|So, Spurs sit bottom of the
league table and have a rag-tag bunch of players trying to get them out
of this sticky situation. But how did we get here in the first
place ? Maybe the statement that Spurs are not a selling club and
will always hold onto their best players has turned out not to be true
and is more dependent on how much people are willing to pay for them.
With the departure of Michael Carrick the
tone was set. We did not need to sell him, although the money his
move to Manchester United brought in did allow us to go out and buy
Dimitar Berbatov (more of which later). He wanted to move to a
bigger club, much as he did when he left West Ham for White Hart Lane.
His role in the team was a crucial one in providing the passes to the
front two to score the goals that lifted Tottenham to fifth position and
almost a place in the Champions League. His passing and work-rate
have not been adequately replaced and thus we lost an important cog in
the team, albeit to a team we were not in the bracket of catching at the
So, when United needed a striker, where
did they come looking ? Oh. yeah, back to the Lane for a player
they wouldn't shell out for when he was at Bayer Leverkusen, but after
couple of seasons at Spurs he was good enough for them all of a sudden.
Like Carrick, he wasn't a player that Tottenham had to sell as he was
under a long contract, but Alex Ferguson is shrewd enough to know that
without Champions League football and with United having won the title
and the Champions League itself, the temptation would be too great for
the player, who then went into a strop until he got his way.
I am not blaming Daniel Levy for having to
sell Berbatov, nor Keane really, as both wanted to leave and it is no
good keeping players who do not want to be at the club, but I feel that
with Carrick, he sold the midfielder too soon. I know he wanted to
go to Man U too, but if we had stuck to our guns with him, we might not
be in this position. Already, Ferguson has been making noises
about how good Alan Hutton is and the Scot is another who he would not
pay big money for when he left Glasgow Rangers, with a similar story
surrounding Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon when we bought them.
Now, these days, it is a fact of footballing
life that if you have a place among the European elite, then you are a
prospective destination in a player's career at some stage. This
will mean that only about four teams can hold the top class players, as
they will have places in the Champions League and be in on the
self-perpetuating gravy train that puts them out of reach of the other
16 Premiership sides.
And what it
means is that Tottenham, as well as other clubs in the Premiership, must
accept that their role in the food chain is to act as a stepping stone
for players as they climb the ladder through their career in the game.
Never again will we see a Steve Perryman.
Never again will we see a Gary Mabbutt. Never again will we see a
All we will see is
players spending a few years in the Lilywhite shirt until they are able
to bag a transfer to a top four club and all Tottenham will get out of
it is a pile of money, but that needs to be spent wisely on players who
will form the next generation of fodder for the Champions League clubs.
At the moment, that is unlikely, unless we
get relegated, when clubs will come circling around our players, much as
Tottenham have done with other clubs in the past. So, the first
step is to get off the bottom and then to start getting in players who
want to play for Tottenham Hotspur ... come what may.