Football FanCast guest columnist Josh feels that the £12m
arrival of Wilson Palacios has proved the catalyst in Spurs' upturn and their
subsequent push for Europe.
It's very rare that you say one player turns a team's season around, but even
the Spurs players themselves have to admit that Wilson Palacios has been the
spark that has ignited their charge for Europe.
Harry Redknapp has always liked some bite in the centre of his midfield. He had
the likes of Bouba Diop at Portsmouth and he feels that it gives the more
creative player in midfield the licence to play his natural game without
worrying about constant defending. Plenty of names were thrown about the
newspapers, as is always the case with Spurs, but few saw Palacios as the
answer to Harry's problems. The fee of £12m was significantly more than Steve
Bruce purchased the Honduran for at Wigan, but in the current climate we live
in, this is par for the course.
His debut was made in the 3-2 defeat to Bolton at the Reebok, but the acid test
came in the North London derby against Arsenal. To say he was magnificent is an
understatement. His crunching tackles, tireless work rate and teamwork was just
the thing that the players, management and fans had been waiting for in a long
time. Immediately Palacios was a fans favourite, and it's no coincidence that
the introduction of Palacios has coincided with the superb run that Spurs have
been on since Christmas.
The other Spurs players have improved since the Honduran has been in the side,
and the likes of Modric, Lennon and even Jenas have ventured further forward
making more risky decisions but overall giving the team a better style of play.
And this with the introduction of only one player! Ok yes there are other
factors involved with the upturn of Spurs. Gomes has played out of his skin,
Assou Ekotto has emerged into a solid left back, and Lennon has had his best
season in a Spurs shirt. But Palacios' presence and strength has been the
missing link that Spurs have needed for many a year and that hefty price tag
looks like a great bit of business from Harry.