It’s half term and a chance for us to review our performance on the field as a team and our squad in each individual category. If you missed the first two articles you can catch them here:
Half Term Report – fighting on all fronts, goalkeepers and defenders
Half Term Report – Midfielders
I am including Rafael Van Der Vaart in the striker group as a consequence of his desire to turn action into goals. Quite how he has taken the Premier League by storm when he could not get into the Real Madrid team is difficult to understand. They must have some players!
If I’m honest I was not that aware of Rafa when he was signed. Having made enquiries of the boy I found out he was pretty good but having seen him play I’d be willing to say he is much better than that. I’m happy to admit that Ardiles was my favourite ever Spurs player and I really enjoyed Ginola too but this guy has to be bordering upon equal to Ossie. I say this because I’ve never seen the addition of one player change the team so much so quickly.
Such is his skill that you are desperate to get back for more and then when you consider that we also have Bale, Modric and Lennon in the same side it’s hard to miss a game at The Lane any more. He has some issues. Having missed a proper pre season with us his fitness may be a little questionable and he has already missed games as a result of injury. Without him I believe we have a great chance to win the game, with him I believe we will win. The next big test is Manchester United at home. We need to win that to show Fergie he hasn’t got all the answers any longer. I think a fit Rafa can help deliver that.
Elsewhere, we are still waiting to see how Jermain Defoe links up with Van Der Vaart. Unfortunately his 3 match ban means we have to wait longer to find out though an understanding seemed to be developing. I think JD is our best striker but I do believe that he is too greedy and certainly needs a couple of goals to settle him down. I’ve always believed he links well with Lennon and that gives me confidence that he will fit back into the side that has developed in his absence. Unfortunately his height dictates one method of play. On the floor. That suits our best game but it must be understood that it rubs both ways. We give the ball to you and you consider giving it back. I still fancy 10 goals from him in the second half of the season.
I wish I could say the same for Robbie Keane. Unfortunately the name Mr Reliable has been lost and his club form has spread to international games. The problem that Robbie has is his wage cost. Many clubs will be interested until they know the deal but lets be honest Rob how much money do you need? I cannot see him offering us lots of goals as he always was a little wasteful and therefore his use to us remains as a squad player. He won’t want that so the door is the only way forward for both parties. I shall miss him but always remember him singlehandedly winning games for us when he first came.
Pav presents a similar conundrum to me. He produces some incredible moments of brilliance but 40 minutes pass in between. When the brilliance comes the ball ends up in the net but he needs to offer more. I worry about his style of play and if it fits in with the side. All too often he comes deep looking for the ball to play those long switch passes but when playing only one up front I feel he needs to lead the line. That might be harsh but when you have the pace of Bale and Lennon it’s impossible to get from a deep position in time to slide it in. When he’s up there he does but when absent it can go across the net. Then there is his aerial threat? At best “not good” would sum it up. Without Crouch every ball is aimed at Bale because he has a chance of winning the header.
Like Pav Crouch has a number of shortcomings but in his favour he has built up a relationship with Van Der Vaart. Many of you don’t like Peter. Yes I agree he looks like a pantomime character on occasions and that his heading could be more powerful but we have been winning with him in the side. But in fairness he is not the best striker in the world and as with the goalkeeper position if we want to get into and stay in the top 4 and compete in every competition a ruthless streak would suggest a new name in this group and at least two out.
One out would be Giovanni who I don’t see having much of a future and Keane would make that two but a really good striker might need a further saving of wages and therefore either Pav or Crouch could go if the right offer came in. If it did not I would not be disappointed as both have things to offer from the bench.
So what would a new striker need to be capable of? The necessary strength to win and direct the ball in the air, pace to keep up with our wingers and sufficient ball playing skills to link with Luka and Rafa. So it’s quite easy to find such a player I’ll warrant!
As I said before I follow Spurs not every other team so I don’t know a list of names but answers on a postcard ignoring the obvious paper names such as Andy Carroll.
Next up a review of our Management and the Ownership.