Tottenham Hotspur and manager Andre Villas-Boas set a goal of finishing in a Champions League place at the beginning of the 2012-2013 season.
Now, Tottenham fans can admit it wasn't meant to be; Arsenal took their 1-2 defeat to Tottenham seriously, and with incredible form, ended the season with 26 points from a possible 30, finishing fourth in the Barclays Premier League.
Tottenham's failure this season came from a few poor performances against lower-ranked opponents, and the only way to stay level with Arsenal and not go too far behind the wealthy clubs of Chelsea and the Manchester duo is to invest in the transfer market.
There are few English teams that can compete financially with Chelsea and Manchester City. Manchester United have shown a different economical dominance, but while their money hasn't recently poured in from the owners' pockets, still eye record breaking signings to bring Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford .
In addition to that, "each of the 32 sides involved in the group stage will collect a base fee of €8.6m," according to the UEFA website. That extra money that Arsenal now have to spend over Tottenham can be crucial, if used wisely.
Daniel Levy, current chairman of Tottenham Hotspur, has been known in the past for selling world-class players and replacing them with players who are reasonably cheaper.
A perfect example is Luka Modric, who was sold for around £33 million to Real Madrid, and was replaced by Moussa Dembele, for around a £15 million deal, and Clint Dempsey for a deal around £6 million.
The discrepancy between the earnings of Modric and the two replacements has been evident in the lack of creativity in Spurs' central midfield, however goal wise, Dempsey has proven he can find the net from very difficult angles.
It was originally expected that star player Gareth Bale would leave if Spurs didn't make Champions League, but the Tottenham staff are confident Bale will sign a new contract with the club, according to reports.
Tottenham needs to keep Gareth Bale, not because he is necessary for Spurs to win, but because he poses such a threat to the other team. He has become a Messi or Ronaldo, in the fact that when he gets the ball, defenders are pulled towards him.
His pace, most noticeable on the left flank, combined with Kyle Walker and Aaron Lennon on the right, provides for lightning fast counter attacks. Here are a few positions that need to be filled to be prepared for next season:
A new back-up goalkeeper
Brad Friedel has done so much for the Tottenham club, and at the age of 42, is still able to maintain a high level. However, he is getting old, and his replacement of Hugo Lloris has been justified, as Friedel has seen himself sitting on the bench for most of the latter half of this season.
Although Tottenham will not be playing matches in the Champions League, progressing far into the Europa League and FA Cup will mean two games a week at least, and Lloris should not have to play that many minutes. A young back-up keeper such as Sven Ulreich of Stuttgart or even American Brad Guzan can be impressive off of the bench.
A speedy left back
Benoit Assou-Ekotto has been left out of the squad too many times due to injury and inconsistency this season. With Vertonghen's preference being more of a central role, and Kyle Naughton not technical enough, Danny Rose might have his chance at first team action at Tottenham. While he is not the tallest, he can provide with and speed on the left flank. Either Rose or young Luke Shaw of Southampton can be useful for years to come.
There has been enough speculation with the striker situation of Tottenham. Everyone knows about Emmanuel Adebayor's poor overall form this season and the injuries that have hindered Jermaine Defoe. Whether the rumours are true about David Villa of Barcelona, the Brazilian Leandro Damiao, or current Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain, at least one man is needed to fill the role of striker.
Joao Moutinho has been admired by AVB for quite some time. Scott Parker has been a great, cheap signing from West Ham United for Tottenham, but is getting old and is in need of a replacement. With the young talents of Lewis Holtby and Gylfi Sigurdsson, competition for the playmaker role for Spurs is a must for all of these players to grow and better themselves when they're on the pitch.
Andre Villas Boas needs to act swiftly and intelligently in the transfer market to assure Tottenham success in the coming years. Whether they consider it a failure to not have made Champions League for next season, the only way to continue the pursuit for top four finishes is through the transfer market, as every other big team will be doing this summer.
How else should Tottenham approach the transfer market? Put your opinions in the comments down below.
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