A United fan once casually strolled up to me and asked: â€œYou know what the FC after â€˜Tottenham Hotspurâ€™ stands for, right?â€ At the time I was sure I did but I stood corrected. â€œFeeder Club,â€ is what he insisted. This was post-Carrick and post-Berbatov. Our once talismanic Irishman had also recently ventured north, turning a different shade of red to the other two. Levy, despite recuperating massive funds from these sales, had become a hugely unpopular figure amongst the White Hart Lane faithful.
â€œYou know the FC after â€˜Manchester Unitedâ€™ stands for something quite different, right?â€ I had quipped back. Itâ€™s the sort of â€œFCâ€ a disgruntled â€˜Arry Redknapp might use. But all the swearing the world wasnâ€™t going to change the fact he was right. We had become a feeder club.
How times have changed. Having coughed-up more cash than pretty much anyone else in the League over the last few years (City and Chelsea aside), Levy capped the dry summer of 2010 with the exquisite acquisition of Rafael Van der Vaart, placing himself firmly back in the good books. But two of the most important signings of recent times have been that of players already on our books: Luka Modric and Gareth Bale. Success in the shape of a fourth-place finish has allowed us the luxury of keeping on to our stars.
But with the rumoured big-money move for Bale this summer (from the FCs at United?), only time will tell if his head has been turned. But Levyâ€™s investment and Redknappâ€™s direction have not only brought said success, but a squad that rivals the very, very best. Carrick, Berbatov and Keane were never really replaced â€“ the latter even by himself â€“ but Bale is different.
Just a year ago there was talk of him leaving for Nottingham Forest. Now donâ€™t get me wrong, heâ€™s as good as anyone in the Premier League right now. He is our in-form â€œstarâ€ player. I would be devastated to lose him, but heâ€™s not irreplaceable. No one in this Spurs squad is. When Modric got injured I thought we had blown it, but Bale stepped up, as did Niko. At times we seemed reliant on Lennon but we copped with his injuries and his dips in form. And Defoe â€“ with his stop-start approach to scoring â€“ was complimented Pav and Crouch. King â€“ consistently our best player when on the pitch â€“ was replaced by Bassong almost seamlessly.
We have plenty of star players in this Spurs team. Defoe, Lennon and Palacios will hit their strides again, Modric and Bale will continue to impress, and Van de Vaart and Sandro will set the Premier League alight. Ridiculous home defeats to relegation-threatened teams aside, itâ€™s a good time to be a Spurs fan.
By Anthony Pearce
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