Despite the fact that I know that you’re a fool if you believe, however tempting it may be, pretty much any of the summer transfer window rumours linking Spurs to just about everyone, I have been taking some comfort in the fact that most of the attacking players we’ve been apparently showing an interest in are of the speed merchant category. Llorente is the exception but Berahino, Sane, Martial, N’Jie and Werner all have a bit of whippet about them. (I know, I know – they’re all unsubstantiated rumours).
Other than Kane’s ability to be in the right place at the right time the major characteristic of much of our attacking play last season was its plodding lack of pace. Not one of our regular forwards, leaving out Townsend for now, is capable of leaving anyone other than Per Mertesacker standing when it comes to a foot race – Erik Lamela in fact, like a road cyclist uncomfortable away from the pelleton, seems to specialise in coming back to the chasing pack in the shortest possible time whilst losing as much of his balance as he can.
In the headiest of the Redknapp days it was the explosiveness of Bale and Lennon that provided the threat and created the openings and whilst the former is now in Madrid (but better appreciated in Monmouth) the latter is still with us, but also somehow not with us. As we search for someone to galvanise our attack in much the same way Everton’s was after January I suspect I’m not the only one wondering why the player responsible for that is not being given a chance at Spurs. He must’ve done something very bad.
Without pace against them defenders can push up and compress and crowd attackers and even Kane’s strength and determination can’t see him past everyone all the time as he found in the final ten games or so of last season when he became a marked man and his strike rate dropped accordingly. With some speed to face, defenders have to drop off and be aware of the gaps behind them thus leaving more space for Harry currently our main, and if Adebayor and Soldado go, which seems very likely, our only goal threat up front.
Without an increase in our mph, defending against us will be easy. Pritchard and Dele Alli will get some games next season and provide a bit of momentum in the middle but it’s further forward that something is very desperately needed. Sadio Mane would be a terrific addition to our side in my opinion, bundles of speed, an attitude and an eye for goal. The chances of finding an exact replica are slim but that would be my number one priority and I’m hoping that if I’m reading between the Newsnow lines correctly, I’m right in saying that it’s Pochettino’s too.
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