The Not-So Magnificent Seven

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Image: SpursWeb

Since I made my first foray in writing articles about Spurs, I have had a number of ideas about what article to write next.  Every time I thought I had a new idea, things would change and the article would seem dated.  Since this piece is going to focus on our current squad, we may have 2-3 new players by the time it shows up on the site.

Recently, Pochettino has come out and said we need to get rid of 7 players to get down to the magic number of 25.  (This excludes our most recent signing, DeAndre Yedlin since he finally signed the day I wrote this piece.  I’ll discuss him further on.  Did I mention how things change pretty quick during the silly season?) Even more recently, we found out there are 11 players up for sale if the right suitor, i.e. the club with the right amount of money, comes along.  So, who are these “not-so-magnificent seven”?  This will surely be contentious, but here’s my opinion by positions.  Since there are a number of players who can play in different positions, I’ve put them in the position where I think they best serve the team.

Goalkeepers (3)-This is the easiest, isn’t it?  Hugo Lloris starts, Michael Vorm is the backup and Brad Friedel continues to focus on his coaching badges while wearing a goalkeeper jersey.  Being an American, I have always loved Friedel, so I’m glad he will be joining the coaching ranks and is staying withTottenham.

Fullbacks (5)-First, let’s look at who we have: Walker, Rose, Naughton, Assou-Ekotto, Fryers, Davies, and Vertonghen (he loves playing on the left, doesn’t he?).  Alright, all joking aside, here we go.  Walker is injured, but he is surely in.  Since he is injured, it means Naughton is now indispensible (never thought you would hear that, huh?).  I think Davies will come through and Rose will stick around for Europa League and cup games.  That leaves only one other spot.  I give it to Fryers due to his versatility.  Farewell Assou-Ekotto, you were entertaining, but not always for the right reason.  Much like the cyber geeks living in a basement hoping to date a model, let’s take what we can get for Ekotto.  On a personal note, I will miss seeing the hair, which is a line I have been saying now for about 10 years.  Since Yedlin will be out on loan, he won’t be playing with us this season.  I do look forward to a Walker/Yedlin battle next year.  Since I am a homer, I hope Yedlin is able to take Walker’s place.

Center halves (4)-Again, we have Kaboul, Vertonghen,Chiriches, Dawson, and Dier.  Vertonghen and Dier are the only sure bets.  Vertonghen because he is proven and Dier because I hope we did not just purchase him for the fun of it.  For the other three, I guess I would keep Chiriches and Kaboul and sell Dawson.  I like Dawson, he’s been good, but his age is just getting to him and his lack of speed was found out numerous times last season.  It’s time.  Now, if we get Musacchio, I say we sell Kaboul.  While physically imposing, let’s face it, physically intimidating, he’s just too prone to injuries.  Let’s see how much we can get for him and wish him well.

Defensive midfielders (3)-This is a difficult one.  Do we keep Sandro or Capoue? I am not in the camp that thinks Sandro walks on water. While he can be very good, I say we let Sandro go simply because we don’t see his “greatness” enough.  He gets injured too often.  Personally, I get knots in my stomach watching him play because he can’t go more than 2-3 games without getting a card.  So, bye-bye Beast, we’ll miss you on social media.  Now, we keep Capoue and Bentaleb and send Mason out on loan.  I think Mason has potential, but he’s not quite there yet.  I really hope we find a Premier League team to take him.  If, by some chance, we do get Schneiderlein, then I think we send Bentaleb out on loan.  I like him and I think he has more potential, but Capoue is just slightly more established at this point.  That being said, it would not surprise me if Pochettino decided to go with Bentaleb because I think he would fit the coach’s pressing style a little better.

Midfielders (5)-Lennon, Lamela, Townsend, Chadli, Paulinho, Dembele, and Carroll.  Wow, where do we start?  Well, let’s rip that band-aid off right now.  Being a Yank, I am a relatively new Spurs fan and fell in love with seeing Bale and Lennon fly down the side.  While Bale has flown the nest, Lennon’s flight has gone from an F-18 to a crop duster.  Again, I like the guy, but it’s not the same Lennon he was.  Let’s sell him and move on.  Dembele is serviceable, but not good enough for this squad.  Sell.  Finally, the enigma that is Carroll.  Now, in full disclosure, I have not seen a lot of Carroll over the years.  I understand from other sources he is the English Iniesta that Spain wishes they had and I have heard him spoken of in reverent tones when he is lovingly called, “Tommy-[EXPLETIVE]-Carroll” by drunk Northeasterners, but I haven’t personally seen it.  Let’s loan him out one more year and hope he really improves because Iwould like to see him reach his full potential.  If Guarin or Depay, or another midfielder comes in, it should be at the expense of Chadli.

Attacking midfielders (2)-Eriksen, Holtby.  Eriksen is a no-brainer, in other words, a Tim Sherwood guy (too soon?).  I think Holtby will work well under Pochettino’s system and he is eager to prove himself in the Premier League, as long as it is not at Craven Cottage.

Strikers (3)-Adebayor, Soldado, and Kane, because there is no one else.  Can we please get another option? Now for a more controversial pick, if we somehow get another striker, I think we offload Adebayor. Yes, I know he scored some goals for us and it was mean old AVB’s fault Ade was left training with the kiddos, but I just don’t think he is consistent enough over a period of a season.  He drifts in and out of games.  I know his wage bill is very high, but if we can, we sell him in a heartbeat.

So, in summary, my not-so-magnificent seven come down to Assou-Ekotto (sell), Dawson (sell), Sandro (sell), Mason (loan), Lennon (sell), Dembele (sell), and Carroll (loan).  Yedlin is already going on loan.  If we get new players like Musacchio, Schneiderlein, Guarin/Depay, and an unnamed striker we will get at the closing minutes of the transfer day deadline, then the following will have to be shown the door: Kaboul (sell), Chadli (sell), Bentaleb (loan), and Adebayor (sell, sell, sell).

Since this is all so clear cut, I doubt I will see many comments.  Almost as much as I doubt Mourinho will be in the press much this season.  Come on you Spurs.

One last thing.  Prediction for this week’s match: Tottenham 3 – West Ham 1.  It’s going to be a long, long season for the Hammers and a very, very short one for Big Sam.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. I think you are way wrong about Dembele. Dembele was what got us to a record points haul in 12/13. Everyone will say it was Bales goals, and they sure helped, but when Bale was injured Dempsey, Siggy, Ade and Defoe all chipped in. But with Dembele injured we were only fraction of the team we were without him. Dembele was paired with every player we had in midfield Huddlestone, Holtby, Livermore, Parker, yet in only one game where Dembele played in that whole season did we concede more than 2 goals, and that was Liverpool at Anfield where Dembele was played as a right winger and really that game was decided by 2 mistakes by walker and defoe.

    Dembele was so good in 12/13 that I honestly thought last summer that Paulinho was only being signed as a back up to Dembele. Dembele doesn't score many, but he has like 90 something % pass completion, is an astounding dribbler of the ball, breaks up plays more than any other box to box in the league, reads the game brilliantly, allowing the fullbacks to push forward without ever leaving the defensive mid exposed. He is a player who is absolutely invaluable in the big games. In the big games Dembele as the box to box (working with a steely defensive mid) stops us from being completely routed as we were in the big games last season. IMO it was the loss of Dembele that saw Fulham go downhill drasticly in 2 seasons.

    We need to keep Dembele and I hope that Poch sees the good in him, otherwise some other team is going to pick up a gem for a bargain.

    BAE (sell or loan, whatever we can do with him)
    Dawson (has to go)
    Sandro (Im not so sure about I think Dembele is the key to Sandro and Sandro in the big games to Dembele)
    Lennon (sell as he isn't as good as our other options)
    Kaboul (sell as he seems like a player who only improves to an acceptable standard with gametime but is persistently injured and comes back awful each time)
    Carroll (loan – the boy has vision which is unteachable but lacks the skills required for holding down a central midfield position)
    Mason (loan deal required)
    Fryers (loan deal required, he'll learn nothing on the bench next season)
    Friedel (keep as a back up to Vorm and Lloris but not part of the 25man squad as think you can add a keeper in an emergency)

    We need another top defender (Dier looks an awesome signing by the way) to play next to Vertonghen and Musacchio would be class if we could get him.

    We need another player in the same mould as Eriksen and Lamela who has consistent game changing ability, intelligence, creativity, goals and (like Lamela and Eriksen) the ability to play in any of the 3 positions behind the striker. Roberto Firmino at Hoffenheim would be the best for this and is about the same age as Eriksen and Lamela, meaning that he should progress as they progress and hopefully form a partnership of greatness.

    That would be my hopes for the current squad.

  2. I would get rid of Paulinho in a heartbeat if any remotely decent bid came in for him. I like Dembele, i think if he gets a good run in the team this season he will be great. I would sell kaboul, dawson, lennon and naughton tomorrow, send benteleb and mason out on loan (benteleb would get alot from playing fro qpr). Sandro was one of the best defensive midfielder in europe a few seasons ago when he displaced scotty parker from the team, he has so much potential, i would keep him and see what he does when completely fit and gets a decent run in the team. I like the look of holtby as a deeper midfield playmaker. Chiriches was very impressive when he played and has lots of pace which is desirable. Thinking keeping carrol is a good idea so he can come off the bench as a plan b and make things happen. Something like this would be good for matchdays

    Lloris
    Walker, Chiriches, Vertongen, Davies
    Holtby, Sandro, Dembele
    Lamela, Adebayor, Eriksen

    Subs:
    Vorm, Townsend, Chadli, Soldado, Rose, Dier, Carrol

  3. While I agree with most of your comments(I think only AVB and Sherwood would disagree with them all, and that’s why we are here), they are glaringly obvious.

    All apart from Sandro.

    As ffgj(nice name) put, when on song, has been one of our best players, if not one of the best in the league. Not only does he play well on an individual level, he raises the rest of the team and the fans! Something we have seriously lacked since bale’s departure. Whilst we do have some talent, when Daws goes(inevitable surely) where are we going to find that passion, that player to lift the team and the roof off the lane?! Be careful not to overlook what a certain type of player can bring to the team outside of his technical ability. Long live the beast! COYS!

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