After finishing 5th again this year, if we are to seriously challenge for 4th spot we must be intelligent in the transfer market, make the right signings and let some players go.
I’m just going to go through the squad and say who in my opinion we should definitely keep, who needs to show more, who needs to make a speedy exit if we are to progress, and who we might bring in.
Paul Robinson: Ok, 54 goals conceded in the Premiership is hardly ‘England’s Number 1’ quality but defensive problems and lapses have played a major part in this season. Robbo has made some excellent saves and I’m confident he’ll be back next year determined to do better.
Pascal Chimbonda: An excellent first season, showed he wasn’t a one season wonder at Wigan, and has attacked superbly down the right. A bit suspect when asked to fill in at left-back, but hopefully there’ll be less injuries in this position next season.
Michael Dawson: A lot was asked of the 23 year old this year, and though his marking is a bit suspect and needs to be addressed, without his headers, blocks and interceptions we would have been a lot worse off this year.
Ledley King: Missed most of the season, but is our rock and captain, the first name on the teamsheet, and his presence is a calming influence on the rest of the team. May he lead us for many years to come!
Aaron Lennon: Not much needs to be said about Lennon, a fantastic player who we must keep if we are to break into the top 4.
Teemu Tainio: Asked to play in about 4 different positions this year, and has performed admirably each time he plays. Has heart, spirit and fight, and is proud to wear the Spurs shirt. An extremely under-rated and versatile player who can do a job in many areas of the field.
Tom Huddlestone: A fabulous acquisition, big, strong, can pass the ball well and score also. As he is 20 Jol seems to be easing him in to the Premiership, and hopefully he’ll be given more of a chance to shine next year.
Dimitav Berbatov: Our signing of the season and possibly THE signing of the Premiership. Pure class, lets hope we hold on to one of our best ever signings.
Robbie Keane: Gets better and better every year, and has flourished when partnered with Berbatov; lets hope they are kept together for as long as possible.
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Paul Stalteri: Did well last year, played a lot less this year, but has not been the most convincing when filling in.
Ricardo Rocha: Lapses against Arsenal in the Carling Cup and Chelsea in the Premiership have cost us vital games, I hope he gets used to the Premiership soon.
Anthony Gardner: A back-up centre/full back at most, I’m not his biggest fan but at least he is tall and can head it away if nothing else…!
Didier Zokora: Has finally gotten used to the Premiership, but needs to stop diving as this makes me want to throttle him. Goes on some good attacking runs but is just missing that final shot/ pass which he’ll have to work on.
Jermaine Jenas: Our most frustrating player. Shows so much promise, scores some vital goals, but couldn’t hold on to the ball even if his life depended on it. He needs to sort out his passing and his mind-frame if he is to fulfil potential.
Steed Malbranque: Attacks well, scores and creates goals, but sometimes switches off and makes a hash of everything.
Jermain Defoe: Jol called him a “team player” but he sometimes is too greed. Yes, I understand he is a striker and wants to score goals, but if his first priority is to his England career and not the team, then we may need to get rid of him as he has not passed during some vital but failed goal-scoring opportunities.
See you later
Benoit Assou Ekotto: Has not had the impact Jol predicted. Not great when going forward, not great when defending, and looks weak. Possibly needs to go.
Young-pyo Lee: A right footed left back who gives the ball away too often and can’t make decent left-footed crosses/passes. Certainly does not make me feel confident when in our back 4, the left full-back position needs to be addressed.
Hossam Ghaly: Another one who can’t keep the ball and does not seem as committed as others. If his shirt-throwing incident is anything to go by, we might be better saying goodbye to this one.
Danny Murphy: Warming the bench at the moment, does show touches of quality when he plays. Can possibly get rid of him to bring in a better central midfielder.
Hossam Ahmed Mido: Overly criticised when he has played – which has not been often – but does not look confident or happy. Time for him to move on.
Left back: A couple of new recruits are needed here. Reto Ziegler may be back and improved, but he will be a back up at best. Leighton Baines could be an option, as could Gareth Barry or Wayne Bridge, who will always play second fiddle to Cashley Cole. Younis Kaboul, the Auxerre defender and French under-21 captain is reportedly coming to us, and the hunt for Gareth Bale may be back on if Southampton do not make it to the Premiership.
Left Mid: Barry or Bridge again, but an out and out left winger probably required. Stewart Downing is a name that keeps going round and round, will we ever get him? Doubtful, and just as well as he is slightly over-rated and will be over-priced. We will have to look in the European leagues.
Strikers: Mido’s departure is almost certain…a certain friend of mine touted Mark Viduka as a possible replacement, which would not be a bad move. As for Defoe, he will have to work out what’s more important to him, Tottenham or England. I feel Darren Bent could fill the void if Defoe were to leave.
What do you think?