After a dismal start to the 2008-2009 season, Tottenham managed to bounce back and work their way into 8th place by the end of the Premier League season. Coming into the new term the squad does not look so different from the end of the season, but for a few additions and a few subtractions as well. Should Tottenham play well they could find themselves in place for a Europa League spot, but I am not quite sure they have the firepower to pull that one off against sides who have gained more and lost less above them.
Key Additions: Kyle Naughton (Sheffield United), Kyle Walker (Sheffield United), Peter Crouch (Portsmouth)
Losses: Didier Zokora (Sevilla), Chris Gunter (Nottingham Forest)
While picking up the Kyles from Sheffield United looks like a good move for the future at White Hart Lane, they are unproven in the Premier League, but could see action early as it looks like the Spurs’ defense will be weak coming into the season. The acquisition of Peter Crouch is another one that puzzles, as he is not known as a World Class goal scorer, and lacks pace and the use of his head at well over 6 feet tall. Darren Bent could see his exit before the start of the season, but with the current situation and Spurs’ asking price, do not be surprised if he is still on the roster at the beginning of the season. There is talk of Robbie Keane dropping into the midfield to make room for a plethora of attacking options, but until the season officially starts we have no way to know. Is this side going to improve on last years results? Probably not, but they have some youth in the side and Uncle ‘Arry always seems to find a way to get enough results.
West Ham United
Early last term West Ham saw their manager resign. Gianfranco Zola came to the rescue though, and even with lack of money, sponsor, fit players, and lack of talent, he managed to push the Hammers on to 9th place in the Premier League. This season will be Zola’s test though. Financial issues solved, a full offseason, and the chance at some transfers should put the club closer to what Zola would like for his team. If he can keep the side healthy and competitive there is a chance for West Ham to improve, but it will be a tough road as many sides have improved since last season.
Key Additions: Frank Nouble (Chelsea), Luis Jiminez (Inter Milan – Loan), Peter Kurucz (Ujpest FC), Fabio Deprela (Grasshopers)
Loss: Fred Sears (Crystal Palace – Loan)
Now Zola has added depth to his side that struggled with injury last season and has sent youngster Fred Sears on loan to gain more experience, but will the core he had last season be enough in this term? I think his side will put him mid table this season. With a few results the right way and if a few things go in favor of the Hammers we could see them make it into the top 10, but for right now I have them sitting dead middle of the table as they are known to find the safe spot in the middle and stay steady until the end. This should not change much based on what they have added to the side though, so middle of the table it is.