Levy provides major backing to Pochettino

Incredibly Spurs could after all be changing three centre-backs this transfer window. I say incredibly because I speculated whether we would in an article at the beginning of the window but drew the conclusion that changing three would be a huge risk, two I could easily see happening, but three!

Levy provides major backing to Pochettino


The heart of any defence is a vital area so to bring in three centre-backs without Premier League experience is asking them to adapt quickly and indeed hoping they do. That path is fraught with danger as we saw when Andre Villas-Boas bought Vlad Chiriches. He has been an unmitigated disaster, one flash piece of skill blinded a section of fans, the rest of us simply thought here is a liability waiting to happen.

None other than Ledley King, the best centre-half we have produced in 50 years said he should cut out the risky stuff one-on-one. A centre-back who can't head the ball is always going to struggle in the most physical of leagues. Chiriches was a certainty to go this window.

Michael Dawson has served the club for 9 years and loves the place. He never fails to give his all, even if his all these days is no longer to the level we fans demand. If we are defending our box then he is your man, if we are playing a high line he is not. That doesn't suddenly make him a bad player overnight, simply one that isn't suited to our new system.

On the plus side for Michael is the fact he has 2 years left on his contract as that means he could still command a fee next summer, while his intended regular defensive partner over the years Younès Kaboul only has one year left.

Kaboul is better suited to a high line defence, having more pace than Dawson and is good in the air. He has a terrific season 3 seasons ago when for the first time he cut the regular mistakes that were part and parcel of his game. Then injury struck against Newcastle and we haven't seen the same player since. What has returned in his place is the old Kaboul, the mistake or two a game that will lead to goals.

Against West Ham he ran around like a headless chicken at times when the Hammers had corners, he didn't seem to know what to do and was waiting to see what would happen before reacting to it. A reactive defender is always going to come off second best in the long run, defending is about reading the game and anticipating and at the minute Kaboul has lost it.

With just a year left on his contract, this summer offers the last chance to get a transfer fee for him. In January he could arrange a free transfer for himself in the summer, so he'd be unlikely to go in the winter window when just a few months later he can go for free and maximise the wages he can command.

Younès Kaboul therefore looked a prime candidate to go this window. Hull City, West Ham, Crystal Palace, Sunderland all want Dawson, Spurs have agreed a deal with Roma for Chiriches and Lazio have offered £4.79 million ($7.95m - €6m) or Kaboul where Levy wants £6 million ($9.94m - €7.51m) so a last week deal is on the cards.

Surely Spurs wouldn't change all three would they? Two of them you could see but only leaving one central defender with experience of playing for Tottenham in the Premier League, like I say it's a risk, a big risk. It seems though that it is a risk we are going to take to sort the problem position out once and for all.

Regular readers will know the player I wanted in was Eric Dier, he has joined us and looked completely at home, although it is early days. At 20 though he is one for the future, someone to build a defence around and provide us with central stability.

Federico Fazio is seen as a virtual certainty to be joining, even Sevilla believe he is joining Tottenham and left him out of their La Liga game as a result. I have to say I applaud their sporting director who said he is worth more than his current release clause but that's football as opposed to the Sporting (Lisbon) chairman who had a public whinge that Dier left cheaply as a result of his buyout clause.

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Two in, two of three out seemed to be the order of the day but it seems another player on our list we may well attempt to bring in as well. Fabian Schär is a 22-year-old playing for Basle and the Daily Mirror report that Technical Director Franco Baldini went to watch him play Sion last week.

If we already had our two in Dier and Fazio then there would be little point in Baldini going to watch Schar, one of the scouting team would keep an eye on him. The fact Baldini went suggests he would want to quietly sound out the club to see if a late deal was possible.

I have heard rumblings that we haven't made any major signings therefore Levy isn't backing Pochettino, which is of course pure nonsense. Levy has backed every manager, those who think he hasn't don't understand the complex world of football transfers.

Bringing in three centre-backs though is a major backing, you are ripping the defensive heart out of a side that has been good enough to finish fourth and fifth consistently and replacing it with untried, unproven, untested alternatives.

He has of course also bought a new right-back so Kyle Naughton can leave next summer and a new left-back to challenge Danny Rose. Next season we could see a completely new back four playing for Spurs.

If that isn't providing major backing to your manager then nothing is.



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