A global Tottenham Hotspur podcast and viewpoint, by the fans for the fans.
This one’s simple: just give Harry Kane £450k per week and let him get us 50 goals a season for the next 10 seasons. And name the new stadium after him.
Ok, perhaps not quite as straight forward as that…
In fact, whilst not wanting to encourage abusive responses from the masses, I will admit to having a 1% worry that next season, like De Niro’s character in the movie “Awakenings”, Harry will be unable to sustain what has been nothing short of a miraculous burst of fantastic form and slide back into something nearer to mediocrity. Maybe it’s a hint of “this is just too good to be true”?
Before anyone kicks my head in for such sacrilege, let’s not forget that career-wise Harry has had one awesome season (not quite a full one at that) and at least two pretty uninspiring seasons of loans and not much else. Don’t get me wrong, it is only a minor concern… but the next campaign will see different pressures on Kane and defenders will be a little more familiar with him; it would be asking a hell of a lot of him to whack in another 30 goals next season.
“.. just give Harry Kane £450k per week and let him get us 50 goals a season for the next 10 seasons. And name the new stadium after him.”
So, it will come as no surprise to anyone when I suggest that at least one established striker is needed for next season and ideally another bloody good one as cover. The difficulty is that Pochettino has to find an “established “ striker who will accept a seat in the dug-out behind the currently immovable fixture that is Harry Kane, or find a striker that believes he is good enough to shift Kane and play instead of him.. And thus risk the wrath of the traditionally fickle White Hart Lane crowd if he scores less than three per game whilst keeping “the one of our own” on the bench.
Let’s not kid ourselves that Pochettino will look for a forward who can play off Kane, or even that any potential new signing will be gullible enough to believe that Pochettino will suddenly start playing with twin strikers. No… any centre-forward considering coming to Spurs will be aware that he may not get many games, at least to start with and that will doubtless hinder the hunt.
As for the strikers we already have…
As a previous somewhat successful Spurs striker once said: “it’s a funny old game”. What odds would have been offered at the start of the season that Kane would have kept both Adebayor and Soldado out of the side since November, and out-score both by a country mile?
Again, take the personalities out of the equation for a second; the genuinely likeable Soldado who just can’t buy a goal despite running el testiculos off (apologies to any Spanish translators who may be reading this), and the regularly irritating and seemingly lethargic, uninterested Adebayor. Whilst both have been, and probably still are more than capable players with the ability to score goals, it does seem that for whatever reason, neither are destined to break any scoring records in a Spurs shirt.
Ade, for all his critics, has proven that he can put a shift in for Spurs and has enjoyed highly successful stints in front of goal. Whether he turns such form on and off at will, which is an accusation levelled at him by his many detractors, is open to debate.
“What odds would have been offered at the start of the season that Kane would have kept both Adebayor and Soldado out of the side since November..”
Personally, I don’t believe that he is as selfish and as premeditatedly moody as that.. but maybe his turbulent personal life has affected his performances at times. Whatever the reasons, it seems that Pochetino has understandably decided that Adebayor cannot be relied upon. I believe that if common sense can prevail in the summer regards financial matters, Ade will be gone.
My gut feeling is that, subject to the mystery new centre-forward being persuaded to join THFC, Soldado will also be on his way. I would be sad to see him leave as he is clearly a passionate and honest footballer who really does want to succeed for his club and us fans. But we’re only looking at what’s happened on the football pitch, aren’t we? And in all honesty, whether it’s bad luck, shot confidence or plain old bad play.. Bobby sadly just has not cut it at White Hart Lane.
Of the two, I would prefer Adebayor to go (as I’m sure 99.9% of us would) and Soldado to stay and turn things around. But in my opinion, a move may actually suit all parties: Spurs to chop the wages, albeit with probably no more than a £10m-ish fee received. Soldado to return to Spain where he will of course, outscore Ronaldo, Bale and Messi and guide Villereal or the like to La Liga glory. Very Ex-Spursy…
All in all, it seems painfully obvious that to make the breakthrough into legitimate challengers for at least that Top 4 slot and the domestic cups, Spurs need to bring in better players than we currently have in certain positions, namely the spine of the team with the exception of goslkeeper.. even if only initially as cover or challengers to specific positions.
It’s an odd situation as a fan, I personally quite like all of our individual starting XI and the majority of our reserves. But to improve, at least some of those players will have to be off loaded, and as a fan, there’s an element of sentiment when a player one likes moves on.
Then there’s the category of player we need to attract. We have to accept that we are not in the market for the Diego Costa’s or the Alexi Sanchez’s of the football world; we are not yet dining at the top table. But how do we therefore attract the slightly lesser lights? How does Pochetino persuade an almost-top player to join Spurs without stunting the development of Kane, Mason, Bentaleb, Rose etc?
“..sad to see him leave as he is clearly a passionate and honest footballer who really does want to succeed for his club and us fans.”
Off the top of my head, I cannot come up with any seriously impressive attacking midfielders who we could feasibly attract. The same goes for the commanding centre-half we need.
Striker wise, Austin looked OK when we played QPR recently and would surely fancy the opportunity to step up a level even with no guarantees of a start but whether he is the right calibre, I don’t know?
Interesting summer ahead; the honeymoon is over and Pochettino now has to take us onward…
About the author:
Jinx has been a travelling Spurs fan for over 30 years, during which time he’s been a season ticket holder, a member and has followed the side across Europe. He’s played in, then coached and managed successful teams at both adult and especially junior football, and has two sons who are now following suit at all those levels.