Thursday, August 12, 2010

Spurs' Summer Expectations Shattered Once Again.

Ardiles - World Cup Winner

The early summer expectations of a World Cup that would throw up a host of foreign players who would enhance the Premier League were quickly dashed as the realisation dawned very early in the competition that South Africa 2010 was a rather poor and disappointing vintage to offer to the world.  Tottenham Hotspur have benefitted in the past from World Cup signings - they set high standards when Keith Burkinshaw returned to Argentina to sign World Cup winners, Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa.  In 1984 Alan Sugar pulled a rabbit out of the hat with the unexpected signing of Germany's Jurgen Klinsmann but on other occasions the stars of the World Cup have disappointed when faced with the rigours of English football.  This year there were few who did themselves much good in the shop window of the World Cup.

Every summer Spurs fans hope for an early resolution to all transfer negotiations as the manager, with the Chairman's assistance, endeavours to strengthen the Tottenham team for the following season.  The reasoning being that on the resumption of training all the new players will be in place and the work of preparing for the new season can commence in earnest.  However, sadly, once again, this has proved to be a forlorn and false hope as, to date, no new signings have appeared at White Hart Lane.  The only signing of note has been the acquisition of the young Brazilian midfield player, Sandro, but he remains in his homeland and is not expected to be available until September. 
The rumour mill has once again been in full swing with Spurs centre field for every conceivable target but no-one has signed on the dotted line and held up the lilywhite shirt at White Hart Lane.

For many years as Spurs have chased possible transfer targets, the lack of first, European football, and then Champions League football has always been held up as a reason why players have been reluctant to commit themselves to Spurs.  But now with Champions League football beckoning, players still show a reluctance to come to Tottenham.  In past years all we could do was watch as our star players went off to pastures new to fulfill their dreams of playing for the top clubs in the top competitions - Sol Campbell deserted Tottenham for our closest rivals, Arsenal, Teddy Sheringham, Michael Carrick and Dimitar Berbatov couldn't wait to get to Old Trafford while Robbie Keane had to sign for his boyhood team, Liverpool.  Spurs couldn't offer those players the opportunity to play at the highest level so there was nothing the club could do but release them with their best wishes and accept the transfer fees to swell the coffers while we, the fans, felt betrayed and disconsolate.  However, now things have changed, Spurs have access to the Champions League while Liverpool are consigned to the Europa League, that should make a difference.  But No - Spurs are still struggling to make those important signings while Liverpool have managed to hold on to their stars - Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres and have persuaded Joe Cole to move north to Anfield rather than move to Tottenham.  So as Manchester City and Liverpool have proved, players aren't just interested in the playing opportunities, they're very interested in the money on offer and will go to wherever they get the best salary.  Perhaps, Mr Levy will have to reconsider his financial restrictions where transfer fees and salaries are concerned if Tottenham Hotspur are going to become one of the big players in the Premier League as well as in Europe.  No-one wants Spurs to spend foolishly or offer extravagant salaries but to achieve greatness there will have to be a loosening of the purse strings to attract quality players to the club.

With less than three weeks remaining of this very quiet transfer window, it is to be hoped that any signings will improve the quality of the team and not just be a signing for the sake of it - in the past Spurs have suffered through Mr Levy's desire to shop at ''.  Late, hasty purchases rarely achieve great success.  Spurs need better than that if they are to maintain the progress achieved by Harry Redknapp in the past two years.


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