After a fairly disappointing 2012 for Totthenham Hotspur, things took a turn for the worst when it was announced, on June 13th, that Harry Redknapp would be departing the club. Redknapp took over back in 2008 when Spurs were languishing in last place in the Premier League table with 2 points out of a possible 21 points that season, under the management of Juande Ramos. Despite not winning a single trophy in his four years at the club, he quickly became a fan's favorite taking them from 20th place to 8th in his first season and finishing in the Champions League qualification places in the season of 2009/10. A breakdown in negotiations for a new contract for Redknapp are presumed to be the reasoning for his departure, although it might be fair to say that the talk of a possible England manager's role (before Roy Hogdson was selected) may not have helped Redknapp's relationship with the owner, even though the club finished inside of the 'Top 4' and only finished with 1 point less than in the 2009/10 season.
As soon as Redknapp's departure was confirmed, former Porto and Chelsea manager, Andre Villas-Boas became a firm favourite to take over as first team manager. The stylish football that he was able to play at Porto and his positive attacking attitude, was probably the swaying factor in Daniel Levy's decision. Vilas-Boas may have not had a successful time at Chelsea but during his only season at Portuguese club Porto, the former assistant to Jose Mouriniho, won the Portuguese Supercup, Primeira Liga (whilst remaining undefeated and only conceding a total of 13 goals throughout the season), Portuguese Cup and even the Europa League, an almost perfect season. However now that the honeymoon is over, it's time for Villas-Boas to prove his credentials and with talk of players such as Luka Modric leaving the club (possibly to join Spanish champions, Real Madrid or big-money, PSG for a fee of around £40M - according to the Daily Mail), this could be a big blow to the team.
From left to right: Jan Vertoghen, Andre Villas-Boas and Gylfi Sigurdsson
Andre Villas-Boas has now got to build a team that will gel but also fit his style of management. He is already flexing his muscles in the transfer market and snapped up Belgium, central-defender, Jan Vertonghen and former Reading, Swansea and Hoffenheim play-maker, Gylfi Sigurðsson, who could both add quality to the team. Tottenham have also had a bid (thought to be around £8M) accepted by Manchester City for striker Emmanuel Adebayor, this would be a good bit of business considering the striker signed for City just 3 years ago for £25M, nevertheless, this deal is far from done with the striker demanding around £5M per year in wages, far above Totthenham's wage cap. A deal for a striker is a necessity for Tottenham at this moment in time, as the only recognized striker in the squad is Jermain Defoe (who has currently left Tottenham's training camp in the US with the tragic news of the death of his cousin). One player who could improve the squad in this position would be Porto forward Hulk (Givanildo Vieira de Souza). Villas-Boas managed Hulk when he was the manager of Porto and has a good relationship with the player, Porto appear to be holding out for around the £40M mark for the striker which would be by far, Tottenham's most expensive signing, however Hulk and Andre Villas-Boas were spotted talking to each other in a hotel in St Albans. Another Brazilian striker Leandro Damiao, who scored for Brazil's Olympic football team in their 3-2 victory over Eygpt in their opening match at the London Olympics, has been linked with the North London club, with the Guardian reporting that a £22M deal could be on the cards. The 23 year old who plays for Internacional in Brazil has thought to have been on Tottenham's transfer radar for close to 18 months now, has been described as 'Tall, strong, a very good goal scorer.' by 3 times winner of the FIFA Player of the Year award, Ronaldo.
It would be fair to say that progress over the summer will part way determine how Spurs will fair next season, in all of the competitions. It is thought that Villas-Boas is expected to achieve Champions League football in the next two seasons and possibly a domestic or European cup in the process, which is a big ask for a squad which last tasted cup success over four years ago in the League Cup final. Despite the challenges ahead, the supporters will have large expectations of this new generation of Tottenham and as the club motto translates, 'To dare is to do', that is exactly what the supporters will hope for.