To win the premiership you have to rotate your squad, Alex Ferguson reminds of this year in year out as his make shift United sides storm towards the top of the table. However would Sir Alex rotate the Spurs squad at the moment, I very much doubt it.
I hear Spurs fans cry for the likes of Kranjcar and Defoe to get more games, is it possible? At the moment Spurs are in a position to comfortably rotate three so called non first teamers in to the team without weakening it too much.
With King and his sporadic appearances they have the two other fit central defenders in Kaboul and Gallas, not even the most cynical of supporters would see this as weakening the side no matter which two of the three play with the sparkling form of Younes Kaboul. They can cover centre back, just about and when Dawson returns to fitness harry will have four excellent centre backs at his disposal.
However if we look to the right and left of these excellent defenders the massively underrated Assou Ekotto and the ever improving sprinter Walker have no understudy. Danny Rose a left winger turned full back looks suspect defensively and Corluka although relatively solid weakens the team if he is played instead of Walker as he is simply not good enough technically in today’s modern game to be considered a top class full back. Some would argue he is Tottenham’s very own John O’Shea, whether that is a good or a bad thing is a matter for debate.
Looking to the wingers there are few better than the potentially if not actually the best player in the premiership Gareth Bale. I read a quote from Kyle Walker that says he would rather face Bale than Lennon, which tells you how good Spurs have it in these positions at the moment. Again however in back up Spurs have one other recognised winger in Andros Townsend who although has potential is nowhere near the level of Bale or Lennon at the moment.
So how would Spurs cover a loss to one of these wingers, as Lennon’s recent injury has shown, they have inserted the second player that Spurs would have no problem playing, the gum shielded hardnosed Brazilian Sandro. Who in my humble opinion is one of the best ball winners in the Premiership, infact were it not for the immense Parker, this young central midfielder would have played all season for Spurs. He would of course step in if any of the midfielders were injured as he is simply a class apart from his nearest challengers Pienaar, Kranjcar, Huddlestone and Livermore.
If you asked Ferguson which of his midfielders he would rather play Young, Nani, Valencia, Carrick, Fletcher,Giggs, Park, Anderson and Cleverley. He would probably reply with: depends on the game, form of the player, fitness etc.. Because in reality these midfielders are not a class apart from each other and all have their strengths and weaknesses. With Tottenham it is not this way, every Spurs supporter would rather see Modric out there than Kranjcar and Pienaar or Sandro and Parker ahead of Huddlestone and Livermore.
Defoe is the last player that could be seen as a player the Spurs faithful would not mind coming on but only for Van Der Vaart. Defoe has always been a player who, when at his best, has had someone to lay it on a plate for him, a selfless player to counteract his selfishness. When he has such a partner (like Adebayor) and is on form he can devastate defences. However he lacks the footballing brain to ever become world class. His tactic of pick up the ball and get a yard by putting it on his right foot and smashing it in the net is brilliant when it works, more than slightly annoying when it does not. A player with massive talent but you can sadly never count him in the same league as Adebayor.
Adebayor is what Spurs have been crying out for a striker who is an all in one player, technically excellent, a grafter, holds up play superbly and can find the net (sometimes). If Spurs can sign him on a permanent deal he will be a major coup for the club as he is one of the few world class strikers out there at the moment and perfect for the way Spurs play, perhaps perfect for the way any team plays. However if he gets an injury how will Spurs cope, they do not have the luxury of having four top class strikers like united have. To be kind to Pavlyuchenko he has never really settled in the premiership and as with his Russian compatriots, perhaps do not suit the English game.
Which leaves Spurs with a team that cannot be rotated, that simply cannot be tailored to suit every game as on paper Tottenham’s first eleven is the best in the league and could beat any team. If Spurs do not get their full backs, striker or more than one midfielder injured they could lay a claim for the title. It is only a lack of experience and a lack of bottle that will stop them. How could Harry in all good faith weaken his team and risk losing a game or two from squad rotation. It is credit to the quality of the players mentioned that this is the case.
Spurs are now the new Arsenal they are a team that is playing the most attractive football in the league but with more steel and only time will tell if Spurs can develop into the new invincibles.