Tottenham: Daniel Levy's striker gamble perilously close to backfiring

Daniel Levy

From a position of relative comfort, Tottenham Hotspur are likely to be back scrapping for a place in the top four.

Tottenham have every chance of finishing in the top four and qualifying for Champions League football, it is after all still in their hands and a defeat at home to Fulham on Sunday does not change that.

It does however intensify the pressure on Andre Villas-Boas and his squad in every match going forward, and it emphasises just what a fine line they have to face between now and the end of the season with Arsenal just one point behind them in fifth, if the Gunners win their game in hand.

The resolution will likely come down to the final day once more, and if Spurs are not successful it is likely one decision will be held responsible.

Not the one to loan out Andros Townsend who has been in fine form at QPR, but the choice not to sign a striker in the January transfer window.

All throughout January the club were linked with strikers, from Leandro Damiao to Alvaro Negredo. In the end they ended up with nobody, not even a Gary Hooper or a Danny Graham.

It immediately backfired with Jermain Defoe picking up an injury at the first possible opportunity after the deadline against West Brom and only returned after a month out. Emmanuel Adebayor's sojourn to the African Nations Cup descended into farce, predictably with his late return and knackered form.

Adebayor did score at the San Siro last week, a crucial goal for the club, but it was the first scored by a Spurs striker in 16 games.

Prior to and since his return Jermain Defoe has not been in the best form, evidenced by his lack of goals, and this is becoming a real problem for Tottenham.

The loss to Fulham at White Hart Lane, which Gylfi Sigurdsson pointed to fatigue from the San Siro as a contributing factor, was one the club really should have won; and an extra striker could have helped them do this.

Rather than rotating two out of form and in Defoe's case, recovering to full fitness, strikers - being able to rotate three would provide the other two with increased rest and prevent burnout or succumbing to further injury, as well as spurring the pair on by virtue of increased competition for places.

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy had a chance to sign a striker for his manager to utilise in January, but elected not to with AVB toeing the party line that the current squad is enough.

It may prove to be, with Defoe and Adebayor bound to find form at some stage over the remaining two months, but if Spurs do finish in the top four it is likely to only be by a whisker, for they are showing they are not going to do it the easy way.

Yet if the club had splashed out on a top striker, then their position would likely be far more comfortable. The decision has not backfired yet, but it is getting close to that point, especially if Spurs relinquish their advantage over their North London rivals.

Is Tottenham's striker situation likely to cost them? Who do you blame?

image: © Doha Stadium Plus

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