Swansea fans not fussed with Vorm's exit to Spurs
Michel Vorm has been on his way out of the Liberty Stadium since at least May 29, when Arsenal's Lukasz Fabianski announced he was off to Swansea. Fabianski's statement that the promise of first-team football was his reason for joining the Swans effectively meant that Vorm -- the club's No. 1 -- would leave.
What had been less certain until now was where he would end up. Liverpool were the hot favourites, given Vorm's obvious connection to Brendan Rodgers, the man who signed the Dutchman for Swansea in 2011. Then Tottenham emerged as a potential destination, with doubts hanging over Hugo Lloris' future amid interest from Paris Saint-Germain.
However, Lloris subsequently signed a new five-year deal with the London outfit, which initially appeared to rule out a move for Vorm. Not so.
- Window watch: Swansea's summer so far
Ben Davies and Vorm will move to Tottenham, with Gylfi Sigurdsson and a small wad of cash -- either 2.5 million or 5 million pounds, depending on whom you believe -- coming to Swansea.
Davies and Sigurdsson make sense for each club, but why would a good goalkeeper -- who in terms of age is approaching his prime by goalkeeping standards -- choose to be a number two? Why would Spurs spend good money on a player whose abilities will be wasted on the bench more often than not? And what exactly did Brad Friedel do wrong?
Yet on closer examination, the move does make some sense. Spurs will be competing on four fronts this coming season: the Premier League, both domestic cup competitions and the Europa League. Squad depth is obviously important, and it seems likely that Vorm can expect to play the majority of Tottenham's cup and Europa League games, in the early stages at least.
One of Vorm's biggest strengths is saving penalties, which makes the Dutchman a perfect knockout-competition goalkeeper. He is also excellent with his feet, which gives new Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino two goalkeepers who can contribute to his favoured possession-football system. While Vorm is not quite the sweeper-keeper Lloris is, he has the skill set to play that style.
Vorm is not especially tall but he does share quickness, sharp reflexes and agility with his French counterpart. This means Pochettino can have his defence play more or less exactly the same way, with exactly the same system, regardless of who is in goal -- not something that would have been possible with an ageing, orthodox Friedel in relief.
Sure, Vorm could have and possibly should have looked for a starting position somewhere, but even though he will be second choice at Spurs, he can at least say he plays for one of the big six teams now -- and earns big-six wages. His new status might help his international career; Vorm had slipped to third string in Netherlands' setup following a mediocre last season in Swansea.
That disappointing spell -- not helped by injury -- has diminished Swans fans' affection for Vorm. With Fabianski already in place, reaction to the move has mostly been concerned with the sum of money rather than any nostalgic farewells. Spurs would be getting a good enough deal at 5 million pounds, never mind the meagre 2.5 million that has also been suggested.
It is worth noting that Swansea's defence did not do Vorm any favours last season. A significant number of goals against were the result of Vorm being hung out to dry, rather than any shortcomings of the keeper himself. It is no wonder that he put in his best season playing under Rodgers' "hold-possession-in-your-own-half" system, but began to struggle when Michael Laudrup pushed the full-backs forward, often leaving just two central defenders -- an unpredictable Chico Flores among them -- as Vorm's only protection.
Fabianski might be four inches taller than Vorm, but the Swans' defending will still have to improve if they don't want their new stopper to become as disillusioned as their old one. In the meantime, the re-invention continues. It's particularly interesting that three players who struggled with injury last season -- Michu, Pablo Hernandez and now Vorm -- have been moved on.
Perhaps an injury-ravaged last season for Swansea has resulted in a new recruitment strategy, one in which the brittle and flimsy are sold off and only the most resilient remain. I guess that means Garry Monk won't be enquiring about Abou Diaby any time soon, which is a shame, because Swansea could use someone of his ilk in midfield.