Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Fabulous Flops & A Few Diamonds in the Rough at Spurs Part 1 of 4

With the news of players going out on loan in the last month, I started looking back on the past couple of years of signings for the club, and seeing that we don't exactly strike gold every time we hit the transfer market. I am going to go through the signings the club have made in the past few years, and honestly evaluate if they have helped or hurt the club.

I also want to look at some of the departures and wonder if we are sending out some players that should have been in the side more often. I am going to look back on the past 4 years worth of signings for the club, stretching all the way back to January of 2005. I will look at one year's worth signings a day, as we buy so many players I can't do it all in one sitting.

January 2005

Andy Reid- (4 million pounds) Thought of as the answer for our left-side problem and couldn't keep the pounds off and away from the training room to make a big impact on the club. Was a decent player on my FIFA 06 game though, but that's about it for us. Was sent off to Charlton, who were relegated, and has made his way north to Sunderland where he is playing decently, better than the form he showed for us.
Verdict: Flop

Michael Dawson- (4 million pounds) Hard to believe that Dawson was the makeweight on the deal that brought us Andy Reid and Dawson from Nottingham Forest in 2005. The fee was reported to be 8 million pounds for the pair, and at the time I think the split was closer to 5 million for Reid and 3 million for Dawson. But Dawson has become one of the best and longest-serving players for the club now. He was a rock for us in the 2005/2006 season, and played well in 06/07 also, even earning a call up to the national side, before falling off last season. Back on form this year, he has done well stepping in for Ledley King and Jonathan Woodgate this year, and is probably on the short list for the club's player of the year award this year. Looking at the prices of defenders now, he seems like a bargain.
Verdict: Diamond in the Rough

Teemu Tainio- (Free) Teemu came from Auxerre, and was an established Finnish international when he came to the club he supported when he was young. A favorite of Martin Jol, he was a useful squad player and could play several different positions. He was plagued with injuries at the club , and was sold on by Ramos in the summer of 2008. I think he didn't get a fair shake with Ramos, and is the type of player that Harry would have liked. A lot of supporters weren't fond of him because of how much time he spent in the trainer's room, but I liked him and am sad he's not at the club anymore.
Verdict: Solid Buy

Tom Huddlestone- (3 million pounds) Tom came to us from Derby, and was hailed at the next great prospect. It took a few years to break into the team, but he has impressed at times for the club. His passing and shooting ability cannot be denied, but his focus and tackling are often lacking. He's a bit of a frustrating sort, he has loads of talent, but rarely displays it to its fullest. Is one of the most likely to move on from the Lane in the summer, with Fulham being rumored to want his services. We have to remember he's still very young, he played for the England U21's last week, but if he isn't happy here he will move on.
Verdict: Disappointment

July 2005

Aaron Lennon- (1.5 million pounds) Talk about a good deal, Aaron came to us for peanuts really, as a youngster from Leeds. Had a breakthrough season in 2005/2006 that led to him making the World Cup team. The next two seasons weren't nearly as kind, and I think some were starting to wonder if he would fulfill his potential. Changed that theory this year, and has been one of the most dangerous options in attack for us. Liverpool is sniffing around and I hope Harry fights like hell to keep him.
Verdict: Diamond in the Rough

August 2005

Jermaine Jenas- (7 million pounds) Came down from Newcastle and formed a core partnership with Michael Carrick in the 2005/06 season. Has been up and down as a Spur, his passing can be sublime, but he seems to lose concentration at times. Was tipped with a move away from the club in January, but has looked solid since he made it back into the side. Can be a great player if he is in the right mind set.
Verdict: Not a flop, not quite a diamond yet

Grzegorz Razsiak- (2 million pounds) Only made 8 appearances for the club before being loaned out to Southampton, and eventually sold on, less than a year after being signed. A tall, target-type forward, he should have been able to work with Keane and Defoe but had no luck or chemistry.
Verdict: Flop

Lee Young-Pyo- (1.3 million pounds) Lee was a versatile fullback for us, he played on the right, played on the left, and even turned out as a left winger if I remember correctly. Martin Jol seemed to rate him, and I never doubted his work-rate. Not a favorite of Ramos, he was sold on this past summer. It was probably for the best that he moved on to get regular football, he wasn't quite Champions League quality, but better than a lot of fullbacks around.
Verdict: Solid Buy

So, looking at our purchases in 2005 we have 2 Diamonds in the Rough, a couple of solid buys, and a few disappointments and flops. Of the 8 players we bought in the course of the year, 4 are still with us, with one more than likely on his way out of the club. A 50% retention rate, at least it's better than the financial market at the moment. 22.8 million pounds spent, so really not bad business looking at the outrageous rates we've seen in the last couple of months.

So tomorrow we'll look at the movement in 2006 and see if we've still got anyone here.

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