Tottenham vs. Watford: Spurs' Forwards Must Start Scoring Against Hornets
Tottenham Hotspur are 15 days away from kicking off the season, and their forwards haven't scored a single goal.
Against Watford that needs to change.
In four preseason matches, Tottenham have scored five goals. Not the kind of production you'd expect from the kind of high-tempo tactics new manager Andre Villas-Boas has installed, but production nonetheless. Not one of them is from one of Spurs' traditional strikers.
In fact, the closest any of the forwards have gotten is against Liverpool when Harry Kane missed a header, and Jermain Defoe knocked a loose ball into the post.
Were this any earlier in the preseason, I could say that help might be on the way. But since Emmanuel Adebayor talks have stalled, the price of Seydou Doumbia has skyrocketed and Chelsea has been unwilling to deal Daniel Sturridge to a Premier League opponent, Tottenham will either need to dig deep in their pockets or hope that their forwards start riding a hot streak.
Enter second-tier football club Watford.
Under new (and very wealthy) ownership, Watford is making one of its biggest pushes ever at promotion. A return to the top-tier of English soccer would be huge for a Hornets club that has been striving for the Premier League since being relegated in 2007.
The Pozzo family, which owns both Serie A's Udinese and La Liga's Granada, will be making a concerted effort towards having Watford reach the Premier League, so it can own three clubs in three of the most popular leagues in Europe.
Are you worried about Tottenham's forwards going into the 2012-13 season?
To reach that goal, Watford has seen an influx of very good players come into its ranks. Former Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia has signed a one-year deal, defender Fitz Hall has come from Queens Park Rangers on a one-year deal and five players from Udinese and Granada are in on loan.
In the preseason of any sport, it's never about the final score—it's about individual performances. So far, Brad Friedel looks as solid as ever between the posts, the defensive back four will be, in my opinion, one of the best units in England and a midfield made up of Gareth Bale, Scott Parker, Aaron Lennon, Sandro, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Rafael van der Vaart will never be lacking.
That leaves the strikers, and so far there's been very little striking going on.
Jermain Defoe has missed all but one match due to a death in the family. Steven Pienaar made his love affair with Everton permanent on Tuesday. Harry Kane has done more harm than good this preseason, playing like most 19 year olds on world-class teams would. Andros Townsend and Souleymane Coulibaly have hardly even seen the pitch.
Besides Liverpool, Watford will be the toughest opponent Tottenham faces during its preseason and the last real test before the club opens its season at Newcastle United on August 18.
White Hart Lane will probably see a couple of goals on Saturday against Watford. Will they be from the Spurs' uber-talented midfield, or will they be from the club's (so far) underwhelming group of forwards?
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