We sold Elvis and bought the Beatles, as the story goes. Bale went and 7 new international players came in; Paulinho, Christian Eriksen, Roberto Soldado, Nacer Chadli, Etienne Capoue, Vlad Chiriches and Erik Lamela. They were regarded as flops with Lamela and Soldado at the top. They didn’t live up to their potential and because of it the papers and fans screamed, Levy jumped and two managers ended up being fired within a season. Just over one hundred million was spent. But I don’t believe that we should point the finger at those players or even the managers. To embed 7 new players within a season is an almost impossible task. The previous season Spurs would have been a poor side if it wasn’t for Bale. In his last season he had scored 21 goals. Then bringing in 7 new players to replace one without no coordination and familiarity with each other was bound to fail. Buying 7 new players should have meant a time to build, not a time to talk about a top 4 spot.
I have no doubt that the new manager will want some new players in for his first season at Spurs. But the bulk of last season’s new boys should be still here. Mauricio Pochettino is supposed to be good at man-management so his first real test will be to blend in the old, new and newish players into a fighting team. Southampton’s Rickie Lambert, now Liverpool’s new boy can’t speak highly enough of Mauricio Pochettino, his former manager. Lambert said, and I quote “Everything went my way at Southampton and each manager that came in improved me massively and especially Mauricio. He taught me how to be a different kind of player and I think that’s helping now.
“I never really got taught to be a striker in the first place and then I never got taught how to be a lone striker. He taught me how to be the lone striker and the thing that I was doing wrong most was the fact I thought I had to show for everyone on the pitch.
“Whoever had the ball, I felt I had to run over and show for the ball, get on the ball. He was saying ‘take your time’ and ‘wait until the right people have got on to the ball’ like Adam Lallana and others further up the pitch. After that, I had an understanding of how to play that position a lot better.”
Well, if he can do that for Lallana I am sure a seasoned pro like Soldado will be a piece of cake.
Mauricio Pochettino was a former Argentine footballer and played as a central defender. He was 17 years as a player; 10 of these years were at La Liga with Espanyol. He scored 13 goals in 275 games. He also played in France for Paris Saint-Germain and Bordeaux. He started his career at Newell’s Old Boys. On top of that he was an International for four years between 1999 and 2002 for Argentina. He also played in the World Cup for his country in 2002 and the 1999 Copa America Cup. So with his experience on the field and his experience managing Espanyol and Southampton (two different styles of football) he has enough experience (I hope) to put our misfits into some sort of organisation and challenge for fourth spot.
My thoughts on Soldado is that he was played out of position. He is more of a Jimmy Greaves sort of player (a box man); instead he was running around like a headless chicken at times. As for Erik Lamela he hasn’t been really tested as he has spent most of the season injured. Lamela is an Argentinian football player so should be on the same wavelengths as his new boss and compatriot. He should feel more at home and then there was the language he was struggling with. So not really a problem with the manager speaking in the same tongue.
I think the other players played reasonably well for their first season with Christian Eriksen the best and no doubt will improve even more. I thought the criticism against Paulinho by some was unfair. I thought he had a reasonable season and again will improve. He is obviously good otherwise Chelsea wouldn’t have made enquires about him. As for Nacer Chadli, Etienne Capoue, and Vlad Chiriches, they will get better as well. I was however, surprised that Holtby was allowed to go on loan to Fulham. He was a battler and did a good job for us when he played and did well for Fulham so why he was allowed to go on loan is anybody’s guess. I imagine he wasn’t Sherwood’s cup of tea. But now he is back so we shall see what the new manager will make of him and others and whether he can run his magic fingers over them all.
So I am looking on the positive side (even though I have my own reservations). With a new manager coming into the fold I am sure all the players will be out to impress their new boss.
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