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TALKING SHOP

Posted on 6 December 2002  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Director of Football David Pleat looks ahead to the forthcoming transfer window in his latest 'Talking Shop' column...

THERE IS A lot of interest now being generated by the media and many clubs are on the alert to try and pep up their resources in this new era of the transfer window.

One of the downsides of the window is that, in the intervening months since the summer, clubs at the highest level haven't been able to reverse the earlier trend of accumulating players and have been unable to move them on.

Subsequently, most clubs find themselves going into the window under financial constraints, possible uncertainty over a new television deal and little investor confidence - there is a hint of nervousness within the game.

The general line from most clubs will be that they are prepared to take on one or two new players to bolster a team in order to achieve a promotion or avoid relegation but, in order to provide the money, some players will need to be removed from the wage bill.

This is bound to generate more of a 'swap' mentality where major money is not changing hands, but where faces are being changed.

As a consequence, December will be a busy month where clubs are seeking accurate information on player availability.

Outside of the window the only players to move around have been unattached ones who were released last summer. Many of these have managed to find employment.

One can expect quite a healthy loan trade, where clubs can take on players without a long-term commitment. I would imagine that Tottenham Hotspur will be requested by several clubs to loan players - particularly in view of the improving injury situation.

Of course, we already have players out on loan, including Gavin Kelly, Shwan Jalal, Steven Ferguson and Johnnie Jackson. Lee Barnard and John Sutton have been recalled, but Jalal and Kelly will continue with their loan spells in the Conference with Woking and Kettering respectively.

Jackson's loan spell with Swindon is also almost due to finish and, once he settled down there, he rewarded the confidence their manager had in him.

When we loan we are careful that the clubs we loan to will give every opportunity to the player. In an ideal world you would always like your players to go to clubs that currently have good records so that the player is more likely to be seen in a good light.

If you loan a player to a struggling club it is more difficult for that player to have an influence, no matter how talented we may feel he is.

The only clubs that are likely to invest significant money during the transfer window are the wealthiest ones, who might need to strengthen for their Champions' League challenge.

We can look forward to an interesting period, but certainly not the big money transfers that some might expect. There is now more financial awareness and responsibility among managers, conveyed by the boards who understand the position and financial constraints.

Transfer windows will be a benefit to clubs that have a good coach as a manager who can manoeuvre a team to be successful without recourse to the transfer market at the drop of a hat.

It will lead, in the long run, to more stability and that can only be good for the game.