Another disappointing performance from the squad on Saturday proved that Tottenham is not the finished product yet and requires an addition of some sorts (whether it is in the form of player acquisitions or squad players needing to up their game or even the manager’s shortcomings needing to be corrected). Something is not right with the squad, but the question is what?
Although the team treated us to a great first half before disappointing us, again, in the second half some positives arose from the first half at least. We created good chances only to be denied by Jack Butland who made 5 important saves and I am finally allowed to say that Mousa Dembele was the best player on the pitch on Saturday. He was energetic and purposeful in his actions and personally i am pumped to see him build on this performance. The second half though was tragic as we gave away a 2 goal lead in 5 minutes.
Putting aside Toby’s silly penalty give away (one of those moments i’m trying to push out of my memory) i thought that our defense was plainly awful. Kyle Walker was demolished on the right and not offering too much of an end product when attacking his side his defensive shortcomings in the game can be seen as both goals came from the right (the penalty was given on the right side of the area and the cross from Ireland came from the right unchallenged by the way) and while Ben Davies assisted a goal and was generally a danger, it seemed to me that Kyle’s performance was below par on Saturday.
Putting defensive issues aside due to options being available on the bench in Kieran Trippier, Kevin Wimmer and Danny Rose returning and individual qualities that breed confidence that the team, at least defensively, will come good, my main concern is more on the other obvious cock ups on other areas of the pitch, the most obvious being the lack of a striker besides Harry Kane. Although Clinton N’Jie has since signed for us, I have a feeling the lad will occupy a more wide role as another clear issue was our lack of speed, thus another attacking acquisition is required.
The rumor mill is running wild with our reported interest on Saido Berahino and although i personally enjoy watching the lad, the price tag of 25 million pounds is too much even for a player who has potential and a goal-scoring record in PL ( last season he scored 20 in 45 appearances and assisted 6, but in 13-14 he scored 11 in 36 appearances and assisted 2). If we can score a deal with a lowered fee he would be a dream addition to the team, with reports that WBA are in for Fazio we could strike a win-win deal (removing a player reportedly we don’t want and getting a player we certainly need). Also, it should be viewed as equally vital to sign a DM, but seemingly interest in that position from us (At least from what i see in the rumor mill) has cooled off and although I personally find Eric Dier’s performances adequate so far regarding that role, i do think the absence of a clear defensive midfielder will be felt if we don’t fill the gap. Of the players currently in our squad there is one a feel he obviously needs to step up his game and that is Erik Lamela (Especially after what is now referred to around the web as “the worst sub performance ever”). Last year he had a mixed season with flying highs and staggering lows yet he did finish as our leading player in assists (7 in the PL 10 in total) attempted the most dribbles in the squad (1.7 per game) and had the second highest key passes per game from our squad (1.8 per game) second only to Eriksen, thus playing a vital part of spurs last year. As for our gaffer I feel that he is the man to take us forward and this year the activity in the transfer market made seem reasonable and part of a greater scheme. My only concern is he has adapted a more boring system than the high pressing he is known for (which we have yet to see hopefully this is the year he finally uses it), yet i am reserved that once he completes his transfer activity and the whole team is fully fit he will start showing us the attacking football we have been craving.
I feel that the problem so far this year is that our shortcomings and the areas we need reinforcing that have not yet been filled have been showcased too early in the season and as expected we got anxious and an unwelcome reminder that we still are not ready or finished in any way. But i feel optimistic, I have faith in the staff, in the gaffer and in the squad that with time, confidence and fitness we will have a breakthrough season into Champions League level through either PL or the Europa League. Our defense needs time to gel and our attacking and creative sector needs the confidence to start winning games and like many other teams in the PL we are not ready yet. Looking at the new season none of the top six had a flying start, except Man City (Man U and Liverpool did also win both of their first matches but were not showcasing their strengths and to me looked a bit shaky and certainly not impressive), which goes to show that an early start was not ideal for many teams. My suggestion is patience, optimism and support of our squad and staff, so we can help them fulfill their potential and reach our goals, negativity and skepticism is understandable but unnecessary and works against building confidence.
The stats for Saido Berahino were found on http://www.transfermarkt.com/saido-berahino/leistungsdaten/spieler/128897/plus/?saison=2013
The Lamela assist stats were found on http://www.transfermarkt.com/tottenham-hotspur/leistungsdaten/verein/148/reldata/%262014/plus/1
All other stats were found on http://www.whoscored.com/Teams/30/Archive?stageId=9155
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