Since the sale of Bale, and the buying of £100 million worth of players – Spurs’ squad especially the newly bought players were put under scrutiny by the media and even worse, ‘Spurs twitter’.
The past two seasons transfer windows have seen a plethora of talent not only leave White Hart Lane but join too. During this blog I will review the ‘Super 7’ that joined in the summer of 2013 – but who has succeeded in the glorious Lilywhite?
Working from the back, we’ll start with Vlad Chiriches –
Chiriches started his career at Spurs in a very good stead, nearly cementing a space in the first team next to Jan Vertonghen. The play making centre-back quickly showed that he wasn’t 100% ready for the Premier League making a few mistakes when put under pressure. When given time, Chiriches shows the talent that he truly has, but very rarely in the Premier League are you given time.
When Poch came in, the back four was all over the place. Only one player (Verts) was guarenteed a place in the line-up and it was time for Chiriches, Dier, Fazio, Kaboul (and even Dawson right at the beginning) to prove their worth. Kaboul was preferred at CB, partnering Vertonghen and Dier preferred at right back due to the absence of Walker. Chiriches was given opportunities at both centre-back and right back, but Dier and Fazio were largely preferred at centre-back once Walker returned from injury, meaning there was no longer a place for Chiriches.
Verdict: Not taken his chances – Flop.
Etienne Capoue –
Capoue started his Tottenham career well, and was the work-horse that Spurs fans wanted. After the sale of Scott Parker, and injuries to The Beast (Sandro) Capoue appeared to be a breath of fresh air. But Capoue himself suffered injury set-backs and has struggled to get into the team since. A few lack-lustre performances and an apparent bad attitude has forced the previous and current manager to pick homegrown over the French international, of which have flourished in that role.
I don’t see him coming out of exile whilst Poch is still in charge, and I hope that will be a very long time.
Verdict: Death (being sold), by exile – Flop.
Most fans couldn’t believe we had acquired Paulinho, especially after the interest of Russian mafia money in not only 1 transfer window but two. Beating Chelsea to anything is always nice, but it makes it sweeter when it’s to a player that the rent boys have been after for so long. The Brazil star appeared to be an exciting prospect, scoring goals for club and country; turning the heads of lots of clubs in Europe.
Scoring both domestically and in cup competitions Paulinho was proving to be the goal-scoring midfielder that we had dreamed for. An energetic box-to-box midfielder however doesn’t work too well in any of the new tactical systems adopted by most managers. Players now need to be more predominately defensive or predominately attacking, either a Bentaleb or Eriksen role for example.
Paulinho didn’t however have a break for 2 summers in a row, playing in the Confederation Cup and The World Cup respectively. No rest and a position that doesn’t fit into our system has meant Paulinho hasn’t quite been able to find his feet.
Verdict: Maybe we’ll give him another season? Flop.
Nacer Chadli –
For sure one of the better summer 2013 acquisitions Nacer Chadli has thrived in his second season wearing Lilywhite. Chadli has scored 10 goals so far this season – just one behind Eriksen in 11 less starts. This seasons third highest goalscorer didn’t have an easy start at White Hart Lane, and he struggled to break into the team in his first season. This year The Dolphin has however proved vital to our squad in every competition; but why has he not played as much as other ‘key players’? My vote is his attitude, not to mention his desire to party and erm… play around.
Hopefully Nacer can prove to Poch exactly why he should be starting week after week, and once he is, I can only see the Belgian getting better and better.
Verdict: Hazard who? Flourish.
Erik Lamela –
The most expensive Summer 2013 signing at £30 million, it was always going to be hard for Lamela to live up to expectation. Spending most of his first season at the club on the sidelines probably was not ideal for the young Argentinean however it did give him time to adjust the English style, the language and the culture. Not only that but it gave him time to ‘hit the gym’ to become stronger and adapt his body in order to perform at a higher standard in the Premier League.
His four goals this season show improvement from last season, however he still doesn’t seem very confident. I like Lamela but if I could get the money back from him I probably would..
Hopefully Lamela can stay at the club and prove his worth, it’s clear to see that the boy has talent and passion. He works as hard as anyone else on the pitch, he just needs to improve in the final third. Remind you of anyone? And he was a fan favourite..
He will always be remembered for ‘that goal’ in the Europa league. See below;
Verdict – Not worth £30 million. A £12 million flourish; £30 million flop.
Christian Eriksen –
A fan favourite, Christian Eriksen has proved to be Tottenham’s next Van Der Vaart. The little magician has blossomed not only in the role behind the striker, but also on the left of the attacking three (VDV played central or right) as well as proving himself to be a set piece specialist (See vine).
Eriksen is clearly head and shoulders above any of ‘Super 7’ not only in playing ability but in how the fans regard him, and presumably Poch too. One of the first names on the team sheet and attracting attention from PSG, proves just how vital Eriksen is to our success. If he stays for another 5/10 years he really could make himself a Tottenham legend. He’s halfway there already.
Verdict: No surprises – Flourish.
Roberto Soldado –
I was always one of this to say ‘give him a break’ ‘give him time’ ‘he will get better’ but that doesn’t appear to be true. Soldado has had quite a torrid time in the UK after his wife suffered a miscarriage late 2013 however has since had a baby (kitting baby Noah out in lots of Spurs gear).
His lack of confidence in the Premier league has been ever present and was most recently seen in our Europa league clash against Fiorentina. For such a prolific striker in the La Liga, scoring 9 goals in 2 seasons just quite simply isn’t enough – Especially compared to the 20 goals a season he scored for Valencia.
I personally believe that Soldado should be used as a playmaker behind the striker. Not being expected to score goals as well as his incredible passing talents could mean that he would largely benefit from a position change during his time at Tottenham.
Verdict – He should be scoring a lot more. Flop.