Sandro Arrival Date
Won’t be arriving to N17 until after Internacional get knocked out (or go all the way) in the Libertadores Cup. The next game being played is the second leg of the quarter final (20th May). They won the first leg. The semi-final second leg gets played on the 2nd August. So he’s potentially a fair distance away (literally) from joining. Not forgetting he’ll need to squeeze in a summer’s holiday before training at the Lodge.
So, should take him a few months to climatise to the EPL and life in England and in the mean time we’ll find out whether Harry will continue to start Modric and Huddlestone in the middle or tinker depending on opponent. Sandro, the squad player, at the very least in his first season at the Lane. What we do with the centre of the park and Wilson/Luka/Tommy is a renewed conundrum that will need resolving.
On his way? The suggestion is that Lokomotiv are looking to approach Spurs again for the Russian forward. No shocker here. Roman had a fantastic mini-spell for us scoring plenty, but perhaps it was inspired with this move in mind, rather than any inspirational man-management from Harry. We do need to make some room in our attack for new blood and Crouch and Defoe offer our gaffer something tangible in comparison to the fragile Roman (Crouch – mad skillz for a tall person / Defoe – destroys the offside trap).
Oleg Artemov (Pav’s agent) is at it again. Says that the player has adapted to the EPL and that he has remained because of the trust shown in him and his performances (oh and the little matter of 4th spot) but then states there will be negotiations. Add to it the quotes coming out of the Russian media from Nikolai Naumov (Lokomotiv president) and we might be looking at reclaiming the money spent in the first place. Which means...
We need one. We need a talismanic forward. A next-level forward. And now we have the promised land of CL group stages in our sight, money has to be spent on someone who can smash in 25-30 goals and bring the type of dimension witnessed in Berbatov’s debut EPL season. Asking for the moon on a stick, aren’t I? I can’t think of anyone domestically who fits the bill. As for the continent? Edin Dzeko is a name being touted about. He’s a Bosnian who plays his football in Germany for Wolfsburg. Cracking little player, and expect bigger badder clubs to be interested in his signature. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility, but his wage demands might be (I guess, with 4th spot claimed, does Levy review the wage structure at the club?). Then again, is all this newspaper talk or forum talk? I forget. The reality of the situation is, unlike Berbatov prior to us signing him, Dzeko is being chased by seasoned CL sides who are serious about signing him.
New contract. Says a lot this. He deserves it for the shift he put in this season. Yes, he’s a cameo player but when he does play he’s on a completely different planet to everyone else. Has massive pockets in his shorts where opposing forwards, with thumb in mouth, sleep for prolonged periods during games. Only got one knee, and yet here he is. Still Tottenham. Still a freak of nature. And his 4 games on the trot run at the end of the season should be enough to prove he is ready to answer the call for England.
I've lost count of the interviews and headlines this guy is generating at the minute. Current one is that he's thinking of changing his international allegiance to Ireland. Okay. I think England might survive that bombshell. Just about. If he is being genuine about fighting for a place at Spurs (he's got no chance of being a starter) he should shut up, enjoy his summer hols then buckle down for some hard grafting at the start of the 2011 season. If he's simply using all this to indirectly advertise his availability, then for once, I hope he quits this constant sob story airing and simply asks his agent to get to work behind the scenes and spare us from this daily torture.
ITK (in the know) update
Can’t say there is one. Plenty of the usual BS floating around in the basin of tabloids. I see Robert Green is linked. Riiiiiiight. Harry claims all deals will be done BEFORE the World Cup, but then why should he give anything away? Perhaps all our targets are not involved down in South Africa and he’s agreed with Levy we only need one or two players. Doubtful. We’ve got plenty of deadwood that needs to be transformed into sterling and if we are serious about stepping up to the next level that new striker is required along with CB cover and perhaps another midfield.
Arda Turan is another name the papers are citing. A starlet of Turkish football. Scores a few goals. Tasty. But where would he fit in? And don’t you dare even think the ‘he’s a Modric replacement’ thought.
So, CB. Another central midfielder. A back-up goalkeeper (preferably a decent young keeper). I’m not that fussed about our usual intake of young players, mainly because I’m still waiting to see how we handle the likes of Bostock re: development along with a few other academy stars who are meant to be highly rated. Inglethorpe has his hands full there. What we need is to improve our squad (obviously) and perhaps a couple of cheeky ‘experienced’ signings might aid us (if) we get into the CL group stage. Along with, of course, that CB, CM and Forward.
If we’re going down the route of expected ‘targets’ (targets being the players the tabloids and ITK forum dwellers will be latching onto) then expect the following domestic players to be mentioned countless times:
Craig Bellamy (handshake innit)
Scary thing is I can see us inquiring on a couple of them. And I wouldn’t say no to one of them at the very least. The less about the usual ITK favs said, the better (Diarra, Sissoko, Muntari). Been there done that.
As for Robbie Keane’s return. Soz. No. It’s what you get for following your boyhood dream to the gates of Anfield.