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Tottenham Hotspur
Posted by Colin McCullough on 06/04/2012

Now that the dust has settled on another Premier League season, it's time to gauge Spurs' achievement in finishing where they did. Fourth spot would normally guarantee Champions League football, but that was scuppered by Chelsea's win in Munich and by a comedy performance in goal by West Brom's keeper in their final game against that other team from North London. How ironic that Marton Fulop was once on Spurs' books and how telling that he never made an appearance for the club.

The finger must also point, however, at Harry Redknapp and his lack of ambition in the penultimate game of the season. Although they had been reduced to ten men, Redknapp's team were in the ascendancy against a dire Aston Villa side. Yet rather than pushing on for all three points, the manager settled for one. As it turned out, Spurs could have lost that match and subsequent results would have meant that they still finished fourth in any case.

All of that is now water under the bridge but the implications are still being felt. Even before it became apparent that Spurs had missed out on the Champions League, Eden Hazard's destination was no longer going to be White Hart Lane. It is especially galling that he plumped for the winners of that competition rather than either of the Manchester clubs. At least the signing of the Ajax captain Jan Vertonghen - a wonderfully versatile player who performs equally well at left-back or centre-back - seemed like a sure thing. Yet worryingly the transfer process seems to be dragging, despite Vertonghen's evident desire to join the club.

Equally worrying, of course, is the prospect of players leaving in the summer - and that's not a reference to Swansea's reported interest in Giovani Dos Santos. If the Mexican's move - or that of Heurhelo Gomes to QPR - did actually come to pass, it's unlikely many Spurs' supporters would suffer any sleepless nights as a result. The possible departure of two other players is what the fans fear most.

Eden Hazard's move to Stamford Bridge means that it is now unlikely that Chelsea will come calling for Luka Modric. That, however, simply leaves the door open for Manchester Utd. Sir Alex Ferguson is a long-time admirer of the Croatian playmaker. And no wonder, since he looks like exactly the sort of player the Utd. midfield is lacking. Modric's own comments are hardly encouraging:

"I will decide about my future after the Euros. I will make the decision where to continue my career. I'm ready for the big tests."

The other Spurs player coveted by the major clubs - with Barcelona reputedly leading the way in this instance - is Gareth Bale. If the Spanish giants were willing to pay the reported asking price of £36 million, it might not be a bad bit of business. Bale is undoubtedly a fantastic player on his day, but unfortunately those days sometimes have a significant interval between them. With Defoe also unsettled, with Nelsen and Saha being released, and with Ledley King seemingly about to end his playing career, £36 million would go a long way towards the rebuilding job that will now need to be done over the summer.

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Posted by ColinSC on 06/04/2012

Dos Santos has been unsuccessful because of confidence (in my opinion). look at his showings for his national team. If anything we need a manager that uses all team members with potential. We do have loads of dead wood but we need to have strength in depth too and Dos Santos is a great little player he just needs to get time and appreciation.
Keeping Defoe is very important as it is we are losing Saha(good)and cant afford Ades wages. we need a minimum of three strikers. We would be struggling to buy two, being as we gain nothing from losing Ade and Saha..

Posted by Varun on 06/04/2012

Please for god sake play giovani ,he could well and truly replace bale ,i request everyone who are planning to visit spurs preseason matches to chant gio's name in the stadium so that the useless harry can understand

Posted by Scott on 06/04/2012

Interesting thoughts Colin. I'd much rather lose the sulky Modric then Bale and perhaps more to the point, I think we're a greater chance of hanging onto the latter.

IMO we should try to cash in on Luka before Euro (35m would be a good result). Hurry up and sign Vertonghen. Sign 2 of Adebayor, Remy, Daimao. Take Junior Hoilett of Blackburn's hands. Sign a 4th striker/AM. Recall Caaulker and Naughton.

Needless to say Gomez and Corluka are deadwood. Dos Santos and Kranjar probably on their way out the door as well.

Unfortunately, with Levy's short arms and long pockets it's hard to see even most of these things happening...


Posted by Pardus Macht on 06/04/2012

Now that transfer season is open, let's make sure our priorities are kept right: Keep Modric and Bale out of the hands of those vultures circling around WHL and also secure Adebayor on a permanent transfer.

The imminent arrival of Vertonghen will most likely forebode a preferred CB partnership of him and Kaboul/Dawson. I believe if Modric and Bale can be kept at WHL for 1 more season, we really need a world class striker. Many a times this season, we managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory when chances go begging in front of goal. Ship Defoe if he thinks he's bigger than the team. 'Arry has stuck by him for too long and he has not repaid the faith shown in him.

We need Sandro to step up a gear or 2 this coming season for the simple fact that Parker will not be able to perform heroics week-in week-out. Get the other Kyle back as understudy for Walker and we hope BAE can cut down on errors.


Posted by PhillyHotSpur on 06/04/2012

Gio produces against the International level on a consistent basis --> But Arry deems Gio not worthy of producing vs the likes of QPR or Blackburn's of the world ? Bollocks

Arry had a perfect opportunity to play put a knife into AV's heart in a game where a loss or a tie did not matter --> he goes conservative

Not mention, the Feb/Mar run where we were bleeding points and Arry began rolling /w his 4-2-3-1 which was basically our club conceding 2 points each fixture w/ a target of a tie.

Still, we did secure 4th place and done in my basically blind luck during CFC's CL run......a club that has riches beyond most clubs get this type of luck on top of things makes me ill

What i would do -->Keep bale n Sell Modric & VDV. Move Bale to 2nd striker.keep Gio/Pienaar and rotate them in.

3 Buys --> Vert , Cavani & Hoilett.

Starting 11:

Bale can attack
Cavani clinical striker
Huddlestone CM

Posted by PhillyHotspur on 06/04/2012

Scott - I am in complete agreement.

Def sell Modric.Def keep Bale.

I actually think Bale is the more dynamic player and ultimately more important to the results on the pitch.

He wants to score..that is obvious. His technical game has grown leaps and bounds this year and he is clearly could thrive in the role that VDV currently occupies. He can shoot from anywhere, can score w/ his head & is strong in possession.....Not to mention, he has showed the ability to pass and work off Modric and VDV in the passing game......let his gave involve there in a similar fashion to Messi's role at Barca (not comparing players --> comparing roles)

Bring in Cavani..As clinical as it can get.....And is great in movement.

Bring in Hoilett..easy call...put him in Bale's old

The big need would be CM....This is the biggest question mark. I think Huddlestone could thrive here...focus on passing and controlling tempo via poss which he does well. Let Sandro & Parker clean up behind him.

Posted by Mike in USA on 06/05/2012

I think we're putting too much faith in Huddlestone. I mean, when was the last time he saw playing time? Should we lose Modric, Id think Parker could play with Sandro (who's already been yelled at a few times for pushing forward to create).

Best to go with Adebayor. He actually WANTS to play for us and Cavani wont leave Napoli for anything less that the Champions League.

Posted by Anand on 06/05/2012

It's amazing that you are blaming Martin Fulop for Tottenham not making it to the Champion's League. Spurs had many chances to seal third spot (the manager also talked about a title challenge also sometime during the season!), and if they failed to do so, then it is completely the team's fault. Reality is, over the entire course of the season, the team was not as good as it was thought to be during the early part. They could have finished above Arsenal, and got the CL spot, but reality is, they didn't, and hence were probably undeserving of making it to the competition.

Posted by Jon Champion on 06/05/2012

Great Post as always Colin

Posted by Jon Champion on 06/05/2012

If your reading this Harry....plese play Gio up front oor on the wing. He is blinding for his national we could use him in place of lennon

Posted by Socalspursfan on 06/05/2012


Couldn't agree more. While Modric can provide the occasional game-changing pass, Bale gives more overall offensively. A more central role sitting directly behind the striker(s) would likely offer him more of an opportunity to display his blend of pace/technical ability. You hate to lose his great crossing ability on the wing, but I believe he offers an offensive game complete enough (combined with above avg. vision) to take the spurs offense to a new level.

That being said, bringing in the likes of Cavani would be incredible for White Hart Lane. But would that deal realistically happen? Personally, I'm not so sure. I have heard rumors between Hoilett and Spurs. His pace makes him the ideal replacement for GB on the wing.

Lastly, as many Spurs fans frequently shout, Gio deserves more playing time @ White Hart Lane. His Mexico performances continue to highlight this. Especially when Lennon was injured this past year, Gio should of stepped in.

Posted by PhillyHotSpur on 06/05/2012

With the sale of VDV and Modric, Cavani would be easily doable.

Not too mention, he is coming from Napoli so we could easily deal w/ his wage demands.

He is clinical....he can score w/ his foot and his head....he has great movement to get behind Backlines (exactly what Adebayor doesn't do on any level)

Bale moving from LM to 2nd striker will still be positive --> yes, you would lose that great cross of his , but you'll also eliminate the fact that teams can defend against the wing via double-teams basically resulting in an isolated player. Move him to the middle and he wilil be involved always and often.

The best thing about his game --> his pace in possession and his ability to shoot. He would easily score 20+ goals in that 2nd striker role......he does everything well. Why limit his growth keeping him on the left to accommodate VDV who is lazy as all hell ?

Posted by PhillyHotSpur on 06/05/2012


Huddlestone is def a gamble w/ his injury this past year, but do i believe he can succeed at Modric's role when fit ?

Absolutely.......can spray passes all over the pitch and hold down the middle. his issue was his mobility and was always put in that CDM role (to accommodate Luka) where his lack of pace would get exposed vs the elite teams w/ pace.....Let Sandro or Parker deal w/ the clean-up behind him and let him focus on possession and leveraging his passing ability .

Posted by Mike in USA on 06/06/2012


That was the thing though. When he was healthy, Huddlestone was always put next to Palacios and Modric was out on the wing. We really took off when he got injured and we had to move Modric to the middle. That pushed Bale up to the wing from LB and thats been out recipe for success.

And if his mobility was a big issue, I think it's only going to be worse this time with 2 seasons spent recovering from injury. He's still young, but I think he's a long way from being Modric's replacement.

Posted by kingsley on 06/06/2012

Let's start from the centre back position, think we should recall steve caulker, he should partner kaboul or venthogen if we sign him , dawson can provide extra cover,we shouldn't bank on king gallas or ryan , all three are getting soft ,sell modric , go after dembele or wolfsburg diego ,we can also recall townsend or get holliet , I fink it won't be bad to acquire a player of sum technical ability like ibrahim afellay or thomas muller , they won't be so expensive and they are top notch . We need a good striker , we can't afford manus wages . Cavani is not a bad buy if we can afford him , but really that's fantasy football , the twente dejong chap is not a bad option , get him nd muller and u can sell modric vdv

Posted by Mike in USA on 06/07/2012

Muller from Bayern? Cheap!? He'd be the most expensive buy of any of the players mentioned here. No way we could possibly get him from Bayern.

Agree with the Kaboul-Vertonghen partnership though. Dawson will be good as a backup until he's 100%, but I think the playing days of King and Gallas are behind them (also, we released Nelson). Need another CB or 2 to fill things out.

It's just unfortunate that we missed out on UCL. When we were 2 points out of first, we were being linked with Cavani, Hazard, Ganso, top prospects! Now I don't know who we're going to be able to get. Figure get Ade for now, and then we can concentrate on making it back to the show in the coming season.

Posted by LDNSpurs on 06/08/2012

Sell Modric if you have to, would like to see a player like Kevin Strootman to replace him. Bring in Loic Remy and/or Leandro Damiao, sell Defoe. I think Kaboul, Vertonghen, Dawson, King, and Caulker are more than enough for the defense. I'd like to also bring in Anders Lindegaard to sit behind Friedel, and eventually replace him.

Posted by Paul King on 06/08/2012

First of all, I want Redknapp removed and a manager like AVB, Rafa Benitez gotten to replace him. He's the main reason Spurs found themselves in this situation due to his distraction over the England job. Then if players such as Modric , VDV and Bale are keen to leave, sell them at a good price and invest in new players like Llorente, Hoillet and co. The way forward is rebuilding the squad and squad rotation in the sense that players like Dos Santos get more playing time.

Posted by kl on 06/09/2012

Our problem is not the lack of quality players. It's the manager's refusal to use them properly. Dos Santos, totally awesome internationally and before coming to us. Caulker and Naughton, real talents that look set to be wasted under Arry. Harry's done a good job for now, but the way he's doing it, it's not good for the long term. It's not about getting the quality players, that's just 1 aspect. It's managing them well that's even more important...

Selling VDV, Modric though will give us the cash needed to revamp the squad. Given the circumstances, if bids come in and they want to leave, then this will do. We must hold on to Bale though...he's less likely to leave compared to Modric...

Posted by Happy Sinng on 06/10/2012

I really hope Mr. Redknapp reads this post.

Dear Mr. Redknapp,
I would like to point out to the fact that you have done a good job for the time being but, the way things look suggests that the future of spurs will not be very good if we do nothing now. We already have proven that its no longer the monopoly of the Big 4. So lets have a look at our squad.

We have Brad, Cudicini, Gomes and Alnwick in GL. Brad is great, Cudicini is a good back-up for the time being. Sell off the other 2 and get someone young.

FOr the defenders we have plenty of quality, but lets not forget the fact that they are the seniors are aging fast. King must retire, or play one last season until things get settled next season. Dawson is not 100% full fit. Vertonghen a very good option. Pls recall our youngsters they need game time in a Spurs jersey!

Posted by Happy Sinng on 06/10/2012


If you can convince Modric for one more season than good. If not sell him off for a very good price. Bale seems to be much more convinced in staying Spurs. VDV is good on his day. But he is also quite lazy but sometimes if he is given the right push he does work hard. Lets not ignore the fact that he is 29 now."29 now"! Dos Santos is a real pity because he is a top consistent performer for Mexico. He is lacking of confidence whenever he dons a Spurs jersey. Pls I beg you he could have slotted in for Lennon when AL gt injured. He has the skills and pace too. If he is given the time and confidence we could have the next Ronaldinho in our ranks!Kranjcar was another sad case. But for now we need to get our midfield right. If Modric wants to leave Huddelstone doesnot have that many game time to take over Modric's Mantle. But for the time being we can use VDV or Bale in Modric's position and get Hoilett or Coleman from Blackburn or everton to cover GB. And lets not forget...

Posted by Happy Sinng on 06/10/2012


Lets not forget that we have Jake Livermore who has done quite well this season. We should try him at Modric's place and see how he fares.Why not give him a chance? The past few games he played he had one of the highest work rate.

As for the strikers infront Ade is someone who wants to be with us. he has finally found his home. He would be even more effective for us he played the same role he played in Real Madrid under Jose. Yes, it must get Ade and get one more quality man upfront for us. It should be either Damiao, Huntelaar or Cavani. They are great people with real quality. By adding one of them can give us the edge. Defoe has to go. If not next season he will be giving excuses such as, "oh i am quite short aren't I?" after his great miss against Man City at Etihad!

We should start experimenting with 3-2-3-2 formation, or 4-1-3-2 or 4-5-1

FOr next season we must use a proper squad rotation. The problem with this season is we have talents but never used them well!

Posted by Harrison on 06/13/2012

I think some of you might hitting the panic button a bit soon. We shouldn't forget that save for a 2 month span towards the end of the season Spurs played some of the best football in the PL. I think we should do everything we possibly can to hold onto VDV, Bale and Modric, although we may not be able to hold onto the latter. Adebayor was phenomenal for the first half of the season, if he wants to come back and we can afford him we should definitely sign him up. Vertoghen was a great signing because its probably all we needed to give us enough depth in the back, between he, kaboul, dawson, caulker, and perhaps even gallas and king we should be okay in the center, and he gives us an option at fullback if BAE or Walker goes down. Saha is out and Defoe may be leaving as well, if both of them leave we may want to sign another striker but I feel like Dos Santos could play the striker role. We should look into Hoilett and Lindegaard but I think the goal should be to hold onto what we have.

Posted by Kevin on 06/14/2012

Alright reports say 'arry is leaving and moyes will take over. I don't think any spurs fan will shed a tear the way he played us when he tot the 3 lions job was his! i hope we really replace him with moyes.

Now on to players, i agree with most of the comments here: gio is a confidence player and actually can fill the 'hole' role vdv plays. if vdv goes to schalke, keep gio otherwise cash in on him.

modric is leaving, simple as that. if he were staying he would have signed an extension before euros so he could focus on his footsie, but apart from man c i doubt any other team will pay the price for him. cheatski got hazard n marin, manure got kagawa, the arse won't pay, tat leaves man c and i suspect they'll do it and rotate him with silva or nasri.

bale has to stay, his favored barca won't pay 36million quid. not with spanish banks asking the ECB for aid! no bank will bankroll a loan like tat to barca now lol. so guess he's stuck with us another year!

Posted by Kevin on 06/14/2012


its a shame we didn't get marin to rotate him with lennon but with more than half a million footsie pros, i don't see why we can't get someone equally good. on that note, we gotta find a way to offload bentley the next beckham and jenas the king of the sideways pass!

on the development front, i say we play livermore to rotate with scottie, and hopefully the hud will be back soon. tat only leaves us short on the flanks. i'm thinking we can push kyle to right wing and use naughton as RB instead, might be worth an experiment or two. on the left, i say we bring andros townsend as a deputy for bale. hands up those who think he impressed during our short europa run. i liked his pace n work rate and with better crossing he can be a useful squad player.

if i had my way i'd fire the entire spurs forward line. yes ade scored 17 goals but he's not a clutch player, he NEVER delivers when we need him to. but we gotta be realistic he's probably the best choice we got for now.

Posted by Kevin on 06/14/2012


As Happy Sinng pointed out we can try a pop for damiao. huntelaar i feel is another one who crumbles when we need him. cavani is simply out of our reach with man c targetting him. if we can offload defoe, we might have funds to grab damiao, if not another feasible one is loic remy. i might be dreaming, but i tot Alan Dzagoev looks mighty good for russia at the euros! not sure if we can attract him though

we should try the 5-3-2 formation more often, i thought BAE with walker as wingbacks was pretty effective when we tried it last season. rose also seems a good understudy for BAE.

so it looks like a busy summer trying to clear out players and getting 3-4 better replacements. sympathies go out to levy for his family bereavement, hope he gets cracking and start the wheeling and dealing soon.

Posted by turbojim on 06/14/2012

I love to read of the above comments,interesting. Well, by this time, Harry already on the way out. What next? Exodus of the star players? Daniel Levy is to blame as well due to the financial limitation.
Harry has done well by bringing Spurs from bottom 4 to Top 4.
The club should show gratitude instead of firing him. Now, Harry should take over any of the rival club and teach Levy a lesson.
Thanks Harry for the wonderful 4 years. I had never dreamt of Spurs will go top 5 before you came. You're asked to leave for the wrong reason. Take over Moyes place if he happen to succeed you.

Posted by mats on 06/16/2012

From an outside view, dropping Harry seems "sane" if emotional: there were a lot of questions, and if the alternative was committing to 3yrs more, better to pull the string now. I'm curious to see if the new man can get more out of more players, Harry seemed to freeze a number out. Spurs have massive roster with tons out on loan, and still questions up top (Ade? or not?) and in back (can they win if Ledley isn't playing, and moderately fit? Which will be how many games?).

Posted by Pougar on 06/18/2012

Whoever gets the managerial position, be it Moyes, Martinez, AVB or some odd guy we've never heard of, MUST play Dos Santos and try to keep Adebayor. The rebuilding job is going to be huge, but Spurs already have several players that can become cornerstones. As soon as Gio is shown respect, and given an opportunity to gain confidence, he'll light it up. A player like him, who does breathtaking things for Mexico in crucial situations nd came through the Barca youth system, won't have lost his skill. He can be the spark, IF the club lets him.

Posted by Desinho on 06/18/2012

@turbojim Spurs were top 5 when Martin Jol was here. What are you talking about? What kind of Spurs fan are you to want Harry to beat us at a new club?! Get over it! Harry took us as far as he could. I didn't want to see him leave, but I ain't shedding tears at all. He doesn't have the nous or prowess to rotate a squad or focus on the job at hand.

Posted by LENNIE NAIDOO on 07/05/2012

Harry should have made a statement when the media branded his name as the new England manager and he should not have let the team slip to fifth in the league,and he will still be at Spurs today,but be that as it may,AVB needs to motivate these young players the way Sir Alex Fergusson spured on the likes of Scholes,Giggs,Beckham,Neville Brothers,Schmicheal to the Premiership and the Champions League titles.What has dbeen done has been done,no use finding fault,let move into a new era of titles

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