Premier League Preview Number 8: Tottenham Hotspur

11 August 2009

Tottenham Hotspur

Biggest Ins
: Sebastien Bassong should provide ample cover at the back. Peter Crouch took a while, but ended up back with Uncle Harry. What he’ll do in the attack, I’ll never know.

Biggest Outs
: Didier Zokora was a decent player in the midfield. Darren Bent decided to let Twitter speak his mind. I don’t think either are that big a loss.

Easiest Month
: October. Tottenham travel to Bolton and Portsmouth, before hosting Stoke City. Tottenham end the month with Arsenal away. Yes three of the four are away, but Tottenham can get nine points out of this month. Lest we forget the 4-4 draw last season at the Emirates?

Toughest Month
: April. After an away trip to Sunderland, Tottenham host Arsenal and Chelsea. If that wasn’t bad enough, Spurs then have to take a trip to Old Trafford. At best this is a four point month; realistically, Tottenham only gets three.

Five Questions About Tottenham Hotspur This Season

1) Who ends up as the starting partnership up top this season? With Roman Pavlyuchenko, Robbie Keane, Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch in the attack, keeping all four happy is going to be an impressive balancing act.
2) Who does start in goal? Let’s face it, Heurelho Gomes was so bad at times last season, Redknapp went and got Carlo Cudicini from Chelsea. I expect Gomes to start the season, but be on a very short leash.
3) Can Ledley King’s knees sustain him throughout the season? If Redknapp can rotate him and get 30 games this season, the center back partnership with Jonathan Woodgate will only get stronger. If Ledley’s knees give him more grief than usual this season, can Dawson be a good enough replacement?
4) Where does David Bentley play in order to get regular starting time? Aaron Lennon is the starter on the right while Modric is the starter on the left. Could this be a case where Bentley leaves in January?
5) Can Tottenham’s form away from White Hart Lane improve? Last year they lost eleven matches away from home; it was just enough to see them miss out on Europe.

My Ultimate Reality
: Tottenham will miss out on Europe again. I don’t trust Gomes in goal and it’s been a while since Cudicini was an every day starter. The midfield, while individually talented, just doesn’t seem like a unit that has gelled together. I worry about what rotation policy Redknapp will use with his forwards. You simply cannot have four forwards that are use to regular playing time and keep two of them on the bench. When it’s all said and done, expect another year of close but no cigar.

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Johnathan Starling, the self proclaimed 'most brutally honest man on the net, dishes out his own unique brand of opinions, and analysis on the Premier League, Bundesliga, and all things US Soccer.

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