Spurs rewarded for refusing to be bullied

Harry was delighted to hold on to Modric - Image from skysports.com

There’s still a long way to go but Luka Modric might now be a little relieved that Daniel Levy put the kibosh on his transfer to Chelsea in the summer. Spurs are in fine form and flying high in third place, three points above Chelsea with a game in hand after last night’s comfortable 2-0 win over Aston Villa. What’s more, United and City aside, they currently look the most likely team to be in the top four, come the end of the season. There’s a lesson there: if you don’t want to sell your best players, don’t sell your best players. Tottenham might easily have been bullied into letting Luka Modric leave the club, with Chelsea refusing to relent on the matter and the player seemingly having his head turned by the lure of Champions League football, epic wages and everything else on offer to those playing at Stamford Bridge. But Harry and the Tottenham fans are reaping the rewards of their chairman standing firm and keeping Luka Modric at White Hart Lane.

Turning down a reported £30million for Modric looked like a risky move, especially as the player had signalled he was keen on the move across London. When Spurs were smashed 1-5 at home by Manchester City, Modric looked about as interested as Carlos Tevez and it seemed that Tottenham had already lost him. But credit to him, since that game he has got his head down and his performances have looked every bit as those from last season. The Croatia international has been very much the composed, influential and elegant midfielder the fans knew he was alongside impressive anchor man Scott Scotty Parker, who’s claimed most of the plaudits so far. Pretty much everyone in the Spurs first team is pulling their weight and while they’re not relying on any one player in particular, they ought to be fairly confident of staying in the top four for the foreseeable future, even if they do suffer the odd injury. Having said this, losing a top player such as Modric would surely have dented Harry Redknapp’s Champions League ambitions.

Perhaps this example can become a lesson in transfer bullying. Again, it’s important to remember that it is early days, but Spurs are winning after refusing to allow Chelsea’s obdurate approaches (and Modric’s desires to some extent) to compel them into submission. There can’t have been many who would have predicted Harry Redknapp’s side would be doing so well at this stage, particularly after their punishing opening two fixtures against the Manchester clubs. Perhaps Arsenal should have followed a similar course of action with the Cesc Fabregas saga. Anyway, Tottenham fans will certainly be hoping that the club gives two fingers to Barcelona and Manchester City when they inevitably come calling for Gareth Bale in the next few transfer windows.

Modric has been in fine form again for Spurs this season - Image from zimbio.com