Apparently I struck a nerve with my assessment of Spurs and the talent on their roster with my "First Impressions..." column on Sunday. Equally apparent is the fact that Spurs supporters (at least I assume that's who would be most likely to disagree with my assessment) don't have a terribly realistic view of the players employed by their club.
Here's the harsh reality, Spurs have three and a half players who would even be in contention for a spot with one of the other contenders in the "Big Four" of Chelsea, Arsenal, ManYoo, and Citeh. Here's the list:
Bale - Given the form he's shown since the turn of 2010, he'd contend for a spot just about anywhere in the world.
van der Vaart - Wouldn't start at Chelsea over Lamps/FloMal/Essien. Not sure how he'd fit with Cesc at Arsenal but has the talent to find a way into the side over Arsh. Would fit somewhere into the rotation with Citeh but wouldn't be a sure-fire starter. Would be an obvious upgrade over/replacement for Scholes at ManYoo.
Gomes - He'd start at Arsenal but that's about it. If he returns to his form of the latter half of last season then he's probably about equivalent of EvdS, a step below Cech and two steps below Hart.
King - I call this a half because if he were healthy, he'd start for any of the contenders other than perhaps Chelsea. That said, he's rarely healthy so in the real world, he'd be a reserve held out for big matches on the big teams.
As they say on PTI, that's it, that's the list. One player who would start for all of their rivals. Two players who would only be a clear upgrade for one of their four big rivals (VDV for United and Gomes for Arsenal). One potentially great player who isn't reliable enough to really be considered a starter at Spurs or anywhere else. Outside of that, you have a lot of adequate players. Let's face it, there's a reason that you don't hear much about the moneybags teams either domestically or elsewhere in Europe sniffing around the Spurs roster. The real strength of Spurs roster is that they have depth of solid players which, especially over the course of a long Premier League season, is enough to distance them from the likes of Villa or Everton who probably have equivalent first team talent but can't survive dips in form or an injury crisis without a significant drop in talent.
If you think I'm mis-estimating one of more players on the Spurs roster vs. their counterparts from other teams, I'd love to see the analysis in the comments section. What Spurs player(s) would take the place of someone from one of the other "Big Four" teams?
Cheers - Neal