Now that the Modric saga is over can Andre Villas Boas please finally sort his new Tottenham squad out and start the season properly?
First of all let's say a big thank you to Luka Modric for the four years of service he gave us. Modric was one of the few shining lights that came out of the doomed Juande Ramos regime and will be sorely missed.
Signed for a club record fee, there were many doubts as to whether the slight, unassuming little Croat could cut it against the physicality of the Premier League but he proved them all wrong. Once Harry Redknapp arrived and pushed Luka into a more advanced position he became the puppet master behind the scenes of the Spurs revival. It's certainly sad to see him go and one can't blame a world-class player for wanting to play for a world-class team. He deserves great credit for the way he has handled his exit. After Chelsea came calling and were rebuffed many modern prima donnas would have sulked or refused to play at all but Modric acted with a humility lacking in many of his peers. You've been a great servant to the club Luka and we wish you every success in the future (as long as you don't return to England of course).
Now that he's gone it leaves a huge hole in the Tottenham squad, couple that with the void left by Ledley King and it means that new man Villas Boas has got some work to do and judging from the first two games of the season it may be quite a job indeed.
I'll admit that I was sceptical when AVB was first appointed, it smacked of the Levy of old being enticed by a big name from the continent but I decided to give him the benefit of doubt. Maybe it was the start of something glorious, a fresh faced, ambitious manager who bought into a mutual hatred of Chelsea. In fact if it hadn't been for his Chelsea disaster we'd never have been able to afford a man of Villas Boas' calibre at all.
With Vertonghen having joined, a deal for Adebayor having been reportedly all but signed off and a manager saying all the right things in a sexy, gravelly tone, the signs were that the end of last season could be put behind us and maybe the future was bright after all.
Since the season has started however I've begun to sense my optimism starting to ebb, a combination of erratic transfer policy and some dubious tactics are, as ridiculous as it sounds, making me wonder if the Chelsea fans were onto something after all.
Everyone knows Spurs have a squad in dire need of a shake up, the likes of David Bentley and Heurelho Gomes for example have been warming benches without a hope in hell of playing for far too long. AVB's first move to release Bassong was smart, on his day he's a decent player but unfortunately that day invariably seems to have been removed from calendars.
The proposed sale of Dawson however ruffled a few more feathers amongst fans, maybe it's too soon after losing King to sell one of the other few good centre backs we have, but with Caulker, Kaboul, Gallas and now Vertonghen we probably have enough cover. I'd rather see Gallas leave than Dawson, who has also been a great servant when fit, but after negotiating a fee of £9m it's sadly too good a deal to turn down.
The two pressing transfer issues needed to be resolved by AVB are finding strikers and a replacement for Modric.
The season's opener against Newcastle highlighted the obvious fact that as good a finisher as Defoe may be, he cannot be left alone as the only senior striker in the squad. I don't think I've ever been so happy at the signing of someone I don't really rate as I was when Adebayor finally re-signed, but with just the two of them we still need more firepower in that position. Various strikers across the globe have been muted as possible signings this summer including big money names like Damiao, such gossip must be treated with a degree of concern however, after all Spurs have a dubious reputation when it comes to big money strikers at best, take Sergei Rebrov for example.
AVB's answer to filling Modric's void has been to promote Jake Livermore to the first team. A great talent that he is, Livermore just isn't as technically gifted or creative as Modric, his inclusion along with Sandro just seems to set the team up more defensively than we ought to be. If he's to look within the squad for someone who can link defence to attack then the almost forgotten Tom Huddlestone is probably the man for the job. As such it's alarming that Villas Boas sees Huddlestone, yet another fan favourite, as surplus to requirements. Many feared that AVB might try to stamp his mark on the team too rashly and they may yet be proven correct.
Transfer rumours are always rife where Tottenham are concerned and Van der Vaart's link to Hamburg is one that won't go away, it's a transfer that categorically cannot be allowed to happen. With neither Modric nor Rafa, the team begins to start looking ordinary very quickly.
Saturday's first home game should have been the first three points of the season for Tottenham, unfortunately it only served to highlight the fact that Villas Boas' squad is still very much a work in progress. Chances were squandered left, right and centre with my heart almost skipping a beat when Jermaine Jenas was seen to be warming up, a circumstance that only emphasises that if Spurs are going to mount a genuine challenge for Champions League places then a couple of players of real quality need to be brought in.
AVB has the makings of a very good team for sure, it's just lacking in the critical areas and flabby around the edges. Daniel Levy has shown before that he is capable of deadline miracles, for Andre Villas Boas' and the fans' sake I hope he can do so again.
Follow Scott Thompson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Thommohawk24