The consecutive defeats to both Manchester sides left Spurs fans bewildered, confused about the direction the club was heading and worried that a relegation scrap may be on there hands. Remember, no team is good enough to go down as proven by the likes of Newcastle United and Southampton in the past. The ongoing Luka Modric saga didn’t help matters and while the Croatian may have stayed at White Hart Lane and be playing to his top standards once more, his refusal to play against Manchester United followed by the tepid performance against Manchester City days later left little to the imagination that the future was bright; the future is Lilywhite.
Fortunately, before the 5-1 drubbing at the hands of the Citizens, Spurs had wrapped up the signing of Emmanuel Adebayor, albeit on a season long loan, and despite the sceptics, Spurs fans have all but warmed to the signing of the Togolese forward. Impressive in his opening three outings against Wolves, Liverpool and Wigan, hitting three goals in the process, the 27-year-old, despite his Arsenal roots, has quickly become a fan favourite. And why shouldn’t he? Adebayor had all the makings of a world class striker; pace, strength, exceptional technical ability, as demonstrated by his first goal against Liverpool, casually lofting the ball over Pepe Reina before tapping into an empty net, and as his efforts have proven, a keen eye for goal.
His signing as being heralded as a masterstroke on Daniel Levy’s part, the Spurs chairman convincing Manchester City to cough up half of his wages for the duration of his stay at White Hart Lane. However, it has come about 12 months too late for the North London side unfortunately. Spurs have been crying out for a new striker since they reached the enchanted land of the Champions League and while the signing of Rafael Van der Vaart appeased the Spurs faithful, his arrival was only temporarily masking a permanent problem.
Jermain Defoe and Roman Pavlyuchenko attempted to form a decent partnership with the Dutchman, only to see the respective duos efforts fail to reap the rewards. It was the recently departed Peter Crouch who enjoyed a blossoming relationship with the midfielder, his knockdowns often being tucked away by the former Real Madrid man. Nonetheless, it wasn’t to last and teams quickly picked up on the Spurs plan which, unfortunately for the club, meant the goals dried up at an astronomical rate. While a decent striker could, and probably should, have had their fair share of goals, Crouch unfortunately wasn’t quite up to the proposition of leading the front-line on his own.
His departure allowed Adebayor to come in and the step-up in quality is apparent for all to see. Defoe has started scoring the goals that made him such a threat going forward once more and the England man is looking sharper and more confident with Adebayor up alongside him. It’s a shame Defoe missed the 2-1 win over Wigan due a virus prior to kick-off otherwise he would have easily added to his three goals scored already this season.
And while Adebayor may have failed to hit the back of the net in the win at the DW Stadium, his persistence up front meant Spurs came away with all three points when in the past it would have been anything but. Yet, it isn’t just Adebayor who has made a significant impact during his short time at Spurs; Scott Parker has proven an astute acquisition by Redknapp and a steal at only £5m.
If the aforementioned 5-1 defeat highlighted any major deficiency in the Spurs squad, it is that a decent center-midfielder ready to break down attacks before starting up new ones was desperately needed. And while Sandro is already at Spurs to do that job, the knee injury he suffered at the Copa America means he had only just returned to first-team duties. Parker’s arrival has revitalized Spurs and his willingness to sit-back on mop on anything that comes his way has allowed Modric to do what he does best; break forward and support the attack.
It’s no coincidence that with Parker in the starting XI, Spurs look a much meaner, a much tougher opponent then perhaps they looked in the past. The win against Wigan also showcased the steel that Spurs can have in the midfield, especially on tough away trips to Stoke City, Bolton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers. Parker and Sandro as the midfield two saw the side look much more sturdy and balanced compared to the midfields of past. While many fans were lambasting the signing of the former West Ham United captain, Parker’s arrival has all but boosted Spurs as they look to break back into the top four and his outings thus far have proven why he was awarded the FWA Football of the Year.
Before the arrival of both Adebayor and Parker, many of the Spurs faithful doubted whether another top four challenge would be likely. However, with both players now performing admirably in the white shirt, many believe a top three finish is firmly on the cards and if the results of the last three weeks to go by, Spurs fans have every right to be confident this season.
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