Spurs Half-Term Report: Buy A Number 10, Sell Gomes, Build For Next Season

Breaking off the deadwood, while strengthening a few key areas will be vital to Spurs' success this season. If we can finish in the top four, it'll be the ideal platform for which to build on.
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Breaking off the deadwood, while strengthening a few key areas will be vital to Spurs' success this season. If we can finish in the top four, it'll be the ideal platform for which to build on.

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What's Going Right?

Replacing Harry Redknapp with Andre Villas-Boas was never going to be a popular choice with certain quarters of the fanbase. Granted, the veteran boss guided Tottenham Hotspur to three successive top six finishes – the first manager to do so at Spurs in 47 years – but his time at White Hart Lane was over from the moment Fabio Capello left England and he was linked with the role.

It may've taken time for the players to adjust to a new system and a new way of playing, but it looks as though the personnel available to Villas-Boas are beginning to fully grasp the plans he is looking to implement. It's a testament to his managerial capability that Spurs are in the top four heading into the New Year, especially with the players that have succumbed to injury.

What's Not?

The aforementioned injuries. Villas-Boas has been without Younes Kaboul, Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Scott Parker for much of the season, three key members of the starting XI that secured fourth last year. While Sandro has more than admirably stepped up to the plate, all but securing a regular starting spot, the combination of the former duo's time on the sidelines has seen the 35-year-old forced into tinkering with his backline on numerous occasions, enduring an inconsistent defence on a weekly basis. It's no surprise that Spurs have conceded the most goals from the 71st minute onwards this year with Villas-Boas unable to select his strongest back four at any given time during the season.

Got The Right Manager?

100% yes. Once news spread that Redknapp had been sacked, Villas-Boas was the first name I called upon to replace him. I've been a big fan of his since his FC Porto days, and while it may not've worked out as well as many had hoped at Stamford Bridge; his appointment was welcomed with open arms my end. He still has his doubters, that's a given, but once he has a full year under his belt, Spurs fans will begin to see the best out of the 35-year-old.

Star Player

Who else but Sandro? The Brazilian has been an absolute marvel in the heart of the midfield for Spurs this season. His playing time was hindered through a series of knee and calf injuries last year, but with Parker sidelined, 'The Beast' has really stepped up his game to secure his place in the starting XI. The likes of Mousa Dembele, Jermain Defoe, Gareth Bale, Aaron Lennon and Jan Vertonghen all deserve honourable mentions, but it's Sandro that continues to excel in the middle of the park.

Who Would You Like To Sell In January?

It has to be Heurelho Gomes. The Brazilian arrived at White Hart Lane in 2008 with a big reputation as one of the finest shotstoppers in Europe and while that may still be the case, his fall from grace has been nothing short of meteoritical, such is his inability to perform the simplest of goalkeeping tasks. Not given the chance to showcase his capabilities to Villas-Boas, no big surprise with Hugo Lloris and Brad Friedel ahead of him in the pecking order, it's time to cut down the goalkeeper list, starting with the Brazilian.

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Adebayor Needs To Improve If He Wants To Guarantee His Starting Spot

Spurs: Sign Sneijder And Cement A Place In The Top Four

Who Do You Want To Sign?

Since the sale of Rafael van der Vaart, Spurs desperately need a number 10 to play behind the striker. While Gylfi Sigurdsson and Clint Dempsey were both brought in to succeed the Dutchman, I never envisioned we'd miss his creative influence quite as much as we have. An attacking midfielder to bring the goals from midfield would be perfect – anyone along the lines of Isco, Christian Eriksen, Willian or Wesley Sneijder would make for an ideal late Christmas present.

Best Chant So Far

“We're Tottenham Hotspur, we'll sing what we want” without a shadow of a doubt. While my personal vendetta with 'Sloop John B' has seen me step up my quest to destroy every Beach Boys album within reaching distance, the message it sent to a certain Society of Black Lawyers chairman heavily outweighed the cons of the chant.

Best Opposition Player/Team You've seen Seen This Season

It's hard not to love Juan Mata, isn't it? The diminutive Spaniard has been in scintillating form for Chelsea this season and he continuously wins the plaudits from fans and pundits alike, and deservedly so.

Biggest C**t Of The Season

Society of Black Lawyers chairman Peter Herbert. He has a superb platform to combat racism in football, but has targeted completely the wrong group to do so. His comments in the Guardian back in November spoke more about him as a person than any action he may take will ever do. Following the appalling events in Rome during Spurs' 0-0 draw with Lazio in the Europa League, Mr Herbert proclaimed: “The chanting of the 'Y' word simply legitimises antisemitic abuse by other fans”. Do us a favour Peter and scamper back to the rock of which you crawled out from under.

End Of Season Prediction

I've always said this season will be a transitional one, regardless of what other fans may state. A new manager will always need at least a year to implement his ideas and that's exactly the time Villas-Boas requires. I said top six at the beginning of the season will be a good start to life at White Hart Lane for the 35-year-old. If Spurs can finish higher, I'll have a smile on my face come May.