The Blog that's not always wrong.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Press the pause button

I thought I would wait until the crises was over and then reflect on our progress in a calm and dispassionate way. But its not over and there is no sign of the fat lady whatsoever. It just goes on and on. Harry, having given us hope ,seems to have lost the plot if he ever had it in his possession in the first place.

Once again we have not just been linked in the press to the registered players of the entire English and Continental football workforce, but confirmed links have reached several hundred already and there are still two weeks to go.

Some of those linked to us are depressing and sad, Bellamy springs to mind, and some are just, depressing: Stephen Hunt anyone? Defoe has returned and will probably be as disappointing as he was before, but at least he knows where the dressing room and toilets are and can find his way to his Lamborghini without the help of one our apprentices.

So its another new manager and inevitably another new squad. Not at the beginning of the season when you have time to prepare but in January when we are still in the bottom three and you need things to gel pretty darn quick. But what's the point of being a football manager if you cant buy and sell?

Thats the one thing that Harry does well and looks more and more like the only thing. In evidence I call last week's performance at Wigan M'lud. Team selection and formation wrong; substitutions wrong; tactics wrong. The only positive thing you could say about it was that we were extremely negative.We dared them to beat us and they duly obliged.

But the football world is a dynamic and fast changing maelstrom of innovation and we are now likely to have the first £100 million player and the first £1/2 million a week salary. Kaka is a very good player and Man.City are nearly as desperate as us but I think Levy will fold his cards on this hand.

Can anyone, let alone a footballer, be worth 750 experienced nurses per year? Is he worth 31/2 Berbatovs? Or 5 Robbie Keanes? Or to be paid 4 times as much as any other player in the Premiership? What is the rationale for this development? There isn't one.We do because we can is the new philosophy at Man.City.

I don't think Sparky will last long in this environment. I fully expect Mourinho to be installed at Eastlands before the end of the season, or even Scolari.

Do I sound cynical? Do I sound envious? Am I not my usual bright ,shining positive self, able as a long suffering Tottenham fan to see the bigger picture? Well the world of football has taken another leap into the murky world of business and finance here. Forget level playing fields and a contest of skill and tactics between roughly equal teams. The future of football and the division of the spoils will be played out in the boardrooms of mainly foreign investors in the not too distant future.

Forget the 39th game played abroad.We will be lucky to get a dozen or so games here.The rest will be played in the new European Super League host complex, probably in Dubai.

At my most succesful I could have earned coming on as a last minute substitute for Kaka as much as I earned in a year for most of my working life. And though I say it myself I don't think I would have lost them the game; not in the last minute anyway. Cynical? Envious? Moi?

At least the blip in the fortunes of the richest club in the world and those of the previous richest club in the world might give us some little hope. But lets face it we can't even operate successfully at our own modest level. We can't find a manager that suits us and god knows wev'e had enough tries over the last dozen or so years. New manager, new management team, new squad, new tactical theories, on average every 18 months in the time that Arsene Wengerhas been at Arsenal.

Is it too late to press the pause button and take a longer term view of our own situation or of the state of football in general? Of course when your battling relegation its hard to take a long term view but that is precisely what we desperately need and what we should have done several years ago.

Certainly Levy has thrown plenty of money at our problems but you cannot say that Harry was anything other than a short term fix.We sacked Martin Jol our only successful manager of recent times in pursuit of something or other.
Short term fixes don't always work and they can leave you worse off than you were before.

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