A No-Win situation at White Hart Lane


It was just three days ago that myself, along with most of the Lilywhite fan base, could take a big sigh of relief as we laid our eyes on the favorite words of any Spurs fan: ‘’We are delighted to announce that we have reached an agreement…’’

It seems like our 4 year wait for a world class striker has finally reached it’s end thanks to the fact that we have landed The Soldier. How we managed to lure him from sunny Spain to the rainy Lane? Only Don Baldini knows, but nevertheless, we can finally say that we’ve solved our striker problems and therefore managed to build a decent enough squad to proper challenge the top part of the table. Right?

Unfortunately not.

For the record, I feel the need to state that in general I’m more than happy with the signings we’ve made so far in the form of Paulinho, Chadli and Soldado. We’ve solved the ‘Striker Problem’ with Soldado, provided cover and competition for Lennon and Bale with the signing of Chadli (Townsend is not quite there yet) while the prospect of having a three man midfield of Dembele, Sandro and Paulinho is something that makes every Spurs fan drool in excitement.

However, something that worries me even more than Bale leaving is the sudden shortage solid defenders we have the back. It has to be said that, in my opinion, Spurs had a solid central defense lineup with Dawson, Caulker, Vertonghen and Kaboul which had everything. Strength (Kaboul), experience (Dawson), skills (Vertonghen) and talent (Caulker).

After the unbelievable sale of Steven Caulker to Cardiff, though, we are in a very bad place indeed when it comes to our central defense. Seeing as both Dawson and Kaboul in general, while both more than solid defenders, tend to be rather injury prone and Zeki Fryers being short of the quality we need, Levy needs to step up the chase for a quality CB before we start conceding the same amount of goals that mid-table teams like Fulham, West Ham etc. do week in week out. That would surely see us short of a Champions League place, Soldado or not.

Vertonghen proved a class signing last season for a fair amount and proved to be one of the top central defenders in the League. So, who should we look to sign?

Clearly the two top targets lately have been Toby Alderweireld and Vlad Chiriches but seeing as the move for Chiriches might not be happening and with no real news Alderweireld either, perhaps we should take a look at some other rocks at the back. For example, maybe we could launch a bid for one of Schalke’s 3 talented defenders in the form of Höwedes, Matip and Papadopoulos. Höwedes proving to be a leader of men with solid international experience while Matip and Papadopoulos both being solid young defenders capable of performing at the level we need. Or go for someone more experienced like Adil Rami who would theoretically be a great partner for Vertonghen with his strength, experience and aerial ability. Last but not least, we could look at the Premier League itself for replacements. Perhaps launch a bid for Ashley Williams? Realistic replacements are everywhere to be seen Mr.Levy. Get involved.

Obviously, easier said than done but one thing is for sure. Attack wins you games, defence wins you trophies. And that last part is a bit problematic right now to say the least.

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    • I don't think it IS premature Stuart. We're in the situation of having Dawson and Verts injured, Kaboul not yet match fit and we've sold Caulker without having a replacement signed. Maybe we've got time to sign another defender, but we need to do it in the next couple of days so that the new player has chance to settle in, because, whoever we sign, it looks as if he'll be starting the first few games of the new season.

      • Since when did levy sign players in time to "settle in", we'll get a couple of CB's on deadline day if we're lucky, drop points in the first few games due to defensive blunders and you know the rest.

    • Selling Caulker does seem strange considering Gallas had already been released and Kabs and Verts were injured. It can only mean one thing…. That someone is lined up already! Whether it is a makeweight in the supposed Bale deal or a stand alone new signing. Having signed a star striker and a stand out midfielder, I believe that it will be a considerable CB. I'm not sure who but AVB looks like he is building a real spine to the team. We have the aforementioned signings and the France national 'Keeper/captain Lloris. I can only see it being someone in the same mould. My real concern is the left back role. I love Benny but he seemed off the boil last year. Neither Naughton nor Rose are good enough.

  1. stop panicking, chiriches is on after either their upcoming CL qualifiers (makes sense really) or if we up the offer a couple of mil. no worries. yes caulker going is baffling but we must have a buy back clause on that one, levy is no fool. i expect us to sign at least one experienced centre half seeing as vert / kab & daws are liable to get injured… but honestly huddlestone can play that position quite well against teams we dominate against but against our main rivals for top 4 i dont think hudd would cut it, but in games we dominate possession hudd gets to dictate from the back with sublime passing. we also have the best tackler /intercepor in the world in sandro… we are a team that will dominate most midfields next season with the fearsome sublime trio of sandro / dembele & paulinho. most games we play will see opposition parking the bus. defence does need one more in the middle and possible a fullback but i think we will be a team not built from the back but based on ball domination and retention. im very much optimistic for the new season regardless of if bale stays, we still have a pretty decent squad and currently its better than the goons, our main rivals for 4th spot….if they get suarez things will be different though COYS, spend wisely Mr Levy

  2. Kaboul, Dawson and ventoghen. We don't need another centre back which is why we let Caulker go. We do need a full back though. If we sell Ade or Defoe we will also need another top striker.

  3. We need some exact news about the injuries to our players. How far are Kaboul,Vertongen and Sandro from fitness? Why didn't Holtby and Paulinho yesterday ?


  5. Townsend HAS been 'ready' for the last season or two- now what he NEEDS is opportunities (at Spurs) to prove it! Yes, he is still raw and inexperienced (at EPL level), but he is also IMMENSELY talented. How is he supposed to sharpen/refine his game, if he is consistently sat on the bench week-in, week-out- with 20 min spells late on in games to make an impact??? The kid is 22, NOT 17,18 or 19. If he is not ready now than I think we should just accept he never will be (at Spurs, at least).

    If your going to spout nonsense about certain players 'not being ready' or good enough to play for Spurs, at least back it up with a reason why you think that is the case!

    Townsend has been on loan at half of the teams in the country, has played a lorry load of games and SHONE last season in the EPL playing for one of the worst teams to ever compete in the top flight. And you still say he isn't ready!!! All of that is without mentioning the fact he has been one of our brightest performers over the course of the pre-season programme, without really getting much of a look in, as far as a starting berth in the side is concerned.

    As far as the CB position goes, I'd put money on Vlad Chiriches turning up at the training centre once his team have played their CL qualification match (fingers crossed they get KO). Steven Caulker was a good prospect, but this guy is a great one. If I was Levy, though, I would have inserted a 'buy back' clause into the deal with Cardiff for the moment that Dawson moves on.

    Even though Levy has done a lot of his business early this year, it seems we are still destined to head into the upcoming campaign with more questions than answers.

    Is Bale going to be sold? How many players will we bring in to replace him, bearing in mind that Dempsey has also gone? What is happening with Ade (who played no part against S China, despite travelling to HK with the squad) and BAE who has barely featured all pre-season? Will Fryers and Kane be their direct replacements or will they be loaned out? Where has Lewis Holtby been? Is Kaboul still injured? etc,etc

    The questions go on, and on, with the season just two weeks away… Expect a (potentially) busy fortnight ( or maybe even month) of transfer activity at WHL…At least their is one thing we CAN say with a large degree of certainty- It won't be dull!!!

    • On Vlad Chriches move after Champions League qualifier I wouldn't hold your breath, Steaua Bucharest won the away leg 2-0. The only way we will get him before January is if UEFA wake up and ban Steaua from UEFA competition on the grounds that there owner, a corrupt and racist ex-MP serving 3 years in jail was responsible for stopping the transfer which must surely be against UEFA regulations. Kane hardly excelled on loan at Norwich, Leicester or Millwall and Fryers is far too inexperienced, he probably needs to go on loan for a year. Until it is known if Gareth Bale is staying or going, it is pretty pointless bandying about names of playmakers/forwards, Townsend could do a job for us, just sometimes he needs to play in others rather than go it alone.

      • I think the Steaua owner sounds like the type of man who likes his ego to receive a good massage before he plays ball, and I've heard that Baldini is quite adept at that! if the deal was EVER REALLY ON to begin with, then I am not too sure how a banged chairmen suddenly changes that. Chuck in another £m and an apology for the 'misunderstanding' and I think the deal becomes viable, again.

        The signing of Vlad is the only thing that really makes sense, with Caulker leaving without a replacement already in place.

        I thought Kane did well yesterday when he came on. Never really seen him play before but he retained possession/won FK in key areas, moved well around the park and used the ball intelligently. He also took his goal very well too. I am NOT saying that he should be considered as a viable choice to start on the bench, or even stay at the club, but he definitely showed some promise. Is he a top 4 striker, in my opinion? NO. But there are 20 teams in the EPL.

        As far as Townsend goes, I think this kid COULD be the real deal! He has all the tools to become a top-class winger should he get regular game time. I've been saying it since I saw him destroy Charlton in the league cup a few years back. Two-footed, quick and skillful, Andros just needs (more) experience of playing with quality players, and I'm sure he will develop in no time.

        Agree , that his decision making isn't always the best, but I think his single-mindedness is one of his greatest strengths, too. He just needs to learn how to harness it!

  6. Yes agree with you above. Watching yesterday was a bit of a shock how easy we were taken apart at the back, but as u say, 2 weeks still to go for new signings and for the others to get fit. As we all saw, only 3/4 of yesterday's starting 11 will b there against Palace and maybe even on Sat in the next friendly.The worry is the strength in depth we seem to lack again, to many young an inexperianced players on the bench. I no they have to start sometime,but not to many at the same time. The season is long and games come fast.

  7. baldini has been brought in to secure transfers but everything seems to be in SHAMBLES, it seems to me to be a total lack of organisation both on and off the pitch.Watching the game last night was frightening, we know its only a pre season friendly and basically we fielded a reserve/youth team, but correct me if i'm wrong but these games are supposed to be a run out for our 1st team squad for fitness and bedding in new players. I know we seem to have lots of injuries AGAIN![ makes me wonder if they do enough fitness work at spurs] and as normal new players do not seem to be brought in earlier enough in order to get to know their new team mates, resulting in a poor start to the season like last year and the same will happen this season! And we wonder why we didn't get c/l football this year.The premier league is the most competitive in the world and we cannot afford another slow start, but all this seems to be lost on those who run the club and we find ourselves in the same predicament as the previous 2 seasons with another star player seemingly unsettled which again will affect the whole squad resulting in dropped points, this is the main factor to why we haven't qualified for the champions league in the past 2 seasons.Why is it we have to endure all this crap once again from real madrid, what is it with the silence from the club, if Bale's not for sale then tell them to f ### off publicly, if they want to cash in on him then tell them exactly how much you want and either put up or p ### off!
    For god sake levy grow a set and stand up to these pricks and FFS get our season on track. We have a good coach and i believe we are only 3 or 4 top players away from challenging for the title but that will never happen if we continue to follow this path.

    • I'd hardly call things a shambles…we've signed 3 very capable players and for all we know are in for a couple more. It's never easy watching your team get thrashed wether it be a friendly with only a handful of first team players playing or it be an important game with a fully fit first 11, but essentially, yesterdays game didn't matter, the only game that matters is Crystal Palace on the 18th. I think we're in a win win situation with Bale, if he goes we get a huge chunk of cash to go and get 2/3 quailty signings with and if he stays we've got a world class player that will score goals. The defensive situation is unfortunate, but Dawson and Kaboul haven't been ruled out for the Palace game yet plus there is still plenty of time to get cover. Think we all need to calm down, things really are not that bad :)

  8. We should sign Alderweireld or Chirces for the defense, sell Adebayor and maybe purchase another young bargain striker. A LB isn't needed as long as we have Rose.

  9. Despite all the uncertainty regarding how the squad will actually look on September 1st, I must say I AM as optimistic as ever about the upcoming campaign.

    The bonus this year has to be that although the squad is still relatively unsettled, in terms of potential incomings and outgoings, we start the season with a VERY winnable game against Palace, and with the qualification matches in the Europa League, which if were honest shouldn't be too challenging for a team of our quality, should provide an opportunity for the players to gel/find a rhythm.

    I also wouldn't be surprised if some behind-closed doors friendly games are arranged over the next couple of weeks to allow key players (Holtby, Vertonghen, Sandro, Ade, Soldado, Kaboul, Chadli, and perhaps even Bale) an opportunity to sharpen their bodies and minds before we begin the season proper.

    I, actually, would expect us to be involved in a minimum of 5/6 games, including Crystal Palace and EL games, between now and the Swansea fixture at home, on August 25th, which SHOULD be more than enough time for the side to form some level of decent understanding.

    Obviously, what would help the Spurs cause immensely would be if a certain Gareth Bale started acting like the 'good boy' everyone keeps saying he is, gets his head and starts playing for the club that is currently paying his wages! I think both him and his agents action this summer have been boarder-line scandalous to be perfectly honest.

    The only thing Bale seems to be interested in playing at the moment is 'the coward', who is afraid to formally state his desire to leave the club by handing in a transfer request, or speaking publically on the issue of his future. You can say what you want about Luka Modric but at least he left us in little doubt of his desire to leave Spurs.
    The only similarities between the two, now, is that they both signed new long-term contracts a year before they decided to become complete pains in the arse for the team, the board and the supporters!
    And anyone who thinks that Bales agent, Jonathan Barnett, who showed up on Marca Tv, at the beginning of the summer, was there WITHOUT Gareth's approval, must be equally naive as those who believe that the Welshman is currently nursing anything other battered ego, at present!

    I suppose that these types of incidents only PROVES one thing….Anyone can be 'nice/good' until they fail to get what they want. It is only when this happens that their TRUE character will be revealed!!!


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