Life without Luka


So we find ourselves at the dawn of a “new era” for Tottenham Hotspur, under their new messiah Andres Villas-Boas and with everybody’s favourite puppetmaster Daniel Levy pulling the strings. We’ve witnessed the start of the old guard bowing out with Ledley King’s retirement and are beginning to see a rejuvenation of their squad with Vertonghen and Sigurрsson being brought in, also Bale being signed up on a four year contract. But it was always going to be Tottenham’s midfield maestro Modric who would cause the most trouble and as usual the Modric merry go round is in full swing. So the football machine will trundle on, Modric will leave and Spurs will pocket an estimated €35-45 million into an already modest transfer kitty. And Villas-Boas and every other Spurs fan will ask the question, how do we fill the 5 ft 7 hole left in our midfield?

AVB will be studying his squad as they tour the US, looking for weaknesses and strengths and will return to the transfer market accordingly, but will he find a replacement for our playmaker inside the squad? AVB will most likely play a 4-3-3 formation, a box to box defensive midfielder step forward Mr. Parker, an attacking minded mid in Van der Vaart and then a deep lying playmaker. So with Sandro as cover for Parker and Sigurdsson as cover for an injury prone Van der Vaart, so who’s left to fill the gap? Tom Huddlestone looks to be Tottenham’s only credible option internally.

There is a serious gap in quality between Tottenham’s Player of the season 2011-12 and the Thud. Huddlestone does have a pinpoint accurate long pass and his thunderbolt long shots can strike fear into any keeper. But his mobility was in serious question, and that was before he spent a whole season sitting on the bench injured.
Also he lacks a certain flair and creative aspect that is a bare bones necessity for the playmaker type Spurs need to push forward, and I feel if Villa-Boas were too simply shove Huddlestone in the playmaker hole we may do a lot worse than 4th place next season.

I feel it will be a very hard task for Villas-Boas to find a player better than Luka; who will be willing to come to Tottenham. Modric is one of the most creative midfield talents in football at the moment, as only David Silva, Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Ronaldo, Sneijder or Pirlo would rank above Modric. And if I see any of these stars pictured with a Spurs jersey on the back pages of a newspaper, I will duly print this article out and eat it whole. As realistically we don’t have the financial backing in terms of exorbitant transfer fees and our wage cap restrictions also combine to hinder the move of a real superstar to White Hart Lane. The idea of a world class playmaker taking a step down from one of Europe’s best sides to Spurs; who next season will be playing football in the Europa League is realistically only a faint fairytale.

So the powers at be in the Spurs boardroom must find the best replacement possible. The most likely suspect at the moment seems to be Joao Moutinho, as Porto’s playmaker he was part of Porto’s treble winning side two years ago under the management of one Andre Villas-Boas. He played the very same playmaker role in the same 4-3-3 formation so will have no problem adapting to the manager or his formation, the only negative aspect is how well will he survive with the physical side to the English Premier League.

He is valued at €24 million a price which Levy and Villas-Boas have originally viewed as too steep. But Porto boss Vitor Pereira is reported to be in no rush to sell his chief playmaker Moutinho. It seems Levy will have to fork out the €24 million if Spurs are to secure Moutinho’s signature, but if Tottenham receive the rumoured €40 million from Real Madrid or PSG along with our existing transfer kitty, then surely that would cover the cost of Moutinho and some badly needed striker reinforcements.

Either way Tottenham need to keep signing players of Champions League calibre to keep in line with Chelsea, as they bankroll a new title challenging side, Manchester City’s starting eleven with its combined worth of over €300 million and Manchester United’s team with even Alex Ferguson splashing cash this transfer window. So with AVB promising so much and with Luka Modric’s bags basically packed, set to leave a gaping hole in the middle of this Spurs side. I just pray Levy has a master plan and will sign a top quality replacement for the imminent exit of Modric or this Tottenham side will slip backwards having being so close to the old glory glory days at the Lane.

By Jack Power

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  1. Cnt see parker playin much tbh. Sandro and livermore are much more mobile and both are a hell of a lot better with the ball. Modric is gunna be a tough act to follow. Would love it to be sneijder but theres more chance of me playin than that happening.

  2. Your whole point is that in a life without Luka we'll have to replace Luka and Huddlestone isn't a creative mid? Nice article.

  3. I didn't read all this article – kinda stopped when I saw that the author seems to think Parker is a better player than Sandro! Although Parker did well for us last season, he is someone who is limited in his abilities and those abilities are ontheir way down. I cannot see any improvement in his game due to his age. Sandro, on the other hand is young, and more dynamic and has many more attributes that PArker once did in his earlier years. I think this year, it'll be Sandro as first choice DM, with Parker his backup (if you wanna look at it as 1 in 1 out; I'd rather view it as both will be rotated consistently throughout the season to keep both fresh) – If Redknapp was still here, yeah I would see Parker as 1st choice, as he loves his oldies! This is one of the reasons why Redknapp was sacked! Please don't hang on to Harry's mentatlity – Parker is World -Class in his eyes! – Spurs will never get anywhere with that sought of mindset!

    • I too had my doubts when Harry decided to bring in Parker at his age and lack of pace. yet, taking a long good look at him, I've noticed that what he lacks in speed he makes up for with his ability to read the game. He has good vision and he is a scrapper, a dogged defender who will intimidate attackers for dribbling freely up the middle. he is a tough customer who knows if he needs to take a yellow card for a guy that is having his way just to send a message, he sure will. He's not the most modile guy, but if you tell him to stick someone, parker will flat be an annoyance. Sandro has better upside but certainly Parker is no bench warmer or regular sub, at least not yet. rotating them depending on the oponent and the calibre of match is not a shabby idea.

  4. Sandro will be our box to box player next season – he’s going to be one of the best in the mould in the PL. huddlestone may not be the most creative, but with the pace of Lennon, bale and walker alike he can ping balls in to spaces unlike many. Moutinho is bound to come in, had a great euro so I’m optimistic. Don’t like to article-bash, but this is pretty lame pal.

    • The whole sandro bit, I can agree with. Walker is a given. they should take a long look at Kyle naughton as well, the lad's got pace and seems to cover and recover well, and that takes care of Corluka's vacated spot. Moutinho may come in, but I really wished they looked at the cheaper and in my opinion better alternative in Ganso. Along with Sandro, that's 2 Brazilians who read the game pretty darn well. Next up, the Brazilian born Mexican national Gio Dos Santos; loads and loeads of talent. He is fast, certainly not Aaron lennon fast, but has better than decent speed to play on the right wing, but what is better with Gio over lennon is that (a) he has a better shot than Lennon and (b) he can twist a defender into knots with his skill and (c) I fancy Gio as a better passer of the ball. 3 out of 4 gives him the nod. Now if AVB can manage to bring in on a realistic note Damaio without breaking the Spurs piggy bank for Hulk, then we will have a very fearsom quartet and puts us in a top 3 position rather than struggling to make 4th.

      • I far as I know, goo has only played a handful of times in Epl. Not sure how you can deem any of his qualities ahead of Lennon when Lennon has proven it numerous times. Gio's only good performance was against Shamrock…whereas Lennon has scored against Chelsea, Arsenal and played well against tough teams. Lennon's mere presence on the field causes the opposition to double up on him, which makes him a valuable weapon. Yes, Lennon has an Adebayor-cum-Crouchinho-cum-powderpuff shot…. And prone to hamstring pulls… But I doubt that we will ever see the best of Gio, because it has been in Spain or for Mexico… I don't think he fits in here….but for me he is not a winger, so if he is gonna make a career here's, it is up front. If Spurs do not sign strikers, it will have to be Gio….

  5. Truth be told, Spurs needs at least 3 or 4 more signings to sure up things in such a way where we are able to strike fear even in the likes of Chelsea, Man U and Man C. We need to stop drawing cheap games and we need to win a bit more maches against top 7-10 teams on the road. it doesn't look like Loic remy wants to go anywhere especially to the Lane and Marsielle seems reluctant in letting him go. The Adebayor saga is frustrating and may eventually not end up being worth it. it may leave us in a position where we could ill afford to part ways with the likes of Defoe and Dos Santos. Besides, I haven't heard anything lately on the transfer possibility of Krasic and Dzagoev coming to WHL. It seems we cast out line in deep water to attract big bites but we seem not to be using shiney lures and tasty baits.

  6. Anyone think this formation could actually work next season?





  7. Not sure where all this Sandro confidence comes from. I believe that he will be a very good player, but Sandro is still unproven. Last season he struggled for form after injury until the very end of the season. Parker won player of the year playing for a relegated side in West Ham. Then came here and was our player of the season. I can see combos of Sandro, Parker, Hudd playing together. There is no ONE replacement for Modric. I also believe he is a better player than Silva – they simply play different roles. For Modric to pull strings in deep midfield, yet not be a weak link in midfield is amazing. Silva does not need to concern himself with holding midfield together like Modders does. Let's accept Real's next offer, sign two strikers and back up LB, and we are ready.

  8. I just don’t see our major issues in midfield to be honest. Between the players that didn’t play much last year or were on loan – hudd, gio, sandro, pienaar – AVB should be able to cover sufficiently for the loss of modric. Where we do need help is upfront. Frankly, I’d prefer to see the modric fee invested in someone like llorente or a striker of

    similar caliber. Assuming that ade deal gets done I would feel pretty good with what we have then. In a way, I feel like someone like moutinho will actually

    further delay the development of above midfielders and still leave us without the scoring capabilities we need to succeed.


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