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Short Term Solutions

There seems a pretty good chance that there will be very little activity from Tottenham in this months transfer window, and following on from such a hectic and destabilising summer, that seems sensible. Despite adding seven new and bringing back two loanees in Townsend and Rose, we still find ourselves short in a couple of areas, as the squad is frustratingly ravaged by injuries to key players, as as is soften the case, injuries seem to come in positional groups, as you lose both left backs, two of four centre backs or 3 of four central midfielders. Tomorrow, we may even find ourselves without two of our three strikers, should Adebayor miss out along with Defoe.

These things happen, and it isn't only at WHL. If we recall Man Utd, having to play Fletcher and Carrick together at centre half for a couple of games, after losing all of their other players for that position. These things clearly cannot be legislated for, as you can only play the percentages, and somehow, a weakness will always find you out, whether you are the richest or poorest club in the game.

Sp far Tim Sherwood has done well and rightly received praise for playing the likes of Bentaleb, Fryers and Kane in his short time in charge, and not only have they not looked out of place, but they have looked comfortable and may feel be the sensible route to take in the development of the team over time. Problem is that when still competing on three fronts, all squads get stretched to their limits and it may not be wise to over play the kids, but just let then find their feet at a more measured pace, as opposed to pushing them too early and damaging them for the longer term.

Of course Spurs have and will allays be linked with a few big money moves, whether they have any truth in them or not. Of course will would be interested in a player like Luke Shaw to cover the left back berth, but so would every other side that could afford him. We know that United, Chelsea and Liverpool are all desperate for a left back, so we are in some pretty big company. The same will apply to many others, but as Sherwood has stated, we already have a big squad and unless that new player can improve the best XI, are we wise to commit to long term expense, when we perhaps have a youngster emerging or a player injured, but soon to return?

If we consider we have the likes of Carroll, Livermore, Pritchard, Cabellos and many more on loan or doing well in the development squads, it is obvious that bringing in new faces, will probably force them out or at the very least, stunt their development. No disrespect to a player like Capoue, but is he really that much better than Livermore or Tom Huddlestone for example, whilst players like Carroll or Pritchard have huge potential and perhaps just need the chance to prove it.

With that in mind, loans or short term solutions may well be the sensible route to take. We also have to consider that we are a relatively young squad and having a couple of elder players amongst the youth, will actually hold us in good stead. This was something Harry Redknapp did with the likes of Gallas, Friedel and even Ryan Nelsen, and in truth it worked quite well. Is this a potential happening with Sherwood, who of course worked well with harry and perhaps follows some of his ideas.

We have heard several rumours that Dimitar Berbatov could be looking to leave Fulham and is a player of huge quality and has ability to play as the main or No10 striking roles, as does Juve's Mirko Vucinic, who may or may not be available, depending on who you listen to. Both have bags of experience and could save Emmanuel Adebayor some workload, and perhaps allow Harry Kane to spend half a season away, playing games and gaining experience. QPR perhaps?

Defensively, I do worry about Younes Kaboul and whether he will ever be fit to play regular football again, whilst he has also entered his final six months of his contract with us. Can Levy gamble on another deal, when he is so troubled by injury? Perhaps a short term arrangement, but what is to stop someone like PSG, Monaco or anyone else offering him the security of a longer contract, with the acceptance that he may well be brilliant or he may be a crock. Yesterday Joleon Lescott was mentioned as a possible loan signing and though he isn't one to excite the fans, he is a very good player, who knows the Prem and has the versatility to play CB or LB, making Jan Vertonghen's position more stable, whilst also allowing him to be rested without too much disruption.

I assume the fact we have allowed BAE to play in the FA Cup this weekend, but haven't allowed Tom Carroll to do the same, might indicate that Benny's time with us has ended, but what of TC? Does this mean we will bring him back or is there a Premiership move on the horizon? Personally, I hope he stays on loan somewhere, as long as he gets games, over simply being one of our squad. Seeing him play 20 games as opposed to the occasional one with us, and becoming frustrated or stagnate.

For a relatively small outlay and short term commitment, we might just be able to strengthen our squad, add experience, whilst either allowing the kids to grow slowly or perhaps spend time away. We don't of course know what Sherwood and Baldini intend to do with the current squad and perhaps there are one or two that don't fit into Tim's plans and might well be better served moving on. We will hopefully lose Gomes to allow for another wage to replace it, but though you don't see too many obvious weak links, a player like Defoe leaving and being replaced by either Berbatov or Vucinic, might actually offer better balance and quality to what is already a very good squad...

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The journalist

Writer: OxfordSpur Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday January 3 2014

Time: 11:30AM


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