Is Comolli God?
Sorry, that's meant to be good. Typo in the title. Was he any good for us during his tenure at the Lane?
This discussion has been had more times than a cheap yet tasty East European whore at the local sauna. Not that all girls working in a sauna (brothel) happen to be from Eastern Europe, but if someone was to frequent such a place, I'd hazard a guess they'd select a Russian or Polish lady of the red light than any of the oh so bland alternatives. They tend to have fabulous looking legs. Allegedly. It's what I've been told. Best to move on before this turns into a punter report and goes widely off-topic.
My point is, we've discussed this thousands of times - mostly during and in the lead up to the beginning of the end of Comolli at Spurs, and then in the aftermath of his departure. And once again the last time he was interviewed and mentioned his transfer record at the Lane. And we've been blessed with yet another rendition of the 'I'm so f**king great' chorus from the Frenchman, this time thanks to the Bale hat-trick at some small ground over in Italy.
I guess every single time one of his signings performs majestically well we're going to be treated to various sound-bites from his delirious gob. He's quite obviously never going to tire telling us he's responsible for our good form and fortune. I'd suggest we put aside a plot of land to erect a statue in his name when the Northumberland redevelopment kick-starts but it's probably only right we just skip that and name the stadium after him.
So let's break this sh*t down. Does our former DoF own the exclusive rights to bang on about this to us and should we give him his due?
Much like most managers/coaches - Comolli made some very decent signings and several shabby ones. There is a clear argument to be had for and against in terms of the decent signings made and their already known talent (as opposed to perhaps plucking someone from obscurity). But still, he captured the signatures of the likes of Berbatov and Modric and of course Gareth Bale - their abilities known to many, if not all. Personally, wasn't sure of any of the three. Especially Modric who I had not really seen or heard much about at the time.
He also signed the likes of Zokora, Bent, Bentley, KPB, Taarabt, Bostock and dos Santos. Players that have either struggled, have yet to prove themselves or not turned out to be half as good as expected.
It's all subjective. Everyone knew Bent and Bentley. Comolli signed them. Zokora, I'll give him that one - but Christ, it's nothing to shout about. Taarabt had/has a massive ego. dos Santos hasn't been given a run of games in the side. Jury out. As for Bostock - we'll have to wait and see. But Bostock could have been scouted by myself or you - it's no claim to fame as he was making a decent name for himself down at Palace.
Not sure Lennon and Huddlestone can be claimed. I'm positive they were targeted before his appointment. The rest - some were squad players that worked (Rocha) some didn't (Rasiak).
Kaboul is a perfect example of Comolli at his frustrating best. Rather than sign the finished article or a proven at top level player, he signed a highly rated youngster for a substantial amount of money where it was claimed he would not be thrown into the deep end and thus be developed. Question marks over the fact we paid the amount we did for someone who wasn't deemed a first-teamer. Classic Spurs, we throw him into the deep end thanks to injuries. Ironically, the lad (having been sold and re-bought) is showing signs of football intelligence and composure. Finally. But the journey he's under-taken has been nigh shambolic.
It's not exactly razor sharp stuff, is it?
But none of this is relevant.
Okay, it is actually if you want to strip away everything about the Director of Football system and discuss the individualism of each signing based on merit of the players form at the club. But without doing so, and looking at it as a complete entity of enterprise from top to bottom - Comolli followed Levy's lead (buy young English players with sell-on value) and also bought in foreign players to improve the first team. But the transfer ethos was never really decisive enough for me.
Mainly because we signed individuals (some of which have been a success as mentioned) but because of the lack of any clear true genuine balls deep strategy in terms of types of players required - it was all very mish mashed.
Our stance had at times been a mixture of the superfluous and the potentials. Unbalanced. And it's all good and well saying 'I signed BAE - look at him now', but if you're a DoF signing players for the current appointed manager, that player is meant to work for that manager. But then I guess Comolli will argue he signed the right players, but the manager didn't use them correctly - which again would bring you back to the whole what's the point then argument surrounding the DoF system.
It's all a bit like having two people trying to use any old jigsaw pieces to complete a puzzle, even though they're using pieces from different sets without discussing it first. The DoF felt like that, most of the time.
Again - you can look back at all our managers in the modern era and possibly argue at the amount of money wasted and lack of clear direction we've had during many transfer windows.
Comolli is managing to cloud over the fact that he might have had an eye but in terms of working as a support mechanism for the manager? Nope. Just not good enough. You can't undermine the person you are meant to be supporting (Jol). Or make fundamental mistakes (the 2006 Xmas window).
Levy admitting the mistake, in the end, after the Ramos debacle that the DoF system had to be scrapped. When Comolli got to choose a new man for our dugout, he got it completely wrong with the Juande.
In conclusion, he signed some very good players. Some of which we are enjoying massively in our colours currently. And I guess we should politely nod in his direction for this. But considering the task at hand at the time, he failed to sign players for key positions when required, sometimes signing players completely out of synch with the squad and manipulated and altered the clubs direction to appoint his own man - which proved to be an unmitigated disaster in the end.
Director of football? More of a glorified scout who interfered a little too much, sometimes got it wrong, sometimes got it right but only on a few occasions got it bang on the money.
Fact is, the likes of Bale, BAE...the team as a unit, only came together AFTER he left the club. That should take precedence over his tiresome attention seeking quotes. Even though I'm sure DC will say, that's not the point - he saw the potential and that is enough for him to continue to pull a David Pleat and tell the world of his achievements in N17.
Spurs/Everton match report, it's been drafted but need to touch it up (ooh) and will post on Monday.