Vlad Chiriches and Nacer Chadli (in price order). Mistakes were made in the way we brought these players in, that I say without a doubt, but I do not think we made a mistake on the personnel we brought in, except for arguably Roberto Soldado in hinds sight. In August, we started the season in fine form, beating Crystal Palace, Swansea and beating off Dinamo Tbilisi in the Europa League qualifying. We didn’t concede in August, scoring 10 goals in 4 games. Not bad at all, although we did scrape past Palace and Swansea.

In September, we started the month conceding our first goal, against Arsenal in a 1-0 defeat at the Emirates. The excuse was that we were in incredible uncertainty, and the sale of Gareth Bale was confirmed the same day, straight after the defeat. That was a really bad day. Really bad. The saying on the season ‘bounce back’ was then introduced and we did exactly that, beating Norwich convincing at the Lane, Christian Eriksen making his introduction brilliantly, and then beating Tromsø 3-0 in the Europa League and then one of the games of the season, beating Cardiff 1-0 away from home, Paulinho with a late back-heeled goal. After that, we beat Aston Villa 4-0 at Villa Park in the Capital One Cup. Then we drew 1-1 with Chelsea at the Lane with a very good performance. Things looked very up, AVB had us well drilled and the club was together pulling in a good direction. We sat 3rd in the table. Respectable, eh? Our best player in the first two months, would be Gylfi Sigurdsson, he was playing really well with 2 goals at the time against Chelsea and Norwich.

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October – November.
It all went a bit sour in October, a long journey to Anzhi, but a good victory, winning 2-0, but we returned to arguably the worst result of the season, a 3-0 defeat in a London Derby to West Ham United, we were dreadful, a lack of commitment and having no idea what to do in attacking positions, and West Ham punished our nonsensical defending. A tough one to take, the toughest. We did it again, we bounced back, we showed what seemed to be ‘character’ to quote Tim Sherwood and beat Aston Villa 2-0 at Villa Park, Robert Soldado with his first goal from open play, and we all thought he’d kick on from there and expected the team to do the same. Another long journey to Sheriff followed, getting the win again 2-0 and then returning to the Lane, we beat Hull City 1-0, a Soldado penalty clinching it. It all went sour for Andre Villas Boas after that. He criticised the fans, right or wrong, the media didn’t need to hear it, and neither did the fans who were already writhing in anger at the performance against Hull. Only a few days later, we faced Hull again, and scraped through again, on penalties in the Capital One Cup. A very difficult month, and after all that we still sat 4th in the Premier League table, and still in all the competitions.

In November, it really turned bad. We didn’t manage a League win and failed to score a League goal, although winning games in the Europa League against Sheriff 2-1, record signing Erik Lamela’s first goal for the club and beating Tromsø in Norway 2-0. In the League, we drew 0-0 with Everton, a hard fought game but arguably a good result against a resurgent Roberto Martinez team. No complaints. Then, after a game against Sheriff in the Europa League, we lost to Newcastle at home 1-0, in one of the most frustrating games of the season, nothing would go in. Nothing. We were left frustrated and the fans’ pressure built on Andre Villas Boas. The next game didn’t help the pressure on AVB, an absolute rout through Manchester City at the Etihad. Of course, the Champions this season, but for where we wanted to be, and by that margin, it was embarrassing and despite a large amount of fans backing AVB to get out of this slump, there was serious media pressure and reported pressure from the board. All in all, pressure. We ended November with a Europa League win at Tromsø, but it didn’t help heal the scars from a dreary two months. Tottenham finished November in 9th, which is, no sugar coating, terrible. Although, still, we remained in all competitions, unbeaten. Our best player in that time would in my opinion, be Andros Townsend, he was electrifying, but not lethal. The best of a bad bunch.

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December – January.
December was without a doubt the busiest and most full of change month of the season. We started the month well, really well. A draw with Manchester United, but scoring 2 goals after not scoring in the League in November was a positive, as well as the team spirit shown. After that, we won two on the bounce away for home, but both, we scraped past relegation candidates Fulham through Vlad Chiriches and Lewis Holtby, then past Sunderland, through an own goal and Paulinho. Our final victory under Andre Villas Boas then was upon us, a 4-1 victory over Anzhi with Soldado grabbing a hat-trick, and then the darkest day of the season so far. A 5-0 defeat to Liverpool at the Lane. Humiliating. A lack of presence, fight and quality led to a terrible day, and one that saw Daniel Levy lose patience in the Portuguese manager and fire him that next day. Right or wrong, the decision ended our season. I truly believe that. The club then appointed Tim Sherwood, Chris Ramsey and Les Ferdinand in charge and in the first game lost in the Capital One Cup to West Ham in the Lane 2-1, after returning Emmanuel Adebayor to the team and him scoring. We then had a ‘decent’ end to the Christmas period, with Tim Sherwood being confirmed as Spurs Head Coach on an 18 month contract, we beat Pochettino’s Southampton at St Mary’s through a resurgent Emmanuel Adebayor performance, but then drew to West Brom at the Lane on Boxing Day, a big disappointment, but we then performed to the highest level of the season, beating Stoke City 3-0 with free flowing football that had been missing for too long under AVB. We finally beat someone comfortably. We finished the month in 7th.

In January, we started the month in fine fashion, we went to Old Trafford and got the result in wonderful style, Emmanuel Adebayor and Christian Eriksen on the scoresheet. That’s my favourite victory of the season, an amazing win despite Manchester United’s problems this season, we have not lost to them in 4 games and beat them on their own turf twice in a row! It was back to reality after that, we lost to Arsenal in the FA Cup 2-0 at the Emirates, and now it was Sherwood’s turn to feel the pressure of the fans, his honest press conferences splitting his opinion and his tactical approach of 4-4-2 against top sides split them even further. We then beat Crystal Palace, with Jermain Defoe’s last goal for the club after the announcement of his move to Toronto, a very emotional moment and then went into beat Swansea convincingly 3-1 at the Liberty stadium, Emmanuel Adebayor continuing his great form with a brace. We finished the first month of 2014 with a heavy defeat to Manchester City, in unfortunate circumstances, a goal disallowed, wrongly, and then a wrongly awarded penalty and red card against Danny Rose. Of course, we wouldn’t go onto have an effect the game, losing 5-1, with another heavy defeat to City, but you could feel a sense of what could have been without some horrifying decisions. Plus, Etienne Capoue got his first goal for the club! At the end of January, we sat in 5th place, just three points off Liverpool in 4th. There was a little bit of hope here. Our best player during this time, was most definitely Emmanuel Adebayor, brilliant.

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February – March.
It was a mixed bag of results in February, but we continued to be there or there abouts for Champions League football and some fans still had hope! We started the month of February with a draw at the KC Stadium to Hull City, it was an incredibly hard fought match but we couldn’t seem to break them down, although Paulinho scored a great goal to get us a point. Then, as it seemed to be the case many times this season, good results came in twos. We beat Everton at White Hart Lane 1-0, taking 4 points from them this season, somehow, through a sweetly taken goal from Emmanuel Adebayor. Then, we went up to St James’ Park to complete our most convincing win of the season so far, a 4-0 win, Emmanuel Adebayor getting another brace as well as goals from Paulinho and a fine strike from Nacer Chadli, his first Premier League goal for the club. Then, a low, as we lost to Dnipro 1-0 in Ukraine in the first leg of the round of 32, and then we followed it up by being beaten by Norwich at Carrow Road 1-0, a terrible defeat with some extremely disappointed performances. The loss to Dnipro was then cancelled out, after a great 3-1 win at the Lane, Adebayor with 2 and a Christian Eriksen free-kick. A good end to a mixed month. Into the round of 16 of the Europa League.

I think March was the moment we realised that Tim Sherwood wasn’t the man to take us forward. Only 2 wins out of 7 and 4 defeats conceding 16 goals and only scoring 6. We started with a win, against Cardiff City, a 1-0 win, Roberto Soldado getting only his second goal from open play in the Premier League, but it certainly wasn’t free flowing football, we scraped past them as we had many times under AVB and under Sherwood. Then, we lost heavily to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, after going in level at the break after a great performance in all fairness, the team capitulated after a Jan Vertonghen mistake. A tough result to take like many this season, and Sherwood then criticised the players, which was highly supported and scrutinised at the same time. Then, we lost two on the bounce, both extremely tarnishing to the club, a 3-1 defeat to an incredible Benfica team at the Lane, but then another loss to Arsenal, quite unluckily even though we dominated the game. Then we performed really well at the Estadio Da Luz, a 2-2 draw, but we were extremely unlucky not to go through, a Nacer Chadli brace and a Harry Kane double of assists! Our next game was against Southampton, with a lot of the support extremely disheartened supporters not expecting anything from the rest of the season except for disappointment. The Southampton game was great, though, after going down 2-0 to a highly talented Southampton team, we fought back valiantly and showed the ‘gut’ that Sherwood had been willing for. That ‘gut’ and determination deserted Tottenham as we took on Liverpool, however, a 4-0 defeat, and the less said about that day the better. We sat 8 points off of 4th on 56 points after March. Our best player in that time being Christian Eriksen, for sure!

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April – May.
I’d say we had our best month of the season in April, unbeaten, scoring twelve goals in 4 games and only conceding 4. Our great month started with our biggest win of the season, a 5-1 victory over Sunderland, Adebayor once again getting a brace, with Christian Eriksen running the show along with a Gylfi Sigurdsson goal too. Then, we went to West Brom and conceded 3 goals, but we came back in the second half despite Adebayor missing a penalty, an own goal, a Harry Kane goal and finishing off the comeback with a Christian Eriksen late equaliser. Fulham came next, another 3 goals, but this time we only conceded once. Paulinho, Harry Kane and Younes Kaboul got on the scoresheet as Christian Eriksen ran the show once again and cemented his place as a contender for player of the season, as well as an incredible performance from Hugo Lloris, who saved a penalty and made three or four incredible saves at least. World Class. The rumours on Sherwood’s future was as intense as ever coming into May, but the team ended April on a high after going to Stoke and dragging out a result. We were on track to equal our highest ever points tally in the Premier League.

In May, we only had two games and one of them was utterly horrible. West Ham. Again. This time, on their own turf. A 2-0 defeat and a Younes Kaboul red card. We weren’t terrible, a little unlucky with a few individual mistakes but a loss to West Ham is just unforgivable, and unfortunately it’s been unforgivable three times this season. But, we finished the season on a high, which was definitely needed. Tim Sherwood’s last game as Tottenham Hotspur Head Coach, a 3-0 win, some wonderful football and the youth being introduced. A wonderful way to end a difficult season. Paulinho, an own goal by Baker and then an Adebayor penalty. We finished the season in 6th place, with 69 points, securing a Europa League place for next season. Tim Sherwood sacked and now a manager search commences. My player of the two months was Christian Eriksen. Incredible.

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My player ratings for the 2013/14 season:

Hugo Lloris – 9 – My player of the season. He has been incredible for us, saving us on numerous occasions. I don’t know where we’d be without him in the team, but we wouldn’t be in the Europa League, that’s for sure! He brings a cool, professional head even when chaos strikes on the pitch. He finds a way to keep his consistency no matter how the team is playing, who the team is playing and who the team is being managed by. Truly World Class and a pleasure to have in the team. He managed 17 clean sheets this season from 46 appearances.

Christian Eriksen – 8.5 – My outfield player of the season. At just 22 Eriksen has been a revelation, and has been praised as the ‘best of a bad bunch’ by many in the press. Although I disagree, I believe that he has been a shining light in a dreary season, with the way that he plays, conducts himself and speaks all becoming increasingly important to the club and without a doubt, the team should be built around Eriksen next season, whoever the manager is. There is so much more to come from such a brilliant, but young player. Eriksen has 10 goals and 10 assists, our top provider this season in 30 appearances.

Emmanuel Adebayor – 8 – Adebayor only played half a season, but still was one of our best performers this season. He scored so many vital goals to carry us through Tim Sherwood’s reign, and he almost made Sherwood look good, just as Gareth Bale seemed to bail out Andre Villas Boas. There were some lacklustre showings from the big Togolese striker, but overall, I think Adebayor has shown AVB was wrong to keep him in the dark, despite Adebayor being in the wrong through standing up to Villas-Boas. Emmanuel Adebayor scored 14 goals this season and getting 4 assists, he ended the season as our top goalscorer.

Brad Friedel – 7 – Judging Brad through the games he played, he has earned a 7/10. His performances in the Europa League were top class, he showed his professionalism throughout the season, not complaining, instead hailing the manager and the team, boosting moral and acting as a calm head. At 42, he has a decision to make regarding his future, and if he does decide to retire, I would love Brad to stay at the club and become a coach. He’s that sort of person. Friedel played 9 times and kept 3 clean sheets. Respectable.

Kyle Walker – 7.5 – Many will feel I have ‘overrated’ Walker here. But I would like to remind you all that Kyle was absolutely magnificent before injury toyed with his season. Without a doubt he was our best defender, showing a maturity that was lacking last season, but also a work ethic like I have never seen from him before. He was concentrated and driven to succeed and I am gutted that his injury has kept him out of a World Cup that he deserved to go to more than any other English right back. Walker made 35 appearances this season, scoring once and assisting 3 times.

Kyle Naughton – 5 – Average. He is no Kyle Walker, but what Naughton has been this season is reliable. Not many clubs have a player that will sit there and be willing to fill in whenever possible. Needed a lot this season, he was exposed a lot as a left back that he wasn’t and his lack of pace and bad decision making cost him many times. But overall I don’t think Naughton did too badly, and would like to thank him for his efforts. He showed that he cared. Naughton played 31 times for Spurs this season as a stop gap, and assisted goals twice.

Michael Dawson – 6 – Harshly treated for the majority of this season, including by myself. Dawson has shown his fight and determination on a numerous amount of occasions this season, although he has been exposed way too often as slow and very one dimensional. He’s my captain though, and his desire and passion for the club do not go unnoticed in my eyes. Dawson played 38 times this season.

Younes Kaboul – 5.5 – A difficult season for Younes. The injuries in his career have affected him a hell of a lot and he is certainly not the player he used to be, but he has captained us this season, and played some really good games, for example against Newcastle and against Southampton. I would like to think Kaboul will stay and have a full pre-season behind him to prove his worth to the fans, but whether or not the club feel too much of a risk of having him here we can only wait and see. Younes played 18 times this season, scoring 1 goal and assisting 1.

Vlad Chiriches – 7 – One of the seven new signings arriving this season, and he’s been one of the best in my view. At just 23 he has a lot to learn and he can be very nervy at times, making him prone to mistakes, but he has also had incredible games this season and is showing why we decided to sign the Romanian and ditch Steven Caulker. Vlad can only improve next season, the captain of Romania and definitely one that can push to start every game next season. Vlad played 23 times this season, scoring 1 goal.

Jan Vertonghen – 6 – A strange season for Jan. He has been accused by fans of having a bad attitude, bad body language and not showing enough passion for the team, as well as taking a big step down from the level of performance that he was last season. We all know what Vertonghen is capable of, and despite these rumours of Jan wanting out, we should try to keep him at all costs, because he is a wonderful talent. I believe he will stay. I hope he will stay. Hopefully we can see an improvement in performs from Jan next season, possibly when we have a new manager in charge! Vertonghen had an injury stricken but played 31 games, scoring 1 goal.

Zeki Fryers – 6 – A breakthrough season for young Zeki Fryers, firstly at left back, but then later in the season being used as a centre back, and I think we found the perfect position for Zeki. At left back he lacked agility and an end product, but at centre back he is composed and strong. I’d like to see more of the 21 year old there next season. Zeki played 16 times, getting 1 assist in that time.

Danny Rose – 4 – Danny, at only 23, has a lot to learn. This was his first season as our number 1 left back, but he was exposed nearly every game for defensive insecurity, a poor end product and a lack of skill on the ball. Although Danny had 3-4 good games, he isn’t at the level that Spurs need. Whether that will come in time, I don’t know, but right now, we need better. Danny made 31 appearances this season, scoring 2 goals and getting 2 assists.

Aaron Lennon – 6 – Inconsistent would be the word to describe Lennon’s season. He has been on fire at times, beating players getting dangerous balls into the box, and he has been the opposite, unimaginative, ineffective and simply poor. Aaron is still 27, so I’d definitely keep him for next season, but I hope Lamela steps up and earns his spot ahead of our long serving winger. Aaron played 34 games this season, scoring just 1 goal and getting only 3 assists.

Andros Townsend – 7 – What a start to the season Andros had. Coming back from his loan spell at QPR he was electrifying, he had the confidence to take people on, take shots and break with pace. This earned him an England call up, and he made the impact of a lifetime, scoring on his debut. Unfortunately, injury played havoc with his second half of the season and his form dipped. And now injury has ruled him out of a World Cup he was destined to go to. Hopefully Andros improves massively next season and we can see him shine again. He played 34 games scoring twice, but getting no assists.

Erik Lamela – N/A- Our record signing, but we didn’t get anywhere near a season out of him. Mismanagement, injuries and poor ability to adapt have messed the Argentine’s season and World Cup hopes right up. Such promise, but such disappointment to see our Gareth Bale replacement not start a game at White Hart Lane this season in the Premier League. He did have 2-3 good performances but needed a sustained fun in the team, and due to a fractured vertebra, he didn’t get that. He will return though and I hope he will be better than ever! He played 17 times for Spurs, but only had 3 starts in the Premier League. He scored 1 goal and got 3 assists.

Paulinho – 7 – I think Paulinho has had a very good first season at the club. It has been blighted by some terrible, invisible performances but all in all I think he’s done well, especially in the goal scoring department. Playing higher up the pitch he is a joy to watch has immense skill, but playing in a deeper role next to a similar player, such as Mousa Dembele, Paulinho didn’t have the strength and grit to make tackles. That’s why his best performance came alongside Sandro, or next to Dembele when we were bossing the game. Hopefully he’ll push on next season and prove himself to more and more fans. He played 37 times for us this season and scored 8 goals with 2 assists, a good first season tally.

Sandro – 6 – Injury has struck Sandro’s season once again. This time muscular niggles that have kept him out of the team and stopped him from having, just like Lamela, a sustained run in the team. There have been some difficult matches for Sandro, not playing well or in good form, but I think mostly he has when he has started. He’s a crucial player for the team and I can’t wait to see him in a Spurs shirt next season. Sandro played 25 games and scored 1 goal.

Mousa Dembele – 6 – It’s like a broken record, but Mousa is another player who’s season has been seriously harmed by injuries. He looked as if he had been playing with injuries all season and that meant his form wasn’t up to the standard that we wanted it to be. He has a World Cup now so I hope he gains a lot of confidence from that and comes back to Spurs a better player. Mousa did despite injury play 42 games this season, scoring 2 goals and getting 1 assist.

Nabil Bentaleb – 7 – Nabil has had a great season. Promoted through the youth system at just 19 he has put in some stellar displays in the midfield role, as well as some poor performances, which are expected at just 19 years of age. His connection with Sherwood made it difficult at times, with fans pilling pressure on the young mans shoulders, but he dealt with it really well. Nabil played 21 times, getting 1 assist.

Etienne Capoue – N/A – Etienne started the season in outstanding form, our best player against Crystal Palace and Swansea, but he was hit by injury, another player, and after that never found the level he is capable of. He missed 50% of the season through, higher than any other player, so I really can’t give him a fair rating. It will be interesting to see whether Capoue is kept by the new manager, or moved on. Etienne played 18 times scoring 1 goal and assisting 1.

Lewis Holtby – 6.5 – Only half a season with Spurs before being shipped out to Fulham, but during that time he made it difficult to make a decision between Eriksen and Holtby, and I think he played well at times during his time at Spurs and was unlucky, but probably for the best of his development that he was sent out on loan. I hope to see him back in a Spurs shirt next season, pushing for a place. Lewis took part in 22 games for Spurs this season, scoring 3 goals and getting 5 assists.

Nacer Chadli – 6 – Chadli hasn’t set the world alight. Far from it. He has shown glimpses of why he is so highly rated in Holland and in Belgium, but as of yet hasn’t shown it to the Spurs faithful. Some very good performances, especially his 2 goals against Benfica, and his stunner against Newcastle, but he needs to improve. He played central midfield and behind the striker later on in the season which didn’t help, though. Although he played well behind the striker, in central midfield I don’t think it suits him. Nacer played 35 times, scoring 5 goals and contributing 4 assists.

Gylfi Sigurdsson – 6.5 – Gylfi’s start to the season was sublime, he had a goal scoring instinct and scored some wonderful goals as well as goals where he had to be in the right place at the right time. I think Gylfi is a great player, technically, mentally and physically. He lacks a lot of pace, which let’s him down, but he has such a great shot and a great footballing mind. It’s unfortunate Sigurdsson is forced out onto the left hand side so often. He’d be a real threat in the central position. There are things wrong with his game and there has been this season. Still, he’s only 24. Gylfi played 35 games this season, scoring 6 goals and getting 3 assists. Not too bad.

Harry Kane – 7.5 – I can only judge on the games that they have played, and Harry Kane has had a superb end to the season, as well as good performances against Hull City in the League Cup and Cardiff away earlier this season. Brought in by Sherwood to the starting 11 he has repaid the faith with goals, a hard work ethic and some real good performances. Harry has played 19 games this season for Spurs, scoring 4 goals and getting 2 assists.

Jermain Defoe – 6 – Defoe was outstanding in the Europa League for us this season, there’s no denying it. He scored goal after goal and played really well, but his Premier League performances, of which there were very few, were poor. Jermain was sent off to Toronto and we will miss a true Spurs legend, but I don’t think we’ll miss the player. Defoe played 22 games for Spurs this season, with 11 of those from the bench. Scoring 10 goals and getting 3 assists.

Roberto Soldado – 5 – Hard. Disappointing. Underwhelming. All words we’d use to describe Roberto Soldado’s first season at the club, and possibly his last. I want Soldado to succeed as much as the next but judging on this season he has been terrible in front of goal. It’s a mystery. He has lost his goalscoring touch through a flight from Spain to England and I don’t know why. Everything he touches he seems to miss. Although, his link up play and play with the ball is top notch, something he never really had in Spain. I’d call it weird other than anything. We’ll see what happens to him this summer. Roberto played 37 times for us this season, scoring 11 goals and getting 5 assists.

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My awards for the season:

Player of the season – Hugo Lloris.

Young player of the season – Christian Eriksen.

Goal of the season – Gylfi Sigurdsson vs Hull City. (League Cup).

Assist of the season – Eriksen vs Norwich to Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Individual performance of the season – Hugo Lloris vs Fulham.

Win of the season – Manchester United 1-2 Tottenham.

Signing of the season – Christian Eriksen.

Most disappointing player of the season – Roberto Soldado.

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Ups, downs and upside downs. All in all it’s been an eventful season, for sure! Expectation outweighed reality, and now as fans we have to rally again, support the team, the players and the whole club to try and do our bit to help the side on the pitch. And that starts by supporting our new manager, whoever it may be. I’m looking forward to a great World Cup, a brilliant pre-season, an uncertain Transfer Window and a new season of excitement! Thank you for reading, tweeting and debating with me on twitter and on the website. It’s been a pleasure and I can’t wait to do it all over again next season! Leave your comments down below, subscribe and follow my twitter account if you don’t already – @AddictedToSpurs. Thank you and COYS!

All the goals from the 2013/14 season:

Season Review video:

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Keeping Faith in Tottenham Hotspur.

It’s been a difficult season for so many reasons. Keeping faith in Tottenham Hotspur has become a hard task, but there are positives which we must look to, so we can get a clear idea of where this club is going in the future, under Daniel Levy and ENIC, along with the people closer to the footballing matters on the pitch, the manager and the players. This article will look at what Spurs fans have to look forward to after what has been a disappointing and stagnant year for the club.

1) New Stadium.

The talk of a new stadium has been long winded to say the least, since 2007 we have been promised a new stadium and the development of the Tottenham area, it’s now mid 2014 and little has been done in terms of the building of the new stadium; we have fussed over the Olympic Stadium which wasn’t what the fans wanted, as well as looking to just improve on White Hart Lane, but in recent months the Northumberland Development Project is starting to take off, we have opened the new Sainsbury’s supermarket, as well as the Tottenham UT College, and a date has been set in which Daniel Levy believes the new stadium will be ready by, Summer of 2017. It’s a massive project, which has had it’s hiccups (understatement), but it now looks as though, pending a decision from the CPO on the building of the new stadium, we have the go-ahead to build the next chapter in Tottenham’s illustrious history.

The Stadium was quoted by Chairman Daniel Levy as being ‘critical’ to the future of Tottenham, both on the pitch and off it. The development would mean the 47,000 people on the waiting list for a season ticket at White Hart Lane would be able to come in and fill the projected 58,000 seater arena, this is massive as it gives more revenue for the club and also means that the fan base across the world will increase, as well as increasing the support in England. With this increased revenue, it helps majorly on the pitch, we can become an ‘elite’ team in England, and along with the biggest and best in the Premier League, can go out and attract the best players to play for our team. This is Daniel Levy’s legacy at Tottenham, deliver the club a new stadium and he will be deemed a complete success at Spurs, fail and he will be adjudged an utter failure. Crucial doesn’t explain how much this means.

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2) Training Ground.

Daniel Levy and ENIC haven’t delivered the new stadium as of yet, but what they have given the club is an incredible training ground, opened in 2012, the £30 million training centre is undoubtedly seen as one of the best in world football, even the best players who have trained at some of the best training grounds are in awe of the training ground’s facilities and modern look, it really is beautifully designed. What this training centre was, was the first step in what is a long term project, and it shows the commitment Daniel Levy has for Tottenham, we have to give him credit for this. This project is brilliant as it helps youth players get the best facilities in order to succeed at Spurs, as well as giving first team Spurs players the feeling of being at a top club, and being treated well and once again given the facilities needed for success. What the training ground also brings, is the same factor the new Stadium will hopefully bring, it attracts players to the club; if the first thing they see is a top of the range training ground as they come to speak to the club, they will think of Spurs as a big club, with big ambition, if Hotspur Way is where they are based.

Hotspur Way not only gives off a good image to players, but also to other football teams, the media and fans. The image of the club is that it is a top club, that is willing to give the playing staff what they need. And it doesn’t stop there, a new 500 seater stand is set to be built at Hotspur Way, giving fans the opportunity to visit the training centre and watch youth teams play, and see how they are developing, when thinking about it, it really does make you feel good to know that Hotspur Way is the standard we have set ourselves, and gives a good indication the Stadium is going to be of similar calibre.

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3) Youth.

Another aspect that should excite fans about the future of the club is the young talent we have coming up through the club, and the players that are just starting to integrate into the first team. Our U21 and U18 teams have real talent within them, and they are showing it in these recent seasons, our U21 team has not had the best of years because lots of the players have gone on loan, or have been taken into the first team, for example Harry Kane, Nabil Bentaleb and Zeki Fryers have this season made the jump from under 21 football to first team football which is brilliant. However the form of the team has increased since Under 18 players have been merged into the Under 21s, so it shows the talent we have at both levels. The Under 21s sit 11th in the Under 21 Premier League, with Fulham at the top. The Under 18 team are a really exciting bunch and their season in the Under 18 Premier League South section has been formidable, they sit at the top having won 16 games out of 24, with only 4 losses. Now we need the coaching staff to continue to integrate players into the first team, whether that’s in training, or first team game time.

Players on loan are also making good progress, Alex Pritchard at Swindon in League 1 has had a great season scoring 8 goals and getting 9 assists from the left wing, earning himself a nomination for player of the year in League 1, plus young player of the year in the whole of the Football League, at just 20 I think he has a big future at Spurs and he’s one to get excited about. Now he’s back at Spurs he could definitely get game time. Another player who we’ve had a glimpse of at Spurs is Ryan Fredericks, the right back played in our 4-1 win over Anzhi while AVB was in charge and looks to have a real maturity in the way he plays, now on loan at Championship club Millwall and getting vital experience learning from Ian Holloway. Other players who have shown great promise at the club are 18 year old Serbian centre back/centre midfielder Milos Veljkovic, who is highly rated by Tim Sherwood and people within the club, 19 year old midfielder Nabil Bentaleb who has been integrated into the first team by Tim Sherwood and despite his flaws, is one of the most promising players at the club, as well as 20 year old striker Harry Kane, who is the U21’s top scorer and has shown he can deliver in the first team recently, and finally 21 year old left back/centre back Zeki Fryers who is now seen as our main left back cover and an option to have at centre back, his versatility, strength and pace make him a great player for the future, and it looks as if his future lies at centre back after an incredible performance against Benfica.

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4) Current Squad.

Even after what has been a desperately disappointing season after so much expectation that comes with signing 7 new players, who were all international quality, what we didn’t factor in was how long it would take for these players to gel into the team, adapt to living conditions in England, and also adapt to the pace and intensity of the Premier League. Mistakes were made in the summer transfer window, we know that, but we have signed good players, I believe that and I believe in the players we have at the club, now we need a manager who is going to take this team forward and we need to give these players everything they need to succeed at Spurs. It’s a young squad, with a lot of potential and room to improve, including 42 year old keeper Brad Friedel, our average squad age is 26.4, with arguably our best and most important player Christian Eriksen only 22 years of age. There is potential and it’s another thing that is exciting and gives me hope going into the future with Spurs. We need to keep this squad and give them the ability to succeed.

The players we have are all international quality, every first team player apart from Danny Rose and Kyle Naughton have played first team football for their countries. We have the players, and we have players who will become, if everything goes well, key players in the future. The two major talents being 22 year old midfielder Christian Eriksen and 22 year old winger Erik Lamela, that is where the future of this team lies, we need to make sure we build teams around them. However, even with all this talent, we have weak spots, and we need to clear deadwood and add a left back, centre back, left winger and at least one striker, that gives the manager the team to make the coveted Champions League. Even without Champions League, we will attract players, we have showed that in the last two seasons, signing Champions League quality such as Hugo Lloris, Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen and Erik Lamela without the competition, and I expect that the ambition the club shows in other areas is enough to persuade players Tottenham is a good step in their careers, but we need a manager who shares that ambition and I don’t think that’s Tim Sherwood.

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5) What’s needed now.

Obviously, as I’ve said and as Daniel Levy has said, the New Stadium is crucial to the future of Tottenham, but there are many other things that are in desperate need to get Tottenham to that ‘elite club’ stage. First of all, the appointment of a new manager, although I don’t have anything against Tim Sherwood, he is not of the calibre we need at Spurs to take us to that next level; I wouldn’t be opposed to Sherwood staying on at Spurs, either in the youth teams or with the first team, but he is not at the quality we need as a manager. Rumours are all over the shop, and with Louis Van Gaal’s ship almost fully sailed in the direction of Manchester United, it seems the two managers that are available are Frank De Boer of Ajax and Mauricio Pochettino of Southampton. For me, Frank De Boer has to be seen as the number 1 target, he has an incredible future as a manager and has managed Ajax to 4 Eredivisie titles in 4 consecutive years. What De Boer can bring to the table is his ability to work with youth and grow teams into a squad that can compete for trophies, he likes to work with young teams and that is exactly what we are. It may be a risk, but he knows Christian Eriksen and Jan Vertonghen well and everything we have got from Ajax has turned out brilliantly so far, so what is one more! The crucial thing, if Frank De Boer is to be appointed is that he is given time, given time to build his team and ingrain his footballing philosophy onto the team and the club. He plays attacking football and that’s what we demand at Spurs.

As well as the new manager, what we need from Daniel Levy and ENIC is a clear indication of the direction of the club, and now, after hopefully landing Frank De Boer, being able to grow a stable coaching staff as well as a stable squad which we can grow and develop. That’s key, for on the pitch. I have no qualms about Daniel Levy’s dealings of the club off the pitch, he has landed us lucrative deals and if we take his word for the new stadium he is showing his ambition for Spurs, the club is very well run, but now Tottenham need success on the pitch, because that’s where it really matters, to the fans.

20140429-172640.jpg Thanks for reading! Tottenham will always be around, but these are crucial times in the future of our club in which decisions must be assessed with precision and care, it’s crucial that Tottenham succeed, and it’s Daniel Levy’s last few chances to make sure it’s him who takes us to glory once again.

Remember to follow me on twitter at @AddictedToSpurs and subscribe to my blog!

Leave a comment of your thoughts on the blog and Tottenham’s future.

Match Review, Tottenham vs Arsenal.

Match: Sunday 16th March 2014.

Competition: White Hart Lane.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

Result: Tottenham 0-1 Arsenal.

Arsenal goalscorer: Thomas Rosicky 2′.

A North London derby loss; our 3rd of the season out of 3 games. It’s the worst feeling there is, especially the way the game went. We were better than them, that’s what makes it worse, we had more possession (59% to 41%), we had more shots (17 to 7) and we had more corners (5 to 2). The only thing we didn’t have in our favour was goals; that cutting edge in the box, or that little bit of luck where the ball would fall to one of our better finishers, and the lack of composure when we had the chance. It was very painful to watch, but also very encouraging I thought. The players put everything in and outplayed Arsenal, who are apparently Title contenders. After the first goal, you do worry that Arsenal will run away with the game, but we didn’t let them, we hurried them in possession and looked to hurt them on many occasions, but unfortunately, as has been a running theme throughout the season, lacked creativity and a spark. We fought though and I guess at the moment, that’s all you can ask of the players. Maybe we don’t have the players for it, maybe the players we do have are injured, maybe it’s the manager holding them back, or maybe it’s all of them combined. But, after the performance that we put in, I think it showed that the players care, about the fans, about the club and about winning and because of that, I can sleep easy and wait for next season. Haha.

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I love Tottenham Hotspur and I will always love them until I die, not because I love the players, not because I love the manager or the board and certainly not because I love to win, but because I love being part of something bigger than myself, something that will (hopefully) always be there. I want Spurs to succeed and I will always want the best for them, and I truly believe that there is success around the corner for this club, I believe in the players and I believe in the direction that the club is going. A bad patch, or bad season like we’re having doesn’t change that. Keep the faith.

My player ratings for the team that lost to Arsenal at the Lane:
Lloris – 8.5
Naughton – 8
Kaboul – 8
Vertonghen – 8.5
Rose – 7.5
Townsend – 8
Sandro – 7.5
Bentaleb – 6.5
Chadli – 7
Eriksen – 7
Adebayor – 8.5 – Man of the Match.

Tim Sherwood’s post match reaction:

The only goal of the game:

Tim Sherwood – bang on.

After another capitulation, another drubbing and another embarrassing performance from the players on tens of thousands of pounds a week, Tim Sherwood felt it was the right time to go and drill his honest and truthful thoughts of the team, and the situation that is surrounding the club.

Tim’s position at the club has been questioned by the fans, his lack of experience and his sometimes naive choices, but he was absolutely spot on in his post Chelsea interview, and echoed the thoughts of me and many of our fans. The players let him down, mistakes and a lack of heart in this Chelsea game meant we were never in with a chance.

I have found a new earned respect for Sherwood, he showed he cares so much, and I think he has now earned the respect of the Spurs fans. His quotes here:

“We aren’t going to finish top-four if you can’t beat the top teams. It ain’t going to happen, you’re miles away unless you beat the top teams.” Sherwood told Sky Sports.

“You have to pick up some points. All right, we beat United and Everton around us, but you can’t rely on rolling over the smaller sides – it does not work out like that. We did all right in patches, but there are too many blips.”

“Lack of characters. Too many of them are too nice to each other. You need to show a bit more gut and not want to be someone’s mate all the time and it can’t always be me having a pop – they have to drag it out of each other. It hurts me.

“I’m not going to forget this by the time we hit the motorway. Some might – but on to the next match. That is the nature of the game.”

“We have a game Thursday in the Europa League and we have to get out there and show a performance. We owe it to the fans – they were fantastic for us today – but we let them down again on the big occasion.”

“Everyone is talking about fourth, people at the club are talking about fourth. Wake up.”

Harrowing, isn’t it? The players have been ripped into and been shown it’s simply not good enough. In football these days there isn’t enough heart, desire and love for the club you play for, the game is being lost right in front of our eyes and we are powerless to stop it, it’s a sad, sad situation. One thing is to blame; money. There’s too much of it. It makes the players powerful, even more so than the club they play for, but I can assure all the players that none of you, none of you, are bigger than Tottenham Hotspur; you should all feel ashamed at your effort and you should all feel more pride and luck that you are playing for Spurs. I think it’s time for a Bill Nicholson quote:

“Any player coming to Spurs whether he’s a big signing or just a ground staff boy must be dedicated to the game and to the club. He must be prepared to work at his game. He must never be satisfied with his last performance, and he must hate losing.”

Spurs players need to be shown that quote, and they need to step up and be counted.

Of course I’ll always love Spurs, always want the best and I will always be optimistic of success, but scars are running deep in the club right now and there needs to be a serious change of mentality and personnel. Even though we are still fifth and in the Europa League, it’s just not good enough.

We’ve got massive games coming up, and we the fans are owed a response as Tim has said, but if we get one, we need to push on. I’m tired of getting a response, I don’t want to be in the position in which we need a response again any time soon; it’s soul destroying. Starting with Benfica. COYS.

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Watch Sherwood’s interview here:

Transfer Window Review – January 2014

We didn’t sign anyone this transfer window, there were calls from fans to sign another striker and a left back, but we did neither and I think that is due to many things. Personally, I am not disappointed we didn’t sign anyone, if anything I am pleased we didn’t panic and shake the squad up even more, which certainly isn’t needed. What we need, which is what Sherwood thinks, is our injured players to return to the pitch and give a big push until the end of the season for Champions League football, that’s the aim, we’ve got the players to do that. We need them to perform and get us there.

The teams around us didn’t do a lot of business:

Manchester City and Liverpool signed nobody! City maybe didn’t need anyone, but I think Liverpool needed at least 1-2 players for squad depth.

Manchester United signed Mata, which although is a brilliant signing you could say they didn’t particularly need him, I think there are a lot of other areas of the pitch they needed to strengthen.

Arsenal only signed Kallstrom on loan. In my opinion probably needing a striker.

Everton made two signings, Lacina Traore on loan and Aiden McGeady, two good signings though.

Chelsea were busy, but sold Mata, signed Salah and Matic with Zouma coming in and being loaned out straight away.

What other teams did shows that the January window isn’t a good time to make signings, especially long term signings, for us, signing nobody showed that nobody worth buying was there. I can’t think of many realistic signings that would hugely improve or improve our squad at all.

Our departures in January…

Jermain Defoe to Toronto for £6 million. – Expected departure, he’s here to stay until March, will be sad to see him leave as he has been a great player for us over the years. We’ll have a great send off for him in his last few games.

Simon Dawkins to Derby for an undisclosed fee. – After being on loan and impressing, the 24 year old has finally left Spurs permanently, good luck to him, was never going to get the chance at the Lane.

Shaquile Coulthirst to Leyton Orient on loan. – The young striker has impressed for our youth side, now he gets the chance to strut his stuff and score some goals with some experience under his belt!

Jon Obika to Brighton on loan. – Forever on loan, now 23 years old, it doesn’t seem he’s got a future at Spurs. It’s a chance for him to score goals to secure a permanent deal away from Spurs I presume.

Ryan Fredericks to Millwall on loan. – Big future for Ryan at the club, he has also signed a new deal at Spurs until 2017 and this loan will be great for him, I’ve been really impressed with him for the U21s and for the first team. Now he can gain some experience and get into the first team next season.

Adam Smith to Bournemouth for an undisclosed fee. – Upsetting it hasn’t worked out for Adam at Spurs, after a few appearances in the first team some thought he could be direct back up to Kyle Walker, but with the emergence of Fredericks it seems he’s no longer needed in the future.

Lewis Holtby on loan to Fulham. – I’m glad Holtby can get first team football in the Premier League, he deserves that. A brilliant player who will probably keep Fulham in the League, he needs to show his quality at the Whites and then come back to Tottenham next season even better and even stronger. I still have confidence Lewis has a big future at Spurs. I’ll miss him for the rest of the season though!

The deals that never materialised.

Dimitar Berbatov to Spurs. – Dimitar ended up at Monaco on Deadline Day permanently from Fulham! After being heavily linked, it is reported Sherwood said no to possibly signing the Bulgarian striker. I was on the fence about his signing, on one hand he is a player who disrespected our club greatly when leaving to Manchester United, on the other hand he was still the player that made my mouth-water when I watched. Difficult to chose. But, it’s not happened, so we don’t have to worry about the backlash!

Etienne Capoue to Napoli. – The deal didn’t go through! Yay! I’m happy he’s stayed, been one of our better signings, early on he was incredible for us, now he gets to stay and continue his time at the club. Good news, although I must say I thought he would depart. Maybe his goal against Manchester City persuaded Sherwood to keep him!

Conclusion.

Nothing special! Not many shocks and not any incomings. Some may have wanted a left back or a striker but I fully believe we have the squad to compete heavily for the top four places. Thank God it’s all over, we can fully concentrate of football. No excuses now! Let’s have a right crack at it! COYS!!

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Christian Eriksen is quickly becoming the player we know he can be.

Since Eriksen made his much anticipated move away from Ajax to a the Premier League he has been in the limelight from the Dutch press, the Danish press, and the English press. The pressure and expectation that comes with that must be very difficult to take for someone who you look past all the time that he’s been on the footballing scene, is still only 22. He deals with it very well, he’s adored in Denmark, respected greatly at Ajax, now he’s a fan favourite at Tottenham and rated highly by the English media. It’s all going rather well for the Dane at the moment.

Eriksen had trials at Barcelona, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Manchester United and AC Milan before making a move to Ajax from Odense in 2008 at 15, saying “My first step should not be too big. I knew that playing in the Netherlands would be very good for my development. Then Ajax arrived and that was a fantastic option”. For me this shows a level headed, well advised kid who is determined to better himself through hard work, rather than trying to run before he can walk. There was obvious talent there and he chose a team that doesn’t stand out against the Barcelona’s and the Manchester United’s, but known for their ability to grow young players. This is when you know you’ve got a guy with the know-how to get to the top. Eriksen made his Denmark debut at 17 in 2010, and appeared in the 2010 World Cup as the youngest in the tournament. That’s when Eriksen burst onto the scene and in 2011 he went on to win the Danish Footballer of the year award, Dutch football talent of the year and Ajax talent of the year, as well as winning the Eredivisie title with Ajax. He won the Eredivisie title with Ajax again in 2012 and 2013, before completing his move to Tottenham. So he’s been about a bit.

We signed Christian Eriksen for £11 million, or if you believe the press in the Netherlands, they say it’s actually €11 million, roughly £9 million. It really is incredible to think that a player with that potential could be grasped for so cheap, with no Champions League football (good to note his contract was running down though), for me other club’s scouts must be getting seriously questioned, but we aren’t complaining, far from it, we’re revelling in the glory of such a brilliant acquisition.

Christian Eriksen on his debut against Norwich was incredible, notching an assist and the man of the match award. This set the tone for the rest of his Tottenham career in my eyes, classy, quick thinking and with the ability to create goals for himself and others. Injury to his ankle set him back, he missed a few games and didn’t come back all guns blazing as Holtby had taken his place after some decent performances in Eriksen’s absence, but he showed what a great mentality he has again through waiting for his chance, this time in the Europa League, and showing his capabilities. He has had a few disappointing games, but this must be expected when you are getting used to the Premier League’s pace and physicality at such a young age.

Since Tim Sherwood has taken over he has been better than under AVB, the Dane has 3 goals and 3 assists in 6 appearances for Sherwood in the Premier League, becoming in my opinion our most important player. He’s been crucial in every game Sherwood has taken charge of, winning us points, creating opportunities, contributing with goals and assists, defensively working hard and linking up the play supremely. What we have seen from him on the left has showed his versatility and his willingness to help the team and as Tim would say ‘put a shift in’, and in the hole, like we saw against Swansea, he’s even more effective, being closer to the final third, so being much more of an offensive threat and linking up with Adebayor, who at the moment must be a joy for Eriksen to be playing with. His recent performances have me seriously thinking, without a doubt that he can become just as important to us in the future, as Bale was for us last season.

With the quality central midfielders we’ve had at the club, there is bound to be comparison. In Denmark they compare him to the great Michael Laudrup, a fast thinking attacking midfielder with the ability to pick out a pass and get a goal. With Spurs, it’s the comparisons with Luka Modric and Rafael Van Der Vaart. The similarities are there, for sure. He has the slightness and low centre of gravity that Modric had, with such great vision, and the ability to pop up in the right areas and find a pass or stick the ball in the back of the net just like Rafa had. If Eriksen can tone these abilities and improve on them, especially his finishing, I see no reason why he can’t surpass what they have become.

Just thinking about his potential makes my mouth water, he’s the real spark in this current Tottenham team and he’s thriving on the attention at the moment, his confidence has always been high in himself, but it must be sky rocketing right now. We know he’ll keep his feet on the ground, continue to work hard and perform well, because that’s the sort of guy he is, he’s got good heads around him, guiding him in the right direction, mainly his Dad who he listens to as he has said in many interviews so I’m just looking forward to the future having this talent in our team. Long may his form continue. And let’s enjoy the player he is now, and the player he is set to become.

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