Last year was, by most accounts, a positive season. We stood toe-to-toe with some of the greatest teams in the world, and with the exception of a red card in Madrid, gave a great account of ourselves. A fifth-place finish was disappointing, but with our breadth of talent on the ball and in the dugout, the best has to be yet to come, right?
After all that, it may seem crazy to ask, but is Luka Modric right to want to leave Spurs?
Modric is, unquestionably, one of the hottest talents in the world. Any team would break the bank (unless you’re Chelsea—in which case you low-ball us repeatedly) for his services. Modric deserves to be surrounded by world-class talent.
Is that to be found at Tottenham Hotspur?
Sure, we’ve got Bale and Van Der Vaart. But is that enough?
According to Harry Redknapp—no.
‘arry has said on multiple occasions that he needs to bring in two or three “world class” players to line up beside Modric. The reason, he says, is to keep Modric happy.
Where are these players? The only time we see world-class players lined up alongside Modric is in the rumors section of the papers. For whatever reason, Tottenham Hotspur has always been a prime target of rumor-mongers. Practically every player worth his salt—and countless who aren’t—have been linked with a move to White Hart Lane. And time and time again, the linkage disappears as the players sign with another club.
The list of big-name links in the last few years is staggering—Andrei Arshavin, Joe Cole, Juan Roman Riquelme, Giuseppe Rossi and even David Beckham have all been (according to the press) seriously pursued by Tottenham Hotspur. And while a few of the names on that list could easily be discredited using hindsight, many of those players had big time name recognition at the time of the rumor.
This year is, of course, no different. Again, we are linked with a veritable who’s who of the up-and-coming footballing world—Juan Mata, Mirko Vucinic, Ibrahim Afellay, Santi Carzola, and most recently Alberto Gilardino.
And once again, we see no big name signatures for Tottenham Hotspur. And once again, we see our rivals reap the benefits of our inability to capture a player. What’s worse is that many of these players we’re constantly linked to end up playing us twice a year as a member of one of the teams we’re battling for a top-four finish. The best thing to happen to Tottenham Hotspur this summer is the fact that we lost two players to Juventus—a team that we will not have to worry about playing anytime soon.
We have made two potentially great signings this summer: Souleymane Coulibaly and Cristian Ceballos. Unfortunately, we won’t see either of those names on the first-team sheet for a few more years, at least. That isn’t enough to keep Modric from seeking the greener pasture he deserves.
Where are these signings, then? Tottenham have proven masters of the 11th hour coup, but a deadline day stroke of genius from management may be too late to make up for a summer of nothing. At least as far as Modric is concerned.
By Cliff S
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