"Why don't strikers love us anymore?"

Discussion in 'Columns' started by Bill_Oddie, Jul 20, 2013.

  • by Bill_Oddie, Jul 20, 2013 at 2:34 PM
  • Bill_Oddie

    Bill_Oddie Everything in Moderation Staff

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    Not In The Know, with B.O.

    A new, occasional column with its finger completely off the pulse. Please shoot the messenger.

    The surprise is its total and complete lack of surprise. In less than a fortnight, Spurs have lost our number one and now number two choices to lead the line next season. Fans on sites like this heard for weeks how David Villa wanted to come, then how Benteke fell in love with our training ground, how their agents said they had chosen Spurs, how they were looking forward to pulling on the lilywhite, and then just as we were ordering their name on the back of the new 2013/14 shirt… a media story broke showing our ‘done deals’ had been well and truly undone. Cue: hideous wails and violent teeth-gnashing on this and all other Spurs forums.

    Just as we were expecting David Villa to stroll down Hotspur Way, he was suddenly and thoughtlessly, callously, unveiled by Athletico Madrid. Then last night, Christian Benteke, performing a u-turn that Scotty ‘puppy chasing its tail’ Parker would be proud of, signed a new, improved deal at Aston Villa.

    Something had gone wrong. Lady Bracknell – whose judgmental righteous indignation would see her fit in well in the ITK forums – might have suggested: To lose one “nailed on” striker could be regarded as unfortunate. To lose two looks like carelessness.

    So what went wrong? Why haven’t Spurs been able to get the strikers we want to sign on the line?

    We wooed David Villa for months. We sent presents to Spain. We visited him in Brazil. The courting period was long and the yearning on our side was clear. Imagine our shock when he batted his eyelashes and intimated he might be interested in linking up. Of course, it helped that he caught a glimpse of our impressive Bale in action. Who could resist those bulging Welsh thighs?

    But then, one balmy evening, David Villa announced his agreement with Athletico Madrid. They paid Barcelona significantly less than Spurs had offered, but were able to give the player Champions League football and the chance to stay in his home country. And he took that chance… like the cock tease he is.

    Spurs had to move on and did. Surely we wouldn’t let such heart break happen again.

    After all, our second choice to lead the line, Christian Benteke, was a very different proposition. Daniel Levy, our long-pocketed short-armed Chairman, had to sanction a club record 25 million pounds bid for the young, strapping Belgian. This time the love was a little too open, a little too whirlwind. He and his agent were commenting every day how much they wanted us. “There’s no one else but Spurs.” It felt safe to love again. Benteke visited the training ground, we were told, and like a young couple on a dirty weekend in Brighton, enjoying fish and chips on the pier and a night between the sheets in the Grand Hotel, he and Levy parted with promises of a future together. Christian just had to go and tell ‘er indoors.

    Imagine Spurs’ surprise as Benteke suddenly decided to stay in the marital home after all. Thanks for that lost weekend and the memories, hand-in-hand, taking me up the Lanes, but I’ve decided to give it another go with Paul Lambert.

    First David, now Aston. Given our clear problems negotiating around Villas, it is more than a little worrying that our next striker choice, Valencia’s Roberto Soldado, takes us to a seaside Spanish city.

    Who knows what kind of lustful romance will bloom between us and Soldado in the weeks ahead. What might it take for a striker to finally commit to us?

    Fans are telling Levy to send the bouquets of roses, snag a table at a fancy restaurant, get out his massive wad (strikers love wads). We worry that his usual policy of a bargain all-you-can-eat buffet at the local Harvester while whispering about the treats in store if they only come back to his place - “It’s state-of-the-art, the best in Europe. All the top clubs in Europe are jealous of it. And I’m building an amazing new home where we can create our legacy.” – might not be enough to seal the deal.

    Daniel Levy is a man of principle. I like that he shows a certain inflexibility in negotiations. Apparently paying over 18 million pounds incurs a higher rate of tax, which may explain why our biggest deals have all been around 15-17m. Breaking an overall squad wage cap means we have to rely too much on younger players if we have too many major stars. Buying a house for family members, as was rumoured with Alen Halilovic (deal basically done for the talented Croatian play-maker but suddenly falls apart just at the last minute… sound familiar?), is dangerous as where do you draw the line, either for his extended family or future players? You can’t just give in during negotiations, no matter how much your target demands.

    Likewise, we stick to our principles in conducting our business in private. While Benteke and his agent might have shared intimate details of what happened under the sheets in that metaphorical hotel room in Brighton, we tried to keep quiet, retain our dignity, protect our reputation.

    But as the days and weeks pass this summer, Daniel Levy increasing feels like the single woman in her mid-40s trawling the dating sites, going out on twice-weekly blind dates, searching for the man of her dreams, and finding her uncompromising nature and inflexible demands are leading to a life alone.

    Will Levy find the man of his dreams or will he be there, approaching midnight on September 2nd, desperately searching the bar for the last single man standing, looking to thrust his tongue down the nearest throat and tie down anyone still sober and sensible enough to score?

    I can't be the only Spurs fan to wake at night in a cold sweat at this thought. Or if I was, then I doubt I am anymore. You're welcome.
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Discussion in 'Columns' started by Bill_Oddie, Jul 20, 2013.

  1. JamieDaCosta
    I reckon the whole Benteke thing might have been a bit of a farce anyway, whilst its not exactly been thought of already, I do believe this was a ploy for him to get a bigger contract at Villa

    Although the other thing is that perhaps clubs did want him and Villa slapped 80 odd grand on the table in order for him to stay and he duly obliged, for now

    Talking of Villa, this time the David variety, rather than the aforementioned Aston, its pretty obvious that ourselves and other interested parties (thats if we, or others, were actually interested) did the proverbial snoozed and losed, Atletico came in, didnt fuck around, agreed a fee and came to an agreement with Villa himself

    What lies ahead will be interesting but I do know one thing, Levy will not be raped into paying more than he believes is acceptable neither in wages or a transfer fee
    • Agree Agree x 2
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  2. Led Revolver
    Excellent article. Summed it up without an irrational bleating. Well done that man!
    • Agree Agree x 2
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  3. Lilbaz
    Time for baldini to earn his keep.

    I want a little known striker, around 20-22, for less than £10m, who turns out to be the next pele.

    Not too much to ask is it?
    • Like Like x 2
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  4. SteveH
    "Daniel Levy is a man of principle. I like that he shows a certain inflexibility in negotiations."

    Do we know this or is this just something once again surmised?
  5. JimmyG2
    Lovely stuff.
    I refer you to the spam messages I keep getting
    concerning erectile disfunction.
    It's nothing to be ashamed of these days apparently
    even if it has gone on for several seasons.
    Where's the nearest clinic to WHL?
    This problem easily be fixed
  6. deadlight

    I agree wholeheartedly with this principle, the problem is that most of the other EPL clubs do find these fees/wages/add-ins/ etc. acceptable, and so buy the player's up before us. I'm hoping that Baldini quickly starts to prove his worth, or before we get to a 'we've got two weeks worth of TW, we better buy any striker we can/is left/we can afford, or we could be in shite' situation.
    • Agree Agree x 1
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  7. E.L.Strict
    " First David, now Aston. Given our clear problems negotiating around Villas, it is more than a little worrying that our next striker choice, Valencia’s Roberto Soldado, takes us to a seaside Spanish city."


    Last season it seemed like everyone needed a creative midfielder and this season it seems like everyone needs a striker!
    • Funny Funny x 2
  8. Lilbaz
    Talksport are linking us with nielton, which is nice but i doubt there's anything in it.
  9. guate
    As much as many others say dealing in player transfers is complicated IMHO it shouldn't be if the agenda and price are clear.
    I, for one, am getting a little fed up with our illustrious leader taking so damm long to bring in the striker we've been looking for during both Redknapp's regime and now AVB's.
  10. jonola
    I was gutted to miss out on Villa but I just think that when the last minute offer from Athletico came, he realised he did not quite have the balls to put his reputation on the line in a league very different to the one he was used to.

    As for Benteke I am glad we missed out on him, his attitude throughout this whole process has been shady at the least. Act like that once and it is likely that you will do it again.

    We need to be finding the Bentekes when we can get them before they have that one season that in today's crazy football means they are suddenly worth 4 times their "real" value

    A great article, but in my opinion the real question should be why can we not find the "the next big thing"?? Countless other teams seem to manage it
  11. JoeT
    A novel way of giving us all bad news..............

    But it doesn't make it any easier to swallow.
  12. Sweetsman
    What do the ITKs have to say about all this?
  13. PT
    What's just as stark, is the lack of itk on outgoings - which always seems to me to be a little ironic.
  14. yid-down-under
    One of the targets has had a career threatening injury, and is getting towards the latter stages of his career. The other has only one season at the top level and a highly questionable attitude.
  15. Archibald&Crooks
    Here's a direct quote
    "The negotiation with the Tottenham directors has been the hardest I have ever had to undergo in these 25 years"
    Lyon owner Jean-Michel Aulas

    So it's either accurate or a fair assumption by the OP.
  16. slartibartfast
    More worrying is how does this look to Bale? Is he now thinking 'Spurs are going nowhere'?
    If we don't bring in some strikers, decent strikers, we can forget top four and it'll be another season Arsenal and Liverpool have time to get their act together.
    Sorry to be such a pessimist but it's not looking good is it.
    To get top four with a chairman who rightly or wrongly keeps the purse strings so tight is next to impossible.
    Thats why when you finally find a manager who achieves it not once but twice in three seasons you don't fu#king sack him.
    History i know but those CL days are now a distant memory.
    God its depressing and apologies for moaning.
    Please DL go put bid in for Michu. Bloke is goal machine and it wouldn't cost much to get him. Certainly within our price range.
    Why hasn't Michu been mentioned anywhere by anyone? Is there something I don't know (something else as well i mean lol)?
  17. striebs
    How do you know he wouldn't cost much .

    Suppose the price is £30m , would you go for that ?

    The other side of the coin is can our manager get Adebayor to play for a whole season .
  18. SteveH

    My only caveat to this is people use the "hard negotiator" tag for DL as a negative. I only see positives. It does not mean we necessarily lose out to signing, just means we have a budget and will not be mucked about.

    Also I would expect hard negotiations from all even the very super rich clubs. Not sure about Liverpool though ;)

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