Daniel, it's ten past two, twentieth of July and we've still not signed anyone. The only club in the Premier League yet to dip their toes into the water. Tepid or tactical?
I'm sure you won't share your deepest thoughts on this. You've never truly cared for the masses and their desire for that transfer fix to be incisive. Not when it comes to transparency. But then why should you? You do what you want, right? You will always leave us perpetually waiting for that rich concentrated buzz of activity that seems to inject hope and belief into the future.
A new signings is, according to fable, evidence of ambition. It's a stamp of the foot and a war cry that we're here to do business, off and then on the pitch. You like business don't you? Of course you do. The business of saving a pound note. Boom! That old chestnut.
Okay, so let's go meta and break this down in the only way I know how. Tons of glittery words when only a few are required.
Firstly, the act (or art) of signing a new player is for the most part a trend of superficiality but at the same time an imperative and decisive step towards consolidation. It's two faced. Yet it's only two faced in terms of perception when dealing with that aforementioned buzz we all get out of it. The end result is the only thing of relevance. We improve.
Confused? Good. That's my point. Buying a new player is straightforward. Want someone, we bid, we sign him or we don't. No f**king around, no waiting for some other team to swoop in and bid £5M more than we have. Yet from what we perceive to whatever it is you do behind closed doors (no doubt grafting, regardless of what we think), it all retains a sense of the chaotic. At times even desperation. We are, however, selective when we choose to be critical.
A new player arrival means that we suddenly have a (potential) new dimension. It's uplifting. Activity also means we are planning ahead and looking carefully at depth and options. As fans, we suggest what we might need but at times, stripping away the tactically discussions, all we want is SOMEONE TO SIGN, DON'T CARE, DO SOMETHING FFS. Like a junkie, snatching a needle and not giving a sh*t what he's about to pump into his vein. A high is a high after-all.
I know, I'm being vacuous here. But there's an element of truth thanks to the unnerving impatience we all struggle with when you look to bide time whilst everyone else is splashing money around. It's almost like we never spend money when we actually do. Most of the time, we do exactly that. What remains the bugbear is timing.
We haven't forgotten the times when we haven't spent to consolidate (say, for example in 2006). When we sold Gareth Bale, we went positively loopy with new acquisitions. Now that particular era was an error but it also paved the way for our current truly organic growth. We burnt our fingers for the last time and we've become more calculated and astute since. Errors (the Mitchell Black Box, young French wingers) still occur, it's the nature of the market. However, becoming more astute when you dear Dan boy move slowly can infuriate one and all. You move as slowly as a ninja in the death of the night, invisible in the shadows, never making the killer move because the nunchucks were left at home on the kitchen table.
Again, I don't know why we don't seem to be certain of our targets earlier in the window. Why everything has to be done so late (most of the time). That's when errs are mostly likely to occur (Sissoko). But there's a touch of reality bending here from the fanbase. We do scout and sign players we want. We did it with Wanyama and Toby before him. Janssen too (sure, he's not settled in). The argument over the calibre of said players is also ambiguous in terms of using it as another reason why your style is flawed. Victor was someone that I remember many shrugging at when announced. He would be nothing more than a backup they said. Look at him now. Add into the mix Poch and his ability to transform and reinvent and this adds a layer to our progression that arguably other teams are still striving for. Dier, Rose and others are plentiful in terms of prime examples of coaching success.
Tottenham's momentum is because Poch took the individualism and ego out of the teams ethic and forged something far stronger. But alas, even with the game changers we have we still lack that edge. That game changing game changer. And that's the real reason for the frustration.
We're all waiting for something to clearly be an upgrade (or on the balance level) with what we have. So the bench and those lulls in games will welcome the new in amongst the old and revitalise what would be two points dropped into three bagged.
We're waiting because we need to know what you and the manager are thinking and have confidence in what you're doing. It's a little bit ludicrous when stating this. A swift swoop sends the message out quickly. Slow and brooding and we're all left unclear. We're very simple people. Of course, 'in Poch we trust' shouldn't be scuffed at. However, when do we bottleneck because those around us have signed so many superior world class players that the playing field jumps too many steps ahead of us?
With the new stadium in a few years from now we might be at the level others already play at. We could potentially compete with wages and the like. We'll be another Chelsea or City. Attracting players because of the financial clout. The best team, the team winning the league is traditionally the one that spends the most and signs worldys in every position. It's a f**king atrocious state of affairs but we're heading towards it. If we want to be able to compete every season, we have to be in that same position of wealth. Shared wealth, between club and players. Then everyone will have their wish come true. Or not. We could end up like our neighbours and go the lite way and not have enough about us to make the breakthrough (with the title, as cups are pretty much seen as bonus days out by fans and players).
Even with all the money in the world, you still need a togetherness and a masterplan. Although Chelsea's (title) win last season sort of makes a mockery of that (in terms of how easy it was for them to switch back on and jog to its conclusion).
What Leicester did and what we're attempting to do remains the antithesis of what history is telling us is the only way to do it.
Someone pointed out that the wages we dish out with the added win bonuses isn't that awful in comparison to others but the disparity is still enough to make heads turns. We all know that winning something solidifies what we have. It will vindicate what we're attempting to achieve from a footballing perspective. We currently do things in reverse. We make or turn those astute signings into multi-million valued superstars. We create heroes. They end up sticking a cape on and flying away whilst we sit alone in our fortress of solitude. But not for long as the cycle repeats. It's a business model that for all the criticism you get Daniel, still seems to work. It still produces, be it accidental or otherwise. It can't be the former tbh, because it keeps on repeating. Is luck still luck if it happens all of the time?
Under Pochettino, for the first time, we have a team that can actually contend and believe they can win something. That's a powerful commodity. But it's still a struggle because of those other teams that just spend millions upon millions to instantly strengthen. So placing aside the romanticised notions of building with honour and other plaudits you can't place on a trophy cabinet, the only reality is the one that is currently ruining social media. That, regardless of all the rationalising, we still need a right-back and another creative player and some pace. Just for the simplicity of having the options that would have given us enough points last season and possibly even the season before to lead the title race and probably (maybe, maybe not) win it.
The fact that we're all sat here, in this ominous pool of our sweat, being linked to little known Argentine youth and Ross Barkley is a cause for concern. It's because ye olde history says last minute transfers always seem to look like panic buys. Barkley, by the way, is a player that most of our lot don't rate which is altogether a different ilk of ballache pertaining to the demand to sign a player and then complain it's the wrong player. You'll never make everyone happy.
I guess my concluding point is; it always looks like we're uncertain. It always looks like we're working within the boundaries of ultra strict constraints on spending money (even if £30M for Sissoko happened). It's business as usual, for you and us, whilst we suffer in wait. In the mean time you'll be accused that you're delaying on purpose to avoid paying a months wage and haggling the cost down a little more come deadline day.
Daniel, I suppose I should have faith. We keep achieving what everyone tells us we won't, that we can't do it again or go one better. We're into the third term of this now. We're unlike most below us, not needing a huddle of players to be signed to catch up. We have our structure, our identity. We don't need the fixes others do. We don't need a huddle of newbies, we just need a certifiable proven singleton to keep ahead of the chasing pack and catch the one above us.
I'm repeating myself now.
That little bit extra doesn't just excite us because of the buzz we get from the initial announcement. It excites us because we'll have more to sing about when displaying that edge to win us those points that earns us that validation we all crave.
The bitter truth for the ones that dislike you unequivocally is that your own ego, the manner in which you push forward with no care for anything else has taken us to where we are now. Perhaps critics will still point to the fact we've only won a single cup under your tenure but for most of that time we've been so far behind it isn't a surprising fact in the present. We've had to compete against seasoned juggernauts that monopolised during the birth of the Sky Sports era. We glitched into the landscape momentarily under Redknapp and now under Poch we're terrorising it. Everyone's on their toes. We're close. We now need that edge from you first, Mr Chairman, to get us level pegging.
Speak soon. Hopefully after an official announcement.