Tottenham may have equalled their best ever start to a Premier League season, but this isn’t enough to mask the attacking inefficiencies that are holding the club back. 8 goals from 8 games certainly isn’t the return of a potential Champions League side, and for AVB this is an area of specific concern.
The then club record signing of Roberto Soldado was meant to help Spurs capitalise on their plethora of attacking talents in and behind their frontline. Many have been quick to jump on the Spaniard’s back, but for me the issue is one of a lack of service rather than a loss of form. Soldado has had at best a handful of chances all season, and when you spend the vast sums on a world-class striker this just isn’t good enough.
Spurs are one-dimensional in attack, opposition know what is coming. Too often AVB has favoured a deliberative and highly centralised passing game that has enabled other teams to stifle Spurs. It doesn’t matter if AVB plays Defoe or Soldado, the same problems exist because neither is readily findable under the current system.
The frustrations become most noticeable when you end up seeing the likes of Dawson booting balls up to Defoe, simply because there is no other means of finding him. West Ham put up a masterful blockade against Spurs in the recent 3-0 drubbing, and AVB appeared clueless as to how to break down the Hammers.
This is an issue that is going to become more and more important to the Tottenham challenge. Spurs are now regarded as one of the Premier League high rollers, and opposition largely treat them as such. Expect more and more teams to park the proverbial bus and frustrate the North Londoners.
Whether you like it or not this sort of ploy is natural for lesser teams in football and a club like Spurs just need to deal with it.
Some may argue that investment is needed again in January to widen the range of striking options, but for me Spurs already have a ready-made options waiting in the wings.
Emmanuel Adebayor has been subjected to footballing exile in recent months under AVB. Personal trauma or simply being overlooked, it is difficult to see what the exact reason is behind the Togolese frontman’s omission.
Adebayor suffers the same inconsistencies of most top frontmen but on his day he is up there with the very best. Only 8 goals last term really underlines the frustrations of many Spurs fans, but if he can recapture any of his Redknapp era form then you can be sure to see him become a big part of the new regime.
Strikers are in general the most sought after and therefore most expensive of purchases on world footballing markets. Very few genuinely world class frontmen exist and therefore you expect to pay upwards of £20m for them with similarly high wages to boot. If you are a club like Spurs who do quite rightly try to balance the books, why would you see the need to re-enter the striking market in January?
Adebayor offers the club something completely different to both Soldado and Defoe, a target man with exquisite touch and an ability to involve others in the game, he is the man to help Spurs unlock the most tightly packed defences.
Fans may love the excitement of a new transfer and who can blame them? Personally though the re-integration of Adebayor back into the first team wouldn’t be too dissimilar to buying a whole new player. We haven’t seen the best of him for a number of seasons now, and if AVB really is the prodigious manager that we are always told he should be able to find a way to bring Adebayor in from the cold.
Adebayor has in fact joined up with the squad in Moldova, and this is a sure sign that AVB is sensibly heeding the cry for his return. Don’t expect Adebayor to be a regular starter, more an important option off the bench or in certain games, he could well be that change up that allows Spurs to pick teams apart.
Fans are of course divided by Adebayor, someone that has polarised opinion at almost every club he has played at.
Even with that in mind, it is important for fans to consider the financial ramifications of buying someone else in as opposed to making the best of what you have.
Should Spurs save the money in January?