Life Without Bale

Tottenham Hotspur have got off to a surprisingly poor start to the season and are severely lacking goals as they sit 9th in the table, with a goal difference of minus 3. After narrowly missing out on Champions League football last season, it was clear to all what the aim was, heading into the 2013/14 season. However after 12 games, they appear to be struggling and after only picking up one win in their last four, it is evident what the missing piece of the puzzle is.

The 85 million pound man Gareth Bale was vital to a Spurs squad that lacked any real depth. The Lilywhites found themselves heavily reliant on the Welshman, as the main attacking threat and after picking up 26 goals in all competitions, you can see why. But that was soon to change, as on the 1st of September 2013, Bale was unveiled as the first Welsh Galactico in the history of Real Madrid. As well as nearly all Spurs fans, Andre Villas-Boas saw this coming, and to combat the loss of his star player, he proceeded to spend close to 105 million pounds on suitable replacements.

I am now going to take a look at the summer signings, and see what impact they have made so far.

Roberto Soldado

Soldado appears to be struggling to shake off his 26 million pound price tag and has failed to live up to expectations at White Hart Lane. He has only scored 4 this season with 3 coming from the spot. It has to be felt that he is lacking the delivery that Bale would have once provided but with Aaron Lennon coming back to full fitness, this could prove vital to Soldado’s campaign.

Erik Lamela

Similarly to Soldado, the former Roma man appears to be struggling to cope with the demands of the Premier League. With a 26 million pound price tag, Spurs fans would have expected a lot more from the youngster. The scintillating form of England’s Andros Townsend has left the Argentine sat on the bench for the majority of the season but with Lamela showing glimpses of class and constantly growing in confidence, it cannot be long before we see more of the young 21-year-old.

Paulinho

After a very impressive performance in the Confederations Cup, Paulinho appeared to have gone under the radar, as many big clubs failed to see the talent he possessed. Once the tournament had concluded, he was announced as Tottenham’s first signing of the summer period breaking their transfer record at the time. Since his move, he has been a very worthwhile addition to the Spurs line-up, making 17 appearances in all competitions and grabbing himself 3 goals.

Christian Eriksen

The Danish player of the year has been on top form for club and country. His displays have been top-notch and at the age of just 21, he is yet to reach his peak. He has strung together some excellent performances which have delighted the Spurs faithful. Devastatingly for the Dane, he recently picked up an ankle injury which leaves him on the side-lines for 3 weeks and with Lewis Holtby now looking to impress, it leaves the 21 year olds first team spot in contention.

Best of the rest

Frenchman Etienne Capoue has shown signs of a solid defensive midfielder in what is a dressing room, packed full of midfield maestros. However after picking up an injury in the North London derby, he has lost out on his first team slot and will now have to show Villas Boas, what he can do. Nacer Chadli made a big step up in his career after moving from Eredivisie side, FC Twente. The Belgium youngster has failed to make a name for himself and was disappointing at the start of the season, only making 3 league appearances. Likewise to Capoue, Chadli picked up an injury and has not been given the chance since. Romanian international Vlad Chiriches was a signing questioned by many at the beginning of the season. However he appears to have proved critics wrong as after some very impressive Europa League performances, it seems to be money well spent.

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