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Where Did Spurs English Policy Go?

After Damiano Comolli's declaration only the other week that Tottenham would never follow Arsenal's policy of signing young foreign talent, and that Spurs would always pursue young English talent first, then domestic based foreign talent next, and only once those avenues had been exhausted, foreign talent based abroad, what do I see in the news today, but a story about the tiny totts 'beating' us to the Brazilian Leonardo, based in Holland.

I cannot say I know this player much at all, but from the reports I gather he is 23 years old and a left winger.

Well, glad to see that Spurs are sticking to their principles.

Next time a spud comes on here boasting about their English side, and lambasting us for our continental squad, you may want to remind them of this fact.

Hypocrites? Surely not...

Article submitted by Wingston75

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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday November 10 2006

Time: 10:34PM

Your Comments

Spurs telling porkies and employing them as far as Jolly is concerned.
O rite,this 'story' say's we've definatly signed him then does it.
What would Arsenal know about principles?
Spurs following English first principles can be observed by the 6 players in the England side for Wednesday and the 2 players in the U21 side ..... exactly how many Arsenal players were called up for the squad? Regarding Leonardo, he was a player known to Jol when he was at Feyenoord, in fact I think Jol tried to sign him when he was manager of RWC Waalwijk. Spurs have signed him in January as NAC Breda desperately wanted to sell him. Before making comments maybe some of the Arsenal authors should learn to read, and not selectively edit what was actually said, plus criticise us when you actually have some English players in the England squad. Maybe its because not only are we beating you to talented English players but we are now beating you to talented foreign ones as well?
i think the whole english thing is in spuds head and not Jol, i personally think Jol plays ~FM07 and he signs anyone that is good on the computer game, thinking they are good in real life !
Yeah, we're kicking ourselves that you beat us to Fabregas, Djourou, Clichy, Diaby, van Persie, Denilson, Song, Eboue and Walcott. If you look at Spurs last seven or eight signings, they have all been French or African. Now which Premiership manager has had unrivalled success with French and African players???? Personally, I'm thrilled Arsenal have nothing to do with the hello magazine parade that is the England side. But Cesc is becoming the fulcrum of an exciting Spanish side, RVP is van Basten's main man for a young Dutch team that looks like going far, Senderos and Djourou were at centre back in Switzerland's best ever WC outing, Toure and Eboue are lynchpins in the excellent Ivory Coast side and Gallas and Henry played in a World Cup Final. Oh and Jens was the best keeper in the World Cup. Oh and Denilson is the skipper of the Brazil U-19. I;m happier with that than trying to boast that the patriaition of my squad is racially superior because it is obligated to field English players. You have to ask as well why Spuds do not believe in their youth system?
Little Dutch
thank you little dutch. to Sir_Harry, the article wasnt saying you DON'T have that englishness to your tea, it was pointing out the complete and utter b**ll*cks that your backroom staff and board talk, in regards to the english 'whose next up for an autobiography' brigade versus 'johnny foreigner' band of players. As dutch pointed out, how many english players did you sign i the summer? Chimbonda - nope. Assou-Ekotto - nope. Zokora - nope. Berbatov - nope. Leonardo - nope. I count five there, and NONE of them english. Where's your great policy then? C'mon, stand by your principles, berbatov cam from a foreign league, so did zokora, assou ekkoto & leonardo. SURELY you could have found someone equable before resorting to this 'last resort' of signings, to adopt the tone of Comolli??? oh, and as for beatingus to young foreign talent as well as domestic? we already have a youg left sided player - he's english, Theo Walcott? except he can play left right and centre. You'll def knowall about him in a few years when arsene's allowed him to grow into the plyer he'll become. And yeah, nice to see you beat us to merida and denilson too. twonk. »»Arsene Knows««
SH - We have no English players in the England squad, but then again it wasn't our board running around saying we were going to snap up all the English talent, and then with the exception of a couple, buy in all foreign players and push your English lads onto the bench.
Firstly Berbatov is Bulgarian which is not French or African. Secondly Defoe wasn't pushed to the bench as he was there already as was Murphy. Jenas, Lennon, Dawson, King and Robinson have not been supplanted by any signings. Commolli said ideally Spurs would PREFER to go for English players, then foreign players playing in England, then foreign players from overseas. He did not say we wouldn't sign foreign players from overseas so I'm not sure where principles have been compromised. I would answer to Little Dutch, how many English players have you signed in the last 3 years then? Its very much a case here of pot calling kettle black with you trying to clutch at any straws to justify your own non-English policy barring the Walcott exception. This is finally demonstrated by the fact that Leonardo cannot even negotiate with anyone until 1st January 2007, meaning this is all press speculation, but nice of you to demonstrate your increasing fear and paranoia about a resurgent Tottenham side.
I read the first line of your reply and can not go any further until you tell me what you mean when you say Firstly Berbatov is Bulgarian which is not French or African.
I was referring to little Dutch who said all our recent signings had been French or African ..
Oh ok then!! Although the majority of them were French or African weren't they?
Of the 6 players, 3 were foreigners were playing in England, one was the French U17 captain, one was Assou-Ekotto who Wenger allegedly admired and Berbatov. So 50% followed Commolli's dictat. But what Commolli said was he could never envisage Spurs going into a game with no English players in the matchday 16 like Arsenal have done. He also laid out the preferred route for signing players, but never stated that exceptions could not be made.
So the % of English players at you decrease dramtically with 6 foreigners coming in and one English 2-3 English players going out (?) As for saying then he would sign foreigners from England, that was just a way of trying to have a dig at the Gooners, because a foreign player is a foreign player no matter how you sugar coat it.
The problem is sir harry people are asking the wrong question. The question should be, why are no English players good enough to play for Arsenal? The ones that were (Cole and Campbell) were incredibly selfish and disloyal. You didn't answer my question as to why Spuds don't believe in their youth policy. Saying we are trying to 'justify' having non English players I find a troubling comment. I could not care less where Arsenal players come from, and the word 'justify' implies a tabloidesque vitriol, because you believe the patriation of your squad somehow makes you superior. That is an attitude that, no matter how subtle, is quite xenophobic, to suggest that we have a case to answer because of the diversity of our squad is a regressive attitude which will be ridiculed in twenty years, just as my generation is shocked by Barry Davies saying, "the two colured players combining well there," in the 70s.
Little Dutch
Sir Harry, if you fell in love with a foreign woman, would you say, "thanks but no thanks, I should have an English wife, however inferior she may be to you in my eyes'? Because when you are passionate about something, in this case, a football team, you don't care where it comes from. If you do, then that's very sad.
Little Dutch
Sir_Harry, how many spurs fans were up in arms when Klinsmann signed for spurs? none i bet, because he was a fine striker. So if you could have signed eleven players from abroad who were as good as their english counterparts, yet cost a *fraction* of the price (djourou 250K vs curtis davies 10m), thus keeping your club on a sound financial footing (for whichever way you wish to look at it, clubs run as businesses, and witness leeds to see how close a big club can come to goping out of business and existence...), what would you do? Yes, we arsenal fans would love more englishmen in the team, IF they were as good as their foreign counterparts at the club, but the crucial thing is that we wish to see the best player in that position, regardless of where he is from. And on recent experiences, ie. Campbell and Cole, I think that we have not had too good an experience with english players. Campbell turned into a liability bottler, a shadow of his former self, and even you spuds can appreciate that cole is ********* number one - everyone in football can see what a twerp theguy turned into - an embarrassment, a bloated overfed ego, who raged at only being offered 55k a week. Would you want that kind of player at your club? that's the englsih type we had in our first team, and i for one am glad they've gone. The players we have there now WANT to play for our team, and respect the club and are willing to work for their place, I'd much rather have that type of personality than the cole or campbell type. Plus they are all very composed on the ball, and extremely talented for their tender years and relative inexperience. I'm not askign you to agree with the make-up and multinational basis of our squad, i merely hope that you can appreciate why we are quite happy with the current contruction of it, based on what i have just mentioned... »»Arsene Knows««
Youth policy - Ledley King, Aaron Lennon, Michael Dawson, Tom Huddlestone, Dorian Dervitte etc. With the exception of Cesc Fabregas, your youngsters like Song and Aubry had a signing fee. What concerns me, is the inaccurate comments made about Commolli's statement. Its the ostrich approach that having no English players doesn't affect the national side which is surprising. The club plays in the English league, receives prize money from the English FA etc. Only Chelsea and Arsenal I believe are the only sides in the top leagues in Europe who have never fielded a domestic qualified player in their national league. It is an extreme not seen elsewhere. That is why UEFA/FIFA are taking steps with the acceptance of the EU is there is a concern parts of Europe about this. It is also a xenophobic attitude to say that English players are good enough and in many ways teams like Spurs, ManU and Chelsea are less xenophobic as we have a greater mix including English players. It is an attitude that will only be ridiculed in 20 years time if international football no longer exists. But Wenger favours this. Regarding Campbell's disloyalty and selfishness ... you find this surprising? Again the comments were an attack on Commolli, a French man by the way, who did not make those remarks in the way they have been repeated!!!!
Aaron Lennon came from Leeds and Dawson came from Forrest (I think)
Again Commolli said he could not envisage Spurs not fielding a 16 without any Englishmen. He said that Spurs had a policy of signing young English players followed by overseas players based in the UK who have proven they can readily adapt to the local culture. Ahh, that sounds like intelligent and fair comment. I find it interesting that you constantly bring out the most extreme examples of bad English guys or those with obviously inflated price tags. How about mentioning Aaron Lennon who cost £500,000. Or Adebayor who cost £7m and is no better than Dean Ashton, or how about Reyes? There is always extremes but maybe you need to ask why Campbell and Cole behaved like they did?
For us, Fabregas, Clichy, Cole, Muamba, Bendtner, Stokes (top scorer in the SPL) Bently, Upson, Hoyte.........Seems more of our academey players make it than yours!!
Yes Rocky 7, but Fabregas came from Barcelona, Djourou from Etoile-Carouge, Senderos from Servette etc. Your point is .....?
Dean Ashton cost more than Adebayor!
Point to me where I mentioned Djourou or Senderos....I also notice you never mention the players I did. While you have brought that up....where do you think any team gets their youth players from, do you think they just see them playing in the park? It's not Roy of the Rovers you know...inevitabley, ALL players come from one team or another.
Upson came from Luton, Fabregas from Barcelona, Bendtner from FC Copenhagen ...... for us how about Peter Crouch at Liverpool, Stephen Kelly at Birmingham, Paul McVeigh at Norwich ...
Comolli said: "We will never do what Arsenal have done. When I discussed with the board last year about coming they told me that the club's philosophy was built on English players and I agreed with them. "What we have been trying to do has not changed. We always try to sign British players, the second option is foreign players within the Premiership and the third is looking abroad. But we won't say we won't buy someone because they are foreign as we need to bring in quality players.
Lennon- Leeds, Huddlestone- Wolves, Dawson- Forest, Dervitte- Lille. We are not saying English players are not good enough, Walcott clearly will be, what is apparent is that English players are subject to much more hype from our press and as such, it is all going to their heads. Lampard is a good player, but really Makelel does his donkey work. Same with Gerrard and Alonso. Arsenal owe nothing to international football, what do we owe to sides who use our players and fatigue/ injure them without playing? The fact is internationals are a joke and the reason FIFA/ UEFA are trying to take these unconstitutional steps is because they cannot improve the waning standard of international football, so they are going to make club football worse. International football has become about corporate networking and endorsements, the players who participate in it, largely, seem to do it out of obligation rather than passion. Compare Rooney's all action displays for Man Utd compared to his insipid England performances. I'm just syaing that as an Arsenal fan, I want the best for this club, and that means having the best players at prices that won't cripple us. That being the case, I can't see any other route than to have a predominantly foreign squad. If that means a few money spinning international friendlies, and a corporate franchise such as a world cup is affected, then so be it. People only support their nations because they are told to, but I doubt anyone feels a tenth of the passion they feel fore their clubs. Club football is a bond, a connection, international football is about politics.
Little Dutch
sosiurely this statement means that there just isnt the required quality of english playerfor spurs. And if there's not the required quality for spurs, there's DEFINTELY not the required quality for arsenal. Hence we have signed from abroad. And as mentioned dawson DID come from forest, Huddleston was signed from a lower league team, and Lennon was nicked from leeds. HArdly bringing them through thee ranks either. »»Arsene Knows««
And a number of your players were also nicked including the much vaunted Fabregas. As far as Little Dutch goes, well I think a side who name their new stadium after an airline should be careful making claims of corporate networking and endorsements. And the steps taken by the FIFA/UEFA are NOT Unconstitutional. Certain activities are protected under EC law to protect particular areas. If you are not happy with that then the law can change, Henry or Fabregas or any footballer can give 3 months notice under employment law and walk out for no fee. Decide what you want? Football as it currently is is already unconstitutional and unfair under a raft of existing laws. It breaches what most people consider normal employment law
And the statement Wingston by Commolli suggests that if there are two players of equal ability available at a same price, then Spurs would probably plump for the English qualified one. However that doesn't make us stupid enough to grab an absolute steal. So if Downing and Leonardo were both costing £12m then we'd probably go for Downing - however as Leonardo is 90% cheaper and NAC Breda keen to sell then obviously we are going to go for him. Why was the original article written as if there were some change of policy?
But surely if they gave three months notice they would be liable for to pay allsorts of costs. Loss of earnings for the club, loss of transfer fee, potentially they could be liable for the club not finishing as high in the league (with a player such as Henry) if that was possible (which I'm sure it isn't) the fee's the the future clubs of the players would have to be would reach the 100's of millions!
(Quote). However that doesn't make us stupid enough to grab an absolute steal. So if Downing and Leonardo were both costing £12m then we'd probably go for Downing - however as Leonardo is 90% cheaper and NAC Breda keen to sell then obviously we are going to go for him(end quote) Basically you have just agreed with almost every transfer AW has ever made.
I'm not sying that club football is not tainted by corporate endorsements, what I am saying is that international football is held up as this paragon of virtue and cleanliness, when it is just not the case. Personally, I think the whole thing is obsolete and people should stop kidding themselves. The difference with our young players is that we have put something into their development. Cesc, Senderos, Song, Djourou, Aliadiere, Walcott, have all spent some phase of their development in our youth system. Spuds just cherry pick once the hard work is done. I say this a lot, but you also have to question an F.A Law that clubs can only pick English players from within 15 miles of their training ground, so why aren't the F.A taking any flack. It is a rule that harps back to a bygone age when fans demanded local lads in the team, those not geographically efficient were a threat. Of course that attitude looks ridiculously dated now, as this debate will look in twenty years. In a hundred years there will be a big debate because one club will not have a requisite amount of players from earth, and all these fancy dans from Venus and Jupiter are destroying our earth talent. We are having the same old arguments, but as attitudes improve, the geographical parameters just shift. This can be seen in politics as well, fifteen years ago the press were saying Russians were the scum of the earth and that the Taliban were alright. Now, the target has shifted to Islam and the middle east. A lack of perspective means people just blindly follow these arguments. Four hundred years ago, it was vulgar for a poor man to wear purple, sounds ludicrous now doesn't it? Yet we still victimise people who wear hoodies or veils.
Little Dutch
Nope, they would have to be treated the same as you and I with our employer. If I leave my employer, and sales are down by £250k then I'm not liable for that. I have exercised my right to leave. You see the problem. It would destroy the transfer market etc etc .. legally it would wipe of clubs assets in a stroke. That is why sport and football specifically is regarded as an exception. And despite Bosman, there isn't a truly free labour market as players can only move at the end of contract or if they are sold, so UEFA/FIFA and the EU can bring in player restriction numbers as it is done to ensure that every national association can bring into the game a certain number of youngsters.
Didn't mean to go on a political rant, just providing a paradigm. The fact is the mass media light a blue touch paper, and sit and laugh as people chase the smoke.
Little Dutch
But you and I are not contracted to our employers for a fixed length of time. We sign a contract to agree to follow their rules and do the job that is in our contracts. Footballers are assigned to a certain length of time to avoid them being able to walk away with no reprisals!
The point you make about national associations and youth players. There are more football clubs now than there ever have been. Freedom of movement and trade means that English youngters can move abroad, just as foreigners can move here. Like a merry go round. The fact is, there are enough teams and enough sqauds for players that are good enough to come through.
Little Dutch
Little Dutch, I totally agree with you about the UK rule of 15 miles and apparently the FA is looking at it. I believe it was done to prevent big clubs snapping up all the UK talent who normally wide have signed apprentice forms with the local club. I recall the rule prevented ManU signing Dean Bowditch who signed with Ipswich instead. It was a concern that clubs could stockpile dozens of youngsters and destroy lower league football. Personally I would be happy for Premiership sides to have relationships with Div1 & 2. sides along the lines of a 'farm system'. The difference is we don't belong to a United States of Europe, we all have our own national identities and the rules are designed to ensure that national identities remain. I imagine Henry thinks of himself as French before being European and this will not change at least in my life time. And of course it is wrong for any man to wear purple :)
I'm not so sure that it isn't wrong that a man can wear purple. :)
Ah Rocky but that would have to change as it would be considered a restrictive employment practice. But its the same as signing a fixed term contract as a employer. I recently finished a 24month contract but at any time during that period I could have left by giving notice. And the law states that anything longer than 3months notice is restrictive.
Rocky 7 - regarding all the deals that AW made - your not forgetting Richard Wright, Francis Jeffers, Reyes etc
Why would it have to change?
Touchez. Personally, I think national identity is a fraud, it's one of those phrases the press drop every now and then to trigger of an indignance in the brain. Like 'political correctness.' It is an advertisement without a product, if you are a living organism, then I can identify with you. (Unless you support Chelsea). The philosopher Thomas Paine once said, "the world is my country, all mankind are my brethren and to do good is my religion." I concur.
Little Dutch
Which is why I said 'Almost'. While I'm here, note the nationality of 75% of those players you have just named.
33% sorry.
we all make mistakes, but why pay £18 mill for carrick when we got Diaby for a fraction.
why doesen't this debate about english and foreign players just die down, this is only been made a big issue because we are a successful club. everyone says that this is affecting the national team, even if we had english players like lampard, gerrard, rooney in arsenal, england would still be hopeless like how they are right now and have been in the last few years, and if we find a english player as good as henry, bergkamp, pires and others for the right price, we will sign them, nationality should never be a issue in club football, because the top teams in international football will always remaing the super powers in international football, irrespective of their national players playing in their domestic league or not, and if a player is world class, he will always end up in some big club or the other, and become a better player for his country too..
everyone thinks that chelsea, united, liverpool, spurs do for the national team than arsenal, you can say that true, they help the national team more, but arsenal do more good for england's domestic league more than any other team because of the way we play our football, and in the last few years, we have done more than any other club to make the premier league the best league in the world, the most watched league in the world, the most entertaining league to watch, so i think we have done a lot to improve the standard of football that is being played in this country, and if that doesen't help the national team, nothing will..
if spurs do the double, or go unbeaten and be champions, with very few english players in their team, will their fans even care about it? no one will, it's the success for the club that comes above everything else, we all want our team to be successful, so this argument about the players nationality should end for good..
i would just like to ask the spurs fans.. if a foreign contingent of players with no english players in it were to win you trophies would you ever care or give a damn about it?? as for arsenal not breeding talent for the english team.. i would like any spurs fan to point out which englishman is as good as any arsenal player in his current position.. u wont be able to name even one.. our back line might be composed of foreigners.. but they all cost us less than a total of 2 million quid.. and one overhyped englishman curtis davies will cost 10 million quid.. and knowing that that he is worse than our back 4.. why wld we sign him for that exaggerated price.. rooney cost united 27 million pounds.. henry cost us 10.. he has been top scorer for last 6 years in the league.. and i can beat.. rooney is never gonna be top scorere.. nor is defoe.. nor crouch.. or any other englishman u talk about.. and all people who say that arsenal need to breed more englishmen.. i'd say they are just plain jealous of our players.. coz the real fan wont see where the player's passport is from.. he would see what the player is capable off..
Yes as a Spurs fan and from a family of Spurs fans, I would care if Spurs were able to win all of those titles without English representation. It would tarnish the achievement as while I am a Spurs fan, I am also an England fan. I agree a little in that Arsenal have made the Premiership an attractive league, and when we get in star players in or those with great potential it is excellent, but frequently it also results in the signing of dross by a range of clubs, affecting all young English players. I would want Spurs to have 4-6 English players with maybe a couple of the bench in the XVI. I totally agree that some English players are overpriced and think that the FA should get rid of the 15 mile rule or at least allow Premiership clubs to have 'deals' with lower league teams. Considering Davies and Downing, I have to confess I'd rather Spurs go for Younes Kaboul and Hatem Ben Arfa, as both Davies and Downing are too inflated. However that still would leave Spurs with a core of English players. And the argument about English players not being good enough ... whilst while Fabregas is an exception, unless you give players like Connolly and Randall a proper chance they will never get there. And this argument about not being good enough .... well if your coaching set up is as good as you claim, then there should be more.
We have 6 England players in the latest squad, you have how many???? Get down off your high horses!!!!
BY, I'm not been funny mate, but from your last statement, I believe it's you who needs to jump down from your high horse.
Listen...if all we can aspire to is to get players selected for the England squad then we will be screwed.....
lol sir harry, no wonder spurs havent won anything for decades now, even if you have all the players of the england team in your squad, the best english players, you still wouldn't be champions..

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