Football Expert & Columnist
Tottenham Hotspur: Jamie Carragher says they won't make top four
Tottenham are not title contenders, says Jamie Carragher, and probably won't make the top four.
Last Updated: 17/10/13 9:12am
They have spent a lot of money and when you do that people start to talk about you in terms of the title, and if they are within touching distance with 10-15 games to go they will have a chance.
But Spurs have slipped out of the top four and the main aim when you do that is to get back in it, rather than looking to immediately win the league, and I don't think they are where Man City, Chelsea and Man United are at the minute.
The money Tottenham splashed out in the summer was mainly what they got from Gareth Bale and they aren't going to be spending loads every year like the other top teams, although United were relatively quiet in the last window.
Plus, the players Tottenham have brought in - the likes of Christian Eriksen, Nacer Chadli and Erik Lamela - are still finding their feet in the Premier League so it is a bit much to put them down as title contenders.
Andre Villas-Boas has got a quality squad with plenty of strength in depth but a lot of those players have not been in title-winning or title-chasing teams before so you don't know how they will react at crunch time.
And because of the sides they are up against, I reckon they might just miss out on a place in the top four; it's hard to say United, City and Chelsea won't get in those Champions League spots and Arsenal have started like a house on fire.
I have always thought highly of Villas-Boas - he had a great season at Academica which got him the Porto job at the age of 32 and that shows you he has a lot about him, while he will have learnt lots from his tough time at Chelsea, too.
But due to the money shelled out this year and because the longer you are out of the Champions League places the harder it is to get back in, missing out again could lead to some questions being asked about his future.
Tottenham must have high hopes for Roberto Soldado, though, who they spent £28million on to get from Valencia, and while I don't think he is someone who is going to get too involved in general play, he is a fantastic penalty-box player.
He has only scored two penalties in the Premier League - he got a couple of goals in a Europa League game against Dinamo Tblisi.
But his goals-to-game ratio in La Liga was fantastic with many of those really good clinical finishes as opposed to tap-ins, so I am confident he will do well in England.
Perhaps Tottenham could have done with another striker with all-round qualities - Jermain Defoe is very similar to Soldado and while Emmanuel Adebayor brings that physical threat, he struggled at times last season.
But having spent so much on Soldado, getting someone else in could have put undue pressure on him when you really want him to settle down and get his belief up.
As for some of Spurs' other signings, I like the look of Paulinho - I think he is going to get a lot of goals this season and every time you watch them play he is involved in the game and creating or finishing something - and Eriksen has shown some lively touches.
The good thing for Villas-Boas, though, is that while last season Tottenham's most important player was obviously Bale and before that it was Luka Modric, they now have many go-to men as they are a really balanced and well-organised team.
There are lots of players who can do damage going forward - other than the guys I've mentioned, Gylfi Sigurdsson has scored goals this year and Andros Townsend has come to the fore in a big way - and they look as good at the back as they have done in a while.
Okay, they had that disappointing defeat to West Ham last time out, but Michael Dawson and Jan Vertonghen look solid at centre-half and in Hugo Lloris - who is not the biggest but is technically good and quick off his line - they have one of the Premier League's best 'keepers.
Tottenham have lost a superstar in Bale but their squad is improving - though it might take at least one more season before they are back in the Champions League.