This season has already been filled with many twists and turns for all teams involved, but particularly for Spurs. The last season has seen two of Spur’s arguably integral figures leave the club – Bale and Villas-Boas. As a result, Tottenham were left in a position in which the whole team needed to be restructured, reformed and almost “reborn”.
With no less than seven new signings being brought into the team over summer, and in the much missed absence of Bale, the first half of the season was always going to be a struggle. The players simply hadn’t had time to gel and familiarise with each other. With the mixture of nationalities and spoken languages it was always going to be difficult for the newly formed group of players to gel into a side capable of competing at the top of the table. Even halfway through the season these group of players have had little chance to get used to each other; the side has been riddled with injuries of late which has restricted the development of a regular starting eleven and the chance for the players to really create a sense of camaraderie.
Spurs have suffered far more notable injuries this season than the press have given us credit for (although obviously that is a lilywhite tinted glasses view!). We have had the long term injuries of both Kaboul and Vertonghen; arguably our best defenders to contend with, they’ve been replaced by reasonably weak substitutes in the form of Naughton and Rose– two players who are simply not good enough or experienced enough for a Champions League chasing side. Chiriches has also been in and out the team with various ailments throughout the season which has left him lacking in match fitness. Paulinho and Sandro, two players integral to Spurs’ success earlier in the season have suffered injury woes which have left Sherwood with little options IN midfield. Furthermore, Lamela, who many fans had very high hopes for, has also suffered injury problems and hasn’t had a real chance to establish himself in the first team.
The upheaval in management will also always cause an initial setback for teams. It’s undeniable that Sherwood is in fact a very different breed of manager to AVB. His tactics and mannerisms will take some getting used to by the squad, and I’m sure that in time the team will perform better than they have been under his guidance simply due to an increased familiarity with his ideologies.
If you consider the trials and tribulations we have already experienced this season it is easy to understand why Spurs haven’t set the Premier League alight. It’s worth noting that we are still sitting in 6th place, just 3 points behind a Champions League spot. With players coming back from injury, the team having more playing-time experience together and Sherwood settling in in his new role it is only expected that Spurs will go from strength to strength the remainder of the season. The team we see this year is a reborn Tottenham Hotspur – and who’s to say they won’t achieve great things despite the early setbacks?
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