Tottenham Hotspur's 5 Most Important Building Blocks
As has been highly publicised, Tottenham Hotspur are again looking for a new manager.
The ongoing speculation over who will be appointed to replace Tim Sherwood means looking ahead is subject to the differing opinions of the new man.
Whoever comes in, he will find within the current Tottenham squad key parts he can look to build around heading into his first season in charge.
This article looks at five of them in particular, examining the different reasons why they could be crucial to a successful Spurs.
None of what is detailed will be especially revelatory to those familiar with the players concerned. But with the north London club preparing for life under yet another coach, it is as good a time as any to take stock of the playing options already available.
What is there to say about Hugo Lloris at Tottenham Hotspur that has not already been said?
He is the sweeper-keeper who commandingly patrolled the vast space behind Andre Villas-Boas' high defensive line. He's an agile, whip-smart shot-stopper with reflexes that continue to astound.
Lloris has been excellent these past two seasons; some would argue the best in his position in the Premier League.
Though unable to fully compensate for the defensive lapses of his team-mates, he has stopped some of the team's bad days becoming even worse. The good days have usually benefited from him, too.
For any incoming manager, the 27-year-old will be the first name on his teamsheet and the solid foundation upon which all else should be built upon.
As part of the aforementioned leaky defence, Michael Dawson's reputation was not enhanced this past season. Yet despite his part in some awful defeats, the 30-year-old was easily Tottenham's most consistent defender (injuries to others did affect this).
The bravest of those in the Spurs back line, Dawson's willingness to put his body on the line is without parallel at the club. His determination to win the ball in close combat serves as a fine balance alongside the more measured styles of Vlad Chiriches and Jan Vertonghen.
The chief quality that makes him stand out ahead of his centre-back colleagues, though—the thing that makes him near-imperative to the new regime—is his leadership.
Bar perhaps France captain Lloris, only the current Spurs skipper has shown a consistent aptitude for leadership fundamentals such as organisation and motivation.
Intangibles are hard to measure in sportsmen (especially for those of us on the outside looking in), but Dawson has visibly proved himself here. From his on-pitch presence to his commendable attitude fighting for his place after Villas-Boas initially dropped him, he has shown himself to be a character a manager can trust in.
Aged 30, others may step forward soon enough to compete for, and perhaps take his place leading the Tottenham defence. Nonetheless, the beginning of the new regime will likely go a lot smoother with Dawson than without him.
The consensus Player of the Year among the various strands of Spurs supporters, Christian Eriksen was the standout performer of the club's outfield talent in 2013-14.
Question marks remain over so many of his team-mates heading into next season; not up for debate is Eriksen's clear place as the creative linchpin of the team's attack.
The Dane finished his first season in England with 10 goals and 10 assists in all competitions. Solid tallies for a player who overcame issues with form and fitness, particularly in his first months.
The new manager will have to decide where he thinks the playmaker will best fit in his team. Figuring that out may take some experimenting, but ultimately incorporating a player of his calibre is no headache.
Bare with us on this one.
Widely regarded as a flop last season, just three Premier League starts for a player Tottenham spent upwards of £25 million on does not suggest value for money.
There were other appearances, while injury problems ended his campaign at the halfway point. But issues with the combative nature of English football and struggles imposing himself were already apparent by then.
To say Erik Lamela's first season in England was a disappointment would be putting it kindly. But his cost and unfulfilled potential are why the Argentinian attacker could be such an important building block for the club.
Assuming Spurs do not cut their losses (and they definitely should not at this stage), now familiar with his new league and new home, Lamela is a player the new manager can greatly benefit from.
The incoming coach will have a talent capable of providing an attacking spark Spurs have been lacking post-Gareth Bale. Without first-year issues to contend with, he should (hopefully) have a Lamela fully focused on football and wanting to earn his place in the Spurs attack.
The player who so impressed at Roma, and who has comfortably kept good company with the likes of Lionel Messi on international duty, is a star waiting to be fulfilled. Not many managers can come into a club and find such an enticing challenge to take on straight away.
For Harry Kane, you could also read Nabil Bentaleb, Tom Carroll, Alex Pritchard, Andros Townsend and several other promising young players seeking to break into the first-team proper at Tottenham.
Kane's strong finish to the season has perhaps put him at the head of this list. The striker's goals and encouraging all-round performances have stood out in a position light on numbers compared to others at the club.
Spurs may dip into the transfer market in strengthening their attack. Emmanuel Adebayor, Roberto Soldado or the aforementioned Lamela could still feature heavily in the soon-to-be-appointed manager's front line.
But in Kane he has a cheaper but still encouraging prospect already at hand. One with a healthy dose of potential, but not yet so established he cannot be molded into a preferred way of playing by his new coach.
The most commonly touted candidates for the Spurs job have been Frank de Boer and Mauricio Pochettino—both were mentioned in a piece by the Daily Telegraph's Matt Law and Jeremy Wilson late last week.
At Ajax and Southampton respectively, the two managers have benefited from a healthy crop of youngsters to select from. Spurs' own budding talents have more to prove, but Kane and his peers have been encouraging enough that the new boss will almost certainly finding something to work with among them.