They may not have played a single meaningful game in the past 31 days, but that doesn't mean that July wasn't a busy month for Tottenham Hotspur. Spurs officially moved on from the Harry Redknapp era in the first week of July 2012. The Jan Vertonghen saga finally came to a happy end, and Tottenham also snatched a player from Liverpool, one who has already impressed in a couple of preseason contests. They are Spurs, though, so it can't be all smooth sailing. A few minor hiccups do not, however, take away from what was a rather decent month.
2012 Tottenham Hotspur July review: New boss
It wasn't long after Harry Redknapp was sacked that former Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas became the frontrunner to take the open gig. It took a bit longer than some initially expected, but AVB was announced as the new Tottenham manager on July 3. It's still very early into things, but Villas-Boas gets a "so far, so good" rating from me. The squad has looked just fine in the team's four preseason warmups, and Spurs have also added some necessary talent, and managed to do so before August 31.
I was going to make a "car door window presser" joke to end this section, but I think it's best for all Spurs fans if we just move on from such comments.
2012 Tottenham Hotspur July review: Luka
The Luka Modric saga of 2011 was one that had me in a panic throughout last summer. Spurs fans such as myself believed Tottenham were capable of finishing in the top four in the league table with Modric in the team, but the play-making midfielder only had Chelsea blue on his mind. Spurs ultimately held onto Modric and they went on to finish fourth in the Premier League table, only to lose out on Champions League football; all because Chelsea beat Bayern Munich in this past season's UCL Final.
Life's funny sometimes.
It seems that all at Spurs, AVB included, understand that Modric already has one foot out the door. Modric refused to join the club on their US tour, and it's clear that, unlike last year, a team meeting Tottenham's asking price is all that is standing in the way of the wantaway midfielder making his exit from White Hart Lane. Chairman Daniel Levy is reportedly holding a "£40m or no deal" position, and thus Modric is still a Tottenham player at the start of August.
2012 Tottenham Hotspur July review: The new guys
We didn't have to wait long for Tottenham to make a move following AVB joining the club. Less than two days into the Villas-Boas era, Spurs announced that they had signed midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson. The 23-year old had been rumored to be close to signing on at Liverpool, but it was reported that a disagreement over his wages resulted in him instead heading to White Hart Lane.
Sigurdsson has had himself a solid preseason thus far. He found the back of the net in the team's first warmup, a 2-0 win over Stevenage. Sigurdsson was then responsible for a beautiful ball that was headed home by Gareth Bale in the team's 1-1 draw at LA Galaxy. He capped off Tottenham's US tour with what may go down as the team's best goal of the summer, a game-winner against New York Red Bulls.
Following the completion of the 2011-12 Premier League season, there were several days when it seemed like Jan Vertonghen would never join Spurs. It was even rumored at one point that Arsenal would swoop in and steal the Ajax defender before the start of preseason. Spurs finally put such fears to bed a few days after Sigurdsson joined the club, when they announced that a deal for Vertonghen had (finally) been reached. Vertonghen has had a couple of rough moments during Tottenham's preseason contests. He has also given several examples of why Mr. Levy wasn't letting the defender get away, not even after Redknapp, who courted Vertonghen before the conclusion of the 2011-12 season, was relieved of his duties.
2012 Tottenham Hotspur July review: Already?
I'm a big fan of Rafael Van der Vaart, but I was hoping we could wait until at least September before we started having conversations about his fitness and/or desire. Van der Vaart left the team's July 24 preseason match against LA with a groin injury, and he didn't play in Tottenham's final two preseason contests despite the fact that he appeared just fine during a July 30 training session. While you don't want to risk a player's health during this portion of the year, it sure would be nice to see the Dutch ace who pledged his allegiance to Spurs earlier this summer on the pitch at least one more time before the season starts.
- Sports & Recreation
- Tottenham Hotspur
- Jan Vertonghen
- Harry Redknapp
- Luka Modric