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Thursday, 31 May 2012

Stuck in the shadows.

I'm admittedly writing this with bitterness fighting it's way through my fingers and onto my keyboard. Like a drunk trying to write an apology to his now seemingly ex-girlfriend after a night of antics, I apologise if my words fail to make much more sense and forgive me if they appear deluded.

We've failed to even reach June yet but Abramovich has, apparently, wrapped up the signing of another multi-million pound player. Ahh, there's the cloud to spoil a remarkably bright day. It's almost a given now that any forward, almost without consideration of ability, will cost an 8 figure sum. The days of signing raw gems on a pittance and promoting the younger players have petered out at a staggering rate; this no coincidence owing to the fact that in a similar time period, more money has been pumped into particular clubs and into the Premier League.

Wenger brought in Veira, Fabregas, Toure and Van Persie for a combined total of £6.65m. Can I ever envisage deals like this to ever be brokered again? No. Even if particular regulations regarding the sale of players at a certain age have come into practice, most owners of Premier League football clubs at the helm don't have the patience or the confidence to sign unproven talent on a small fee in the hope they make an impact. There's too much money at stake. Abramovich had hoped, after more than a £50m investment in the youth academy, that these younger players would prosper to become the next Frank Lampard or 'big thing,' (sorry, I had to). He'd hoped to see his investment in transfers reduce by the season as more youth players were brought through the ranks. To this day, this is not the case, and explains why, before the summer window is even open, Abramovich has looked to have spent reportedly another £78m to improve on last year's 6th place finish.

So, with money playing the extra man on the football pitch it puts the rest of us up against a large wall to climb. It forces clubs, such as Spurs, to try and find these talented players and bring them in for not pennies but at an 'affordable' risk. Players such as Vertonghen who looks good value at around £12m. The second problem at the moment is the longer these deals take to go through, the higher the uncertainty. With the Euro's edging nearer, and with my optimism for England to do well in the competition stuck at the same level it was for Spurs finishing third (take it as you will), we face the growing prospect of having our targets snared from under our noses or having ones valuation rocketing because they hit three goals in four appearances. Irritating to say the least.

After Drogba had tucked away the final penalty and I found out I knew many more Chelsea fans than I thought I did, it was positive to read we were already well under-way in approaching our targets. With the expectation of a further summer of uncertainty surrounding the same old player(s), getting our targets in early could only go some-way to convincing the rest that we can make another go at the top 3 positions and a decent cup run. With Chelsea having already strengthened, if we play our transfer window's as we have done in the last 2 seasons we are in danger of falling behind and back into the shadows of our former selves. It just hows a bit of luck- a missed penalty penalties, a poor decision- and suddenly the after-effects of it are monumental. It's almost a blessing Liverpool spent large sums naively last summer but even now they look to have a tied up a new face at the helm. A manager that understands how modern day football should be played and the particular attributes of players to play it.

I said last summer that the season just gone was a key year in our progression. We achieved what we'd set out do at the start of the year but in typical Spurs style still failed to nail down a Champions League spot. Platini's statement concerning the changing of the rule after only coming into play once since 2005 already shows that it's a farce and one has to question why it was put in place in the first instance if there's talk of it being changed already. But it is how it is. We need to focus on tying up our deals early as the teams around us are looking to as well. We don't have a £100m to throw on players every year, but what we do have (at the moment) is a core team of players that have played together for a few seasons now; this is something that can't be purchased in a summer. We seemed to have found a system that works and two, possibly three, clever additions, I believe, will see us enjoy competing just as well as we did this season.

Money will always prosper, Chelsea's history is, and has been, in the process of being made for nearly ten years now and will continue to be for years to come. A side that, unless they increase their stadium allocation or do eventually move, will fail to meet the FFP rules coming into play but, this clearly not being first item on the agenda. There's Sun all around for everyone but, at the moment, Spurs are stuck in the shade.

Enough bitterness for you?