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August 11, 2010

2010-11 EPL Preview: Tottenham Hotspur

They're a happy bunch

The English Premier League (suck it, Barclays!) season is just around the corner, so we here at UF are giving you everything you need to know about all 20 teams with our award-winning analysis. And no, we haven’t really won any awards, but neither has Arsenal in five years and people still seem to care about them.

Official Name:
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club

Nickname: Yids, Spurs, Lilywhites.

Home Colors: White/Blue

Trophy Case: FA Cup winners in 1901, 1921, 1961, 1962, 1967, 1981, and 1991. League Cup winners in 1971, 1973, 1999, and 2008. UEFA Cup winners in 1972, and 1984. Top Flight Champions in 1951 and 61.

As you can see, Spurs have won 5 of their 7 FA Cups when the year ended in ’1′, leading to an amusing myth that any such year is a lucky one for Tottenham. But what about ’31, ’41, ’51, ’71, and 2001?

2009-10 League Finish: 4th

Stadium: White Hart LaneHistory: Founded in 1882, Spurs are based in North London.

Famous players who’ve plyed their trade at The Lane include: Glenn Hoddle, Gary Lineker, Paul Gascoigne, Sir Jimmy Greaves, Dave Mackay, David Ginola, Danny Blanchflower, Martin Peters, Ossie Ardillies, Ricky Villa, Pat Jennings.

Gaffer: Harry Redknapp

First Team:

1 Heurelho Gomes
2 Alan Hutton
3 Gareth Bale
4 Younes Kaboul
5 David Bentley
6 Tom Huddlestone
7 Aaron Lennon
8 Jermaine Jenas
9 Roman Pavlyuchenko
10 Robbie Keane
12 Wilson Palacios
14 Luka Modric
15 Peter Crouch
16 Kyle Naughton
17 Dos Santos Giovani
18 Jermain Defoe
19 Sebastien Bassong
20 Michael Dawson
21 Niko Kranjcar
22 Vedran Corluka
23 Carlo Cudicini
24 Jamie O’Hara
25 Danny Rose
26 Ledley King
27 Ben Alnwick
28 Kyle Walker
29 Jake Livermore
31 Andros Townsend
32 Benoit Assou-Ekotto
33 Ryan Mason
34 Jonathan Obika
39 Jonathan Woodgate
No Number Yet-Sandro

Transfers In:
Sandro
The deal was done in January, and the young Brazilian defensive midfielder arrives next week from Internacional.

Transfers Out:
Tottenham have sent a few kids packing this summer; here are the notable outs:

John Bostock, CAM – Hull City (Loan)
When Bostock joined Spurs from Crystal Palace, it enraged then-Eagles chairman Simon Jordan as Spurs scouts apparently sneaked into Palace training sessions to watch him before unsettling the 16 year-old.  He was hailed as a young superstar, but since then, Bostock has been farmed out to Brentford and now Hull, failing to show what all the fuss was about.

Adel Taarabt, CM/CAM – QPR – £600,000 (rising to £1m with add-ons)
The precocious midfielder was never really a fit for Spurs. Taarabt is a tricky player who needs to be afforded plenty of freedom to work his magic, something that organized Premier League teams cannot plan around. The middy is also a handful in the dressing room; just ask Jim Magilton or Paul Hart!

Taarabt was on loan to QPR last season and has now earned a permanent move to the Championship club.

Key Players:
THE CROATIAN POSSE
Luka Modric, MF
Spurs do very well with the tiny, tenacious midfielder in midfield, his game could be very well suited to Champions League football, attracting bigger teams to have a look at him.

Vedran Corluka, RB
One of the best right-backs in Europe, in my eyes, he is wasted when Spurs move him to center back. A very strong, solid player, Corluka is not easily beaten by anyone.

Niko Kranjcar, MF
A skillful player for sure, he will be relied upon to break defenses down and provide goal scoring chances when playing–he will have to share pitch time this season as Tottenham have depth in midfield.

Bale: Welsh wing wizard?

Gareth Bale, LB/LM
The Welsh kid has shared time at left-back in the past but this season is huge for Bale; ‘Arry has been using him on the left wing more and more, and this season looks to be the year that Bale makes that slot his. He has the pace, but does he have the accuracy to deliver quality balls? We are going to find out. Bale has matured nicely and has had a decent pre-season–Step up son, the time is now.

Drama:
None, really; except for Harry’s public declaration of love for Scott Parker as old ‘Arry tried to unsettle the player in his usual fashion:

Off camera to journalists:  ‘Arry:  “ask me about …..”

Journo: “So “Arry, What about…..”

‘Arry: “Eees a gud playa! Why wouldert we be inter-ested? If a deal can be dun I’m sure Daniel (Levy) will get it dun”

A tried and tested, subtle way to leverage a move for a player Spurs usually can’t afford.

While Spurs haven’t signed anyone this summer, they will strengthen the squad shortly–whether that means Scott Parker, Craig Bellamy, Loic Remy, or Ashley Young, someone will arrive shortly as Spurs seek quality in depth to compete in the Champions League and the Premier League.

Question Marks:
Spurs have a decent squad and did fantastically well last season to finish fourth, but I don’t think they have enough quality in depth to sustain decent performances in Europe and back home in the EPL.

Playing in the Champions League is grueling–plenty of travel, extra mid-week games and surely some injuries will be collected along the way.

Spurs have a great defense–one of the best in the country in fact–but should the brittle Ledley King take a knock, they will be asking a lot of Younes Kaboul and Sebastian Bassong. Jonathan Woodgate is still struggling with injury and looks set to miss out on the 25-man squad, meaning he will be ineligible until January.

Up top, Spurs are decent and the return of Robbie Keane will be important as the games come thick and fast. He will need to be used a fair amount unless Spurs go shopping for a new forward.

Young Stars:
Danny Rose, Wide midfielder:
He of the famous 40 yard volley, ascending him to legendary status with Spurs fans after one flash moment, this Arsenal killer will surely get some playing time from the bench this year and start Cup games as he looks to impress his employers and compete with the big boys.

Giovani

Giovanni Dos Santos, MF/FW:
I really don’t rate this player at all–he sucked so much when Spurs first acquired him that they sent him to Ipswich, which is a punishment worse than being beaten about the bollocks with a baseball bat.

That said, a decent World Cup for the Mexican will have surely impressed Redknapp and Dos Santos will get his chance to impress in domestic football. This is a big season for the forward, though if he fluffs his lines this term, he’s outta there.

Important Fixtures
Tues 17th Aug v BSC Young Boys–Spurs start their European adventure
Sunday 21st November v Arsenal at the Emirates.

Prediction:
In short, I can’t see Spurs repeating their fabulous finish to last term. Once they are booted from the Champions League, the Europa Cup awaits and with the strengthening at Manchester City, the inevitable resurgence at Liverpool under Roy Hodgson and the expected improvement of Everton, Spurs will likely finish somewhere between 5 and 8.



About the Author

Norfolk Ned
I like football. What else is there to say?




117 Comments


 
 

  1. Outside Mid

    @ JT: And that’s why the Reds are likely to finish 2nd behind the Cards in the Central.


  2. James T

    @LE
    I know. It’s true. I practically breathe failure.


  3. Outside Mid

    Internetz search on Woody: A year ago yesterday he had “minor surgery” on a groin issue keeping him out of pre-season friendlies/having a case of the sads now


  4. Outside Mid

    @ JT: Probably have you beat there. Rather than glory hunting, I trend toward heartache enabling.


  5. phil

    I am also a Cubs fan. And Woody was like this when we found him, thank you very much.


  6. Tno

    I will be seeing the Padres beat the Cubs next week on the North Side.


  7. phil

    @Tno: if you’re around for Stoke-Spurs, stop in at The Globe. It’s home to Chicago Spurs and we usually manage a good crowd of Spurs fans.


  8. Anonsters

    Also, WTF is up with this thread only getting activity when I’m not around? Losers.


  9. Tno

    @Phil
    I’ll be there Tuesday and Wednesday with my soccer ignorant family, thanks for the invite though. I want to go to Chicago more than once so maybe I’ll catch a game later in the season.


  10. Tno

    @Anon
    You missed it we’re going to Chicago to live with Phil and watch every Spurs game at Wrigley field.. Or something.


  11. Tno

    Anyone else want to use this post as a Spurs blog for the next few weeks?


  12. phil

    @Anon: we’re all postmen. You frighten us.


  13. Anonsters

    @phil: My mom worked for the post office. True story.


  14. Outside Mid

    Well, we’re not all postmen. Some of us are contributing to America’s declining worker productivity numbers.


  15. Anonsters

    @OM: Not to mention contributing to America’s unemployment numbers! But your mention of productivity numbers made me dig out my very favorite quote of my best French pal:

    Cécile: because in your country, it’s all abt working hard, and earning what you get, and working hard, and oh, be hard workers, and forget to enjoy life and keep that stick up your ass and work hard to be proud to have worked hard and die from it without having enjoyed anything

    God, I love the French.


  16. Outside Mid

    @ Anon: Impressive. That’s the most uses of “Hard” and variants of “Work” in 52 words I’ve ever seen. That was almost like getting a stern lecture from Rain Man.


 
 



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