|When all the talk is of
needing a new striker, I must say that I am quite sceptical.
We have a lot of forwards, but they are
all much of a muchness. All incapable of taking the chances
offered up to them. All incapable of staying fit for the majority
of a Premier League season. All getting on without showing their
best form for Tottenham this season. The exception to this list is
Sergei Rebrov, who is a good striker, but is not played or is played and
not in a system that suits his talents.
So, where does this leave the club's
forward line for next season ?
Chris Armstrong might return, but will
never be the player he was. Les Ferdinand will be another year
older and is missing too many chances as it is now. Steffen
Iversen will never be a 25 goals a season man, although he does have
attributes that might mean he is retained, they do not come under the
natural born goalscorer heading. Yannick Kamanan can't wait for a
first team chance, so will be off and Steven Ferguson is still coming
along in the reserves after being injured for quite a while this season.
There is not a lot that can be done with
the resources available at the moment and so there is a call for a new
striker. Kevin Phillips, Bobby Zamora, Tore Andre Flo, Nuno Gomes
... anyone really. But do we need a new striker ?
My suggestion is that we need two.
Strikers usually operate in partnerships and this is something that has
been absent form the Spurs side for some time now. Archibald and
Crooks, Greaves and Gilzean, Chivers and Peters. All pairings that
caused havoc and when it wasn't one, it was the other who was knocking
the ball into the net.
The need for one striker might be valid,
but whoever it is will have to try and mesh their skills with one of the
forwards left after the summer cull. It would be hard to fit in
with any of them I would suggest. Of the players we have available
in this department, the best combination has been Iversen and
Rebrov. We haven't seen the best of them, but they at least look
like they know where the ball is going to end up when they play
together, when they are both fit and interested. Les hasn't struck
up an understanding with any of his partners. I Suppose the only
other combination that might rekindle thoughts of the past is the
Armstrong-Sheringham pair, but with Teddy lying deeper these days, it
might not be like it once was.
So, a new signing would have to establish
a rapport with one of the Spurs players already in the forward
line. So, would it be easier to bring in two forwards together,
who would complement each other instead of asking them to be part of a
mix-and-match twinning. Two new forwards who could play together
and develop a partnership could see the chances stuck away with
Obviously, money is a factor in this
equation. We know that the coffers are not overflowing, so there
might have to be a split in spending if we are to get two new
forwards. Some would go on one of the signings, with the rest
having to be funded from the sale of Rebrov. It is obvious that
Hoddle does not fancy the Ukrainian; whether that is because he is the
signing of another manager or because he is too easily knocked off the
ball and thinks he will not be able to withstand the physical demands of
the Premiership, who knows. Hoddle's refusal to play him and
Rebrov's disinterested approach when he has been picked lately can mean
only one end to the tale.
He will not fetch as much as we paid for
him, but then whatever we get for him must be wisely re-invested in the
side. There are other areas that need strengthening ... the
creative midfield position being one. This is likely to be
resolved in the summer very cheaply, when Jamie Redknapp makes the move
back to London at the end of his contract. This time it is
probably his wife who is homesick. Alternatively, depending on
which papers/websites you read, Steffan Effenberg will be coming to a
midfield near you soon. He would add stability and a presence that
Spurs again have been lacking for a long time.
But the main problem would be the
resolution in the goalscoring department. The chances are there,
but the ratio of conversion is poor. We have hit the woodwork more
than any other Premier League side this season, so we are not far away
from making the big step forward, but will it be possible to take that
step with hands sunk deep in pockets ?? There is talent out there
and spotting it shouldn't be a problem. Paying for it might be