Tottenham begin the new season with a new manager in Andre-Vilas Boas. Few, if any, would have predicted the sacking of Harry Redknapp, mid-way through the last season when a last four finish was taken for granted and talk of a title bid was growing louder by the week.
The team did finish fourth, with the resultant qualification to the Champions League, but Redknapp could not escape the axe despite delivering two last four finishes in four seasons at the helm. Redknapp’s travails would not appear out of place to Vilas-Boas who was himself at a similar receiving end at Chelsea, last year.
The Portuguese manager will have a point (or two) to prove when Spurs take on Chelsea at the Lane, on October 20, and again at Stamford Bridge, on April 13. But he will not be helped in his cause by the retirement of skipper Ledley King. Ajax’s Belgian Jan Vertonghen is expected to fill in for King in the back-line alongside Michael Dawson, who has returned from injury. Hoffenheim’s Gyfli Sigurdsson could prove to be another brilliant summer signing. Apart from King, Spurs will miss the services of Kranjcar and Corluka, among other big names who were targeted during the summer transfer window.
Ryan Nelson and Louis Saha, both on the wrong side of thirty, joined the side in the January transfer window and Vilas-Boas would be hoping for better before the August transfer deadline expires. Wantaway midfielder Luka Modric, who was fined for refusing to train, presents an unresolved problem for Vilas-Boas. The Spurs’ manager will also not have skipper Scott Parker at the start of the season owing to an Achilles injury leading to surgery.
Winger Gareth Bale courted controversy by opting out of the GB squad for the Olympics on pretext of injury while turning up for the Spurs in pre-season games; the mercurial Welshman could prove crucial – as ever – to his side’s fortunes, in the upcoming season.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.