Roughly a month has gone since we finished 5th in the 2012/2013 season. Looking back at last summer, things were really different from today. The disappointment of finishing 4th with no Champions League to look forward to meant we had a long summer ahead. The troubles were many: the sacking of Harry Redknapp (he brought this upon himself, enough has already been written about this), the ongoing transfer saga of Luka Modric, the retirement of the legend Ledley King and the question of which direction Tottenham were actually taking.
Daniel Levy decided to give Andre Villas-Boas the chance to ‘fix’ his name and reputation in England but after 2 points from the first three games; people were starting to doubt him again. I remember watching those two first home games against WBA and Norwich (1-1 in both) and thinking: “Who is this man? We are Spurs, we should go ‘all out’ attack at home and he is putting Livermore and Sandro together in the middle!?” The fact is: our squad was not ready (as always in mid-August); we had one striker in Jermain Defoe, plenty of half fit players coming back from injury and the players were also adjusting to the new training regime. These things take time. The victory at Old Trafford in September was really underrated for AVB. That bought him a lot of time, luckily.
Although it was disappointing to finish 5th this year, no one can really complain. The players gave it their all. The truth is that we lacked a few players in certain areas at crucial times and should have bought a striker in January (how long are we going to say this?). We had a new manager in his first season and he took our points tally to an all-time high. What more can he do? Our squad was arguably weaker than the year before.
What we are experiencing this summer is a much more calm and focused summer. AVB shrugs PSG and their billions off, confirms that Bale is staying and we get Franco Baldini jetting around the world trying to tie down some new, excellent players. There is no player pushing for a move to another club. I feel that if Daniel Levy gives AVB and Baldini a transfer kitty at about £50m, we can really push. The upcoming season is really important for us in terms of keeping Gareth Bale.
If we cannot show him any progress it will be hard to keep him. I can’t wait till next season. Just the thought of Sandro, Dembélé and Paulinho in one midfield gives me a smile. Just stay calm and put your trust in AVB, Levy and Baldini. I know I am.
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