Concerns are mounting over the number of highly paid international players who have been lost at Tottenham Hotspur Football Club for some considerable time. These players continue to receive their highly exorbitant salaries without having to kick a football in anger - we'd all be up for a job like that.
Before the announcement of today's team, a few words of thanks to some former members of the Spurs 'Lost XI' who have gone off to pastures new. First, the captain and founder member of this illustrious team, Robbie Keane who after many years of service and goals took off to his 'boyhood team', Liverpool, where they destroyed him and returned him six months later, as damaged goods. His days became numbered when he masterminded the infamous Christmas 'golf' trip to Dublin. Harry Redknapp was not best pleased so Robbie went off to his other favourite team Celtic on loan, became a Hammer but with even less success and is now plying his trade with David Beckham for LA Galaxy.
Vice-Captain, Jonathan Woodgate has been an outstanding member of the 'Lost XI' for much of his time with Tottenham. Most consistently over the last eighteen months when he managed to play for only fifteen minutes in Milan in the Champions League. Having travelled the world, possibly at Tottenham's expense, in search of a remedy for his numerous injury problems, he has now taken up service with Stoke City in both the Premier League and Europa League. In a short period of time he has managed appearances at such exciting places as Aldershot, Stoke, Split and Norwich. Perhaps he'll appear at a ground near you, any day soon.
Heurelho Gomes is a recent recruit for the 'Lost XI'. Last seen sitting on the bench at Old Trafford following his uncertain display in the Europa League game at Hearts. Not seen for the return match when Carlo Cudicini played with Brad Friedel who had made his debut in the defeat to Manchester United, among the substitutes. One wonders, nay speculates, if Gomes is to be long with us or is he destined to return to Holland where his idiocincracies are less problematic.
Alan Hutton, a combative defender, is a long standing member of this squad. He first appeared surplus in early 2010 when he went off to Sunderland but returned and while making an impression with a couple of goals, all was not well. A few appearances for Scotland later, rumours persist of his imminent departure but he's still 'lost' at Spurs.
William Gallas is a new recruit for this team. Having signed from Arsenal last year he put in many stirring performances in the face of seeming injury difficulties. Hardly a game passed without Gallas limping off for running repairs only to return a few minutes later, bandaged and strapped up ready for action. Many commendable performances followed and they were greatly appreciated by the Spurs faithful. Eventually, the injuries caught up with him and he missed the final two matches of a long season. Now missing at the start of the new season, he takes his place in the 'Lost XI'.
Sebastien Bassong had a commendable debut season for Tottenham but on occasions last year he looked lost all over the pitch, especially on a cold evening in Blackpool last February when Tottenham's claims for a top 4 finish started to unravel. Still looking unsure and uncomfortable, it looks as if his future at Spurs could be short as talk continues of a central defender arriving at White Hart Lane.
David Bentley has been a member of the Spurs 'Lost XI' for most of his Tottenham career. A few short periods of action on the pitch have been followed by spells of inactivity. Last season spent on loan at Birmingham didn't help and talk of inauspicious performances for the Spurs XI seems to guarantee his regular availability for our little team.
Wilson Palacios, like Bassong made a commendable start to his time at Tottenham but in recent seasons he has found it more difficult to hold down a place in the team. Even the intervention of his mother failed to inspire him and he has become more isolated as Sandro has become accustomed to Premier League football. With limited opportunities, he may prefer to forgo the pleasure of appearing for the 'Lost XI' to turn out in the Potteries.
Luka Modric, the recipient of the members Player of the Year award in May, has become an unexpected member of the 'Lost XI'. He has either had his turned by Chelsea or has sustained a convenient injury, depending on which story you believe, as Tottenham's season has got off to an unconvincing start. How long he will remain part of the squad is uncertain.
Giovani Dos Santos was last seen starring for Mexico with wonder goals in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in the summer. He had a half season on loan with Racing Santander last year but has seen little action for Spurs in spite of his fine credentials on signing from Barcelona. A move away to a team in Europa may be more may appropriate for his talent.
Peter Crouch is another newcomer to this select squad. After making a goal scoring appearance in pre-season against Athetic Bilbao and with his understanding with Van der Vaart and his usefulness against Continental defenders, it appeared that he would continue to play a part at Tottenham for the foreseeable future. However, after three games he has failed to appear and speculation of future dalliances with the Potteries continues.
Ben Alnwick signed from Sunderland in a swap for Marton Fulop - Spurs didn't do well in that transaction. He has spent most time on loan around the lower divisions of the Football League and will probably be off again on his travels very soon.
John Bostock came as a young player from Crystal Palace but has failed, to date, to live up to his early hype. He became Spurs' youngest player when appearing in a European game in 2008 but has failed to impress in subsequent spells on loan at League clubs. A young player who at present seems to have lost his way.
All clubs are facing the problem of players who are surplus to requirements, but for top clubs with big squads paying high salaries it is becoming more difficult to move players on as they see out their long contracts. Tottenham have a squad of players who are earning high salaries but are not having to give anything to the club in return - it must be a great life for them, as long as they don't mind not playing football regularly. It's something Tottenham have been trying to remedy in this current Transfer Window by removing some of them but now into the final few days of August, it would appear that there will be quite a number of them still available for selection for the Spurs 'Lost XI' in the coming months.