Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Spurs strengthen but is it enough?

Despite a valiant effort Tottenham weren't able to get a result at Old Trafford in Sunday's FA Cup tie. We did play well though and managed to give last season's runners up a bit of a scare, but it was another case of defensive errors which cost us ultimately. Daws was at fault for ManUre's first goal, then their second, and before he could inflict anymore damage he was sent off. But there was still time for Cerny to screw up when the ball slipped underneath him in the final few minutes. That might sound sceptical and negative but I'm just frustrated - we played well and, had it not been for defensive blunders once again, probably deserved something from the match... it's a common theme this season and one that all Spurs fans are sick of.

But so too is Ramos and co. After weeks of rumours we have added another defender to our ranks when we completed the signing of Jonathan Woodgate yesterday. It does raise a few questions, but no-one can deny that he is a very good defender who will strengthen our back line (as the following video illustrates):

Other than being pretty injury-prone, what are my concerns with Woody? Well although we got him at a fair price, we are allegedly paying him £65,000 a week which will make him the highest earner at the club (no wonder he turned down Newcastle). Is he really that good? And will those sort of wages for a defender cause too many issues with other players at the club?

Despite all of that I also have reservations about his attitude. Yes it's well known he got himself into a lot of trouble when he was a youngster at Leeds, but I'm confident that is now behind him. There were also a number of conspiracy theories at the time he so hastily left Newcastle linking his exit to an off-the-field coke-filled celebrity lifestyle... probably just paper talk but either way that is obviously now behind him as I'm sure he will have had to give random drug tests in the last few years.

So forgetting his bad boy image, I also have a nagging doubt that he's just following the money. He was apparently very settled in the North, so a move to Newcastle to join up with Keegan must have been pretty appealing. He turned them down on Friday in favour of us... was that because of significantly better personal terms being offered by Spurs? And then yesterday Middlesbrough confirmed that a third club had entered the running. At first there were rumours it was ARSEnal (Toure has been injured after all) and rumour has it that Woody got pretty excited and started asking his footballing friends what life was like playing for the Gooners. Wenger then denied it was ARSEnal who were interested, it was then confirmed the third club was Villa, and Woody chose Spurs. Not sure it's made him look very committed to us...

Anyway, it is good to hear we're strengthening the defence. It also looks likely that Gilberto will join from Hertha Berlin. He may be 31, but he'll provide some experience and short term cover in the absence of Bale.

At right back there are still rumours about Hutton, although it now looks like he'll spend the rest of the season at Rangers and will make a decision about his future in the summer. In some ways it's a shame as I think he is an excellent player, but as with Woody, if he isn't really interested in joining us then do we want him? Hutton has apparently turned us down once, twice, maybe three times... perhaps now is the time to give up and move on to another target who is hopefully more hungry to play for Spurs.

And where does the on-off Hutton transfer leave Chimbonda? Well if the quotes attributed to Pascal are accurate it seems he's keen to leave WHL. But with only a few days of the transfer market remaining I'm not sure if that will happen in the near term if we don't land Hutton.

I think Chimbonda (and Robbo for that matter) are more likely to leave Tottenham in the summer simply because Ramos hasn't been able to bring in adequate replacements this month. There is no point rushing things, we are building for the future and if time is required to uncover the right pieces of that jig-saw then so be it.


Anonymous said...

Why can't we spurs fans just be happy that we are looking to sign decent players in the right areas. All of this 'IS HE REALLY WORTH £65,000 A WEEK' and 'HOW GOOD IS HE REALLY' what bullsh!t! Stop moaning, Ramos is no mug, if Woody wasn't up to the job he would have gone elsewhere to find a defender. And as for what he is being paid, why should that concern anyone else as long as he comes in and does a job for the club we all love.

Anonymous said...

And as for the first goal Utd scored that was Lee's fault he was standing behind Dawson and had a better chance of heading clear but he didn't give Daws the shout, he just 'pussyed' out as usual.

But Dawson was definately at fault for the penalty...what was he thinking...that was a clearance from the keeper he should never have misjudged it. Hopefully we can keep King and Woody fit as the centre half pairing because they are far better players than Dawson will ever be.

Dpac73 said...

Don't just blame the defenders if we had put away some of the guilt edge chances that were created then there wouldn't have been as much pressure on the defence to induce those errors.

jonathan said...

In an ideal world we'd all like players who didn't want to talk to other clubs and only wanted to sign for Spurs, but in the real world it's hard to argue that Woodgate shouldn't have the time to listen to offers and weigh them up carefully - he's got his family to think about too. As for turning down Newcastle, my intuition is that it's about more than just money - it's interesting that he turned them down shortly after Arsenal turned them over 3-0 in the week. Having watched us demolish Arsenal a week earlier, it's clear to see that it's potential, not money, that sets the two clubs apart.

Anonymous said...

I can't understand Spurs fans. You spend the whole time complaining about everything. You have a very strong team and have spent more money than almost all the teams in the Premier League except for Chelsea. I wish David Moyes at my club had the resources that Spurs have had , we would be challenging the top four seriously if that had been the case. Investors only want to buy into the London clubs and overseas players only want to play in London because they think it is the place to be, so just be thankful for once as you have alot of advantages over alot of clubs

N7teen said...

"Investors only want to buy into the London clubs"... right mate. So what about ManUre, Villa, Liverpool, Derby, Man City? If you're going to present an argument at least make it logical!

I'm not criticisng the club spending money, I'm merely presenting the pros and cons of particular players. Everton fans might take anything they can get, but I'm a perfectionist and expect high standards from Spurs - not just on the pitch, but when they're engaged in transfer activities or anything else.

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