Do Spurs need to be a part of Brand Beckham?
But it’s David Beckham… and we are Spurs…. so of course I would want us to sign him
The above quote is not from one of the bastions of our game, but instead my brother. But matter not, it highlights my point perfectly.
David Beckham, it appears, is available for a two-month loan from LA Galaxy. Since these rumours surfaced, there have been a number of clubs declaring their interest in the England midfielder. These include Blackburn, Everton, Newcastle, Sunderland and Spurs. But what is the common factor in all of these clubs? None of them are, until now, what we would label as ‘Big Four’ clubs.
This hints at the fact that David Beckham, aged 35, is more of a marquee signing than anything else. He is a shirt seller. He is an attendance generator. He is a ‘parade him before the game’ signing. He is a twenty minutes at the end of a match player. He is also a signing that may instigate other foreign signings, with players tempted to be a part of ‘Brand Beckham’. All of this makes it all the more interesting that Spurs appear to be favourites to sign Becks.
More than any other side in European football, Tottenham Hotspur are a side on the up. In Gareth Bale they have a young player seemingly at the beginnings of a potentially wonderful career, and in Michael Dawson they have England’s in-form defender. Combine this with Rafael Van der Vaart (surely the signing of the season) and it is easy to see why Spurs have had success. Just over two years ago they were bottom of the Premier League after eight games (as Harry Redknapp will tell you ad infinitum) with just two points. Now they are preparing for a last 16 tie against AC Milan, after dispatching AC’s city rivals at White Hart Lane.
So, given the fact that Manchester United, Arsenal or Manchester City have shown no interest in signing Beckham, why are Spurs doing so? Is it not a slight concession that Spurs are maybe not yet up there with the ‘big boys’ of the Premier League? Should they not instead be spending their wage budget on a glitz and glamour signing in the Van der Vaart mould?
One thing is for certain, Beckham does not come cheap. Reportedly expecting to drop his current salary to £120,000 a week, Two months of Beckham costs over a million pounds.
There is also the argument that Beckham is a great role model for the younger players. Whilst this is true, surely this is something that must be achieved using professional coaches, as oppose to a 35 year old media bandwagon? I heard a pundit this weekend say that “even if Beckham has just two hours a day helping Aaron Lennon to cross the ball then it is worth it.” If Lennon, an international footballer, needs David Beckham there to help him cross a ball then England are in more trouble internationally than we ever thought.
I think the point is that this January transfer window is possibly a crossroads for Spurs. If Harry can be backed, and backed big, and the club can introduce a couple of genuine international class players (and I am talking about a Benzema or a Milito) then Tottenham could still be genuine title challengers.
Five years ago, this is exactly the sort of thing you would expect from Spurs. All fart and no sh*t, as the same brother of mine delightfully labels it. Spurs being a club that promise much but deliver little. In the first 13 years of the Premier League Spurs did not finish in the top six or the bottom six on any occasion.
But that was old Spurs, and this is new Spurs. David Beckham is a media sensation. In the last eighteen months Spurs have been creating media sensations of their own. It may be a mistake to try and mix the two.