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Sunday, 28 July 2013

What £86m could be spent on.

A couple of dodgy reprints from previous articles, a lack of official word and a few nutters on Twitter have ensured that we're slowly being brainwashed to the fact that Bale won't be in a Spurs shirt come September. It's propaganda I tell ya. It's times like this when I imagine simpler times. Imagine a transfer window without the net. An ITK would spot something on Ceefax who'd then tell their neighbour, who'd tell a friend, who'd tell his cousin and so on. By the time the rumour reached Europe we'd find ourselves mid-way through the season and gleefully singing 'mind the gap'.

But still, should Levy smell an £86m cheque and give in to his basic instincts - here's what he could do with it:

  • Give Baldini a bonus for the great work he's done this window.
  • Enjoy flights to Spain on BA instead of EasyJet (this including return journeys as well)
  • Increase the wages of Tom Huddlestone, Scott Parker and Jake Livermore to warn away potential suitors interested in their signature.
  • Subsidise the bottles of Carlsberg in White Hart Lane to allow a drop in price from £3.30 to £3.20.
  • Bring back David Pleat as club ambassador.
  • Pay off Uefa to let us into the Champions League
  • Save the Antwerp Arms
  • Pay PSV to take Gomes back to Holland
  • Give Ledley King a new set of knees
  • Re-open Rudolph's but only allow those with a fake ID to enter.
  • Invest in our own scouts so we no longer have to use Liverpool's. 
  • Start his own Spurs based paper company
  • Fill the Emirates with thousands of blow up sex dolls for every seat they fail to sell
  • Smother ITK's in their sleep
  • Ban anyone from the internet that has "Full time yummy mummy xx" on their Facebook profile as their full time job.
  • Give Abramovich a Moonpig thank you card for AVB - No Tesco shit.
  • Allocate more stewards at WHL to ensure everyone is seated for 90 minutes during games.
  • Give Chick King the money to expand 
  • Buy back Gareth Bale 

On a serious note, I struggle to see Bale leaving this summer both practically and emotionally. I wouldn't have a breakdown if he would, I'd just feel we'd have contradicted ourselves massively if he does. If Madrid come in with offers over £100m then it's hard to see a bid being rejected. Although, with the publicity surrounding the prospective move, I think Levy will reject any first offer that comes our way to make a point. There's also the fact that brand Bale is worth a lot more than we probably anticipate - apparently Barca have already made back the transfer fee they spent on Neymar in shirt sales worldwide, the player has yet to have a training session with the squad.

Ben - You can follow me on Twitter here

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Sandro's beard.

I personally feel that Sandro's beard - seen here nestling quite cosily on our Brazilian in Hong Kong - deserves a special mention. I cannot wait for this man to grace a football pitch once more.

One Step Away.

So while Bale is or isn't etching for an EasyJet flight to the heart of Spain, we've actually brought in two players that add more than considerable depth to the side - before August. Nacer Chadli officially completed his move yesterday and all but confirmed AVB's intentions to shift (or atleast have the option of shifting) to a 4-3-3. Summer highs are few and far between, the last genuine one I got excited about was Ramos' first summer with Spurs. Nothing could go wrong. Nothing.

I do etch back to that 'era' at intervals of loneliness. I'm usually found sitting in an empty room, peering at the white wall in front of me with a small glass of brandy still wondering how it all went wrong. From then on I wished never to see Spurs go an entire pre-season unbeaten. It's misleading, hope-fuelled, and doesn't prepare us for the worst.

It's clear we have our defined targets. These are wrapped around much more financial realism but prove a pedigree of value despite our stance of being in Europe's second division. Paulinho & Chadli could arguably be players that could settle into a Champions League side. Strength in depth has been the key to work on this summer and we're slowly building a squad that instead of a 'first 11' is now built with a 'first 16'. We've grown to the stature of club that players want to play for. Players on the bench will less and less-likely be back-up players but more alternative options - they'd warrant their first team place based on the opposition and system we play.

Chadli offers a more predominant goal threat from a wide position than Lennon does. I do find this a little ironic. I genuinely believe that Aaron has the composure in front of goal to tuck away a chance - possibly more so than either of our two forwards at this present time - his only slight issue is that he doesn't find himself in those positions enough. This is understandable, he's a winger - but if he could find himself in more goal-scoring scenarios, I'd trust him to tuck them away. It comes down to depth again. Both Lennon and Chadli are good enough to start for Spurs, it falls down to the system AVB employs. We may finally see a break in the baron of final fixtures that Aaron misses due to fatigue. The Europa League is a second season in itself. Players will get playing time and will tire.

The thought of having a midfield three of Dembele, Sandro and Paulinho is refreshing one. It certainly beats away the days of Darren Anderton & Michael Brown (with Gary Doherty tucking in behind). When all three are fully fit, this gives license to Dembele to play slightly more advanced. His attributes suit a more offensive role in the side and fit perfectly with the 4-3-3 we're likely to play next season. But what I like most about the Paulinho signing is the versatility it gives us. We could easily transform it to 4-2-3-1 and replace Sandro with Gylfi/Dempsey if we were chasing a game. It's the comfort of knowing the depth is there that gives me itchy feet for the new season.

Spurs don't do perfect transfer windows, but we seem to be building a side with the right signings that will hopefully give us the depth to compete across all competitions. I personally would appreciate another run in the Europa League whilst challenging for a place in the gold mine of the top 4. I'm sure next year we'll find further areas to dig at. If/ WHEN Bale does stay (neck on the line and all that), hopefully we will have a forward that embraces the midfield around him. They'll get the chances, we just have to trust they can convert them.

Ben - You can follow me on Twitter here

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Why on earth did we sign Paulinho?

Spurs have jumped upon a popular and vastly appreciated bandwagon in getting a Brazilian. Well, another Brazilian. Initially 'filling' a position that wasn't admittedly top of mind due to the quantity that weighs us down there, Paulinho's prospective-turned-official move does tick a lot of previously un-ticked boxes.

Unfortunately I'm not one to keep my finger on the pulse with Brazilian football, unlike most of my Twitter following. Although, I did take a keen interest in the recent Confederations cup and was admittedly impressed with this newly rejuvenated Brazil side. A rejuvenated side with our new centre midfielder at the heart of it; the pulse to make the others beat. It's easy to get picky amongst where improvements are needed in our side. Before Paulinho's arrival, we did have a fairly strong starting 11. Looking deeper is the key, at times we were a hollow shell or empty quality. Hopefully we've finally seen the back of season's in which Huddlestone will line up in centre midfield alongside Parker or Livermore.

Of course there's no disrespect intended, it's a matter of ensuring we continue to progress and don't find ourselves stagnate. Nevertheless, when Paulinho's name was first mooted I didn't expect a deal. The ITK's of the world forever throw names in your face but I couldn't see Levy breaking our transfer record on a player in a position currently well populated. It's hard to argue the fact that we've got serious backbone in our side with the Brazilian's arrival and an extra bite to our side.

Injuries permitting, Paulinho's arrival offers us more fluency in midfield. Dembele can be pushed further forward in a 4231, a 4312 with Bale in behind 2 strikers is an option a is a 433 with bale and Lennon operating either from the flanks or off of a forward. It also gives us the craved depth we've needed should Sandro or Dembele fall to injuries. With the Europa league likely to continue to split opinions, Paulinho will ease the reliance on both Sandro and Dembele and hopefully leave us fit enough to compete admirably in Europe as well as domestic competitions.

The move also raised a few eyebrows in that we may have seemingly grabbed a player evidently high up on our sacred list of targeted players this summer. Shock. Hopefully we're aiming to become far leaner in midfield. Sandro, Dembele, Paulinho, Sigurdsson, Dempsey, Lennon, Holtby and, of course, Bale offer a reach of both quality and balance - we just need shift on the final saturates of the side. One thing we have certainly improved on is being hard to beat. We're looking far stubborn with Paulinho's arrival. A fully fit Kaboul will act like a new signing next year and having Hugo at number one from August will also be a boost.

With the quality in midfield that we have, a clever target man would be the inevitable step to take regarding our approach for a forward. Although David Villa would represent a short-sighted view as far as his age is concerned, he would be the ideal forward to bring the midfield behind him into play. He'd also provide a fine example of being in the right place at the right time and composure in front of goal. He's the man that the present day Tottenham need and is more than capable of leading the line alone.

I hate that feeling of optimism before the start of the season, it usually leaves you with an empty hollow feeling come next May. But there's just something that can't knock my quiet optimism for next season.

It must be the clever marketing or the special area for members on the Spurs site.

Ben - you can follow me on Twitter here