As it stands, there are still positions, personnel and formations to be decided. Having shifted Bale and Modric to different positions towards the back end of last season, Redknapp must decide who and how his best eleven lay out. Throughout his managerial career Redknapp has preferred to play 442, and his time at Tottenham has been little different. However, games in the Champions League, and the increase in the amount of games Spurs will play, mean that he may have to be more flexible in the system that he deploys. Despite this, it is important for any club to know their best starting team; competition for places makes this difficult for Spurs and it will take time, but ultimately it has to happen.
As I explained yesterday, the lack of transfer activity at White Hart Lane can be eased with the re-introduction of Giovani Dos Santos. The Mexican winger has been in the wilderness since his time in England, and this may be the season to resurrect his career. Still young, having turned 21 at the end of last season, past attitude problems must be put down to inexperience and his pre-season form, plus an impressive World Cup, should be enough for him to earn at least a few starts. Should he then impress in the games he plays, Redknapp will be quick to give him a decent run in the team.
Pick a leader
While Ledley King still manages to defy modern science in churning out decent performances despite the virtual non-existence of training and conditioning, those performances are not frequent enough, for Redknapp or Spurs. When King is absent, his armband should be passed on to Michael Dawson. Robbie Keane has captained Spurs on many occasions, but I am a firm believer that a team’s captain should be guaranteed of their starting position, something the Irishman is not, and his commitment to the club is dubious. With Jonathan Woodgate struggling to even make the registered 25 such is his injury problems, Dawson is King’s partner in the back four. Dawson excelled last term and the captaincy would allow him to continue to grow into a top-class centre-back.
Not just the first time in the Champions League for Spurs, but also for Redknapp. Although there is European experience at the club, the premier club competition in the world is in another class altogether. To do well in the Champions League (assuming they qualify, which I will), as well as finish in the top four again will be a mammoth task. Spurs are capable of it, but they may have to sacrifice domestic cups to achieve it. As much as teams love a cup run, and with eight wins in the competition, the FA Cup history at White Hart Lane is as good as most, it may be beneficial to put it, along with the Carling Cup, to the bottom of their agenda. Tottenham do not yet have the squad to compete in four competitions, and with the exception of Chelsea and Manchester United, and even they can struggle with it, few do. Qualification for the Champions League for a second successive season would cement Tottenham’s place amongst the top four/five in the country, and that is far more important than lifting the Carling Cup trophy.
Employ a witchdoctor
Nothing else has worked with the perennial physio room visitors Jonathan Woodgate and Ledley King. Why stop with a witchdoctor; hypnotherapists, psychics, astronomers, anything that can get those two players fit would be a colossal boost for their club – just have chanting spells, sitting somewhere behind Clive Allen and Tim Sherwood. This may contradict the Michael Dawson point from above, but if Woodgate and King are fit and playing well they are as good as any centre-back pairing in the league. King managed twenty games last season, an impressive return for someone with such chronic problems. Woodgate managed just three, and could be potentially be absent till January. Four fit centre-backs (with Dawson and Bassong) would stop Redknapp having to dip into the transfer market.
What do you think? What else does Redknapp need to do?
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