the january 2008 transfer window
So, 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
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 goes.
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.
Last week 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 doorstep ?
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 opportunity.
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 teams etc.
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.
Comolli or Ramos ?
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 his job.
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 football.
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 matches.
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 ...
Come on You Spurs
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.
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.
Robbo 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.
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