Thursday, 3 January 2008

Levy mythology?

Original post by Solaar from GG.net:


Levy and the myth of the signing youth for resale-value


I see that a lot of people have agreed upon Levy being a man who likes to buy young because of resale-value. I don't understand this and would like to say that it is probably just a myth, please prove me wrong. Show me a direct quote of him saying this, or else I just refuse to believe it.

If not, show me evidence of the case being him buying a youth player and then selling them for a lot more than what we bought them for. Oh, and please have in mind these conditions:

1. The player must not have expressed an obvious desire to leave.
2. The player must have been an integral part of our first-team (i.e played more than 15-20 games a season), otherwise you can't exactly say that selling the player is a big problem for us.

I actually believe that Levy does not do this. We have made progress on all levels since he came into the club. We have also had set-backs, but are they in the end his faults? The biggest set-backs imo have been Arnesen and Carrick leaving, together with signing Bent for £16 M. Bent probably is a good buy, but that amount was bad business - but whose fault is that? Levy or Comolli? The rest has brought us forward (maybe with the exception of signing Comolli, that is yet to be proved).

I believe Levy prefers buying youth because he wants to build a team for the future, not because he wants to increase our financial earnings. It is just a myth because making us a consistent top-6 team would bring a hell of a lot more money into the club than buying and reselling youth players, at least when we're talking about 18-21 year old players.

Spooky, I await your response.



Thread has (at the time of writing) hit 4 pages. I'm going to keep it simple as I think you and the other GG'ers have covered just about every angle imaginable on this subject.

Regardless of whether the policy exists or not, Spurs/Levy do not spend money on 'ready made super-stars'. The closest we have come to doing so is signing Berbatov, who was far from being world-famous when he signed for us. Its more than obvious he aims for players that potentially can turn into great players, therefore giving us a win-win situation. We keep them, the team improves. We sell them, we're in the money. The crux is, we don't sell players unless they want to leave (or at least that's the illusion). So far, it rings true. Carrick wanted out, we sold him. Berbs will probably follow because of the same reasons.

The thing is, this system isn't working as effectively as Levy would have himself believe it is. Sometimes, you have to bite the bullet. You have to invest in a ready-made finished article player, even if it means paying a little more into his wage packet. Surely if you are willing to spend £16.5M on a striker, you can allow for the wage structure to cater for world-class signings. Petrov, apparently, was too much of a risk. Not risky enough for City to gamble on. And on current form, I would have loved to see him in a Spurs shirt. How is he any less of a risk than someone like Bent or Zokora? Or even Jenas?

The young players we do bring in, who could potentially be sold for more money doesn't actually improve the team in the present, does it? You can't have a team of potentially good players and no backbone of experience. Seems the mixture isn't quite right. Yes, it takes time to mould and once more we are at the start of a new regime. But if you look back over the last few years, you can't say any one of our young players has turned into a potential superstar. Some of them have flirted with the possibility, but delusions turned back into reality from where I stand in the Park Lane.

We've bought the likes of Kaboul and KPB - and their current lack of quality is telling. Lennon has turned to shit. Huddlestone still has plenty of work to do in order to improve his game....and so on. Could we get £8M for Jenas? Actually, we probably could considering the way money is thrown about nowadays. But when you turn around and pay £8M for Zokora, or possibly £8M for Hutton - the whole ethos of buying players that adhere to a certain set of criteria loses its reasoning.

Its typical Tottenham. Over complicating matters, trying to be far too clever.

It's simple. Buy the players that will improve the team and create stability and balance and help progress us forwards, fixing the issues that currently blight us. Maybe that's what Levy is aiming to do, and this 'myth' is simple creating arguments over what his masterplan is all about.

If Hutton is the answer to the RB position, then fair enough. £8M or £9M, probably isn't relevant to whether we could sell him for more 3 years from now. The more pressing matter would be to hold onto him long enough for the team to achieve success - because at this rate we appear to be buying players that Man Utd will pluck from us in the coming seasons.

So Levy does have sell-on value in mind - but not as the priority. And he is picky with the 'older' more expensive and experienced players. We obviously have money, so if they rate a player and believe the player will become 'great' then whether they steal him for 500K or buy him for £8M probably isn't too relevant in their eyes. Obviously, in 5 years time, if we haven't moved forward then Levy and his DoF system isn't working because the players they are purchasing are simply not fulfilling the potential they were initially bought for. And like I said, if the mixture isn't right, then he isn't bringing in the right players at the right time.

I don't think the masterplan is to simply buy for the sake of being able to sell the players on for profit. But he has shown weaknesses for improving the squad when it was necessary to do so (i.e. the season we sat in 4th for 4 months comes to mind.....where were the Jan Window transfers to consolidate 4th place beyond any doubt?) We could have done with some real world-beaters at that point in time.

As noted in the Solaar post, "...making us a consistent top-6 team would bring a hell of a lot more money into the club than buying and reselling youth players".

And yet we buy Gunter and (looking like) Hutton. An 18 year old and 23 year old. Sure, both are meant to be top drawer. But if he doesn't follow up with an experienced 'class' centre-back, then you have to start questioning the logic.

I'm beginning to repeat myself now.

In the past, Spurs have gone out and bought what they believed to be top players, for key positions. And they turned out to be miserable signings. I think trusting Ramos will help us in abundance.

It just seems that all we buy are 'kids' and sometimes we strike lucky (Berbatov). It's not enough.




EDIT:


Hutton has apparently rejected a move to Spurs. So, was this Tottenham's 'number one target' for the right-back position (considering we have already bought Gunter)? Who will they now move for? Another younger, less promising target? Rather than a quality experienced 26 year old?

And if we go on to sign a few players in this window, and not bring in another RB, way make out we needed one in the first place?

It just doesn't seem to make sense.

4 comments:

oracle said...

A bid for a CB might yet follow.

west stand bagel said...

With a rejection right behind it.

Hugo said...

I don't have the energy to trawl through the four pages worth of comments on gloryglory, so this may have already been said. Anyway, my point is that investing in youth is pointless if you don't have the structure in place (coaching, introducing players gradually, using them in the Carling Cup) in order to develop them. Tottenham have signed a number of exciting youngsters over the last few years, but how many have developed to their full potential? Think of the wasted talents of the likes of Blondel. Wonder why Taraabt gets only ten minute cameos and has shown little progression over the last year, despite his obvious talents. I'd be willing to bet that he'd flourish at Arsenal.

Perhaps the problem is that the youngster thing is essentially a chicken-and-egg situation. In order to "do an Arsenal" (i.e. introduce youngsters bit-by-bit, or play them in the Carling Cup), one needs a solid base of players who can guarantee a good league finish (rendering the Carling Cup irrelevant). Wenger spent more money on average when he had just arrived, and had inherited a good squad too.

spooky said...

Investing money in a youth academy and development would be the most obvious thing to do, considering how rare it is to see a Spurs player come up the through the ranks. We seem to pluck 'future stars' from the lower leagues and Europe and never see them turn into first teamers.

You've got it nailed on that due to the imcompetence of the actual seasoned pro's, we can't throw kids into the team ala Arsenal. Which goes back to the balance of needing the right mixture of players in the first team squad. Thats signings of true quality.

Easier said than done it would seem.