5 Things We Learned from Tottenham's Loss at Monaco
With a cavalcade of transfer speculation blowing around them, Tottenham Hotspur had a chance to direct all of that attention to their play on the pitch when they faced Ligue 1 big spenders Monaco at the Stade Louis II on Saturday.
Spurs did leave people talking about their play on the pitch, but it was for all the wrong reasons.
Andre Villas-Boas' club were trounced by the talented French title contenders and as the final whistle blew, Spurs were sent back to North London with a 5-2 defeat.
Here are five things we learned from the blowout that Tottenham experienced in the tax-free principality of Monaco.
Reinvestment in the Side Is a Necessity
Lacking the pace of Bale and physicality of Dempsey, the starting 11 trotted out to the pitch by Villas-Boas played without an impetus they had played with last season.
Yes, you can make the argument that some of the regular starters like Michael Dawson, Sandro and Paulinho were not in the lineup, but for the first-team regulars who did start, Saturday was not a good day.
With a hefty load of cash coming into the club sooner rather than later if both projected transfers go through, Villas-Boas must reinforce his squad with quality players that are able to play in place, or alongside, his starters.
Jermain Defoe's Fitness Cannot Be Trusted
Adding to the miserable weekend for Tottenham fans was the early first-half substitution of Jermain Defoe.
On his way off the pitch in the eighth minute, Defoe was holding the back of his hamstring, which is a sight Spurs fans are far too familiar with.
Luckily for the North London club, they have brought in Roberto Soldado to solve the ongoing crisis at the forward position.
While having Soldado in the squad finally is a relief, he does need a quality backup behind him on the depth chart.
If Defoe fails to stay healthy, Spurs could be forced to unwillingly spend more money on a second, more-reliable forward this summer.
Harry Kane's Development as a Goalscorer Can Be Trusted
If Tottenham decide to not capture the signature of a second forward this summer, the man who can backup Soldado could be youngster Harry Kane.
Kane, who replaced Defoe in the eighth minute, showed blips of brilliance during his time on the pitch.
Kane scored the first Tottenham goal of the match in the 57th minute when he took advantage of some spotty defending by Monaco.
The 20-year-old also showed off a bit of skill in limited space in the 38th minute when he fired a shot toward the goal from the penalty area that barely missed the net.
With the Defoe's status unknown, Kane could be poised to step up into a bigger role this season behind the newly acquired Soldado, especially if he continues to progress by scoring more goals.
A Permanent Free-Kick Taker Will Help the Team's Fluidity
Last season, the only Spurs player who consistently took free-kicks while he was on the pitch was Gareth Bale.
With Bale most likely out of the squad now, Tottenham has to find consistency from the player who steps up to that role this season.
The perfect example of the uncertainty surrounding the free-kick situation came in the 42nd minute when Kyle Walker, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Scott Parker all aligned themselves close to the ball in preparation for a free kick.
The logical choice for the role would be Sigurdsson, but his time on the pitch as a starter is not a guarantee when the English Premier League season kicks off on August 17.
With Sigurdsson on the bench, Walker would be the next logical choice to step up and handle the role of free-kick taker.
Whomever the player is who takes on that responsibility, they will be under a massive amount of pressure to provide goalscoring opportunities from the position just like Bale did last season.
Andros Townsend Could Be a Welcomed Spark off of the Bench
If you hadn't turned off the match in the second half, you may have noticed a welcomed sight to weary eyes in the 84th minute.
Substitute Andros Townsend sent in a grass-clipping shot toward goal that beat Monaco keeper Danijel Subasic.
Townsend is still searching to carve out his niche at the club and he may very well find it this season as a second-half spark plug.
While Saturday's goal may not have done much to the spirits of the already buried Tottenham club, it did show Villas-Boas he can rely on Townsend to play at full speed off the bench despite how lopsided the score is.
What did you take away from Spurs' loss at Monaco?
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