The 2012/13 season has been a massive shake up, it has seen the departure of manager Harry Redknapp and key players in Ledley King, Luka Modric and Rafa van der Vaart for Tottenham Hotspur.
So, the million dollar question: Is fifth place, the Europa league place, really that bad? This is a transitional season, new manager, new tactics, adjusting to a different Spurs, a new Spurs that is newly founded under the creator Andre Villas Boas.
The Lilywhites have got this far with two strikers that lets face it, haven't been good enough for Champion League. Maybe if you took all their good moments and stretched those moments over the whole season, you might end up with champions league. It's really been Adebayor who has been truly slacking this year, but that is for another article. Fifth place this year could be an achievement for the Lilywhites, but is this what the fans think? They want Champions league, hungry for that taste again. Fifth place this season, in my eyes, is acceptable.
Next season, however, fifth place is definitely needed to be improved on. Dropping one of the slacking strikers and replacing him with a more consistent performer, coupled with a wide man for the cover of Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale, should claim Champions league. Townsend will be a big boost for Spurs next season, a player with great potential and even a future Spurs key man.
Is it an excuse to define this season as transitional? Should a Premier league side, in the top four, be blaming a loss of key players and back-room staff for a slump? Well, the question we should really be asking is, has Tottenham replaced those key players and staff with good replacements? Andre Villas Boas is the next manager, who has reshaped Spurs for the better, is getting Spurs playing some rather good football, and with his good rotation system, our players aren't getting as tired as last season. Jan Vertonghen has been an excellent replacement for Ledley King, if there was a replacement for him, he comes the closest to it. He has been very consistent in this season and has been known to score some goals too! Better than Adebayor, in the league. But, should we seen Gallas sold? Gallas is getting past it, his constant errors are overshadowing his experience. Caulker is an ample solution to this problem, young, determined and strong, he can deal with the biggest blokes in the Premier League and he should be starting ahead of him easily! Luka Modric and Van der Vaart left. Sigurdsson, Holtby and Dembele joined. I wouldn't really say these three signings are the same players as Modric, they all bring different qualities, but are they as effective? Dembele has been solid this season, fantastic when played with Sandro, and still playing with Parker. Sigurdsson has moments of shining wonderfulness but hasn't really hit his highest potential yet. Lewis Holtby shined very brightly on his debut, but has he really showed those moments again? Yes, in some matches he has, but not so consistently as Dembele.
However, Holtby's passion is really what is great about him. He gets about the pitch and plays for his team, not for himself! He'd happily run himself into the ground so long as it helps his team! I would say, once these signings get better, reach their potentials, it is possible they will be of greater value than Modric and Van der Vaart.
Don't aim too high this season Spurs fans, maybe next season is a better time to aim as high as Bill Nicholson wants you to!
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