A new feature of OTBM’s will be the views from opposing blogs. This week sees Dan from The Tottenham blog giving us his views on Spurs summer and their hopes for the season.
Dan, it seems like only five minutes ago that I was congratulating Spurs on claiming fourth. What’s the feeling among Spurs fans for the new season?
I think that most of us are pretty confident, if a little frustrated that the squad hasn’t been improved that much during the summer.
Still, one of the major problems for Spurs in recent seasons has been our best players being poached (Berbatov, Keane, Carrick). We’ve kept hold of everyone this summer and we can only hope that our young squad will continue to grow in stature this season.
To be honest, I’ve not kept up to date on anyone’s signings but ours. Who’ve you signed this summer?
The only player we’ve signed so far is the Brazilian midfielder Sandro. The deal was actually done back in March, with the agreement that he would join us once Internacional were knocked out of the Copa Libertadores.
Typically, Internacional have reached the final. So Sandro still hasn’t joined us yet and won’t do until the second leg of the final is played on the 18th. He’s a defensive midfielder and we needed cover in that position. I’m not expecting too much from a young Brazilian in his first season in England, but he’s meant to be a real talent.
I heard something about Peter Crouch may be leaving. What would it mean to Spurs if he did leave?
Not a lot really. I’d prefer that he stayed, but we can’t find anyone to take Keane or Pavlyuchenko off our hands, so it looks like we’re offering Crouch around.
Like England, Spurs resort to playing long balls when Crouch is in the team (which isn’t his fault). Despite this, I’d still like to keep Crouch, purely for his super-sub abilities and threat against European opposition, but I won’t be shedding any tears if we were to flog him and bring in someone better.
Craig Bellamy has been linked to Spurs again. Would you like to see him at White Hart Lane?
When Bellamy left West Ham a couple of years ago, Spurs were challenging City for his signature and I was dead against it.
I have to say that I’ve since softened my stance on the possibility of Bellamy playing for Tottenham, as I’ve been so impressed with his form for City. So I’d have him at White Hart Lane, but to be honest I see him ending up at Fulham.
Has anyone left that Spurs may miss next season?
As mentioned earlier, we haven’t sold anyone. That’s a double-edged sword of course, because it would have been quite good to get rid of the deadwood in the squad, such as Jenas, Keane, Pavlyuchenko and Bentley.
Who will be your key player this time around?
Modric. He was playing really well last season until he broke his leg early on and then took a while to regain fitness. By the end of the season though, he was pulling the strings in our home wins against Arsenal and Chelsea.
He’s brilliant and reminds me of Ardiles. From a Spurs fan, praise doesn’t get much higher.
The other player who might surprise is Dos Santos. He had a good World Cup and has impressed in pre-season. If, to quote Harry, “he continues to pass nightclubs as well as he passes the ball” we might have a player on our hands.
If you could have signed anyone during the summer, who would it have been to best compliment your squad?
Edin Dzeko. What we really lack is a striker who can play on his own up front. Most teams are playing 4-3-3 and it’s often difficult for Tottenham to compete, against the extra man in midfield (especially away from home).
Dzeko looked perfect for that role, but because of your interest, Wolfsburg have been able to keep his value at a premium. We simply can’t afford him.
How do you think Spurs will do this time around?
We will challenge for the top four again, but unless we recruit a couple of really good new players, I can’t see us doing any better than that.
I think it will again be very tight for fourth. City, Liverpool and Everton all look stronger. As for the Champions League, my only expectations are for us to reach the group stage and hopefully pull a big name out of the hat like Barcelona.
Spurs fans don’t seem to be worried about City. Do you think other teams like Arsenal or Liverpool are worried about both teams?
If we seem flippant about City, it’s only because we nearly always beat you, which is just one of those strange anomalies. We don’t generally hold a hoodoo over anyone.
I think that Arsenal and Liverpool will be more worried about you than us, which suits me fine.
And what about City? Do you think we’ll make it to the top four?
It’s very hard to say. Nothing that could happen at City this season would surprise me. You could win the league, or your signings could struggle to gel and Mancini could be out by November.
I suppose that I would expect you to amass more points than last season, which at the very least will see you very near to fourth place.
What’s your prediction for Saturday’s game?
I think we’ll win 1-0. I’m hoping that your team will be out of sorts and still getting used to each other.
Who’s your tip for the league?
You won’t like it, but it’s United. That’s not really based on much though, other than the fact that I couldn’t possibly tip Chelsea or Arsenal at this stage, due to my prejudices against them.
As I said though, if everything works out for City, you could win it. We’re not going to.
And the drop?
Blackpool are surely doomed, although that’s a shame as it will be a brilliant away day. I think that Newcastle will also go down and maybe Wigan.
It won’t be City anyway, which a few years ago would have been music to your ears. Have a good season and don’t forget to beat Arsenal home and away.
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