Are we just stupid, or is it something more?


The job I have in my professional life is stressful. I was formerly a debt-collector taking all kinds of abuse imaginable. I have been the victim of three separate car accidents, and my ex-girlfriend used to have a Spaniel called Phoebe. It shit a lot, everywhere…once, in my car. Yet throughout all of this I remained incredibly calm. Not mad, not angry, not enraged.

This morning however, I caught sight of a story which felt the old minor indications of irritation starting. I read on, by the end of the article I was cross, very cross. I tried to put it out of my mind, but it remained there festering.

By the time I returned home I was ready for a pick me up, but instead what awaited me was a different article- the result of which made me apoplectic!  The first of these read as follows:

“Tottenham to play waiting game to bag Benteke with last-ditch bid”!

The second:

“Villa to join Athletico”!!!

Now I must admit there are a couple of issues that have irritated me here.

Addressing Benteke first, I am powerless to avoid fearing the worst that this rumour may just have some legs. Past experience makes this seem likely, I mean, why would we not wait until two weeks into the season to buy a player who may make the difference to our season?

Surely it’s only the foolish teams like Manchester United and Chelsea that ensure their transfer business is completed early? I’m pleased to know that Tottenham still have their finger on the pulse in realising that the only time to fully prep your team for the season, both tactically and personnel-wise, is three or four games into it! Good sense prevails again I see. The second issue I had with this article was the alleged price….£30 million sheckles!! Yes, it was not a mis-print, that genuinely was the projected price!

I now move on to consider the second article, the substance of which should be evident to all those who follow Tottenham transfer news, concerns the impending destination of Barcelona’s David Villa. It is probably my own fault for relinquishing my cynicism and buying into the hype of the Spurs community, but even I thought this transfer could be on the cards. However it appears not. Athletico Madrid have swooped in and agreed a deal for approximately £1.5- 4 million. So about £10 million less than Tottenham were rumoured to be paying?

Again, numerous questions are raised over this, but with Villa now apparently off the cards, the only other transfer link suggests we will be repeating last seasons trick of transfer season sabotage.

This in turn has made me curious about certain things. Consider the following bids:

Carlos Tevez- gone to Juventus for £10 million.

(Who also signed Fernado Llorente last season to join this summer for £7 million by the way).

Mario Gomez- allegedly joining Fiorentina for £20 million.

Wayne Rooney- allegedly available for £20 million.

Gonzalo Higuain- allegedly joining Arsenal for £23 million.

Alvaro Negredo- allegedly available for £25 million.

Luis Suarez- allegedly the subject of a £30 million bid from Arsenal.

All of these are Champions League quality players, in the majority of instances allegedly joining Champions League clubs, aside from Gomez to Fiorentina.

I now consider some of the alleged bids and interests we hold:

Roberto Soldado of Valencia-allegedly available for £25 million.

Christian Benteke of Aston Villa- allegedly available for £30 million.

Hulk of Zenit St Petersburg- allegedly available for £40 million.

Leandro Damiao of Internacional- allegedly available for anywhere between £20-30 million.

Now the first thing you may notice about the second set of players is that Hulk aside, none of the above play for Champions League clubs.

While they are all of significant quality, I fail to understand why the prospective costs of purchasing players not currently playing in the Champions League cost either as much, or more, than those who are.

Now factor in the fact that those players currently playing, or used to regularly playing, in the Champions League, will very seldom make the switch to playing for a club not in the Champions League.

It therefore means that for clubs not in the Champions League, the pool of players to choose from is severely narrowed to (and I use this term very generally, and purely just to illustrate this point) “lesser-quality” players, however, clubs have to pay either the same, or higher prices for the privilege.

The consequence of this is clear- that for those clubs aiming to break into the Champions League, they will actually have to spend more money than those clubs in the Champions League will have to, to remain in the competition. That Juventus can purchase Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente for £17 million, and Liverpool buy Andy Carroll for £35 million.  Manchester United buy Robin Van Persie for £24 million, and Tottenham are potentially buying Christian Benteke for £30 million.

It is a hugely unfair and disproportionate system, and unless clubs are willing to pay a huge amount of money over the odds to make it into the worlds elite club competition, then they will continue to be disadvantaged.

This is easier said than done- how many Russian Oligarchs or Middle Eastern Sheiks are really out there to come and invest in your team. Two words: Very few.  So where does this leave a club like Tottenham?

Well it leaves them with a simple choice, to either spend a significant amount of money in the hope of ousting a club with the ability to attract Champions League players for less money, therefore enabling them to buy more, or to not…which would likely leave them to be embroiled in the Thursday night arena of the Europa League.

In view of the new stadium on the horizon, the wage cap and the haggling nature of Daniel Levy, it would seem that the answer is clear, and that the future, albeit rather unfairly, is not too bright.

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When finding time away from the cut and thrust of the courtroom and student exams, Glenn is an avid Tottenham Hospur fan, so apologies for any hint of bias appearing within the articles (But then this is a Spurs site, so what do you expect!) He combines an eternal optimism with an intellectually stimulated cynicism when it comes to his beloved Tottenham, and feels that best piece of transfer business in the last few years was selling Jermaine Jenas for ACTUAL money! An actual fee was paid! He still can't believe it!


  1. I dont rate Benteke personally at 25-30 Million chelsea are welcome to him, Villa wanted to stay in spain, so fair enough , him going to Athletico is a simple and understandable decision.

    What does "grind my gears" however is the fact that we have wanted Damiao for ages, we bid 13 million for him in January, Napoli apparently have entered the bidding for his services. Why cant we just do the deal, give them the 18 million they are asking for, sign him up for 5 years on a resonable wage with some sell on clauses etc and get it done ??????????????????????

    If we dont get Damiao then im scared of who we will be left with come opening day of the new season

    Come on Levy and co, just sort it OUT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. I don't think it is as simple as that. Players move to certain clubs for a variety of reasons, including champs league, wages, culture, family considerations etc. Gomez appeared to want to go to Italy or France. We could probably not afford tevez's wages. Something about Villa does not seem right. Almost feels like some side agreement in place – otherwise he probably wanted to stay in Spain. Nothing has happened with Rooney (and we cannot afford his wages) or Higuan (although I agree he is someone we should be after). Same thing as Suarez (and remember it was Harry who messed up on Suarez!!) Also I think you are putting Negredo in one bucket and Soldado (and Hulk) in another. I would probably put it the other way around. Benteke has played in premier for a year so that would make him a decent signing – although I do worry that he does not have sustained record. We got Paulinho and I get a feeling we got Damiao. One minute they are talking of him joining the top CL team – the next he is off to Southampton.

    • I agree…Hulk is not worth the money but there is many clubs out there with cash to burn and that's why the signings are happening each day….quality players available each day is diminishing and competition for
      them is increasing….Levy cannot wait to the last minute in this transfer window….get us two quality strikers
      and with one of the best group of midfielders we not only will challenge for a CL spot but the league title..

  3. cant help thinking that chelsea are behind a lot of this when it comes to scuppering spurs' bids.

  4. The paper talk of us trying to get this and that and we id in January but nothing official. When buying foreigners a lot of things have to be considered ie family, Paulino has previously located to Europe so he ticked more boxes than others. Once a player is identified then he may have a couple of owners and as you have stated my prefer a CL club. This boils down to going to the wire as if we bid £25m for the villa man and they accept he may want to wait to see who else comes in and this may be very public so it is best to find out if the player wants to come to us or are they playing the system, he has shown no loyalty to villa so his word is nothing. spurs will wait

  5. You'd be nuts to ignore Benteke because he's the only striker available to us who is already premier league savvy. I'm actually quite relieved about David Villa because we didn't need a has-been who at best would have given the equal of 1 seasons playing time (allowing for injuries) even had he of slotted straight into the PL (which is doubtful).
    Benteke is young, powerful, healthy and hungry and would fit straight into our first team regardless of whichever formation avb chose. It's really a no-brainer but PLEASE get him early, surely now Baldini is heading up transfers the abysmal mistakes of last season that cost us Champions League football won't be repeated.
    Remember which league we play in and remember we need UCL next season to keep Bale, so let's splash the cash on a striker who has flourished in that league.

  6. There is a general consensus among all us fans that we need a quality class striker everyone can see it. There is still plenty of time left to get someone in, we are a striker or two short off having a truly outstanding team able to mix it with anyone. If Levy and Co fail to bring in the striker we have been crying out for the past couple of seasons fans will not be happy and rightly so. Last year Levy didnt get us one and it cost us , imagine what we could have done with a proper striker last year. Identify a striker and get him. Pay what is asked just do it we are so close too close to be diking around. Sign a truly class striker and we can do amazing things, just do it Levy get it done dont leave it until the last day of the transfer window weve had enough of that. We are so close.


  7. Interesting article Glenn perhaps for Baloni we should reading Bellini, or even Baloney!
    The sellers see the Chanel 5 clubs as desperate and the CL teams as omnipotent.
    The CL clubs have nice little monopoly going and the missing out last year is really coming home to roost.
    Decision maker Dan surely must realise by now the maitre de needs a good tip to get a good table.
    50 years a season ticket holder make you cynical. Still love the Spurs. COYS

  8. Macca, your stating that we should get te damiao deal done and are frustrated that we are messing about with it but inter are playing hardball along with his agent. Damiao has not progressed like everyone thought that he would. He was better 1-2 yrs ago and cheaper so why would we spend the 20m + that inter are quoting. If he was that good dont you think that everyone would be after him not just napoli and southampton. I trust that avb, baldini and levy will make the right decision.

  9. Benteke does not fit with the Tottenham transfer policy. Not at 25 million +.

    Spurs usually get a player like Benteke for the fee Villa paid. Unproven talent on the way up. Benteke's 19 goals last season would suggest he is now proven in the prem therefore his value has trebled. Add to that the fact that where as he was an unknown quantity in the prem, this time last year, now the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea, arsenal and other European clubs are aware of Benteke's ability.

    The only way Levy could get him to Tottenham is if; (a) he encourages the player to rock the boat at villa and wait until January to sign him for a fee under 20 million or (b) if we offer villa players plus cash.

    Option (b) might be attractive to villa and to some of our players who will struggle for regular games next season. Could Tottenham offer Villa the likes of Huddlestone, Defoe, Dawson, Townsend, Parker or others to sweeten any deal?

    Villa have some good young players who could benefit from having some older heads around.

    Benteke will leave Villa and Villa, to some extent, could have a say in where he goes. If it comes down to Benteke wanting the most money he can get I wouldn't expect Tottenham to get him.

  10. Why the Spurs don't just bite the bullet and sign Damiao and Solado and find a reasonable left back and
    spend the 50-60 million pounds and be set for the next few years witha strong club with depth.There will
    be no need to shop in any transfer windows for a while and focus on developing our youth,pay now and save later.It will show Bale this is the Club he belongs on. Read that we are the front runners to get Nani???
    Makes me want to puke thinking about it….sign him and I will burn my jersey…perhaps here in Canada we
    can have jersey burning party….Come on Levy….15-20 million pounds for him….you can't be that stupid !!!!

  11. A week, or so, ago, we were being linked with Burak Yilmaz…since then, radio silence. I would love to get someone like him in, to lead the line and then get a back-up, cheaper option, such as Gary Hooper, to make sure we are not solely reliant upon one body. Then, I'd spend money on either Miralem Pjanic, Milan Badelj or Mateo Kovacic, so that we can balance the squad with the play maker we have clearly missed, since the defection of Modric. One day, that spot will belong to Tom Carroll – but for now, he needs to learn a little more by training alongside an established star in the role. I'd also put in a bid for Tom Ince this year. He can play on the wing and soften the blow, in a year's time, should Bale actually leave. I love Benny but if AVB is intent on beefing up the left back position and Baines is unavailable to us, then first choice would be Coentrao of Real Madrid. I actually just want the season to start, soon!

  12. Personally I wouldnt spend more then £18 mill on Benteke yes he had a good first season in English football but it remains to be seen if he can sustain that kind of form over the next 2-3 seasons.

    For me the out of the players we have been linked with i would like the club to go in for yilmaz from Galatasary he looks a perfect fit for our style of play and wouldnt cost the Earth

    I also believe Loic Remy of QPR and Abel Hernandez of Palermo are realistic targets and again would suit Tottenhams style of play

    I think like most Spurs fans im very dissapointed with the club firstly for not conducting there business early to bring in new recruits and secondly everybody who knows anything about football in England will know that Tottenham aren’t that far behind challenging not just for the top four but the premier league title itself with the right quality additions then this is very realistic prospect.

    In my opinion there has never been a better time then now with Man Utd and Man City changing managers and personell plus Mourinhos return to Chelsea plus if Higuan signs for the gooners and Liverpool being very astute with there transfer dealings if the club do not act now we will fall behind once more after playing ourselves into such a strong position in English football just 1 world class striker would be the difference and Daniel Levy (who i think has been superb) needs to really splash out now and back AVB before we lose out

  13. I also agree with the comments about bringing Tom Ince now certainly take him any day of the week over the hapless Nani but on his day can be masterful def wouldnt pay more then 7 mill to get him though so if that figure of 15 mill being quoted is true then it’ll be yet another expensive flop like Rebrov and Bentley and where are those 2 now?????????

  14. Please stop this nonsense of Benteke may only be a one season wonder….any signing is a gamble…just ask Chelsea fans about Torres!

    Benteke is worth that gamble and if we ‘only’ bid 18 mill we may end up regretting it in seasons to come. At least he has proved himself in this League so many of the others do not have that at all. Get Benteke now and be done with it.

  15. Buying new strikers seems to be the favourite subject for Spurs. Although I can understand why ( not enough goals from Ade and JD last season ), we may have lost our head in our pursuit of strikers. Benteke, Damio, Villa etc may be able to solve that problem. But may not.Unless we are talking about Messi or Ronaldo, no one else can guarantee that they can score 20 over goals for us. AVB seems to have given Bale the job of getting the goals. Realistically we can expect less assists from him. Without his assists, I'm afraid no strikers would be able to get that 20 over goals. Perhaps strenghtening the whole squad such as the purchase of Paulinho is the better move.. With better contribution from midfield and a solid defence, we may be able to score enough goals. Bale is expected to continue plundering goals ( nearer to 30 perhaps ). Thus if the other strikers can contribute around 15 goals each, we should be up there among the top. I'm sure that with more pre season training, Ade and JD are capable of doing that. After all they have done that before in previous seasons. I believe in AVB and his vision. I'm sure even with the same squad ( plus one or two others ..midfielders and/or backs ) but with a longer training sessions together and with everyone more comfortable with the system, we can at least get that CL spot. Remember we had a poor start the last time out because the squad was unsettled . ( Even Ade's conversion from loan to full transfer was done at the 11th hour ). Though I will be happy if we can get those strikers mentioned, I'm not going to panic if we don't.

  16. whilst i agree that Benteke is not worth 30m it does appear that he prefers Spurs to Arse or Chavski. i'm pretty sure the price is the same whoever he joins – which goes against the thrust of this article. We may not be CL but we do have pulling power – Bale, AVB, a pretty good squad, a team on the up and a new stadium on the horizon. add to that a terrific training facility, a brilliant fanbase etc. compared to Arse who despite continued CL football are incapable of winning anything, Citeh who chuck silly money around and struggle to get a settled side, Manure who will struggle to recapture their heights with a new manager – I really don't buy into the theory proposed in this article. Spurs have money to buy decent players and it's not beyond us to unearth our own Benteke etc. we made a decent profit on Modric, Berbatov etc. if we all stuck to buying CL players the game would stagnate. we just need to find the right strikers at a good price – the right age/experience and quality. not sure it's Damiao. or Benteke. i still think taking a punt on Berbatov at a cheap price would not be a bad shout. with the supply from Spurs midfield any half decent striker really should be able to score plenty of goals.

  17. great article!!!

    i think just like you all the way!

    but damiao sucks … i dont know what do you people see at him …. 100+ game -30 goal …. he doesnt even know how to move over the pitch :o

    signing veeeeery god prospect deloufe and yilmaz would be done deal …. ok an porto striker it wouldt be bad also :P

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