So far, so sensible for Tottenham 2.0. We’ve gotten the defence in place for the start of pre-season, have steadily gotten rid of the deadwood for good sums of money, and, if the current paper of record is reporting accurately, are now about to embark on another round of purchases.
Meanwhile, barely a whisper of any rumblings or gossip is emerging from the club. There has been no moaning from the half-dozen or so players who are kicking around waiting for their move away from Hotspur Way, which is particularly remarkable in this age of social media. There has been no apparent agenda setting from factions within the club on transfers or general direction of travel. There has also been zero talk about any doubts surrounding Mauricio Pochettino’s management. Think about that: zero. This is Tottenham, a club with a history of, how shall I put it, changing its mind on managers more than any other in the Premier League.
On the transfer front, it’s a click bait desert. Most of the rumours focused on outgoing business, with the occasional reiteration of previously stated targets, such as Messrs McCarthy and N’Jie. The club’s new pro-banter social media team is trying it’s best, such as the fun it was having yesterday with the green screen, but when your main summer feature is Jesus Perez’s pre-season diary, there’s only so much you can do.
Sure, it’s a sporting void this week in the UK. My viewing choice last night was a rerun of the Man City-Roma friendly, matchplay darts, or Pittsburgh Pirates v Kansas City Royals in Major League Baseball. It’s a bleak time, and I want to keep things in perspective. It’s always darkest before dawn.
But I have to say this: I’m bored.
Very, very, very bored.
There is barely anything in the football columns about Spurs, and it’s been that way all summer bar the one day when we signed Toby Alderweireld and unveiled the new stadium.
Meanwhile, Man Utd and Arsenal are eyeing up mystery strikers, Man City are sweeping up any English talent available, Chelsea are pissing Everton off royally and Liverpool are doing a Spurs again by selling their star winger and spanking a ton of cash on players who won’t be quite so good. Crystal Palace have signed Yohan bloody Cabaye, Stoke tried to get Xherdan Shaqiri and even Newcastle are getting some players in and featuring prominently in the gossip columns.
It never used to be like this. Spurs were the leakiest ship about, a constant source of amusement in the quiet summer months. There would be fiascos like Willian’s medical, an endless stream of almost-but-never-quite deals for stars like Hazard, Mata and Suarez, the unearthing of wonder kids and endless traffic of reserve players to clubs like Hull for massive fees to fund the whole quixotic misadventure.
This summer, I think we’ve got more chance of Daniel Levy showing the world the basement he’s been keeping Hugo in all summer than Poch winding down his car window and chatting with a Sky Sports News reporter about transfer targets.
The journos are struggling, there is no doubt about that, as Greg Stobart of Goal, previously a must-follow for Spurs fans who has now been transferred to Man United (I’d like to think with a new four-year, double-your-money contract), summed up.
The regulars are quiet in the extreme. David Hytner of the Guardian has barely written a word on Spurs since his piece about Hugo wanting out. Is he on the naughty step? Darren Lewis of the Mirror has been almost silent, barely churning out any rumours. I fear he, more than any, has suffered in the absence of Harry and Tactics Tim. Gary Jacob of the Times has had a nice couple of lines on the stadium, but with the paper now hiding itself so deeply behind its paywall, its reporting is a bit of an irrelevance to Spurs fans who prefer social media and Reddit. Even the Mail, in its desperate search for clicks, has really been very thin on the Spurs front.
So, for Spurs fans, we’ve been reduced to waiting for stories from the chosen ones, Jason Burt or Matt Law from the Telegraph. There haven’t been many stories, so no danger of exceeding the 10 free reads a month, but when they have come, they’ve been packed full of info at least.
I know, it’s only a week until we’re all off to Denver, or in my case to the part of the house with the strongest wifi so I can watch the MLS All-Star game on Spurs TV. But boy is it going to be a long week.
Just a little leg, that’s all I want. One crazy rumour, one mega grumble, one tantalizing tidbit that can get the juices flowing, and me scribbling down potential lineups on a piece of paper when I should be doing something more constructive.
Last summer had what, in my view, was the almost perfect rumour: Antoine Griezmann. He would have been a great fit off Roberto Soldado or Adebayor (yup, it was the now-forgotten pre-Kane era), he had a reasonable release clause, and none of the big clubs were that interested in him. He looked like the sort of mega fun player who has periodically fallen to Spurs. Of course, he went to Atletico instead and may now well be on his way to Chelsea, but boy was it good for a few days.
This year, we haven’t had that sort of tantalizing, dream-making rumour. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been floated about a couple of times, but it’s just not quite on the level of Griezmann. He’s not as good, for starters, and in all likelihood won’t give up Champions League football at Dortmund*. It’s just so sensible with the likes of Clinton N’Jie or Timo Werner being linked — where are the stories about Tottenham thinking they’ve got a chance at landing Alexandre Lacazette, or a more high profile German wunderkind like Julian Draxler? At this point, I’m not sure I care if the journos just plain fabricate it — I’m starved of sensational rumours.
Like many Spurs fans, 99 percent of the time I’m happy with the direction the club is going. Building a new stadium, building a young team, building a team ethos and building a work ethic. Building, building, building, one brick at a time. Such a pleasant change from the chaos that has reigned in the past.
But in these summer months, we Spurs fans need to dream a little. Indulge me, Tottenham 2.0, please.
* I forgot Dortmund failed to qualify for the Champions League this season! Thanks to
@LiamMcGroryYID for pointing that out.
This blog has also been posted over at The Fighting Cock, please do check it out there and comment.