Welcome to the very first CFC Roundtable. Each week I'll be asking some of my fellow CFC writers their thoughts on a variety of Spurs related news, but we'll also try and keep it fun too. In our first edition, we tackle transfers, Wenger-ing & Watch the Throne.
1) How worried are you by the lack of transfer moves by Spurs this window period? Expecting another late flurry?
2) The latest credible transfer rumor is Bryan Ruiz from FC Twente. Would this transfer make the summer worthwhile for you? Why/why not?
3) We've gotten to see our fair share of absurd transfer rumors involving Spurs this summer. Which rumor would you have liked to have seen come true? Which rumor left you screaming "NO NO OMG NO!"?
4) Which young Spurs player are you looking forward to seeing play this season and why?
5) What are your 2011-12 season predictions for Spurs? (i.e. how they'll finish, any trophies, any surprises?)
1) I'm very worried, but I'm also not surprised. As we discussed on the podcast, I don't think that there is a lot of separation between Tottenham, Arsenal, and Liverpool. If any of those three teams make a big signing to fill their biggest hole while the others stagnate, that team instantly jumps to the clear-cut favorite for fourth place. We need a striker badly, just like Liverpool needs a central defender and Arsenal needs a goalkeeper. First team to make a big move to fill their major hole is the winner.
2) Bryan Ruiz is a great player and I think he can fill our need as a central striker. He might be best wide left, but this is not a Juan Mata situation where he is definitely a left winger and playing out of position if he plays somewhere else. He's spent plenty of time at striker and I think that - while he is not the ideal No. 9 - he's a major improvement over what we have and a quality player. I'd be happy with our summer transfer window if we signed him without losing any major pieces.
3) I wish that either the Vucinic or Llorente rumors were true. I was not happy with the Rossi rumors, I still hate the Parker rumors and the Mata rumors were just plain stupid.
4) I'm really hoping that Kyle Walker can cement himself as the first choice right back this season. Vedran Corluka isn't the greatest athlete in the world and Alan Hutton is lacking in defensive qualities. Walker's the best athlete of the bunch, the best at putting in crosses, and he's probably a better defender than Hutton as well.
5) With our current roster, I don't think that top four is terribly likely, though it wouldn't be stunning. I think we could see a surprise run deep into one of the cups or Europa League, especially if we don't start out too hot in the league and we're just holding on for top six.
1) I can't really be worried because I am not surprised. Daniel Levy wasn't going to let Harry Redknapp buy without selling first and he doesn't like taking losses on players so who exactly were we going to be able to sell so we could buy? Because of that I'm not really worried. We aren't going to finish in the top four, but with Liverpool's recent spending and City running a long ways away from us, I didn't think we were going to anyways.
2) I'd love it if we signed Bryan Ruiz. He's not Fernando Llorente or some of the other guys we have been linked to, but he is a very good player who can player striker, even if he's usually a winger. We like to talk about how Spurs need someone to hold the ball up, but it's not as if we needed hold up play to create chances last year. We needed someone who could finish and Ruiz can definitely do that while also chipping in with a little hold up play.
3) The rumor that had me kicking and screaming in disgust was the one that we were keeping Alan Hutton. Oh, wait, that's really happening? Crap. I want Llorente more than anyone so he's the fish we missed on, even if I never thought it would happen. I'd have also liked the Messi rumor to be true. The Mail reported that one, right?
4) I sure hope we see a lot of Kyle Walker. For some reason, Harry thinks Hutton is a serviceable right back so despite having Corluka and Kaboul available, Harry will play Hutton as first choice. That is unless Walker can pass him up and become the first choice right back, which would be fantastic for keeping Hutton off the team.
5) I can't see us finishing higher than sixth. Arsenal and Liverpool are vulnerable, but we need to make at least one, if not two signings to really be able to give them a run and go top four so sixth it is. I can see Harry turning to the FA Cup and making it a priority with the top four becoming more unlikely as the season goes on though so a trophy is possible.
1) Yes and no. On the one hand I'm not worried because we have a good enough squad in its present state to finish in the top 6. On the other I'm worried because the club has Champions League ambitions and a season of maintaining the status quo is not going to get us back there.
2) Would it make the summer worthwhile? Absolutely not. Ruiz is good, or at least that's what everyone keeps saying, and I'm sure he could contribute to the team. However, being good and making all the rumors and bullshit we've been through worth it this summer are two different things. The only way that this summer is worth it is if we sign Diarra, a big name striker, and one other player. The ONLY WAY!
3) I think we all loved the Llorente rumors, but I really really wanted Leandro Damiao. The stupidest rumor of the summer was, far and away, was the Bobby Zamora rumor.
4) I know everyone else will say Kyle Walker and as much as I want to see him play I'm looking forward to seeing if Harry Kane plays any in the cups. I think Kane is the best striking prospect to come through Spurs in a long time and I'm interested to see what he can do against better competition. I also want to see Steven Caulker, but he's on loan at Swansea so I don't think that counts.
5) We'll finish in sixth. We'll be largely disappointing in the cup competitions. And to know one's surprise most of the people on this site will develop drinking problems (or larger drinking problems).
1) Mildly worried. But Levy's M.O. has always been to buy late in the window where values are to be found. I do expect a late flurry, and expect to see some players leaving the club and arriving before the end of August.
2) It would be a good transfer to get Ruiz, and might just make the summer worthwhile. He could help me fulfill my dream of seeing Tottenham use the 4-6-0 formation, and not have to see all our strikers for once. He's a fantastic player that could give us a true inside-out threat from the right, and would rival van der Vaart for goal scoring.
3) Rumor I wanted- Berbatov back to Tottenham. I miss the old guy, and he would immediately become by far our best striker, and plus, we'd have back..."The Continental." Rumor I hated... anything that had Peter Crouch leaving. I like my athletes disproportionately
4) I'm really looking forward to seeing Souleymane Coubialy this year. The dude could not stop scoring in the U-17 World Cup. He also has a really cool name. That's what matters to me.
5) I'm saying 4th place in the league, a shock Carling Cup trophy (somebody's got to win it), and an Europa League semi-final. Dream season! Also, Harry Kane makes his first team debut this season, causing Ashlock to start sobbing sweet tears of joy.
Bryan: I'll only get a little choked up for Kane's debut. If he scores a goal for the first team, that's when the tears will come.
Ryan: Did you buy his jersey yet or are you waiting until you rape him and take it off his back?
Bryan: I was planning on the latter, but now that you mention it buying it makes much more sense.
Bryan: Time to liven this roundtable up. We need some non-Spurs discussion because this is demoralizing. Anyone else been listening to Watch the Throne? It's been on a loop since I downloaded it. Is it just me or does Kanye completely overshadow Jay-Z?
Evan: I've been listening to Watch the Throne consistently since it came out. I wouldn't go as far to say Kanye overshadows Jay-Z because the guys really don't have anything to prove at this point in their careers, but Kanye's lyrics are definitely great. He always has subtle references that you have to hear back a second or third time to fully grasp while Jay-Z is a bit more straight forward. I'm a big fan of Frank Ocean so hearing him on the CD multiple times is fantastic.
Brian: The thing that stands out the most to me is the quality of the production, there are some phenomenal beats on this album. The Lift Off, N***as in Paris, and Murder to Excellence beats are phenomenal. There was also a really nice mix of types of songs on the album, hype tracks, personal tracks, and bigger scale societal tracks.
Evan: Kanye always has done a great job of picking great samples to base his beats around. I'm a big fan of "Otis" myself...probably one of the most soulful hip-hop tracks.
Which Spurs youngster are you looking forward to seeing play the most this year? Big fan of the Jay-Z/Kanye album? Share below.