I’ve been pretty quiet of late, mainly because I’m not a big fan of all the transfer speculation and much prefer to just see how things pan out.
And I have to agree with what seems to be the consensus amongst us that we’ve done some excellent business in the window. We’ve re-signed Hause, El Ghazi and particularly Mings, which is all good, even if I do think we over-paid for the latter.
I think sometimes fan campaigns like @announce Mings can work against you, but hey, I’m certainly not complaining that we’ve got him. I’m pretty sure he’ll prove pivotal to how we do this season.
Heaton strikes me as an outstanding signing and he’ll earn us some points this season.
Smith has signed a few that he knows well, so apart from them settling into the club, he’ll know what he’s going to get, hence in a certain sense, they’re not really that new.
The likes of Moraes, Luiz, Trezeguet and Wesley are unknown to us, but they’ve apparently been tracked since the Winter, which shows the planning that has gone into things.
While we’ve spent really big money, it seems we haven’t been totally taken to the cleaners in over-paying either.
We apparently put a £12 million bid in for Adam Webster the day after the play-off final, but it was knocked back. Brighton paid the full asking price of £25 million.
So all in all, we’ve been pretty canny and spent quite well.
Yes, we’ve brought a lot of players in, but quite simply, we needed too.
We had too many players that were either too old, on loan or just massively over-paid for what they produced.
The only blot for me was us not signing a striker, after a “marquee” one was rumoured to be in the offing. That’s rumours and speculation for you, I suppose.
That said, while I’m concerned that Kodjia and Davis won’t get us twenty goals between them, we do have plenty of players who will chip in with a few.
Hopefully Dean Smith has total confidence in his overall attacking play, else surely we’d have gone all out to sign someone?
I suspect we’ve probably kept some of our powder dry and will sign a top notch striker in the winter window, should it prove necessary.
Given the high prices you have to pay then, I hope our strategy doen’t bite us on the proverbial.
Onto the important stuff then and after a highly encouraging pre-season, we have a really tough test in Spurs away.
Whatever happens, this is a good one to get out of the way, as we all know Spurs are going to be up there at the end of the season.
It’s a bit of a no lose game for me, because if we get a result, it gets us off to a great start.
And if we lose, it’s basically only to be expected.
Squad news is that Tottenham’s new signings Giovani Lo Celso and Tanguy Ndombele are available, but Ryan Sessegnon is out with a hamstring issue.
Spurs are also without Dele Alli, Serge Aurier, Ben Davies, Juan Foyth and Son Heung-min, but Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama are back in full training.
Our only player out is James Chester, so we’re pretty good.
The big question then is who gets to start for us?
Heaton, Targett, Mings, Guilbert, El Ghazi, Grealish, McGinn, Jota and Wesley are pretty much nailed on, in my opinion and that only leaves two other places.
Will it be Konza or Engels in the other CB position?
Then will it be Luiz or Nakamba in the midfield?
I don’t have a clue, but it shows we hopefully have really good competition for places, when you look at some of the players I haven’t even mentioned. The likes of Hourihane, who was often lightweight in the Championship will be better suited to the premier league, I feel, for example.
Given that I don’t know how we’re going to set up and anything can happen in a first game of the season, I’m pretty confident.
I wouldn’t normally expect much at Spurs, with where we are at this point, but I’m going to be cheeky and say we’ll nick it, as they have an off day.
Either that or we get totally caught out and get tonked.
I don’t think that’ll happen though, as teams generally will be wary of us.
Spurs 1-2 Villa