|So, Sol Campbell's comments on New
Year's Day hint that he will be staying at White Hart Lane for the
foreseeable future. Or do they ??
With ENIC taking over at the club,
perhaps Sol has had a change of heart. Perhaps he sees a company more in
tune with the footballing world than the previous chairman and that they
might be able to take Tottenham forward quicker. It will need
investment from ENIC to do so, but part of the growth of the club will
be to retain those players who are among the most capable at the club
and that includes Sol. With Stephen Carr already signed up on a
longish contract, it is now up to the club to tie up deals for Anderton
and Campbell as well as the youngsters who are coming through the ranks
at the moment (i.e. King, Thelwell, Young, etc.). This will
establish the basis of any future Spurs sides in years to come.
What is then required will be the attraction of top class players to
further improve the quality of the squad to take Tottenham on to that
next level of progress.
But looking at Sol's comments
carefully, he says he would like to stay at the club and will still be
here in the summer, but does that mean that he only sees Spurs as his
short term future. Many have speculated that he might sign a
short term deal for one or two seasons to see how things go before
heading abroad when he still has a few years left in his career ?
He would be looking for more stability at the club and has made mention
of getting things right from top to bottom. Now that Sugar has
been deposed as Chairman, do his comments mean that he would want GG to go
too ? Sol's influence at the club should not be
underestimated. Remember him saying that he wanted to play for a
coach he could learn from, just days before Christian Gross was sacked
by Spurs ? It would be interesting to know how the players get on
with GG as none of the Arsenal players regarded him as someone they
would choose to spend time with - hence his nickname of "Gadaffi".
Do Spurs players feel the same ? In the public arena they all toe
the party line in comments about the team and criticism of the manager,
but who knows what they think in private ?
Sol's words could also be
interpreted as a demand to make sure that players are on proper wages -
a situation both he and Carr have experienced and one perhaps he does
not want to happen to the youngsters coming through. No doubt,
since clubs were aware that he is available on a Bosman this summer, he
has been bombarded with offers and whispers about what he could earn at
other clubs and his desire to stay at Tottenham will be tested by those
temptations. There is also the honour of wanting to win things
with Tottenham and it can only be by getting a wage structure that would
accommodate the best players that Tottenham might be able to challenge
on the transfer front and eventually the trophy front.
More likely than those factors,
perhaps Sol was alluding to the need to sort out the Pleat/GG situation ??
Now Sugar has been removed from the equation, the roles of Pleat and
Graham need to be clearly marked. With one arranging to spot
players and the other having responsibility for negotiating with them,
there appears to be some confusion surrounding each person's involvement
in the other part of the process. Surely, the manager would want
to speak to new players and vice versa. However, the uneasy way
this dual role set-up works means that the new owners probably need to
resolve their duties and produce a way of working together to take the
club in the right direction.
Beyond those few fundamental
problems that the club needs to sort out, there will be the contract
itself. Seeing as how the man has said he wants to remain at Tottenham,
let's hope that the club don't screw it up by making a mess of the
financial arrangements. If it all comes off, Sol will, without
doubt, make himself the biggest hero at White Hart Lane ever. Past
players have turned down moves to bigger clubs to stay loyal to Spurs,
but in these money fuelled days, such a decision will be flying in the
face of those who see players only in it for the money. I hope
that Sol will be at Spurs next season and that the club can get it right
to ensure that he never needs to leave.