Signing a new player is always something of a lottery, but when that player comes from abroad, then the club instantly raises the stakes. At Tottenham, for every Ardiles, Klinsmann and Modric, there’s been an overseas signing who’s been hopeless. Here’s a list of the five worst that I’ve seen. There may be a couple of players lurking in the current Spurs squad who may one day join this list.
5. Milenko Acimovic

The Slovenian international caught Glenn Hoddle’s eye after some useful performances for Red Star Belgrade. A midfielder who had a reputation for scoring goals (34 in 102 games for Red Star) he scored precisely zero for Spurs, although I seem to remember he hit the post once.

4. Paolo Tramezzani

Christian Gross brought in the left-back Tramezzani from Piacenza in 1998. He had been with his Italian club for 9 years. 6 games for Spurs later, he was back in Italy.

3. Kazuyuki Toda

When Toda arrived at Spurs in 2003 it was suggested that this was a tactical signing to boost commercial sales in the Far East. It certainly wasn’t tactical in any other sense. He is best known for having red hair and for someone making a joke about playing Toda in the hole.

2. Mbulelo Mabizela

The young South African’s lasting legacy to Spurs was a thunderous goal against Leicester that sent us on our way to an improbable 2-1 win. That was it really. He now plays for Platinum Stars, after a period spent dabbling with some banned substances.

1. Grzegorz Rasiak

Unlike Vanessa Williams I’ve saved the worst till last. I look back on Martin Jol’s reign with great fondness, but with Rasiak I seriously doubted his sanity. Signed on transfer deadline day as some form of appeasement, he kept Jermain Defoe out of the side for a while.

Jol called him, “a tall target man, a hard-working, honest player with a good goal scoring record.” After 8 games and no goals he made his way back down the lower leagues and is currently failing to find the net at Limassol.
I nearly put Postiga and Blondel in there. Personally I thought Rebrov wasn’t that bad – call me mad but I just thought Glenn ruined his confidence.

So do you agree with me?




  2. I lived out in Korea in 2009 and Toda turned up at our local team Jeju playing for Gyeongnam. He may have been surprised and bemused by the faint shouts of ‘yiddo’ from the sparse crowd.

  3. I agree with you about Rebrov! I think somehow Hoddle ruined him! He had some good games i remember! Being crap at West Ham doesn’t prove anything!
    I would have put Postiga in because he was a lot cash (back then) and was quite frankly, crap! Raziak was rubbish, but lets be honest we didn’t expect an awful lot, where as Helder came with a price tag and a lot of promise and did diddly squat!

  4. OMG!! They have opened the asylums.
    Ahh I do forget myself: some people naturally have sewer mouths, so what else do you think could come out?
    At least they could spell so they haven’t left school just yet.
    What elegant additions to society they will make.

    Fair post: close to the truth about Rebrov

  5. We are having one of our best seasons for ages and you write a blog like this. Write something positive whilst there’s a lot to be positive about, it may not last forever.

    What a waste of space.

  6. O.k. I am almost 80 years old and have been watching and supporting Spurs for almost 70 years.My pick for the title goes to Lyman who used to play for Spurs after the second world war.

  7. I have a recollection that Rebrov was our top scorer in his firdt season with about 12 goals. I might be wrong on that, but I think your suggestion about GH might be correct.

    There were a few who didn’t get real opportunities with GH. Anyone remember Tim Sherwood’s agent claiming that the players human rights were being breached?

  8. What a waste of ink. Acimovic was free. Tramezzani cost next to nothing and left sharpish; Toda was a loan; Mabizela was a punt for next to nothing. Rasiak came on transfer deadline day because we needed another striker and we got our money back. If yiou want to write a proper article (very unlikely) how about Vega £4m and absolutely useless; Rebrov £11m and couldn’t quite hack it etc. Or simply don’t bother.

  9. Two words….Helder Postiga…..

    TERRIBLE! Yet he decides to score against England in the Euro’s for Portugal (goal off his shoulder!)…Typical!

  10. I remember Toda saying that he would have to work to get used to the pace of the English game……….after his first reserve match

    Saw Rebrov looking out of place in a pre season friendly against Crystal Palace. He was replaced at half time by a Chinese trialist (I think his name was Qui Bo but he wanted to be known as Colin !). We looked a much better team 2nd half mostly due to ‘Colin’s’ enthusiasm and work rate

  11. MDCT! You’ve reminded me of Qu Bo! Couldn’t get a work permit in the end. I think he actually wanted to be called Kevin, and looks a player with a lot of potential in the one friendly I saw him in. Wonder what he’s doing now?

    Agree with most of the above, although I’d add Gilberto because with his experience he should have been able to cope, and obviously couldn’t be bothered to put the effort in to adjust to the English game. Still in the Brazil squad though!

  12. Couldn’t agree more about Rebrov, in his first season he showed glimpses of class, but it was difficult due to the man in the raincoat’s long ball tactics. Then when Glen came in a thought he would play a style that would get the best from him. Then I remember it being ‘Boro away around Jan when he got his first start of the season! With Teddy and Les playing every game prior and his confidence shot he didn’t have a great game and never really got a chance. Shame.

  13. I was thinking Gareth Bale – yea having a laugh. The happy Chappies needs one, and probably more.

    COYS We love ya Harry Hotspurs

  14. Long time ago but I remember when we sent Jimmy Robertson, a nippy right winger, to Arsenal of all people, and got David Jenkins in return, a complete spanner. They must have pissed themselves…

  15. You have just undone thousands in therapy bills, Parklane71 🙂 David Jenkins is the absolute worst player I have seen in the shirt in 45 years of watching Spurs.

    Back on topic, my vote goes to Moussa Saib (1998-2000). If Scotland counted as overseas, Alan Brazil would run him a close second.

  16. @Big Mal
    The article refers to worst signings, not biggest waste of money. Why attack the author, he’s not far wrong. Blondel and Postiga are definite contenders, I would nominate Bunjevcevic to at least make the shortlist(considering he was touted as a Beckenbauer esque player). Can’t quite believe there is a notion of defending the likes of Rasiak, Acimovic and Tramezzani….let’s see your “proper article”!

  17. Let’s not forget that Rebrov was too good for the players around him at the time. I remember the first couple of home games he played, he was putting superb passes in behind the opposition defenders – the kind that his former partner Shevchenko would’ve been waiting for and pounced on. And Chris Armstrong – I think, I’m not exactly a Memory Man – just stayed rooted to the spot.

    Mind you, that’s no surprise. One time Armstrong, two metres from the goal, faced with an angled tap-in, kicked the ball out of play with both shins at the same time, right in front of my disbelieving eyes. It takes a special player to be able to do that. Shame we’re not doing worst ever home-grown players.

    Anyway, I think Rebrov just thought, “What have I done, coming here…” and went into a downward spiral from there, from which he never really recovered.


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