The core of Tottenham’s squad is French national captain Hugo Lloris, commanding centre-back duo Younes Kaboul and Jan Vertonghen, Brazilian defensive midfield stalwart Sandro, and Player of the Year Gareth Bale. No other ‘core’ in the Premier League is arguably as competent as that one. With players such as Mousa Dembele, Michael Dawson, Kyle Walker, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Aaron Lennon and Lewis Holtby around it, could Tottenham be ready to make the jump up to the top of the league?
The two Manchester clubs and Chelsea have appointed new managers over the summer: David Moyes, Manuel Pellegrini and Jose Mourinho. New managers generally take between 3 and 6 months to settle in, if they do at all. But Tottenham have the benefit of a settled manager in Andre Villas-Boas, who has taught the Lilywhite players his methods; this is demonstrated by Spurs being 2nd in the form guide between December 2012 – 5 months after his appointment – and May 2013. Only Manchester United bettered their record throughout that period. The same Manchester United who could struggle to adapt to life without the king of Old Trafford, Sir Alex Ferguson.
Spurs have a young squad, with the oldest member of the core mentioned above being just 26. Bale and Sandro are still in their early twenties. They have an enormous amount of potential and should naturally show a recognisable improvement next season. However, with the top 4 showing a willingness to spend big money to improve their squads, Tottenham must follow suit. They have been linked with Brazilians Bernard, Paulinho and Leandro Damiao together with Spaniard David Villa. Whilst it is extremely unlikely that all will sign, the chances of one or two are strong possibilities and have the potential to transfer the Tottenham squad from a very good one into a great one. A starting XI comprising the likes of Lloris, Vertonghen, Sandro, Paulinho, Bale and Villa would certainly be an intimidating proposition for any opposition.
But money-wise, they can’t compete with the Manchester Uniteds and Citys of this world. And that is why they must act now, whilst their new managers are still finding their feet with their respective squads. In the last two seasons, Spurs have had 12 match unbeaten runs in the middle of the season; if they can start the season off with that type of form, make a prudent acquisition or two in January, and receive a large amount of luck then anything could happen.
I for one think that a team of Lloris; Walker, Kaboul, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto; Sandro, Dembele, Paulinho; Lamela, Bale, and Villa could challenge for the title.