Saturday, January 22, 2022

Will Pavlyuchenko be the answer for Ramos at Tottenham?

What is it with Tottenham Hotspur? I go away on holiday for two weeks, having confidently predicted that they would start the season well and maintain a genuine challenge to the top four, and when I get back they are languishing at the bottom of the table and facing their worst start for nearly thirty years.

Two defeats and the prospect of a trip to Scolari’s Chelsea on Sunday have left Spurs looking less like European challengers and more like the ‘crisis club’ that sacked Martin Jol so early into last season.

It would appear that Juande Ramos is going to turn to Spartak Moscow striker Roman Pavlyuchenko to solve his goalscoring problems as the big front man has told the Russian media he is poised to join Tottenham Hotspur.

“I can confirm I’m joining Spurs. Right now I’m getting my visa and as soon as it is ready I will fly to England to sign a contract. Everything has happened very quickly so I could not even say goodbye to my team-mates.”

It is clear that a striker is required as replacements have not been found for Robbie Keane and Jermaine Defoe and Dimitar Berbatov seems to have played his last game for the club. Pre-season raised the hopes regarding Darren Bent, but even if he can reach the required heights he will need help.

Pavlyuchenko impressed during Euro 2008 and rumours quickly surfaced linking him with most of the top teams in Europe. The rumours went away, as with his Russian team-mate Andrei Arshavin, but Tottenham always remained the most likely destination. It is still possible that the Russian strike partnership could both end up at White Hart Lane.

One of the issues with regard to the Russians is that they are currently five months into their domestic season. To go straight into another nine months of Premier League football without a break is a big ask.

Pavlyuchenko is twenty-six years old and has only ever played club football in Russia. He has a decent scoring record with Spartak Moscow with a goal every other game for the last four years. In his twenty-one International caps for Russia he has netted nine times.

He may be a great success and a shrewd buy, but it seems to be an enormous gamble by Ramos. He needs to buy and he needs to buy quickly, but Berbatov, Keane and Defoe are a hard act to follow in terms of their ability, goals and popularity. For a man moving to a strange culture and having to settle in immediately the challenge will certainly be a testing one.

The two games Tottenham have played so far have both ended in 2-1 defeats. Losing at Middlesbrough was a poor start but the defeat at home to Sunderland confirmed that all was not well. Assistant Manager Gus Poyet spoke with refreshing honesty after the game but his words seem very strange when you actually analyse what he said;

“With only one striker 90 minutes is difficult and it is not the kind of game we want to play. We are used to playing with two strikers. Now we’ve got only one in the squad and it is very difficult.”

That sounds like a fan talking about the game in the pub afterwards, not the Assistant Manager! How have the management team allowed the squad to contain only one striker at the start of the season? It seems very strange for Poyet to be saying that they are playing in a different way to the way they want to because of the players they have at the club. It seems like either a huge criticism of himself or a damaging observation on his boss.

We all know the difficulties that have surrounded Dimitar Berbatov’s tenure at the club but we could have all predicted them as soon as Manchester United’s interest became clear. Despite that, Ramos allowed Defoe and Keane to leave and has started the season with a major shortage of strikers. Although that position could change in the coming days, the loss of six points already could be enormously damaging for Tottenham come the end of the season.

I am still a Juande Ramos fan and I believe he will take Tottenham to bigger and better things than they achieved under Martin Jol, but I think he has made a serious error at the start of this season. If he doesn’t act quickly, rumours of the same fate befalling him as did Jol will not be far away. It won’t happen but Ramos needs to turn things around straight away to ensure that it doesn’t.

In those circumstances a trip to Stamford Bridge is hardly ideal. Having said that, a 2-0 win for Tottenham with goals from Pavlyuchenko and Arshavin would go a long way towards silencing the critics!


Graham Fisher



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Barnet Spur
Barnet Spur
13 years ago

Where do you think Ramos and Co. had any option as far as keane was concerned, or the Berbatov mess really? Ramos didn’t “allow” Keane to move, he couldnt very well have refused could he? Its an unfortunate situation due to timing granted, but there are a lot of behind the scenes issues that aren’t public. Lets assume they did the best they could under the circumstances, or, do you have visions of Comolli Ramos and Levy all watching late night flicks on TV and just , you know, kind of ‘forgetting’ about taking care of business. “oh, darn Wendy….what… Read more »

13 years ago

He shouldn’t have sold Defoe and Keane until he was sure he had replacements lined up. I know Berbatov wants to leave but they should have had him play until he was sold to Manchester. Why? The number one priority of a football manager is to win, sidelining your best player because of your own dissatisfaction at his desire to leave is what an amateur would do.

13 years ago

Berby doesn’t wanna play

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