You dun good
The window has closed, the curtains have been pulled. Although if you peak through them you might see Ross Barkley hiding in the bushes, patiently waiting for an opportunity to climb in through. That's into our house in North London and not the one in the West.
Was it a success? Let's casually stroll through the end product.
IN: Gazzaniga (£2M), Sanchez (£42M inc add ons), Aurier (£23M), Foyth (£8M), Llorente (£11M)
OUT: Wimmer (£18M), Fazio (£4.6M), Walker (£50M), Bentaleb (£16.5M), N'jie (£6.8M) + £4.6M cut from Sigurdsson's move from Swansea to Everton
LEVYD: Net spend glory confirmed
LOANED: Onomah to Villa, Carter-Vickers to Sheffield United
Daniel Levy once again balancing the books to the seethe of the masses that want him to match the likes of City and company with bids for players beyond our economical structure. Would be grand if we could afford to say splash £92M or at least have the privilege of rejection. What we got was a functional window where the coach has strengthened the flexibility of the side. Not perfectly but enough to leave us looking better than before. No galvanising van der Vaart type of signing. Although Erik Lamela is due back soon, right? To provide some of that unexpected unpredicatable whatever it is he can provide? Loves a tasty one touch pass and assist, yeah?
Is this thing on?
Barkley provided the caveat by walking out of a Chelsea medical much to the laughter of just about everybody in football. We might yet see his arrival to N17 come January for a further reduced fee as he creeps closer to the end of his contract. He's injured until November so it's no major loss. Andre Gomes was another player heavily linked yesterday but we'll never know if it was part of a smokescreen or a genuine bid. There was also a suggestion that Barcelona couldn't find a replacement in time. All highly dubious in the final hours. If we were serious the bid surely would have been made earlier in the month (unless you're a believer in our chairman leaving it late to save on wages).
Yes, we didn't sign any attack minded players with pace. This is currently the go-to complaint for those that feel Spurs are lacking urgency and quick-witted acceleration. I think in part it's an exaggerated worry although there's no doubt an injection of that something extra in the final third can provide both competition and inventiveness. It's all about the angles, it's all about that element of surprise.
I think we're overly harsh when discussing this, forgetting that we scored 86 goals in the league last season. From all sorts of angles, some on the counter, some via patient build up. Spurs are after-all versatile. The problem(s) arise when the collective doesn't rise to the occasion. It's in these moments when we're not playing well (compared to the levels we can reach) where we suffer. Plan A is a punishing machine of momentum. Plan B is a reliance on one of our players to find that something out of nothing. Having a player that can provide that in the side would help. But alas, having a player like that can also have consequences on everything else. Imagine a Bale or perhaps even a Mahrez in our starting eleven. I tend to agree that Pochettino knows more about it than me.
When Rose returns, Spurs might be able to slot back into the width stretching style once again to give us that energetic bounce down the flanks. Let's not forget, when we played with three at the back and two wing-backs, they weren't the only ones doing the running. Spurs do have pace in terms of player movement but it's heavily focused on players out wide to do the travelling whilst the rest piggy-back on it. Spurs still have a ton of guile and creativity, let's not sell ourselves short.
Sanchez and Aurier will provide the same ilk of physicality, dynamism and intelligence that we have in our back-line already (although Serge loves a sliding tackle a little too much). Sanchez has an eye for goal and is more than decent bringing the ball out, much like Vertonghen does. Aurier, by all accounts, is being fashioned as an upgrade on Kyle - so potentially we've recovered the £50M departure of what was a pivotal missing piece in the defensive puzzle for half the price. Foyth is ye olde one for the future. Much like Dele Alli was. We'll find out in due course how quickly he settles and becomes an option. Defensively, we've made sure we haven't lost any depth from last term.
Llorente was the one that got away many many years ago. Now he's here. Older, slower but still drenched in sexy quality. It would be all too easy to lose yourself in his dreamy eyes and forget the class he oozes with his feet and head. Class that will shine brighter in a side like Tottenham.
It's pretty damning on Vincent Janssen that we've looked to a 32 year old as a foil to Harry Kane. The Spaniard possesses the quality and also the experience to aid our course. He'll hold the ball up (something we need to do in the latter stages to close off a game) and give us a viable alternative in attack. His heading capabilities are unparalleled, so expect Christian Eriksen to double up on assists.
Janssen almost went out on loan (to Brighton*). Doing so would have been good for him. He needs games consistently for us to all find out if he can graft his way to bossing the strikers game in England. Stop-start will not help him in the slightest. Of course, he might not be suited at all. I think we can all agree that it looks very likely that Poch and his coaches feel the same way.
*Apparently he didn't. This is what happens when you have Sky Sports deadline day coverage on mute and only look at the pictures (something I recommend when Haley McQueen is presenting).
For now we have the three forwards available. On paper, it's competition and it's probably the only way we could have three to select from without any of them kicking off about not playing. It's all good and well desiring another world class striker, but we have one already along with a shadow striker in Dele. Unlike a City or Chelsea, Tottenham can not afford the luxury of retaining the services of worldys on the bench earning 250K per week wages (then selling them or loaning after a handful of games across a season). Maybe that's required these-days to guarantee the league. It's conflicting, that want for success and the sacrifices of status that need to be made to attain it.
Kane is first choice. Llorente thanks to age will play in rotation and substitutions but could still make an impact from the start in certain games. Vinny still has something to prove and will have to take his chances when provided with them. There's a healthy balance there. On paper. Of course, the obvious problem with all of this is that Vinny hardly got the minutes to prove himself last season. When he did he was underwhelming. It might be the case that Poch is looking for more active rotation this time round. Wishful thinking. Llorente will probably grab those minutes. Janssen remains stuck in the middle until we see the evidence to prove there is a glimmer of hope for him.
Add to the mix, the new arrivals have also blessed us with a wealth of that much required winning mentality, the type based on silverware accumulated. Most of which belongs to Llorente.
Kevin Wimmer left, which wasn't too much of a surprise. He had a superb spell deputising in defence but Poch has gone for players of a higher standard, with longevity in mind. Hopefully the next bit of news relates to the contract of Toby Alderweireld and its extension.
Other than that, it was a shame to see Jadon Sancho leave City for Dortmund after Spurs battled to sign him. The Manchester club playing hardball (not wanting him to remain in England). The suggestion in the aftermath was that had the player waited another week, a deal perhaps could have been completed in our favour. We were also in for another highly rated talent currently playing outside the Premier League. This deal is on hold for the time being. I wouldn't be surprised if this particular hush hush was completed next year.
Marcus Edwards rejected a move away, which I hope results with some bench time and cameos. He continues to impress, technically so good, but of course he needs first team action. I've never understood the bitterness a minority of our miserable fanbase display towards some of our academy players. This minority seem inclined to suggest the rest of us are salivating over a youth player and crowning him a future king. In reality, why would we not be interested to see how such a player develops?
Let's be honest, some of these kids show more promise than say Kane did when he started to play first team football (even though he impressed at youth level but hardly ever on loan). It's a guessing game from the outside looking in and if there's a club in England that will allow youth to blossom it's Tottenham. Or was Kane and Winks and Walker-Peters figments of my imagination? Have faith, if it doesn't work out, that's life. Doesn't effect you, it only effects the player. If they do break through, then everyone wins.
As for Levy and Poch, I'm sure they'll be happy with their lot. The argument about why we're not spending (real) big and gambling on players like Draxler or di Maria and others cited is eternally flawed. Mostly because of wages. Here's the thing, we've tried everything in the transfer market over the years. Most will pretend we're a club that doesn't spend. We do. Sure, we have occasionally not spent when we should have (say in 2006) and once or twice under Harry Redknapp (although that has more to do with Harry than Levy). The transfer game has changed. Plucking the likes of a Luka Modric or Dimi Berbatov seems a nigh impossibility these days when you see how much Lemar and Mbappe are valued at. The latter sold for a fantastical fee at the raw age of 18.
Perhaps there is logic in over-spending now and ignoring the unlikelihood of selling the player on in the future for profit. Unless the bubble continues to bloat and transfer fees deform to even more obscene price tags. Wages will also continue to push upwards and at some point that bubble will burst and some will drown.
Even today we can look across to the shambolic state our neighbours are in. The prototype move to a new home with new ambitions and supposedly more money, only to find themselves with ten players running down contracts into their final year and others departing with some wishing to do the same. The boom they expected with property and revenue hasn't been as productive as forecasted leaving them in a tentative financial position. We can start behaving like others do (if we wish to) when we can genuinely flex our finances to accommodate. As mentioned above, it will be a sacrifice but equally so a necessity. Unavoidable progression. It's a dirty future.
In conclusion, Spurs have beefed up their bench. Now we have to regain our swagger and increase our in-game tempo to something we're more accustomed to (like the final 12 or so games of last season).
We didn't need an amazing window. Manchester United had a solid one in plugging all the holes they had from last season. We repaired some damaged, added to our depth and now rely on the familiarity of what we've built in the past two seasons to carry us through this one.
It's a season that presents us with not a single home match and a rather lip-smackingly difficult European campaign. Don't hate on Spurs, don't feel entitled or robbed. This was always going to be a tough season. it's siege mentality time. Us against the world. Fight against those around us trying to stop us from (over)achieving. Nobody wants to see us fulfil our potential. That's should be enough of a reason to feel inspired to do just that. Against all odds.