Friday, March 27, 2009

Spurs' Left-Wing Dilemma

How long have Spurs had problems down the left-side of midfield, and for that matter at left-back as well? It seems that we've been linked with more left-wingers than I care to count, but none have made their way to the Lane. At the moment we have Luka Modric on the flank, and he drifts further infield as the game progresses, with BAE acting as the de facto winger for the team.

It seems to be working well, I'm not going to complain about the results over the last month or so. It seems like the team is starting to find it's shape, and firing on all cylinders at the moment. I'm reminded of the saying that my mother and countless others have used over time, "If it's not broken, don't fix it."

But I am going to go against my mother's advice and look at our options for the left-side in the future. No matter how well the team if playing at the moment, I have a feeling that Harry will want to tinker with things over the summer, and the left-side seems to be the position he is intent on "fixing."

Many have suggested that we have several left-wing options already at the club and there is no need to spend big money on a winger. We do have several options, but I'm not sure that Harry agrees with us, so I'll look at what is already at the club, and some of the players we've been linked with.

Luka Modric: Our current winger, he has been one of the best players for the club this season, and was masterful against Chelsea. He is not a true winger of course, he drifts infield during the game and allows BAE to provide the width at times. But I have been impressed with his effort down the left-side and he does help keep the width himself at times. Honestly this is not a bad solution to our left-wing problem, we're winning and that's all that matters, but I think Luka would do even better things for the club in a central position, but can he handle the physicality of the center of the field?

Gareth Bale: Let's face facts, Harry clearly doesn't rate the youngster as a left-back, his defending is too poor at the moment. The strongest part of his game is his play upfield, and I have mentioned before that he could an option down the left-side. Each time Bale has played as a winger he has looked uncomfortable however, he just hasn't had enough experience to feel comfortable there. Maybe some time in the reserves at this position could help us see if he could make it, but unfortunately I think Harry will be selling young Gareth on in the summer.

Jamie O'Hara: Pluck is a good way to describe Jamie in one word. He's not the flashiest player on the pitch, but he'll give you everything he has. Lacks the pace to be an out and out winger, but so does Luka and he's doing well at it. Jamie is young, left-footed and has the desire to do well wherever he is out on the pitch. I think Harry sees his future more in the middle however, or as a utility-type backup for the club.

Danny Rose: The anointed one. He's been tearing it up in the youth sides as well as the reserves, and has recently gone out on loan to Watford to get some match experience. Those who watch the club closely think he's going to be a real player. He might have a chance at making an impact next year, he will be 19 in the summer and I think will train with the first-team in the preseason, unless Harry brings someone in.

Stuart Downing: If I had a nickel for each time we've been linked with the Boro player. With Boro looking more and more like they are going down, there will be a fire sale at the Riverside, and Downing would probably be the first to go. I have stated before he's not worth 15 million pounds, I don't think he's worth 10 million to be honest. But it seems that it is a requirement to be manager at Tottenham, you must be infatuated with Downing. If we buy anyone in the summer, look for it to be him, though I will reiterate that I think Adam Johnson would be the better Boro winger to buy.

Stephen Hunt: The rumors were hot and heavy in January that he was coming to either us or Aston Villa, and he's still at Reading. I have to wonder about him, he does seem to do well, but in the year that Reading played well in the Premier League, it was Bobby Convey who was first choice, but his injuries allowed Hunt to force his way in the side. As an American fan as well, I can say that Convey is only okay, and if Hunt wants to succeed in the Premier League, he would need to do more than compete with Convey for first choice. Few rumors about him as of late, it seems the bloom is off the rose.

Aidan McGeady: The Celtic winger is being linked with all sorts of clubs, us among them. If you've watched the YouTube highlights, he has the flash, but does he have the substance to be a first-choice winger in the Premier League. I also wonder about his temperament, he's had bust-ups with players and management at Celtic. I would take a pass.

We'll see what happens, there are no shortage of options for Harry, but for now I'm happy with what we've got.

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