Well for most people it is anyway. As people start to wind down for Christmas amidst a plethora of parties, Secret Santa’s and cyber-attacks in the forms of Black Friday’s or Manic Monday’s, the football fan is edging closer to the panic inducing anticipation of the January transfer window that keeps headline writers, sports news stations and erratic social media activists fuelled up and raring to go.

It’s the eve of the silly season in many respects and whatever your views you had just better buckle up, take a stiff drink and prepare for a deluge of smoke screens and nonsense.

Of course Spurs are always at the forefront of these periods each season. The perceived maniacal scrooge that is Daniel Levy will, as some will have you believe, be screaming “bah humbug” to his head coach and to the other chairmen across the land as the fans of a certain view will continue screaming “he’s behind you” because it suits certain people for Levy to be that panto villain.

We can agree of course that Spurs needs a “back up” striker to Harry Kane or at the very least some striking addition to the squad. It is unreasonable and unfair to assume that Kane will be able to lead the line for a whole season whilst staying at the top of his game throughout. But we all know and appreciate (whether we like to admit it or not) that January isn’t sale time in the footballing world. No 50% discounts or special offers available and there aren’t queues forming for the opportunity to grab the best bargains. In fact the opposite is true at this time of the year because with it being mid-season, players carry a premium in their sale price.

We have to ask:

  •  What type of player is available in January? Someone soon to be out of contract or fallen foul of his manager maybe? Or someone who’s form has dipped and is perhaps only playing a bit part role at his current club? And who would want to sign for a new club to be a “back up”?
  • Will clubs be willing to sell in January? If it is to the detriment of a team’s season long objectives then you can understand that the desire to keep a player that can make a difference will far exceed a club’s desire to cash in and sell. Unless of course the selling price is sufficiently compensatory but that alone is not enough as a selling club will need to consider replacements and these may not be available at this precise time.
  • Are buying clubs prepared to pay a premium on players at this time? An argument can be made, quite rightly, that if certain clubs objectives depend on purchasing a player at an inflated price that it may be a price worth paying. However that isn’t always the case as past experience has proven that money doesn’t always buy a successfully integrated or productive player.
  • Which brings me to this point. What “kind” of player does the head coach want and how quickly can he be integrated into a particular style or philosophy? And this is on top of issues that arise from overseas players needing to perhaps adjust to the culture, language and the style of English football. Buying in January means you have to buy a player that is ready to hit the ground running as a head coach is not the afforded the luxury of time available during a summer break (short though that may be). Late summer deadline signings have the same issues of course.

 

So what about Spurs? Will they be doing any business in the window and what would be the impact if they don’t? I am not so sure. Given the issues you have to address I would suspect that the best chance of recruiting will come from within the UK and possibly from the lower leagues. Who knows? Whoever we buy, if we buy, I am sure that it will be a player that Pochettino wants and one that he feels he can integrate into the squad or his system quickly.

It is clear that Pochettino wants players that possess certain abilities on the field and certain attributes off it too. And I am certain now that Levy has seen the errors of some of his previous transfer windows and has put in place (finally) the system he has always wanted both in player identification with the recruitment of Paul Mitchell and player development in the recruitment of his head coach. We have to trust them to deliver what we as fans want and for once I feel like that side of things has a coherent strategy about it.

I saw one tweet yesterday where it was said that there is a fear that Pochettino would turn out to be Levy’s “patsy” especially if player investment wasn’t forthcoming. I can see that point but I don’t agree with it. I don’t know Pochettino personally but he strikes me as a guy that knows what he wants and how to get it. It is clear that the players he wanted he got in the summer in Aldereweild, and Son. He also got some developmental players in N’Jie, Wimmer and Trippier. And the reason he didn’t kick up a stink when we didn’t bring in someone for the much maligned role of central defensive midfielder or back up striker is because he knows what we have and how that can be moulded into what he wants…..for now.

So will a lack of transfer activity in this next window be bad for the club? I don’t think so. It will depend on what your expectations are I suppose. If it is to win the league then yes maybe it will be. If it is to finish in the top four then maybe not so much. I personally think the squad is balanced enough to cope and in any case top four wasn’t an objective for thousands of fans in the summer let’s remember. Many of us felt that we just wanted more progress and an upward trajectory and I think we have that currently. In any case if it is a quiet window it won’t just be Spurs that will be quiet I feel.

Either way, whatever happens in the transfer window I will not be slitting my wrists with a screwdriver set that I found in a Christmas cracker and nor will I be drowning my sorrows with leftover port. It’ll be nice to have another front man, but I am happy for now to back the progress I am seeing from Pochettino and the team and trust the decisions the club makes going forward.

 

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