Ramos wants major clear out

Last updated : 09 January 2008 By Gareth Davies
According to reports in today's press Juande Ramos is preparing offload up to seven members of his squad over the next month, with several of those who have no apparent future at the club due to up against Arsenal tonight. Paul Robinson, Pascal Chimbonda and Lee Young Pyo are likely to start in the first leg of the Carling Cup Semi Final knowing that their cards have been marked and that the club is already active in seeking prospective replacements. Jermain Defoe, who is likely to be consigned to a place on the bench, has already been told he has no future at the club.

Speculation surrounding potential replacements is rife and although much of what has been written can be dismissed as lazy journalism, one thing does seem certain; Ramos has lost patience with several of his first team squad. Chimbonda's attitude in training has led the club to pursue Ranger's Alan Hutton, whilst Ramos is of the opinion that current left-back Lee Young-Pyo is not of the required standard for a team chasing qualification for Europe's top competitions. Meanwhile it seems Paul Robinson's error strewn performance against Reading has finally convinced Ramos to seek a new first choice goalkeeper, with Bolton' Jussi Jääskeläinen and Getafe's Argentinean international goalkeeper Oscar Ustari. Fringe players such as Anthony Gardener and Wayne Routledge are also on their way out, with Spaniard having growing doubts over the merits of summer signings Darren Bent and Younes Kaboul.

Tottenham fans have had to wait a while but we are finally beginning to see how Ramos wants to shape the squad to his own liking. The departure of players, some whom were thought of as indispensable under Martin Jol, was inevitable, particularly given the team's continuing defensive frailty. Ramos has proved himself to be an adventurous and dynamic tactician and one hopes that he brings in players that fit into this ethos. Having long needed a combative central midfielder and exciting left-winger, it will be interesting to see whether these gaps in the squad are filled, with ex-Chelsea midfielder Tiago and Middlesbrough's Adam Johnson being touted as potential recruits.

In the meantime, Ramos will have to make do with his current squad for the trip to Arsenal, which is without doubt of more importance to the Spaniard than it is to Arsène Wenger. In the corresponding fixture last season, we started the first leg brilliantly, racing into a two goal lead, which, thanks to Berbatov limping off and the superiority of the Arsenal midfield, we surrendered, ultimately losing the second leg. Our capitulation, along with poor performances against Chelsea and Sevilla, probably convinced the board that Martin Jol was not the man to fulfil the club's ambitions and perhaps precipitated the appointment of Ramos.

In his one previous match in charge against Arsenal, Ramos's tactical acumen inspired a below strength Tottenham side to an impressively disciplined performance and, despite ultimately losing the match, the signs are that our new manager is the man to finally lead us to a victory over our north London rivals. Whether he can do that tonight and in the second leg at White Hart Lane is the question on every Tottenham fan's lips.