As Reds fans may currently testify, strength in depth is a key aspect of any squad, especially if a side harbours desires of a title challenge or Champions League football. A side needs more than just a strong starting eleven to be successful in the Premier League and adequate back-up is a must for all sides in the division. Harry Redknapp’s Spurs have aspirations of a Champions League place. They are currently dreaming of facing the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid in next year’s competition and they have the squad to make this dream a reality. The north London club have the luxury of rotating between the likes of Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch and Robbie Keane and own without question one of the strongest squads in the league however, there is one position which is rather fragile; the goalkeeper.
Now I am a big Heurelho Gomes fan. I’ve written of his class before and will continue to in the future so long as he maintains his excellent form and it is not Gomes himself that concerns me but it is instead his back-up.
The goalkeeping position is arguably the most important in the team and if you look at the Chelsea and Manchester United’s sides of recent years then you will see a back-up keeper who has proven himself in one of Europe’s top leagues. Spurs now find themselves with goalkeeping headache after the man who was such a great servant to Chelsea, Carlo Cudicini, suffered serious injuries, ruling him out of football for a considerable amount of time.
The Italian shot stopper was involved in a widely documented Motorcycle crash in early November of last year in which he fractured both wrists and severely injured his pelvis. The injury was described as ‘potentially life-changing’ and it was obvious that Cudicini was not going to play first team football for Spurs again this season.
Harry Redknapp’s side have therefore been left with veteran goalkeeper Jimmy Walker and youngster Ben Alnwick as Gomes’ replacements and whilst they are not bad keepers themselves, they are not adequate cover for a side who are aiming for a top four finish this campaign.
There is a sense this is the calm before the storm at White Hart Lane and Redknapp is set to let loose on the transfer market with some of his traditional ‘wheeling and dealing’. Portsmouth and England stopper David James has been repeatedly linked with a move to north London yet I can’t help but think the 39-year-old is not the right man. James has spoken himself of his desire to reclaim his place as England number one and is not likely to be content with sitting on the bench. When you couple this with his age it is obvious that Spurs should be looking elsewhere.
The race for the top four has been relentless this season and it is undoubtedly set for a breathtaking finish. Redknapp’s side are many people’s pick to break the monopoly of the big four and have an outfield squad to compete with some of Europe’s finest sides. The former Portsmouth manager must however, make sure that he fills the goalkeeping void at the club as the Lilywhites campaign could quickly derail if the Brazilian Gomes suffers a serious injury. I for one expect to see Redknapp snap up a keeper in the coming weeks.
Follow me on Twitter