The Blog that's not always wrong.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

China Cup safely in the cabinet

It was only the China Cup but it still counts as silverware . But on the off chance that we win another trophy soon we will have to do some training on our acceptance routines. We were all over the place.

We played two matches against opposition that played poorly who by chance we play again within the month. We should be safe from relegation for another season if these games are anything to go by, which of course they are not.

It was a long way to go to play Hull and W. Ham but we used the trip to demonstrate that we can actually play good, controlled, possession football. I know that it was more about selling shirts, Universalising the Brand, Naming Rights, shirt sponsorship, finding a buyer or whatever but we could have played them closer to home for the Whamspurshull Chalice and bought a decent cup for £30 down at the trophy shop. A team from the London Chinese community could have internationalised the whole affair if it was necessary but we only played the English teams out there in any case.

Our shooting was off in the first game and passing in the second was either outstanding, Huddleston and Modric, or not very good at times, particularly Jenas, Palacios and Corluka. Modric showed again what a footballing gem he is whether jinking down the left or running the midfield from deeper. He was given the armband for a half against W. Ham and was obviously delighted.

The game against Hull was played at a slower pace and we relied more on the long ball because Hull played a suicidally high line against Defoe and Keane, who both played well forward and looked lively. In Huddleston and Modric we have two craftsmen who can exploit this situation and we nearly did on more than one occasion. Keane's goal from a accurate long ball by Modric was vintage Robbie Keane and should help him put last season's loss of form behind him . At the moment we have five strikers which seems a little greedy as some teams seem to struggle to field one

The difficulty is, what to make of it all. Were W. Ham and Hull really inferior sides? Or did we throttle them from the start and make them look poor? How then to explain away the Celtic defeat. Were they better than us or just further along their pre-season path and therefore more prepared for it than we were? They had a Champions' League game a few day's later and were quicker to the ball and faster on the ball. Might Hull and W. Ham make the same case?

But it is possible to take some positives from the pre-season without straying into 'Top Four ' speculation. O'Hara was our man of the match against W. Ham and will have silenced a few of his critics. Naughton and Livermore look to have made the step up to the first team squad and Naughton's ball across the six yard box to Lennon for our third against Hull was quality. The opportunities afforded to the youngsters was a big bonus and four or five of them looked ready to step up.

We were also missing our three first choice Centre Halves but Huddlestone, Chimbonda and Corluka coped pretty well with what was put in front of them. We have a flexible squad especially defensively with all three of the above able to fill in a variety of roles. This is essential for a long season even without European football this year.

Palacios still bothers me and I am aware that criticising him is worse than having a go at Saint Harry. His passes (Palacios, not Harry; I'm not sure about Sandra) are often over hit or misdirected and his 'foul' count even before the League starts in earnest is too high. Have a word Harry or our midfield destroyer will be in dry dock for a lot of the season and we don't have a support vessel yet.


tottip said...

An enjoyable read. On Palacios, I think he has to be fully commited in a game otherwise he seems to mis-time tackles and passes. I'm sure once the season starts he will be back to his marauding best.

JimmyG2 said...

Last season he picked up 12 yellow cards and was sent off, perhaps unfairly, at a crucial moment and we lost the game from a winning position.
I make that 6 matches that he would miss.
I like the boy (Harry too) but if there are aspects of his game that can be improved then that is to his and Spur's advantage.
I like ' marauding'. He has certainly improved the midfield and there are signs that he and Jenas could be an effective partnership.

SpursFanForLife said...

One thing I don't understand why Tottenham
hesitates to use the young talents they
recruit from other countries? Gio for
example, he just landed the title of being
the best player in the CONCACAF Gold Cup &
the next thing he knew is he may be just on
the bench at the start of the season.

One more undermined talent is Tomas Peckhart,
he's born to score and what Spurs did to him?
Wasted his talent at lower leagues. I hope
Boateng & Taarabt should be in the first team
no matter how people criticize them. The
biggest problem is the young players are like
prototype weapons in Pentagon. These lads are
ALL NOT FULLY TESTED, for crying out loud.

Use them in consecutive matches. Not just one
or two and then throw them aside. COYS!!!!

JimmyG2 said...

I am loathe to criticise the club on particular players as we don't see them on a day to day basis but I agree with your general drift.

Pekhart is out on loan until January with Slavia Prague, so his story is still ongoing.

If you read previous 'Musings' you will see that I have campaigned on behalf of the younger players quite consistently especially as we seem to have a golden crop this year.

To be fair in this pre-season several have been included in the various squads including the Wembley Cup and the China Cup.(Livermore,Rose,Obika,Boateng,injured at Peterborough,Dervite and Naughton ayoung player bought from Sheffield Utd.
More will go on loan this season as we have scrapped our Reserve team.

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