Rafael Van der Vaart has boldly claimed that this Tottenham squad is good enough in its current state to win the League. He feels there is no need to bring anyone else in as for him the recent FA cup game against Charlton showed “just how good the squad is, why change? And I believe it’s one of the best in the league.” Unfortunately I disagree with him on this; I thought that the half time introduction of Luka Modric was instrumental in Tottenham winning that game and up until his introduction Tottenham were far from their best. Against a team two leagues lower, the team fielded that contained a lot of players just outside the first 11, took too long to start really asserting themselves. For it to be a truly great and strong squad I think a, second string if you like, team like this should be able to put on a strong performance from the off against lower league opposition and not rely on the presence of Modric to come on and galvanise a performance.
I also feel Tottenham are a couple of top players short of being a title challenging team. Centre forward is the main area where true quality of the highest order is lacking. There are some very good strikers at White Hart Lane but no-one who is really a dominating presence who can score consistently and varied goals. Roman Pavlyuchenko is the closest to an all round striker, yet he lacks that bit of quality and consistency to be a title deciding forward. Jermain Defoe is probably the best striker at the Lane, but I don’t think he has enough different elements to his game to be the main striker at a club who want to win league titles. Finally Peter Crouch I don’t see as a starting player, merely someone who can offer something different a plan B if you like upfront to shake things up if the team are drawing a blank.
Following on from this I have to disagree with the Dutchman when he states “at Spurs we all believe we can win the league. It’s a long way, but I believe we can do it because we have such a good squad.” Well obviously not that the squad believe they win the league and good for them if they think they can. But just that they currently have a squad strong enough to do so. A world class forward I think is where Tottenham fall short. Unfortunately they are not the easiest to acquire, especially at January. I’ve been keen for Spurs to sign Karim Benzema, as I feel he is someone who could really help in this department, his price tag and wages could prove a stumbling block however and with Gonzalo Higuain having just undergone surgery his availability may have dwindled as his need at Madrid is increased.
At the other end of the pitch I believe the Tottenham defence is too generous to maintain a title challenge. I don’t see any great problem with the personnel, other than perhaps the right back, when everybody is fit and playing. It’s just a case of having a greatly unsettled defence, where it is extremely rare to form a consistent centre back partnership due to long term injuries to Ledley King and Jonathon Woodgate along with Michael Dawson being out for a lot of the campaign so far. A title winning defence needs greater stability.