The window is open. Can you not feel the draft?
So it’s already started. The rumours and whispers and the regurgitated transfer ramblings. The window is open. If only we could all jump out of it. Doesn’t quite work like that though and as I sit here ever so slightly on the edge of hypocrisy ,as much as I enjoy laughing at the media/Harry Redknapp and the ITK community, I obviously (deep down) don’t mind it as it tends to elevate an otherwise distracting month of irreverent chit chat. We all live in hope Jim White’s head WILL explode. One day, soon.
Mathematicians will obviously point to the fact that there is only a small group of high profile players that we’d potentially be able to sign. The unknown quantity are scouted players completely under the radar which usually don’t get highlighted by those privy to inside info because they don’t truly have access to said info. It’s far easier to suggest signing someone ‘famous’ especially someone who has been linked before. You know how it works. It’s the same formula the back page tabloids enjoy printing.
Once in a while, sure, someone does get it right. Mostly when the deal has practically been concluded and Levy and co can’t stop info from being leaked and hardly care at that point in time. Usually know, no one has a clue until the club tells us. So we populate the time with all the fun and games, the playa hating and the name calling.
I won’t be copying and pasting info this time. It’s out there, it’s easy to find and considering how disparaging I can be towards all the worshipping and the God complex that’s synonymous with it I’m hardly going to share cheap headlines just for the traffic when the info is pretty much irrelevant until said player is paraded in Lilywhite.
So instead I’m going to make logical predictions (will leave the names blank for you lot to discuss) based on nothing more than hope.
We’ve been obsessed with centre-backs. Cahill could have signed for us in the last window. Samba is always a popular and obvious player that gets linked. But then when you note the return of Dawson and add Kaboul, Gallas and the part-time King to the list you start considering the possibility that no new defensive rock will join this window. Perhaps in the next one when Gallas (probably) departs and question marks remain with Ledley’s longevity. Then there’s Caulker, the one for the future that might be part of the first team next season depending on who the manager is at the start of 2013.
It’s more likely that defenders will leave, although we half expected that last time out and it didn’t happen. Bassong probably needs to escape for his own sanity. Corluka? We have to hold onto to cover the right-back position otherwise if Walker is out for x amount of time then Kaboul will have to deputise there and depending on our centre-back situation it could get messy.
The philosophy here ideally should be think long term because long term will aid the short term. Economically (finances and squad size) I’m unclear how Levy plans to work this what with Redknapp’s future uncertain depending on how much you read into outside of Spurs distractions. Hopefully the chairman will appreciate we’re in a position where we need to consolidate and leave nothing to risk, what with the opportunity we find presented to us (top 3, game in hand, potential to push on further).
The midfield is key. Outside of transfers, Harry has to make sure he doesn’t burn out the likes of Parker. We’ve had to adapt and mix it up with the formation in recent games. With Kranjcar out in the cold and Lennon injured (on way back) either we start using Niko (even as an impact sub) or we look to bring in someone young, hungry and happy to play patiently as cover for the flanks. That’s either going to be someone in the Prem from a mid-table to bottom side that’s impressed thus far this season or a player from the continent that perhaps will escape the newsfeeds until it actually happens. Can you think of any high profile players you’d want? Considering high-profile might equate to Lennon ending up as the cover.
Pienaar doesn’t appear to be fancied much (where does he play exactly?). How Giovani remains perpetually linked to a move away without every appearing to make that move possible, irks me. Townsend has gone to Leeds on loan, so you hope there’s more than a suggestion that the club are not going to ‘wing it’ where this is concerned and cross their fingers. We can all see the detrimental impact of not having Lennon available to us. Although it’s allowed us to re-shape and work towards a tangible plan b.
The forward conundrum is far more complex because of the Adebayor loan deal. If we’re going to sign him permanently then money has to be placed aside. I doubt anything will happen in Jan. I hope it doesn’t mainly because it will force the player to continue to work hard (and avoid comfort). Although I’ve been impressed with his words as much as his work ethic (less so for his first touch). Again, politics might mean he doesn’t sign at all and returns to City (then onwards to Italy) in the summer. If Harry is no longer with us, the next man in charge might look elsewhere. Meaning that’s where the big money will be spent.
Pretty much irrelevant from my perspective as a fan though. Harry is the manager, he’s still the manager and we need to be decisive and completely confident in the squad we have post-Jan.
And so begins the second guessing. If the right player *is* available now and that player has the world class about him then regardless of the future, if its right for Spurs he should be signed.
Fact is, we have three forwards. Only one of them gets to play consistently. Pavlyuchenko is the one that needs to leave as he remains surplus and mostly unimpressive. Frustrating, as he’s technically a great finisher but usually a lazy unintelligent individual who doesn’t quite fit in when it matters. Cameos are not enough to retain his services. So based on that, we should be looking for someone to come in. If Levy isn’t willing to spend the masses of millions then much like the flank cover, we’ll look to be shrewd but sign someone with experience (rather than a young player who would be too great a risk, especially if Adebayor got injured).
Knock yourselves out guessing who that player might be. There are several touted ‘big name’ players who fit the bill. One or two less glamorous ones already plying their trade in England. Interestingly we’ve (ITK’s, the media and more importantly the fans) have moved on from waiting for a fully fledged La Liga superstar to sign. We are hardly going to sign someone that will demand to play ahead of Adebayor. Would make little sense.
Those that chose to be critical of Adebayor need to also appreciate he too was a shrewd signing. Experienced Prem player with something to prove. No big fee paid, percentage of wage the only damage. Roman’s ‘departure’ is key here. If he doesn’t leave then can’t see us signing anyone up front. Don’t see how manager and chairman could validate such a move (although it’s more than obvious Harry wants rid of the Russian).
The gaffer cites that ‘special player’. No doubting a goal-scorer would be the ideal special player he’d like to make part of the squad. But then trying to decipher whether this is another deflection sound-bite or Harry letting us know subtly nothing will happen is again...anyone’s guess.
I’ll be made up with a midfielder. Perhaps one that can play wide but also do a job where Rafa plays behind Adebayor – meaning we cover two positions. I’ll be made up if we make it a double signing with a forward to retain a cutting edge if others pick up knocks.
One thing is for certain. Regardless of the necessity we all seem to share in wanting to know what player the club are working towards signing (if any) if it happens it makes no difference if you knew about it before the official announcement.
In an ideal world, we won’t be asking the above questions on the final day of the window because we’ll have concluded our business some time before. We are much more likely to see Sky Sports News reporters interviewing Harry (through his car window) every twenty minutes as he drives in and out of the Lodge car park to get as much air time as possible.