Today's match was pretty rough. I think that's enough discussion of that.
As bad as today was, I think that as Spurs fans, we still have some things to be optimistic about. A year without Champions League football could devastate the club, yes, but I'm not sure that it would be quite as terrible as everyone seems to think.
Not qualifying for the 2012-2013 edition of the Champions League would surely see Tottenham lose either want away Luka Modric or Gareth Bale (if not both). The question that I ask you is this; how bad would that really be. There's no denying that both Bale and Modric are fantastic players, but the large transfer sum that we could attain from selling either (or both) could actually be of more value than either player could be on their own. As long as Daniel Levy is in charge of transfers, I feel fairly confident that nobody will rob us blind, and that we will be able to get 38-45 million pounds for either player. If we sold both, that’s likely upwards of 80 million pounds.
That means, even if 15 million of that went into a new stadium, we could get likely Eden Hazard (provided he’s willing to come), Jan Vertonghen, Marvin Martin, and Ron-Robert Zieler (who I believe will be available on a free this summer, although I am not sure). If you want, you could swap Vertonghen and Martin for two of my personal favorites, Mehdi Benatia and Lewis Holtby, but regardless of whom we buy, the point is this; that kind of money could go a long way. Add in the 10 million pound fee that Levy is rumored to be asking the FA for Redknapp (which we could spend on, say Demba Ba or a combination of Jordan Rhodes and some random 19 year old from Uruguay who will then become one of the top scorers in the world game), and I would argue that Spurs be capable of putting themselves in a better long-term position through the sales of Modric and/or Bale and the departure of Redknapp. You could certainly make the case that our over-reliance on Modric and Bale has left us in the position that we are in right now; as the form of both players has dropped off the past two months, so has the team’s as a whole. Additionally, the sales of other players without futures at the club (regrettably so, in several cases – i.e. Corluka and Dos Santos) is likely to net another 15-20 million pounds. For rough estimates, I would think that we could get around 3 million pounds for Bassong, 2 million for Pienaar, 5 for Corluka, 1.5 for, Gomes leaving on a free, 4 million for Dos Santos, and 3.5 for Naughton. Olivier Giroud anyone?
All of that being said, I haven’t even accounted for the academy, which is rapidly improving into arguably the best in England. Over the past decade or so, one player has played for the Tottenham academy and gone up to be a valuable member of the first team long-term, Ledley King (Peter Crouch doesn’t count because we had to buy him back later on and as for Jamie O’Hara and others, that’s why I used the phrases valuable and long term). Now, though, we are loaded with prospects; Jake Livermore has cemented his place as a long-term player (and if he keeps improving, a possible first XI player), Danny Rose has loads of untapped potential, and Kyle Walker has been outstanding since the turn of the year, crossing ability notwithstanding. Steven Caulker is easily capable of slotting alongside Kaboul as a starter at Center Back next year, and he looks like a possible England player over the next decade. Adam Smith set League One alight, and looks to be at the very least a Premier League quality player in the future, if not Out on loan, Harry Kane has almost singlehandedly turned around Millwall’s season, scoring goals and providing assists, and as one of the youngest players in the league, he still has plenty of time to improve. Tom Carroll hasn’t gotten as much playing time at Derby as most had hoped, but that is probably more a reflection of their style than his own faults; remember Tom Cleverley is three years older and is just now coming through to the United first team. Andros Townsend should have an impact next season, and no less authority than the great Windy believes that he as much potential as Junior Hoilett.
I would argue that all three of these players have the talent to be first XI players on a top four side, especially Kane. But those aren’t all the players we have on loan Iago Falque has disappointed at Southampton, but it would be hard for any young player to get playing time with the Saints this season. Ryan Mason and Jon Obika look like possible PL players as well. Among the younger players, chances are that at least a few of the highly regarded group of Pritchard, Luongo, Coulthirst, Lancaster, Byrne, Coulibaly, Veljkovic, Gomelt, and Modeste make good on their potential. I expect three or four of those guys to be future first team players; our academy is loaded. If we achieved the heights of recent years with zero help from academy players save Ledley King, then imagine what we could do with the young talent we have both in the first team and at the lower levels.
Finally, I’ll focus on the financial situation at Tottenham Hotspur. Two years ago, we made the top four with a budget that was a fraction of the size of the teams ahead of us. Then, the next year, we were one of the last eight teams standing in the Champions League. Most fans believe that if we don’t consolidate our position as one of the ‘top’ teams now, that we can never again reach the heights of the past few seasons. Well, I ask why not? Newcastle is on the way to doing it this year with a smallish budget, and Everton did it earlier in the decade. If the NDP goes through, as it likely should in the next few years, Tottenham will have even more money to spend in the transfer market. And if Joe Lewis decides he doesn’t want to own Tottenham Hotspur anymore, one would have to imagine the club looks very attractive to foreign investment (I’m looking at you, oil oligarchs of the world). All of which mean that Tottenham’s transfer budget could become significantly larger in the next few years, even without the money gained from appearing in the Champions League.
After losing consecutively to QPR and Norwich, things look pretty bleak for this season’s chances at the top four, but there’s always hope for the future.