Monday, September 15, 2008

What the hell is wrong with Spurs?

£100M spent since Juande Ramos took over, and spent well. The money went to getting Jonathan Woodgate, Chris Gunter, Gareth Bale, Alan Hutton, Gilberto, Cesar Chavez, Heurelho Gomes, David Bentley, Luca Modric, Giovani dos Santos, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Vedran Corluka. This is a team which, on paper, should strike fear into the hearts of all who play them.

And yet, that tends to be the story of Spurs, ever since the Premier League came into its current form, Spurs have been a team which, on paper, should be cracking the top four with relative ease. We look at the likes of players who've passed through White Hart Lane... and done piss all: Paul Gascoigne, Gary Linekar, Darren Anderton, Jurgen Klinsmann, Teddy Sheringham, Sol Campbell, David Ginola, Stephen Carr, Robbie Keane, Dimitar Berbatov.

What is wrong with Spurs?

This year I really thought we'd got it right. We have creative and dangerous midfielders with dos Santos, Bentley, Jenas, Lennon, Modric, Zokora, O'Hara and Huddlestone. We have an impressive, two-way defense in King, Woodgate, Bale, Hutton, Gunter and Dawson. Our keeper, Gomes, has been touted as one of the best keepers in the world. During the summer, as this was all coming together, with Keano and Berbatov up front, I thought we couldn't lose. Then they left... and therein lies the problem.

Pavlyuchenko's greatest asset is that he can play as a dropped-back striker, who can create space for himself and play a beautiful through-ball to whoever's up front. Darren Bent's greatest asset is that he can hack away at the ball during messes in the 18yd box, and somehow score a goal. Even his goal vs Villa today was off a Jenas rebound.

So... here we are. Four games into the season... 3 losses against Boro, Sunderland and Villa to our name, with a draw against Chelsea (what!?!?!??!). I've always been one to say "wait and see, it's early in the season", but even I'm feeling the pessimism bite lately. This is clearly a team which can make all kinds of opportunities, but there's no striker who can make magic happen with one flick, no finisher who can single-handedly lift a team as we lost in Keane.

This is a team who is learning to play with one another. The list of ins and outs in 07/08 and 08/09 over the past season is staggering.

Here's hoping they get it together. I'll forever bleed Lilywhite, but it's been hard to keep the faith after 17 years of mediocrity.

1 comment:

Phil said...

While Spurs do not risk becoming a black hole sucking away the talent of quality players as Newcastle United have, the current problem is a crisis of confidence. Spurs never start any season well, and while the usual excuse is that the start is always against the big teams, this does not apply this year and the results are still the same.

The fact that Juande Ramos wrote off most of last season beyond the Carling Cup final (and in the league well before that) to focus on the summer transfer window and the current season is baffling, coming from an astute man manager like the former Sevilla man. One would expect Ramos to know that apathy makes no distinction between one season and the next, and that form is a fluid string of results, not something that can be beckoned out of nowhere in mid-August.

The team has been reshaped but we all await its inevitable rebirth - again, unlike Newcastle, Spurs can claim to be a relatively big club. The upcoming UEFA Cup tie against Wisla Krakow presents itself as an opportunity for an inevitable relaunch point, but also as a chance to spare the blushes of those who believe Spurs should be in Europe's higher club competition.