This has been exhilarating: Universal Studios Jurassic Park ride meets election night, multiplied by an ‘it’s on’ look from an out-of-your-league honey in the club. ‘Quiet man’ Baldini slips into the set-up and embarks on a cold-blooded spree knocking off targets like Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men. As it stands we have added five quality internationals, with more guaranteed, and two returning from long-term injury, hungry as Hull.
It’s hard to disagree with the prevailing media narrative that our summer activity has catapulted us up through the glass ceiling to the top table, although it should be remembered that as transfers sell papers they have a warping influence when it comes to assessing a team’s quality. Regardless of the vibes we have generated relative to say Manchester United, we would still have it all to prove on the pitch when we play Moyes’ men, a team we’ve beaten once in over a decade.
When the music stops, Andre Villas-Boas has a colossal job to get a patchwork of new faces to max out their individual ability and all plug in to an effective team system and style. If four of them manage that the boss is a miracle-worker, and he’ll do even better to pacify the inevitable sadalogues from the ones who don’t have a great start, or get benched because we cant play 18-a-side (sort it out Blatter).
What’s promising is the sense that these are AVB’s players –he knows them and wants them - not Kakas foisted on a helpless Pellegrini. I believe the Portugese analysts who have followed their countryman’s career from the start and call him a 'predestinado' - a 100% lock for success, and one of his strengths is persuading and cajoling players to leave it all on the pitch.
There’s no positive spin on losing our best player for 20 years and we could wait as long again to see another Bale. His evolution from albatross to euphoric serial matchwinner has been among the highlights of my 27-year life supporting Spurs. He could render the opposition irrelevant, and while £93 million seems a lot there is no limit to his ablity. He has every chance to win a Ballon D’or, although he could also struggle to maintain his incredible competitive instincts and Gerrard-like force-of-nature, I-will-win-this-game-myself attitude winning 8-0 every week. And Madrid is as toxic an environment as Chelsea.
There’s a lingering sadness that we didn’t get really serious with our transfer game last summer, when we could have capitalized on Bale’s genius, but a little sadness rather than negativity is all. Whatever happens we start the season with one of our best squads ever, among diminished title contenders, and if AVB plays his hand capably we will do the business. When the music stops we're back to being Spurs, but not as we know it.