Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Now let’s get on with the football

So the silly season is over for a few months and Sky Sports News’ audience figures will no doubt drop back down to more regular levels until late January. The transfer window has closed and surprise, surprise, Berba has joined ManUre. Although all Spurs fans will be disappointed, I think we can also feel relieved that the episode is finally over.

But the Berba news is only part of the story from the last week. And although the press enjoyed spinning a yarn or two and making a massive drama out of the whole thing, I don’t think there have been too many surprises (with the exception of Manchester City).

That said, I was both a little surprised but also pleased when I heard last Tuesday that Tomas Pekhart was being loaned to Southampton for the season. By all accounts the young Czech striker is a prodigious talent with bags of potential. He was our top scorer in the reserves last season and I expected we might see him break into the first team following the exit of Keane and the impending exit of Berba. However, the loan deal confirmed two things: firstly Ramos doesn’t feel Pekhart is ready for first team action just yet (and we should respect the manager’s decision), and secondly there was no way we’d be loaning him out without bringing in more forwards. It’s just that this time last week we weren’t sure who was coming in.

Things became clearer within hours though, as news broke that Roman Pavlyuchenko was telling the Russian press he was on his way to join us. The second Russian Roman in London has certainly had a good couple of years – top scorer in the Russian league, followed by an impressive Euro 2008. We thought the deal was off a week or so ago, but it just shows how little the press really know. Now with Pav joining us towards the end of the Russian season – and with us only the start of our season – I’m not convinced we’ll get the best out of him until future seasons. Although he might be sharp and match fit right now, it may take him some time to adjust to the Premier League. And just as he’s achieving that, I’m worried the effects of a long season will kick in. I’m sure he will score some goals for us this season, but I have really high hopes for this time next year.

As the end of the transfer window got closer we heard rumours over the weekend that Frazier Campbell may well come to Spurs as part of the Berba deal. This made a lot of sense as all seemed to have gone quiet on the new striker front. And although Pav was a definite, with the Pekhart news it was clear we’d need more than just Bent and the Ruskie in our squad. Hull allegedly bid £7 million for the young Red Devil who’d scored 15 times in the Championship last term, so he must be a pretty decent player. As it was, we didn’t get confirmation until 12:30am this morning, but when the news came through it was confirmed that he’s joined us on a season-long loan.

With all of the upheaval at Manchester City last month and the Vedran Corluka deal that never was, it was clear that this story was going to keep running. The soap opera has been well documented online, and as last week progressed the rumours intensified that he would in fact be joining us after all. And indeed he has, as it was announced yesterday morning that we’ve signed him on a six-year deal for £8.5 million. He’s a decent player, who’s best mates with Luka, who’ll help tighten up our leaky defence.

I’d given up on us signing a left sided midfielder, as this is a position that we have continually overlooked. I can’t believe Comolli is still taking his monthly pay cheque when there is such a long-running omission, but there we go.

The only other bit of business I was really hoping for was to see us sign Miguel Veloso, one of the best young defensive midfielders in Europe. However, when I heard on Saturday that Didier Zokora has signed a contract extension it became pretty clear that Ramos wasn’t going to strengthen this area of the squad before the window shut.

So there we go. No massive surprises. City may have offered big money for Dimitar Berbatov, but we all knew he’d never go there. It was a sweet move though, as it meant we could get more money out of ManUre. I thought they’d end up signing Berba for under £25 million as time was rapidly running out. But full credit to Levy though. To get over £30 million for him was good business. I get the impression that most Spurs fans have turned against Berba, but I think that’s a little unfair. It wasn’t his fault that everything dragged on until yesterday. He made it clear a year ago he wanted to head to Manchester, and the only reason we’ve had an unfortunate couple of weeks is because old Red Nose couldn’t get his act together. But he’s paid the price as I’m sure he’d have been able to get Berba slightly cheaper without having to commit to Campbell going the other way on loan if he’d made more of an effort to secure the deal earlier in the summer.

As for the football, I can’t really finish without mentioning Sunday. Our lads did us proud at the Bridge. We played well and deserved the point. I’m still concerned with the formations Ramos has used this season, as I thought we were looking to try and repeat the Santini ‘bus trick’ of coming away with a 0-0 draw. I wasn’t convinced we’d get back into it once we went one-down, as the formation meant we weren’t creating anything in the attacking third. However, Lampard came to our rescue and showed we didn’t need to create anything as he’d do it for us! It was a great result and the day was only soured by hearing that Woodgate hadn’t made Capello’s squad. Now I know I was a fan of the Italian being given the job, but to exclude Woodgate and Owen is just crazy and I hope we don’t live to regret it next Wednesday evening in Croatia.


Anonymous said...

I get the feeling we missed out on a target or 2. I also really hope that we have some clause on Frazier Campbell that we have first option at a good price. Last thing we want is for him to take off at Spurs and then head back to Man Utd

Anonymous said...

relieved it is finally over, we got a good price, thanks to man city. Although annoyed that Fergie has broken rules again and allowed to get away with it again which proves that big 4 hold power and we remain powerless with the weak fa and premier league and no chairmen or managers willing to make a stand with exception of Martin O'Neill

Anonymous said...

As a life long spurs supporter, i cant help but feel a little disappointed this morning. Yes i know we have had some major up heaval this transfer window, but i cant help feeling we are a lot weaker than we were this time last year. We have lost over 40 goals worth of scoring talent, (which lets face it, kept us in games last year) - for the 5 th year running not bought an out and out left winger or a defensive midfielder. Zokora signing new contract fills me with dread. (he did play well on sunday though). We had very little to link up midfield to attack. All the new players will need time to bed in and see if they make the grade. I hope our season is not completely fcuked by the time they get their act together. Dont know enough about Pav, but corluka seemed to be well thought of at city, so a good back up to king/woody. It just seems another transfere window has passed, but the propblem areas are still problem areas and we dont have keane/berbs banging in the goals............

Anonymous said...

Campbell quote from http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/sport/football/article-1051639/Spurs-new-boy-Campbell-relishing-chance-step-Berbatovs-boots.html?ITO=1490

He speaks as if he is moving permanently to Spurs....

Campbell said: 'I was up since half past seven and had so many calls. At one point it was looking like I was going to one place and then things would change and then I would be going somewhere else.

'But I'm really excited to be going to Tottenham. They are a big club, with a good manager and they are building a really good team.

'It's disappointing to leave United but when you get a chance to play for a club like Tottenham you have to take it.

'I would have liked to stay at United but with Berbatov coming in the gaffer felt I might be better served going somewhere else to get some games.'

Anonymous said...

What a disgrace. Levy took the money like Rednapp said on SKY we are a selling club. Cheeky sod apparently new about the manu deal a day before and had plenty of time to get further quality reinforcements. With MAn city about to overtake us. I suggest unless we get some rich Arab its all over forget top 4 well forget top 6 quite frankly. Levi is not going to back us to the hilt with money So forget it, its all over we have not got a chance. Even Woodgate emailed the reporter on sky sports about midnight angry that his own chairman had not made any further purchases. What a mess.Further more we get this kid from Man u who was due to be sold to Hull City what the hell does that tell you about him!

Anonymous said...

i’ve been spurs supporter for over 40 years and in that time i seen a lot players come and go but this situations regarding Berb and Manchester united has to rank in same league as Campbell transfer to Arsenal few years ago , i know we got 30million which is around 18 million more than we paid for him and around 3 million more than a good champion league run but mr berbatov acted badly which cost us dearly over past two years he acting in way that totally disrespectful to football club , two managers, heavily involved in departure of jol also helped to push one best strikers out of club Defoe ... berbatov i have one thing to say fxxx off . you’re going to get very very warm welcome form spurs supports and players over the next few months, manchester united you got great players but his moody

Anonymous said...

This whole pre-season has taken Spurs to a new low. I'm not upset that Berbatov chose to join United, afterall he has the opportunity to become the new Cantona and he is guaranteed to in things rather than fight for an elusive 4th place and a random cup. What annoys me is that the board have seen fit to replace our one plus of last season with inexperience. We are further from achieving our goal of 4th place than we were 3 seasons ago and I can't see how this will be reversed especially given the levels of investment being plied elsewhere.

We've needed a defensive midfielder since Carrick left and a good quality centre half to cover for King and Woodgate, these areas have not been addressed instead we waste time quibbling over a few pounds which then go to shareholders pockets. This is not the way to run a football club. I'm not saying do a Leeds, but we can't keep on selling our best players like some feeder club.

NickG said...

For the past 2 seasons at Spurs the problem has been a lack of leadership and consistency.

Rotating the centre halves is not the solution. We need a settled back line and a leader on the pitch. I love Ledley as much as the other Spurs fans but we MUST move on.

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