Discontent could derail Spurs’ title challenge

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Spurs have now tasted defeat for the first time in 11 Barclays Premier League games, though whether they actually deserved to lose is questionable.


The manner of the defeat suggests that Harry Redknapp’s side are unlikely to suffer any lasting damage to their title challenge.


The much-touted next England manager has a more pressing problem to deal with, though it hasn’t materialised into a full-blown hindrance just yet.


It began with the on-going saga over the future of Russian striker Roman Pavlyuchenko, who has oft talked of his desire to leave on many occasions.


Then there is the plight of Croatia international Niko Krancjar, who has become tired of watching on from the sideline and has voiced his desire for a move away.


This same problem grew slightly greater after a recent interview with Brazilian goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes, where he spoke of his frustration at warming the bench at White Hart Lane and broached the possibility of January transfer.


This problem manifested itself once again, though more seriously than the previous two, when young midfielder Sandro was reported, by his agent, to have a liking for Serie A.


While the previous two are understandable comments and would be no great loss to the Spurs squad, the news regarding Sandro is more worrying.


The 22-year-old is seen as an exciting prospect at White hart Lane and Redknapp would be loathe to see him leave before he was able to realise his potential.


Sandro is said to be in Redknapp’s plans, but it is no coincidence the comments from the agent have come while Spurs are going through their best run in many a year and the starting 11 seemingly picking itself.


Sandro has not been in the starting 11 and it is clear the agent’s comments are something of a warning to the Tottenham hierarchy.


The Brazil international is a confident young man who obviously expects to ne more involved in the first team, but may be prepared to go elsewhere to feel important.


The problem Harry Redknapp faces is that he cannot afford to change a side that had won ten of their 11 previous Barclays Premier League fixtures, while at the same time cannot countenance the possibility of losing such an exciting prospect as Sandro.


He is in a Catch-22 situation, where he has to either risk upsetting the rhythm of a winning team or risk losing a player who has shown the potential to become a vital part of another winning side.


The whole situation, including the unhappy states or Gomes and Pavlyuchenko, is in danger of undermining the in credible work Redknapp is carrying out at Spurs.


With the January transfer window nearly upon us, Redknapp would want to be concentrating in recruiting the quality back-up that is sorely needed to maintain the north London side’s title push.


Instead he could be distracted by the constant rumours and enquiries that come with the transfer window and unhappy players. This presents the club with the very real danger of having a whole host of want away players.


What Redknapp can do about this is hard to say, but do something he must. In the current situation he has a team capable of challenging for the highest honours, but his reserves are far short of being stars.


The prospect of shipping out deadwood like ‘Pav’, Gomes and, the most recent discontent bench habitual, Giovani dos Santos is probably a positive one.


However, should you end up losing a player the quality of Sandro at the same time it becomes a case of throwing out the baby with the bathwater.


Redknapp could end up having a great team but with sub-par back up for injury or fatigued stars and a faction of discontents.


Or he could have a harmonious dressing room filled by a quality side that cannot afford to get injured or tired.


Something about a rock and a hard place comes to mind.


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