Spurs fans may not be particularly enthused by their manager seeking inject a measure of caution into their booming aspirations, Relating that introducing a large number of players into the squad and getting them to bond, is not an overnight job is however, a simple statement of fact. The truth of the matter is that Spurs will have gone from being a Bale-balanced team, to one which adopts an entirely different format.
Spending £106million-odd on seven new players, most of which will expect regular first team duty was a nice bit of retail therapy for the White Hart Lane faithful; a comforting and soothing balm to rub into the wounds left by the loss of their Welsh talisman. Such spending however does not guarantee instant success in fact it almost certainly precludes it. A couple of early season 1-0 victories against already struggling Crystal #Palace away, and then a then a less than convincing home win over Swansea City may have given a dazzling gloss to the new look spurs that probably wasn’t warranted.
For a team with ‘top four’ ambitions, both games should have been ‘gimmes’ but were only secured by penalties. Further, the defeat to neighbours and rivals Arsenal, just before the break, was probably a reality check that the club had coming. Yet to score a goal – other than from the twelve yards spot – in the league this season, it’s not difficult to detect merit in AVB’ comments.
Quoted in The Independent online, from a Sky Sports interview, the Portuguese says that “The circumstances are difficult. The investment that we have made raises expectations in people but what we have to do is create a team that bonds together. That takes time and we see that our opponents are one step ahead as they have players who have been together for many years; that is an advantage that we don’t have. I think we have invested a lot in young players that have real potential. Obviously we will have to work with them to make sure they develop into the world stars that we think they can become.” It’s difficult to argue with any of his comments.
The club came within a whisker of securing that coveted Champions League qualification place last season, and many pundits have reasoned that Spurs have conducted sound business over the summer. Faced with the inevitability of losing Bale to Real Madrid, they spent early, and spent wisely. All of this may well be true, but the same pundits that are now forecasting a cavalcade season for the club, should take head of the manager’s words.
In the same interview, he continued “The circumstances are difficult. The investment that we have made raises expectations in people but what we have to do is create a team that bonds together. That takes time and we see that our opponents are one step ahead as they have players who have been together for many years; that is an advantage that we don’t have.” Of course managers will always seek to play down expectations, letting fans aspirations run away is never wise, when face-slapping reality kicks in.
It may well be that some way into the season, the squad will click into the slick unit that AVB has in mind, the problem may be that unless they continue to ‘dog out’ the ugly results they have to date, there may be too much of a gap to make up to hit their season’s targets. The speed at which the development happens will be largely a test of the ability of them manager, and doubtless Chairman Daniel Levy, not a man known for his excessive patience, will be watching intently. This season will be a testing one for all concerned at Spurs, and early inconsistencies should be expected. As the season draws on however, it will be interesting to see how quickly the tram becomes the effective unit demanded by the investment, and whether that is in tune with hitting that top four spot. If not, AVB may have some difficult questions to answer.
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