Tottenham Hotspur are hoping to improve on last year with this 2013-14 EPL season. They fought through all of 2012-13, but came up short of a second consecutive fourth place finish.
This summer Andre Villas Boas has not had much of a relaxing time. Instead he has had to continually deal with the transfer saga surrounding his star winger, Gareth Bale. While getting a reported £86M ($133M) would be a massive amount of money, fans should hope that they don’t wait too long and drag it out till the end of the window. Not much point in selling your best player, the Player of the Year last term, without being able to spend the money to bring in anybody else.
It could be said that they have already been spending in anticipation of losing Bale having brought in midfielders Paulinho and Nacer Chadli as well as forward Roberto Soldado. However, none of these players are game changers in the same way as Gareth Bale. What they could do is bring about a more comprehensive attacking machine, rather than a reliance on one player to save the team.
By selling Gareth Bale they could capitalize on a rising player who is full of potential, but most of which is not yet realized. Only time will truly tell if he has the ability to rise to a world class player in the same way as Ronaldo or Messi. This could still work out for Tottenham if they are able to build on their squad and create a team that is able to work together and score goals.
In 2012-13 they were only one point off of fourth place finishing the season in fifth on 72 points with a +20 goal difference. This goal difference is what they need to work on this season. While 66 goals is a fantastic haul, they will need to score more and win those close games that often ended in draws. Defensively they were solid allowing only 46 goals, good enough for sixth in the Premier League.
While they may have let Steven Caulker go they still have a lot of quality at the back with Jan Vertonghen, Kyle Walker, Kyle Naughton, Michael Dawson, Younes Kaboul, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, and Danny Rose. A fair amount of depth there to put out in front of Hugo Lloris.
What Tottenham does have to watch out for is what seemed to lead to their downfall last season; the Europa League. They cannot afford to stretch themselves too thin despite having a bit more depth this year.
My prediction for Tottenham is that they will finally reach a fourth place finish. They have brought in some excellent players and even if they lose Gareth Bale, there is plenty of quality throughout the team. There are still several good teams around them including Arsenal, Liverpool, Everton, and even Swansea City, so it’s not going to be easy, but they are on the right track.