With Tottenham Hotspur already juggling a few injuries this season as manager Mauricio Pochettino naturally rotates his pack in his style, we knew we’d be without Son Heung-Min for a period in January owing to international action but things have only got worse in recent days with both Harry Kane and Dele Alli being massive losses to injury problems of their own.
With plenty of clamour for Pochettino to strengthen the group anyway given our failure to add a new face over the summer, the injuries have only intensified those calls and the rumour mill speculation as we go into the final week and a bit of the January transfer window.
With us enjoying a very good season despite never actually being at full strength, BBC pundit Danny Murphy has explained that we shouldn’t be looking to panic buy and should simply trust Pochettino’s use of our Academy to fill gaps.
“I just don’t see how bringing in a player as a short-term fix would work out well, and in any case I believe their squad is strong enough to get them through the next few weeks – even if they’re missing Alli as well as Harry Kane and Son Heung-min. They have done well this season, and a big reason for that is the spirit in their squad. I am not suggesting that any new player might destroy that, but it might upset the dynamic of the group.”
Murphy went on to say that given the rotation, there never seems to be the usual ‘negative reaction’ to players being dropped and he thinks that’s a massive plus point in our favour.
“They seem to understand their manager’s philosophy, and they play for him. If they were to sign someone now, either permanently or as a stop-gap on loan, I would ask two questions. Firstly, who are they going to bring in who is better than Son or Kane, who have scored almost half of their league goals? And, following that, will he be happy sitting on the bench when they return?”
Whilst nobody is saying we shouldn’t be looking to strengthen when a player the manager identifies as being an improvement becomes available, and although I rarely agree with Murphy’s thoughts, he does make a very good point there about the dynamic of the group.
Poch is someone that likes to develop along a clear plan and have a pathway through. Yes, we could make a ‘body’ signing on a deal until only the end of the season…but would they be committed enough and not just be looking at the paycheque?
Is that where the Academy is a greater strength with youngster fighting for their first team spot in the future, already knowing the long-term ethos?
If the gaffer has his eye on someone, we should absolutely back his judgement again but in the days of the internet and social media in particular, if he doesn’t ‘want’ someone, who are we to judge in many ways?