… DRIBBLING …

TOO LITTLE TOO LATE

Once considered a free spending club, my beloved Spurs is now reduced to penny pinching and looking for bargain basement buys in the transfer market. In the recent transfer window (which closed on 31st August), Spurs were more intent on selling than buying. Paying only £5.5 million – for England international midfielder Scott Parker from West Ham – and offloading Peter Crouch & Wilson Palacios (to Stoke) and Alan Hutton (to Aston Villa). The club also loaned out Jermaine Jenas (also Villa) and David Bentley (West Ham) thus clearing out the deadwood, so to speak.

And so, when the dust settled on 1st September, Spurs had signed a 40 year old keeper (Brad Friedel), 30+ year old midfielder (Parker) and a couple of kids. Oh and Emmanuel Adebayor on loan from Man City. Which does not say much about Spurs’ ambitions for 2011-2012. As usual with Spurs, there was the last minute smash and grab that didn’t quite come off. In the last window it was Charlie Adam (now at Liverpool) and this time it was Gary Cahill – who we will probably never see in a Spurs shirt either.

The other major news was of course the rebuffing of Chelsea’s interest in Luka Modric. The Modric issue is basically a no-win situation for Spurs. Sell him and we will forever be perceived as a feeder club for the ‘bigger’ clubs. Hold on to him and the risk of Modric sulking all the way to January is a real one. Personally, I think the club got it right this time, biting the bullet and proving to everyone that we will not be bullied by the ‘bigger’ clubs to sell our best players to them.

For Spurs manager Harry Redknapp, the hard work begins now. After the early season defeats to the Manchester clubs, Spurs have a lot of catching up to do. Do the acquisitions of Friedel, Parker and Adebayor make us a stronger proposition in 2011-2012? I have serious doubts. Yes, the trio does provide a very experienced backbone for Redknapp to build on so that the creativity of Lennon, Bale and Van Der Vaart may be allowed to shine but I am concerned by the lack of real options in central defence (King and Gallas injury prone, Dawson and Kaboul inconsistent, Bassong out of favour) and that our failure to get Cahill may return to haunt us.

Also surprising is the continued presence of Niko Krancjar and Giovanni Dos Santos in the squad – both considered surplus to requirements – hopefully, both will get the chance now to show what they can do and translate their stellar performances on the international stage to club level. If not, then expect them to be shipped out in January as well.

At the end of last season, it was widely acknowledged that Spurs had to beef up the striking options as Defoe, Pavlyuchenko, Crouch and Keane had largely failed to deliver. Well, considering that Crouch and Keane have left and only Adebayor has been brought in, it puts a lot of pressure on the ex-Arsenal striker to lead the line. But if Adebayor is able to supply the goals and Parker provides the grit AND most importantly, if Modric’s head is in the right place then there is still a excellent chance for Spurs to challenge for that precious 4th place with Arsenal and Liverpool. But still a lot of “ifs”. Only time will tell.

COYS!!!