Two wins in two games cannot be termed as unimpressive. Tottenham Hotspur have started the season in the right note recording their best start to a season in four years and Andre Villas Boas certainly has all the bragging rights.
A team which did not manage a single penalty in the entire League campaign last season, won two games in a row courtesy of two penalties which was both converted by Roberto Soldado. So is it enough? well the points have come and the fact that Bale was not involved in it will also be a telling factor. But AVB cannot possibly expect his team to win every single game via a penalty and soon they will have to score from open play.
There is no doubt that the deal Spurs are extracting for Bale is unbelievable and it took a shrewd negotiator as Daniel Levy to pull out the last penny from the Madrid club. (The latest news is that Bale’s move has been put on hold as Spurs look for a replacement to arrive before letting him go). Spurs are in no financial crisis and thus it can be safely said that they would have utilised the money in a more professional manner had the deal been sealed with few more days in hand. In any case it is one of the most difficult jobs to replace a player of Bale’s calibre and then to do it in such a short time is further hazardous. And then when there are clubs like Chelsea, who can wave money to a player and snatch him under Spur’s nose, the job becomes tedious and uncertain.
In the opening two matches of the season Spurs have shown a number of positive signs. Paulinho has gelled well with the team, Soldado has found the back of the net twice, Chadli has been very impressive in the flanks, Townsend has decent and yet amid all these positives, something has been found to be missing. That killer instinct has been lacking in the final third of the pitch. Is it because of the uncertainty in AVB’s formations? The manager has dwelled with several formations and have called upon 19 players for the first team actions so far. Maybe he is trying out different things before finally settling down about his tactics, but so far AVB has managed to do it without dropping any points.
Last season Gareth Bale was the sole reason that Spurs could net a winner very late into the match six times in total. The impact of Bale had been stupendous and he never let the absence of a proper striker felt. This season Spurs have taken care of the striker department by bringing in Roberto Soldado from Valencia, who had been stunning for the La Liga outfit last term.
But still the lack of a creative midfielder is being felt in the team, if the first two matches are to be taken into account. Paulinho on his part has been extremely precise till now, controlling the proceeding from the midfield. The area that he has faltered upon is his finishing, wasting clear chances the other night against Swansea.
With Chelsea now hijacking the Willian deal (could have been a decent replacement for Bale), finding an apt replacement is certainly a challenging task. But still they can rope in Erik Lamela who is known for his vision and flair. Lamella would be a great addition to this squad and this combination of Lalema, Capoue, Paulinho and Soldado would give the London side an edge even without a perfect creative midfielder.
Andre Villas Boas has rightly said that the new addition to the team provides them with the winning mentality and comparing this season’s opening results with the last four seasons, it cannot be doubted. With just a little more of sharpness in the final half of the pitch, Tottenham can go on to be a world beater, dominating teams in and outside of England.
A Bale less world may be difficult for Tottenham to cope up with, taking into account the dependency of the team on the Welsh international. But if the build up is to be capitalised wisely and the further resources used with intent, this season can be a turning point for them.