After Tottenham’s disappointing home draw to Norwich last weekend, the boo boys made themselves heard all too prematurely at White Hart Lane. Although, this journalist has recently noticed that booing is only reported in the press if the manager of the criticised team is disliked or under pressure. Ridiculously, this seems to already be the case among large sections of the media and certain over-expectant Spurs fans.
The fact is a large number of football fans boo if a game that should have been won is drawn or lost. This unneeded sound, however, is usually directed at the general feeling a supporter is struck with when disappointed – not at the players or manager specifically.
Unfortunately for Spurs, it seems that the national press haven’t gotten over Andre Villas-Boas’ shortcomings as Chelsea boss last season. This negativity, at any club, can easily rub off on fans that expect instant success – as many Chelsea fans did last term, and as is the case for corners of “support” at White Hart Lane already.
There are many reasons for Spurs fans to look forward to the AVB era. Despite the fact that key players such as Luka Modric and Rafael van der Vaart have left the club, Spurs have, debatably, only been left short in one key position.
Daniel Levy missed out on signing Porto playmaker Joao Moutinho on deadline day, leaving the hole left by Luka Modric presumably unfilled. However, £15million-man Moussa Dembélé’s style of play at Fulham has misled many as to which positions he can actually fit in to.
So far this season, AVB has started Sandro and Jake Livermore as a centre midfield partnership in all three league games. Sandro does a tremendous job for Spurs, breaking up opposition attacks whilst also managing to bomb forward with the ball. When settled, Dembélé will be expected to partner Sandro in the middle of the park. The Belgian strikes an imposing figure and is a keen tackler, but he is also extremely creative, a fantastic retainer of the ball and can bag a goal if in the mood – as seen against Norwich.
Icelandic new-boy Gylfi Sigurdsson could also be used in this role when defensive duties aren’t desperately required. It seems as if, however, he will be primarily used in Van der Vaart’s old position – behind a lone striker.
Rather unexpectedly, Spurs managed to lure Clint Dempsey to Spurs Lodge late on deadline day to secure the £6million striker on a three-year deal. Levy and AVB incredibly managed to sign the Premier League’s joint 4th top goalscorers, Dempsey and Emmanuel Adebayor, for just £11million.
With Daniel levy at the helm, it seems that Spurs will never be troubled financially. The Tottenham chairman of eleven years has once again made sure that Spurs have taken in more money than they have splashed out in the transfer window. Many believe this is a trait to be criticised, but it must be made clear that Tottenham Hotspur’s owners have nowhere near enough financial backing to compete with rivals such as Manchester City and Chelsea in the transfer window. One only has to look at Portsmouth and Leeds United to realise spending beyond ones means can easily lead to financial meltdown.
Spurs have only won three league games since last season’s 5-2 demolition at the hands of Arsenal last season. Harry Redknapp didn’t exactly leave AVB with an easy job with half of the squad deemed surplus to requirements even before the new manager was appointed.
Reluctantly referring to the cliche, this is very much a period of transition at Tottenham. Levy snapped up AVB for the long-term; he must be given a chance to prove himself after past failures. The steady ownership of the club and the squad of players he now has at his disposal are two factors more than enough to help Villas-Boas reach his targets. The fans now need to follow suit.
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