Tottenham Hotspur fan Steve Jennings gives us his latest installment of his ‘Seven days @ Spurs’ series, where he sums up the weeks events at White Hart Lane.
Tottenham Hotspur’s exit from the FA Cup on Sunday raised a few eyebrows – mainly those of the Spurs fans. It looked like we had turned the corner. We’d stopped losing silly games to stupid goals. We looked hard to beat. Leeds United accentuated our flaws and our need to (slightly) strengthen in the last few days of the transfer window.
As I write, Spurs have just officially signed the Germany u-21 captain and Schalke 04 star Lewis Holtby. The playmaker had planned to move to the Lane in the summer, but Spurs have forced the transfer through early for a small fee.
Holtby will bring much needed creativity to the squad. With Mousa Dembele’s hip and general fitness problems, it was vital to bring in someone that can take hold of a game and dictate how the side attacks. Since the departure of Luka Modric, Dembele seems to be the only player who can get us going in midfield. Holty will hopefully also play this role well.
The young German can also play just behind a centre forward. Many fans moaned about a “lack of firepower” on Sunday. What I saw was a huge lack of delivery and decision making prowess in and around the box. Gylfi Sigurdsson missed yet another chance to stake his claim for a starting spot to my personal dissappointment. I’ve been a huge fan of the Icelandic midfielder since his Reading days, so it pains me to see him performing so below-par whenever selected.
Clint Dempsey seems to have finally started to fit in. The American always looks a goal threat, despite playing behind his favoured position. On Sunday, he played alone up front and scored a great header after a superb bit of wing play from Gareth Bale. A Holtby-Dempsey partnership could work well given Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor’s inconsistencies.
A striker is not Spurs’ priority signing this January. Signing Holtby will boost the squad where needed. A long term Defoe replacement isn’t vital until the summer – hopefully the patchy goalscoring form of Defoe, Adebayor and Dempsey will even itself out with a bit of flair and creation supporting either one of the trio.
Although Jan Vertonghen and Steven Caulker performed rather shakily at Elland Road, I don’t think Andre Villas-Boas will be worrying too much about our defensive situation in the coming days. With Younes Kaboul not far away from return, centre-back is anything but a problem position. Benoit Assou-Ekotto has performed admirably since coming back from injury, yet this has only emphasised Kyle Naughton’s shortcomings at left-back.
I wouldn’t expect much more from Daniel Levy’s cheque-book this month, but the summer of 2013 could be a very busy one at White Hart Lane.
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