Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Comolli Watch

So with the transfer window shut until January, Damien Comolli has to occupy his time somehow, and it seems that from snippets in the press over the last few weeks he is working very hard indeed. Apart for representing Tottenham Hotspur at the UEFA Cup draw yesterday, he is also busy snapping up top notch Scandavian youngsters to bolster the youth ranks, and hopefully provide for the first team in the future.

One definitely in is young Swedish keeper Oscar Jansson from Karlslund. The 15-year-old has had two trials with the club and passed a medical. Apparently regarded as one of the most promising keepers in Scandinavia, he is expected to join the Under-18 squad, when he arrives in January. Also on their way for trials are Hogaborg BK starlet Samuel Aziz, and Håvard Nordtveit a 16 year old Norwegian central defender.

Spurs also recently had a 17 year old Norwegian striker over for a trial called Dag Alexander Olsen, who we have apparently offered a contract. He is also being tracked by Liverpool and Bayern Munich, so we will do well to snap him up. Spurs may well have the upper hand though as apparently he got on well with the players in our youth set-up and also trained with the seniors before he went home. Edgar Davids and Ledley King took time out to speak with him and told him all about the joys of Spurs. If Edgar can’t convince him, then no one can!

Not just content with Scandanavia, Comolli has also been keeping tabs on Standard Liege's young centre back Marouane Fellaini who claims Tottenham are monitoring on his progress: "Tottenham spoke with my agent and they will continue to follow me," he said. "I would like to play with the biggest clubs in Europe." On a more speculative note, Spurs have also been linked with Gillingham striker Adrian Jarvis can either play as a traditional forward or operate down the wings and has been watched by Premiership scouts almost every week.

It is good to read news like the above, as it shows Spurs are thinking and planning about the future, and even if only one in ten of these youngsters makes it into the first team regularly it will be a job well done. Those that don’t make it at Spurs tend to go out on loan and are then sold on for decent money, much like Dean Marney was this summer, so it is not a meaningless exercise. The fruits of Comolli’s labours won’t be seen for some time of course, but if the youth and reserve teams win things it’s a good sign, as Man Utd’s youth team with Beckham, Scholes, Neville et al certainly did, as did the Leeds youngsters containing Woodgate, Smith, Kewell and our own Paul Robinson. The West Ham lot including Ferdinand, Defoe, Lampard, Carrick and Cole also had a lot of success at youth level. If the Spurs youngsters do the same in the next couple of seasons, it would be a good omen.

So with three months until the transfer window opens you would assume that Spurs are merely busying themselves with snapping up youngsters, but not if you believe the papers who have linked us with Chelsea’s Joe Cole and Celtic’s Aidan McGeady in the past couple of days. The Cole rumour can be put down to sheer paper talk, and more than likely it has come from his agent trying to put the wind up Chelsea before a new contract is offered. Spurs are unlikely to want to deal with Chelsea again after the Duff saga, and Cole is probably not keen on a move to Spurs anyway as an ex Hammer. The McGeady link is more intriguing though, as he fits the identikit Levy regime signing – young and cheaper than your average bear. He is a quick and skilful left winger, and despite being born in Scotland, sensibly opted to play for the Republic of Ireland, so hopefully Robbie will have a word in his shell and tell him what a great place Chigwell is. He represents a cheaper option than Petrov or Downing, and playing in Scotland would be used to the rough and tumble of the British game, so this one could have legs. Whether Celtic can be persuaded to part with one of their prize assets though who knows, but he could certainly follow the likes of Mackay, Gilzean, Archibald and Gough and make a step up in his career by coming south of the border and joining the mighty Tottenham Hotspur.

The Waddler.