Former Tottenham boss says Arsenal transfer business better than £110.5m Spurs splurge

Ozil Free Kick

David Pleat has been Tottenham boss four times - and believes Arsenal's signing of Mesut Ozil is better than all seven of Spurs' deals put together.

On paper it should really be a no brainer as to who should be above who in the Premier League table.

Tottenham Hotspur spent £110.5 million on seven new recruits.

Arsenal spent £42.5 million on three.

The logic suggests that Spurs have done the better business.

But as I keep trying to convince myself, size is not always the most important factor.

Yes Tottenham may have spent more on more players - but Arsenal spent shrewdly on one player, bringing in two free transfers as compliments.

Indeed the acquisition of Erik Lamela, Roberto Soldado and Paulinho at White Hart Lane may have seen their transfer record broken three times in a matter of weeks - Arsenal have broken it just once and reaped the rewards.

At least that is what former Tottenham boss David Pleat believes.

The commentator and pundit managed Spurs in the 1986-87 season after great success at Luton Town. He also acted as caretaker manager at the club on three separate occasions up until 2004 - so he knows the club very well.

Now the 68-year-old spends the majority of his time lending his expert opinion to the world of media, including talkSPORT - and he feels that Andre Villas-Boas deserves some slack, as the transfer dealings have left him in an awkward situation:

"It’s very difficult when you’ve got six or seven new players of different nationalities. It's not easy to integrate quickly. You compare that with Arsenal [who have] only one new player [Mesut Ozil] but a very good one. Everything else was in place. The coach can only influence and worry about what’s under his remit and that’s the training of the players, the selections and of course, the most important thing, the results. That’s his responsibility. But he’s only got whatever he’s got available. However they’ve been acquired, he has to work with those players.”

He has a point. Tottenham signed seven players in the summer and none of them share their nationality with another. Sure each have someone they can likely converse with in the dressing room - but that itself can even split the team up more if you have a French camp, Brazilian camp and Belgian camp for example.

What about Erik Lamela. He speaks very little English and his only fellow Hispanophone is Roberto Soldado - seven years older and from Spain, where the language is about the only thing they traditionally have in common with Argentine culture.

Arsenal meanwhile brought in two Frenchman to a team full of Francophones, not to mention one used to play for them, and a German to join the likes of Serge Gnabry, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski.

Which doesn’t matter anyway, as they all speak English.

So Pleat may just have a point. Tottenham have perhaps thrown a lot of punches in the Transfer Market, while Arsenal have boxed clever.

Tottenham - Arsenal legends tell club not to panic

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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