Have Tottenham simply missed the boat?

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Spurs chairman Daniel LevyThe striking situation for a Tottenham fan is something of a sore spot. Down the years they have consistently been linked with high calibre frontmen, only to see the likes of Rasiak, Campbell and Bent turn up on their doorsteps come early September. This summer was meant to be different and carried an air of optimism that finally the Premier League club were going to get it right. But after transfer target after transfer target have slipped away, are Spurs about to miss the boat for another year? This summer alone, fans have been fantasising about a frontline led by anyone from a selection of Villa, Damiao and Benteke. Favourite amongst the bookmakers to sign any of those 3, it was far from delusional for fans to imagine them playing in the famous lilywhite. Instead deal after deal has fallen apart, apparently owing much to Spurs’ rigorous approach to transfer dealings. Such an approach was highlighted by comments made by Villa in the Mirror: “It is true the idea was for me to go to the Premier League, because the biggest offers came from there. “But then Atletico Madrid showed up and they did more in three days than others did in months.” What really rubs salt in the wound for the club is the fact Atletico paid far less than Spurs were rumoured to be offering for the Spanish striker. This is a sure sign that the cautious approach used by the Spurs hierarchy is doing more harm than good for the North London club. As Spurs’ ponderous approach causes them to miss out on various deals, there comes a point towards the back-end of the summer where the club are forced into submission. By this stage Spurs are left with a selection of second-rate players that other clubs have passed on. As soon as Gary Hooper makes his reappearance on the transfer radar, fans should truly know it is time to panic. Whilst Levy may be able to knock a couple of million off a second rate striker in late August, is this really good enough for a club of Tottenham’s aspirations? If Spurs really want to fulfil the ambitions of returning to the glory glory days then they must match it with the financial spending. Second-rate players buy a club second-rate performances and this simply will not do for Tottenham. Last minute deals of any kind have also led to the derailment of any challenge from the club before it has even had time to start. The Norwich and West Brom results last year were games that could easily have been won and were the difference between Europa and Champions League. Now I don’t suddenly suggest Spurs start throwing money around aimlessly like certain others have done of late. Levy is still welcome to favour his pragmatic approach of careful scouting and deliberation. However, as soon as the club identify that key man to transform fortunes, the club must act decisively and be willing to splash out on world-class talent. What perplexes many fans is the fact Spurs seem willing to make relatively decisive moves in other transfer dealings. The captures of Paulinho and Nacer Chadli this summer were hardly drawn out affairs, so why can this template not be replicated in solving the striker situation? Whilst the Chadli deal looks like a cut priced move for a decent squad player, the Paulinho deal is a big money, big name signing. In this instance Spurs were willing to spend the money and fend off interest from the worlds top clubs to capture their man. So why will they spend £17m on him, but not £17m on a striker? Deals to bring in the Bents and Bentleys of this world haunt many fans, but do they have the same effect on those in power?  A possible explanation for this cautious behaviour is an apprehension towards making the same mistake of the past. A club that would rather bring in no one than risk a repeat of the big money transfer failings of the past. It is important for Spurs fans to remember that in Adebayor and Defoe they have two decent strikers. Who, whilst hardly being world class, can still offer more than most to the club. There is no point the club splashing the cash on someone who is going to be as good as what they already possess. Watching a few grainy clips of Damiao in action on YouTube does not give someone the qualifications to say he is an improvement on Adebayor. However, where fans have reason to argue is in the case of a Benteke or Soldado. With access to both the Premier League and La Liga readily available on TV, fans are able to watch and assess how good these men really are. I don’t confess to have the expertise of a football scout, but I like many can easily discern that both Benteke and Soldado represent marked improvements on what the club already possesses. If Spurs want to lose the tag of being the constant nearly men, they really must act more decisively to solve the striking issue. This summer is already following the pattern of those previous and this is enough for even the most optimistic of fans to reassess their goals. Will Spurs miss the striker boat again this summer?

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