Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The End of Spurs or a New Beginning?

Tom Moseley explains to The Football Front the cross roads Spurs are at and why it could lead to a better future

Saturday 19th May. Every Spurs fan was a Bayern Munich fan. However after the game, I think most of them would have Dortmund down as their German side. Bayern kept pressuring Chelsea and looked like they had to win, with a total of 44 shots, but it was not to be. The football Gods were on Chelsea’s side, as they somehow managed to survive the relentless Bayern attacks and gain victory on penalties. 

Which therefore meant, no Champions League football for Spurs and another year in the Europa League.
At the start of the season, this wouldn’t have been a disaster for Spurs, as a 5th place finish is more than respectable, however it’s the manner in which it happened. 

Spurs were pushing for the title around December/January time, but they crumbled. And it coincicded with the heavy speculation surrounding Redknapp, regarding his court case and the vacant England job. I’m not saying that’s an excuse, but they only won one in nine games after the Newcastle game, when the speculation was at its peak, leading to a slide down the table and losing a 10-point advantage on their rivals, Arsenal.
This has led to many people saying this could be the end for this era of Spurs players. They will not be able to make the Champions League in the coming years. 

Indeed, missing out on Champions League football could have a big impact on them, with key players like Bale and Modric leaving and I’m sure a couple more players getting picked off, by clubs trying to bolster their clubs for the Champions League. Modric was centre of speculation last year, with Chelsea offering £30M, but Spurs rejected it, but maybe this year, things could be different. He might really want to go, as this could have been a ‘conditional’ year, where he would have stayed if they got Champions League football.

I agree, to a point. They could lose key players, that’s inevitable. The players want to play Champions League football, which you can’t really blame them for. However, I don’t think they’ll completely collapse and turn into mid-table-mediocrity. 

When you think about the players that could leave for Champions League football, Modric, Bale and Van Der Vaart, then not keeping Adebayor permanently due to his high wages. That is four key players, however, they could easily bring in £60M-£70M.

Which brings me onto my view. It’s not the end, it’s a new beginning for Spurs if they lose thse players. I know ‘Arry won’t get all £60M-£70M (if they do sell them) as I’m sure the board would want to keep some, mainly because of the money they lose for not qualifying for the Champions League. But with a  decent transfer budget and sales of players, ‘Arry could easily have £50M to spend and we all know what he’s like in the transfer market. He’s not called a wheeler-dealer for no minor reason. With that amount of money and some decent fringe players, who could have more of a chance now, they could challenge just as well as they did this year.

If you look at the squad now, they still have some good players that don’t play week-in, week-out.  They have players like Defoe, Krancjar, Dos Santos and Sandro. I know they’re not as good as the players they’re losing, but they can still do a good job and are also a good foundation to build a squad.
They are also (reportedly) interested in players like Asamoah from Udinese and Jan Vertonghen from Ajax, which, if they get sign would be great buys. Asamoah isn’t exactly a like-for-like swap for Modric, however, he is a good midfielder and will do well for Spurs, next to Parker.

This is what they need to do, if they want to remain successful. They need to either sign good players from slightly lower Premier League clubs, or go for an-almost Moneyball approach, by buying players from the non-major nations and leagues. They need to focus on the more long term future, instead of the immediate in future, in my opinion. I think they need to take the next season or two as transition seasons and get a new generation of players in, then really go for it in the third season. 

They need to sign players that are hungry and want to prove themselves at the highest level, instead of players who think they belong in the top level and were unwanted at a top club and see Spurs as a step down. I know this does work, look at Van Der Vaart, but it can also be a big gamble, especially as their wages are a lot higher.

It may be biased, as I’m a Wolves fan, but I think two good economical buys for them could be Steven Fletcher and Matt Jarvis, to replace Adebayor and Bale. I’m not saying they’re as good as them, but they’ll do a good job. Jarvis is similar to Bale in the way he’s a simple winger, he doesn’t overcomplicate his game, he gets the ball, runs at defences and crosses it. Then I see Fletcher as a good replacement for Adebayor, as he is a good all-rounded striker. He’s skilful, good touch, can finish and can head. Wolves have said an offer between £8M-£10M will tempt them though, so I’d say £15M would be enough for the pair of them, which, in my opinion, would be great for two consistent players.

They could also take an approach like Newcastle, as Newcastle have found a lot of good value for money players in France and then Cisse in Germany, so looking at these leagues could also be good, as players never seem to be as expensive, in my opinion. I mean Arsenal signed Podolski for £12.9M and Dortmund signed Marco Reus for £10M, so (slightly contraditing to my last point) but not looking at British players could  be the route for them if they want value.

Overall, I think this is a new beginning and generation for Spurs, if the key players do leave. I also think it’s an exciting time to be a Spurs fan, not a sad one. There’s many roads that Spurs could take if players leave, which can leave to some exciting new players. I personally think it’s interesting to see what will happen to Spurs, because of the options that could be open to them. It should be an interesting summer for Spurs, no matter what happens.
This article was written by Tom Moseley, you can follow him on Twitter: @PlayedOfThePark .Check out his website too:

More of Tom's work can be found here

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