January 2013 Transfer Window: What's Really Important?

Alex Grimm

Ok, so pretty much every post I've seen in recent weeks suggests we're desperate to sign players, because glamour signings are excellent fun and because of purported flaws in our team and, more desperately, because YOLO. Can fingers spit? Think my fingers are spitting on that acronym.

Truthfully, though, I just don't see it. I'd agree in almost every other window that our squad was crying out for an improvement, and usually at center forward where Defoe was sputtering, Pav only scores ridiculous goals he has no right to and... Mido? Rebrov? POSTIGA?!

NOW DON'T FREAK OUT ON ME FOR SAYING ALL THE CRAZY WORDS but I think actually this time around, our squad is fine. You add a Damiao maybe, but that's it. We had a lot of injuries in the early season, but look at our actual squad for this season, crudely graphically rendered below. I've also taken the liberty of putting some ratings down for players in positions based on my subjective interpretation of their form up to this point (as an afterthought in a childish mouse-scribbled style).


Now, I'm not going to argue that a 10 up front isn't the difference between United and Chelsea, because it is. I'm not going to argue that going back in time and getting the (German) top scorer and goal machine Mario Gomes to take that b*stard penalty instead of the (Dutch) ex-Chelskite Arjen Robben, triggering a chain of events that brings Eden Hazard to play in the hole and Marko Marin to provide cover, rest and genuine alternative for Bale and Lennon wouldn't drastically improve the Spurs team, because it would. If any of you reading this can do that, you should really be on that by now. Be careful not to bang your own mother and/or distract her from banging your dad before you come back to the future. If you tried and were lost that way, then... damn it all, Martyspur! YOU HAD ONE JOB.

But truthfully, this is the best Spurs team I've ever seen, competing in probably the best EPL in terms of competitive teams I've ever seen (I am 22, but please don't hate me, I'm trying to get older). It can be argued that without Ronaldo and co we've lost something, but to be frank there are a lot of teams that now exist that would comfortably have ousted a couple of the "Big Four" a few seasons ago, and maybe won the title. Fellaini and co in particular are suddenly a terrifying outfit with (Neville excluded) no obvious weakness. I also think this Spurs team might have won the league last season (given another random dice-roll on injuries for MUN, MAC, CHE & SPU). Michu and Pablo Hernandes are midtable! Even the relegation battler XI this season would include Johnson, Sessegnon, Benteke, Granero, Cesar, Kone, Maloney... There aren't really any bad sides. Apart from QPR, who should drown in the jowl-sweat of their money-grabbing wheeler-dealing disloyal tax-evading self-satisfied manager. Ahem.

Anyway, I put it to you, Spursians, that the most important thing to happen in this window - excluding avoiding injury to any of the 10s in my above image, which would make Baby Jesus weep - is that our rivals don't pick up team-strengthening players.

  • If Arsenal realise that all their strikers are sh*t and buy someone decent, they might start looking a threat. Although it's more likely they'll lose Walcott and whoever their current captain is. It's Vermaelen's turn, is it?
  • If Chelsea pick up Falcao (to add to Ba... damn it all) and start scoring the myriad chances they create, we're well behind them. Uncatchable, probably. Worse still...
  • ...United bring in (the curious case of) Wesley Sneijder to provide some genuine creativity behind Rooney/RvP, the title's sewn up and we'll probably never see United again for the next three or four years...

The key thing to note is that those are frightening potential signings because they fix screaming barn door weaknesses. We just don't have those same barn doors anymore. Our barn doors are small Swedish, and better run than they used to be. And they train in a lovely facility. We used to have glaring weaknesses (at keeper and at striker) but you're a mean and possibly racist guy if you can call Ade and Defoe anything lower than a decent pair of strikers. We go deep now, and we go hard. There's no space for Moutinho (10) anymore, I'm afraid. We've also fixed our creative problem for next year, with Holtby (I'm hoping an 8 to start with, pushing to a 10 over the next few years) playing in any of the three slots behind the front man or sitting deep when Dembele's hip falls off.

Gomes will leave in the summer (yeah, he's still here, check out the Christmas videos), and a young keeper (Butland? 6?) will come in for the development squad. Fryers, signed cheaply from United with a warm SAF handshake, will provide competition at left back and spare Naughton the indignity of learning his trade at a top 4 club out of position. Carroll hopefully will go out on loan to Swansea and to light up the league, ready to come back and provide strong competition in 2014/5. Some striker might come in and complete the squad forever, but to be honest... this might well be it, and I'd take quite a few of these players in a Premier League 11, and certainly in the 25.

The future's bright, lads & ma'ams. Stop asking for (non-Damiao) signings, we're set. COYS!

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