The Blog that's not always wrong.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Is Modric the new Carrick?

Let battle commence on the electronic highways and byways of Spurs' supporters. Not only has Modric been compared to Carrick in style and role but he looks likely to split us in much the same way as he did .( and Jenas for that matter though he probably has more detractors than fans)

Now it is very difficult to compare players precisely. Modric in the two Croatia games I have seen is more of a harrier and carrier than Carrick but possesses that ability to keep the game going with good passing and plays in an unhurried way. He makes space for himself and gives his team-mates an out for the ball. He does not attempt the defence splitting pass as often as Carrick preferring quick ,short passes. He is a more attacking player with 'quicker feet' and will probably score more goals. In the first game against Austria he was disciplined in a more defensive,Carrick role. In the second game against Germany he played a more attacking role which is where I think he will play for us.

How lovely that phrase sounds 'he will play for us'. I will come clean immediately I am a Modric admirer. He has that indefinable Tottenham quality. Something involving style and skill and clear evidence of a football brain. Now I tend to think the best of our new signings, want us to welcome them and pray that they will take us to greater glories.

I am very defensive of our players and probably go on supporting them after their sell-by date. The only recent signing I struggled with in these terms was Bent,but we can't all be Berbatov. I have not yet given up on Boateng, Kaboul, or Tarrabt, but think that loan spells might benefit them. Dawson and Huddleston can be trained up by Ramos into effective players and Zokora can also make a useful contribution when his role has been more clearly defined. Jenas in my opinion is a quality player who will partner Modric as a fast and skillful attacking midfield pair.

But Tottenham fans are not so sure. Is he too frail for the Premiership, allegedly the toughest and most physical in the world. You don't need to watch much Spanish and Italian football to know that this is not a claim that it is easy to maintain. Didn't he slip out of the game against Austria: shades of Jenas. The fact that he was clearly playing in a defensive role as part of a tactical plan explains this difference between the two games to me.

Ever the optimist I agree. Now it doesn't pay to make too much of a case on limited evidence. Searching for a midfield defensive general which clearly Modric is not, Spurs' fans alighted on Frings of Germany and Engelaar of Holland. Both were innocuous or worse in the second matches, Engelaar was substituted and their names disappeared from the transfer wish lists. Both these judgements could well be premature. However I am confident of the class of Modric, as I was about Carrick and as I am about Jenas.

Of course players who desert us as, Carrick did and Berbatov might, immediately incur the wrath of the fans who,in their anguish, deny that they were any good in the first place. A difficult case to maintain in both these cases I would have thought. And in their perverse way that fans have they adopt players of lesser abilities who play with spirit and energy. Michael Brown and Steffen Freund come to mind. Zokora is a better player than either of these and like Freund has never scored for Spurs' and looks unlikely to. He plays with great energy but has never been taken to our collective bosoms as Freud was.

So I come back back to the original question. Is Modric the new Carrick? There are signs that his quality is doubted, worries about his capacity to survive the Premiership and doubts that he will be able to perform his defensive duties effectively. All these have surfaced on the fan sites. I think that he will become a Spurs legend very quickly. However there is the next Croatia game to come and all this may have to be revised. But I predict that Spurs' fans will take him to their hearts perhaps because of his size, though this hasn't quite happened with Lennon. God help him if he ever tries to leave .

1 comment:

Daniel said...

well, while i am similar to you and defend tottenham players to the hill, i am not letting myself get to excited about Modric's potential as it's still not certain exactly what his capabilities are, especially in the premier league. I also generally now have a thing against players who cost around the 16 million pound mark ;-) On top of that, the little piece "Modric looks good, but not yet the finished article" on Footbo by Guillem Balague doesnt help!

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