In my previous blog post, “Spurs Shopping List”, I outlined a list of transfer targets that I felt were necessary to stregthen our squad and make a concerted challenge for Champions’ League football. So now the window has closed, how did we do?
1. A midfield general (maybe Moutinho).
Clearly we failed with this one. What happened to Moutinho? Surprisingly for a player we had worked so hard to buy in the summer, there was no news of any attempts to resurrect the deal.
When Demebele has been injured we have looked a much less effective side and to rely so heavily on one player is dangerous. With the loss of Sandro this should have been an even higher priority. Parker is back, but he is not a player who dominates games.
2. A creative spark (maybe Sneider).
Sneider went to Galatasary for the money in the end, but that was fine because we got someone with much more potential; Lewis Holtby. He’s a really exciting aquisition. I can’t pretend I knew a lot about him before he signed for us but having read a lot about him since and seen him put in a couple of promising displays as a substitute I’m very hopeful.
Of course it’s far too early to say if he will be a success, but it’s these kind of transfers that excite fans and credit is due to the chairman. At less than £2M it shows you don’t always need to spend big.
3. A striker (maybe Llorente).
To be honest we never looked likely to get Llorente. He has signed a precontract agreement with Juventus and the Italian champions were always going to be a bigger draw. Nevertheless this is the biggest hole in our squad and we have failed miserably to fill it. With Adebayor off form and at the African Cup of Nations, we have left ourselves very light up front. Defoe, while a natural goal scorer, does not have the skills necessary to hold the ball up or provide a presence in the air, both vital when playing against top sides or in difficult away fixtures.
Now Defoe is injured and we were left with no strikers for much of the game against West Brom. Surely we should have brought someone in, even if only as a stopgap. We tried hard to sign Leandro Damiao but failed on deadline day. He sounds like he would fit the bill perfectly but again we seem to have left our business to the last minute.
The one saving grace is that Togo were knocked out of the ACON last night so hopefully Adebayor will be available soon. Maybe the break will have done him some good, he has seemed listless this year.
4. Keeping Gareth Bale.
This was our biggest piece of good news this transfer window. Sometimes I worry about Bale’s cosistency; he was very quiet against Manchester United. Sometimes I worry whether he plays for himself or for the team; I think all the adulation has gone to his head. However the fact remains that he is our most dangerous player, who can turn a game on his own. His goals in the last two games have demonstrated this.
So overall a disappointing but not dreadful transfer window. I think it probably deserves a B-. I just wish our chairman wouldn’t leave deals till the last minute so often. He always seems to be obsessed with shaving one or two million off the price of a player at the expense of the squad and in the long term you can’t help but think that’s a false economy.