Tottenham left with an ageing, unbalanced squad
In comparison to previous clubs, Harry Redknapp left Spurs in a reasonable state. Southampton’s travail in the years subsequent to Redknapp’s departure was an indication of the danger of the manager’s methods. Portsmouth were to discover that for themselves. Though the financial strife at his previous clubs could not be entirely blamed on Redknapp’s transfer policy, it undoubtedly put strains on the finances of the clubs. His signing’s at Portsmouth were numerous and included players such as Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch, Lassana Diarra, Glen Johnson and John Utaka – taking the wage bill at Portsmouth to an, unsustainable, record high.
At Tottenham, under the careful stewardship of Daniel Levy, the prospect of a repeat performance from Redknapp was unlikely – especially considering the funds available to the club. However, in the wake of Redknapp’s dismissal, the short termism displayed by Harry has left the squad in a condition far from it’s peak.
The squad appears unbalanced both in terms of players’ age, position and their futures. Suggestions have been made that Levy’s inability to trust the fact that Redknapp had a long tem plan for the club was a cause for his dismissal; one look at the squad suggests this may be the case.
The first problem Spurs need to address is that Redknapp has left them with only one striker. Peter Crouch was unceremoniously sold last season, before Pavlyuchenko departed for Lokomotiv Moscow in an £8m deal, Louis Saha’s short-term deal expired and Emmanuel Adebayor returned to Manchester City.
Jermain Defoe, for all the improvement in his hold up play this year, is not equipped to play as a lone striker and the only remaining option Spurs have is Giovanni Dos Santos – a player who had minimal playing time under Redknapp and is not used to playing as a main striker.
Now, defenders of Redknapp would argue that he was simply getting rid of ineffectual strikers but the fact remains that Tottenham need to sign at least two strikers this summer and, depending on how much they spend, that could rule out the possibility of adding to their squad in other areas.
The central defence is also a problem. With King finally being released and Gallas’ injury problems, which began at Chelsea and have got considerably worse over time, ruling him out for around half a season every season then Tottenham only really have Kaboul and Dawson, who has had a torrid time with injury himself.
Corluka too has been sold and although Kyle Naughton is returning from his loan at Norwich he cannot play at centre half as comfortably as Corluka could.
Then you have the situation with the goalkeepers. Brad Friedel may have begun his Tottenham career well but his late season form was indicative of his age. The American is now 41 and his form will only get worse from here on. Carlo Cudicini and Heurelho Gomes may be reasonable keepers but their poor performances were the reason Friedel was signed in the first place.
Finally, the midfield. Arguably one of the strongest in the league and with Gareth Bale having recently signed a contract extension many at the club will be feeling relieved. Nevertheless, the star man in the midfield – Luka Modric – is reportedly eyeing the exit door and although they may receive a high fee for him a lot of that money will be needed to help purchase cover up front and in central defence.
Tottenham is far from being in a crisis, but there is work to be done. As much as Redknapp made some brilliant signings whilst at Spurs and delivered success to the club the next manager will be feeling the strain when it comes to rebuilding. And, if that is the case, and that new manager is Andre Villas-Boas, then Spurs fans should be worried considering the Portuguese manager’s last attempts at rebuilding a squad in English football.
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