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Tottenham Hotspur Season Preview: Part III

I went over our options in goal and defense in Part I and our midfield in Part II. Here's the final installment, a look at our options in attack.

Peter Crouch: Since arriving from Portsmouth, Peter Crouch has been a staple of the Tottenham lineup, playing in 38 games and scoring 8 goals. Peter Crouch is obviously a player that Harry Redknapp admires greatly, having coached him on four separate occasions - twice at Portsmouth, once at Southampton, and now once at Tottenham. The Robot Beanstalk is known mostly for his height, but also for his touch and acrobatic finishes that are uncharacteristic for a man his size. Crouch isn't the most versatile player in the world, but he plays very well as the big man in the classic English big man/little man 4-4-2 setup. His chemistry with Jermaine Defoe seems to be a big reason why he gets into the lineup much more regularly than Roman Pavlyuchenko.

While many Spurs fans are not sold that he's our best option, the fact is that Peter Crouch will remain a first team regular. Expect him to start the vast majority of the games he is healthy for unless Pav goes on an absolute tear. Unless we sell him back to Liverpool, as the rags are hinting.

Jermaine Defoe: After a hot start to the season, Defoe's production tailed off slightly at the end of the year. Still, Defoe has proven to be an extremely productive player in recent years. Between his time at Portsmouth and his current stint at Spurs, Defoe has averaged a goal every other game. Additionally, he's formed a great partnership with Peter Crouch in both their time together both at Portsmouth and Spurs. He's very quick and a clinical finisher, the perfect partner for Crouch in a 4-4-2.

There's no reason to believe Defoe is going to play any less than he did last season. I'm not a huge fan of Harry's marriage to the old-school 4-4-2, but if we're going to play it, Crouch and Defoe are the best partnership. Defoe could very easily score 15 goals again if he stays healthy.

Robbie Keane: Will he stay or will he go? After failing to find his form in the beginning of last season, he was loaned to Celtic where he obliterated the rest of the Scottish Premier League. Rumors swirled that Robbie Keane would be sold, but it's the Thursday before the season starts and he's still a Spurs player. If Robbie Keane does stick around, I've got a feeling that he might find it difficult to crack the Spurs lineup at all, especially with Giovani Dos Santos looking better by the day. Keane looked great in the friendly against Fiorentina, leading a lot of Spurs fans to utter "maybe he's not so bad after all." We know that Robbie has the talent to play at the Premier League level, he's does have over 100 Premier League goals after all. He's a Premier League talent, but is he a top four/Champions League talent? I don't think so.

Robbie is going to struggle to find playing time for Spurs, and I wouldn't rule out a sale before the end of the month or him being our fourth striker.

Roman Pavlyuchenko: When Pavlyuchenko was struggling to find playing time for Spurs, he asked to be sold in January. Redknapp refused to sell him and because of a combination of injuries and Pavlyuchenko playing well in cup competitions, he started to get a little more of a shot to play regularly in the league. Pav ended up scoring five league goals last year and I tip him for more goals in big games this season. If Spurs qualify for the Champions League, that's at least another six high-level games added to our schedule. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see Redknapp play Defoe and Crouch together in a 4-4-2 in some situations and Pavlyuchenko up top by himself in others.

Spurs could very well play more than 50 games this season and Crouch can't be relied on to start in more than around 35 of them. I think that Pavlyuchenko is going to get his chance this season, and I think that he's going to shine.

Giovani Dos Santos: If anyone tells you they know what Gio's role in the team is going to be this season, they are lying to you. He's got all the talent in the world but he's failed to capitalize on it so far in his career. In the World Cup and in Tottenham's preseason campaign, Gio was impressive. If he's finally reached his potential and he can play like he did against Fiorentina and Benfica on a regular basis, the likes of Liverpool, City, Villa, and Everton should be very concerned. Like many other Spurs players, one of Gio's best attributes is the fact that he can play multiple positions. His ability to play in an attacking midfield role, as a second striker, or on the left or right wing is going to increase his chances of getting playing time. On pure talent, Gio is the best player on the team. Talent alone doesn't win football matches.

I hope that Giovani Dos Santos can find some regular playing time for Spurs. He's too good to be loaned out or sold for 75 cents on the dollar. He deserves to see the field. Let's hope Harry gives him a fair shot.

That's it for my overview of the Spurs squad. I'll have a preview of the season opener tomorrow.