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Month: July 2010

Players Please

Players Please

Tottenham TransfersSo where are these summer signings then?! I expected Tottenham to be very active in the transfer market by now but it just hasn’t happened. It sounds like Harry expected to get Joe Cole but I still thought we’d have three or four new squad members by now. Our boss was quoted in the press today talking about Man City’s resources, claiming fans would not care if ‘Saddam Hussein’ owned their club so long as he was pumping ridiculous amounts of money into it.

City’s spending power is incredible and eventually, I’m sure they will manage to buy the Premier League title and possible even the Champions League, but I believe we still have another season or two before the Abu Dhabi United Group complete their mission! Although it must be exciting times for City fans, I’d imagine it must also be a little tedious being able to basically go out and get anyone. As a fan you want success, but just buying it in that way makes very little appeal to me personally. If Spurs paid the type of transfer fee and wages that are being quoted for James Milner, I’d feel more than a little sick!

‘There’s still value in the transfer market, but you’ve got to be a genius. You’ve got to go and find somebody, but top players, they want top wages. That’s your problem.’

While Redknapp does have a point with regard to the transfer market being a tougher place to unearth bargains than it has been in years gone by, it’s not impossible. If anyone can come up with a couple of gems for fair money, it’s Harry. I think wages are an issue but there is a balance you have to find where that issue is concerned. The club have that balance about right at
the moment.

It just doesn’t feel normal being a Spurs fan this Summer. Champions League football and not being linked with every player under the sun while buying and selling lots of others. Maybe this is the new Tottenham, a more settled and stable one hopefully. That being said, two or three new faces before we kick off our campaign proper would be very welcome.

Will Joe Cole tip the balance?

Will Joe Cole tip the balance?

Joe ColeA few days ago, I wrote an article discussing the online betting for next season’s Premier League title. I found it puzzling that Liverpool were a significantly shorter price than Tottenham going on last season’s form, coupled with the uncertainty surrounding the future of their star players. Gerrard was to be joining Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid and Torres was also allegedly keen to move, that is if anyone is brave enough to risk millions of pounds on a player that looks to have serious issues if his World Cup performances are anything to go by.

I genuinely thought Joe Cole would end up at Tottenham this summer. If the internet and newspapers are to believed, Spurs offer of wages was the lowest of his suitors, and significantly lower than those Liverpool where willing to pay. The way I see it, Liverpool were willing to pay over the odds for a player like Joe Cole as a statement of intent. They are not in the Champions League currently, have appointed a very talented but arguably low profile manager and looked like a club in serious regression last season. Cole’s signing not only shows they are still able to attract players of world class

All this being said, I don’t think it’s the end of the world that Spurs missed out on Cole. We already have a wealth of talent in midfield and paying 100k a week or more for a player in his late 20s who has a very poor injury record probably wasn’t the right move for us in hindsight. I think he was a lot more important for Liverpool than he was for Tottenham.

Do I think Cole’s move to Liverpool will propel them to mount a challenge for the Premier League title this coming season? Not a chance. Do I think he will tip the balance in their favour over Spurs where the battle for a top 4 spot is concerned? I doubt it, but I fully expect them to be better than last season. The only problem for them is, Spurs will be too!

I might start supporting Fulham

I might start supporting Fulham

So that was a white lie, but it will hurt seeing Martin Jol at another Premiership side if today’s papers are to be believed. Maarten Cornelis Jol should never have lost his job as Tottenham manager and the way he was treated still gets my goat when I think back to it. Obviously it’s all water under the bridge now, and I wouldn’t swap Harry for anyone, but I was very disappointed when the Dutchman was replaced.

His record since leaving Spurs has enforced the fact he is an excellent manager having tasted success at both Hamburg and Ajax. It’s easy to forget what he achieved at Tottenham and how much improvement and consistency he got from the squad during his tenure. Winning the League Cup under Ramos vindicated the club’s decision to replace Jol in the short term, but Ramos’ overall record did nothing of the sort.

I’ve always had a lot of time for Fulham as a football club anyway but now I’ll be keen for them to do well, just so long as it isn’t at Tottenham’s expense. If Martin Jol does take the reigns at Craven Cottage, it will certainly make for a couple of very entertaining fixtures this coming season and it would be no surprise to see Jol’s Fulham side turn us over in at least one of those Premier League meetings. As much as I’m a fan of our former manager, I just hope it isn’t at White Hart Lane!

We will never know what might have been under Martin Jol. I realise he was going through a slightly rough patch when he was removed from office at Tottenham but that was likely due to the fact his position had been undermined by both Levy and Comolli. Fingers crossed it will be a successful 2010/11 season for both Tottenham and Fulham.

Have the bookies made an error?

Have the bookies made an error?

LedleyI was having a look at the betting for next season’s Premier League today and although the bookies normally aren’t far wrong, I feel the prices are a little off the mark. While I don’t for a second expect Tottenham to be winning the league, I am confused as to how they can be 40/1 shots with Man City as short as 9/2 and Liverpool as short as 11/1.

Man City’s spending power is phenomenal and they have added some serious talent to their squad this summer with the likes of Boateng, Toure and Silva joining an already excellent group of players. The problem for them is I don’t see Mancini as the man to get these players to gel or control their egos and settle the unrest when their start to the campaign isn’t as phenomenal as everyone is expecting. I think they could well end up in a similar position to last season.

Are Liverpool suddenly going to be a successful side under Roy Hodgson? They looked awful at times last season and it’s going to take them time to rebuild. Torres appears to be in a very bad way if the world cup is anything to go by. Carragher isn’t half the player he was a few years ago and Gerrard turns it on when he’s in the mood. This is assuming Torres and Gerrard are staying.

Now onto the 40/1 outsiders! Admittedly, one good season does not a great club make, but there is just as much reason to believe we can continue our progression under Harry Redknapp as there is we will resume the battle for 7th and 8th place. I don’t feel like last season was a fluke. Our home form has been solid for a number of years now and we have finally mastered the art of picking up points on the road. The possibility of a Champions League campaign will test the squad, but we have the strength in depth now to be able to change the personnel from game to game and still be a force in the Premiership.

The betting for the top 4 sees us 6th best behind Chelsea, Utd, City, Arsenal and Liverpool. I seem to remember us being given a similar chance at the start of last season. History has a habit of repeating itself…