August 5, 2009

Assessing our squad

Personally I’m quite pleased with the relatively modest amount of transfer activity so far at White Hart Lane.

So far, our dealings stand as follows:

In: Peter Crouch, Kyle Naughton, Kyle Walker.

Out: Darren Bent, Didier Zokora, Chris Gunter, Ricardo Rocha, Gilberto, Simon Dawkins, Kyle Fraser-Allen, Cian Hughton, Danny Hutchins, David Hutton, Jacques Maghoma and Takura Mtandari, plus Academy players Yaser Kasim, Saulo Asajile, Mark Clare, James Dalton and Ajet Shehu.

Out on loan: Ryan Mason, Steven Caulker (both Yeovil Town), David Button (Crewe Alexandra), Adel Taarabt (QPR), Troy Archibald-Henville (Exeter City), Ben Alnwick (Norwich City), Kyle Walker (Sheffield United).

With Pascal Chimbonda also expected to leave before the deadline, we’re left with a fairly healthy squad:

Goalkeeper: Heurelho Gomes, Carlo Cudicini, Oscar Jansson

Right back: Vedran Corluka, Alan Hutton, Kyle Naughton

Left back: Benoit AssouEkotto, Gareth Bale

Centre back: Ledley King, Jonathan Woodgate, Michael Dawson, Dorian Dervite

Right midfield: Aaron Lennon, David Bentley, Giovani Dos Santos

Left midfield: Luka Modric

Central midfield: Wilson Palacios, Jermaine Jenas, Tom Huddlestone, Jamie O’Hara, Kevin-Prince Boateng

Forwards: Peter Crouch, Robbie Keane, Jermain Defoe, Roman Pavlyuchenko


That’s a 25-man squad, ignoring Danny Rose, Jake Livermore, John Bostock, and Jon Obika, all of whom have played a part in pre-season, and Andros Townsend, Calum Butcher and Dean Parrett, who have previously been involved in first team squads.

The weakest area of the squad in my opinion is the left – we’re short of options at left midfield and, were Modric to get injured, Bale is the only other natural left-sided cover. Despite Gareth looking quite useful as a wing-back away at Everton last year, I wouldn’t be entirely comfortable with him being pushed into the first team for any length of time at this point. Left-back cover is also lacking – after AssouEkotto, again we’ve got Bale, who is defensively naive (at best), and Naughton, who is right-footed.

Higher quality competition in the middle of midfield would be nice, although I personally still see O’Hara as a useful option (so long as he’s happy to be a bit-part player) and, against the less athletic teams, Huddlestone has proven in the past that he can do a job too.

The other area that looks weak is central defence. With King only playing 20 games a season or so, and Woodgate needing a hernia op, we’re thin on the ground. Dawson is an able deputy and was, in my opinion, more impressive than Woodgate last year when called upon, but Corluka certainly looks less comfortable at centre back, and Dervite is still very, very raw. It seems that there’s a genuine interest in Bassong, which would make sense, as a pacy defender would be good cover for Ledley King. Personally I’d rather take Distin as a cheaper and more experienced option.

Up front, I still feel that we’re lacking a strong, aggressive striker. All of our strikers are, in one way or another, quite limited, and the combinations that we can field are similarly limited – it’s basically Crouch and one other! But the strikers we have are all good players, and most teams in the PL would be happy to have our selection. They aren’t perfect, but they’re good enough for the time being.

And that is why, with another 26 days until the transfer window closes, I hope that Harry largely decides to stick with what he’s got. It’s a good enough squad to compete for Europe, and we can build from there next summer.

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  • Renee says:

    I saw Gio in Gold Cup here in America, he can play left, middle or on right as he did for Mexico. O’Hara and Rose can play on the left. And it’s different to sometimes play Lennon out there. . .I remember seeing Giggs and Ronaldo switching wings for ManUre. . .Ashley

  • Anonymous says:

    A well written summary.But a typical Spurs blog. We are not interested in next summer, Its the coming season we are concentrating on.If Harry takes a chance Dos Santos plays on both wings for Mexico mostly left sided, The weakest area currently is central defence.

  • Windy says:

    I agree that we’re interested in the coming season – I think we’ve got a good enough squad now to finish in the European places, which would be a steady improvement on last year. I’m a big believer that the shape of the team, the pattern of play, and each man knowing his role like the back of his hand is more important than having a good collection of talented individuals, and I think Harry had us looking that way.

    Unfortunately for Giovani, it’ll take a big shift in attitude for Redknapp to even consider him. According to Redknapp, he’s been regularly late for training, and out late boozing. He stated himself on his web-site that he was fined and sidelined for two weeks for his drunken antics.

  • Enorme Nuez says:

    Outside the rumours of Bassong, Huntelaar and Sissoko, I do not seeing any more players arriving. Although ‘Arry has stated that Ledley has yet to kick a ball this pre-season, he has been keeping up on his fitness as he did throughout last season. Spending money on defenders when Dawson and Woody will return may come back to bite us. Corluka can partner Ledley and then Chimbonda or Dervite while Hutton is at right-back. Yes, that isn’t ideal, but should be suffice for the first month of the season. It may not be needed if Bassong does come as he would partner either Ledley or Corluka.

  • Anonymous says:

    What about putting Chimbonda in the squad?

  • CHew says:

    You forgot Danny Rose!

  • Anonymous says:

    spurs fan forever ….harry is quality

    THE Chairman is A TIGHT ARSE

    listen you guys we have good substance but need to begin to relise we have suffered as we cant stick to a squad we need the players to not move in or out a couple of changes always helps such a cb, a holding midfield player but the general needs support ofcourse jj doesnt always pull his wait but this is his time to claim a place in the england time just like ,lennon , david b, and others these youngsters are like new shoes you have to wear them in before they are comfortable , dare i say look at the gonners , we have a good team but i am like you sick and tired of the promise of a fresh start and it turns out to be a mediocare season ,
    with bent gone the money can only be used to strentgh the team altough i would love kjh to come in and bassong and sissocko i know harry buys british young stars who are assets who will come good we dont have money to splash around because the chairman is a tight w******, well hope we get somewhere i am sick of the stick of being a spurs fan , but i guess it comes with the terrtory ,
    harry if you read these comments rememebr we have a sense of pride and need you to deliver so plese build and take this team upwards

  • Windy says:

    I actually mentioned both Chimbonda and Rose – I anticipate Chimbonda to leave permanently, and Rose to leave on loan, possibly re-joining Brendan Rodgers at Reading.

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