For the majority of Spurs fans, transfer deadline day very rarely lives up to all the hype. In recent years, we have done very little business on January 31st, preferring instead to wait until the summer for Chelsea to steal all of our top targets. Having lived through about 30 transfer windows to date, I would probably compare my previous experiences of being a Tottenham fan on Transfer Deadline Day to being single on Valentines Day. You are acutely aware that something significant is going on and that there are plenty of people out there enjoying it….but it just doesn’t feel particularly applicable to you. Part of me even started to believe that the transfer window may in fact be some sort of global corporate conspiracy, invented by the all powerful fax machine conglomerates, in a desperate attempt to stave off their inevitable demise! I don’t have any proof of this just yet but I am certain they know I am onto them. I have probably already said too much. Anyway, this January 31st was nothing like all of it’s disappointing predecessors. This January 31st was awesome. Not only because we managed to sign someone who doesn’t appear to be totally shit but we managed to top it off by comfortably beating Manchester United at Wembley, thus rekindling our ambitions for a top four spot in the process.
Firstly, I would like to focus on our latest big name signing, Lucas Moura. We don’t make many signings nowadays, so when we do it is generally cause for celebration. Now I know what you are thinking, he may look like a 45 year old Portugese tax accountant, but I am fairly certain that we have stumbled across an absolute bargain here. This is a player that Sir Alex Ferguson was gushing about when he was in charge of Manchester United and before he retired, he was hell bent on taking the player to Old Trafford, only to be gazumped by Paris Saint-Germain who paid an eye watering £38 million for his services….and this was back in 2013 when £38 million was actually considered to be quite a lot of money! So not only have we signed a high profile player of significant pedigree but it’s also going to be really refreshing to have a touch of Brazilian flair back in our midfield, something that the team has sorely missed since the good old days of Paulinho and at a stretch, Sandro. In fact, Lucas will be only the 5th Brazilian player to ever feature for Spurs, yet he is clearly the only one that could be described as anything close to "flamboyant". Except for Heurelho Gomes, maybe......but that isn't really something that you traditionally look for in a goalkeeper! Interestingly, this transfer also represents another significant step in what seems to be an increasingly fruitful relationship between Spurs and PSG, having previously acquired Serge Aurier for £23 million in the summer….at least someone appears to be benefitting from all of these Financial Fair Play restrictions, I suppose!
Even though the Lucas Moura transfer provided plenty of excitement on Wednesday night, it was put on the back burner for 90 minutes, so that his new team mates could pass Manchester United off the park and clinch a very convincing 2-0 win…..c’mon lads, it’s only Man Utd! In many ways, this match was not unlike my infamously clumsy attempts at love making…..not because it was particularly energetic or unecessarily physical but mostly because it was all over after 11 seconds. My wife is very lucky to have me. In what can only be described as a moment of unadulterated blitzkrieg, the Jose Mourinho bus was seemingly still looking for a parking spot, when Christian Eriksen pounced on a loose ball to give Tottenham the 3rd quickest lead in Premier League history. Not long after this, poor old Phil Jones, a man who has made a fairly decent living masquerading as a professional footballer for the last 8 years, inexplicably put through his own net with the sort of composure that has eluded his more attacking team mates in recent weeks. And he still has a better first touch than Lukaku, too. Once we found ourselves 2-0 up, we controlled the game beautifully and looked like scoring every time that we ventured forward. We pressed high up the pitch and over-ran the Man Utd midfield, with Christian Eriksen in particular pulling the strings and making the likes of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic look very ordinary. And this performance also served as a timely reminder as to how much we have missed his guile and creativity in recent weeks, such is his importance to the team nowadays. Dele Alli continued to play the role of anti-hero to perfection, as he launched a quite astonishing 90 minute assault on Alexis Sanchez, who got kicked up and down the Wembley pitch all night….much to the amusement of the entire stadium. And whilst we are on the subject of Alexis Sanchez, I must confess that as a long suffering Spurs fan, I was convinced that he was going to score against us on his debut…..it’s the sort of narrative that we have become all too familiar with over the years. But not this time. Being Spursy is a thing of the past.....for now at least.And based on that performance, I also think it is fair to say that there was only one Sanchez on the pitch worth watching on Wednesday night….and he certainly wasn’t playing in red.
So there you have it. Not bad for a nights work. We signed one of the most coveted wingers in the world (for a knock down price) and showed the rest of the league how far we have come with a professional and mature victory over a direct rival. A direct rival who can afford to pay their players £400,000 per week. As mentioned previously, we don’t make many player purchases on Deadline Day but when we do, they tend to be pretty special. After all, our last two acquisitions have been Dele Alli and Rafa Van Der Vaart…..so Lucas already finds himself in fairly esteemed company. But more importantly, the events of Wednesday night appear to have reawakened my love affair with transfer deadline day and Sky Sports News. They may still be the inadvertent puppets of an all powerful fax machine industry but I no longer feel the urge to punch Jim White in the face. Well, not as much as I used to, anyway. In fact, you know what? It has been such a long time since I have been this excited about a signing, I think I am going to celebrate by going online and buying myself a brand new Spurs shirt with Lucas on the back. Screw it, I am so happy right now I might even treat myself to a new fax machine! And that must be how they get you........bastards.