A few good men...
With slightly less than two weeks remaining of the summer transfer window, the positions of several of our current players are still looking far from secure.
As much as there is constant speculation of one of two big name and bigger money signings and departures, such as Bentley and Jenas, while talk of Sissoko and Young still regularly feature on the back pages, talk of some less heralded names seems to have slipped down the ladder of importance.
One of the first clues to the futures of a couple of Spurs men will perhaps be clearer tomorrow, as Ledley King will almost certainly be missing at Hull, leaving Vedran Corluka to move inside and the need for a replacement right back needed. Who Harry picks will potentially leave one and maybe two players in no doubt that their time is up at White Hart Lane, as Alan Hutton and Pascal Chimbonda battle the young pretender Kyle Naughton for the full back up role.
The favourite for the role seems to be Hutton, but should Harry go for the Sheffield man, you can be certain that both Hutton and Chimbonda will be heading for the exit as soon as a sensible offer comes in. The injuries to Dawson and Woodgate may yet be a reason why they remain at the club in the short term, but I would expect at least one to be allowed to leave as soon as possible, the selection at Hull will just rubber stamp Harry`s intentions.
As the future of Dorian Dervite will continue to be an issue until he signs a new deal or is sold and sadly I see the latter as being the only solution as the signing of Bassong has pushed the young Frenchman a place further down the pecking order and he is our sixth choice at best and for his own development, I honestly can`t see him signing a deal and can we honestly blame him for wanting to move? Once the fitness of Daws and/or woody is clearer, so will the future of Dervite.
Sadly for Gareth Bale, his knee injury has halted his ability to impress the coaching staff or get a loan move to further his development. The fact the club haven`t bought cover for Benoit Assou-Ekotto, surely means they are happy with Gareth as cover or see others as adequate back up should BAE suffer injury or to fill in when he potentially heads for the African Cup of Nations in January. With Sebastien Bassong also likely to be away, we are not exactly flush with options, leaving a right footer to fit in or move Jamie O`Hara back to a defensive role. Should no other left back come in, It wouldn`t seem unreasonable that Harry is happy with Bale as back up and he remains part of his plans, but I think it will be a close run thing and may again be down to no positive interest from other clubs.
With the "Ghetto kid" growing up and becoming respectable, there is potential for Boateng to have a future at Spurs, but as things stand I honestly can`t see where this future lies. If we assume that Hudd and O`Hara stay, along with Palacios and Modric, even if we do sell Jermaine, it will almost certainly bring in another midfielder and not give an opportunity for The Prince to show his worth. With emerging talent in the form of Bostock, Livermore and Parrett, all potential Spurs stars of the future. The likelihood that Boateng will be anything more than an occasional bench player seems remote and he will again be seeking regular football.
For many the most frustrating player on our fringe, will be Giovani Dos Santos. The new king of Mexican football, following his outstanding performances in the summers CONCACAF Gold Cup and his countries first away win against the USA in ten years. As much as this has raised his profile, it may have actually hindered his progress at Spurs. With no pre-season, although 100% fit, Gio will be a stranger to many of his team mates and therefore I can only see a peripheral role unless he takes a rare chance or others leave and Harry takes a chance.
With four top quality strikers to keep happy and others like Bentley and Danny Rose pushing for playing time, I really don`t see too many opportunities for Gio to impress and I almost feel an embarrassed silence from the club as they seem happy to ignore his achievements for Mexico, whilst shouting lesser success by other squad players from the rooftops. It is as if the club are trying to forget he exists.
Going by Harry`s history of selecting and building teams around small and skillful players, such as Modric, Joe Cole and Eyal Berkovic, the idea that Gio isn`t a Harry player seems unlikely. So whether there are deeper rooted issues or there is simply no room at the club for another flair player I don`t know, but the silence is deafening for me..
Should Spurs look to bring in more new faces, some of these players could be needed as sales to balance the books as well as the squad and as disappointing it would be for some to leave, it looks likely that the majority are on their way at some stage in the near future, if not for Tottenham's sake, but for the players themselves...