Four games into the Barclays Premier League season and Tottenham Hotspur are yet to record a win. The transfer window has closed and Spurs are going to have to make do with what they’ve got until at least January. The two key questions at this point are ‘What hasn’t quite clicked for Tottenham so far?’ and ‘Have they done enough in the transfer window to fix that?’
Spurs may not have won a game as yet but they are unbeaten in 3, having not lost since the opening day away to Manchester United. The problem identified by most it seems, has been the ability to manage a game, and to be able see it out when in a strong position. The signs of this problem were present on the opening day. Having dominated the opening 20 minutes, Spurs were unfortunate to concede to a Kyle Walker own goal.
However, after that, Spurs went into their shell and never looked threatening again at all until the final 5 minutes of the game (although we did defend very well and United also didn’t look particularly dangerous). The second half was a drab affair but fans were waiting for Spurs to truly commit men forward and search hard for an equaliser. By the time it did happen there wasn’t enough time left. 10-15 minutes earlier and the result may have been different. However this game was by no means a horror showing, and it was the next game to truly reveal Spurs seeming inability to manage the opposition.
Spurs once again started well but this time had a reward for it, with the Lilywhites 2-0 up at home to Stoke. We looked exceedingly comfortable until the final 15 minutes , when one goal from the penalty spot was all that was needed for Spurs to capitulate and end up drawing the game. For a club supposedly challenging for the Champions League to be 2-0 up at home with 15 minutes to go against a ‘lesser side’ to draw was not deemed acceptable. Spurs had demonstrated a soft underbelly. All the hard work of the previous 75 minutes was undone, and fans were disappointed we weren’t off the mark for the season. Any questions that were raised from this result were only reinforced in their relevance when after going 1-0 up away to Leicester City, Spurs conceded seconds after kick off.
Once again we had shown a lack of concentration and were punished for it. In regards to our last game against Everton, we were simply unlucky not to score thanks to some fine Tim Howard goalkeeping. However the team undoubtedly needs to be better in these situations. It’s no secret that this is young developing Tottenham side, a mirror image of its manager, and that we may have to accept some lapses, naivety and just plain bad luck at times. However if it continues to happen, it will pose the question as if to if there is a serious mentality problem within the minds of the players. Let’s hope that isn’t the case.
In terms of issues with the team and whether the club has done enough to rectify them, it’s a mixed bag. Defensively Spurs are seemingly much stronger, Toby and Jan at the back has all the signs of a promising partnership. Both have been guilty of lapses in the opening four games but I am sure they will only get better and Toby will prove to be a great signing. Other aspects of our play that have been criticised in the opening games has been a lack of pace and dynamism in the attacking areas, but I think it is fair to say this is also an issue that has seemingly been addressed.
Clinton N’jie is a raw but pacy youngster who will be a thorn in any oppositions side but the signing that has everyone excited is that of Heung-Min Son. A proven goal scoring winger at the top level, with pace, trickery and versatility, Son has all the makings of a true difference maker in the final third. Despite the this, the window certainly didn’t see all problems addressed.
A Defensive midfield player was expected to come in to bulk up the position after several departures, however despite efforts to capture Axel Witsel and Victor Wanyama, nothing materialised for Spurs. Will this be a problem as the season goes on? Is Dier good enough to play the role? Time will tell. However the glaring problem is lack of options up front. It is genuinely staggering Daniel Levy was not able to sign a single striker to assist Harry Kane.
It’s well documented how we made at least three bids for Saido Berahino, with the player himself going to Twitter to seemingly express his desire for the move to happen. A move for Alexander Pato was touted but never happened on deadline day. The reality is that Spurs have only one striker for four cup competitions, with Emmanuel Adebayor frozen out from the squad. If Harry Kane is to pick up a serious injury, the versatility of N’jie and Son may not be enough. Kane’s fitness could truly make or break Tottenham’s season, and unfortunately for Harry, the pressure now is truly on him for perform. The summer window has provided plenty of answers, but not without raising a fair few questions.