Transfer window. The one month where rumour becomes a big story and every agent touts their players on the market hoping to get some publicity. It’s weird seeing how people act during this period of the season. Immerse yourself completely in it and you will find no sanity at the end of the tunnel. Yet, the attraction of something new is inevitably very tempting and hard not to take notice of.
Yesterday saw our North London rival announcing their capture of Lewis Holtby, albeit from the beginning of June and not immediately. On a free transfer, it’s looks a bargain to me. Then I found plenty of people on social network being dismissive of what Spurs have got. The same player whom some of these people (on the red half of the NL divide) championed for, prior to this decision. Modern football is how a player turns from spectacular to useless just by signing a piece of paper.
Yes, Holtby is not comparable to Santi Cazorla or Jack Wilshere. In my mind at least. However, if at all, the gap between him and the rest of our attacking midfielders are smaller. All season long and in fact from past seasons, we’ve been talking about ensuring that our squad is dense enough to compete on all fronts. For that to happen, we will always need more than just the starting duo, to be able to achieve that. Holtby might not be the best player in our team if he join but he wouldn’t be the worst either. Having him, would be strengthening our squad.
Instead, a different squad gets strengthened. He won’t play ahead of Moussa Dembele but would be a better option off the bench compared to Scott Parker, Tom Huddlestone, Jack Livermore or Gylfi Sigurdsson. Let’s make one thing clear. I’m not saying Arsenal or Arsene Wenger is to be blamed for him moving to Spurs because I don’t even know if we were really interested in him. I’m just saying that while Holtby is not the the super signing that Wenger thinks we want from him, he does improves the squad. Shame.
In football, comparison is always hard to make. How do you compare how one particular striker is better than one particular midfielder? On what do you based the judgement on. The best player in the world title, depends on the individual who’s compiling the list. Which is why I did not get angry at reading Guardian latest compilation of top 100 players in the world. I don’t expect every opinion to be the same and I accept that others may see values in certain players which I don’t.
Yet, it baffles me a lot when Holtby is compared to a reserves player we have and didn’t come up trumps. Thomas Eisfeld’s name was brought up by most fans. Claiming that our German is better than their German? Yes, the potential is there but what are these people basing their beliefs on? If Eisfeld is so much better, wouldn’t he already at least be on the bench for us. Why have we not seen more of Eisfeld in first team games? At this point in time, our Eisfeld cannot be better than Holtby who is a regular starter for one of the top clubs in Bundesliga and have been in the full Germany squads before.
In the future, yes. Who knows. Eisfeld may or may not turn out to be better than Holtby. Things change quickly in football and we should all be wiser about this. I know Eisfeld is ours and therefore we have to defend him. However, it sounds more like bitterness about missing out on a signing than anything else. We are rivals and sometimes it’s just that. Maybe that’s why we say Holtby is shit, that’s what fans do. Even Demba Ba got the same treatment.
If it was us doing the announcement yesterday saying that we’ve signed Ba/Holtby or both, I bet the reaction won’t be about how these players have turned into bad players overnight.