End Of Year Special: Spurs Stars Don't Shine Bright
Rarely has so little promising come from so much promise.
Spurs have, with 20 points from the first half of the 2008-09 season, not just disappointed—they have failed spectacularly.
Were it not for the brief impetus that Harry Redknapp's arrival at the club gave the team, Tottenham may have already sunk without trace by now.
As it is, the club ends this year languishing in the bottom quarter of the table. They are separated from the relegation zone by a matter of goal difference.
Two wins against Fulham and West Brom over the last four days would have put a much rosier complexion on things, but would only mask the numerous problems the squad is struggling to overcome.
With the transfer window limiting in its very nature, the profligate transfer policy previously overseen by sporting director Damien Comolli and chairman Daniel Levy will make way for a more pragmatic approach.
Redknapp has reiterated this on numerous occasions recently. He will only buy first team players better than those who are currently on the books.
So...which of the current batch of first teamers could make way in a possible shake-up?
Below is a summary of the impact that each player has had on the team's fortunes thus far ("7" equates to a series of performances that matches the fans' expectations of the player in question):
Gomes 5.5 (after an error-strewn start to his career in England, the Brazilian stopper is improving with each game)
Bale 4 (the Welsh left-back has been in poor form all season and can only improve in 2009—he has the talent, does he have the mentality?)
Assou-Ekotto 6.5 (not much is expected from by Spurs fans but, his soft sending-off yesterday aside, he has rarely let the team down)
Hutton 5 (injury has limited the Scot to a handful of appearance, during which he has only shown brief glimpses of his undoubted defensive and offensive capabilities)
King 7 (has played infrequently due to his chronic knee injury but has been dependable and a reassuring influence on the players around him)
Woodgate 7 (has been commanding at the back and is one player the team cannot afford to lose to injury)
Dawson 7 (has stepped in as cover for King often and, despite being prone to committing silly fouls, has produced some fine performances, notably against the champions)
Corluka 6.5 (was poor initially but has steadily improved - a lot more still is expected of a player of such quality)
Zokora 6.5 (his versatility has been invaluable with injuries wreaking havoc with a small squad but he still fails to impose himself against weaker opponents)
Jenas 5.5 (he continues to frustrate—he doesn't score or create as many goals as he should but battles tirelessly home and away)
O'Hara 7 (he has perhaps not been given the minutes he deserves and has scored and created some important goals—will vie with Modric for the advanced midfield role)
Huddlestone 6 (a lot is expected of "Thud" but he needs to perform more consistently and show more commitment in his vital defensive duties)
Modric 5 (doubters have been proved correct in their concerns over his frailty but his recent goals will give him confidence that he can be a match winner for the team)
Dos Santos 4 (he has not played since October due to injury but will need to improve quickly if he is to convince Redknapp that he is the solution to a left-wing problem that has existed since Ginola's departure)
Lennon 7 (has occasionally been electric, often lively but he is still not as productive as he needs to be to make Capello really take note)
Bentley 5.5 (from the sublime of his goal at Arsenal to the ridiculous of his atrocious performance at Craven Cottage, he has disappointed more than he has delivered: 2009 is make or break for the £16 million signing)
Bent 7 (has scored 12 in 26 in all competitions but has not shown the required skills to cope as a lone striker when the team is under pressure)
Pavlyuchenko 5 (often passes by unnoticed but, when presented the opportunity, he has finished with aplomb—questions will remain over his stomach for a fight)
Campbell 5.5 (has failed to break into the first team which shows that neither Ramos nor Redknapp really believe in his ability although he has not been helped by a lack of decent service from an unproductive midfield)
Dury still out: Gomes, Hutton, Modric, Pavlyuchenko, Corluka, Campbell
Due a big year: Bale, Huddlestone, Dos Santos, Jenas, Bentley
Safe for now: O'Hara, Zokora, Bent, Dawson
Indispensable: King, Woodgate, Lennon
On their way out? Assou-Ekotto, Gilberto, Rocha, Taraabt, Boateng
Packed his bags: Stalteri
Player of the Season: Johnathan Woodgate
Flop of the Season: Roman Pavlyuchenko
Most Improved: Jamie O'Hara
Goal of the Season: David Bentley v. Arsenal
Performance of the Season: 4-4 comeback against Arsenal
No-show of the Season: vs West Brom (a)
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