I’ve recently been watching the season review from last year, reliving all those great Gareth Bale moments. However, whilst watching it I couldn’t help realise that a lot of things have changed at our club only from last year, a lot of things many of us fans would not have been able to predict. It puts into perspective how quickly a year passes in football. Therefore, it has inspired me to write this piece on how the club may change in just another year, and who I reckon will be in the team next year……
An easy first decision here and he goes by the name of Hugo Lloris. The current number one should have no problem keeping his place in the team for the next ten years let alone the next one. A while ago he was linked to Barcelona with rumours that they would make a move for the French international to replace Victor Valdes, however with the summer arrival of Marc-Andre Ter Stegen you would expect them to be ruled out of a move. However, it is our back up keeper, which would worry me the most, as great as Brad Friedel has been to us over the past few seasons, I just feel he lacks the pace that our back four have come accustomed to due to Lloris. Therefore, I would expect by 2015 we would have a suitable back up keeper. One option could be reserve keeper Jordan Archer, who after successful loan spells at Bishops Stortford and Wycombe, may feel the time is right to be knocking on the door of the first team and with Tim Sherwood in charge, next year may be the year for him. Although, in my personal opinion I would try for Kasper Schmeichel, at 27 years of age he has been on the scene for a little while now and always seems to be linked to Premier League teams. He’s in the final year of his contract and would be available for free in the summer, and in the few appearances I’ve seen him play against top teams, I feel he has the pace and reflexes to challenge Hugo Lloris for the starting spot.
Most of the back four look pretty secure for a few years, Jan Vertonghen is a captain in waiting, Michael Dawson is ever-present in our back 4 and Kyle Walker has recently signed a new long-term deal. Chiriches also looks like a decent arrival and could challenge Dawson for that other centre back spot, and Kaboul, who is out of contract in the summer, will either sign a new one or be replaced. The only position in our back four which could be an issue is left-back, Rose currently holds the position although there has been some doubts as to whether he is good enough to hold the position long term. And in my opinion he is good enough, after he had a good year out on loan at Sunderland, I believe he has the quality to become a great left back. He was unlucky to receive a red yesterday but he is a good attacking player who is capable to beat a man and swing in a good cross, the only doubts with Rose is that he is a bit weak defensively, however that reminds me of Kyle Walker only two or three seasons ago. Saying that if Tim doesn’t view Rose as the future, I believe a replacement should be found sooner rather than later, after all there’s only a day left!
The 2014/2015 season could finally be the season that we see the emergence of Tom Carroll. I’ve got to admit I haven’t watched much of Tom in the Championship with QPR, but it’s well documented that Tim is a big fan of Carroll. Every match I have seen Tom play in a Tottenham shirt I’ve been impressed, he has never looked as if he isn’t ready to make the step up. He is a great passer of the ball and has great agility to beat players; the only criticism some may have of him would be his finishing. And it is for this reason I am slightly disappointed that Carroll went out on loan to QPR this season, I personally believe he is good enough to play for a Premier League team and should have been doing so this season, and if there wasn’t one interested he should have stayed with us and played cup matches or picked up crucial substitute appearances, maybe even starting a few matches. In recent weeks we have also seen the emergence of Nabil Bentaleb, who thanks to Tim Sherwood hasn’t looked out of place in what is already a good midfield, so hopefully with the rest of the season to keep picking up minutes here and there by next season he should be ready to go on a run of performances in the team. Another important midfielder for next season is club record signing Erik Lamela, this season we’ve seen some of his potential and I feel with him its very much a case of ‘when’ instead of ‘if’. Sherwood was quoted saying a couple of weeks ago saying that he fancies Lamela in the role just behind the striker and in my opinion that would be a good move, he’s capable of beating his man and is very pacey and skillful. After a full season, I would expect Erik to acclimatise a bit more with learning the language and building his body more to deal with the physicality of the Premier League, and once he does I would expect him and us to prosper.
Always seems to be our Achilles heel, Adebayor has recently found form and if he can keep it up will surely be here next season, to everyone’s surprise. Soldado I genuinely believe will find his form this second half of the season, early signs of his partnership with Ade looked quite promising and although Adebayor weighed in with all the goals it’s only a matter of time until Soldado starts getting a few himself, and I believe once he does he will never stop. However, with Defoe departing next month, it still leaves us a little light upfront. We’ve been linked with a last minute move for Berbatov and if he does make the move I would expect it to be only short term, personally I feel Kalou would be a much better option he would cost us £2 million more and like Berbatov has a good record of finding the back of the net in the Premier League. However, he has pace and would be a much better option off of the bench rather than Berbatov, Kalou’s style is much more like Defoe, unlike Berbatov who could be more trouble than it’s worth in these crucial upcoming months. Although, if Levy does move for Berbatov he may have a surprise in store for the summer, however, if he doesn’t he may finally feel now if the right time to turn to the youth. Unfortunately, at the age of 22 I feel time may be running out for Jordan Obika, currently on loan at Brighton, because a player of his age should really be challenging the first team rather than just going out on loan to another Championship team. One man who could make the cut next season though is Harry Kane, he’s been in and out of the team for a few years now and this season is finally starting to show some signs that he may be ready to make the step up. Kane, who scored a good goal to save a Capital One cup tie against Hull, has a good goal scoring record for the youth team and with a manager who knows him well in charge, he may finally feel the time is right to cement a more regular spot.
It seems that with every different week that passes by we seem to be linked to a new manager, we’ve been linked to Van Gaal, Pochettino and Laudrup to name a few. It seems as if no one is giving Tim Sherwood a chance, and I can’t see why because I’ve genuinely been impressed, and this is coming from a big AVB fan! He is a breath of fresh air, not scared to have a laugh in press conferences, and with he’s all out attacking approach I feel we are moving in the right direction. There were some worries about his inexperience however; I feel he is proving his doubters wrong with some good results. There are still some lessons that Tim needs to learn but with his philosophy of a British core along with youth, I think he is the right man to take us forward.
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