Inside Lane: Will Spurs regret failure to gamble in January once again?
12:18 05 February 2014
Tottenham blogger Mike Williams reflects on Spurs’ inactivity in the January transfer window.
As the winter transfer window ticked by, it was another quiet one for Tottenham with no new signings.
Despite what can only be described as a chaotic season which has seen the back of yet another manager, the club finds itself just three points behind Liverpool, who many are considering to be having a fantastic season.
With this in mind, and taking into account that champions Manchester United are having a disastrous campaign by their standards, it once again raises the debate of whether we should have strengthened during the month-long window.
With Jermain Defoe heading off to Canada at the end of Februrary, it leaves the club with only two remaining senior strikers.
Our £26million signing Roberto Soldado has produced just the one Premier League goal from open play and Emmanuel Adebayor is renowned for blowing hot and cold.
In light of this, and with youngster Harry Kane still finding his feet, it is surprising that the club didn’t strengthen in this vital area.
That said, it may not be too much of a shock to the White Hart Lane faithful, who have witnessed the club’s unease at gambling in previous transfer windows - and a gamble it is.
There’s no certainty that any player will prove to be a hit and they can even potentially make things worse, as proved recently by Southampton’s recent summer signing Dani Osvaldo, who was loaned to Juventus last week.
The pain for supporters like me is down to our club having a history of this. I, like many fans, still wonder what might have been if we had strengthened in the 2011/2012 season.
Nearly halfway through that January window, and with Harry Redknapp at the helm, we were joint second in the league and just three points off the top.
The majority of fans hoped for the squad to be boosted with quality to continue the momentum, but instead the only signings were Iago Falque, a youngster from Juventus, Ryan Nelsen and Louis Saha – both of whom were free transfers.
Despite this, we still finished a respectful fourth but no Tottenham fan will need a reminder of how the season ended as our return to the elite European competition was taken away when bitter rivals Chelsea won the Champions League.
A year later, we headed into the January transfer window six points clear of Arsenal - and we didn’t learn our lesson.
That winter, Lewis Holtby and Zeki Fryers were brought in but both signings were geared towards the future and not that particular time in the season. Despite yet another Gareth Bale wonderstrike against Sunderland on the final day, the club fell a point behind Arsenal to finish fifth.
A year on to 2014 and, as Jim White screamed himself hoarse on our television screens in those final minutes, I, like many, believed the club had left themselves short - not just up front, but also in the left-back position, with too much reliance being placed on a still relatively inexperienced Danny Rose.
Tim Sherwood has decided to stick rather than twist and all Spurs fans will be hoping that the faith the young manager has shown in his team will pay off, rather than history repeating itself once again.
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