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Spurs Fans Starting To Realise Their Club Has Missed The Boat In Signing Saints Players
Friday, 9th Apr 2021 10:02

Seven years ago St Mary's was the Harrods of the Premier League, it was seemingly the place to shop if you wanted the latest in footballing fashions, but that was a few years back now and Tottenham Hotspur fans are realising that trying to buy half the Saints first team isn't going to win you the League.

For three years Saints were the place to go to when you wanted to sign up and coming footballers, it seemed to the St Mary's faithful that the club were selling as fast as they could get them out on the shelves, but the real truth is that it was all part of the club conveyor belt, a process put in place by Ted Bates, honed by Lawrie McMenemy and still seen by the club hierarchy as the only way a club the size of Southampton can compete in today's financial footballing world.

That means getting in player young and cheaply and with a hunger for success and selling them at top dollar, some still haven't caught on to this yet and see every sale that the club makes as a lack of ambition, but the reality is that buying expensive players by paying them high wages is no more a guarantee of success than our well practised strategy, it relys on players playing to their potential.

I said back in 2014 that the problem will never be selling players, it will always be about who we buy to replace them and that our real problems will start when we have no one anyone wants to buy.

In the summer of 2014 Saints sold Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw, Calum Chambers & Dejan Lovren we replaced them well with the likes of Mane, Pelle Tadic & Ryan Bertrand, on reflection we got more out of those four players than Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal got for their £100 million.

The problems arose for us when we bought badly, we had spent the money but we just didn't get the quality we previously had although it has to be said that in the not too distant past both Pierre Emile Hojbjerg and Jannik Vestergaard have been held up as examples of why the transfer policy went so badly wrong, yet they came good eventually.

Liverpool & Manchester United don't come knocking as much as they used to do, but one club who always seemed to be linked with us are Tottenham Hotspur and last season they did their usual trick of offering peanuts when they signed Hojbjerg.

For much of the last 8 months they have been linked with Danny Ings and now comes the news that they want Jannik Vestergaard, the problem is though, is how is a club with a billion pounds of debt going to find any transfer money.

Spurs more than most have suffered in the Covid 19 situation, they were in a brand new stadium with around £800 million of loans to finance and were reliant not just on the considerable income from football activities at the ground, but on summer events including Baseball games, American Football and gigs, not to mention large conferences etc.

None of these happened and their answer was to borrow another £175 million from the government to pay their staff, although a fair chunk has gone on paying Gareth Bale.

Spurs fans are coming to the realisation that their club could be in financial trouble if it is not careful , the chasing of Danny Ings has placated them to a degree, but the news that Jannik Vestergaard is also on their radar seems to have been a step too far and brought home the fact that if they want to buy they have to sell and losing the top striker in the country to buy two players from Saints isn't floating their boat.

Another boat that didn't float was the Titanic and Ings and Vestergaard should both consider that like the White Star Liner in 1912 they should both consider not leaving Southampton either.

Website thisisfutbol.com has been analysing Spurs predicament and are realising that with both Ings and Vestergaard turning 29 in the summer, if they move to North London they are hardly going to be long term fixes.

The Spurs fans are coming to the realisation that Spurs are losing ground on where they were a couple of years ago and that if you want to win the Premier League you have to be in the market for the top top players and not cut price options from Saints, Hojbjerg was considered a revelation in his early days as Spurs soared earlier in the season, but is now being found out a little as they can't seem to defend a lead, the Newcastle late equaliser at the weekend being the 15th point dropped from a winning position this season, nearly as many as Saints.

So they are not happy to be linked with Ings or Vestergaard as they realise that the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and even Manchester United and Chelsea will be looking at bigger fish in the sea.

Thisisfutbol have been looking at some of the Tottenham fans comments on social media and most have not been positive.

“And that’s why we will chill mid-table”

“Great stuff, another CB with the turning speed of the titanic”

“The bargain nonsense is why we keep bringing in players who wouldn’t necessarily improve the team.”

“Good player for Southampton but never meant to play on a higher level. Be serious spurs and buy world quality players”

“This is why we’ll never be taken seriously. Decent player though.”

“Another massive downgrade from the levels of Jan and Toby.”

Two years ago everything looked rosy for Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, under Mauricio Pochettino they had a great manager who had finally made them challengers to the top four and even got them to a Champions league final, but that wasn't good enough for them and they like many before them equated signing big names for big money as the guarantee for success, shift out Pochettino and get Jose Mourinho, bring in Gareth Bale, now they are worse off than they were pre Pochettino in terms of where they are going and the World pandemic has meant they are sidled with debt and have to sell to buy.

Perhaps there is some food for thought for Saints supporters there, good clubs are build on solid foundations, throwing money at things guarantees nothing, in fact it sometimes causes more problems than it solves.

So will Ings and Vestergaard end up at Tottenham Hotspur, the truth is that if they do Spurs have to sell and sell big, that means Harry Kane going perhaps one or two more and the players they bring in will not be of the quality of those that have left.

From a Saints perspective we would move on as we always have done, a replacement for Vestergaard is already at the club in Salisu, the player signed last summer when the Dane was not considered a success at St Mary's , that would mean we could spend most of the money on replacing Ings.

Personally I am not afraid of change, no player lasts for ever, the trick is to sell players when they are just at their peak and replace them and keep repeating the process, we are good at that where we went wrong was when we started to buy players who had already reached their potential and in some of them, that wasn't good enough for us let alone anyone else.

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Boris1977 added 13:34 - Apr 9
Funnily enough I was having a similar chat with a mate over the weekend along the lines above. Generally the BIG clubs do not sniff around us as they fish in much bigger seas (the rare exception was liverpool with VVD and Mane who are world-class)

I would beg to differ with you Nick on the issue of ‘the problem isn’t selling it's replacing them which is important’. These two issues are inextricably linked. Replacing an established player with a new signing is a risk for all clubs but with a club of our size it's a bigger risk as we need to make 90% of our signings work otherwise we face financial problems and/or relegation battles.

Clubs do not become successful by selling their best players just as they peak. Leicester (a club we should be comparing ourselves with) won the league with an established core and made a few important additions. There was also a large slice of luck outside their control but they did control an important element which was not selling key players in one close season as Saints did in 2014 (5 key players), followed by another 2 in the summer of 2015 (Spiderman and Clyne) and finally 3 more in the summer of 2016 – Pelle, Mane and Wanyama – with Fonte soon to follow.

It’s a fair argument that initial replacements worked out fine but then we sold the successful replacements at the first opportunity. However this is a system of diminishing returns and we were incredibly lucky not to have gone down a few years ago and were saved by Swansea's incredible downturn in form. A major part of this was because the CB's were not replaced once sold on for big bucks - some would argue they still have not been.

Football finance is an opaque business and does not reflect that of the real world therefore I’m not convinced that spuds debt will stop them buying Ings and Vestergaard if they really want them. Forget players talk about winning medals and playing at the highest level, spurs have the ace card over us – they pay more.

I know we cannot hope to keep all our best players all of the time, but building a squad and holding it together for a few seasons is the best chance of success. I hope the current board does not repeat the mistakes of the recent past.

SaintNick added 13:49 - Apr 9
The reason I say that the most important is replacing players is that in the case of most of the players who left, we did not have any control, the sale of VVD showed that as much as a club has a contract, as much as they say that the player is going nowhere ultimately the player calls the shots.

So we have to at the moment accept the situation for what it is and use it to our advantage, ideally we would not sell anyone at their peak and keep them, but this is not an ideal world, you hit the nail on the head in your penultimate paragraph, "they pay more"

So we have to continue to do what we do best, with most of the players who went we tried our best to keep them, but ultimately they forced our hand.

You use Leicester as a yardstick, but they sold N kante in the summer after winning the league, they sold drinkwater the season after, every summer they have sold around £50 million of talent and reinvested, the dfference is they have been able to control it, that could be said for us, since January 2018 when Van Dyke went we have barely sold anyone, the problem hs been we have been stuck with whom we bought in the previous two years, which take me back to me point, we struggled because what we did next in 2016-18 was not good.

Boris1977 added 16:38 - Apr 9
I generally agree with your points Nick. My frustration is the lack of control that we have over the players we sell and when we sell them - even if the transfer fees we receive are often incredible.

As you mention Leicester sold a few players over 2 or 3 seasons but we sold 11 key players within just 3 close seasons. That is unprecedented in the modern game. The question is why do we find it so difficult to keep players compared with every other top flight teams? Is it because we produce and develop a disproportionate number of high quality players for a medium sized football team or because this is the deal players are sold when they join us?

I sincerely hope that money is as tight as the pundits and even Pep at City are claiming as this should enable us to keep this promising team together.

Finally, thanks for hosting the Ugly Inside which, on the whole, is populated by people who despite sometimes voicing different opinions are able to articulate their reasoning and show respect for the opinion of others.

AirFlorida added 18:42 - Apr 9
Pochettino is doing OK at PSG. Just saying.

underweststand added 21:22 - Apr 9
When a team is playing really well , EVERYONE looks good. Players on form, and working well together, but the real problem comes after they move when they find they lack the support of those who they played with before, then they look less than brilliant.

A list of those we've sold shows that very few hit the ground running at their new clubs.
Where do you start : Walcott, Bale, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Shaw all looked a shadow of their former selves and more than a bit out of place after their big money moves, and it took one/ two seasons (and more) for them to adjust to their new surroundings.

The success of Kane and Son at Spurs overshadows many of the expensive signings they've made who just don't make the grade, and it's often at the expense of their young players...KWP is a perfect example. Spurs have convinced themselves that Saints are a small town side who don't produce "stars" and never bother to try for our players.

They have taken advantage of getting our talent at cheap prices when they are nearing end of contracts; Wanyama and PEH are typical, and of course they took Alderweireld from us after his season loan was up...but in the end they still haven't won anything big.

We would all like to keep Vestergaard, but if the "brightlights of the Capital " lure him away, we might even benefit in getting Harry Winks in exchange? ..not a bad deal IMHO.

It's bad enough for Saints having to play in an empty SMS, but what must it be like to hear your shouts echoing around Tottenham's state-of-the art mausoleum...I wonder?


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