WATFORD, ENGLAND - AUGUST 05: Watford manager Gianfranco Zola embraces Jermaine Defoe of Tottenham Hotspur after Defoe had been substituted during the pre-season friendly match between Watford and Tottenham Hotspur at Vicarage Road on August 5, 2012 in Watford, United Kingdom. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)
Tomorrow, Tottenham Hotspur play their final friendly match of their preseason against Valencia. The team has not signed a new striker. This means that, if the team does bring in a new striker, they will not have any time in a real game situation before the August 18th Premier League season opener against Newcastle.
If Emmanuel Adebayor unexpectedly signs with the team this week, he could very easily slot into the starting center forward spot for the opener. If anyone else is signed any later than tomorrow, it's highly unlikely that Tottenham's starting center forward for that game at St. James' Park is going to be someone other than a player currently on the squad.
Jermain Defoe will probably start at center forward against Newcastle. Gareth Bale or Rafael Van der Vaart could play there instead. In any event, this is a problem and none of those players should be the first choice player up top come September 1. The striker position has been a problem at Tottenham since Dimitar Berbatov left, and they will enter yet another season without the issue being solved.
I have plenty of faith in Daniel Levy and Tim Sherwood. I'm cautiously optimistic about Andre Villas-Boas going forward. Levy has done a lot of excellent things in both footballing and business terms and has earned the full support of every Tottenham fan, but this is a failure on his part. Spurs are not in any kind of disaster territory, and Levy should still be considered to be a man who is very good at his job, but he deserves criticism for going into the final game of preseason without a new striker, yet again.
If I was Villas-Boas, I'd be extremely disappointed in the management for not adding a striker option in time for the last tune-up game of the offseason, and putting me in a position where I do not have a center forward of a higher quality and better fit for the system than Defoe available to start against Newcastle, who could potentially be a rival for a European place. Also, Newcastle managed to sign two strikers better than any striker Tottenham has had since Berbatov in a matter of six months last year.
Levy has another three weeks and two days to make things right, but not having a striker by this point is already a partial failure on his part.
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