Tottenham Hotspur kick off their 2012/12 Premier League campaign in 5 days time and new manager Andre Villas-Boas has just Jermain Defoe, Giovani dos Santos, Harry Kane and Cameron Lancaster to select from.
Jermain Defoe is the only established striker in their squad, with Kane and Lancaster both very young and inexperienced. It will be interesting to see if Giovani dos Santos finally gets a run out in the first team after making just 17 Premier League appearances in the four seasons in London since moving from Barcelona. The Mexican had a good Olympics.
Since last season, Tottenham have lost their top scorer Emmanuel Adebayor who was only on loan from Manchester City. The Togolese striker found the net on 17 occasions in the Premier League last season, receiving a mixture of praise and criticism during his time at White Hart Lane.
Emmanuel Adebayor converted nearly 1 in 5 of his attempts at goal last season, with his goals coming against a variety of opponents; Arsenal, Newcastle, Chelsea and Liverpool all included.
The former-Arsenal striker was the only player in last season’s Premier League to record double figures for both goals (17) and assists (11) which was pretty impressive. A couple of decisions went against Adebayor last season that could have otherwise seen Adebayor netting 20 goals in the 2011/12 season.
Despite leading the Premier League in the dispossessed category last season, Adebayor played well as the target man and bringing his team mates into play. This is backed up by those 11 assists. Only Luka Modric (65) and Gareth Bale (62) created more chances for his team mates than Adebayor (49) last season. Rafael van der Vaart created 42 chances.
Emmanuel Adebayor contributed to 42% of his teams goals last season (goals and assists combined). Only Robin van Persie (52%) had a higher percentage in the Premier League.
Jermain Defoe offers a different option to Tottenham, who are under the guidance of a new manager this season. With FC Porto and Chelsea, Andre Villas-Boas has favoured the 4-3-3 formation which isn’t too dissimilar to what Harry Redknapp had been playing at Tottenham.
The Portuguese manager likes his sides to press high up the pitch, which could see Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon further up the pitch. Rafael van der Vaart who isn’t noted for his off-the-ball work may have to pull his socks off.
That is if the Dutch forward is in the coach’s plans, given they still have Luka Modric (for now) and new signing Gylfi Sigurdsson who play attacking midfield roles.
Andre Villas-Boas could do with quickly learning the important role Emmanuel Adebayor played for Tottenham last season and doing his best to bring him back or find a replacement. Having been spoilt for choice for strikers at the start of last season that also included Roman Pavlyuchenko, Tottenham now look a little thin in that area. Let’s wait and see how Tottenham line up at Newcastle on Saturday…