COMMENTARY | This summer transfer window has been especially harsh on the nerves of Tottenham Hotspur supporters.
How the never-ending Gareth Bale to Real Madrid saga eventually concludes is anybody's guess at this point. All uncertainty caused by what have legitimately been new rumors on Bale's future just about every day this summer has grown by Spurs splashing an unexpected amount of money in the transfer market. Four quality players have already been brought in, and at least two more could be on the way. All of this has left more than a few fans and even analysts believing that Tottenham could shock the world and win the Premier League title this season.
Let's not all go crazy at once.Summer signings Paulinho, Roberto Soldado (who scored from the spot in his Tottenham debut this past weekend), Nacer Chadli and Etienne Capoue are all undeniably talented players. The same can be said for Anzhi's Willian, who is, according to a Sky Sports News television report, having a medical at Tottenham as of the typing of this sentence. Spurs have also been linked with Roma's Erik Lamela, although there have been whispers that his fee may be a bit more than Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is willing to pay.
Combining all of the players listed in the previous paragraph would make for one dynamic squad. Remember, though, that we're talking about real life and not FIFA 13. It takes time for footballers who have joined a different club found in a different league and different country to gel. Tottenham looking far from being a well-oiled machine against relegation-favorites Crystal Palace this past weekend was proof of that very fact. We may not see this Spurs team at its very best until after the holiday season.
And what if Spurs do hold on to Bale past the first weekend of September? Then they will have a star who missed all but one of his team's preseason warmups because of what Tottenham and Wales have called a foot injury, a player who may not love the idea of wearing Spurs Lilywhite as much as he did a year ago. Unless the situation takes a drastic turn over the next week or so, fans dreaming of Bale notching a brace against Arsenal on September 1 are living in a world that does not exist.
Tottenham's impressive acquisitions aside, it also still has (maybe) the third-best overall squad in the league. Look back at the matches from the first weekend of the season. Manchester City brought on Samir Nasri in the second half against Newcastle United. Chelsea had Romelu Lukaku and Juan Mata on the bench at kickoff of their contest against Hull City. Wayne Rooney entered Saturday's Swansea City vs. Manchester United match when United were already up 2-0.
No disrespect to the likes of Jermain Defoe, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Lewis Holtby, but Spurs aren't there quite yet.
I wholeheartedly agree with those claiming that Spurs are better off now than they were one year ago when they knew that Bale would, if fit, be in the starting XI for every Premier League match. Manager Andre Villas-Boas has ambitions that go beyond just finishing ahead of Arsenal in the league table, and that, along with the players who have recently joined the club, will make Spurs favorites to hoist some trophy before the middle of May arrives. Tottenham winning the league this season?
Maybe on your Xbox or PlayStation.
Zac has been covering the USMNT, Holland, Tottenham Hotspur, New York Red Bulls, Major League Soccer and other soccer leagues for Yahoo! Sports since 2010.
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