Enlisted by the BBC to work as part of their World Cup punditry team, Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp will undoubtedly be making the most of this time spent in South Africa this summer. In addition to providing his expert insight, Redknapp will be running the rule over several transfer prospects turning out for their national sides. The likes of Luis Suarez and Luis Fabiano have been mooted as targets for the Lilywhites, with fans eager for the club to secure the signing of a ‘marquee’ player. The news that Robbie Keane has been allowed to leave White Hart Lane indicates that Redknapp sees his side’s strikeforce as an area that requires reform in time for Champions League football next season. Is this an area that Redknapp needs to strengthen and rebuild?
With England’s World Cup squad featuring two of Spurs’ centre-forwards, one would argue that Redknapp could instead dedicate his attention to rebuilding other parts of his team. Last season, the five recognised forwards on Spurs’ books (Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch, Roman Pavlyuchenko, Eidur Gudjohnsen and Robbie Keane) managed to rack up 58 goals between them, a respectable and healthy total. In addition to this, 15 other players managed to score for the White Hart Lane side last season, meaning that the club had an impressive 20 different scorers during 2009/10. Such statistics would suggest that the club’s strikeforce is more than capable of making the step-up to top-level European football next season.
However, the above statistics mask some of Spurs’ attacking deficiencies. Defoe, Spurs’ top Premier League goal scorer with 18 goals last season, managed just six league goals in the second half of the season, a figure not good enough for a side that will be competing on more than one front next season. Defoe’s preferred strike-partner, Peter Crouch, managed just eight league goals in 38 Premier League appearances, attaining a pitiful strike rate of 1 goal in every 4.75 games. Spurs’ rivals Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool all have at least one prolific forward each, in the form of Carlos Tevez, Wayne Rooney, Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres respectively, and it is clear that Spurs’ lack a marksman of comparable quality.
Harry Redknapp has achieved minor miracles in his time at White Hart Lane, and has managed to build one of the strongest squads in the Premier League. However, making the step-up to Champions League football will be his biggest challenge yet, and it remains to be seen whether or not his squad will be able to succeed at Europe’s highest level. Securing the services of an undoubtedly world-class forward would surely go a long way towards being able to do so.
Does Harry need to rebuild his strikeforce? Who would you like to see playing up front at WHL next season?
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