Tottenham challenged until the last game of the season for the coveted fourth spot in the Premier League.
Unfortunately they didn’t quite make the grade and Arsenal did. There is a high sense of frustration amongst Tottenham fans due to the belief that Spurs have a superior side to Arsenal and it is they, on paper, who should have achieved the rights to fourth spot.
Andre Villas-Boas will hope to strengthen his squad over the summer to ensure this does not happen again. So let’s have a look at three priorities that Tottenham need to focus on to have a chance of challenging the top four next season.
1. Keep Gareth Bale
Tottenham have arguably the prized asset of the Premier League, the player who stands above all others: Gareth Bale.
The electrifying pace, footballing intelligence and beautifully crafted shot of the Welshman makes Bale a player that can win matches on his own. Twenty-one goals and eight assists in the Premier League, in addition to the excellent creativity and magnificent build up play he brings to his play, makes him a game-changer and a world-class player with equally high ambitions.
As this is the case, Tottenham need to convince Bale that he is at the right club, that the club is heading for success and that he will be the centre piece for the journey.
If Tottenham cannot convince Bale to stay, then they have lost the difference which turns a loss into a win - and it will damage their Premier League ambitions significantly.
To ensure success, it is vital Bale stays at Tottenham because once a club start losing their best players the momentum is lost, the fluidity is removed and success becomes unreachable.
2. Urgent need for a left-back
Tottenham fans may argue that there are other priorities in the squad and that a left-back is not one of them.
They may point to Assou-Ekotto or Danny Rose coming back from his loan stay at Sunderland as ensuring that the left-back position is in good hands. But it is not.
Assou-Ekotto is inconsistent and does not show the defensive abilities that are needed to keep an impenetrable back-line. All great sides build from the back, and now Tottenham have a fine goalkeeper in Hugo Lloris and an outstanding defender in Jan Vertonghen it is important that defensive leaks are cemented and not simply covered over.
Danny Rose still looks vulnerable at the back and he is not the man to safeguard Tottenham’s left-back position. Tottenham need a strong, intelligent left-back that is exceptional at cutting out crosses and exerting pressure on dynamic, threatening wingers.
If Tottenham do not buy a left-back they will exposed and vulnerable, in addition to conceding goals which could be the difference between success and failure.
3. Desperate need for a striker
It is obvious that Tottenham need a striker who can hit high double figures in the Premier League. This will also help to release the burden on Gareth Bale’s shoulders.
Jermain Defoe started the campaign convincingly but slowly drifted off as the season continued scoring only one goal in the Premier League in 2013. Emmanuel Adebayor took an entire season to get his campaign going and cannot be relied upon to score consistently week in week out.
Tottenham have to purchase a striker who can work in tandem with Bale but he also has to be a natural goalscorer, somebody who will convert the chances that are created by the imagination of Tottenham’s midfield.
If all three of these priorities are checked of the list Tottenham have a great chance of doing something really special next year.
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