The Blog that's not always wrong.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Levy Calls Shots But Passes On Striker.

 We seem to have missed the bus again.
The JimmyG2 Column
So what can I tell you? You probably heard that we didn't sign Leandro. Apparently we made an insulting offer, £17 million or something at the last minute, £13 million in The Guardian, and the ungrateful bastards turned it down. So what's new?

Hardly likely to break the Spurs bank to pay decent money for a half decent striker. We are left with an injured Defoe ( who isn't scoring anyway) an absent Adebayor when he returns (who isn't scoring anyway) Obika and Harry Kane, recalled from Norwich, to mount our Champions' League challenge.

In most businesses this would be seen as investment or even insurance but at Spurs buying a striker for more than a tenner is akin to pouring money down the drain. The Leandro saga has dragged on for some years now and in football circles is probably regarded as a kind of running gag.

 Internacional hinted that it was 'possible' if the deal could be done 'quickly'. Having negotiated with Daniel for the past two or three years they were presumably falling about the place laughing at this example of Brazilian humour.(Edited. What was I thinking? The joke lives on though because a deal in the Summer is again  'possible' but not according to AVB. Apparently we've moved on but I'm not sure where to.

And whatever happened to Negredo who was virtually on the 259 from Kings Cross with about a dozen others hotly tipped to be on the verge of signing for Spurs. Deals were all 'very close' as the ITK community are fond of saying.. The real joke is that qualifying for the Champions League would cover such an 'investment' with ease.

Anyway on the plus side we got Lewis Holtby who by all accounts is a find and and more importantly in Tottenham terms a steal as well. The general opinion seems to be from AVB down to the man on the terrace, (Happy Days) or even the man on the 259 omnibus, that he is indeed a man worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as Rafael Van Der Vaart.  No pressure then.

He certainly understands 'pass and move' from the clips I saw of his Norwich performance. He made more passes with greater accuracy in nineteen minutes than Clint Dempsey did in 71. Another AWOL suspect in a match littered with such Spurs disappearances. 

However he is not a striker or even a particularly prolific goalscorer (24/130 appearances over 6 seasons) and the question remains: Who is going to convert the increasing numbers of chances he will certainly help make, into goals? Yet another missed chance in every sense of the word.

I didn't see the Spurs game against Norwich. Cue the old joke about them not coming to see me when I was bad. But the game that I was at was uncannily similar. The opponents went ahead and we replied on 80 minutes and the game ended 1-1. This was the Real Madrid/Barcelona Copa Del Rey 1st leg at the Bernabeu.

'My other team is Real Madrid' as they say and my daughters had got me a ticket for my birthday as I was in Madrid at the time. From the highlights or excerpts as they are more properly known and fan site reports I clearly enjoyed better night's entertainment than Spurs fans, where a combination of Norwich tenacity and a high wind spoilt our evening.

Defoe was apparently awful, Parker likewise, the defence all over the place, even Lloris was edgy. Bale retrieved the game with an excellent solo run and learnt the moral and practical rewards of not going to ground when clipped. And the boy Holtby gave us all some hope for the future in a 20 minute cameo.

For the record here in Spain Barcelona were the better side overall but were foiled by a defence that knows how to defend. Messi and captain Ronaldo were a little subdued and Barca take a valuable away goal to the Camp Nou and will probably qualify for the final.

If our new stadium, which seems as distant a prospect as the signing of a decent striker, generates half the atmosphere and excitement of the Bernabeu then the sooner we start mixing the cement the better. It would be worth a goal at least for home games. The power at the Bernabeu of 80,000 voices in unison against the opposition is a force to be reckoned with.

But the stadium story seems to have gone as quiet as the new signings narrative will for a blessed couple or three months if we're lucky. Shrewd management of our restricted resources? Lack of ambition? A cautionary step on the road to selling the club?

Levy is the man calling the shots but seems to have sold the pass on bringing in a striker. It's a big ask for Harry Kane to try to fill Leandro's  boots but if he can just fill one of them it's another £25 million in the Daniel' kitty for something, God only knows what.

We can all plot our position on the chart of expectations but I think our failure to invest in striker over several windows has gone beyond a joke and if it leads to a failure to secure top four from our current position then even in financial terms it will prove to be a bad misjudgement.

If our current run of three draws, and the loss at Leeds is our blip we might just get away with it. Only Everton narrowed the gap. Unbeaten in 7, one loss in 12 and still just clear in fourth. But we all remember the loss of form at a crucial time over the past two seasons and start to fear the worst.

West Brom could well turn out to be another draw. Their recent record like that of Norwich is dire but these are beginning to look like must win games if we are to keep clear of the chasing pack. A fit, available, and decent front man would have helped. 

But as they sang in the Crosby Stills and Nash classic, if you can't be with the one you love, then love the one you're with. Come in Jermain all is forgiven. Any chance of a goal on Sunday just for old times sake? One might just be enough.
Spurs 1-0

Jimmy's Video Spot:
Here's the Bale goal, as much for my benefit as yours. Is that the finest lay-off that Defoe has ever made? Gareth not so much ignores a  'clip' on the halfway line as a hack and not a even a hint of a booking for Tettey. Nice to see Holtby joining in the celebrations.


Anonymous said...

It's 'Internacional' and the're Brazilian

Anonymous said...

When Levy passed up the chance to bid for Ba and Remy (both less than 10m) we presumably all assumed it was because we were going for something better. Yet again it was too little too late. The few million he quibbled about could easily be made up by selling hudd and a few others. He could have stared early enough too. Ba and Remy have both earned their new clubs points, because their chairmen were willing to get them in early enough. Ive stood up for Levy but no longer. He's learnt nothing form the Moutinho fiasco and despite his reputation for being 'a shrewed businessman' clearly has no business sense at all.

JimmyG2 said...

Ist anon.
Thanks you don't want a job as a proof reader do you? Stupid mistake. We're not always wrong but we are sometimes.

2nd Anon.
Other clubs seem to spot the rising stars, Michu, Benteke for example. But we did get Holtby under the noses of everyone.
Freund's contacts?

Marcus Higgins said...

Agree with your article - when will it end? Will we finally realise that we need a striker when we finish out of the top six? What raally scares me is that avb seems to honestly believe we don't, and I reckon he's a good coach; that's kind of scary.
So its back to the dreaded run-in for CL slots - with half a striker on steroids and adebayor who's been practising by missing open goals from 3 yards out in africa. god help us. Still won't stop me supporting and nothing will make me boo our great team. COYS

Anonymous said...

Harsh to say we haven't signed a striker for several windows when Ade has only been here for less than half a year. Signed at a good price, too. Even Spurs ran at a loss the last 12 months. I don't think you realise just how much of a drain these ridiculous wages are. It's just not sustainable. Not to mention agents. And how much it has cost to chase NDP and blag with Stratford. Bills HAVE to be paid. Our chairman has razor-sharp vision compared to our 'looking through shower-steam and a fuzzy window to see outside' when it comes to knowing whats viable and what isn't. And how much do they want for Damiao? Chucking your money around in desperation doesn't guarantee anything. Look at Westham. Villa. Everton. Even Liverpool are skint. They've started buying good players, though. Sturridge could've been had. Paying upwards of £20m for a footballer is obscene and unnecessary, when there are players like Ba, Michu and Diame to be snapped up. It's not how much money you chuck, it's where you throw it. I'm hoping AVB has a point saying it's a creativity issue. I'm inclined to agree. Holtby, our 4 billion pound signing from AC Real Barcelona, as you rightly pointed out, did more in 20 mins than we've created in the last how many games? Great little balls playing people in all over the place. With ease. Kane, Ibeka, Couly... they'd get goals with so many chances. Defoe and Ade should. I'm not saying we don't need another striker, btw, just don't get mugged for one. We seem to have replaced Vdv with a proper No.10. For a pittance. This system is about the No.10. Far prouder I am, than when we were spending that sort of money on Bent and Bentley, and even recently getting Keane and Defoe back. If we can get Ade firing again, our front 4 are where they need to be.

Anonymous said...

I am disappointed as every Spurs fan this morning that we ended up with Harry Kane back from his loan spell and no big name striker. However I don't believe Holtby was bought earlier than in June to replace Sandro as they are two different players. I did watch the Norwich game and when Holtby came on Bale moved to the middle and 10 minutes later we scored. We looked a lot more lively and creative and almost got the second only Siggy to be denied by a brilliant save. We have lots of attacking midfielders that can pass, move, run and score goals. Non of us should underestimate AVB's tactics as we didn't play bad in the last 20 minutes of the above mentioned Norwich game. The man that needs to be given rest due to large amount of games played already and obvious lost of form is Defoe. Looking forward for Ade's return and seeing him play in front of Bale, Lennon and Holtby. Then I am sure the goals will come and Damiao will be history. COYS

Kevin C said...

Great article JG2. We will find out how prudent Levy was this January when the season ends.The fact they made an offer for Leandro proves they knew we needed a striker and, yet again, Levy hasn't delivered. I won't spit the dummy out just yet (but I'm pissed off) because of the Holtby signing and I was at Norwich on Wednesday to see his contribution which was vast in a very short time. I actually think he's a Modric type, only quicker. Perhaps he can do a massive job for us and get Siggy playing that role behind the striker. Siggy looked good and I think he will be a much bigger asset with Holtby on board.

Anonymous said...

time for Levy to go he is killing spurs with the way he goes about buying a striker over the past years spurs have always had top strikers that is untill Levy came in know its buying at the sales

JimmyG2 said...

Marcus Higgins
AVB is probably doing what alot of fans are doing going with the flow and trying not to upset the boat. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
Like you I can't really believe he doesn't think we need another striker.

Anon 18:29 Jerkinmahjurgen.
You make a good case but we arn't spotting the rising striker stars.
We have upwards of £20 million pounds worth of players who aren't going to get a game around the place (Bentley for a start) and we haven't spent the Modric money yet.

Anon 18:52
God the positivity on here is awe inspiring. I can only say I hope you're right.

Kevin C.
Totally agree why make a £20 million pound offer for a striker we don't need?

Anonymous said...

Hi JG2, Great post as always....

I'm pretty cool about the Jan window, why ?;

- Holtby got in early (from Schalke 04, by the way) for an absolute steal (my German chum can't stop raving about him...)

- Pissed off Red Nose by getting Freyer well cheap ready for the next season

- Shifting Jenas, good luck to the lad

We are for sure 4 to 5 players short of a CL side, and basically can't afford, and can't attract CL quality strikers until we have a new Stadium and the economics to support it. I think we all knw who they are, most are in defence to give you a clue....

Anyone that can basically read a financial spreadsheet can see that we aren't in a position to chase unrealistic valuations since the numbers were announced a few weeks ago.

Holtbys contribution last Wednesday was an example to the others as to what can be achieved with passion and commitment, most of them should be ashamed of themselves for such an insipid effort in front of our hard core away fans.

By the way JG2 I have to agree with you on the Bernabuae Stadium, I saw a midweek League match there 10+ years ago (back when Raul was playing) for around € 15 or 20 not more and the atmosphere was electric.

I just hope our new Stadium is tight and close as that one with a Park Lane end made as a standing shelve like they have in Germany for low priced admission for the youngsters that want to sing and get behind the team, average age at the Lane these days limits that.

Let's hope we get a good result today with WBA still upset over the transfer fandango this week....

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