Tottenham Hotspur: What Should We Expect from Spurs in 2012-13 Season?
Already this summer, Tottenham have gone through a bit of a personnel turnover.
65-year-old man-manager Harry Redknapp has been replaced at the helm by 34-year-old tactician Andre Villas-Boas.
Ryan Nelsen, Vedran Corluka, Niko Kranjcar, Steven Pienaar and Louis Saha left the club, while Luka Modric's and Jermain Defoe's futures are uncertain.
Gylfi Sigurðsson and Jan Vertonghen have come in, Emmanuel Adebayor completed a permanent transfer and there is over a month for other targets to find their way to White Hart Lane.
Hence, it is difficult to tell what we should expect from Spurs this upcoming season.
Will this squad come together despite the changes to the locker room, or will the lack of chemistry hurt them?
Can AVB lead this Premier League club to reach its potential, or will he suffer similar problems to those he had at Chelsea last season?
Well, according to new signing Vertonghen, Tottenham will be challenging for the title.
In an interview with Spurs TV, the 25-year-old former Ajax captain said (via the Daily Mail):
Over the last years Spurs have become a very big club in England.
They finished in the top four a few times and for me it was one of the best clubs in the Premier League and that is one of the reasons I wanted to come here.Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
There is a lot of quality and I think everybody wants to make a good season.
Last year in the first six or seven months, they were up there for the title, the championship.
After that it was not that well, but this year I think we will compete a few more months longer.
In some ways, the Belgian is right. Spurs were right in contention for the Premier League title in March last season before suffering a terrible slump in the run-in.
However, Tottenham's position in the league through the start of last season was arguably due to their over-achieving and other clubs' tough starts.
This season, Spurs have the potential to suffer a rough start of their own as they adjust to new tactics and new faces.
In addition, the competition is looking even stiffer this season. Manchester City and Manchester United still have all the talent and yet another season of experience under their belts. Chelsea are coming off of a Champions League title and have added great talent to their squad. Arsenal have yet to sell Robin van Persie and have added a few nice pieces in the transfer window. Newcastle are coming off of a surprising season and look to be a threat.
These factors seem to point to the more realistic scenario of Tottenham pushing for a Champions League spot rather than the title.
Now, don't get me wrong: I am not criticizing Vertonghen for his comments. In fact, I actually like the defender's boldness and hope every player has such high hopes for the season ahead.
But still, as the theme music of Mel Brooks's 1970 movie "The Twelve Chairs" implores you to do, "Hope for the best, expect the worst."
Perhaps Spurs will rise to the occasion this season, blossom as a unit and challenge for a title.
But while we should hope for this scenario, expect Tottenham to compete for fourth.
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