the january 2008
Juande Ramos, who has won over the journos with his attacking
football, spends all his money in the January transfer window on
defenders. £2 million for Gunter, £7 million for Woodgate,
£9 million for Hutton. I hope there aren't any more out
there that the club have their eyes on.
Maybe they will have someone lined up for the left side of
midfield when the window opens again in the summer and also,
the Paul Robinson issue can be resolved one way or another.
I presume that Gunter is one for the future, although he is
getting some action now and that Woodgate will job share
with Ledley King to make sure we have an experienced partner
for Michael Dawson.
And Hutton might be the permanent replacement for the itchy
footed Pascal Chimbonda.
The way they fit in between now and the end of the season
will form the Spurs back four in Ramos' mind, while the
midfield will be sorted out come the summer as well.
For a transfer window when not many talent moves on (or so
our club officials said), we have spent a lot of money.
I just hope it was on players they really wanted and not on
players they felt forced into buying.
THE FUNKY PHANTOM
Yes - it's that time when we are
linked to seemingly every young player in Europe and every
defender in the Premiership and beyond. And you've
guessed it, we've gone and purchased Mr. Woodgate -
presumably because Leds and Bale have got fed up with
Rocha's and Gardner's company in the treatment room (I
thought we had finished buying sicknotes - obviously not).
And we've also
gone and brought another young promising defender (Gunter)
to go with our other young promising defender Kaboul, who at
this moment isn't that promising after all. So it
Anyway the point
that I am making is that one of the big bonuses of our
recent improvement has been Jamie O'Hara, who has been great
every time I see him; be it in central midfield, wide
left or at left back, where he looked a lot better than a
certain Mr. Lee. I was thinking that maybe, just maybe,
there might be more of his type. Good honest home
grown players, who could get a decent run in the side to
show us what they can do.
we sold Lee Bernard. He was never given a chance in
the first team, neither was Dean Marney or Mark Yeates.
I know this is not just Tottenham, but why risk £3 million
on potential, when it could be sat there on your own
I am of a
certain age who can remember a certain Graeme Souness being
sold without being given a chance and in the 80's Norwich
(when they were good) had ex-Spurs boys Culverhouse, Bowen,
Polston and Ian Crook in their side. Others who also
left include Peter Crouch - again without being given any
I know instant
success is the name of the game these days, but when our
transfer policy is so set on developing young players, it
seems strange that we can't develop our own from the Youth
Sorry to sound
negative as Ramos is looking the biz ! Up the Spurs, down
the Arse, etc. !!!!
Happy New Year fellow yids ......
With a New Year means the opening of the January transfer
window, and I think its important that all Spurs fans know
who is ultimately responsible for buying players.
If it has to be one player and Ramos favours an experienced,
mature, low sell on value type. Whilst Comolli favours an
inexperienced, good prospect, Kabul type player. Which one
do Spurs buy ? I think this question is vital to Ramos being
able to create a winning team. I know Ramos has worked under
a director of football at Seville before and has accepted
this relationship. However, in order to maximise he's
chances of creating a successful team; surely it's common
sense that he ultimately picks the players Spurs buy.
Spurs have invested £25 million in bringing Ramos to WHL.
(Including severance payments to Jol and Sevilla.) To have
his success dependent on the choices of Comolli seems
ridiculous. Comolli is widely thought to be responsible for
Bent, Boateng and Kaboul at a price of £28million. If
hypothetically they were up for sale this month, how much do
you think they would fetch? I estimate £15million tops.
Comolli has cost Spurs £13million in 6 months and a manager
The entire football community new Spurs needed a left sided
midfielder and a midfield general type player, a galvaniser.
It is rumoured Jol wanted Boateng of Middlesbrough and Petrov. These players were not bought and the team remained
unbalanced with little improvement despite the huge cash
outlay ... Petrov incidentally becoming an instant success
at Man City.
I know Daniel Levy has also hinted that Comolli's future
depends on Ramos's success. But why have our clubs future
dependent on one individual who has already made poor
choices in the transfer market. Why not give Ramos full
reign to buy whichever player he feels he needs to create a
winning team. A tried and tested formulae practiced by
Manchester united and that lot up the road. Its indisputable
for success and stability. It will optimize Ramos's chances
of success. If he has won five trophies in 18 months
under a director of football. Imagine what he can do with
full responsibility for 1st team transfers.
I thought the idea of a director of football was to be a
negotiator between player and club once the player has been
chosen by the coach. It means the coach spends more time on
the training pitch instead of haggling with agents and the
new player simply arrives at the training ground once the
business deal has been concluded by the director of
We're a week into the transfer window and I'm and am sure
many other Spurs fans are getting very nervous. Tal Ben Haim
?? Tiago ?? Chimbonda is one of the most consistent,
diligent, quality right backs in the Premiership. Doesn't
moan, rarely gives away pens etc. Surely we must have
more pressing concerns than right back and pursuing Alan
Hutton. As well its unsettling effect at time of vital
I believe it was the correct decision to sack Jol. He didn't
teach us how to defend properly or was ruthless enough to
drop players who lost form. Ramos is the perfect replacement
and is capable of bringing the glory days back to WHL.
Sevilla was coached on 10% of the budget of Barcelona and
Real Madrid !!
Instead of being worried about the sell on value of Bent and
Kaboul. Lets think about the T.V. revenue for playing
Barcelona at the Nou camp in the group stages of the
Champions league. We are Spurs after all, we aim high ....
Admirably, we pulled out all the stops to bring in Ramos.
(Jol sacked on Thursday; Ramos resigned on Friday; Signed on
Saturday; was at the lane on Sunday and took his first
training on Monday. It was brutally efficient.) Well done
Messrs. Comolli and Levy. Let's not leave Ramos's degree on
success in anyone else's hands. He's the right man; he should
be given 100% full responsibility over first team affairs and
transfers. Then hopefully we will all bask in his success
I would greatly appreciate it if you would please publish my email
(below) to Damien Comolli, Spurs Sporting Director, as an open
letter from a disgruntled supporter.
Dear Mr Comolli,
Further to my earlier
email and the ‘read receipt’ you returned to me, I am now satisfied
that this is in fact your email address.
It is with a heavy
heart that I write to you today to express my sheer dismay at the
direction of current transfer policy at our once-great club. (Since
I am led to believe that in your position as ‘Sporting Director’
you, Mr Comolli, hold sway over player transfer activity at
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, it is to you that I have chosen to
direct this appeal).
In the interests of
brevity, let us take the start of your tenure as our baseline.
Before your arrival, and indeed since, we have been in dire need of
a natural left-sided midfielder (evidenced by an obvious imbalance
in our team and style of play); a strong, aggressive central
midfielder (to compensate for the lack of leadership and meaningful
tackling currently on offer); and a commanding central defender (to
put an end to our worrying inability to defend set-pieces). I must
reiterate the lack of leadership, brought on by your nonsensical
refusal to buy players above the age of 26. A second endemic
problem affecting Spurs over the past three seasons is our dearth of
creative talent, notwithstanding the strikers.
Had I been the
incoming Sporting Director, I would be excited by the challenge
ahead of me, keen to observe the shortfalls of the squad (see
above), and address the issues accordingly. Moreover, I would feel
fortunate enough to have been provided with a sizeable transfer fund
with which to fulfil my remit of recruiting the right players and
disposing of those without the requisite quality. Yet, sadly for me,
it is not I in this position, but you – and you, Mr Comolli have
summarily failed to perform your duties adequately. Fortunately for
you, however, it is the club and its supporters (and, dare I say,
Martin Jol) that have suffered on account of your mismanagement.
You, Mr Comolli,
quite incredibly remain in the job, a position of considerable
influence given that a not insignificant portion of fans’ disposable
incomes have been channelled into what can reasonably be described
as a wasteful slush fund - a slush fund that continues to sponsor
your spectacular misadventures in the transfer market. Let us take a
break from the assertions and consider the facts before us. For the
sake of clarity, I will place the most galling purchases in
sequential order of value.
(£15.5m, rising to £16.5m) – I almost struggled to type the
given figures. OVER FIFTEEN MILLION POUNDS. For Darren Bent.
This sum will never cease to amaze me, for two reasons: i) Mr
Bent is not good enough to justify this price tag. He is an able
Premier League striker. No more, no less. ii) He was so far down
the list of transfer priorities as to be rendered not needed. We
already had 4 strikers (admittedly Mido should have been sold,
but the 4th choice striker to replace him should have
been elevated from the youth ranks or been called Dean Ashton or
Dave Kitson, to name but 2 alternative strikers who would have
cost a fraction of the price).
(£8.2m) – he is a man who arrived with great promise, but, once
again, you had clearly not co-ordinated the club’s scouting
duties adequately because we had typically purchased an
overpriced player whose talent you had clearly only
read about, rather
than endeavoured to witness yourself. How is it that Arsenal
managed to purchase Cesc Fabregas, Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Eboue
(3 extremely superior players) for a combined fee of £1.7m?
(£8m) – a defender in name, but certainly not in ability. He is
simply not up to the job.
Boateng (£5.4m) – an
embarrassingly poor excuse for a professional footballer; and
yet you agreed to sanction the equivalent cost of 35 Kolo Toures
for him. Once again, I am convinced that you noted his Germany’s
Young Footballer of the Year award and were smitten that such a
product would agree to join the club. Did you not realise that
the award was given in 2006, not 2007? He therefore spent a
further 12 months disappointing onlookers at Hertha Berlin at
his failure to develop into a top-class player. Luckily for
Kevin-Prince and his club, Damien Comolli spotted his
‘credentials’ and snapped up this supposed ‘prodigy’. He is a
Mr Comolli, I have
decided to spare you further criticism and will relent in recalling
further failures. The combined transfer fee of the aforementioned
players is £38.1m. I will repeat that: £38.1m. Not one of the four
players is worthy of the shirt. The supporters are entitled to
answers as to how this has come to pass. None of the four players
play on the left of midfield, none are commanding centre backs, none
are tough tackling centre midfielders. You, Mr Comolli, failed to
plug any one of our numerous gaps. To quote The Times (27/11/07): “Comolli’s
duties include scouting and negotiating transfers. He was given a
rough ride by some shareholders yesterday after apparent tensions
with Jol and Tottenham’s curious summer strategy. They spent £16.5
million on Darren Bent, the striker, when there seemed more urgent
needs.” The final sentence sums up my frustrations (and hopefully
those of thousands of supporters). Unless you act quickly and in the
interests of the Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, I am afraid to say
that your time at White Hart Lane will forever be associated with
the acquisition of Darren Bent. Indeed, it saddens me that, for
almost every transfer in which you have played a part, we could
condemn each example as follows: ‘£x was spent on x,
when there seemed more urgent needs’.
I will conclude with
an appeal: please do not replace the passionate, goal-scoring,
popular, young Englishman Jermain Defoe with an unknown quantity
called Fred. All that is known about Fred (I should probably tell
you, lest this information has passed you by) is that he is not a
regular in a football team plying its trade in Ligue 1.
On a more positive
note, I must praise you on two counts: namely your involvement in
bringing the exceptional Gareth Bale to the club, and our active
search for a goalkeeper to replace the hopeless Paul Robinson.
On account of the
time I have committed to writing you this note, and the fact that I
will be a Tottenham Hotspur fan for the rest of my life (no matter
whom we buy or don’t buy), I would greatly appreciate a reply
outlining your views in response to the above.
LET’S GO SHOPPING!
In keeping with the
other crazed maniacs currently hunting down the bargains to be had
up and down Britain’s recession hit high streets our own great club
has apparently decided to chuck out the chintz and invest in some
shiny new goods.
There is a good case for
chucking out the entire back line – having conceded approx 274 goals
since the start of the season (153 of them from corners and other
set pieces) none of the current back four (King excepted) could
complain if they were sent back to defending school to relearn their
trade. Robinson and Chimbonda both have the gall to express shock
and surprise that the club appears to want rid of them. A quick
glance at the league table (you know, the one that shows us
currently in 12th place – behind Newcastle ! – and closer
to the relegation scrap than the European qualifying spots.
has been erratic, and Chimbonda has been a liability when trying to
clear his lines and turning his back on attackers at the critical
moment. Neither on current form deserves a place in the team or in
the squad and both appear to have reacted petulantly to having their
shortcomings pointed out to them by the management. Daws looks 200%
more comfortable with King alongside but the frantic slip against
Chelsea on Saturday was, sadly, characteristic of his current form.
Lee has performed a minor miracle at left back although his right
foot preference leaves him prone to come inside when attacking and
vulnerable to fast raiding wingers on the outside when defending.
That said he performed admirably against Arsenal in the Carling Cup
last week. Bale of course will be back eventually although he too
lacks solidity as a tackler.
ENVIOUS GLANCES : Cerny
deserves a run in the team but long term we need to look elsewhere
for a keeper. There being no obvious candidates in England we may
need to go abroad. Again, no obvious candidates. Hutton has made it
clear he doesn’t want to come down from Scotland and Reading’s
Shorey is looking very dodgy just now. We could do worse than draft
in Matty Taylor from Pompey who is a Spurs fan, strong in the tackle
and can shoot and score from distance. Kaboul may yet make the grade
in the centre of defence but again long term we are looking for a
replacement for King. Anton Ferdinand ? Please God, no…
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION:
Stick with Cerny, hope that Robbo sees sense and sees even more of a
good ‘keeping coach and rediscovers his form. Trust that Daws and
King can play regularly together. Get rid of Chimbonda (should have
taken that £12m Chelsea were offering in August) .
Once upon a time we were
overrun with overrunning midfielders. Jenas absence at the weekend
was, surprisingly, notable. Whilst he is still the not the Viera he
once promised to be he does have ‘ a motor’ as they say. If he can
demonstrate the same kind of coolness in front of goal that he
showed against the Arse last week on a regular basis he could be the
fulcrum of the team. Zokora will be back and O’Hara will come good
if allowed to develop. Hudd’s absurd dismissal against Reading will
hopefully have taught him a salutary lesson – expect him to bounce
back with a vengeance. Malbranque, like Lee, is doing a great job in
the wrong position. I don’t understand why Ramos doesn’t play him
and O’Hara in each other’s positions. O’Hara’s majestic ball for
Steed to seal the victory against Man City in the Carling Cup shows
just a what square peg in a square hole can achieve. Tainio could be
our Makalele with encouragement and development and save us a
fortune. Instead, he could be a makeweight in a deal to bring
Downing down from Middlesbrough which would be a pity. For all his
shortcomings he can never be accused of lacking drive and
determination, qualities notably absent in midfield on several
occasions this season. Lennon continues to frustrate: great approach
play but closing in already on Paul Allen’s record number of Crosses
Into the Crowd from a Promising Position.
ENVIOUS GLANCES: Tim
Cahill. Worth breaking the bank for. He has all but eliminated the
nutter tendencies frequently displayed at Millwall and his drive,
skill and goal scoring prowess are much sought after. Chances of
signing him? Zero, unless Moyes has a brainstorm before the end of
the month. Pedersen and Nolan from the Northlands are also worth
investigating, particularly the latter. Nolan has recently returned
to form but has also suffered at the hands of the boo-boys up there
– could be enticed by the lure of the bright lights of London.
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION:
Wait until summer unless Nolan can be lured or Cahill kidnapped and
given new identity. Encourage Jenas to watch Vieira videos and
Lennon to watch Stanley Matthews archive footage.
I’m not going to rehash
the whole Berbatov thing. He’ll either stay or go. As with any love
affair it will all end in tears but let’s enjoy him while he’s here.
Keane is as committed as King and will stay with us through thick
and thin. If he’d curtail the headless chicken runs into no man’s
land and convert the simple chances which come his way more
frequently we’d love him even more. Like most fans at the Lane I
love Defoe but neither Ramos or Jol before him seem keen and you
can’t ask the guy to hang around to become the capital’s answer to
David Fairclough. Unfortunately, I think he will feel obliged to go
for the sake of his England career which is rapidly acquiring a
nostalgic glow. Paradoxically, I don’t think he will flourish
anywhere else because his heart won’t be in it. Bent? Cash in and
take the loss or swap him for Dean Ashton at West Ham.
ENVIOUS GLANCES: None,
really. Most of the envious glances are coming our way as our
Bulgarian superstar struts his stuff. Ashton has something of
Sheringham about him but it remains to be seen if he can be the
player he was before the long injury lay off.
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION:
Offload Bent to raise some cash. Keep Defoe and Berba for as long as
possible. David Villa ? Why would he want to come here?
Progress in both cup
competitions (and the guarantee of European football next year) will
be key in making some moves in next summer’s market.