Date:Tuesday February 3 2009
With another window now closed, we can debate the positives or perhaps negatives of the who have joined the club.
Harry has managed to maintain all of his squad players, except the seemingly hapless Sanchez and a few kids loaned out for their development. Whether he would have been happier losing a couple can be argued, but in the short term I am confident he would rather have them as options than not. Any time for a mass clearout will be in the summer.
Any player who hasn`t pulled their weight, will now be looking anxiously on, as new faces have come in and instantly put pressure on their once comfortable existence and they will feel pressure for their places and futures, which has to be a positive.
Spurs have certainly made a statement this window and have probably dominated much of the back pages with their alleged tapping and five new players. With Daniel Levy backing his manager to the tune of nearly £50 million, Harry has to be happy and in fairness I think we have done some excellent business. Perhaps a little pricy on some but with others we have managed some great deals.
When you actually look at the balance sheet of these players, it actually shows a minimal investment. We have made an almost 10m return on Keane and Chimbonda from their summer sales, which more than compensates for the deficit on the Defoe deal. When you do the maths, it actually equates to an expenditure of around £10m leaving the clubs bank account, excluding future add ons.
We can criticize Levy for the fact we have to keep spending so much every window, due to the instability of the management structure, but it would appear that he has again done well in terms of balancing the books.
I would say the squad looks stronger, more experienced, better balanced, with far greater depth. We can all look at areas where we feel we need work, such as the left side. But this was never going to be a case of Harry waving a magic wand and suddenly we are the finished article.
We should consider one or two who we know got away to see Harry is fully aware of these areas. In his aggressive pursuit of Stewart Downing, we know he sees what so many of us do and I expect to see Downing actively sought in the summer, if a deal hasn`t already been agreed already..
Harry has gone for established players, who know the premiership and in three of the five know the club. Very sensible and the fact they can hit the ground running has to be a bonus in the relegation battle we face.
Date:Tuesday February 3 2009
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|3. Man Utd||14||8||4||2||10||28|
|7. Crystal Palace||14||7||1||6||5||22|
|8. West Ham||14||6||4||4||4||22|
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