Saturday, 3 September 2011
The transfer window left me slightly underwhelmed, I must say.
I thought we needed two new centre forwards and one new centre back - preferably one who could read the game and play a bit rather than just a 'stopper'.
(I used to think we had more than enough 'stoppers' but after the performances against United and City I now suspect they are, in fact, 'facilitators').
And as a luxury, just maybe, a right-midfielder who could put some pressure on Aaron Lennon (if he carries on like he's started the season I'm going to start singing 'Shit Aaron Lennon, you're just a shit Aaron Lennon' at him. That should mess with his head)
What we got instead was Brad Friedel, Scott Parker and Emmanuel Adebayor - on loan. Plus a couple of youngsters. Oh, and a £19m net profit. Maybe I'll get a shirt with that written on the back of it. That'd be fucking subversive, right?
Friedel: well, yeah, for a goalkeeper who's let in eight goals in two games, he looks pretty good. But he's 84 next March and his arrival says more about Harry's distrust of Gomes than it does about long-term planning.
Parker: again, yeah, fine. I'm not a huge fan, I must admit. But most Spurs fans seem pleased with his capture and at £6m, even though there'll be no sell-on value, he's hardly a risk. I almost wish he was. But he's just a solid English yeoman, to me.
I'm told, however, that he "always gives 100 per cent". Gee, thanks. I also winced a little at a line from the commentary on the England game the other night: "Parker there, getting his body in the way - that's what he's on the pitch for". Great, he's a cone.
No, look, welcome aboard and please feel free to become a Lillywhite legend. No one would be happier than me. He'll do fine, I'm sure. Better than fine, I'm not so sure.
Adebayor: "On his day he's pretty much unplayable". This must be true because everybody says it. What they mean, I think, is that he's a big but athletic and awkward unit who puts himself about but is also comfortable on the ball and a proven finisher. Whether or not that means it's hardly being worth lacing your boots up if you're defending against him, I'm not so sure.
But, he does have one important thing going for him, something that's much easier to define and prove: he's not Peter Crouch.
I'm still not comfortable about us taking players from 'rival' Premier League clubs on loan, though. I'm not sure what it says about us - but I suspect it's not good.
Also, who thinks he'll be here in, say, 18 months? Might not matter, of course, I know that; he'll 'do a job' etc. But for me it still makes it harder to get really excited about him as a 'signing'.
So, yeah, no real complaints, but no real jubilation or heightened expectation, either. We have a big striker who's better than what we had, we have better back up for Sandro (although with Thud, Palacios, Jenas and maybe even Livermore in the ranks, we didn't seem especially short-staffed) and we have an experienced goalkeeper who Harry (and hopefully our defence) feels more comfortable with.
Oh, and we still have Luka, of course. For now. Or at least someone who looks like Luka. Time will tell if he's the real thing.
We don't have Gary Cahill, though. And I'm still not sure why. Did we really stop just shy of £13m and decide we'd rather miss out than feel we'd got the fuzzy end of the deal? Could we not just have said: "You know what, Bolton, you cheeky little imps, £13m is probably about £4m more than market value (especially given the length of time left on his contract) and £2m more than we thought we'd be paying - but fuck it, let's just get this done, let's get a young, talented, English central defender to White Hart Lane while we're in a position to do so and before his contract actually expires and it becomes all about who can offer the highest wages."
That's certainly what I'd have fucking said.
And if we'd got him I think I'd have been happy with the business we'd done. And maybe even looking forward to what I am going to apocalyptically describe as our SEASON-DEFINING fixture - away at Wolves. In early September. Oh brother...