Scouting, Targets and Transfers

Discussion in 'Spurs Chat' started by dav3j, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. dav3j

    dav3j SC Supporter

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    First caveat - we're past the anti-Levy rage, and have to move on. For what it's worth, I've normally always been very pro-Levy. Second caveat - this is not a knee-jerk thread, before that one gets trotted out.

    Right.

    This is probably very closely linked to the thread of BC's that has been bumped, but I thought given the length of that thread and the most recent transfer activity (or rather, lack of), it might be worth re-examining. This latest window has brought me back to the question of who exactly is in charge of identifying targets, assessing the viability of the transfer as regards financials, and whether the manager, be it Arry before, or Andre now, has any real say in who we go after.

    A lot of this work would previously have been in the hands of a DoF - ideally with a directed, focused scouting team underneath him, and, even more ideally, with a brief from the manager on what sort of players they are after for to come straight into the first team. This is obviously where the Comolli situation failed, with many of his signings now key players, but at the time unready for the rigours of the Premier League and a team chasing European qualification. Perhaps this was Levy preferring he unearth young players with high potential sell-on value - I don't know enough about this, that's just my guess.

    Since Comolli was ditched, for better or worse, it has become increasingly worrying to us fans that the whole network has now been potentially replaced by our Chairman acting alone. I don't know anything about our scouting setup, if it even exists, and what sort of people we have that are actively pursuing potential purchases. AVB himself has an eye for a player, even if it seems to be just the one - Moutinho is very clearly his golden boy, and given the success they achieved together, it is perfectly reasonable in my opinion for AVB to go to Levy and say "I want you to buy me Joao Moutinho".

    It's a fair assumption to say that Leandro Damiao has been on our radar for a very, very long time. I wonder if perhaps he was even identified under Comolli? (again, just a question/guess). However, the financial viability of this transfer has, in my view, always been near impossible for a club of our financial stature. The player seems to have no interest in forcing an exit, and not so long ago had his pick of clubs more prestigious than ours interested in getting his signature. Internacional seem to have a price in mind of around £20m, still significantly higher than our transfer record, let's not forget, which presumably is only going to get bigger as the player develops and improves. Now, I might be being a bit facile here, apologies if I am, but after the first, say, two transfer windows when this situation became apparent, the financial viability of this transfer should have been noted and an alternative target found. OK, so we got Adebayor. A far more reasonable option, and while expensive in terms of wages, a deal was brokered and we got our man (eventually!). The question, then, is why after two years of interest in a player we were never going to get, we revisited this transfer in the last 24 hours of the window?

    We might say, well, top strikers are hard to come by these days, especially for a club that doesn't have money to blow. However, in the last two years, the Premier League has seen the likes of Benteke, Michu, Ba, Papiss Cisse, Jelavic, Le Fondre, Fletcher, Jelavic, Giroud, etc., all bought for more modest (some very much so) fees than the £20m quoted for Leandro, all now performing and scoring goals regularly for their clubs. Whether or not you particularly rate all these players highly is not so much the issue - the point is, the teams concerned identified their man, made the move and got the player they wanted. The obvious issue here is our complete failure over the last two years to identify sensible striking targets (Adebayor aside), and the role Daniel Levy has in this appears to be more obvious than ever.

    Phew, essay over. Thoughts? Do we need a DoF again? Is our manager/coach given enough say in identification of transfer targets? And what exactly is our scouting network like?
     
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  2. Gbspurs

    Gbspurs Gatekeeper for debates, King of the plonkers

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    I think part of the problem we have is that we are kinda in the middle at the moment. The players that we know can take us to the next level we can't afford and the players we can afford we know aren't going to improve us.

    Until we get consistent champions league football and a big stadium we are going to struggle to make big improvements each window.

    That said, Holtby is a massive improvement so that's good work. Also in the last window we brought in Ade, so again, good work.

    We have our first and second choice striker (rightly or wrongly) sorted so is January the right time to buy squad players? I think it has been shown not to be as the prices are hugely overinflated for everyone.

    It's frustrating but ultimately we did the right thing this window and if not signing anyone means we can do more business like Lloris, Vertonghen and Dembele in the summer, then I am all for it!
     
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  3. dav3j

    dav3j SC Supporter

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    I completely understand and agree with this point, I'm completely against blowing wads of cash we can't afford to try and take us to the next level, so to speak. However, look at some of the names I mentioned earlier - do you think the likes of Michu or Cisse fall into the categories of players we couldn't have afforded or players that wouldn't have improved us? My point is that all these teams have identified realistic options for this position, but we haven't. Holtby and Vertonghen were great buys, but they (in my mind) were financial opportunism rather than footballing purchases - both young players with a cheap deal to be done as their contracts were expiring.
     
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  4. JimmyG2

    JimmyG2 SC Supporter

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    Levy is not going to concede financial control to anyone whatever you call him.
    Catch 22 is that you can't get access to the top players without increased financial commitment
    and you can't get to the top level and its resulting rewards without the top players.
    However we are doing pretty well at juggling the opposing issues.

    But not allocating 20/30 million pounds to a decent striker in our current situation
    strikerwise, and league position wise is false economy.
    It looks as if we will have to wait for the funds from the sale Bale before we invest in a striker.
    Two steps forward, three steps back I'm afraid.
     
  5. dav3j

    dav3j SC Supporter

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    You're probably right - but even Levy now must realise that at the very least he needs some input on identifying transfer targets.
    I agree, but tell me, which of the strikers I mentioned previously cost that sort of money? In fact, apart from Van Persie, I'm struggling to think of a PL striker transfer recently that's been in that bracket.
     
  6. SugarRay

    SugarRay Well-Known Member

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    Well it's more like a step forward and a step back. Which isn't the end of the world when the rest of the league is doing pretty much the same or in a few cases, actually going backwards ( Newcastle, Villa )
     
  7. stevenurse

    stevenurse Palacios' neck fat

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    The problem is that all of the strikers mentioned havent played in the prem (bar Fletcher and id have hated to be on here had we signed him) and rightly or wrongly we have abandoned our system of buying untested players for small amounts.

    This partly I feel is down to Harry and his tried and tested ways (it worked for him with defoe, crouch et al coming back in and getting us CL) and the fans. We want names we have heard of and players who will hit the ground running. Who here knew for certain that someone like Le Fondre would perform the way he has goals wise? If we had signed him, I think most on here would have exploded, and not in their pants.

    I mentioned yesterday that it wouldnt be so bad if we could actually see diggers working on the stadium project that has been 30 years in the making. At least then it would be easier to understand that funds were tied up in that, even though assurances were given that the transfer kitty wouldnt take a hit as a result.

    Im as angry and frustrated by it as much as anyone and think we need to cast our net a little further than Porto Alegre from now on. The players are out there, its just if you can get off your arse to look.
     
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  8. kazzah9

    kazzah9 Well-Known Member

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    We have one of those?
     
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  9. dav3j

    dav3j SC Supporter

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    I think you're probably right that Levy has changed tack. It's not necessarily a good thing either, as it turns out (rather unsurprisingly) we can't really afford the tried and tested strikers.

    Definitely. It just seems like Levy dusts off his little black book every 31st August / January, scrolls through the empty pages and says "So... that Leandro Damiao..."
     
  10. Knarf44

    Knarf44 Active Member

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    When AVB was brought on board we soon afterwards sacked our Chief Scout, Ian Broomfield, with a view to overhauling our entire scouting system/network. Since that time, nothing seems to have happened, certainly nothing in terms of official announcements on the OS. Now we know that AVB spends alot of his own time travelling and watching games all over Europe and South America, especially Brazil. So I'd imagine he has a fairly long list of potential targets and/or players to keep an eye on.

    However, like you I want to know who is responsible for coordinating our Scouts, receiving their feedback on players we've requested them to watch or players they've watched and recommend to the Club? Tim Sherwood seems to have a key role in this somehow but I'm not entirely sure what. He definitely has the right ear of Levy when it comes to which players we go for and this window it was mentioned by one of the ITKs I think, that Levy now has another trusted voice in his other ear but no hint as to who.

    It's been stated that Levy heads a transfer committee and the Club has used this to identify targets for the last 5 years or so. What would be interesting to know is what, if any, influence or say do AVB and Freund have in putting forward their own suggestions and do they have the right to veto any player they feel would not add to the team/squad? I'm sure (hope) they do but how much? Where is the real power when it comes to our scouting and transfer systems?
     
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  11. JimmyG2

    JimmyG2 SC Supporter

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    Actually you do a pretty good job yourself in identifying several strikers
    that others spotted and signed for modest sums. Ba, Cisse Benteke Michu etc.
    The scouting is crucial here obviously.
    I think that Negredo , Leandro and several other ITK specials
    could have been bought at around the £25 million bracket.
    Some would have been a risk but it is no use waiting for them to attain world recognition
    like say Falcao, Suarez, Aguero before trying to buy them for a song.
    Berbatov even though I would not have welcomed him personally.
    Holt. Bent, I know, I know, would all cost peanuts. ( I am aware of the monkey joke)

    We are in quite a dire situation for an aspiring CL club
    unless we are prepared to trust in one of our youngsters as back up (Kane Obika).
    which is fine by me . Remember our transfer record was some years ago
    and strikers are rarer and more expensive anyway.
     
  12. mill

    mill Well-Known Member

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    This is the biggest weakness in the way the club is run imo, for a club such as ours who wishes to mix it with the big boys but can't compete with them on wages or fees it's absolutely vital we excel at this, eventually bale will go his replacement should be here already waiting in the wings not us panic buying a late replacement (vdv/dempsey). We did well in the summer buying lloris, dembele and vertonghan but they were still huge fees (by out standards) and well known full internationals.

    We've needed a good striker for years, yeah we signed ade (who so far is living upto the bad rep he has) other than him leandro seems to be the only other striker on the planet even though no other clubs seem interested, there are other cheaper alternatives out there it's not like there's a ban on strikers and it's upto spurs and levy to pull their fucking finger out and sort it out
     
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  13. 3Dnata

    3Dnata Well-Known Member

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    I'd like to see us sign Benteke and I think the stronger financial clubs won't be in for him which helps but it's a shame we couldn't have identified him before this season started.
    There is also the point that because of our standing when we were in for Remy he had a higher price tag, I'm glad we didn't sign him but he would have never had gone to us for the money QPR paid for him.
     
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  14. KILLA_SIN

    KILLA_SIN Well-Known Member

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    A lot of clubs lookig at the players we have signed Dembele, Sig, Vertonghen, Lloris, Ade, Dempsey in the last 6 months for the money we have spent in getting them im may be very envious of our scouting team and transfer committee.

    Jelavic and Ciise are having poor seasons. And this is Benteke Giriud and Michus first so we will have to see how they do next season at least before I would say they were successes
     
  15. mill

    mill Well-Known Member

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    Agree about benteke but the fee will be massive now unfortunately. He'd have been a good buy for £7m at the start of the season and we were always a striker light.

    If we get the scouting right we'll always lose players to bigger fish due to finances but it shouldn't affect us too much, porto are the perfect example of this.

    Losing vdv and modric hasn't made too much of difference to our league position so far this year tbf though
     
  16. dagraham

    dagraham Well-Known Member

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    Agree with the OP and most of what has been said on here.

    I've said in another thread that the problem for me with the "commitee" is that there are simply too many dissenting voices and different opinions.

    This is fine when developing long term strategies and debating stadium issues etc. When going after players though, surely this just slows the process down?

    Our scouts may be great at identifying players but if Daniel Levy doesn't trust their judgment well miss out in targets. Surely if scouts identify players, AVB approves and they are viable financially, then we should go all out to get them.

    Instead it seems we deliberate, getting multiple opinions, pissing about and missing out.

    Our whole transfer system needs to be quicker and more decisive IMO
     
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  17. RichSpur58

    RichSpur58 Well-Known Member

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    Didn't read the whole OP, but I think your getting at need for better scouting and DOF. If thats the case I agree.

    Transfer's need to be taken out of DL's hands. I'd rather he signed the cheques and had no input, other than we can afford this guy, we cant afford that one.

    Oh, and keep Sherwood away too. What is he? Levy's eyes and ears on the training ground? He should have gone with HR.
     
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  18. Legacy

    Legacy SC Supporter

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    Eh? Dembélé, Sigurdsson, Adebayor and Dempsey were all signed from English clubs (well, Sigurdsson was a foreign club, but just completed a loan from a Premier League team) and, with the exception of Adebayor, were top players at their previous clubs. Likewise, Vertonghen and Lloris were known throughout Europe as top class talents and important players for their club and country.

    I don't think anyone is going to be crowing over our scouting system for picking up any of those players.

    Last great signing we've made thanks to our scouting system was Sandro. Before that, who? Assou Ekotto? And that was way back in the Comolli days.

    We all know we need a striker. We all know we can't pay the prices for someone like Falcao or Cavani etc. So we need to bring those players in before they hit their peak. Didn't Falcao sign for Porto for something like £5m? That's what we need our scouts and transfer committee to be working on.

    No doubt it's easier said than done, but it's a hell of a lot more productive than continuously trying to sign Leandro for prices that we know the club won't sell for.
     
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  19. WiganSpur

    WiganSpur Well-Known Member

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    We're a huge club, and we lack structure in this department. IMO we should bring back a DOF, but in a sort of different role. Firstly, the DOF should work under Levy and have several (at least 6) player scouts below him scouting the world for targets. (The DOF himself can scout, too.) The foundation of a first team/ reserve signing should be put in place by Andre, who explains to the DOF the type of player and position that is required. Then the DOF explains the criteria to the scouts who look for potential targets. Once viable targets have been found, the DOF should discuss these with Andre (Would this player benefit the team?) and Levy (Could this be financially viable? How much of Andre's budget would this take up?). If both are in agreement, then the club should proceed with making enquiries and/or bids for the player. Levy SHOULD be able to trust the DOF and his opinion about what the maximum the club should be paying. The DOF should also be given the freedom to sign youth players under 500k or so, with possibly the recruitment of an u18 scout alongside him. So, for quite a vital role, the DOF that would be appointed would need to have a great eye for a player and sell on value. Someone who has an excellent track record maybe. The key however is unlike Comolli both the manager and Levy should be consulted on signings, if one does not agree, then the signing does not take place. I appreciate that this may not happen in practice, however.
     
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  20. KILLA_SIN

    KILLA_SIN Well-Known Member

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    So unless were signing players no on else has ever heard of our scouting system is shit. lol Do you not think maybe people like Falcao and Cavani go to clubs in Italy, Spain, Portugal because they want to go somewhere where the weather and language are similar? And why did Chelsea, United etc not pick up these gems from S. America?
     

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