After Wasting £107M Of Gareth Bale Money, Tottenham Have 3 Defeats to Arsenal to Show For It This Season

In the summer, Tottenham Hotspur had a legitimate chance of building a team to battle for a spot in the UEFA Champions League while elevating the club to become a contender in the Premier League. With £80million in the bank from the sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, Tottenham had a once-in-a-decade opportunity to strengthen its playing staff with the amount of money that football chairmen and supporters could only dream of having.

Since then, the club sacked one manager and look set to replace his replacement by the end of this season, or in the summer. Having splashed £107 million on 7 players, Spurs are back to where they started one year ago, or arguably have regressed with the majority of those “magnificent seven” not having impacted the team in a significant manner.

Similar to the transfer escapades of Cristiano Ronaldo leaving Manchester United for Real Madrid, the only club Gareth Bale wanted to join and could pay the fee Tottenham was looking for was Los Blancos. The difference is that Sir Alex Ferguson feels United did not get enough for the two-time Ballon d’Or winner.

Ferguson told Spanish newspaper AS,

“I told David Gill to ask for £150m. Perez would have paid. The only thing that hurt me, and I said this repeatedly to David Gill, was that we didn’t demand enough. I told David, ‘Ask for £150m’. He said, ‘Don’t be silly. They’ll never pay £150m’. I said, ‘Ask for it because he’s worth it.’ We signed the deal. I think it cost £80m or so but I’ll always wonder what Mr. Perez would have said if we’d asked for £150m.”

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy didn’t have this excuse because he used his talent as a shrewd businessman to get Real Madrid to overpay for Bale. Following the sale, he said:

“We have, therefore, with great reluctance, agreed to this sale and do so in the knowledge that we have an exceptionally strong squad to which we have added no fewer than seven top internationals. More importantly, we have an immense team spirit and a dressing room that is hungry for success.”

The seven top internationals Levy was referring to are:

• Etienne Capoue,
• Nacer Chadli,
• Vlad Chiriches,
• Christian Eriksen,
• Erik Lamela,
• Paulinho, and
• Roberto Soldado.

Capoue, Chadli, Chiriches, and Lamela have been fringe players this season. Eriksen started slow but is picking up steam. Paulinho, by far, is the best purchase Tottenham made and has been a solid performer in the midfield while being able to play up the pitch and score goals. Soldado has been heavily inconsistent.

Despite Levy’s skill in selling footballers for top dollar, he and Franco Baldini showed their ineptitude in using the Bale money to buy duds such as Lamela (£26.4million), Soldado (£26.4million), Capoue (£9.6million) and Chadli (£7.1million), while two of the most promising players this season were cast away by Villas-Boas in the reserve squad or made to play with the youngsters — Emmanuel Adebayor and Nabil Bentaleb.

Despite initial promising displays by Tottenham under manager Tim Sherwood, the momentum has slowed recently. On March 8, Spurs were dominated by Chelsea 4-0 at Stamford Bridge. Five days later, they were upset by Benfica 3-1 at White Hart Lane in the UEFA Europa League. And then they lost in the North London derby against Arsenal, Tottenham’s third loss to Arsenal in this entire season — where Spurs failed to score a single goal against the Gunners.

Following the Chelsea loss, Sherwood told the press he was frustrated by what he felt was a lack of support in the front office due to the lack of vocal support.

“The silence is deafening. It’s up to the club to make a decision. One thing I guarantee is no one cares more than me. And I want the team to do very well and it hurts me when they don’t. I need people in that dressing room to be hurting like I am.”

As far as replacements for Sherwood, Louis van Gaal is the favorite while Italy’s current boss Cesare Prandelli has been mentioned due to his friendship with Franco Baldini.

Whoever is the manager next season will not have the opportunity to spend the money Spurs did before this campaign. A club the size of Tottenham does not get many opportunities to splurge, and they squandered a golden opportunity to move the club to the next level. Villas-Boas was the scapegoat, but you have to wonder how much of the blame can be placed on the shoulders of Levy, Baldini and ENIC.

For more Tottenham news, analysis and opinion, visit the Tottenham team page.

17 thoughts on “After Wasting £107M Of Gareth Bale Money, Tottenham Have 3 Defeats to Arsenal to Show For It This Season”

  1. Good article, but here is what I don’t get…

    Why isn’t anyone talking about Daniel Levy’s reluctance to take a chunk of the Bale money and invest it in a new stadium? Call him a shrewd businessman if you will, but I think it was a stupid move on his part to try and buy a new team for the now, yet not thinking about the future and the gate revenues that would eventually pay these players paychecks.

  2. This article fails to mention that Lamela, Chirches and Paulinho all have missed significant time due to injury.

  3. the problem is that this article alludes to—they bought to many players. Instead of buying 7 decent players they should have looked to add 3 great players. If I was a THS fan and I had 80-100 million in the bank I’d have wanted Ozil and ______ and _______ instead of who they added.

    You get into the Champions League and win in the Champions League with world class not depth and above average.

  4. Every single one of those players has been injured aside from Soldado. But his wife had a miscarriage during the season, so it might have been better if he was. But the season is pretty much over now so we should just play all our new players and hope they gel before next year.

  5. Paulinho started well, but has had zero impact since coming back from injury. Also, I’m not sure how Bentaleb could be described as promising. He certainly hasn’t really shown it thus far, and many people are wondering what Sherwood sees in him.

    Chiriches has played well when not injured, but that has certainly been a factor in evaluating whether he was worth it.

    It’s hard to say about Lamela. He’s only started about three games, I believe. Unfortunately, the high transfer fee makes it look like a bad signing. Thus far it has been.

    As far as whose fault it is, I’d have to lean towards Levy and co. He doesn’t seem to have any sort of “plan” other than a short term one.

  6. I think in the long term most of the players they bought will come good. Soldado has been a disappointment but he really never fit the system. Pualinho too often looks a chicken running around with his head cutoff. Capoue has played well when not injured. Chadhli’s finishing has been poor, but his all around game is improving. Lamela and Erikson are young but I think both with great players.

  7. Interesting article. I’m not sure you can say it’s been a bad summer or that Tottenham have regressed. The problems that you see this year (the in ability to really score goals) was evident last year but ultimately covered up by Bale creating something out of nothing to score goals and win games.

    Any club adding 7 new pieces is going to struggle. With the said, 5th place after losing a player of Bales quality and losing a manager half way through a season is respectable.

  8. They lack a measure of phisicality and their soft underbelly has surfaced too often in big games. No shame in losing to Chelsea or the Gunners, but the Benfica loss was perplexing. Sherwood’s knee jerk reactions to the losses haven’t helped matters and the job looks to be beyond him. It’s always a risk when adding multiple new players at once because you just don’t know how long it will take for them to jell.

  9. Shouldn’t the title read, After wasting £107m of Gareth Bale Money….

    on would suggest they purchased Bale, not sold him. no?

  10. Bentaleb promising? Are u serious?

    Yes he is young talent but he shouldnt be starting let alone playing regularly. He should be on loan at Hull or West Brom. Sherwood just has a love for him that i cant understand.

    Ade was just pure luck. He alienated himself and any other team would have done the same thing. Only reason he is playing cuz they are paying him way to much money to sit in the stands.

    I fully believe that none of this is AVBs fault. Blame should be put on Levy and Baldini who DID NOT bring in players AVB wanted. They set AVB up to fail and now Spurs are going to suffer for many seasons endless Levy pays a good amount of money for a top manager to come in. Lets face it he is not going to do that. Decent article but it sounds like a Scum supporter wrote this.

  11. I love how the Spurs fans said that Dempsey sucked. He probably scored more goals for them than any of these magnificent seven or whatever they are called.

    1. Sorry to burst your bubble but Dempsey does suck. Team USA is in trouble if he is one of our best players.

  12. Spurs are a hodgepodge of individuals rather than a team. Two or three of last Summer’s recruits are simply not pulling their weight and Spurs should accept their mistakes and have a clear out.

    My initial response is Spurs need to build around a backbone of 3-4 core players such as Vertonghen, however, observing his body language in the last few games he’s having a serious case of doesn’t give a fluck. So the future is definitely unsettled for Spurs.

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