As Belgium bow out of the World Cup, Tottenham stars Jan Vertonghen, Mousa Dembélé and Nacer Chadli will begin to focus on the new Premier League season which starts in 40 days. Belgium were seen off in the quarter finals of the tournament by a strong Argentinian squad with the likes of Messi, Lavezzi and goal scorer Higuain in a taut encounter in Brasilia.
Last season saw the introduction of Nacer Chadli, widely sought after by Frank Baldini, but failed to really impress as he couldn’t keep a solid place in the starting 11. Although he made 24 appearances in the Premier League last season he only managed to find the back of the net once and was credited with a mere three assists. He was introduced at the club as a winger, predominantly left sided, but under Tim Sherwood played a more central role which he seemed to be more comfortable and more involved.
Dembélé also struggled to keep his place in the team with the introduction of Christian Eriksen at the start of last season. He played 22 games and came off the bench for six of them as the attacking midfielder failed to deliver and also only scored once. Under Andre Villas Boas as the start of last season he was used as a holding midfielder and was never given the chance to shine like he had done the previous year. With the introduction of Tim Sherwood came no change of position or change of luck, leaving the Tottenham faithful questioning his abilities.
The main disappointment for many Spurs fans last season was Jan Vertonghen and his seemingly lack of passion and his disgruntled nature under the reign of Tim Sherwood. He was labelled as ‘Super Jan’ by many of the fans after his incredible first season at the lane which saw him picked in the Premier League Team of the Season in 12/13. Since that pivotal moment, lack of structure and certainty at the back along with an ever changing midfield in front of the back four, Jan’s prowess and dominance faded away.
Two questions still remain with the back four and Vertonghen; centre back or left back? And if he plays centre back who will join him? Younes Kaboul is always a strong candidate to be one of the starting CB’s for Spurs but his injury-stricken-last season saw him too, fade out of contention. Vlad Chiriches is another player that has good potential and capability but needs to settle down in the Premier League and tighten up his game if he is to start next season as a number one CB.
Overall, this new season should be filled with hope for Spurs with a new manager who likes to play the ‘Tottenham Way’, Erik Lamela basically being a new signing and the strike-force of Adebayor, Soldado and Harry Kane showing promise, anything could happen.
Written by: James Gray