It's easy to blame money for the transfer saga that defined Tottenham's summer, as Luka Modric hoped to escape White Hart Lane in favor of Stamford Bridge.
"We can't kid ourselves, if someone is going to double or triple your wages, it's difficult," said Harry Redknapp when the story started really heating up earlier this summer. "But he signed a contract here, we love him here and we want him here."
More money. That's really all the Croatian midfield star wanted, right? It's easy enough to make him the villain when his only motivation for skipping out on his contract is pure and absolute greed.
Of course, it's not quite that simple.
With a stacked trophy case, a long history of success (especially in recent years) and some of the greatest talent to ever set foot on English soil, it's little wonder why a move to Chelsea would be appealing for any player. It would be the transfer to define a career.
Not to mention the fact that Chelsea can offer Luka Modric the one thing that he really desires the most, and that is entirely absent from Tottenham's schedule this season: Champions League Football.
With the transfer window now officially closed, Spurs avoided the loss of Modric after all, but not for a lack of constant rumors and gossip extending even until the final minutes of deadline day.
Luka Modric will be a Spur in 2011-12. At least until January.
It is still very unclear whether or not Chelsea or another side will move to once again try and entice Modric to force a transfer in the next window. But if the past few months have been any indication, then it's a pretty safe bet.
In just a few months' time, it all starts again.
In the meantime, Spurs have at least one option for avoiding another dramatic month of rumors and speculation weighing heavily on the mentality of all who surround the Croatian: success.
In the final months of 2010-11, it became agonizingly clear that Spurs were not the top-notch and worthy recipients of European football that so many of us thought they were, as they suffered a seemingly endless winless streak and ultimately dropped to fifth on the table.
And in the first two EPL matches of this season, the trend doesn't exactly seem to be near its end.
Still, with the additions of Emmanuel Adebayor and Scott Parker to Spurs' ranks, neither of whom have yet to play a league match for Tottenham since their acquisitions, there's still hope.
If Tottenham can recapture their winning ways and demonstrate once again that they are a top-four caliber club, then maybe they can avoid the January drama with Modric after all.
Essentially, Spurs have less than four months to recapture Modric's devotion and woo him once again, as though he's the pretty girl sitting at the table across the pub. Except, instead of a pretty girl, he's kind of a goofy-looking Croatian footballer with crooked teeth.
If it's success that Modric wants, then it's success that Spurs will have to give him.
There may be honor in playing for a successful club that's fully established as a European powerhouse, but there's plenty of honor in helping a club climb to that status as well.
If Spurs can convince Modric of that, then January could be a breeze.
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