Look, I hate to say it but without Gareth Bale, Spurs are going to really struggle for Champions League this year. Indeed, while a top six finish is probable I personally won’t even be stunned with a mid-table finish.
Let’s take a look at the squad. Brad Friedel may be reliable, but he’s definitely getting on now and he's not nearly aggressive enough for my liking. Yes, our backs look pretty solid but I think they're prone to mistakes. Our fullbacks Naughton and Rose are young and talented but can be caught out defensively. That said, our centre backs are strong in Chiriches and Kaboul but one of those is just fitting into the side, while the other is returning from injuries.
Yes, we have a pretty strong mid-field. Étienne Capoue is a big and powerful holding midfielder and Moussa Dembelle was a stand-out last year for us. Lewis Holtby was a star for Schalke and was promising last year and we can probably expect him to take his game to another level this year. And those players do complement each other well, but I feel we really miss a gifted playmaker to provide enough opportunities to see us through to Champions League. Perhaps Tom Carroll can blossom into that role this year and give us something different off the bench when sides park the bus. That could be the difference between us sneaking fourth and fighting for the last European spots.
Up front, we have pace in Lennon, Defoe can be deadly when in form and Sigurdsson appears to be finding his feet now at Spurs and maybe this year we’ll see his goal-shooting exploits from his Swansea time. However, I just don’t know if there are enough goals there for a top four finish. Adebeyor might be a better proposition at striker than Defoe, and there is the possibility that Andros Townsend will take a step up and become that goal-scoring winger we need to replace Bale.
However, there are definite question marks around this side. Enough questions to lead me to believe that Arsenal will probably hold us off again. And Liverpool have strengthened. I hate to say it, but another Europa League campaign beckons in 2014. Damn you, Levy for not strengthening the side - again.
What? That’s our second string side? And I’ve forgotten Lloris, Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Coentrao, Sandro, Paulinho, Willian, Chadli, Soldado and Lamela?
Ignore this post then.