Firstly, I’d like to congratulate and welcome Mauricio Pochettino to the Spurs family. I reckon he’ll have a great spell in developing the team. Let’s hope he meets all out expectations. Let’s also hope that Levy sticks with him through thick and thin whether it may be a rough start or a rocky end of the season. We need consistency and the five-year contract meets that Levy understands it the same way.
Moving on, to be completely honest, I have not been a fan of our squad for the past season. There are a lot of unwanted, inconstant players that we have who either need progress in terms of the style of play or skills. Comparing to earlier seasons in the last couple of years, we lacked in goal scoring, goal conceding and winning games against the top teams (the last one hurts the most). I believe that the reason for this is the change in the philosophy which due a period of vicissitude at the managerial end.
Also, the formula of the team chemistry is imbalanced. The best attacking mentality was that during our Champions League season. We had Bale on the left, Lennon on the right, Modric and Van Der Vaart in the middle with one of our strikers upfront. Both our wingers were confident with the free roam role to play. Their pace and unpredictability would cause a menace to the full backs. Modric used his creativity and passing skills to the best order while VDV was a threat as an no.10. We need that sort of midfield since we have lost the dominance in the middle of the pitch. Now, we have just Eriksen who is the player we can all relay on. Other than him, Paulinho gets in goals once in a while. Out of five of our attacking players, we are mainly reliable on just one of our players because in all honesty, he is the most consistent and talented player for us on the pitch.
In terms of our defense, we did not have a proper partnership in the middle due to injuries. Also, the pace and errors have caused a massive impact on the confidence of most of our players. There is no leadership from the back and organisation has been poor.
I believe we need to get back to a balance. Instead of getting good potential players, we should get players who actually convert chances and already have the experience to take them. So I have narrowed it down to the changes I believe are needed by the end of this transfer window to bring back a strong squad. We have to be realistic now, we were not deserving to be near the top four last season and hopefully this season will turn out to be better.
Outs : As said earlier. We have a lot of unwanted players, especially in midfield who haven’t been able to convert enough or create. Our defense too is getting slow and we need some changes at the back. Here’s a list of players I believe should be sold if given a good price this summer. It is hard to decide which players should leave and which shouldn’t but as always Levy will leave us with surprises so I am going to lead the possible outs there.
Ins : There are number of areas we have to improve in. Our main focus should tend towards the left side, which has lost it’s dominance after the sale of Gareth Bale and his relationship with Benoit Assou-Ekotto. Together, they made a threatening team with pace and powerful crosses coming in.
I don’t think it’s a shock when I say ‘WE NEED A LEFT BACK!!’. Danny Rose is not good enough. Period. My top targets would be :
- Ricardo Rodriguez: A brilliant left back for me. He is just 21 and was considered the best rated left back for the whole of last season in the Bundesliga. He plays for Wolfsburg and is a Swiss national. After seeing some of his performances, I have been sold. He has everything we need in the position. The only problem as of now is he is wanted by the fans but has not been linked by the club, yet.
- Daley Blind: Having a great world cup at the moment and he has stepped up the game for the big stage. He is 24 and plays for Ajax. Has some extraordinary crosses and a great tendency to attack. With United signing Luke Shaw, he is most likely to end up with either us or Liverpool.
- Marcos Alonso: Not a popular opinion but he is a good left back. He is 23 and played for Sunderland last season (on loan from Florentina). Why would I want him? He is a clever LB and reads the game well. If you see most of his performances, he was probably one of the most consistent players in their back line. He can be a cheap buy for us and may even turn out to prove himself worthy of more.
For the left wing I have narrowed it down position, I have narrowed it down to three potential best buys:
- Konoplyanka : We already saw his performance against us last season in the Europa League and I believe many of you saw his performance against England as well. This pace, determination and confidence is simply outstanding for a player playing against big teams. He is the ideal left winger and the best realistic target we can get.
- Admir Mehmedi: I am quite surprised we haven’t been linked with him. Probably the player I want us to sign the most along with Ricardo Rodriguez. He too plays in the Bundesliga and is a versatile midfielder. He can play on the left wing or as a no.10. A brilliant underrated player who we could get for a bargain!
- Vadillo : Already gaining popularity in Spain. At the age of 19, he has shown great potential and with some more exposure can go out to be a great player. The only worry I have for him is that he won’t be able to cope with the intensity of the Premier League. He needs to bulk up and start
- Ruben Garcia : Not as hyped as the other two but is still a great talent. He has the experience and can adapt to any position in the midfield easily. Pace and volatile makes him a perfect fit for this role too! I think he would partner very well in communicating with Eriksen in terms of passes and smooth switching play.
Next, a good potential and strong center back. Kaboul has been inconsistent over the last season and his pace has reduced but at times you could see him bringing back his old form which we will hopefully see more of next season. Chiriches has been on and off as well and hopefully an injury free season will help him improve this time around. Vertonghen was obviously in his worst shape last season showing no intention to play or perform up to his quality. We need him at his best since he is no doubt our best defender when in form. The last world cup game showed signs of the same Super Jan we saw in the first season, we need more of that and I’m sure that Pochettino will be able to bring back his game.
The top targets for me (and according to reports) would be the following:
- Dejan Lovren: Just 24 at the moment and plays with great leadership and composure. He has previously worked with MP at Saints and seemed to enjoy his football. I believe he will be the ideal other half to Vertonghen and will improve along side him. He is the most linked and likely to be the first signing of Pochettino but Liverpool and Arsenal have been strongly linked lately.
- Joël Veltman: A young and promising CB. At the age of just 22 and has been already managed by two great managers, Louis Van Gaal (Netherlands) and Frank De Boer (Ajax). He is a close second to Lovren and shows to be a promising talent.
- Toby Alderweireld: Linked with us for a while now. A belgium team mate of Vertonghen and plays for Atletico Madrid. He is 25 and is not a first choice for both club and country. The only reason I’d see us sign him would be IF we sold Dawson and missed out on our other targets, i.e Levy’s deadline day panic buy.
These are the main areas I think we need a signing at. I would consider us signing another striker if and only one of them left. I am not doubting the ability of Soldado since I expect him to come good this season and I also believe that Adebayor still has alot more to offer to the club. They both are players who have goals in them. Harry Kane is a great upcoming talent for us. Signing another striker can effect his growth which I would hate seeing. It’s about time we start using him more often. If we are to sell either Adebayor or Soldado, we should sign either Lukaku or Wilfried. Both are goal getters and bring out a different edge of the strike power we could need. They both had a brilliant debut season (Lukaku with WBA – 2012/13, Bony with Swansea City – 2013/14) and only look like improving from now on.
This season is make or break for our club. I can see our big players leave next season if we do not improve. Consistency in performance is key and we can not achieve it with the squad we have at the moment. We have alot of squad players but we need more quality to be added. It is a controversial thing to say that we need 4-5 signings after what happened last season but this can only help us improve. I do believe most of these players will come good and will improve under Pochettino. It is time we take the risk!
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