Spurs' New Signings Need To Start Proving Their Worth Or Else
Having scored just 2 penalties in 3 games, Spurs’ new signings need to show their value quickly or face joining an inauspicious club. Spurs previous ‘marquee’ signings of Helder Postiga, Sergei Rebrov and Darren Bent had failed to perform and were rapidly moved on. If Spurs are to realise their ambitions, this transfer window’s business will need to show signs of improvement.
It was apparent that there were glimpses of quality against Arsenal and Swansea, although both performances were below the high expectations. The games against Tblisi were simply distractions that enabled five of the new additions to get their match fitness up – and for Soldado and Paulinho to net from open play.Norwich are a neat and tidy team – which is just a polite way of saying they’re here to fill up mid-table. They have no dynamic, match-winning superstars, although Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Johan Elmander and Luciano Becchio may threaten. Wes Hoolahan and Leroy Fer might create something but if Sandro, Capoue or Paulinho start, their purported quality should be enough to put out any fires.
We fans have known for some time that the biggest priority for Spurs was to sign a new striker. Roberto Soldado is the real deal in La Liga yet there’s a lack of sparkle when we go on the attack. The challenge is going to be developing an understanding that only comes with experience in double-quick time. How do you condense two seasons of playing together into a month? It can’t be done. Yet there’s no chance of a patient Chairman or forgiving fans letting the team gel.
The hope is that when that understanding has evolved, the blistering attacks of Townsend, Lennon and Chadli will create more and more chances for the strikers. Jermaine Defoe may be remembered as one of the Premier League’s all-time great strikers when he retires but his goals to games ratio is poor when compared to his contemporaries. Whilst he is now seen as a second choice striker in a 4-5-1 formation, led by Soldado, if there are times when we need two strikers against a particularly defensive team, can he still be relied on to score goals? Even Emmanuel Adebayor scores once in every 2.36 games for Premier League teams versus Defoe’s 2.9 games.
If I were (more of) a betting man, I would look at this game and not see many goals. I can well see Norwich scoring, perhaps from a set-piece or a defensive error, but Spurs should be able to put at least two past John Ruddy. The final standing won’t be settled yet but this kind of match determines title-contenders and wannabes.
Manchester City suffered a big upset against Cardiff but that’s often the way with newly promoted clubs – I remember vividly Wolves beating Manchester United, champions at the time, at Molineux. But this probably says more about the paucity of domestic scouting of the Championship by arrogant bigger clubs than it does about the quality of the teams on the pitch. For the last seven years, a promoted side has beaten one of the previous season’s top six teams. Yet, in the Premier League’s ‘Third Age’, when oligarchs and sheikhs appear to be part of the wallpaper and no longer a novelty, for a team to succeed, they cannot allow their financial inferiors to upset the status quo.
Just as Manchester City will need to bounce back straight away to maintain high expectations, Spurs need to take that lesson of complacency into this weekend. Having spent so much in transfers, Levy and co should expect to see a return on investment soon. The pressure on the players, dealt in measurable doses by Andre Villas-Boas and heaped on by the fans, will only increase if they don’t take three points at home.
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