EPL: Tottenham's Biggest Concerns for the New Season

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistAugust 10, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 10:  Sandro of Tottenham looks on during a pre season friendly match between Tottenham Hotspur and Espanyol at White Hart Lane on August 10, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

We are just a week away now from the kickoff of Tottenham Hotspur's 2013-14 English Premier League campaign.

The offseason has seen plenty of upgrades made to the squad with Paulinho, Nacer Chadli, Roberto Soldado and Etienne Capoue joining the club.

Plenty of players have also departed the hallowed halls of White Hart Lane this summer. Clint Dempsey and William Gallas are the players with the highest profile that have left. 

Tottenham also have a transfer black cloud hanging over them at the moment as the Gareth Bale saga continues to live with each and every passing day.

Despite what the papers may say, Bale is still currently a Tottenham player, and his inclusion in the squad must be taken into account as we look at some of the biggest concerns facing the North London club as the EPL season quickly approaches.


Stability at the Back

Going into last season, there were a lot of unknowns about the Tottenham back four.

Heading into this season, there are far less unknowns to the squad, but an injury to a key player has hampered the depth of the back four at the moment.

With versatile defender Jan Vertonghen on the bench right now because of an ankle injury, the center-back partner of Michael Dawson for Sunday's opener at Crystal Palace is still to be determined.

The obvious answer to that question last season was Steven Caulker, but now that Caulker has left the Spurs for Cardiff City, manager Andre Villas-Boas is in search of another anchor in the back four.

Youngster Ezekiel Fryers has seen plenty of time at the position during the preseason, but one has to believe that the recent addition of Capoue was made to provide insurance at the position.

The only other option that Villas-Boas has at the moment is to start Younes Kaboul, who will most likely fight with Capoue for a starting position on Sunday as long as both players are deemed to be match fit.


Who Will Score the Goals?

Possibly the biggest concern about Tottenham last season was the lack of goals scored by the club's duo of forwards, Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor.

The good news for Spurs fans is that the club finally addressed that issue during the summer as they brought in Roberto Soldado from Valencia.

Soldado, who scored his first goal for the club in a friendly against Espanyol on Saturday, will be relied on to be the club's main goalscorer.

Besides Soldado's contributions, there are many question marks about who else will find the back of the net from the forward position.

After all, Soldado is a human and he will need some time off at some point during the season, whether it be against a lesser club in the EPL or during cup competitions and the Europa League.

Finding a second consistent goalscorer at the forward position is a must for the Spurs as their quest for the top four continues, and as of right now, they just do not have that.


What Will Happen with Gareth Bale?

If anyone in the world had an answer to how the question of how the Bale transfer saga would end, it would be welcomed by every Spurs supporter.

Bale has pulled out of the last two club friendlies against Monaco and Espanyol with a very convenient ankle injury.

With Bale still holding out on the North London club, one has to start thinking about what would happen to the 24-year-old Welshman if a deal with Real Madrid does not go through before the end of the transfer window.

Tottenham do have plenty of depth in the midfield, but none of those players can match what Bale can do when he is on the pitch and focused on succeeding for the club.

If Bale does remain a Tottenham player after the summer transfer window shuts its doors, it is imperative that he commits to the club instead of wasting away his talents and thinking of what could have been a potential move to Real Madrid.

If Bale remains a part of the North London club and does focus solely on his play on the pitch, he could lift Tottenham to an even higher level than he did last season.

If Bale does decide to depart the EPL in exchange for the bright lights of La Liga, Spurs must be prepared to succeed without him.

Based on the moves they have already made this season and the players that they already had in the squad, Spurs will be able to deal with the loss of Bale for the duration of the 2013-14 season.

What do you think are the biggest concerns surrounding Tottenham at the start of the season?

Comment below or leave me a comment on Twitter, @JTansey90.


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