Forget the Quality, Feel the depth.
There is a lot to say for quality and depth of a squad, but have Spurs currently got enough of both?
To his immense credit, Daniel Levy and his team, have once again managed to spend big, yet actually make a profit when we compare sales to purchases, and though so much of that was down to the sale of one man, the facts remain that we added real quality of players, whilst hopefully addressing issues from last season, where we lacked creativity and an ability to break teams down, even with the outstanding match winning performances of Bale.
So far this Premiership season there hasn't been much evidence of that changing. Our lone striker still looks horribly isolated and we have so far lacked that creative spark to utilise our usual possessional and territorial dominance. Fingers crossed that with the new signings of Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela, and the return of Lewis Holtby, we will at last have the lock-pickers we need to turn promise into results.
The big question is though is how we make best use of these players and how they ideally fit into our starting XI? Will they instantly gel with their team mates or will they take time to settle to the team and the physicality of the Premiership? We know that Holtby is very able to influence games, but is his long term position deeper in the midfield or playing off the front man? For me, we perhaps need to see him deeper as we so desperately need a player with energy and a creative spark in the centre. But at the expense of who and how would we best set the team out? Play him in a three, and who missed out, Paulinho, Sandro, Dembele or the currently injured Capoue?
Of course in attack, we can play Lamela anywhere across the front three/four, but does this mean we miss out Townsend, Lennon, Sigurdsson or Chadli? You assume you can't play more than two, wide, with one or two perhaps being able to compete with Eriksen, or Holtby behind the main striker. As fans we always like to big up the new players, especially those that cost big money or come with big reputations, but is this the season where a player like Holtby can establish himself in the team over others, who we currently assume will be in the side? Watching him against Tblisi last week, he was the best player on the pitch. That may not say much against an opposition that were poor and a home side that was in the main going through the motions, but he has also been highly praised in two U-21 games since returning. Three goals in there starts, is impressive, regardless of the quality of opposition.
What is a real plus is that you don't see any real weak players that a manager has to carry in the squad. Sure there are improvements that could still be made, some still have to settle and others improve with games and confidence, but over all. Question is, do we have enough experience and also depth in numbers to compete both in the Prem and also in Europe? So many loans of the likes of Livermore and Carroll might actually be considered to have weakened us in secondary depth, as we really lack experience in youth, which for all the potential benefits in the mid-long term, may again come back to haunt us in the short.
Perhaps if we get lucky with injuries, we will be fine, but despite the obvious quality in the main squad, can we really afford too many injuries, especially when we have one or two returning from long term injury and someone like Adebayor, who could knuckle down or be banned from the training ground, depending on his mood. On balance, we have upgraded the squad, with the exception of losing Bale. Fingers crossed that Chiriches is a better option than Caulker and the others fit in quickly. What will remain a worry is whether we are still one or two light in numbers, especially as we are lacking players that you feel are instantly ready to step in from the U-21s. Last season we lacked bodies and cover in certain areas. this time I feel we have the quality of cover, but do we have the required number of bodies to cope in all competitions? I suppose we will have to wait and see...