For every Spurs fan in the world this yearâ€™s run in the Champions League is nothing short of the stuff wet dreams are made of. Beating Inter at the Lane, sneaking a win away to Milan, and just being at the Bernabeu for a quarter final tie is nothing short of remarkable for a team making its debut in the competition.
But what has suffered is our form in the league and this season the ingredient we have lacked is the 20 goal-a-season striker. For once we can boast two midfielders in Van der Vaart and Bale that have managed to back up the strikers by hitting double figures for goals in all competitions. The top 3 sides have midfielders that do this year in, year out. Van der Vaart is 6th top scorer in the league, this has kept us hanging on in the race for fourth, without his contribution we wouldnâ€™t have been as competitive since our forwards have been anonymous.
There is no arguing in the Champions League Crouch has been affective for assists as well as chipping in with 4 goals, but his return has only been 11 goals in all competitions this season. Â He may have made an impact in the Champions League where European teams donâ€™t know how to deal with him, but domestic sides had him sussed a while ago. For a man of his size Crouch should dominate and attack everything in the air, instead he floats like a feather and usually wins headers on the way down.
The rest havenâ€™t been much cop either. Defoe has looked half the striker this season, in a year where he should be starting to peak, he has turned in one of his worst seasons in memory. The only highlight in my mind is the two goals against Wolves. The reason for his poor form is unknown, but could revolve around fatigue from too much shagging or the huge chip on his shoulder weighing him down. He has been vocal about Redknapp dropping him in certain games, but Jermain the stats donâ€™t lie my friend 24 games, 7 goals. Poor.
This brings us to the frustration that is Pavlyuchenkoâ€¦at times he is one of the best finishers around, I am going to have to quote Maverick (Top Gun) on this one â€˜You don’t have time to think up there. If you think, you’re deadâ€™, stick to rules Maverichenko, no thinking and you will be alright. One thing that gets me about Pav is that he could be good, but he is just so lazyâ€¦I canâ€™t decide whether he is hung-over all the time or hasnâ€™t had enough pre-game vodka.
If we would have had a 20 goal striker, like last season, where would we be now? Adding the goals in midfield would have cemented us in the top four this year, but due to our strikers impotent performances we have had to suffer another season of having to take this to the wire. In a lot of games we have missed that cutting edge, that striker to make the difference, score those half chances. January was truly a costly month for us.
I posed this question to Redknapp a couple of weeks ago, he said he just couldnâ€™t get what he was looking for. But in my opinion going for the likes of Rossi or Aguero he was barking up the wrong tree. Sure both of these are outstanding players who I would want at the Lane, however I donâ€™t think either one of these compact strikers would have affectively played the lone striker role up front. I asked Redknapp about someone like Llorente, he said he likes him, but doubts we can afford his wages!
The bottom line in this conversation was when I asked how many strikers out there can play alone upfront, hold up the ball, win headers, move well, be good on the deck, and score goals? Redknappâ€™s answer was that you struggle to get this type of striker which is why Torres cost Â£50m and Dzeko Â£27m. So listen up Harry here are some Strikers that could do a job alone or with a partner:
Fernando Llorente Torres: The 6ft 5ins striker is growing in reputation in Spain, currently the third choice in the national team behind Torres and Villa, he needs to leave Athletic Bilbao if he is to become a true â€˜playerâ€™. He has a good record this year, 4 in 4 for Spain and 17 goals in 35 games for Bilbao, 2.05 goal to game ratio. There is a little bit of work to be done on his all round play, but can score and is a contenderâ€¦I am sure we can afford his wages when Crouch is reportedly on 100k per week.
Didier Drogba: Now this maybe a little controversial and I am not a Drog lover but the guy fits the bill. This 6ft 2ins powerhouse has been a menace to defences in the Premier League for the last 7 years, wouldnâ€™t need much time to settle and could supply the goals and mentality we need for at least a season. His contract on has a season to run and with the arrival of Torres, Chelsea will surely offload him.
Edinson Cavani: This guyâ€™s name has been mentioned a lot of late, well why wouldnâ€™t you after Cavaniâ€™s return this season of 32 goals in 44 games. Labelled a â€˜wonderkidâ€™ he has the lot, 6ft 2ins, 24 years old, quick, good movement, great technique, can score right foot/left foot/head. Cavani is the real deal. He loves a goal celebration and will fit in perfectly in the Prem as has sh*t hair.
Other possibles: Papiss Cisse (29 apps, 22 goals SC Freiburg), Mario Gomez (42 apps, 34 goals Bayern Munich), Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (30 apps, 10 goals Schalke), Hulk (48 apps, 33 goals Porto).
Best Buy: Cavani, he is a little bit special, only concern is he has only come alive this seasonâ€¦but with such as good season under his belt, the chances of getting him could be slim.
By Nick Walter
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