Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Spurs 1-0 Swansea, Ars*nal 1-0 Spurs and transfer window round up

Blimey.

Where on earth do I start?  The last couple of weeks have been manic for Tottenham and it has been hard to keep track of it all.  I made comment about Bale leaving last week.  I wish him all the best but I'll break everything else down below...

The Transfer Window

I think that was the transfer windows to end all transfer windows as far as Spurs fans are concerned.  Levy and Baldini worked their genius to get some real quality into the club and got rid of a lot of the deadwood.

Here's a quick run down of the deals...

Ins:
Paulinho (£17m, Corinthians)
Nacer Chadli (£7m, FC Twente)
Roberto Soldado (£26m, Valencia)
Etienne Capoue (£9.4m, Toulouse)
Vlad Chiriches (£8m, Steaua Bucharest)
Erik Lamela (£30m, Roma)
Christian Eriksen (£11.5m, Ajax)
Total £108.9m

Outs:

Jack Barthram, David Bentley, William Gallas, Jack Munns, Jake Nicholson (released) Massimo Luongo, Grant Hall, Ryan Mason (loan, Swindon)
John Bostock (free, Royal Antwerp)
Tomislav Gomelt (loan, Royal Antwerp)
Adam Smith (loan, Derby)
Bongani Khumalo (loan, Doncaster)
Steven Caulker (£8m, Cardiff City)
Clint Dempsey (£6m, Seattle Sounders)
Tom Huddlestone (£5m, Hull City)
Jake Livermore (loan, Hull City)
Scott Parker (£4m, Fulham)
Gareth Bale (£85.3m, Real Madrid)
Massimo Luongo (£400,000, Swindon)
Tom Carroll and Benoit Assou-Ekotto (loan, QPR).
Total £108.7m

Net spend £0.2m

Of course, its a massive blow to lose Gareth Bale to Real Madrid for a world record £85.3m but it really has allowed Baldini free reign to recruit some of Europe's best young talent and again we're operating within budget.

With Bale going, our net spend equates to £200k.  It doesnt get better than that, does it?  We've brought in the exciting winger/inside forward Erik Lamela from Roma for £30m and we've brought in Ajax playmaker, Eriksen for £11.5m.  Presumably both will play behind Soldado with either Lennon, Chadli or Townsend with two holding midfielders behind.

This brings me to the two games Spurs have played since I last updated on Spurs... 

Spurs 1-0 Swansea 

Izzy's first ever Premier League game in the Park Lane end and she loved it.  Soldado's penalty being the difference between the two sides.  Spurs dominated for long periods but struggled for a cutting edge.

Spurs 3-0 Dynamo Tblisi

A Defoe brace and a barnstormer from Holtby from outside the box saw Spurs comfortable winners, through 8-0 on aggregate and into the group stage of the Europa League.  Holtby was my MOTM, run the game like a dream just behind Defoe.  Good to see the lad back after injury and hopefully he'll motor on this season now and will provide good competition for Eriksen.  Sandro was magnificent on his first full competitive ninety minutes since returning from injury.

Ars*nal 1-0 Spurs 

First defeat of the season inflicted by a first half-winner from Olivier Giroud.  Again, Spurs had long periods of possession but were left to rue no cutting edge in the side, highlighted by AVBs selection of three holding midfield players in Dembele, Paulinho and Capoue, instead of playing a recognised attacking midfielder of the likes of Sigurdsson or Holtby.  Dembele is not the answer to play in an attacking role.  At this stage of the season, it is not a disasterous defeat.  It will take the guys time to gel but we have got time to recover.  We're still ahead of where we were at this stage last season.  Absolutely no question we got we deserved from the game though.  Nothing...

...the lack of cutting edge in both games was clear for all to see.  Its a huge worry even at this early stage of the season.  Hopefully Lamela and Eriksen will make the difference.

A few observations to make from the three PL games this season...

  • Capoue (pronounced Ka-poo!) is an absolute beast in the middle.  Was excellent against Palace when he came on as a late substitute and fully warranted his start against Swansea and he was magnificent.
  • Chadli looks tidy.  Will need time to settle.
  • Paulinho looks good as you would expect him too.
  • Great to see Sandro back.
  • If Soldado is going to profit, he needs service.  He just hasnt got that in the first three PL games this season (am excluding the inferior opposition of Dynamo Tblisi in the Europa League).  Playing three defensive midfielders is not going to help.  Why on earth did AVB go with Dembele instead of Holtby or Sigudsson?  No idea.  Ok, Holtby played 70 mins on Thursday night but surely he was worth a go with 20 minutes to go and we were chasing the game.
  • Lloris is by far the best goalkeeper we've had at Spurs since Ray Clemmence and Big Pat Jennings.
  • Dawson, for all his heart, shouldnt be first choice at the back.  If Kaboul is fit, he needs to be first name on the team sheet alongside Vertonghen.
  • I've got major question marks against both full backs, Rose and Walker.  I think both are fortunate that they are blessed with electric pace which will help them out of difficulties time and time again.
All in all, apart from the actual result against Ars*nal, it has been one hell of a couple of weeks to be a Tottenham supporter.  

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