January an important window for Pochettino

Spurs are in a mess and at just the wrong time. With a new stadium to be built money is therefore tight, we can't just go and spend big money on transfers, we need to watch the purse strings to have the club in a position to obtain and service loans.

January an important window for Pochettino


Once built again money will be tight and we will have to develop from within or seek bargains, exactly what we have to do now in fact.

Gareth Bale wanted to leave but was persuaded to stay for an extra year to try and get us in the UEFA Champions League, he almost single handedly did that, but then when Real Madrid wanted him there was no option for him. His dream move may never have come round again so he had to take it and forced through a big money move.

The clear plan was then to use that money to build a team that would see us through the next few years and the stadium building process. Unfortunately the basic plan didn't have the details worked out.

We had a manager who couldn't use the players and upset everyone. Emmanuel Adebayor and Benoit Assou-Ekotto were his two biggest critics. Now we don't know all the details but Assou-Ekotto was told he will never play for the club again and hasn't. That message, delivered by Andre Villas-Boas, must have come from above.

Adebayor however was banished to the Development Squad but had to be brought back on the insistence of the hierarchy who didn't want to waste his wages.

Jump forward a year and we have a new manager who has been told he can leave players to rot, whoever they are. The hierarchy, it seems, have now had enough of players playing for themselves and not the club, of thinking they control the football and not the manager.

Now at the time I speculated on the reason for Tim Sherwood's appointment and one of the theory's i came up with was that he had been appointed to sort the players out into basically two groups. The club knew they had duds and wanted to know who was playing for the club and who was going through the motions. Give it what names you like, Sherwood said some players were doing the club a favour playing for us and others would give it their best. That information has been taken on board.

Now I am not one of these Levy haters who simply pin everything at his door because they feel a new owner will automatically pump money into the club. That could well be just a pipe dream, many new owners don't pump money in and then we wouldn't be in any better position than we are now so the grass may not be greener. However the hierarchy, of which he is one, do appear to have changed their tune.

Daniel Levy didn't choose Pochettino, Joe Lewis did. But crucially the club drew a line and determined to stand by the new head coach squarely. He was appointed to transform the club, to turn it around, to bring through youth and operate on a tighter budget. He was able to make his own mind up in players and the club hierarchy made an about turn, allowing him to leave anyone to rot, even the highest earner Emmanuel Adebayor. Other managers/coaches have not had that backing.

Now Pochettino is no magician, he can't suddenly take a bunch of players with no winning mentality and suddenly turn them into winners, as some fans seem to think he should be doing. In reality, players with the wrong mental attitude are never going to take us anywhere, we need to fill the side with those who have a winning mentality.

Ask yourself why Manchester United were so successful, yes they spent money, but on players who had it mentally, how many late goals did they score? They never gave up, Arsenal score stacks of late goals to rescue games and points, again down to a mentality more than anything else. Look at us against Crystal Palace, we looked more like losing it late in the game than grabbing a winner.

We have a group of expensive players who are not worth what we paid for them now, who can't hack it in our team, our system. To suggest the system is totally at fault is a fallacy, Crystal Palace at the end of the game cut open our defence with a midfield runner and a pass so to open up a crushed defence is not impossible at all, it is if your midfield stay behind the ball as ours do. When was the last time you saw Eriksen for instance run past the ball into the box for someone to thread the ball through, or Mason, or Lamela or Paulinho?

That's not a problem with the system, that's a problem with the players playing the system, the midfield are trying to leave it all to strikers who get little service. Your striker then loses form and when you do give then chances they then miss. I mean no disrespect to Harry Kane, who is progressing well, but would he be playing as a sole striker for Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United or Liverpool? I do understand we are playing him to develop him for the future, there is an element of that and it may be that we decided we are going to lose anyway so we might as well develop him, it's not the short-term answer though.

Fans want to win every game but Pochettino has to have a long term plan and if that is to develop Kane as quick as possible so be it, but being dropped for the Chelsea game is hardly a ringing endorsement for the coaches faith in Soldado, how exactly is that going to increase his confidence?

The problem we now have is what do we do with all these players who are ether not good enough, have o confidence or are mentally not winners? We have to get rid of the majority of them, only those lacking confidence should be considered as possibles to keep. Then comes the problem of getting rid of them though.

A player doesn't have to leave if he doesn't want to and reports suggest Adebayor has already said he is not leaving, although that could all change if someone was daft enough to offer him bigger wages. For Ade it's all about money.

Lamela is now worth half what we paid for him, he can't operate at the pace of the Premier League, at least not in our system. He needs the slower pace of Italian football to give him thinking time. Maybe in a better side he could perform, maybe he needs players around him with better movement than the limited players we have. That would give him more immediate options and therefore he could make a decision quicker, maybe he dwells on the ball because he has few options when he gets it.

The Paulinho who started with us ran into the box, the present incarnation doesn't. He however can probably still be sold close to his original fee and perhaps his reintroduction into the squad is to put him in the shop window and keep his price high. Not even being in the squad would reduce his fee.

Soldado is said to not be looking for a move in January, having failed to secure one last summer. Asking £6 million for a season loan seems a bit steep but then I suppose Levy has got to try and recoup some money on him somehow. Now side is going to pay anywhere the £26 million he cost us and yes that is what we have to pay for him, not the £11-13 million as some suggest. The fee was agreed in instalment, we have paid the second instalment now bit even if we sell him that fee still has to be paid to Valencia.

Italian clubs want him around the £11 million mark or on loan, neither help us much given that we will not be spending extra money on a striker. A swap deal with a little cash maybe, that's the Jackson Martinez proposal but there is no indication that Soldado would be willing to go to Portugal, I'd be very surprised if he did, it's not one of the top tier leagues in Europe.

Those few indicate the problems we have, overpriced players we have to recoup money on to be able to buy cheaper, better, replacements. Regular readers will know I have been banging on about improving our recruitment process since last season, that we need greater analysis, especially about a players mentality. The appointment of Paul Mitchell to head the recruitment team with his 'forensic' analysis is a step in the right direction and should aid the bargain hunting.

Recent Articles:
Moreno displays the right mentality
Back to the bad Tottenham once again
We can be confident at last
Do the Jackson Martinez stories make sense?
Impatience works to our advantage
Eriksen could learn from Chelsea
Oscar must have been watching the wrong Paulinho
Walker on target for New Year return

Bargain hunting does not automatically mean cheap buys, Lamela could have been a bargain if he developed into the next Gareth Bale, which was the reason we bought him. Mentally he isn't Gareth Bale though.

It was Franco Baldini who suggested signing Paul Mitchell and naturally Mauricio Pochettino's opinion was sought, unsurprisingly he supported this idea. Mitchell has gained a reputation in a very short time and it is though his natural progression is to a Director of Football position. He will be given the opportunity to learn from Franco Baldini the art of negotiation, transfer dealings with agents and players, etc.

The way forward for Tottenham in terms of recruitment has now been mapped out. Mauricio Pochettino will decide on the roles he needs filled and thus the type of player he requires. Mitchell, the Head of Recruitment will then identify players suited to those roles be they young or established. He will then recommend the players he has identifies to Pochettino. The Head Coach will then approve or reject each player recommendation.

The players who get the Pochettino approval will be passed to Franco Baldini to go out and try to sign them in the order he is given them. It is not a case of Baldini deciding who we should buy when we can't get a first choice, the alternatives we then go for are approved Pochettino buys. Thus all purchases are Pochettino approved so he stands or falls by the performance of the team, his team, not a team of players he has been given that he doesn't want.

I'm not privy to he length of time it takes Mitchell to analyse and identify targets, given he has come to a new club that doesn't have the systems in place he had at Southampton. What we can be sure of is that when Pochettino arrived at Spurs he came armed with a list of players for set roles within a system he wants to play and that those on the list will have already been identified by Mitchell.

Presumably Hector Moreno, Mateo Musacchio and Federico Fazio were on that list. Ben Davies and Eric Dier were on our list and recommended to Pochettino, recommendations he then approved. I can't see that Stambouli was on our list, Vorm seems like an opportunity that just arose and was too good to miss.

Tottenham need an overhaul, January is the beginning of that overhaul now that Pochettino has had time to assess everyone. Baldini is going to be a busy man and he is going to have to earn his wage. Offloading some players and getting others in without it costing the club a packet is a tough task but that's the job.

What we can't do is simply send a bunch of players out on loan and buy a bunch more to replace them as in a few months your wage bill suddenly shoots through the roof as they return to the club. How do you sell players who aren't worth what we paid for them and won't get the same wages elsewhere?

Answers in January.


Post a Comment

0 Comments