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Entries in summer transfer window (23)


The Levy holds firm in stormy weathers

Blimey. That (deadline day) was just a little exciting. So okay, Jim White once more failed to explode on live television and Moutinho failed to materialise in the end, but all things considering, it’s been a good window. No doubt perception of what defines good will differ amongst the majority, splintering into a variety of groups ranging from the happy to the content to the disappointed. Review time.



Joào Moutinho was a vital ingredient to the plan. I firmly believe he’s the key to ‘replacing’ the departed Luka Modric in terms of midfield creativity, an outlet of control for a system that will be based on fluidity, pace and strength. Long term, we’ll have to revisit this particular deal. Sounds like we worked until the bitter end to get it done, so the fact it didn't happen does make me feel empty. Four months we'll have to wait so the hope is we start up on the 1st of January and not on the last day. As for Dempsey he's a fantastic addition to the squad. Not comparable, the two of them. The latter is versatile and scores goals. Not quite as creative as Rafa van der Vaart but fitter and a better fit into VB’s plans.

So why wasn’t the attempt to sign Moutinho kick-started earlier?

I don’t know. There’s no definitive answer unless you work alongside Levy. Some will blame the chairman for brinkmanship and others will point to the culture of transfer negotiations, with clubs (selling clubs) also waiting until the last minute to do business in order to pressure the interested party into paying over the odds. Seems a couple of chairman in this window have had their egos bruised by little Daniel. It might have been down to the player wanting the ilk of wages we simply cannot afford. With regards to Lyon and the hissy fit thrown by them in the aftermath of the transfer of Lloris to Spurs, one or two seem to point and shout at Levy for taking massive risks, changing his mind and playing games. But that’s how he operates. He's always operated like this. It's not going to change. In the end the fee and personal terms might have been agreed. The third-party ownership of the player the stumbling block.

The player (Lloris) signed in the end and probably signed for the fee we were willing and happy to spend on him. Levy does what he does for a reason. We want it to be purely about the football but he’s a business man, the money spent is an investment in the club which is part of ENIC’s investment. It’s why he’s so shrewd and perhaps sometimes willing to sacrifice for the sake of making a stand or refusing to be bullied or paying a penny more. Doesn’t always work. But he’s been relatively successful in this window, probably because he’s able to work with a manager who has a clear strategy in what is required.

Hate to say this, but if we had CL, some of our other targets (strikers included) might have been easier to sign as well. We’re aiming high. Too high perhaps. In fact so high that our backup plan for a striker was Remy, and that failed to get past agreeing a fee. Leandro, Llorente...perhaps not possible now for several reasons but possible in the future. Although I’ll like to point out (before you do) that both links have been ever present for the past few windows and nothing has happened. Not sure we’ve ever really bid for Llorente. If we’ve got our hearts set on someone and it’s for £20M or so then maybe we won’t want to spend that amount on someone we don’t really want. I don’t know, I’m trying to rationalise again on this. Spoke about this in my last blog about our summer targets and it does seem that wages + lack of Champions League is holding us back. What is frustrating is how there’s no apparent cheaper options out there. But then would you be happy with one?

Might not be as bad as it looks here (with Adebayor, Defoe). Dempsey can play in forward positions. Only need one up front, midfield/flanks will be important in how we attack and create. We’ll have to use width to compensate for lack of deep-lying movement from central positions. Midfield currently more robust and direct than reliant on scheming and ghosting. For now anyway.

Replacing Modric was never going to be easy. Catch 22. Sell Luka early in the window, get less money, then perhaps struggle to attain targets or sell him late on and give yourself less time to sign replacement. Then again, ground work would have been worked on throughout the summer. Some of the complexities of transfers breaking down are not always discussed in the public domain because we’re not privy to the details. Although the Porto chairman is also having a dig at Levy and his negotiations. Again, it's funny ha-ha how some are quick to just lay the blame on someone representing THFC.


Key player movement (or lack of) + reminders

Lloris in will have Villas-Boas smiling. Sweeper-keeper. I actually gave up on this one happening until the new year so the fact we went back in to negotiate shows us how important a player he is to aid the new template of player positioning, starting with man between the sticks. Upper body strength will need to be worked on.

Moutinho. The one that got away. I'm fixated on this. We’ve relied heavily on a play maker. Modric was special. Moutinho also has that edge, able to defend but also craft and create and attack the box. The player wants to leave Porto. We all thought he would if Hulk failed to move on. Neither have departed. Yet. Hoping this will be resurrected in four months time. We’ll have to sit back and watch how the side will set out to retain possession and attack from deep/counter attack. Either we’ll compensate or Villas-Boas has plans to mould Dembele into an emergency ‘playmaker’.

Talking of which, Dembele is a steal. Quality player who has gone from strength to strength under Jol at Fulham. He’s not in the same class at Luka and it’s unwise to expect the same type of movement and play from him but he brings something different. Dynamic, beastly, box to box. Strength and skill.

Dempsey might be perceived us some as a fall back plan but let’s think of this without the pressures of alternative signings. He’s Prem experienced. He’s cut throat in front of goal and scores a fair few. He can play in midfield, on the flanks and up front. He scores goals <-- hello. I mentioned that already but it’s worth repeating. If Bale steps up this season and improves his tally then playing with one striker might not impact us if the midfield are sharing the load. Rafa got a fair few for us in the past two seasons. We need to retain or improve on that form. Also, he’s another strong player. We’re turning into a very mobile, versatile side (on paper).

Remy was the player we got linked to a few times and had bids rejected for. I think at one point we were balls deep, but it didn’t happen. He’s not in the same class as some of our other prospective signings but then the other ones are Llorente and Leandro, to name just a couple. What player would sit in the tier below Remy? Seems our quest here for an out and out striker (which ironically is not what Remy is) will continue into yet another window.

Jenas. Turned down a move to Sunderland. Still with us. I guess along with Huddlestone (who doesn’t appear to fit into the mobile fit that VB is aiming for) we have a fair few options to cover us for the cup games. Midfield is looking very busy. What will be of interest here is how VB handles squad rotation. Redknapp didn’t. Our benchers we’re exactly that. Afterthoughts. Never called upon to do a job and when they were, they struggled.

dos santos has finally gone. I’m sure he’ll look good in La Liga. He looks good in anything other than a Lilywhite shirt.

Rose to Sunderland will allow him to develop and for us to see if he will ever get to the required level  to return and play for us.

Kane to Norwich. As above. We'll see how he does coming up against Prem opposition from one week to the next.

Bentley hasn’t gone anywhere. It staggers me how his career has just disappeared like a ball landing in a skip with noone willing to recover from all the rubbish. Haven’t got a clue what kind of shape he’s in, physically or mentally. Would love for him to come good but not sure how he’ll fit into the team as he has no pace.

Gomes not moving on is surprising. Thought someone might come in for him. Seems to be a millions light years away from the first team.

Kaboul out for four months. So Dawson stays. Caulker is willing and able so centre-back wise we’re doing fine. Full-backs? Let’s hope for no injuries or loss of form.

Easy to forget Bale signed a new contract. His progression and new improve instructions on the left (and when to roam) in the hands of the coach. Could bring a completely new dimension to the side (or an old and working one if he stays on the flank).

Defoe’s contract is business, IMO. Say for example, we sign Leandro in January, we get to sell JD for extra pennies in the same window. Can't see him being anything more than an impact sub as he lacks the movement and patience to truly lead the line on his own.

Kranjcar, Corluka, Pienaar, Bassong also shifted on earlier in the window along with short-term players Saha and Nelsen and other lesser squad members with very little impact to our plans. None of them close to first team action.



Not too shabby for a team punching above its weight financially, signing (some) players good enough for CL and retaining strength in squad. Best to remember how far away we are from the likes of Man City and Chelsea in terms of finances and yet how close we are on the pitch. And without CL it makes it doubly hard to compete for certain signatures. Levy has shown he can work with the coach – although not disputing some of his methods and ideology isn’t always agreeable with some quarters. But then in a modern game plighted by over-spending, we continue to compete and plan for the future.

We've got better depth in squad but perhaps not quite a better first team although it’s unfair to discuss this until after we start winning games and seeing a visible distinction between this side and last seasons.

Also, some of the changes made were simply impossible to avoid. Ledley King retiring and Luka Modric wanting out. Selling Rafa van der Vaart is one of sadness, but sentiments aside, he was continually subbed off last season. Not fit enough under Redknapp so not a chance he could fit into VB’s plans. Not just about the fitness, but his style would see him relegated to the bench and Rafa is not productive out on the wings and shouldn't be wasted on the bench. A brilliant player, one that truly galvanised us. Had a winners mentality and will never be forgotten for his form against the scum. Was one of my favourite players before he signed for us, had to pinch myself when he did. Good luck back in Germany. I’ll be keen to see how often he plays and how many games he finishes on the pitch.

We’ve made more in transfers out then spent on transfers in. That will no doubt turn the chairman on. I’m fairly excited myself. But more so in getting behind the team (easy tiger) and watching us gradually transform into a new variant one that hopefully retains the beautiful football of recent years but with more guile and mental strength.

Levy might not be everyone's cup of tea and his ideas of what is best for the club differs from some of ours but by doing the best for himself he does actually do quite well for the club in the end. Opposing chairman crying their eyes out? Bless them. They probably expect to push us over and don't like it when they come up against someone that bites back. All fair in love and war. The work now shifts from boardroom to training pitch and the league.

A very good window. It could have been majestic with Joào. I will ignore the scenario that would play out if Adebayor picked up an injury. For now.

Positive thinking.

Gylfi Sigurdsson
Jan Vertonghen
Emmanuel Adebayor
Moussa Dembele
Hugo Lloris
Clint Dempsey



Hotel ITK

Hotel California reimagined for Tottenham Hotspur. With sincere apologies to The Eagles, writers Don Felder, Glenn Frey, Don Henley and producer Bill Szymczyk.

Instrumental here.


Hotel ITK

On a dark twitter timeline, I.T.K makes me glare
Warm smell of bullsh*t, makes me pull out my hair
Up ahead on NewsNow, I saw an enticing link
Spat out coffee, eyes popped out of my head
I had to browse and couldn't blink
There it stood between adverts;
I read the cryptics well
And I was screaming to myself,
"This could be factual or this could be fail"
Then I switched on Sky Sports, Jim White showed me the way
There were texts on my iphone,
I thought I saw them say...

Welcome to the Hotel In the Know
I want to punch their face (Want to punch their face)
Want to hurt with mace
Plenty of lies at the Hotel In the Know
Always twice a year (Always twice a year)
You will find them here

His mind is definitely twisted, he's got copy and paste
He got a lot of silly, silly blogs but not an ounce of taste
How they post with their comments, sickly sycophants
Why bother with this, he's not clairvoyant

So I called up the Phantom,
"Please who shall we sign?"
He said, "Blue yellow done and dusted he's one of a kind"
But I tell him to f**k off, I'm way out of line,
So I'm kicked off the forum by the admin
And I'm banned for life...

Welcome to the Hotel In the Know
They never get it right (They never get it right)
Make things up each night
They never commit at the Hotel In the Know
Always twice a year (Always twice a year)
I will always jeer

Luka, there's no feeling,
Hope you get head lice
Daniel Levy said "You signed a contract fool, keep you here for life"
And all our transfer targets,
Their clubs refuse to talk
Villas-Boas wants to sign Moutinho
But there's no pen we just stalk

Last prayer I remember, I cried
'Transfer deadline is here'
I had to pray for goals galore
Where is that forward Adebayor?
"Signed" said the chairman,
"Yes we've concluded a deal.
It's Jermaine Jenas on a long term contract,
you're not dreaming, it's for real"



A or B

A or B. Choose.


A) Stay firm on Luka Modric valuation, not a penny less. Dig heels in and only accept an offer if it matches the valuation. So if it's £35M it's got to be that or else, no deal. Do as we did to Chelsea last season, with assured stubbornness, protecting the principle above all things. Club before players, even if it means sacrificing equilibrium.

B) Take a hit, accept a lower bid, not derisory (say £28M- £30M) and rid the club of a player that doesn't want to wear the shirt and allow the club/squad/fans to move onto better things, which would include a 'replacement' playmaker.




DML Supa Liga

Fantasy Football and me, do not go hand in hand. Full of confidence on day one, by Christmas I'm out of the race like a much maligned Spurs side of the 1990s. I blame other distractions such as Football Manager but the reality is, I lose focus faster than Harry Redknapp in the midst of flirting with England. However, you lot appear to want this back again, so knock yourselves out:

Code to join the DML Supa Liga is: 195141-56816  (Fantasy Premier League 2012/13)

May the most obsessed geek win.


Luka transfer saga countdown to deadline day


10th August - Real Madrid make another 'final offer'

11th - Tottenham reject it

12th - Real Madrid make 'final offer'

13th - Tottenham reject it

14th - Real Madrid make 'final offer'

15th - Tottenham reject it

16th - Real Madrid make 'final offer'

17th - Tottenham reject it

18th - Real Madrid make 'final offer'

19th - Tottenham accept bid...then send follow up fax stating "LOL, BARE JOKES, NO DEAL, SOZ"

20th - Real Madrid make 'final offer'

21st - Tottenham reject it

22nd - Real Madrid make 'final offer'

23rd - Tottenham reject it

24th - Real Madrid make 'final offer'

25th - Tottenham reject it

26th - Real Madrid make 'final offer'

27th  - Tottenham reject it

28th - Real Madrid make 'final offer'

29th - Tottenham spend the day mulling over new offer, which is less than original 'valuation of player'

30th - Tottenham grudgingly accept bid, Modric sold, Levy fails in last gasp deal for João Moutinho. Re-signs Saha.

31st - Nothing happens

1st September - Spurs start Jenas in central midfield as playmaker against Norwich, with Kane upfront for the injured Defoe. Club 'Hopeful' in completing deal for Adebayor in Jan transfer window

















Much Ade about nothing

Bale and Adam

Gareth getting a ton of flak from his own fans over the Adam vendetta, a tart some say for constantly banging on about it. Next time, if his ankle is broken, I'll quote Bale's complaints to remind you of the tarts feelings on this matter.

Victoria Line extension

Haringey Council have unveiled their vision for 'Tottenham' which includes information relating to Northumberland Park train station finally getting an extension via the Victoria Line to aid that extra incoming traffic and escape home. The document is 56 pages long. Also worth noting is that the summer of 2016 is when the NDP is aiming for completion. We'll have to wait a little longer for the tube extension with work beginning 2017.

The high line

Not perfect yet is it? But then we've not played that many games and we still lack a key component for it to work - a 'sweeper' keeper. Lloris rumours continue. The system won't work too well with Brad between the sticks because of his lack of adventure walking forwards. Equally important is having the likes of Parker and Sandro available to pressure players in the middle of the park. Early days. Parker set to miss start of season due to op. The high line itself also relies on communication and fluidity of not just the defenders but how they push forward with support from said midfield. A variety of components are required for it to work but it won't do so with assured confidence until we have all the necessary players in place. Also, patience. It won't be perfect from the off which means expect errors early on once the season starts proper until they are ironed out. Of course, if everyone is on key with positioning it will be a lot more comfortable and stress free the stronger it grows from one game to the next.

Adebayor and Luka

Nothing appears to have changed publicly aside from Villas-Boas citing the mental state of Modric who is currently training whilst we wait for the next chess move between Levy and Madrid. Almost feels like nothing else (transfer wise) will happen until this is resolved. How certain are we that someone will meet the clubs valuation of the player? How certain are we that Levy will hold strong on his stance and not shift from it, much like he did last year with Chelsea? It's dragging like a legless zombie crawling through a graveyard. We can't sign a replacement until he's gone so if we're not signing a replacement is it because we're unsure of the players departure? When is the cut off date - as a deal on the final day of the season won't work for us unless we've signed another midfielder before then.

As for our forward line. The Adebayor deal appears to be going the distance much like the Jan Vert signing did. Technicalities concerning wages? It's more than likely to happen much like it was this time last week/month. Whatever the hold up with us/City it's going to be an identical issue if Adebayor was attempting to sign for any other club. So with all the work done thus far on trying to get him on a permanent contract, I don't think the deal will collapse. We also need a goal scoring machine and the real mystery remains who that might be. Wouldn't surprise me if we announced someone out of nowhere. Wouldn't surprise me if we didn't. We've not 'signed' a striker since Robbie Keane returned to the club. We are due something very special. Otherwise, tears will be shed.



Retire the 'retire the number 26'

Evening. Some stuff. Below.


Retire the number 26. No.

Ledley King is a club legend. I'd argue that based on the fact he's not only one of the finest defenders of his and my generation but also because he's one of the finest based on playing football without having to train and with one fully functional knee. He could have quit the game years ago. Having to endure injections and swelling and pain, before during and post-match makes the bloke a little crazy to have persevered. But he did. He wanted to. He kept on playing. When he took the field he was a colossus. A freak of nature. I've already blogged all the plaudits. The point is, he gave everything to wearing the shirt. He loves football and loves Tottenham. Almost to the point of cripplingly himself in future life. That is more than enough for him to go down as one of our great players. Sure, he didn't win the silverware his talent deserved. Wasn't capped as often as he could been. But if you're struggling from one season to the next you're not going to have your dream path played out before you. This is what makes it all the better. He was the one reliable constant in his fourteen years in the first team and he led by example, with dominant performances. He was proud to wear Lilywhite.

But retiring a shirt number? Ledley King is more than just a shirt number. He's Ledley King. How about letting someone else fill it and do it justice. A testimonial and his name sang forever will do just fine.


Not fussed about these games aside from enjoying any goals scored by us and that Villas-Boas is content with the players fitness and preparations. The performances and results mean next to nothing (as long as players remain fit and no serious injuries are picked up). Allow me to remind you the season we stormed through pre-season, demolishing Roma on the way, and then ending up with two points from eight games. You remember that right? Got a few soundbites I could play you if you need your memory jogged. I'm actually far more hyped up for the players when they finally get to move from the Lodge to Enfield. Comprehensive set of photos leaked (since removed) of the new training centre looked knock-out. Stunning state of the art equipment and facilities, right down to details such as the walls displaying the likes of Blanchflower, Hoddle, Gascoigne and even King.


It's gone a bit quiet. The speculation between the media and the supporters continues. No one is quite sure what is going on so people are guessing. Luka to Madrid, Adebayor to Spurs, the on-off saga concerning Lloris. US tour not that far off so expectancy is high. The collective suggestion is that it would be good to have all our deals done by then but that isn't likely and it's not a necessity. Your guess is as good as mine. Plenty of people looking to attach themselves to time-stamps of info shared as this will somehow give them credence. Particularly delicious are the people that slate others and their desperation to share information about 'certain done and dusted' signings and then share info themselves with similar authority. It's a dick waving competition in desperate need of a magnifying glass.



More Hot Spurts


This is the best team you’ve ever played for

This is how things have panned out so far this summer. A player is linked. We’re then told by an assortment of sources that he’s about to sign, there’s a deafening silence whilst the same news sources repeat the same story but with different headlines, followed by another silent moment before he does actually sign . We then have to wait an extra few days for his medical meaning it’s still not actually official. Then an additional two days for Spurs to catch up and officially declare it’s done and dusted. Looks like we’re about to dance the same jig, to the tune that saw Sig and Vert skip into N17 gleefully...this time a not so old friend returning on a more permanent basis. Adebayor is set to sign. I think.  £5M / £6M fee and apparently a wage-structure busting pay packet (or perhaps a lump sum signing on fee), who knows? Levy does, whilst the rest of us continue to scratch chins waiting to find out how we’ve managed to pay him 100k + per week. Because even though we don’t know what is going on behind the scenes we’re still going to base our analysis on rumours.

I’ll stop dancing that jig if it turns out we’ve got a bottomless pit and can now afford to pay the tax on behalf of the players we pick out for preferential treatment. For now, I’m hoping the player can return and improve on his performances from last season which were more than decent. He scored a fair few, assisted marvellously and fitted into the style of play – a team player not an individual dependent on everyone else to carry him around. Okay, so he did mis-fire, was unlucky with disallowed goals and did not get half the support in the pen box he should have got. But all these tactical deficiencies we hope to see corrected in the next year. Now he’s on a permanent contract for us, he’ll have to excel. I don’t buy into the lazy dysfunctional version of Adebayor and I’m certain neither has our chairman. There’s no culture of comfort at Spurs these days. That counts for something and should not be undervalued.

Pie in the sky

So Everton are supposedly on the verge of resigning Stephen Pienaar. Told you so. Yeah, that’s right, I’m coming across all smug because the one time I decide to share some info it pans out exactly how I told it. What? What? Come at me bro, I can do ITK. Yeah, what? In fact anyone can. Especially black cab drivers in London who might say pick up a chairman of a football club and end up being told the dramatic story of how a player left a club for the riches on offer, desperate to do so only to then find himself wanting to escape from the hellish reality and return back to his former club. Bill Kenwright painted this exact picture months back, explaining that money rules the brains of footballers and there is simply no competition when it comes to the top four or five clubs signing the best the rest have. The irony with Pienaar, and it’s common knowledge based on just following Spurs last season, is that Harry didn’t want him and didn’t really know what to do with him. A Levy signing, and yet apparently we’re about to make a profit on him if we do sell him back (probably not really when you consider wages spent) but still...only Tottenham can make a mountain out of a mole hill and then build a rabbit hutch in it's place (that isn't meant to make any sense much like this transfer saga).

Midfield Merry-go-round

We’re still waiting to see which club wins the race for Luka. After Villas-Boas revealed its down to which the one that meets our valuation of the player, we can only wait and see if that club is Real Madrid and the fee is £35M - £40M. Because let’s face it, that’s the best possible scenario. Luka goes abroad, we get a massive wedge of cash to go loopy with. The suggestions continue to persist that he’s definitely on the way to La Liga so the questions are:

a)     Do Madrid have the money?

b)     Do they need to lighten their squad first to make room for him?

Yes and probably.

Once it’s done then we sign Joao Moutinho. Easy right?

Armada strikes

We are (according to the press over in Spain) interested and willing to meet the buyout clause for Atlético Madrid’s  Adrián López Álvarez whilst the ITK community persist with the dream of being rocked by Falcao. The latter is brilliant and prolific and possibly out of our league (in the kindest way possible, he will fancy himself as Champions League pedigree and will cost an absolute bomb to the tune of £40M). Adrián is a couple of years younger and will be considerable cheaper (at just under half the price). I think someone has gotten wind of our inclination to spend and are trying to drum up some business and hype for their clients. Those pesky footie agents. When Villas-Boas left Porto he was instantly linked with returning to his former club to steal Falcao away for an alleged £26M (release clause). Then the player was cited at £80M. An obvious reconnection the world of fantasy. I'm assuming he's got a new contract and a new release clause thesedays. So...Strurridge anyone?

Rafa isn’t going to take a bite out of the Hamburg

He’s leaving. He’s not. It’s because of his wife. Wife denies it on Twitter. Back and forth, it won’t go away. But yesterday the player said he is happy at Spurs and doesn’t want to leave. That’s not to say it’s completely his decision but I’m hoping we do keep him. If anything because he loves it against the Woolwich. VB wants to challenge on all fronts? If he’s serious we need depth and we need quality and Rafa is an outstanding player. He might suffer from bouts of inconsistency, fitness issues but the words ‘galvanise’ and ‘talismanic’ were made for him. Belief is such an important commodity and he has it in abundance.  

Fryers is hot property

Apparently he's left Man Utd and left Fergie fuming and is on his way to Spurs. Utd wanted £6M for him (supporters I've spoken to don't rate him at that price) and we'll end up paying considerably less. Hence the fuming. Although the fuming is more likely related to the mini-exodus of Utd yoof that have recently moved on from the club. Fryers is nineteen, plays left back and centre-back. Did I mention Fergie is fuming? Probably worth signing him just for that.

Walking tall

Loved Kyle Walker’s attitude, talking about the changes at Spurs and the ambition to improve as an individual and as a collective. Again I ask, where is the player revolt? Also loving Jan Vertonghen's comments on the 'perfect fit' in relation to Villas-Boas pressure and possession football and being at Tottenham. Nice feeling that, players wanting to play for the shirt.That's something that at times is undervalued by us. May as well enjoy it when we've got it.



Hot Shot Spurts

The Academy Award goes to...

The suggestion is we dropped out of the race to sign Oscar days back, leaving Chelsea with an alleged bid (reported by the English press, not reported by the Brazilian press, denied by Internacional). £25M the valuation. Expect confusion as Joorabchian is involved. Sure, he's (Oscar) 'unknown' in terms of adaptability to the Prem and a far bigger risk than the more well known Joao Moutinho - the more likely candidate to slot into the position of the departing Luka Modric.

With regards to Internacional themselves, more confusion from the stands over our partnership/relationship that was struck a while back. My understanding is we get first dibs on their academy produced players (like Sandro). Although I remember this would entail youth players coming to Spurs and acclimatising to European football before moving on to the continent. Whether this means we sign them and sell them on (profiting both us and Inter) or they are loaned and return back to Brazil is anyone's guess. Bruno Uvini came to us on loan. But he plays for Sao Paulo and not Inter. So unless I'm mistaken, I've yet to see anything play out between the two clubs, aside from the perpetual linkage to Leandro Damiao.

As for Moutinho? Best supporting actor? I'll be happy to see him take the plaudits in a Lilywhite shirt.


Let battle commence

Around 1:30pm - 2pm, Wed, live on Sky Sports News via the new Tottehnam Training centre...Villas-Boas and his first press conference. How many times will the press mention Harry Redknapp by name? I reckon eleven times. Villas-Boas looks sexy, speaks great English (more articulate than our previously soundbite ridden gaffer) but is not half as animated and stand-up comedianesque so expect a subtle backlash in the post-coverage.

Between the sticks

Villas-Boas stating everyone has the chance to impress him, clean slate all round. Great news right? Wrong, well, wrong if you believe the current stories that we are in talks with Hugo Lloris, Lyon and French international sweeper keeper. Somewhere, in a dark corner at The Lodge, Gomes wipes a single solitary tear off his cheek. Would be a cracking signing this. He'd be our number one. Confident, commanding and although Gomes might scream out about shot stopping and reflexes, he cant compare or compete with Lloris cool maturity and decision making. The latter an important ingredient in the high-line tactical planning Villas-Boas is planning on introducing to Spurs. Also, having signed Vertonghen (formally captain of Ajax) we'll be getting another leader in Lloris. This bodes well. Fingers at the ready...and cross them...NOW. Source of this story? This is no watery spurt of Ketchup. It's via L'equipe and negotiations have apparently started. He's twenty-five years of age. He fits the new age bill. Brad to slot into the number two role, Gomes to move on completley.


Defoe to Reading?

That's the rumour. Although I wouldn't expect that to happen unless we've got signings on the way. You get the feeling he's still going to be third inline to the throne at Spurs. Adebayor + another top class signing + potentially a young understudy (or a promoted Harry Kane). Meaning that JD might be better off at a club where he is guaranteed to start every game, up top with a partner and not as the lone man in a three tier attack. As an impact striker, I'd have no complaints in keeping him. He'd have a few. All theortical of course.


Le Luka

Via Le Parisien, PSG are interested in Luka Modric, so much so they've offered 40M Euros. French ITK? The vast majority of people claiming to know something would tell you he's already on his way to the Bernabeu. Although that's not to say such an offer from the mega-rich French wouldn't give Levy a nice little a bargaining tool if no offer from elsewhere has yet to be accepted.

Training Day

Everyone get all giddy when seeing the photos of Villas-Boas and the lads back in training? I'm having to change panties daily. Dean Parrett (youth player) was equally excited, tweeting:

"New gaffers quality knows what he's doing and speaks to everyone.. Everybody has a chance to impress"

I'm sure the first team players feel the same. To have someone astute and mindful and prepared can only make you (the professional footballer) better as an individual and as part of a collective. Completley different, I'd hazard a guess, to Redknapp patrolling the byline and letting Bond and Jordan drill the first team. Am I understating Harry's accountability there? Sure, yes. Much like the tabloid hacks built up this great exodus that was upon us post-Villas Boas appointment.

Photos and video footage of training sessions on official THFC Facebook page.

Jan Vertonghen joins the team tomorrow.


This is the best team, you've ever played for

Another 'worst kept secret' it would seem as everyone is waiting for official word on us making Emmanuel Adebayor a permanent signing giving us two forwards and still requiring a box office third. Adebayor give us a dimension to our play that we've lacked for a while. Not just the tracking back and the decent work ethos but also the ease he settled into the Tottenham way of linking with his team mates as opposed to some of the lesser effective strikers we've had in the past (Darren Bent) that required the team to support them rather than the player support the team. Under Villas-Boas I expect him to be more successful in front of goal, ironic that one of our best performers under-performed at times where it mattered most. Although he had his fair share of disallowed efforts and our general lack of discipline and fluidity from the flanks and support in the penalty area made for a frustrating lack of cutting edge. With Bale and Lennon on the wings and someone of Adebayor's calibre up front, we should have got more for our possession last season. I'll wager we will this time round.


What does it mean?

Continuing on from Adebayor - if he has signed then we're talking about the player agreeing to become our highest paid player. Possibly 100k? More? If so, does this nod approvingly to the direction Levy wants to take us in terms of now paying for players when its imperative to do so in order to capture their signature or is this a clue towards the rumour of a cash injection? Allowing us to be more ambitious in the transfer market and with our wage structure? 

The hype continues to build.


Cycling 5000 miles across the USA for Cancer Research UK

Max Ricky Mills, Tottenham fan, is currently cycling 5000 miles across the United States. Since starting his journey he has been astonished by the generosity and kindness of those he has met so in turn has decided to try and link his trip to fundraise for Cancer Research UK. You can take a look at some of the photographs he has taken on his blog: and click here if you wish to donate.




Spurs; hard boiled round the edges, gooey centre needs nuts

Jan Vertonghen has signed. He’s been in a perpetual state of signing for what seems like months. You can trace this transfer saga back to Friday 2nd December 2011, when we were first linked. Regardless of how long it took for it to become official at no point did I find myself thinking the usual knee-jerk thoughts as this all played out. You know, the usual agent-mind games that haunt and tease us where we get used in public to drum up interest elsewhere. Here was a player willing to come to Spurs, wanting to be part of our club. Thanks to a technicality, nothing shifted until the player shook hands with the Ajax over a contractual obligation owed. So seven months on, he belongs to THFC. Although until he parachutes onto the high road riding an inflatable cockerel singing Chas’n’Dave I’ll hold back from getting his face tattooed on my back.

12 million Euros the alleged fee. Yet another signing and it’s not even the middle of July yet. Whatever will Jim White and Sky Sports News do when that final fifteen minutes starts ticking away on deadline day? Pre-season kicks off on Monday and the message is one of relentless desire to get all our business done. Although I’m being a tad colourful with the truth as both Sig and Vert were ongoing deals that concluded regardless of Villas-Boas being appointed. It’s the signings made now onwards which will be most telling in how we plan to shape up for the new season.

Vertonghen truly adds another dimension to our centre-back horde. Intelligent, drives forward out of defence (eye for a goal) and a talented left foot - we’ve got ourselves a glamour boy that lives up to the hype. Ajax captain, Eredivisie Player of the Year and (according to Wikipedia) ‘Male Performer of the Year’. Those Dutch love putting it about. He will bring with him not just experience (title winner) but pace – something that Villas-Boas will no doubt require if we plan to play with a high-line (which failed at Chelsea thanks to their distinctive lack of it). A defender that can defend, attack and most importantly consolidate strength at the back. What with Ledley King’s future as a player in doubt. A back four of Walker – Kaboul (Dawson) – Vert – Benny is looking good (full back positions requiring sustained cover).

The key area (thanks to complete lack of depth) is up front. Defoe being the only recognised forward we currently have on our first team books. Adebayor continues to be linked and is on the cards thanks to the success he had with us and the fact that he’s open to returning (the player confirmed this himself back in May that Spurs and City were in talks). This has probably dragged because of the asking price so much like the Vert transfer, it’s going to happen but it might take a few more shrewd manoeuvres from our chairman. We’ll still need another. I’m not too concerned with this conundrum because there is no puzzle to be solved. We might play a 433, we might only need the one ‘striker’ but across the season? Three is the magic number. The ultimate would be a forward that can play on the right hand side, therefore fixing two problems (cover and alternative to Lennon, able to also spearhead the attack). I can remember thinking we needed this last season.

The biggest question however is the one in the middle. The heartbeat of the side is its centre. The phrase ‘build a team around him’ is not something you hear too much of in these modern times. Mainly because there’s no loyalty and players are very career driven meaning everyone is a stepping stone till they reach their ultimate goal. With Luka Modric, you’d love to do just that. Build the team around him. Although building a fence around him so he can't escape would be more apt. He attempted to tunnel his way out last year, but I expect this time when he gets to the barbed wire he'll jump it without crashing his motorbike. The great escape complete. We're left bouncing a ball off a wall in deep thought on what to do next.

Doesn’t score much? Placing that aside, he completes a ridiculous amount of passes and creates chances from open play, more so than most. He is prolific as the heart-beat of the side. Starting from deep, recycling possession and attacking forward space with effect. Under Villas-Boas he, in theory, would be phenomenal as I expect he would be used with far more astuteness. He’d benefit from a more structured system. But alas, it’s all theory because he will end in a different ilk of white shirt next season kicking up a storm. So what do we do?

Thankfully we have our holding midfielders. Scott Parker (the Jedi) and Sandro (the Padawan). We have the industrious ball winners and walls that you shall not pass. Bale will play out left or perhaps inside left. Sig is an attacking midfielder, van der Vaart is talismanic  - but what we need is a player similar to Luka. A conductor. Oscar, the Brazilian kid, is one name touted. More of unknown to most of us, a midfielder that pushes into the penalty area with an eye for goal. Hugely talented and highly rated.

Joao Moutinho is the more obvious target. He’s a Porto player. He knows Villas-Boas. He’d like to work with him again. And, apparently, wants to leave Porto this summer. Central midfielder, adaptable and not too dissimilar to what we currently have in Modric in terms of sheer talent but perhaps with a touch more all action box to box about him. Like Modric he can get stuck in (something that people tend to forget then act all surprise when Luka does it) is disciplined and reads the game extremely well.

He’s a top target for a fair few clubs but if he is available and if we are interested, we’ll have the money to spend and in Villas-Boas we’ll have a potential transfer winning wink and hand shake.

It’s going to continue to be an exciting summer. We’re getting our work done early. Villas-Boas has given everyone currently at Spurs a clean-slate which might impact what players we target in terms of covering the key positions. The return of David Bentley? I’ll believe it when I see it, preferably with no feet on fire and not a skip in sight.

So far so good.





Gylfi Sigurdsson was finally unveiled a Spurs player yesterday. Attacking midfielder, further up the pitch than those with deeper qualities - so he's not a replacement for Luka Modric. But perhaps one that might play the role van der Vaart does. The latter continues to be linked to a move back to Germany whilst the former will hopefully link up in attack with precision passing and pin-point thunderous shots. Useful with set pieces which given our recent history is a Gods send. Let's hope he doesn't lose his abilities from dead ball positions once he dons the Spurs shirt.


Steven Caulker has signed a new four year contract. High hopes. Brilliant season for Swansea and hopefully will be part of our campaign this one along with what is shaping up to be strong centre-back depth alongside Kaboul, Dawson and Jan Vertonghen (any day now). Still no news on Ledley King's decision on whether to retire and if he plans to accept one of the clubs offers to retain him at the club (perhaps as a coach).


Pienaar back to Everton. No shocker. Well documented he wanted to join Spurs then soon admitted a mistake and wanted to leave. A signing the chairman made the manager didn't want. I'll add in 'allegedly' to give it that whimsical touch of confusion. Because you wouldn't believe it was Bill Kenwright that confirmed all of the above. Ooh ITK. Where's my badge of honour?


Talking of Vertonghen, he's training with his current club Ajax although sources in Holland suggest by Monday he'll be training with us. The player appears to be philosophically ambiguous, suggesting he's prepared to move but is happy at Ajax but would be disappointed if he didn't join Spurs. The contract wrangling over money owed to him by Ajax remains the glitch in completing the move. Medical, contract and fee all agreed and done.


Oscar? Tim Vickery (South American football expert) had this to say on a much maligned radio station. Rare credibility for them.

Seems a mature young man. Happy to take responsibility. Always a gamble bringing him over. Question over whether Inter want to sell. Given the choice I think they would rather sell Leandro Damiao.... They have a hefty wage bill and might need to sell. Would be surprised if they have done a deal already (before the olympics)

This particular link has been doing the rounds since last season when Oscar was connected with Tottenham (along with Leandro, no not that one, another youthful Brazilian striker). It's all been made more tangible by the fact that Inter already have a relationship with us (Sandro) and our persistence on Damiao (which has cooled). Villas-Boas was recently in Brazil. Daniel Levy was recently in the USA (could have comfortably taken a connecting flight?). Let's do the maths and dance a jig. This one might actually happen.


dos Santos on ESPN radio:

"I want to return to Spain, there is a new coach at Tottenham, a new season is starting and it is clear to me that I want to return to Spanish football."

All dependent if Levy is still looking to earn back more on the player than he spent on him. Is £4M a fair valuation? Taking wages paid to player into consideration, it's probably why he gets priced out of a move every summer. Levy probably wants £6M. Villas-Boas might fancy him. Wouldn't be the first time a player has returned from the brink of oblivion and made a success of it. Although in his case it will be from the brink of the bar. If legend is true. If it isn't, if the lad does commit in training then we'll see it for ourselves - either at Spurs or in La Liga. Mexico aside he has flattered to deceive. If it's because nobody has believed in him since signing for us, we'll have to wait to be proved wrong - then again, judging by the above quote, we won't see the outcome in Lilywhite.

Talk of a media embargo on a certain sports radio station (yep, the much maligned one) and one of its presenters bragging about 'massive Spurs' news before doing a complete u-turn to suggest he was only referring to the appointment of Villas-Boas. The suggestion is it involves knowledge about this alleged investment/financial injection/naming rights rumour that has spent the best part of the last month waiting to be announced (according to people who claim to know its going to be announced). It gets more colourful when people start to connect the dots, claiming it's why Bale signed a new long term contract and why other players want to sign (as opposed to all that just being business as usual in-house developments). Until Tottenham reveal all, it's all guess work.


Caulker and Villas-Boas photographed at The Lodge in Under Armour shirts. Cockerel on opposite side of where it would usually grace the chest. Innovation.


Player exodus:

Ben Alnwick - to Barnsley

Oscar Jansson - released

Jesse Waller Lassen - released

Kudos Oyenuga / Mirko Ranieri - contracts expired but no more info

A collective 'meh' is shrugged.


Goal line technology set to be introduced this season. It's all coming together people. No longer shall we be cheated. FA could be introducing it during December (won't be ready before then) so controversy still has a few games left to break hearts.


Newcastle away. Live on ESPN. The revolution will be televised. Haters gonna hate.


Latest from the ITK grapevine: Hugo Lloris is linked. Too early to scratch our heads over this one. Easy to forget we still have Gomes at the club. Adebayor might sign permanently, always a 50/50 chance of that happening based on his loan spell with us. Now that Sahin has ruled himself out of moving away from Real Madrid, Gonzalo Higuain is being linked as part of a deal involving Luka Modric. Higuain? Far fetched. Out of our reach. Didn't we go through this already with the Benzema fantasy? It's got to be fantasy, right? Yes? No?

Time for a cold shower.




If Carlsberg did transfer windows...

...Tottenham would be barred.

Yesterday Jan Vertonghen was supposedly confirmed as confirmed can be without an official word and practically done and dusted according to Dutch sources. Today? Well today is a different day which means a new set of rules contradicting everything that came before it. The Dutch sources with us much spurt as an empty Ketchup bottle.

Here is the latest information to be shared in the wastelands of Twitter (via @BelgoFoot).


Possibility that will not join #thfc in the summer (sic). Disagreement between player and Ajax. (

Vertonghen says he was promised percentage of fee but Ajax seemingly don't want to pay. Report says his salary was lower than many players.

If he does not move in summer, Vertonghen says he will be happy to join #thfc in a year's time, out of contract.

His argument is with Ajax so won't sign without OK from them. (apparently)


Probably means he's at the Lodge passing his medical as we speak. Well no, he isn't. But at least that's where he would like to be. He wants to join. That's one positive from this messy saga we can embrace and hold onto with dear life. It's extraordinary how with each passing transfer window, everyone seems to be privy to information on prospective transfers but nobody actually knows what is going on.

As for the more important managerial appointment, the continued rumour is that AVB can't sign until July 1st when his contractual obligation with Chelsea supposedly ends.

Nothing is confirmed until said player is holding up the Lilywhite shirt and smiling. Nothing is confirmed until the club call a press conference to reveal the new man at the helm.

Until then, our misery continues.




More hacks than a Friday 13th movie

You'd think that with Harry Redknapp's departure the tabloid hacks would welcome the amount of free time he now possesses to grace their pages further with insightful gems on how and why Spurs are about to collapse in on themselves and be relegated as a consequence of our chairman's ruthless (not not so ruthless in reality) actions. But alas, their favourite son appears to be imprisoned like Zod in the Phantom Zone, waiting for escape. So until they are distracted with the continuing adventures of Arry they are chugging away at us like a locomotive heading towards a damsel in distress (in this case Levy in drag tied to the railway tracks).

They (the hacks) are basically perpetuating the full collected edition of Harry Redknapp's deflections and fallacies as they build up the strength to pack a punch at the unlucky sod that dare take the job vacated at the Lane against the wishes of the almighty press gang. They're already bitter about Hodgson. Swing and they'll still probably miss. They're already throwing rabbit punches and striking below the belt.

Our players are apparently gutted that Redknapp has gone yet the same players believed him to be on his way during the FA and England debacle last season. Chelsea players scaring off Spurs players? Yeah, because nobody knows what happened in the dressing room at that club with the old guard sabotaging the efforts of the new man who was given the impossible job of changing things and changing them fast. Spurs are a club that have swagger in abundance when confidence is high, what we lacked was tactical astuteness when it mattered most. Balance and shrewd calculated pragmatism as opposed to confusing selections and kick and hope.

This Week published a short article on Spurs fans being split and referenced this excellent article via The Fighting Cock, only to side step the positive write up on AVB and concentrate more on a single comment by a reader that stated appointing AVB would be like the "second coming" of the much-ridiculed Christian Gross*.

The agenda is an obvious one. We'll have to be thick skinned about it.

*They've now amended the original article to reflect the positive article they linked to.

AVB remains the 'favourite' to be appointed although everyone is getting linked with Spurs supposedly approaching half a dozen targets. I still believe Levy had his contingency planned a while back. Probably the moment the esteemed Redknapp turned down a new Spurs contract to opt for the certainty that was the England job. The very same one Levy priced him out of.

Don't mess with bald men.




Bendtner has been fined and handed a one game suspension after he revealed an unauthorised sponsors logo on his pants during match against Portugal. The fine? 100k. Far more serious crime this than being a racist which will only cost your nation between the region of £25k - £30k.

As for England. We're not very good but yet it's quite fun watching us attempt to score one more goal than the opposition. Expect us to get dicked severely soon.

Modric to Madrid (of La Liga) according to Luka's mate Mate Bilic. Such a good mate they named him Mate just to emphasis how in the know Mate is on his mate Luka. Would be no surprise if he was sold, it's what we're expecting. He's in his prime in terms of selling profit margin potential. The stance was made last season with the Chelsea saga and our refusal to let him go, ironic with the seasons finale. Had we made it into the CL there might be reason for him to stay. Although as discussed countless times before, this is more about the money and wages he can earn (and how much his agent can take in said transfer).

Do I believe the 'deal is close'? Do I believe in the validity of a 'swap deal'? Of course not. More likely the agent has had words to drum up a bit of hype, post- Croatia v Spain match. Until the player is gone, he's a Spurs player, so I'd rather wait on official word. Until then he's a bundle of money to be made by the club just in time to bulk up the incoming managers war chest.

But if you did fancy a cheeky bid...




As for Vertonghen, we've been told 'it's practically done' for the past month. So Expect him to sign any day soon. Any day now. Soon. Literally waiting for the ink to dry. Until then you'll have to entertain yourself with such exciting news as 'Nelsen to QPR'. Hedonistic.