There's no football.Time to take stock and indulge the missis, make of that whatever you like but it usually involves Morrison's these days. I was going to follow the cricket or the tennis but it seems we are being thrashed by the Australians in the first and there is not one English player in the top 100 in the second so perhaps I won't bother.
Of course there's the International matches but I think Morrison's has the edge there, especially when its a friendly. Glen Hoddle interviewed in the Daily Mail made some interesting points on why England are unlikely to win the World Cup. Basically because we don't play the game well enough technically and are outpassed and out-thought. In it Platini refers to an 'instinctive mistrust of technically gifted players' and comments that Hoddle would have doubled his International caps if he had been French.Our performance against Slovakia spoke eloquently to his theme.
You could throw Platini's accusation at both Tottenham fans in particular and England fans in general. Take our attitude to, say, Modric before he proved that not only was he up to the rigours of the Premiership but was a footballing genius as well although this was pretty apparent even before he arrived. So too with the adulation of Palacios, who undoubtedly filled a need that we have had for some time but needs to moderate his aggressiveness and improve his positive role and in my view has been vastly overpraised. Its been pointed out to me that he has not yet picked up a yellow card so perhaps Harry has had a word. Last season he picked up 12 and the resulting three reds.
The doubts about Huddlestone, another player capable of greatness, the failure to appreciate the contribution of Jenas especially now we have Palacios to measure him by and the idea that Crouch is the answer to all our striking problems gives support to Hoddle's misgivings about British football.
The idea that Lennon, Defoe, Keane, and Modric lack the power and strength necessary to form an attacking force is ridiculous to anyone who has seen them play. What they lack in physical stature they make up for in skill, pace and determination. Dos Santos suffers perhaps from the same misgivings though there are dark mutterings about off the field attitude and conduct. It doesn't stop him running riot for Mexico though and hopefully with Modric out for a couple of months he might at least get the chance.
Picking Heskey before Defoe might strike closer to home and encapsulates the whole argument. What a dire game until Lennon Defoe and Milner came on. A team and a game of mind numbing ordinariness with barely a spark of life. Even Rooney bored himself into incompetence and missed two sitters ,one from a Lennon cutback. A flash of genius from Defoe was needed to win it, again from a one, two with little Aaron.
Hoddle raises crucial questions about coaching and attitudes which in a sense can never be resolved even if they fill the void for the moment.Winning the World Cup in '66 probably set us back 50yrs in terms of facing up to the challenge of new skills, new Nations, and new techniques and tactics.
We are still suffering the consequences of becoming World champions employing our traditional values of strength and effort. Martin Peters was described as 20 yrs ahead of his time. Make that 40. The World moved on but we did not.The arrival of foreign players has undoubtedly raised our vision of the game amongst both players and supporters though in my view it has been overdone.
It seems strange that at a club with a tradition of playing good football,quick interpassing, ball mainly on the ground, not just winning but winning well and all that, we should decry our quick and clever players and demand 'midfield destroyers', more players like Palacios rather than more like Huddlestone and Jenas who are criticised because they are not him.
Meanwhile thankyou Glen for helping us to bridge the gap and lets hope that both Defoe and Lennon start on Wednesday, but I'm not holding my breath. If Heskey starts I might just offer to nip down to Morrison's for Mrs JimmyG2 to get some paint and we can watch it dry together. And they say romance is dead.