Here are a few things that Spurs might have learned from 2013.
After a mixed year in terms of results, transfers and performances, Tottenham have plenty of things to learn from going in to the New Year. Here we take a look at just a few of them:
Maybe it's better to keep the player rather than the money - Though the huge amount of money offered by Real Madrid for Gareth Bale was seen by some as impossible to refuse, Liverpool have shown the benefit of keeping a player that had a stated a desire to leave, and would have fetched big money. Likewise, Tottenham have shown the difficulty in replacing an integral player with several good players, as any team would find it difficult to integrate so many individuals into an already successful squad when really there were only 2 or 3 positions that needed strengthening. They would have perhaps benefited from signing two players each at half the cost of Bale's fee, with a certain German that ended up at Arsenal the prime kind of level of player they should have been looking at.
Tim Sherwood needs instant results - A favourable run of games over the next couple of weeks seems to have provide an opportunity for a manager to come in and make himself look like a saviour. Step forward Tim Sherwood. Hypothetically, if Spurs win on Boxing Day they could be 3 points off top spot. With the squad they have, it is pretty clear that Tottenham can still be a force in this season's Premier League, and he helps the club pick up some momentum then they could yet have a say on where this year's trophy ends up.
Spurs need to buy players to fit the team not just to play a position - If Tottenham could take back the money from the Bale sale and allocate it to transfers with a little more care, they would almost certainly consider it. They bought Roberto Soldado when they had Jermain Defoe, Paulinho and Etienne Capoue when when they had Moussa Dembele and Sandro, and Nacer Chadli and Erik Lamela when they had Siggurdsson, Lennon and Townsend. Improving the squad is a sensible thing to do, but there are certain positions where a different option was needed, particularly in the striker position. Here, Franco Baldini and the Andre Villas-Boas should have known that their style of play suited a forward that could hold up the ball.
A director of football might not be the way forward - The news that Baldini offered to resign after Villas-Boas was sacked surely indicates that there is uncertainty in the value of employing a director of football at the club. Neither Frank Arnesen or Damien Commolli pulled up any trees in their spells in charge, and after potential candidates for the management role such as Mauricio Pochettinho expressed concerns about taking a job at a club that operates in such a way, maybe Spurs should go back to giving full football control to whichever manager comes in.
Tottenham should be prepared to put more faith in their academy - After a period that has seen recent graduates such as Andros Townsend, Steven Caulker, and Jake Livermore impressing in the top flight, as well as youngsters such as Tom Carroll, Alex Pritchard and now Nabil Bentaleb looking like they have some promise, Tottenham could be in a position to put a little more faith in their academy. With Tim Sherwood in charge, they will have the perfect man to make use of such talented youngsters, given that he has overseen the academy over the last few years and led the under-21 team to impressive league victories last year. Having one of the best training grounds in Europe will also only be of benefit to the development of young players.
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