Paulinho: Hollow man


Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande have completed the signing of Tottenham’s Brazilian Paulinho and the twenty-six year-old leaves England having made no impression whatsoever on the Premier League.

When transfers go wrong, there are usually theories as to why; supporters may never reach a consensus, but they’re usually able to proffer a theory or two -  and in all but the most severe cases the player has a small band of loyalists who never leave his side and who insist, right until the end, that if only x, y and z were to happen, he would be a success.

With Paulinho that has never been the case: nobody contested that he was a botched signing and nobody really knew why.

Periodically, the various managers who he played under were urged to try him in this position or that or encouraged to use him alongside one player or another, but nothing Tottenham tried across the last two years has ever prompted a reaction.  There have been no surges in form or dramatic slumps and his time at White Hart Lane amounted to a low, uninspiring drone which never changed in pitch or volume.

He was a contradictory player who appeared to work hard without actually ever doing anything and his inertia seemed to transcend positions and formations.  No matter how he was used or where on the pitch he was employed, the result was always the same kind of performance.  He had talent, but not the sort which effected games and he had ability, just not that kind that was ever particularly noticeable.

The online records tell me that he played over sixty times for Tottenham and yet, at a stretch and with maybe one or two exceptions, I can’t remember a single one of them. Something against Cardiff, something at Villa Park, a red-card against Liverpool.

The rest escapes me.

In the hours since his transfer was announced, social media whispers have hinted at a poor attitude and a lack of application, so maybe that adds some flesh to the bones, but he will forever be a mystery, a hollow player who was never even really here.

That’s it; no theories and no explanations.

Really, what was that all about?

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3 Comments on "Paulinho: Hollow man"

  1. Didn’t ever look like he wanted to be in the UK. Not much to go by but never spoke English on his social media, absolutely no charisma on the pitch

  2. Mr Malark | Jun 29, 2015 at 11:07 pm |

    I grew to hate that he never smiled. How can you warm to someone who’s so utterly indifferent to be there?

  3. Paulinho is a prime example of players being signed by people who know very little about what they are signing. In a lot of cases it is just ‘suck it and see’ Brendan Rodgers and the transfer committee are another classic case of signing so called names without a clue as to how they are going to fit them into the required formation.Who do you blame? The owner/the manager/the director of football/the scouts. The answer is it is too difficult to analyse with the result that these people who squander millions of supporters money just keep their jobs. When was the last time any employee was sacked for signing garbage?

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