Without question, there's a fair bit of dead wood that needs to be cut off of the Tottenham Hotspur squad. Daniel Levy has told Harry Redknapp that he needs to sell to buy, and who can blame him? The Spurs team is currently filled up with a lot of very average players on very high wages.
Robbie Keane and David Bentley are obviously the biggest offenders, but they're not the only ones. Alan Hutton, Jermaine Jenas and Sebastian Bassong all make a hell of a lot more than they're worth. As much as I like all of Wilson Palacios, Giovani dos Santos, and Niko Kranjcar, they all need to be sold if they won't be playing. Then there's the strikers, all of whom could be sold without my heart breaking.
Still, all of these players sit on Tottenham's roster at present. There are rumors linking many of them to moves a way, like this audacious rumor from the Daily Fail about us swapping four of our deadbeats for Gary Cahill, but we're still paying the wages of each and every one of the above listed players. This is a very big problem.
Spurs are a team that are in need of reinforcements. Because they didn't finish in the top four, there is no money for these reinforcements. Because of the vast amount of unused "talent" on the team, there is no room on the wage bill or on the roster for new players. Tottenham need to make four or five sales, and they need to do it in the next month.
Of course, there are a variety of possible reasons that nothing has happened yet, with some of them being very understandable and others being quite concerning. I'm going to go through them in order of least concerning to most concerning, and I consider all four of these scenarios to be legitimate possibilities.
Best case scenario: Some deals are already done and under wraps
In the best case scenario, Redknapp has already agreed in principle to some player sales with just formalities left to be taken care of. Somehow, in the age of the internet and unethical journalism, these potential deals have been kept under wraps.
Good scenario: They're talking and teams are listening
Sure, Spurs might not have agreed to sell anyone yet, but they're at least speaking to people about the sales of people like Robbie Keane and David Bentley. Nothing is anywhere near set in stone yet, but there's a very good chance that the dead wood will get shipped out sometime this summer.
Bad scenario: They're talking, no one is listening
Maybe, just maybe, Spurs are trying to sell their terrible players and everyone is well aware that the players who are on the transfer list are, in fact, terrible players. Either no one wants Bentley and Keane because they're widely believed to be crap or no one wants them because Daniel Levy is unwilling to take a loss. Either way, this sucks. Tottenham want to ditch these guys, but there are no buyers anywhere.
Nuclear meltdown scenario: Harry and Levy don't think there's a problem
I pray that this is not happening, but we have to acknowledge the possibility. What if Harry Redknapp and Daniel Levy think they don't have to make changes? What if they think it's no big deal if they can't get rid of any of the so-called dead wood and, as a result, don't buy any new players? This is a sure-fire way to finish behind Arsenal, Manchester City, and Liverpool in sixth place. If they're lucky.
Between the talent that Chelsea and Manchester United already had and the investments they're making in their squad this summer, they're untouchable. I would be stunned if, barring major injury catastrophes, they were not first and second again next season. Below them is a tier of four teams made up of Spurs, Liverpool, City and Arsenal that I could see finishing in any order in their current states.
Right now, Spurs are at the bottom of that tier. By dumping some crappy players and their big salaries, then bringing in a striker and a central defender, they're suddenly on the same level as those other four teams. They're a clear sixth right now, and that's not good enough. I might sound like a spoiled brat when I say this, but sixth place is not acceptable, especially when we don't do anything to try to move above it.
Tottenham's core of Luka Modric, Gareth Bale, and Rafael van der Vaart is spectacular and good enough to get them into the top four. With players like Sandro, Tom Huddlestone, and Aaron Lennon, a lot of the complimentary pieces are there. However, the team is far from a complete one, and those big three won't be on an average team forever.
We'll learn the fate of Modric next week, but right now, I wouldn't count on any of those three players playing for more than one more season on a team that doesn't have Champions League football. A fourth place finish likely means that we can keep those players longer. A finish outside of the top four and they could all go away. If that happens, even with the transfer fees obtained for them, getting back into the top tier of the Premier League would be difficult.
This is a ridiculous slippery slope argument, I know, but I think that this slippery slope really does exist. It all hinges on our ability - or inability - to get rid of our overpaid fringe players, then turn around and use the money and space on the wage bill that those transfers generate to surround our core players with better support, especially at the center forward position.
If I have to deal with another year of paying David Bentley and Robbie Keane to do absolutely nothing, I don't know what I'll do with myself.