Good first post, fronted. -Kevin
The first four games of the season, in my opinion, have yet to tell us very much at all about how we are to fare this year under our Portuguese prodigy. Rather than dissecting the individual moments in our early excursions, I am going to try and take in some of the overriding messages which have struck me upon viewing. Rest assured that my posts from here on in will of course be much more focussed. this is merely an amalgamation of the spurs related thoughts currently floating around in my head.
Firstly, I have been massively impressed with Jan Vertonghen. He has yet to test himself against the very best in our colours, but everything about him exudes class. If he can get a solid season under his belt this time around, I really feel he could go on to be a top centre back over the next 5 years or so.
Weighing in on the Gareth bale debate is something I do very tentatively. First things first, he hasn't been at his best early on. However, those who are putting this down to his change of position or simply due to his desire to influence the game all over the pitch, I believe may be jumping the gun. Gareth is easily my single favorite footballer of all time, (albeit as a 19 year old i have no basis of comparison to Hoddle, Ardiles, Mackay or any of the other spurs greats those with more knowledge than me hold in such high esteem) but I can still acknowledge that since January last season he has not been the same player we know and love. However, whilst I am not dismissing the view that he is more effective as an out and out left winger, I think it is important to note that our form as a team also dipped significantly in the second half of last season, and we haven't been at our best yet this season, especially at the lane. I say, give Gareth at least another couple of months in his new role as a roaming left forward, as the Gareth Bale that we are comparing him with was playing in a spurs team playing wonderful football, and as such he was given plenty of opportunity to wreak havoc. This has not been the case recently, but I think that if we skip ahead to later in the season to when our new look midfield has settled in then hopefully we will be seeing the Bale we know and love back to his unplayable best.
Although I have always felt that somewhat paradoxically, the key to Bale's form can be Aaron Lennon and vice versa, I have to say i'm not sure the two of them have played well together since the games over Inter Milan, an appalingly long wait for two extremely dangerous wingers to piece it together. My gut feeling is that Andre Villas Boas could be the man to end this wait, by working on the movement in the midfield 3 (shall we assume Sandro, Sigurdsson and Dembele for the time being) we may be able to create more 1 on 1 situations for Azza and Gazza to exploit. The problem with having Luka Modric, Rafael Van Der Vaart and Emmanuel Adebayor as the other main attacking players in our side was that there were perhaps too many clever flicks rather than the hard running on and off the ball which is truly effective, especially against the lower ranking teams in the premiership against whom we always seem to slip up. The key to solving this for me is Moussa Dembele, who makes up for what he lacks in passing range compared to our Croatian casualty he more than makes up for in energy. The key element to this in my opinion is that his roaming all over the pitch will help create holes for our other direct attacking players, namely Gareth Aaron and JD, and I think that given space Gareth and JD are as good as any of their equivalents in the premier league, and that Aaron in 09/10 may well have been the most sensational run of form I've ever witnessed. Lets hope that the Moose's arrival can have the kind of impact that I believe it should do.
And finally, the immensely tricky situation involving the two strikers who were being labelled as insufficient before the season began, and now we are having real difficulty accommodating two players who probably deserve to play. Ade last year was great for us, his goal and assist stats totaling very nearly one in one. He may not be the most prolific finisher, but he makes alot of opportunities for himself and for others and is much closer to the model of the ideal lone front man in the Premier League. Having said that, I have always said that given 40 games Jermain Defoe will contribute at least 20 goals, how many strikers are there in the world you can truly feel confident saying that about?
The most pleasing factor in all of these debates as far as i'm concerned is a very new feeling for me as a spurs fan. I may have supported spurs for 14 of my 19 years but until i was 14/15 I was no more than keeping an eye on results and playing career mode as North London White on Pro Evo (before the fifa re-colonisation). Because of this, i only have 4 or so years experience as a die hard spurs fan not missing a game, and therefore I am only really qualified to talk about Harry Redknapp as a spurs manager, and so it is truly a remarkable thing for me to be able to say that I think the spurs manager at the moment can and will sort out these problems. He has the football brain to know whether it should be JD or Ade up front and also how to make the best of our best players. He has no interest in making decisions based on the short term appeasement of spurs fans, he really wants to win things with Tottenham Hotspur. Therefore, In adaptation to the popular pro-chairman slogan spurs fans including myself utter regularly, IN ANDRE WE TRUST.