Inside Lane: Why there’s no need for doom and gloom at Spurs
Tottenham blogger Henry Tribe looks ahead to the new Premier League season as Spurs prepare to kick off against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Whisper it quietly, I’m an optimistic Spurs fan. We seem to be a rare breed this summer.
The doom-mongers point to the sale of six first-team players, while only three have come in. They worry about our lack of midfield star signings, and our overreliance on Harry Kane up front. They look at our rivals for the top four, Liverpool and Manchester United, spending big money to bolster already impressive squads. How can we possibly compete, and try and improve on last season’s fifth-place finish?
Don’t get me wrong, these are areas for concern – and I’m sure during his quieter moments Mauricio Pochettino thinks about what an injury to Kane at Old Trafford on Saturday could do to our prospects this season. But let’s look at things another way. Are we going to miss players like Younes Kaboul, Etienne Capoue and Paulinho, who never played and did more harm than good when it came to team unity? No. Our squad was bloated and needed trimming – and we’ll be a better team for it.
Then there are the additions – three defenders to improve a back line that was depressingly leaky at times last season. Pochettino has recognised that his pressing high line requires pace, and so replacing Federico Fazio with Toby Alderweireld will prove to be a very shrewd move. Kieran Trippier will provide some much-needed competition for Kyle Walker – just look at the impact bringing Ben Davies in had on Danny Rose’s much-improved form last season.
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The other thing the doom-mongers forget is all the young talent coming back from loan spells. Dele Alli is already looking like he could play a big part for us this season, and then there are Alex Pritchard and Tom Carroll, who both had impressive loan spells last season. In Pochettino we have the right manager to turn these players into Premier League stars. Just remember where Kane, Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb were last summer.
So, let’s be optimistic. We certainly need a couple of quality additions in midfield, and a new striker once Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado inevitably head for the exit door. But we have the nucleus of a young, talented squad under a manager who has had a year to find his feet and adapt his system.
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Realistically, par performance for us in the league is sixth and anything above that is a bonus. However, there’s no reason we can’t compete with the big boys this season. Saturday’s game at Manchester United will give us an early indication into whether we really can close the gap between fifth and fourth. COYS!
Follow me on Twitter @henrytribe