September 2, 2014

Thoughts on the transfer window

Ins:

Davies
Vorm
Dier
Fazio
Stambouli
Yedlin (to join next year)

Outs:

Sandro
Dawson
Sigurdsson
Livermore
Fryers
Falque
Obika
Coulibaly
Released professionals: Gomes, Gallifuoco, Lancaster, Michael-Percil, Miles, Stewart, McQueen, Dombaxe and Vigouroux.

Firstly, I’m glad that’s over – I don’t enjoy the way the transfer window works, and how loopy it can send people.

But in terms of assessing our window, I’m satisfied with the work we’ve done. At the start of the summer I identified left-back, centre-back, back-up goalkeeper, and wing-forward as areas to improve. We’ve ticked most of these off. We’ve also shifted plenty of deadwood and not made the mistake of last season, where we spent a lot of money on players on lots of overseas players who took a long time to settle.

We got an excellent price for Livermore, and the dealings with Swansea – giving them Sigurdsson and taking Davies and Vorm for little or no extra cash – seemed very sensible. Whilst he was a good, honest pro who had terrific technique when striking a ball, Sigurdsson failed to hold down a regular place and was not deemed good enough by the majority of fans. His sale allowed us to fill two problem areas – Vorm is closer in style to Lloris than Friedel, and Davies is the ‘steady Eddy’ left-back that Rose simply isn’t.

Dier was signed for a similar fee that we received for Falque – again, great business – and Fazio replaces Dawson (‘Michael Dawson – a tribute‘).

Stambouli has come in for roughly half of what we received for Sandro – if he’s more suited to the system than the loveable but unreliable Brazilian – and that’s a big if – then it would represent another sensible bit of business.

The key is that Pochettino is allowed a degree of control over shaping his squad. Whilst there are some players that he will be able to mould and develop, there are others that he will feel are unwilling or unable to be what he wants them to be. Of course, when transfer fees are spiralling out of control, it’s also increasingly difficult to bring better, more suitable players in.

It’s been pretty well documented that Pochettino wanted to bring in Schneiderlin and Rodriguez from Southampton. He trusts them, rates them, and sees them as able to improve us. Southampton have played hardball with both (credit to them for that) and so Pochettino either needs to be patient, or to seek alternatives – as he seems to have done with Stambouli.

I have a suspicion that his first choice ball-playing centre-back target was the Mexican, Hector Moreno, who suffered a broken leg during the World Cup; Pochettino was his manager at Espanyol. Subsequently we bid for Musacchio, but he proved to be difficult to land owing to complications with his third party ownership. Fazio, I’d guess, was always going to be signed alongside one of these; their playing styles are significantly different to suggest that.

I’m happy to trust Pochettino. If he felt that the squad was too big, I trust his trimming of it. If he felt that a player in central midfield that wins the ball and passes it quickly was his top priority, that’s fine with me. If he didn’t feel that he can rely on the likes of Dawson and Sandro – previous fan favourites – then so be it.

The only area where I feel like we’ve left ourselves weak is wing-forward. Whilst Chadli played well against QPR, I don’t think we can rely on him for the season. Lennon is not productive enough to play high on the left, and Townsend seems more comfortable on the right these days. Welbeck would have been a useful option as he’s able to play wide, or through the centre – my suspicion was that we wanted him on loan, or not at all, given that we seem willing to wait for Rodriguez’s return to fitness.

Personally I’d have also tried to replace Soldado and ship out Paulinho, but – ignoring the fact that they might have been difficult to sell after poor seasons – Pochettino keeping hold of all seven of last summer’s signings does represent confidence to get the best out of players who mostly struggled last year (for various reasons, and with mitigating circumstances).

I take more pleasure from seeing a coach improve players rather than just buying a new team, and it’s important that we give Pochettino and his coaching team a chance to do this. Expectations for the coming season are relatively low, and there will be matches – like the defeat to Liverpool – where the team under-performs as the players learn the system. But I will be staggered if, by the end of the season, we haven’t enjoyed the football more, and don’t see plenty of positive signs.

COYS

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  • Stevo says:

    Mixed feelings really, i’m happy we have addressed the defensive area but after watching the Liverpool game it was clear we are still lacking in some area’s still-a top striker, a creative midfielder general that can put creative passes forward and a decent right winger as Lennon and Townsend always fail to deliver in the final 3rd, we are always after bargain basement players and that’s why we fail to get into the top 4 season after season.

    • Chris says:

      We fail to get into the top 4 every season because there are at least 4 other teams out there who can pay higher transfer fees to other clubs, and higher wages to the players they want to buy. It’s not some sort of conspiracy – it’s quite openly how the league works.

      If you think _we_ buy bargain basement players, go look at how the bottom half teams in the premier league spend their money. We do pretty well, for a club of our size and finances.

      We’re now at the point where the top clubs are going and buying not just one but several top strikers (Eg. Chelsea buying and benching Ba for a season and now doing the same with Remy).

  • DubaiSpurs says:

    Excellent article. Agree with pretty much all of it. Will miss Sandro, would have probably given him till January to prove fitness and quality, Especially with the amount of games round the festive period. Perhaps Spurs know something the rest of us don’t. Too early on and I am not sufficiently qualified to make any judgement on Dier, Fazio, Stamblouli or Yedlin but I think on face value they look solid if not spectacular. Dier looks like one for the future certainly and the others look like they can fit with his system and philosophy. No idea how Naughton, Lennon or Townsend are still at the club and agree that we could have done with a flying wing forward, perhaps the Strasbourg guy, Mane would have been brought in had Lennon left, he seems intent to grimly hold on. Only addition to your thoughts would have been a striker but I think both the wing forward/striker issue will be solved by Rodriguez coming on-board in January which I fully expect to happen. I guess he will monitor Kane’s development and Soldado before this point. Not overwhelmed but it wasn’t a bad window either.

  • Steve says:

    What a decent article wiv u all the way the levy haters do my head in embarrassment 2the club they 4get b4 him we were midtable dross n wiv u all the way trust in poch coys

  • matt says:

    Think we got rid of a few who clearly were never going to make the grade in Fryers, Obika Falque. Holtby, Dawson, Livermore and Sandro all willing but not really able to command a place in the side. Siggurdson clearly needs to be the fulcrum and is doing brilliantly at Swansea – problem was he kept on being shunted out to the wing for us.

    The lack of signings in some positions do give the chance to players like Kane, Bentaleb and Veljkovic.

    It’s a huge season for Townsend (or maybe he’ll only last tip January) as I think he would have been the one to make room for JRod or Wellbeck.

  • Alaric says:

    Admit it Windy, you’re happy we kept Vlad, so that your song for him – strolling up the pitch, its super
    Vlad Chiriches – can gets sung more often.

    Agreed that it was a good window by and large. I wonder whatnthe true net number was incoming vs out going. It looks like we got some very good players for very little real outlay.

    • Spurs61 says:

      Seems we spent just over £34 million on new players and took in just over £40 million in sales, leaving us with a tidy profit of £6 million which Levy no doubt will bag towards the new stadium costs. Expect more of the same.

  • Bob says:

    Any comment I had to make about the transfer window was more than adequately stated by Stevo in an earlier post. Just one point to make really, I cannot understand why Naughton and Kaboul are still at the Lane.But then,we all have our own opinions about these things.

  • Ross says:

    I agree with all of that Windy

    I’m satisfied with the players that left and can see the rationale behind the ones we bought in or are waiting to bring in

    My only concern is that we wont score enough goals over th ecourse of the season from a combination of the front 4 to truly compete

  • Adhithya says:

    I still don’t understand how Kaboul is at the club – A total Liability. He was at fault for two of the three goals against liverpool. I would have sold him and gotten in a genuine winger like Konoplyanka (really rate him high – Very cheap)

  • Matt says:

    Great article, thanks. My only disappointment with the window was at Left back. As you rightly say Davies is a steady Eddy left back and good cover and whilst Rose has potential to develop under Poch he’s clearly not good enough to move us forward now.

    We paid £8-10mill (roughly being quoted) on Davies (ok Siggi and Vorm would have offset that) but if you look at Liverpool signing Moreno for £16mill or Utd signing Blind at £13mill i feel like we’ve really missed a trick here. There were 5 or 6 very good left backs available this summer (Rodriguez, Kolašinac & Criscito to name a few)but i feel that we are now stuck with 2 average left backs when we clearly could have spent an extra 5-10mill to bring in a realist quality player without breaking the bank.

    • Chris says:

      Sure, but would they have wanted to come to Spurs..? No realistic expectation of Champions league, and could we afford the wages?

      Probably not.

      Diego Costa was only 32 million! We could have afforded that, right?

      • Matt says:

        Fair point Chris, but i’ve tried to be as realistic as possible with my examples (whilst not knowing what happens behind closed doors and which plays would def come etc) Criscito plays in Russia, so one would assume with the right offer would want out, Rodriguez isnt playing in Europe at Wolfsburg and Kolasnic is young and only just broken through so cant imagine he is on big wages.

  • At_Spurs says:

    Very good article, Chris.

    I’m all for Pochettino developing youth and I’m generally happy with our dealings this summer.

    My only issue is that we didn’t bring in a couple of experienced leaders to hold the side together and stop is falling apart against the big sides.

    People like Cole, Evra, Vidic, Barry, Eto’o were available on frees and would have been invaluable when things got tough.

    • bonse says:

      I know what you mean, I think alot of people are focusing on captaincy rather than leadership from experience when similar topics are mentioned. In the past we brought in Gallas and Gudjonnsen to decent effect. I recall Arnesen, Jol or Santini brought in Naybet, i forget which it was said it was for just this reason.

      I hear Gudjonssen had his biggest effect in training and just being around everyone, here was a champions league winner who got his head down and trained harder than everyone else and worked for 90 minutes a match, a fair few people got the idea of what it would take to achieve something similar, it got Pav motivated enough that someone would buy him anyway.

      Unfortunately those above the manager’s position don’t see a financial benefit to them, and many below, well, ask any Spurs fan about Harry’s buying tactics, Nelsen’s legacy is perhaps the most well remembered. So while there is a need for the experience there’s no way of selling it to season ticket holders, board members or potential sponsors as anything but filling the ranks with has beens.

      Lastly we get 25 slots to fit our squad into, with the number on our books it would be hard to give one to someone who could easily be injured, third choice and unable to play Europa then league then Cup matches in 7day periods, in the English winter.

      Personally, I’d just give King his shirt back and tell him i want him on the bus and in the changing room at every match, but hopefully his talents can be better used elsewhere.

  • Mark Bird says:

    Good article as always Chris.

    I wrote something similar (albeit not as eloquent) earlier as I can’t stand the negativity around a supposed bad transfer window for us. Now is the time to make sensible, solid signings and try and steady the ship after a year or turmoil and change. Although not spectacular I think this transfer window has improved key areas without any huge gambles. Hopefully it will mean the team can slowly but surely develop to play the way Poch wants us to and bring to an end the perpetual state of transition that Spurs always seem to find themselves in.

  • bonse says:

    I think after last year this is what was needed, I can’t say i have ever liked transfer windows or seen the need for them for any other reason than media hype and prime time advertising slots on transfer eve. They only seem to make big clubs buy players they might need in the future, players who may never play but could have fulfilled the same role in another club the whole season, making it a more competitive league and potentially a bigger pool to pick England players from, but meh.

    But as Windows go, this one has reinforced where we needed, Danny Rose (still worry about his temper) is a different player now he has a reason to worry about his place in the next match, we won’t notice so much, but can be sure that Vorm’s arrival will have a similar effect on Lloris, and of course, Vorm himself.

    All in all the last thing we needed to do was completely overhaul, didnt work for Ramos, didn’t work for AVB we can go further back, and even different clubs and get the same result, disarray.

  • […] we be able to create some space in the squad, we might see a couple of players come in. Hector Moreno was a player that I mentioned in September – having played under Pochettino at Espanyol, Moreno is a player that our coach knows, likes […]

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