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Pochettino looks to offload in January

8:30 pm
Big names, big wages mean nothing to Pochettino. He has assessed the squad, although there is still time for some to change opinion and has made his recommendations, which concur to a large extent with the views Tim Sherwood also gave Daniel Levy.

Pochettino looks to offload in January


The winter transfer window doesn't start in January, that's just the period of time you can actually sign players, much of the transfer work has already been done. We have heard recently for instance that Franco Baldini has reached agreement with PSG and Adrien Rabiot over a move.

With a new stadium round the corner, big earners not performing need to be shifted and replacements, probably on more modest wages brought in. The wage bill will have been set so the total of existing wages can be paid, they'll just be spread around differently.

Pochettino earmarked the centre of defence and the centre of midfield in the summer as two areas he needed to strengthen above others, apart from the left-back position. The goalkeeping position strengthening fell conveniently into our laps so we took advantage while we could. A new striker was considered a bonus given Rodriguez was injured and we wanted to sign him.

Federico Fazio and Eric Dier were added to the centre-back department, with Michael Dawson leaving and Hector Moreno was also a major target. The centre of defence still needs strengthening with Chiriches and Kaboul not good enough for top four football and Pochettino's reservations about Jan Vertonghen. Moreno may well join in January with Chiriches leaving but Eric Dier needs to be the fourth centre-back so two could well leave.

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The centre of midfield Pochettino had hoped to strengthen with the signing of Morgan Schneiderlin, but Southampton suddenly increased his price by £9 million after the World Cup when the fans were revolting, They perceived the club were selling too many players which demonstrates why clubs don't listen to supporters. Naturally we were not going to be held to ransom but he remains a prime target with Capoue, Paulinho and Dembele all available to interested parties.

The other main area for January purchases is up front where Tottenham want to rid themselves of Emmanuel Adebayor, however he is happy with the wage he is picking up, for at the moment a spot of training. Soldado looks like staying until the end of the season when a decision on his future will be made and further restructuring take place.

To buy, we have to not only free up non-home grown places in the Premier League squad (we have our full quota) but sell some players, who will be difficult to move, to raise some cash. Jan Vertonghen, Mousa Dembele and Paulinho may be the easiest to relocate, along with Aaron Lennon but ideally we'd like to move Adebayor on and release his wages.

A busy few weeks for Baldini, we'll see the results of his work in a month.



Pochettino looks to offload in January Pochettino looks to offload in January Reviewed by THBlogNews on 8:30 pm Rating: 5

January an important window for Pochettino

12:08 pm
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.

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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.


January an important window for Pochettino January an important window for Pochettino Reviewed by THBlogNews on 12:08 pm Rating: 5

Which 7 would you listen to offers for?

12:30 pm
Which 7 would you listen to offers for?

Tottenham have a list of players they will listen to offers for and a list they won't. Because someone is on the list that they'll listen to offers for doesn't man they will be sold, not everyone would be sold.

But for purchases to be made sales have to be made. There are only 12 days left until the window shuts for Premier League clubs at 11pm BST on 1 September 2014.

Last summer we had the 'Summer Seven' join the club so who should be the 'Summer Seven' this time around, who should be the seven you'd like to see someone generously take off our hands.

Before you list your seven there are a few points to remember.

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We are only allowed 17 non-home grown players in a squad and Bentaleb is too young to count so to bring in any overseas players we have to sell some of them first.

Secondly we need cover for every position and at the moment have an extra centre-back having already bought Eric Dier, who I assume you all now approve of.

Tottenham Hotspur First XI Squad

No.PositionPlayer
1FranceGKHugo Lloris
2EnglandDFKyle Walker
3EnglandDFDanny Rose
4FranceDFYounès Kaboul (2nd vice-captain)
5BelgiumDFJan Vertonghen
6RomaniaDFVlad Chiricheș
7EnglandMFAaron Lennon (vice-captain)
8BrazilMFPaulinho
9SpainFWRoberto Soldado
10TogoFWEmmanuel Adebayor
11ArgentinaMFÉrik Lamela
13NetherlandsGKMichel Vorm
14GermanyMFLewis Holtby
15EnglandDFEric Dier
16EnglandDFKyle Naughton
No.PositionPlayer
17EnglandMFAndros Townsend
18EnglandFWHarry Kane
19BelgiumMFMousa Dembélé
20EnglandDFMichael Dawson (captain)
22BelgiumMFNacer Chadli
23DenmarkMFChristian Eriksen
24United StatesGKBrad Friedel
28EnglandMFTom Carroll
29FranceMFÉtienne Capoue
30BrazilMFSandro
32CameroonDFBenoît Assou-Ekotto
33WalesDFBen Davies
35EnglandDFZeki Fryers
38EnglandMFRyan Mason
42AlgeriaMFNabil Bentaleb

My seven I'd let go:
1. Benoît Assou-Ekotto
2. Vlad Chiricheș
3. Younès Kaboul
4. Nacer Chadli
5. Tom Carroll
6. Sandro
7. Roberto Soldado

Next Summer
1. Michael Dawson
2. Kyle Naughton

Younès Kaboul has 1 year left on his contract so we have to get a fee for him now while Michael Dawson has 2 years left so can be sold next summer.

DeAndre Yedlin doesn't arrive until next season any Ryan Fredericks isn't considered ready or he would have figured more by now so Naughton who you'd expect to sell can't be sold until he arrives really in my view. That gives him a stay of execution for a season.



Which 7 would you listen to offers for? Which 7 would you listen to offers for? Reviewed by THBlogNews on 12:30 pm Rating: 5

Baldini trying to make Italian sales

8:30 am
Franco Baldini has been in Italy using his contacts to try and get some deals done. Tottenham are in the usual mess of being unable to buy anyone until we offload some non-home grown players.

Baldini trying to make Italian sales


We have targets but if we can't get rid of some players and nobody wants to buy them at our prices or they don't want to take a step down, then we can't buy them.

No.PositionPlayer
1FranceGKHugo Lloris
2EnglandDFKyle Walker
3EnglandDFDanny Rose
4FranceDFYounès Kaboul (2nd vice-captain)
5BelgiumDFJan Vertonghen
6RomaniaDFVlad Chiricheș
7EnglandMFAaron Lennon (vice-captain)
8BrazilMFPaulinho
9SpainFWRoberto Soldado
10TogoFWEmmanuel Adebayor
11ArgentinaMFÉrik Lamela
13NetherlandsGKMichel Vorm
14GermanyMFLewis Holtby
15EnglandDFEric Dier
16EnglandDFKyle Naughton
No.PositionPlayer
17EnglandMFAndros Townsend
18EnglandFWHarry Kane
19BelgiumMFMousa Dembélé
20EnglandDFMichael Dawson (captain)
22BelgiumMFNacer Chadli
23DenmarkMFChristian Eriksen
24United StatesGKBrad Friedel
28EnglandMFTom Carroll
29FranceMFÉtienne Capoue
30BrazilMFSandro
32CameroonDFBenoît Assou-Ekotto
33WalesDFBen Davies
35EnglandDFZeki Fryers
38EnglandMFRyan Mason
42AlgeriaMFNabil Bentaleb

Nabil Bentaleb is too young to count towards the non-home grown quota of 17 that can be named and therefore used in the English Premier League (EPL). You'll note we have exactly 17 as one player doesn't appear in the first team squad even though he is 27 now. 
South AfricaMFBongani Khumalo




Benoît Assou-Ekotto is available as we have two young left-backs now in Danny Rose and Ben Davies, as well as Zeki Fryers. He failed two medicals last summer and had to go out on loan in the end to QPR in the Championship. He is an obvious one to be leaving.

Vlad Chiriches hasn't adapted to the Premier League and it's doubtful he will be able to, being weak in the air. His agent is trying to find him a club in Italy and Baldini is trying to sell him as well, clubs however won't give us £8.5 million so are waiting for the window to run down when our hand may be forced and we may have to lower his price.

Sandro has not found the form he had before injury and he was again way off the pace of the game against Schalke when he came on. He looks a shadow of the player he was. He has had complete pre-season training and should therefore be as fit as the others and therefore up with the speed of games but he looks a world away from being worth a place.

In this sort of form you can understand why the Italians were looking to offer £8.5 million for him. Any sale would have to be tied up with a purchase and their are conflicting reports surrounding Morgan Schneiderlin. He still wants out but Southampton have t save face so a solution is not easy to find. If Schneiderlin doesn't come in then Sandro may not be on his way unless we move targets to another playmaking defensive midfielder.

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Younès Kaboul is another who can't go until we have a replacement and at the moment Mateo Musacchio is beginning to look unlikely. Villarreal want to have their cake and eat it with 76% of a transfer fee for a player they only own 35% of. They have a game Thursday in the Europa League, if he plays in that then he won't becoming to White Hart Lane.

We can't just give them extra money as some have suggested as they don't own the player, if you give one part owner more money, would the other owners not want more? Of course they would as you'd be fiddling them out of their rightful profits. Apart from that every other club would then want more from us, not a slope to go down.

Should Villarreal stick to their position and can't strike a deal with the other co-owners then Spurs will move on to other targets next week.

That would give a week left of the window, the period when most transfer deals are done, not just Tottenham deals so it's all quite normal right now.



Baldini trying to make Italian sales Baldini trying to make Italian sales Reviewed by THBlogNews on 8:30 am Rating: 5
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