Spurs’ Grand Transfer Plan

Discussion in 'Columns' started by Bill_Oddie, Aug 3, 2014.

  • by Bill_Oddie, Aug 3, 2014 at 8:05 AM
  • Bill_Oddie

    Bill_Oddie Everything in Moderation Staff

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    Who’s in. Who’s out. And how the rules on squad size and composition are directing our transfer activity. Plus, why 17 is the magic number this summer...

    Spurs activity in the transfer market this summer has – a reserve keeper aside – followed a very clear strategy. We’re after young, technically sound players whose value is likely to grow significantly. In fact, this has been our strategy for a long time, as witnessed by quadrupling our investment in Yago Falque this week despite him appearing in a grand total of one first team match. You can imagine Daniel Levy lying back in a bathtub and barking at an acolyte to toss in another bundle of new fifties for him to swim around in like Scrooge McDuck after that one.

    But it’s not all about the money (although you can appreciate where Spurs fan Jessie J got that idea following a club run by Levy). There’s also a need to conform our squad within the Premier League 25-man squad limitations, and – more specifically – the 17 man limit on players who are not homegrown or under 21. For the coming season, under 21 players must be born on or after January 1, 1993.

    Our concluded business this summer has so far seen Dier (under 21) and Davies (both under 21 and homegrown) sign, with possibly Lascelles (also both), and maybe Schneiderlin (homegrown – just) possibly coming too. But it’s the 17 non-homegrown players where we really need to get it right as when you look at that list, there isn’t a lot of room for manoeuvre.

    Currently, according to the Spurs official site, we have exactly 17 non-homegrown first team players born before January 1, 1993:

    Goalkeepers – Friedel, Vorm, Lloris

    Defenders – Kaboul, Vertonghen, Chiriches, Assou-Ekotto

    Midfielders – Paulinho, Lamela, Dembele, Chadli, Eriksen, Holtby, Capoue, Sandro

    Strikers – Adebayor, Soldado

    That means if we are to sign another player, who does not qualify as homegrown or under 21, we have to replace one of the above.

    Easy enough for the mooted arrival of Mateo Musacchio, who would presumably just swap in for the ostracised Assou-Ekotto. Good luck finding a new club, Benny.

    Outside of that list, currently the Spurs first team squad contains nine players that qualify as homegrown and over the age limit: Walker, Rose, Naughton, Dawson, Fryers, Lennon, Townsend, Mason and Carroll.

    (Note: Kane, Bentaleb, Davies and Dier are all not yet old enough to need naming in the 25-man squad. Amazing when you think of how good they already are.)

    So, with 17 non-homegrown and 9 homegrown, at least one of those names above will miss out. Presumably Carroll and/or Mason will go on loan to make that happen. But for any other arrival, they’d have to guarantee to be better than the above. Suddenly it’s easier to understand why we’ve considered offers for Chiriches and Dawson, or even Sandro and Holtby.

    It’s also worth keeping an eye on the development squad. Hall, Khumalo, Ceballos, Fredericks and Obika are all of the age where they’d have to be named but it’s unlikely any would. Presumably this means all will be forced to find a loan or permanent deal to set up the rest of their careers (and give Levy the chance to top up that bathtub of cash of his).

    The limitations on the squad explain Spurs’ moves in the transfer market. We aren’t likely to be after many players over 21 unless they are a significant, proven upgrade on a specific member of the existing ‘complete’ squad. Selling a couple of players is possible if their value is at its peak – which it probably is for Kyle Naughton, Michael Dawson or Aaron Lennon. The only question would be whether their replacements can be found either cheaper or in a player that will produce more profit down the line, whether bought in or brought up from the development squads.

    Our owners aren’t afraid to spend big money but only if they see a likely large return on their investment. Pochettino doesn’t seem to mind this as he likes working with young talent (hard to tell but doubtful he’d have come to Spurs if he did).

    When seeing us linked with names in the press, it’s worth bearing this in mind. What kind of return would Micah Richards offer on a transfer fee in 3 years when he is 29? Or Remy when he’s 30? Schneiderlin and Rodriguez on the other hand are bound to retain their value at the very least in a few years time. Football won’t suddenly stop being rich or investing silly money in players and, whatever you think of Daniel Levy, his approach is an excellent way to ensure Spurs remain competitive and produce enough revenue to grow the business on and off the pitch.

    Last point on ages. With Benny as good as gone and Dawson clinging on, that would leave Adebayor, at 30, as our oldest player. Soldado is the sole 29-year-old. We will have a first team squad with more than 10 players aged 23 or under. That’s exceptionally young and also worth remembering if we struggle for form or concede silly, late goals at any stage during the coming season. Maybe it is worth keeping Dawson after all. Friedel is unlikely to see any significant game time this campaign, so where do we turn for leaders?

    The one weakness in our current transfer strategy is that it makes it very hard for us to purchase proven, experienced performers who inspire and command respect from those around them, who have been there and done it before.

    But that just means we have to develop our own players that fit that description. And that is what excites me most about this season ahead and those beyond under the current regime. Maybe we already have a new Ledley King or Steve Perryman in our squad and don’t know it yet.

    With Spurs, you can always rest assured it’ll be fun finding out.
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Discussion in 'Columns' started by Bill_Oddie, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. Bill_Oddie
    Thank you for the kind words, all. Glad it's provided a talking point on a quiet Sunday morning. :)

    BC - I thought someone would pick up on that. Dawson is certain more a "leader" in the ambassadorial sense than an on-pitch general. I tend to share your view that there is no reason a newly arrived 23-year-old couldn't necessarily bring more "leadership" than Daws, however, the point remains that such quality is in short supply.

    That's right. I've only noted him as Under 21 above. He isn't qualified as homegrown, despite being English.
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  2. thinktank
    Yup, got to the Dawson part and was like...


    But excellent post overall.(y)
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  3. mil1lion
    Dawson may not be a great leader on the pitch but he is a great fighter. For all his shot comings when it comes to a scrappy game against the likes of West Ham he's always up for it. It's for that reason I wouldn't mind seeing him stay in the squad. You can't expect to play pretty football all the time.

    Well written piece BO and some very good points about our transfer strategy in this window. I can see only 3 more signings before the window, Lascelles, Schneiderlin (at the end of the window) and Musacchio. We'll then sell fringe players and loan out players once we know what we have.
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  4. Booney
    I know he's got his critics but reading that article and seeing the numbers laid out just illustrates how it doesnt really make any sense to sell Dawson and have a non-homegrown player as our fourth choice centre-back. I say keep him but just be sensible with who we use him against.
  5. doom
    will the Europa back door knock out the 4th league team - maybe we could finally reap revenge on Chelsea
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  6. eddiebailey
    On the leadership front we let go two homegrown natural leaders in Caulker and Livermore, both young players who are still developing as footballers but precisely the sort to stand up and be counted.
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  7. onthetwo
    Crikey - did the Dawson defenders see him trying to defend aginst the likes of Aguero and Co last year? I took my nephews to see the Liverpool game at home last year and our defence was a complete shambles - it was men against boys. Im afraid that we wont have a chance in hell of competing at the top of the table if the likes of Daws, Naughton and Fryers line up in our defence next season - its that simple IMO.
  8. mil1lion
    No I don't think Dawson is good enough against the top teams but there are plenty of games outside the top 7 where Dawson can be used. The likes of Liverpool and City are great with the ball along the ground, but against teams that play more route one I think Dawson could be handy.

    He's still one of the best at defending crosses and last ditch blocks. What he's not good at is defending against quick and tricky players, especially with a high line. If we're defending deep and hanging onto a 1 goal lead then Dawson would be a very wise sub to bring on.
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  9. spursintheblood
    Agreed, although I do think an LWF might be in the offing. Perhaps waiting on Jay Rod in Winter? Would have though rescuing Konoployanka from a warzone might be a good alternative, although Poch knows JR.
  10. Gaz_Gammon
    Dawson at the very top level is finished.

    Those who cannot see that are in denial, and to suggest that he can be used against lesser teams is just hanging on to a player well past his best. I read on ITK someone said it's a bit like owning an old, faithful dog that you love, you know you have to put it down but just cannot face the fact.

    Dawson has been a huge, dedicated player for the Club but time has come to look to younger, fitter, faster players to play in the system that Dawson simply cannot play.
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  11. billnick
    Up for it, maybe. Effective, not so much. Perhaps West Ham was just a terrible example.
  12. t-baggins
    What a load of crap this thread is! I started reading it hoping to find a wonderful link between our transfers and the magic formula to fit into the Champions League in the Premier League, and all it has proved is we are willing to believe all sorts of bullshit...

    While I absolutely agree Levy is legendary in his ability to extract the maximum amount of money from clubs while selling players, he doesn't show the same level of shrewdness when it comes to buying... He buys shite scouts, and subsequently gets talked into an absolute load of crap when it comes to recruitment... Here are some examples...

    Soldado for 26m? Has the potential for another Torres all over, with less sell on value when Torres was bought by Chelsea. Soldado has been at White Hart Lane for one season, and is already 29. That means him and Adebayor will be out the door at very similar times, with very similar fees (F*ck all) and we'll have to go out and re-invest in the most expensive commodity in football... Strikers. Thats not to say Soldado is a flop... But 6 league goals... Rebrov stats were only marginally worse, we all know how that ended. He may end up being a success, but last season he certainly wasn't.

    Which Chairman allows Keane and Defoe to leave only to buy (and pay more!) for the return of Defoe and only just less than sale price in Keane... Piss take! Who gets talked into buying Bent when we already have Berby, Keane, Mido and Defoe?

    I've always wondered about Bentley... Levy must have thought there may be some image rights and advertising opportunities ala Beckham, cause Bentley wasn't half the player Becks was, yet commanded a fee that suggested otherwise.

    Dawson had very little to do with our poor results last year. Whats the point of your captain and leader trying to inspire when 110m pounds worth of players don't understand the billboards surrounding the pitch let alone his northern accent.

    If we are genuinely concerned about the homegrown rule... Why waste valuable spots with foreign goalkeepers. Hugo has signed a 5 year deal, sign Ruddy from relegated Norwich and give a young academy keeper a chance in the squad. It's hardly like it's a surprise that we are short of home-grown, so the key focus should be to be compliant, and how often does a third keeper play? Ruddy would be great, or Jack Butland... Butland went to Stoke for game time, and look how that ended up, at least we can guarentee European adventures.

    Just finally, Levy's selling of Caulker clearly proves he doesn't look long term when selling as Caulker has retained his value in despite being relegated, and he would have played for Spurs last season, and subsequently added to value, in fact probably would have gone to the WC... and he couldn't have done a worse job than Cahill and Jaglielka so his value would have increased further.

    Levy's best bit of business could be Poch... His worst... Getting rid of 'Arry!
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  13. Bill_Oddie
    Bless you. If I knew that do you think I'd be sat here in my pyjamas in Kuala Lumpur scratching my balls and eating Pringles?

    Soldado is definitely the odd one out given our recent business. Not since that woeful window of Saha and Nelsen have we gone after someone guaranteed to offer zero return.

    I forget the manager who presided over that decision...

    Oh, yeah. Thanks.

    Same guy who begged Levy to bring back Defoe and Keane on those terms that so offended you.

    Caulker left for non-footballing reasons, allegedly.

    Appreciate the reply, though. Good to get some proper debate going on here. (y)
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  14. slartibartfast
    Have to agree it is shocking how many of our most expensive buys turn out to be a fuc#in disaster.
  15. Luegolover
    I think Soldado was worth a punt, once in a while the club has to put its hand its pocket and go for it. He has the potential to come good, we have to continue to support him.

    Levy has to support Poch like Liverpool did with their man a few seasons back. I am tired of us being in transition season in and season out. We need to realise that sometimes a club has to go through a tough spell to get better. Didn't we stick with Burkinshaw when relegated and reap the benefits later on. Not that I can see anything that bad happening but if we have a slightly indifferent season then Levy really has to stick with the man so that we get out of this constant state of lacklustre change.
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  16. t-baggins
    Appreciate the reply? Perhaps you should appreciate the lesson...

    'Arry presided over our last 4th placed finish... The same year he signed the aforementioned. Whilst I don't disagree those two signings won't have set your balls alight in Kuala Lumpur... Seeing Chelsea steal the Champions League spot hopefully might have (although your condescending self important tone suggests otherwise).

    We needed steel, we needed know how, and we needed character. Both have that. It needed to carry us through to the Champions League then Levy had Hazard lined up, Modric would stay, and guess what... You can go out and sign a top Centre Back, and Stiker...

    Slagging off 'Arry for signing Defoe and Keane doesn't make sense... He needed us to stay up, and two points after eight games is defintely relegation fodder. It doesn't matter how many Pavlychenko's and Bentley's you have in your team... The Championship isn't the environment for that lot let alone Bale or Modric...

    England would give Rooney's left nut for Nelsens leadership at a major tournament! 'Arry was hoping he could go on a summer spree with Champions League money waiting ala Liverpool this summer! But instead he got the arse... And we overspent on Bales transfer...
  17. bat-chain
    Can't see Brad Making the 25.

    Really no point using 2 spots for non-HG on sub keepers.

    Be good to see Archer used as third option if possible.
  18. prawnsandwich
    11 homegrown and over the age limit:

    Defenders - Walker, Rose, Naughton, Dawson, Fryers, Fredericks

    Midfielders –Lennon, Townsend, Mason, Carroll

    Strikers – Obika

    Of those 11 homegrown IMO only 5 are good enough. Dawson will likely be transferred so that leaves 4. Highly likely Schneiderlin will join so that takes it back to 5.

    I think we should take a punt on Fredericks and Mason to bring it up to 7. MoPo is a former defender so a belt and braces option would be Richards. I don't like Fryers being other than a back up to the back up.

    8 homegrown

    Defenders - Walker, Rose, Fredericks, Richards

    Midfielders - Lennon, Townsend, Mason, Schneiderlin.

    Sell - Naughton, Dawson

    Loan/Sell - Fryers, Carroll, Obika

    Players born after January 1993

    Harry Kane
    Ben Davies
    Nabil Bentaleb
    Milos Veljkovic
    Eric Dier **

    Add these guys to mix and we have

    Defenders - Walker, Rose, Fredericks, Richards, Davies, Dier, Veljkovic

    Midfielders –Lennon, Townsend, Mason, Schneiderlin, Bentaleb

    Strikers – Kane
  19. prawnsandwich
    We have 19 non-homegrown players born before January 1, 1993.
    We are allowed 17 non-homegrown players

    Sell - Chiriches
    Loan/Sell - Assou-Ekotto, Khumalo
    Loan - Ceballos

    Which leaves 15 non-homegrown first team players born before January 1, 1993.

    Goalkeepers – Friedel, Vorm, Lloris
    Defenders – Kaboul, Vertonghen
    Midfielders – Paulinho, Lamela, Dembele, Chadli, Eriksen, Holtby, Capoue, Sandro
    Strikers – Adebayor, Soldado

    Obviously we can buy 2 more non-homegrown. IMO we need a CB and LW.
    We have had ITK about Musacchio and Depay. I will trust other's judgements about these 2.
    I would not be surprised or unhappy if both Kaboul and Dembele also left
    Sandro may also leave along with Soldado. I think only a new striker for Soldado.
    Ideally we would give Soldado another season but Levy is Levy.

    So not impossible for us to wind up with 8 out and 3 in non homegrown.

    Possible squad:

    Goalkeepers – Friedel, Vorm, Lloris

    Defenders - Walker, Rose, Fredericks, Davies, Dier, Veljkovic, Vertonghen, Musacchio, Richards

    Midfielders –Lennon, Townsend, Mason, Bentaleb, Paulinho, Lamela, Chadli, Eriksen, Holtby, Capoue, Sandro, Schneiderlin, Depay

    Strikers – Kane, Adebayor, Remy
  20. chinaman
    Great work. Much better reading than the tabloids.

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