The Blog that's not always wrong.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

If its not perfect it can be improved

(Article published on Spurs Community)

Let me start by paying my respects to Harry for all he has done for us and to Robbie Keane for the fine player that he is and his contribution to the club over seven years, off and on. Secondly I am happy with the position we are in and certainly prefer it to last season.

However I belong to the, 'If its not perfect it can be improved' tendency rather than the, 'If its not broken why fix it?' school of thought. Nor do I regard Robbie Keane as some sort of talisman who must play every game for fear the football gods might punish us.

I don't believe in conspiracy theories: 'must play' clauses in contracts; secret love children; incriminating photos of Harry and the like. They are the result of frustration and overheated imagination. I don't believe that Harry has favourites but chooses players for their perceived effectiveness.

We are in the Top Four but are clinging on by our fingertips. Games in hand might see us slip out out the Champions' League places. Clubs that might have been above us have made poor starts, Everton and Liverpool, or slipped up recently, Man.City and Aston Villa. We were lucky to beat Sunderland who would otherwise have gone above us. Its never a good sign when your goalkeeper is man of the match too often.

More important to me though is that we are not playing consistently well, either as a team or individually. And you cannot succeed over 38 games by riding you luck as we have lately. (Portsmouth and Sunderland spring to mind) Firstly there is the Robbie Keane situation. He is visibly off form but as captain starts every game and is then subbed regularly on the hour. Effective team formation is being sacrificed to the requirements of fitting him in.

Secondly there is the Crouch problem and though much debate on here centred around the usefulness of having a tall striker as a tactical option when required it has begun to affect the way that we play, particularly when he starts. He is like Darren Bent in that the style of football that we play is altered for the worse in order to fit him in.

Thirdly individual players are off form. Now whatever reservations you may have about Huddlestone and Jenas they have both, in general, stepped up and at the moment Wilson 'best thing since sliced bread' Palacios has not. He certainly adds an element that has been missing from the Spurs midfield but of late has appeared distracted.

His tackling is suspect, he gives away too many free kicks in dangerous positions and his passing has been poor. In a 442 formation he should play in the centre of the midfield, with Huddlestone to the left and Jenas to the right. At the moment the backup widely deemed vital to be purchased in January could well be his replacement.

Without Lennon and Modric who give us width and creativity we need Kranjcar to operate on the left, with Bale as a possible substitute if we need more pace. We seem more effective when we play 442 with Keane, if he has to start, up front with Defoe. Crouch should be an impact sub alternated with Pavlyuchenko while he is still here. Defoe and Pavlyuchenko could also be tried in order to establish the most effective partnership.

Dawson and Woodgate should be the first choice centre backs while Bassong is injured and King should be backup until his recent spate of injuries on top of, or because of his ongoing condition, is sorted out.

What am I trying to achieve? A more effective team, playing more fluent football securing even greater success. The table doesn't lie, we are doing very well but in my view with the team, the players and manager that we have we could be doing better and be more secure in our challenge at the top. With Modric and Lennon to return and a better balance to the squad this should certainly be possible.

What we need are minor adjustments, a little fine tuning, far less than the wholesale import of new players demanded by some in January who may or may not integrate into the team and the Premiership. We cannot just hope for the best or rest on our laurels.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

JimmyG2, in your title, do you mean "its" or "it's"? And do you really mean "prefect"?

Or are you just making a subtle point about things that aren't perfect and need improving? ;)

Mark said...

I agree except for Hudd and Jenus. For me they are not top four players and that is why Palacios a struggling because the above two mentioned are hardly in the game. Hudd is to slow and Jenus cant pass and slows the game down when in possesion. Jenus must go and be replaced by a world class midfielder. Hopfully Hudd can get quicker.

JimmyG2 said...

Anon 15:53
Thankyou for your observation. Me subtle? Its a typo.
But hey nobody's prefect are they.

Anonymous said...

Nice :)

JimmyG2 said...

Mark
I quite like the combination of JJ,Huddestone and Palacios in theory. Not sure I would blame Palacios poor form on anyone else but himself.

Jenas retains possession even if it means going backwards. All quality players do it and all quality teams. Retain the ball until you can pass forward to good effect.

Which world class midfielder will come to us until we get into the Champions League? Its the old Catch 22.

elwehbi@ibleedhotspur said...

Quality piece JimmyG2!

Our lack of consistency is what's upsetting our potential at times. In my opinion, that is mostly due to the fact that Harry tends to slot players - which he favors - out of position (i.e. Jenas on the left, Keane on the left, etc.).

Without Modric and Lennon, it seems that the boys up front spend a lot of time waiting around for creative passes to find them open for the attack (i.e. Sunderland @ the Lane).

Maintaining the 4th spot is going to be extremely difficult, but hey, no one said it would ever be easy! COYS!

billiospur said...

diego capel....

keane is not the player he was unless he connects with a berbatov etc....he still dangerous....against hull etc
i wonder if redknapp can settle the team shape
for consistency reasons.....we have two sides at spurs.....

at the moment we are needing our creative force back....modric lennon....

want our passing game back ....crouch is easy option to send the long ball game.....

for me attacking wingers with flare

capel and lennon.....

we played too deep against arsenal

harry tactics may be confusing the keanes etc..

they are not moving right off the ball

Morningoil said...

QFT.

JimmyG2 said...

Morningoil
Thankyou.

billiospur.
Welcome back. Capel was a rumour last year and is one again this year. Think he is an unlikely buy for Harry.
We have plenty of left sided players; Modric,Kranjcar,Bale,O'Hara(on loan at the moment) and some left sided youngsters Gio, Bostock,Townsend included.

TMWNN said...

Nothing new here.

I can only be led to believe that you, JimmyG2,(just like Harry Redknapp is) are letting your misguided and unconditional favouritism for certain players cloud your judgement.

In Harry's case, as you've correctly stated, it's the inclusion of Keane and Crouch that is detrimental to the team as whole, and this must be addressed soon if we are to have a chance of staying fourth.

In your case it's your continued belief that both Jenas and Huddlestone are good players who deserve a place in the side.By doing this you're guilty of exactly the same charge you accuse Redknapp of, and even though your ideas are clearly ill-considered, we both know it's too late for you to go back on your erroneous words. The only 'out card' left in the deck for you is to shift the burden of blame onto, the admittedly below par (but still far better than the two jokers in your deck) Palacios.

Tut, tut. Shame on you.

JimmyG2 said...

TMWNN

I would have pleaded guilty as charged M'lud.
But the prosecution seem to have dropped the case by admitting that Palacios their chief witness is unable to attend the trial as he is indisposed.
Case dismissed.

I certainly think that many Spurs fans were so desperate for a new Dave Mackay that they were prepared to annoint anyone who played in anything approaching the same style.
I think that it was a bit premature in Wilson's case but he is one of ours and I have high hopes for the boy.
Modric,Kranjcar,Huddlestone,Palacios,Jenas and Lennon is a formidable range of options and I would be happy to see any rotation of 4 from these 6 to suit the occasion.

scott said...

The only occasions that I can conjure up that would be suitable for 2 of the above mentioned 6 are: A game of snap, hide and seek or painting by numbers. Gawd knows they've had enough practice on their arms.

I make you right about the premature crowning of Palacios, but I believe he's infinitely more useful to us than England's latest tattooed two that were called up purely to make up the numbers.

There is a case for Huddlestone in certain games, and to a lesser extent, so too Jenas, but we're dealing with egos here that are far too precious to believe anything other than what they read in the Hotspur magazine.

There is no way at this stage in their careers that either of this deluded duo is going to put up with a lengthy period on the bench. We have to play one or the other as we've failed at every opportunity to buy better, which in turn, fuels their delusional thoughts of competence.

"There is no-one better who will play for little ol' Tottenham" is how the argument goes. Bullshit! That is undoubtedly the logic belonging to a fool. Jenas has overstayed his welcome by at least 2 seasons, if not 3. Big Tom is having a stay of execution owing to his age, but the odds of him getting any quicker ,mentally or physically, are not good, in fact they're longer than a pair of the bean pole's long Johns.

Our failure to address this position season after season is not only costing us the opportunity to get amongst the 'big boys', but also costing each and every manager that fails to see it his job.

Redknapp has bought in one half of a 'top' centre midfield pairing, he now needs to finish the job that should have been completed in the summer.

JimmyG2 said...

scott

I like your style and your passion even if it is negatively aimed at two players that I have spent too long defending over the last couple of seasons.
I'm not sure what I will do with the big Jenas and Huddlestone shaped hole my life if they ever move on.
I think we are going to have to disagree, though you argue your case well, if a little flamboyantly.
Jenas is irritating in that he promises so much but he still delivers enough to please both England and Spurs managers over a number of seasons.
Huddlestone is a class player with youth(ish) on his side. We could just save him for CL matches next season.

JimmyG2 said...

Why, when we have done so well since Harry came does everyone want to go back to the bad old days of the player roundabout,of bringing in newcomers who may or may not settle into the team or the Premiership.
This policy bought us little or no reward over two decades
With Lennon and Modric back we have a team good enough to get into CL this year.
Stability is working at the momentand I include managers as well as players.

TMWNN said...

JimmyG2

Having to spend too much time defending the two players in question ought to tell you something.

Don't tell me, only you and Postman Pat have the vision to see their real qualities, right?

JimmyG2 said...

TMWNN
The Postman Pat reference escapes me but I am consulting my grandchildren.
I am not going to play into your hands and defend two of our best players again.Jenas and Huddlestone....
DOH!

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