Who has what it takes to break into the big time?
There is something to be said for a gradual organic approach to building a successful football team and whilst Harry Redknapp has made some good solid purchases he also had the nucleus of a good quality squad to aid a rise up the table.
You can’t blame Mark Hughes for acting like the kid in a sweet shop, after all he is given a limitless pot of cash and then told to lead the club to glory but is the speedy route to the top one that can so easily fail?
Once the Eastlands boss gets his hands on Joleon Lescott he will have spent on near on £230m in the past two seasons bringing quality players to the Blue half of Manchester and during that same two seasons they have released players to the value of probably less than 10% of what they spent, is that sustainable, even for the club’s billionaire owners?
The White Hart Lane boss has also spent a small fortune in the transfer market, around £55m since he was installed as boss last October but has at the same time cashed in on outgoing players who didn’t fit his game plan, selling the likes of Darren Bent and Didier Zokora for decent sums of money.
Another bonus in the hunt for a top four finish for the north London side is the fact they were on such a great run of form from the end of last season and that should never be underestimated as a clubs confidence hanging over from the previous term can be crucial.
The toughest obstacle to real success at Man City is the need to get such a large number of players to gel together at the same time. The club has done well to begin the season with back to back wins but then both matches were not exactly against top opposition and the real acid test will come when they face some of the big guns. It will also be interesting to see how the club fares if they hit a patch of poor form and how the big names will react to that.
I feel that Spurs are in the right position to mount a more solid challenge for a Champions League spot simply because as a group of individuals they appear to be very tight knit, unlike the side under Juande Ramos and the tail end of the Martin Jol regime. There is a real sense that the players are doing all they can for their boss and that is a vital ingredient.