Are Spurs Fans Too Fickle?
Since the transfer window has closed, I've been reading many comments from disgruntled Spurs supporters. Many of the vibes have been aimed at either Daniel Levy or Damien Comolli.
Now, I'm no big fan of Comolli, as I think he still has a lot to prove, but I am a fan of Daniel Levy. Here's why:
In the Beginning
When Levy and ENIC first took over they made every Spurs supporter happy by:
1. Getting rid of George Graham
2. Bringing in Glenn Hoddle.
I still remember standing in the shelf watching Hoddle's last match vs. Oxford, and seeing him score an exquisite goal when he nutmegged the last defender just past the half way line, ran inside the box, feint to shoot then, as the keeper was clutching grass, he let the ball continue its momentum and slid it into an empty net.
So this was every Spurs supporters dream.
Those wonderful memories of Hoddle as a player were not duplicated as manager though. However, Levy delivered by bringing in the one man every Spurs supporter wanted and chanted for.
In more recent times he's secured the services of one of the best managers in Europe. There's no doubt that Junde Ramos is a class act. Here is a manager whose philosophy is built on passing and attacking football.
Can you remember the last Spurs manager that had those ideals?
Right now, as you're thinking about it...I bet you're struggling! However I bet you can remember a whole bunch that liked to sit back on 1-0 lead!!
But this article is not about Juande Ramos and his many virtues, it's about Levy and his dogged pursuit of a man he believes can take Spurs to the top. Sure, it could've been done with a little more finesse—but he stopped at nothing in order to get his man, a man that has a proven ability when it comes to taking on the "big boys". A man that other players want to play for.
But getting him was never going to be easy. Firstly, the mould of not paying big sums for a manager had to broken. Premiership players were the ones getting the big bucks, not the managers. This always seemed strange to me—but nevertheless this was always case.
Levy was prepared to reverse this unusual practice.
He was also prepared to put his money where his mouth was. In 2007/08 Spurs spent a surplus of £28m on new players. Regardless of who those new players were, he made the funds available—Levy did his job.
In the last few weeks, we have seen two of our "big players" go, and this has frustrated many Spurs supporters. And some have taken that frustration and pointed it towards Daniel Levy.
But this is not Daniel Levy's fault! In fact, I for one was very pleased and impressed by the way he dealt with both situations.
I was never a huge fan of Keane. As skillful as he was, I always felt that he played in a sort of no-mans land position which disrupted the team shape. But he was producing and scoring goals—so I guess that's all that matters.
When it was clear that Benitez had been tapping up Keane—and Keane wanted to go—Levy had no option but to make them pay top dollar.
I don't think that anyone can disagree that he went for more than his value. So Levy had only one option and he stuck by his guns—he delivered.
Similar situation to the Keane episode. I was very impressed with the way Levy dealt with this situation.
Here comes along Man Utd using strong-arm tactics to force Spurs to sell DB for £25m. Levy showed what a good negotiator he is. He pushed them all the way to the final hour, he called their bluff and made them pay full price for the Bulgarian.
Not only did they pay full price, but they also threw in an up-and-coming player (worth £7-8m) as a loan deal on top of the £30.75m. To me this is good business....of course it would be even better business if we had an option on the player.
He (Levy) could do nothing to stop Berbatov going—so he made it as expensive as possible. Plus in doing so, he sent a strong message to Man Utd...bully-boy tactics won't work here!
Personally, I think £31m plus a good player for a year is making the most of a poor situation. I think he delivered here too.
The one question that everyone is asking is:
Have Spurs got an option to buy Fraizer Campbell at the end of the loan spell?
Here's my take on it; Interestingly enough all parties seem reluctant to answer this question directly. This leads me to assume that the answer is "yes, but don't tell anyone". I believe that Man Utd have agreed to an option to buy, probably for £6.75m maybe £5.75m.
Now the silence of both Man Utd and Spurs on this matter works for both of them.It works for Spurs because if they say they have an option to buy Campbell for £5.75m— then they lose a bit of PR "face" as it kinda looks like Spurs sold Berbatov for £25m + player...which doesn't look as good as £30.75m.
Now it also works for Man U, whose fans look at it from a reverse perspective...i.e. "we gave them £30.75m plus Campbell free for a year and agreed to sell him to them for £5.75m!
From a Man Utd PR perspective this doesn't look too good either...however in 12 months time If Berbatov has a good first innings then the supporters won't care about what happened 12 months ago in relation to Fraizer Campbell.
So let's all save face by agreeing not to comment on the details of this loan deal—for now anyway!
The Futures Bright....the future's Blue & White (and sometimes Black with gold trimming)
Whilst many are complaining that Spurs should have got another striker, the Spurs negotiators rightly felt that Arshavin was overpriced. He's a good player, but realistically not worth more than £11-14m...tops!
Just because Liverpool were happy to pay over the odds for a player...does that mean that Spurs should take that money and then do the same?
I don't think so.
If Spurs were to pay over the odds, they would be setting a dangerous precedent for the future, "Don't worry, stick to your guns and Spurs will eventually pay".
You should also remember that Spurs had many sub-par players to get rid of. I won't bore you with all the names—you know who they are—and for the most part they did, replacing them with many very good players.
Gomes looked very impressive in the Chelsea game, commanding his box like a goalkeeper should. Bentley so far this season has crossed the ball more times than any other Premier League player. Then there's no denying the skill of players like Modric and Giovanni, and now we also have Corluka and Pavlyuchenko.....all these are new players!
Do you remember how painful it was to watch the Spurs midfield last season, no thrust and no creativity. I don't think you can say that now!
So in terms of bringing in new players, Levy has delivered here too. He has made the funds available so that Ramos could strengthen all the areas that Spurs supporters were crying out for. And before you say that they got a lot of money from selling too, buying those players did not seem to rely upon Spurs selling Berbatov or Keane.
The spending spree had already been initiated!
For once in a very very long time, I look at the Spurs team sheet and can't see a weak link—can you remember the last time that was the case? However, with all these new players at Spurs, they are going to take time to gel. The team is essentially brand new.
Daniel Levy is a chairman that Spurs fans should be proud of. Whatever he does appears to be for the best of the club and it's traditions. I can't find any area where he has let Spurs fans down. Although a bit of positive PR wouldn't hurt.
Are Spurs fans too fickle?
Go ask Man Utd fans who were emailing in to Sky Sports calling for Alex Ferguson's head when it looked like Man City were signing Berbatov...now that's what I call fickle!
Go hold your nose and read the Arsenal forums...they are pulling their hair out that they've not replaced the good players that left. They are also very angry at Wenger who's been promising a player or two all summer (apart from Nasri) but hasn't delivered, and they now see him as failing on his promise.
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