Tag Archives: Transfer window

Good deals, bad deals, no deals, new strategy needed?

As he sat in his office this morning Daniel Levy must have reflected on what a crap month January has been for him. Unfortunately in the lives of Football Chairman a crap January can lead to a feeling foolish February, mad March, agonising April and a moody May as he sees the season disintegrate in front of his eyes with ever increasing frustration shown by the supporters.

But it is worse than that, for Daniel has a stadium crisis on his hands with his first choice trumpeted to worshipping fans becoming too expensive and a second option proving unpopular with most in authority. When people adopt the rattled Tony Blair manner and try to bludgeon their points across you can tell they are feeling the pressure and in my opinion DL is trying to remain calm but showing the strain.

Yesterday may therefore have been a day of realisation for to me it showed that Daniel is no longer the custodian of our future through the actions of others. Chelsea and Liverpool showed just how strong their desire is to qualify for the Champions League by blowing vast sums of money – one of them a massive gamble – in an attempt to win fourth place.

Our retort? A bid for Phil Neville – maybe for Champions League cover – and a last hour bid for Charlie Adam – a player who we may not need.

The day before we had been humbled by Fulham in a game that went entirely against our plan. Having searched all month for the striker we craved Daniel put in a number of bids for a variety of players which made it look like we were desperate (maybe we were that night) or that in making them he knew that wouldn’t come off.

So January ended without a late Spurs signing but Harry still managed calls with Jim White and the Talksport team. I could say it’s a failure but in truth its not. I would rather we picked up the players we need rather than another body we don’t really need in an effort to placate us fans. We are not stupid and we know when we are adding to an already large (and unfit) squad more players who might not improve us.

To do that Daniel will need to change his transfer strategy and what yesterday showed us is that you need really deep pockets to do so and only two ownerships have that; Chelsea and Manchester City, the remainder need it given to them by those owners.

To date all too often the strategy has been on adding men who might offer value later on. Kranjcar was signed for a song as his contract was running out. Having not played much and being mid term on a contract his value is much higher which would have meant a profit for the accounts. I saw a figure quoted of £11m on NewsNow during January but even half of that is a pretty good return.

To me Pienaar looks more of the same. Useful player decent purchase price who probably won’t play much. If he wants away next summer for a World Cup chance he represents a profit to us.

Unfortunately for Daniel, Harry secured us Champions League football a bit quick. Fantastic achievement but it put pressure onto him to keep building a bit more quickly. In August he pulled a supreme rabbit out of the hat with a last minute Van Der Vaart. It could never happen again, Europe is now wise to our tactics!

If we remember Leeds they kept pulling out player after player before the house fell down. Our sudden rise up the table puts us in a similar predicament; buy and borrow big. Fans demand it as the quest of regular Champions League football sets in and for the first half of the season we did extremely well. 

Players rose to the challenge and big games came thick and fast. On top of that those around us were in poor form and not winning games we would have expected. As a result we were handily placed and ready to push on. But the team has momentarily run out of luck and hit a period of poor form just as our opponents picked up.     

So we needed the boost of a signing but it was not to be. That honour went to Chelsea. Frustrating as we find that it shows one thing, Mr Abramovich is not, when it really matters, prepared to make his club pay for itself as he suggested. It also acknowledges that Chelsea is accepting that their youth policy has not worked as wanted and that big signings are what is needed to keep you in the top 4.

With our own youth policy not bearing much fruit we’ve always relied on making big signings but our wage policy is some way behind that of Chelsea and light years behind Manchester City. If we want to compete longterm in the big pond we need to address these issues and I cannot see Enic being the owners to do this. 

I’m not trying to slate them for this but sometimes you have to face facts. Many people will say with the Olympic Stadium we can put this right but look at the balance sheets of clubs such as Liverpool and Newcastle who lived the dream with Champions League money for a number of years. They’ve not much apart from debts to show for it. A bigger capacity will help us on transfer budgets in future windows but it might not do much for the wage bill it produces. 

I think it’s official, football has the madness of King George and the top of the Premier League is in ignorance about living within its means so owners need to be billionaires to survive. George got a bit better, as I remember, and so will the game but maybe not before a casualty. We don’t want to be that statistic and I don’t think Daniel will let us become it.  

Don’t get me wrong I’m not calling for Levy to go. He’s been a good owner and taken the club forward a heck of a way. But in the way that he decided Martin Jol was not good enough to move us any further forward that realisation might be approaching for him when he looks in the mirror. 

It may all hinge upon the Olympic Stadium decision, it may not, but if he wishes to continue he will need to rethink his strategy for the transfer window to identify only those that will definitely improve us and identify them earlier so that the deals can be put together. Forget a late run on the blind side for late night excitement – we’re past that now. Real value may be harder to achieve from here on in.     

With an upturn in form anything is possible, without it there’s a long way to go till May. I fancy we’ll play better but hold onto fifth place. That’s about right with this squad if we improve upfront in the summer we can push on once more at realistic pace for our spending money.   

Advertisements

Sunday afternoon at the Cottage: Fulham V Tottenham FA Cup preview

With the year ending in 1 all Spurs fans will be hoping for a place in the fifth round of the FA Cup at the first time of asking but a Fulham side who acquitted themselves extremely well at White Hart Lane earlier this month stand before us on their own turf. Therefore a tough challenge but easier than the normal away fixture at Old Trafford in these early rounds.

We are without Gareth Bale whose back injury whilst not requiring surgery needs further rest so having checked whether Pienaar played in Everton’s third round victory (he didn’t) I would expect him to start out left. As we stand Kranjcar is available to take that position but Werder Bremen have made a bid for his services. Despite having hardly played him at all this season Harry appears not to want to lose his services – apparently Niko does not want to play in Germany either. 

That poses a problem for Spurs. We have a heavy roster of players and need to clear out as well as adding. Already this month Keane did not leave for Birmingham with a question of increased wages being suggested. Keane denies this and Birmingham’s record in the market allows it to be swept away. Now West Ham are prowling and suggest that “no stone will go unturned” in an effort to sign him. That shouldn’t be a problem as we already hold an open door for him but what of the wage demands? Will personal terms be possible to agree? 

With Niko if it’s Germany or the bench the bench appears to be favourite. At least David Bentley wanted to play football when going out on loan.

Last week we were surprised by the Gomes injury and Cudicini stepped in and provided a capable performance. I would expect him to continue for this game as Gomes only returned to training on Friday. 

If we are to make changes on the field for this game right back might be one position. Corluka or Hutton? I would expect Hutton but if Charlie was given the nod it would not be a disaster for us. With Ekotto fit to return at left back it allows for Gallas and Dawson to continue with Bassong dropping back to the bench. 

Earlier in the month Seb had suggested he might be ready to move on but after a discussion with Harry he is once again committed to the cause. As it stands a decent decision, but with Woodgate nearing fitness things might get tough if he makes the 25 man squad for the second half of the season. If he could play I would rather it was for us – maybe from the bench – than for another Premier League outfit.

Palacios has not yet recovered from his injury so that leaves Jenas or Sandro competing for the shirt. I think Jenas is the man for this game with his longstanding experience and fourth rating for midfield passes this season. Sandro will make the bench and may get a chance of the game is secure. 

Lennon and Modric will play their normal roles and Van Der Vaart will support the lead man. Pav is available once more after injury but I expect Defoe to continue with Crouch available from the bench should the change be required. 

Without Zamora Fulham are not the same side but Dempsey is a useful player and Andy Johnson caused us problems as an Everton player so we need to be wary. Last time out they contributed to their downfall with a pantomime own goal but we shouldn’t expect them to bear us similar gifts. Therefore a tough test at Craven Cottage that we can win if we play to our potential. If not I expect a draw and return to the Lane as we did last year before Spurs go through to the fifth round.

My side for the game is: 

                             Cudicini

     Corluka       Gallas       Dawson       Ekotto

Lennon            Jenas           Modric        Pienaar

          Van Der Vaart          Defoe

Prediction: I’m hopeful of a clean sheet and a goal from Defoe.

New Poll:If a bid comes in should we let Pav leave?

The half term poll is now closed and unsurprisingly the winner is Luka Modric who took 64.32% of the vote.

 Second went to Gareth Bale with 18.92% marginally ahead of Rafael Van Der Vaart on 16.22%.

Our new poll considers the potential transfer window activity now that Darren Bent has kick started the action with his move from Sunderland to Aston Villa. Newspaper talk suggests that Roman Pavlyuchenko  becomes Steve Bruce’s main target to replace Bent so our new poll asks whether we should allow Pav to go should a bid come in. To vote click the link below or scroll down for the table in the sidebar.

 

If Sunderland bid should we let Pav leave?

(polls)