Arrival of foreign legion may tip the balance for Spurs
Platini’s misgivings can be ignored as Spurs’ transfer dealings are strictly within Uefa’s current rules
Erik Lamela, at £30 million, came yesterday and Christian Eriksen, £14 million has passed his medical and is expected to join as well. In all Tottenham will have spent around £110 million this summer. All on foreign players.
Obviously they will get that £86 million of that back for Bale, but Spurs have also taken £8m from Swansea for Steven Caulker, £5 million from Hull for Tom Huddlestone and £2 million from Fulham for Scott Parker. That’s £101m. All British players.
If on Monday night when this window closes, Spurs have signed seven new players of exciting quality and lost Bale, plus some fringe players – Parker and Huddlestone started 26 league games between them last season – for a net spend of £9 million, then Arsenal fans will be wincing.
They will not care that Spurs appear to be losing Englishness. They embraced foreign players long ago but now feel they are outside the window looking in, often at Spurs chairman Daniel Levy concluding deals.
Yet Wenger has a point. After two Premier League games, Tottenham fans are cooing over Capoue in particular, but while they have won those opening two games of the season, it’s been1-0 each time, a penalty each time, against Crystal Palace and Swansea.
This is not electric form and is a reminder to those of us who have been prematurely stimulated by Spurs in the past few seasons. At times their football under Harry Redknapp had a beguiling dash. Go back just 18 months and Spurs went to Arsenal buoyant and were 2-0 ahead and seemingly set to confirm predictions that there had been a shift in power in north London. Then Arsenal scored five.
Even last season, with Van Persie sold, Arsenal still finished above Spurs. Under Wenger in fact, Arsenal have never finished below their rivals. Gerry Francis was the last Tottenham manager to enjoy that experience.
So there is a reason as to why Arsenal remain favourites tomorrow: modern history.
But on paper Tottenham have won one major battle this summer – in the market – and usually that leads to superiority on the pitch. Platini might not like that, though it does not bother him when Real Madrid behave this way.
So Tottenham cannot be accused of robbery, they have done nothing but operate within the system Uefa & co. designed. Michel, people in glass houses . . . etc etc