POTCHEFSTROOM SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 02: Juan Manuel Mata of Spain looks on as he walks back to the team hotel after a training session ahead of their World Cup 2010 Quarter-Final match against Paraguay on July 2 2010 in Potchefstroom South Africa. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
A few weeks ago, Real Madrid purchased Fabio Coentrao from Benfica. Coentrao is a brilliant young player who has played as a left back and a left midfielder in his career, and he looked like a very good purchase for Real Madrid. There was only one problem. Real Madrid already has a very talented left back in Marcelo and they have a very talented left midfielder in Angel di Maria. Both of those players are very young and very good. They were also both very expensive. Was this another case of Real Madrid buying a player they didn't need so a talented, budding star could rot on the bench?
Madridistas speculated, but they didn't really freak out. This happened for three different reasons. One, because they are not particularly concerned Coentrao's monetary cost. Two, because they do not have any other pressing needs on which resources would be better used. Three, because Jose Mourinho is an absolutely brilliant manger and he'll probably make it work.
You might be wondering how this relates to Tottenham Hotspur in the slightest. Well, it appears as if we are legitimately trying to purchase Juan Mata from Valencia. He's a very talented player who has filled in as a central attacking midfielder and as a striker in a pinch, but he is a left winger. Make no mistake about it, buying him to do anything but play left wing is a serious waste of money. Of course, Tottenham have a world class left winger in Gareth Bale. There's a problem brewing here.
In the case of Real Madrid, Jose Mourinho had a plan. Fabio Coentrao has been playing as a defensive midfielder in preseason, and it seems to be working. I never could have imagined that Mourinho would try this, but this is why Jose Mourinho is one of the greatest football managers of all time and I am a blogger. Madridistas are generally aware that Mourinho is one of the greatest football managers of all time, so when Coentrao started playing at DM, they seemed to just trust Mou's judgment. It looks like Mou's judgment was correct.
So, while thinking about the situation with Fabio Coentrao, I considered that I needed to chill out and possibly even reverse my position on not purchasing him. What if, just like Mourinho, Harry Redknapp has a plan that we just can't see right now, and it's all going to work out in the end.
Then I thought about that some more. Then I pissed my pants laughing.
I don't mean to say that Harry's a bad manager - he's not. He's kept bad teams in the Premier League, he's gotten average teams to Europe, and he got our very good but unspectacular team to the Champions League. But a plan? An unorthodox but secretly genius tactical plan in which he somehow gets two world class left wingers onto the same pitch without screwing up his squad? No, this is something that Harry Redknapp does not have a plan for.
If we sign Juan Mata and defeat Manchester United while playing Mata and Rafael van der Vaart as false nines in a fluid 4-4-2/4-6-0 system, I will issue a retraction for this piece and proclaim Harry Redknapp to be a tactical genius. But you know and I know that there is no such plan. Juan Mata is not the missing piece in Harry's unorthodox master plan. He is a class player that is available at a reasonable price for what he brings to the table, and as a result, we are chasing him even if we don't need him.
I sincerely hope that we are just trying to drive up the price on Mata for Arsenal. I love him and I think he's a fantastic footballer, but we don't need him. We have limited resources and other positions of serious need. Even if Mata is a great player who is well worth £22m, he would be a bad buy because of the opportunity cost. I assume that Daniel Levy took and passed Econ 101.
We need a striker, we don't have a lot of money, and 'Arry is a nutter. Can we please not do this? Please?