Ian Broomfield - A Tribute!
I've been a Spurs fan since the mid-60's. The quietly reported departure of Ian Broomfield from Spurs has prompted me to write a tribute to his performance as our Chief Scout.
When I reflect on the player recruitment record of Damian Comolli, I think of his tendency to recruit talented misfits and I tend to judge his real contribution to Spurs in terms of his 3 strategic signings - Berbatov, Bale and Modric. As DOF, he had the power to recruit the players that he thought were the best prospects for Spurs, although Martin Jol frequently stated his signings didn't improve the team.
Initially, HR's appointment of Broomfield in 2009 meant very little to me, but the passage of the seasons and the strategic type of players that we targeted and recruited during his tenure serves to underline his enormous contribution to the evolution of Spurs into a Top-4 side. Broomfield's first contribution buying future prospects were Naughton and the unknown Walker of Sheffield Utd, who were both immediately loaned out for development. Later in the same 'window' of Summer'09, 20y/o Sandro was targeted and prior to his debut in 2010 HR revealed that Broomfield had driven the decision to buy him.
A number of unsuccessful deals arose in 2010 & 2011 - the most disappointing were Oswaldo who went to Roma, Vucinic who went to Juve, & Mata who went to Chelsea, with Rossi and Llorente the 'wishful-thinking' targets with £30m valuations. I remember 2 other big disappointments -one of HR passing up on DL's desire to buy Suarez in Jan'11 and the other very clever attempt by DL to do an 'under-the-radar' deadline deal to sign Edin Hazard at the end of last Jan's window.
The decision to re-acquire Kaboul in Jan'10 looked a very doubtful one, but it has since proven an inspired one. More recently, Broomfield was again at the forefront proposing decisions to acquire Vertonghen, Sigurdsson, Dembele and Lloris, together with Damiao, whose signature continues to elude us, Oscar and Cazorla who we missed out on, Cabaye who turned us down and the likes of Isco who remains on our target list. The calibre of the signings, near signings and general standard of player targeting tells me of a Chief Scout with an exceptional eye for suitable talent and player selection judgement, with an ability to persuade both his Chairman and Manager of his signing proposals.
Bottom line, in his 3 year stint as Chief Scout, Broomfield is the man mainly responsible for the recruitment of a group of very high quality players that are, in many people's judgement, together with Bale, critical to Spurs future success: Sandro, Kaboul, Vertonghen, Walker, Dembele - and Lloris, if he can handle the high crosses that are a feature of the PL.
Unfortunately, Broomfield's departure is due to a fallout with AVB; the media reported that he recently left Spurs by 'mutual consent'; the Sunday Express (16/9/12) reported that AVB '... frustrated at not getting his own way (on transfers during the 'window')... acted (to remove Broomfield after he had apparently) ...disagreed with AVB over some targets on the Portugese's transfer wish list'.
Performance-wise, there are no apparent reasons for dismissing Broomfield - with his eye for talent and his recruitment successes, he should have been promoted! Politically, its clearly a very different matter. While it seems to be the norm to take for granted and understate/report the contributions of Chief Scouts to their clubs successes, the case of Ian Broomfield merits a far greater recognition of his contribution to the club and a far far better reward than his enforced departure from Spurs! And what are we to make of Spurs removing such an outstanding Chief Scout?
Written by: RathgarSpur