Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Robbie Move Hits Ramos Gameplan; Last Man Standing: Darren Bent Bursts through the Norwich Defence Last Night to Score One of His Four Goals in a - 1 Win

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Robbie Move Hits Ramos Gameplan; Last Man Standing: Darren Bent Bursts through the Norwich Defence Last Night to Score One of His Four Goals in a - 1 Win

Article excerpt

Byline: Simon Johnson

THERE are less than three weeks to go before the start of the new season and for Tottenham head coach Juande Ramos, his masterplan to take on the top four appears to be in jeopardy.

The departure of Robbie Keane to Liverpool has not only left Spurs without one of their most consistent strikers but also an effective captain, as club skipper Ledley King has spent most of the past two years in the treatment room.

Ramos and the club have ambitions to challenge the elite, yet no-one at White Hart Lane is even sure who will start up front for the first game of the campaign at Middlesbrough on 16 August.

The future of Dimitar Berbatov, who was noticeably left on the bench as Spurs won 5-1 at Norwich last night, continues to provide an unwelcome distraction.

His move to Manchester United has temporarily stalled with the champions' manager Sir Alex Ferguson and Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy not on the best of terms at the moment, but it has reached the stage where the Bulgarian needs to go for the good of the club as it is not beneficial to keep an unhappy player.

That leaves Darren Bent. He looked sharp last night in scoring four goals, but he failed to impress in his first season at White Hart Lane after joining from Charlton for ?16.5million ? and he is wanted by Everton.

Tottenham have registered their interest in a number of strikers across Europe and will have the funds to buy some of them, but time is running out.

As far as Ramos is concerned, it is already four weeks too late. He wanted his new first-team squad in place for the beginning of preseason training.

Spurs have secured the signings of Luka Modric, Heurelho Gomes, Giovanni dos Santos and John Bostock, but they need new out-andout strikers and have very little time to bed them in to the team's style of play. …

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