With most of the Spurs population currently in shock after the announcement that Robbie Keane is set to follow striker Dimitar Berbatov out of White Hart Lane, fans must be wondering if there is any life after their lethal partnership.
However, Tottenham’s manager Juande Ramos seems unphased at losing his two stars, having always managed to recover from similar situations in his successful two years at Sevilla.
Upon joining the Andalusians, his first task was to replace star-players Julio Baptista and Sergio Ramos who had been sold for a combined fee of £35million to Real Madrid that summer. With the help of his technical director ‘Monchi’, Juande Ramos used that money to great effect, winning 5 titles in 2 seasons:
Federic Kanoute – signed for just £5.1m from Spurs, revived his career with 44 goals in 64 games under JR, helping Sevilla fans get over the loss of Baptista.
Luis Fabiano – after a poor season with Porto, he repaid the faith shown in him by Ramos, scoring 56 in 119 appearances for Sevilla.
Javier Saviola – brought in on loan to further strengthen their attack in 2005, he was pivotal in their UEFA Cup triumph, scoring 6 goals.
Ivica Dragutinovic – part of the famous Serbian defence that only conceded 1 goal in qualifying for the 2006 World Cup, ‘Drago’ was a surprise replacement for Sergio Ramos but has been a key figure in the Sevilla defence ever since his signature.
Andres Palop – being Canizares’ understudy for so long at Valencia, Palop was seen as a gamble to replace Esteban in the Sevilla goal. However, he soon became a fans favourite, most significantly in the UEFA Cup final against RCD Espanyol where he saved 3 of 4 penalties.
His knack of signing the right players in the right mould, in addition to bringing up youth players (Puerta, Navas, Capel) can assure Tottenham fans that Juande Ramos knows what it takes to create a successful team, regardless of whether his ‘stars’ are there come August 16…