(originally written in November 2011)
There’s been a lot of debate about our elimination from the Europe
League at the group stage. Lots of people happier for it and lots of
people who feel disappointed. I’m one of the latter.
A lot of the pro camp will say we had no intention of winning it and
now we can concentrate on the league and they’ve got a point. But the
counter arguement here is there wasn’t many of the first choice starting
XI who actually played in the competition. VDV for example wasn’t even
registered. Harry exercised his right to give the squad players and
emerging talent a chance, a decision I actually agree with and despite
our exit, I believe it proved beneficial.
Players like Tom Carroll, Ryan Fredericks, Harry Kane were thrust
into the minds of Tottenham fans, many of whom had never heard of them
or had never seen them in action. Again I fall into the latter. And
like me, many were impressed by what they saw. Tom Carroll is a slip of
a lad but looked very composed on the ball and a very usefull passer.
Harry Kane a big strong, almost old fashioned centre forward who
actually possesses a decent touch. Ryan Fredericks, quick and versatile,
will have been disappointed to have missed a few games with injury.
Some of the younger brigade have been around for a little bit longer,
Andros Townsend and Jake Livermore for example. Townsend was played in
a variety of positions but was at his best when wide left. He looks
the type of player who will cause fullbacks sleepless nights and is able
to create chances. At the moment very much a squad player who could be
used as an impact sub if so required. Livermore as well remains a
squad player in the big picture.
The Europa league also gave some of the more senior players a chance
to shine. Some grasped it, some didn’t. Steven Pienaar while not
setting the world alight did show some glimpses af quality and might
still prove to be a useful player for the club. Others like Giovani dos
Santos and Roman Pavlyuchenko, while both getting on the scoresheet,
didn’t really thrust themselves back into contention for a league start.
The main positive was getting these players gametime. Nobody wants
to sit around on the bench or out of the frame on a Saturday. The
Europe League provided a competitive environment for them to get games.
Now that we’re out what happens now?
Well it’s a good question. The likes of Sandro, Kranjcar and Pienaar
might not be happy with lack of games and benchwarming in league
fixtures. And if we lose our squad players it will affect our league
campaign should injuries and suspensions take their toll.
Of the youngsters some will go out on loan most proabably. Caroll
for example would be a great addition to a side like Brighton or Southampton in the Championship. Others like Kane may not be allowed to
leave, depending on how important our involvement in the Next Gen
Series is seen. Townsend would be a one to keep for the reasons stated
above. And of course there will be those departing the club for the
last time, Gomes, Corluka, Bassong and Pav falling most possibly into
And for those thinking a good FA Cup run will allow these youngsters
and squad players games I disagree. FA Cup games are played instead of
league matches so there’s no problem in playing more or less your
strongest side here. They still get a week to recover before the next
game. And I for one would love to win a trophy!
And I think therin lies the crux of the arguement. We all want to
see the club be successful and winning trophies helps us achieve this.
We all remember the league cup final a few years ago. And in the
upcoming book ‘The Glory Glory Game’, written by the Spurs Writers Club,
I talk about the sheer enjoyment of winning the 1984 Uefa Cup.
Therefore I think it is a shame we are out of the Europa League. And January might be an interesting time for goings.