Pretenders or Contenders?
4. Tottenham: Tottenham gets their own post. First, because I’m a Tottenham supporter. Second, because I don’t know what to make of their chances for this season.
First, there is the matter of the new manager. Andre Villas-Boas did make an impression on me with his management of Chelsea last season. It was not a good impression. Chelsea was perhaps the most incompetently managed team in the league when AVB was at the helm, which was the first two-thirds of the season. At the same time, Harry Redknapp was looking like Manager of the Year material. So, what happens? Uncle ‘Arry gets the sack and AVB gets hired by a club that finished ahead of the club that he managed. Truth is stranger than fiction. However, AVB will bring some swagger to the club which is sorely needed, and will have players better suited to his football philosophy.
To muddy the waters further, I’m also fairly sure that Daniel Levy, the Spurs chairman, is one of the most astute executives in the business. So, I have to assume that AVB was thoroughly vetted and that Mr. Levy probed deeply and was satisfied with the “lessons learned” portions of the conversations he had with AVB.
In terms of the squad itself, the team is making all the right moves. Center back was their top need, so they acquired Jan Vertongen, the Ajax captain who was the player of the year in Eredivisie. They needed an attacking midfielder and acquired Gylfi Siggurdsson. It looks as though they will make some kind of arrangement for the services of Emmanuel Adebayor at striker. Gareth Bale signed a new contract. Certainly, some other moves will be made.
It appears that Luka Modric will be sold, which will be a loss for Spurs, but they should be strong enough in the aggregate to offset Modric’s absence.
Their starting eleven will be competitive with the top three clubs. However, once injuries and suspensions hit, Chelsea and the two Manchester clubs have much deeper benches.