Sunday saw Tottenham lose their third Premier League game in a row as they conceded in just 72 seconds to succumb 1-0 at White Hart Lane to local rivals Arsenal.
Tim Sherwood was a frustrated figure as he threw his Under Amour gillet down the Spurs tunnel just 15minutes into the hotly anticipated north London derby. It in some ways summed up Tottenham's season, which started with so much promise, albeit without their best player from last season and arguably one of the top five players in the world.
Gareth Bale became the most expensive player in football history with Tottenham receiving €100million from Real Madrid for the Welshman's services. Tottenham, realising how big a loss Bale was going to be, reinvested the money before he had even left, bringing in seven new players, who all came with credible reputations and most having won titles with their previous clubs.
But just what has gone wrong at Tottenham? How has a team with players like Hugo Lloris, Jan Vertoghen, Christian Eriksen and Roberto Soldado struggling to beat the likes of West Ham and Norwich, whilst conceding 11 goals to Manchester City alone and another 11 to Liverpool and Chelsea?
Here are the three big reasons why Tottenham have been struggling this season...
1. Tottenham bought too many players
Seven new players coming into the local Sunday League team is hard enough to gel but at least then they can all speak the same language and have all played in a similar style and type of league.
But blending in seven new players who have never played in the Premier League and who all come from all over the world was going to be a huge task, as Spurs are now finding out. It was always going to take a long time for the players to settle, especially the younger ones like Lamela and Eriksen.
As fans we forget that the players are leaving their friends, family, in some cases have to learn a new language and culture, put their children in new schools and it does take time to settle. Imagine if the company you worked for told you that you had to relocate with your whole family- no matter how much money you are earning - it would be a tough thing to do.
Lamela was brought in to replace Bale - he has hardly featured due mainly to injury. Eriksen has been the best of the seven, but even he has been hit with injury and has hardly played in his best position.
Paulinho started the season quite well but has played a lot of football (Confederations Cup and Club World Cup) and is still learning a new language and culture. Capoue and Chiriches both started well but then got injured, Soldado has been really unlucky and just simply has found it hard to adapt his game to suit the Premier League, whilst Chadli hasn't had a consistant run in the team.
2. Not keeping your best players
Andre Villas-Boas was sacked after a 0-5 defeat at White Hart Lane to Liverpool. It was the most embarrassing defeat this season for Spurs fans because it was against a team we, on paper, were better than and had been better than for the last three seasons.
It also emphasised how important it was to keep you best player. Luis Suarez has done everything to damage his Liverpool career - he has been banned for 10 games, he has racially abused a player, he has bitten a player and he has even threatened to take Liverpool to court, yet he is still their player and is now helping them become potential champions.
That easily could have been Spurs if we had kept Gareth Bale. Yes, he might have sulked for the first two or three games but eventually he would have knuckled down and played for Spurs just like Suarez has done at Liverpool. Selling Modric one season, then selling Bale the next simply will not take us to that next level.
It is very frustrating to watch both Modric and Bale for Real Madrid because they were our players who with them in our current team would surely be up there competing for the title. We have a world class keeper, a world class centre back in Vertoghen, while Chiriches is a star in the making.
Kyle Walker and Danny Rose are both young with a lot of potential. Paulinho, Eriksen, Sandro and Dembele are all very good midfielders and when at their best are all world class footballers. Adebayor as Sherwood has shown, can be unplayable on his day. We are lucky to still have a few world class players left but if we sell any more we will easily slip into mid-table mediocrity.
3. Change of manager
Its a tale of two extremes when it comes to Tottenham's managerial appointments. Andre Villas-Boas is a foreign, tactically motivated and textbook manager whist Tim Sherwood is an old school Harry Redknapp inspired English manager. What do Spurs actually want?
When AVB was appointed he talked about having a project and building at team that will challenge in the near future. Then why is it that a year and a half into that future is he now manager of Zenit St.Petersburg and Tim Sherwood is now manager at White Hart Lane?
Have Tottenham really improved since AVB's sacking? They have won more games and the football is slightly better but AVB had a win rate of 55 percent and only lost 16 games, albeit two of them were a 6-0 and 5-0 defeats to Liverpool and Manchester City. But he is one of the best managers Spurs ever had yet he still got sacked.
Now most expect Sherwood to lose his job and be replaced by Louis van Gaal, who seems to want to mange Spurs more than Daniel Levy, but is that not going back on what Tottenham wanted in employing AVB in the first place?
They wanted someone for the long term which is why the got rid of Redknapp and went for AVB. Then in came Sherwood now back they appear to be heading back to someone slightly older in Van Gaal. It's evident that Tottenham are just not certain on which direction they want to take. Do they want instant success with a manager for two-three years? Or do they take a step back with a young manager like Sherwood, give him time and allow him to create his own team, similar to the way Brendan Rodgers has done with Liverpool? That is now for Levy to decide.
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