Spurs' Europa League clash should be easy - Anzhi are in turmoil

There has been some criticism over Tottenham’s start to the new season, but the White Hart Lane fans could have it worse…

Tottenham face Anzhi Makhachkala in the Europa League on Thursday night, with both sides already through to the next stage of the competition.

Although Spurs’ start to the new campaign has contained its fair share of ups and downs, their opponents have plummeted this term.

Anzhi were bought over by Russian billionaire Suleyman Kerimov back in 2011, who endeavoured to make the Dagestan outfit the top club in the eastern European country.

The likes of Roberto Carlos, Samuel Eto’o and Willian have graced the club in recent years, but it has all come tumbling down since.

When Kerimov decided to pull Anzhi’s funding at the start of the new season, a quick-fire sale of all of the club’s main players has seen the side down to its bare bones.

Despite decent European form and progression through to the knockout rounds of the competition, their domestic form has been nothing short of shocking.

Unbelievably, from qualifying for Europe in last season’s Russian Premier League, Anzhi sit bottom of the division after 19 games this season – and are yet to win a single game.

The signing of a new left-back in January will neutralise this issue, but for the first half of the season have Assou-Ekotto at Whtie Hart Lane could have been a good short-term fix.

It would have allowed Vertonghen to play at centre-half, boosting Spurs’ back four as a result. The African left-back has more experience and is a better player currently than either Naughton or Rose – and as such it would have made sense to let one of these players leave on loan instead.

If Spurs fail to tempt a left-back of quality to north London in January, it could well be a major downfall in their attempts to finish in the top four.

Vertonghen has looked short of inspiration in the last couple of games, and is clearly eager to move back to centre-half – which would be of benefit to the player and the team.

image: © PolandMFA

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