Kazuyuki Toda was brought to Spurs on a year long loan, but it was always doubtful as to the longevity of his stay beyond that time. His arrival prompted a row with Sunderland, who believed he was going to sign for them, having had a trial with the North-East club. They had been so impressed by his commitment during the first training match of his trial the Wearsiders' management had to take him out of the play as he was a little too enthusiastic !!
The rumours were that Sunderland could not meet Shimizu's asking price and legend has it that in the middle of the night, his agent took him down to London to sign for Spurs.
Began playing football for his High School at Toin Gakuen, before joining Shimizu S-Force in 1996.
The former Shimizu S-Pulse midfielder was signed to be an understudy for the defensive role in the middle of the park, but in reserve appearances and in the brief first team chances he has had, it did not appear that he had the necessary attributes to adapt to the Premiership standard. Although he gave some impressive displays in the World Cup of 2002 in his own country, he has done OK for Spurs when he has been picked, but has not been outstanding in the 'destroyer' role. If anything, he became better known for his outrageously coloured hairstyles and later for being spotted spitting at David Beckham in a friendly against Real Madrid on the Spanish side's tour of the Far East. His reputation as a hard man in Japan didn't translate to the Premier League and eh seemed only to be able to try to reinforce it after he left Spurs by getting over-physical. This caused his absence from the national team once Zico took over, as he lacked in technical skills which the Brazilian was looking for in his players.
Cynics say that he was signed as a marketing ploy by the club to get the name of Tottenham Hotspur known in the Far East, but only by playing a footballer from that country would they make a sustained amount of money and raise the profile of the club in that part of the world. In Toda's case, he was not the player to make that impact for the club.
Went on loan to ADO Den Haag in Holland, but failed to make a big enough impact there to keep the side safe from relegation and he was soon going back to Japan to play a season for Tokyo Verdy where Ossie Ardiles was manager, previously having worked with him at Shimizu. When relegation for Verdy happened at the end of the 2005 J-League season, the midfield man moved on to Sanfreece Hiroshima in late 2005 on loan and then the deal was made permanent. Has spent the years since then moving clubs in Japan and South Korea.
Toda's signing, even on loan, is, in my opinion, one of the most misguided in Tottenham's history. A player who had played at World Cup finals could not have looked more out of place in the Spurs side (even the reserve team) had he been picked off the street. Maybe the awareness of the club might have been heightened in the Far East by the midfielder coming to Tottenham, but he looked around as the ball moved up and down the field, without anticipating the game nor seemingly knowing where the ball would be going. The number of appearances were generous in finding out that he would not be suitable to make a difference in the Premier League.