News reports of a team overhaul have been going around in famous journals. Is this a boon or curse to a struggling side that aims to finish in the top four?
With just six minutes to go Tottenham lead Chelsea 4-0. As the minutes count down and the tired legs of both teams trudge the field, sights of blue jerseys leaving the stadium become predominant. As the numbers get fewer and fewer the referee brings his whistle to his lips. A bleating tweet followed by two more and the last game of the Premier League Season comes to an end. The blue and white confetti covers the horizon as local lads dance in triumphant joy. Tottenham have won the Premier League, now only the Champions League is left to be won.
As that beautiful scene comes to an end I realise, with sadness, that this is an event I can enjoy only on my TV screen in the FIFA 2015 game. In reality, contrarily at a distant 10th, the real Tottenham Hotspur struggle to find continuous victories as they play in one of the most competitive leagues in the football world. Tottenham have got a new manager and are expecting new players to join them. News also propagates of some of their better players leaving the team. Is this really a time to allow a manager to overhaul the squad?
Tottenham Fans have been tired of Adebayor’s performances off late. His lethargic movement off the ball coupled with his style of play that is counterproductive to the rest of the team’s mentality has been a liability to the side. With recent injuries, Pochettino has not been able to witness any improvement in Tottenham’s once talismanic striker. Often criticised for playing only when in need of a contract, it would be wise for Spurs to be rid of him and seek newer personnel for this position.
He is still Tottenham’s best central defenders but increasing talks of his dissatisfaction have stirred up rumours of his departure. With van Gaal touted to be a favourite to bid for the Belgian, it would be a huge loss for the side if a player with dual ability (left back as well as center back) were to depart. However, recent press responses and the large number of Belgian teammates in the side might keep him rooted to Tottenham in the near future.
Lennon had fallen out of favour in the last few seasons for the Tottenham side. The English speedster had lost his place to more versatile and flashy players in the form of Lamela, Chadli and Townsend. This season, with Pochettino trying a direct approach to the game, Lennon was used in the previous two games where he worked hard and showed why he is indeed an asset to the team. However, if rumors are to be believed, the aging winger wishes to leave the club in search of regular game time, and the likely destination might be Hull City where the former captain Dawson plies his trade along with two other former team mates.
The Brazilian was heavily linked to Real Madrid and Chelsea in the last season. However, with Mason and Bentaleb occupying his spot and Capoue, Stambouli and Dembele to fight off on the bench, it might prove very difficult for the former Coranthians midfielder to shrug off competition and earn a playing spot once Capoue is back from injury.
Having worked with Pochettino, the Espanyol center half knows how to play in a high defensive line. Coupled with Fazio, it could be a deadly combination at center half. The Mexican international featured for his country in the World Cup and was a stalwart in the back four. However, recent press releases quoted the Mexican expressing his desire to stay at his club and work or returning to Espanyol’s starting line-up.
With his work permit being approved, the young American is set to move to London in the January transfer window. His blistering pace and his defensive prowess will be a welcome site to Tottenham’s crumbling right side of defense. He might be just the addition Tottenham need for the vacant right back position until Kyle Walker returns or might even overthrow him. However, having expected the same of Eric Dier and being disappointed, it cannot be accurately predicted as to how Yedlin might fit in.
Jay Rodriguez has been linked with Tottenham ever since Pochettino was appointed as the Spurs head coach. However, due to his injury, he has missed a major chunk of the current season. Having conceded his spot in the starting line up to Mane, Jay Rodriguez, who flourished under Pochettino, would no doubt favour a move to Tottenham like Schneiderlin. Here again, it would depend on his club releasing him and Spurs paying the right amount.
Looking back at few of the most consistent teams in the Premier League (Arsenal and Manchester United), one factor that has benefited the most is a consistent manager and a regular set of players. Tottenham have struggled with AVB trying to settle with a new set of players. After splurging on a number of them, he struggled to bring shape to a team and was axed in no time.
If we look at the likes of QPR and Manchester United in the last season, even though they had a set of quality players, too many new faces introduced at once has not given any of them enough time to be able to acclimatize to each other as well as the league. An overhaul of players by Pochettino would only make the team unfamiliar with each other and ruin the existing chemistry as less as it might be and might also cause the team to slip a few more places from where they currently are.
Tottenham should address only two concerns this transfer window. It should get rid of Adebayor and bring in a striker, and it should get rid of one of the excess midfield players to accommodate Dre Yedlin and in turn lighten the wage bill. Pochettino needs only one resource that can help him now, time. With the quality and personnel at his disposal, there is no doubt Tottenham can become a force to reckon with provided they give sufficient time to the manager and his squad to gel with each other and build a chemistry that can win them games.