The Blog that's not always wrong.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Reflections

                                 Aagh! We just sold Modric!

Do you wake up at night worrying about things that probably won't happen, or that you can do nothing about? Do you keep checking the final Premiership League table? Do you scour the headlines to see if we had accidentally played 12 men against Man.City? Welcome to the wonderful world of Tottenham Hotspur, the club whose fans can never sleep. I was beginning to relax and enjoy the prospects of a summer of football, thinking warm thoughts of 4th place and of beating Arsenal, Chelsea and Man.City within 10 days. But now I've moved on and found new sources of concern eager to wake me up in the early hours in a cold sweat. Remember friends it's never too soon to start worrying

. Suppose some of our large International contingent get injured?. Will Luka go to Inter or Man.Utd or, even as I type, to Chelsea? Who will come in? Will they upset the balance of the squad? Will Joe Cole be content to play second fiddle to Modric if he stays? Who will we blame if JJ goes? Will the new stadium be built before I join Bill Nick in the sleep that dreams can't disturb?

I've recovered from Burnley and starting to get things back into perspective now. The whole season was played under the shadow of our 'difficult run-in'. The computer and fixture changes had thrown up the three top teams in succession and what turned out to be our rivals for 4th in the space of our last five games. I thought that we would need to be well ahead of the chasing pack by that point or we would be facing the prospect of scaling an Icelandic volcano in full flow.

This turned out to be a completely wrong assessment and we were propelled by the adrenaline of success, desire and hurt pride to win 9 of our last 11 eleven games including Arsenal and Chelsea in the same week. By the time we came to our last supposedly easy fixture it was all over. We beat Man.City in the pre- Champions' League qualifier for the play off round of the Champions' League and Burnley, already relegated, beat us in style but it didn't matter. It still irritates, but let it go Jimmy, let it go.

The defeat in the Cup semi final served to galvanise rather than depress us and the wounded animal analysis applied. Instead of retiring to our lair to die alone and in shame or to be torn apart by the bigger beasts in the Premiership jungle we bared our teeth and sent them all packing. Well most of them . There was Burnley of course but I'm over that now. Seriously, I am.

My confident belief that we would make 4th or even higher was certainly tested to breaking point by injuries to key players and lapses against what might be regarded as inferior teams particularly those that haven't yet been introduced to the concept of football. Our ability to fill the gaps left by the periodic absence of Ledley; the long term injury to Woodgate, the injuries to Modric and Lennon; the late season absences of Corluka, Jenas, and Ekotto were all overcome by players stepping up or rediscovering their form, especially Gomes. In turn Bassong, Bale, Bentley, Kranjcar, Kaboul, Gudjohnsen and Pavlyuchenko, three of whom were inspired signings by Harry, all made light of our difficulties and gave credence to the strength in depth, strongest bench in the league, theory.

However we go into the close season with one or two potential problems. Firstly all our strikers have mislaid the scoring touch; secondly Palacios, who with Huddlestone was at the core of our midfield for most of the season, lost form in the final weeks of the season; thirdly uncertainty about who might come in and who might leave could destabilise the squad under the constant deluge of rumour and gossip. I fear another sleepless night.

The solution to the first two might just be the summer break though a large number of our players are involved in the World Cup. The Champions' League play offs coincide with the start of the season in mid August. There will be little chance for our key players to rest apart from the Croatians, Bale and Bentley. Injuries sustained on National Service are another worry. Insomnia beckons.

Of course we want all our players especially our sizable English contingent to have a successful World Cup but it is more important that we make the Champions' League proper and make a good start in the Premiership as well. By the third week of the season it could all be over. Another wakeful dawn looms.. It's going to be an exciting early season but that's exactly what we wished for and you know what they say about being careful what you wish for. Clearly we need to bolster the squad but without undoing the good work and steady progress of the last few years and particularly the last 18 months under Harry.

Sandro has already signed and Cudocini seems to be making good progress. If Bale is going to play left mid-field we need back up for Ekotto. If Woodgate doesn't recover possibly another centre- half although Corluka, Huddlestone and Kaboul can all play there if necessary as back-up to King, Dawson and Bassong. If Jenas, O'Hara, Gudjohnsen and even Keane stay, we seem to have enough mid-fielders of decent quality hanging around the place.

Our key need is for an experienced striker who could give us the tactical flexibility of playing 451 away from home or against certain types of opposition. Many exotic names have been proposed and no doubt many more will follow during the summer transfer window. I make my plea once again to go for a Premiership ready signing rather than a player new to the country who will take time to settle. Time is not on our side at the start of the new season.

We don't want Darren Bent back and Milito after last night probably won't commit.. However there is one player who had a very good season for a club which though not our equals beat us twice. Gentlemen, I give you Kevin Doyle. Skilful, hardworking, able to hold the ball up while support arrives, with International experience, a strike rate of 1/3 and at 26 ready to step up to the big time. We could do a lot worse and possibly will. I bid you all good night and sweet uninterrupted dreams.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've talked about Doyle with my Wolves mate and he's really hoping he stays under the radar. He's their best player and reminds me of a Keane pre-boyhood-clubs-pointy-shouty-bloke.

MYSpurs said...

Id agree with Kevin Doyle, Although if we were to get him. Will he start ahead of Defoe/Pav/Crouch ? Keano im sure would leave this summer but heck im not gonna miss him :D

Anonymous said...

Let's hope and pray that we can get Dzeko. He's a big, strong, goal machine who can lead the line when we play the mandatory 4-5-1/4-3-3 in the Champions League.

Anonymous said...

Champions League teams should look for CL quality players...is Doyle that good?

Anonymous said...

Burnley,( twitch,twitch,) I'm over that one to honest.

But in all seriousness,I believe you're correct in you observation of our under qualified striking department,and a need for a top man to come in and drag us through games such as Stoke,Hull(home)Wolves,and then the Man UTD's and other members of the infiltrated big four,especially away from home.

Although I also would like a power house of a midfielder such as YaYa Toure,alas I see him being a part of some deal involving Fabregas.

On a lighter note If we continue to improve at a relevant pace and learn from passed mistakes,Burnley,Wolves,Stoke,Everton ( twitch,twitch,)sorry about that,then we should be challenging for the title next time round.COYS.

Foggy.

Anonymous said...

'Arry has said on numerous occasions that he still viewing Bale primarily as a full-back. Also, even if he does transfer to the wing full-time, if we still have Kranks and Modders it isn't going to be any harship to move him back if BAE is injured.
And Kaboul is a centre-half. he was played out of positon to cover for injuries both in midfeild and as full-back, but that doesn't actually make him a midfielder or full-back.

JimmyG2 said...

My view is that
1) Dzeko will have bigger options than Spurs.

2) That Doyle is good enough. He has had a successful season in the 'toughest league in the world'(blah blah blah)is Premiership proven and ready.

3) Would I prefer Dzeko or Milito or Torres or Drogba?
Briefly YES. But they won't come to us yet so we need to bide our time and make progress.
As I point out we need to get things sorted pretty quickly as the World Cup will disrupt the summer signings.

4) I fear that Pavlyuchenko will go rather than Crouch, Keane will go and Doyle would play when we need to go 451 for for tactical reasons.
In that sense he's not displacing anyone, more like Gudjohnsen he gives us different options.

Foggy
Chelsea are pretty solid but both Arsenal, without Fabregas and Man.Utd with an ageing squad could be vulnerable. So that's only second then.

Anonymous said...

Swap Keano for Doyle

Anonymous said...

Get a new c/half don't think woody coming back looking at what we have got to do next season I would go for proven prem class Christopher samba 28 good age get him for about 10/12mill forward not sure leave that one to harry players to go keane Hutton ohara

TMWNN said...

Get Doyle and one other. Keane won't be coming back, and Pav will go home. LB, RB and CB too.

Sell (along with Keane and Pav):

Jenas (at last!)
O'Hara (too big for his boots)
Dos Santos
Taarabt
Hutton (good cover for Corluka but Redknapp evidently doesn't like him)

JimmyG2 said...

TMWNN
Was very impressed with Dos Santos last night.
Quick, clever,linked well.Would play well with Modric. Would like to see him back.
Keane is not a done deal yet apparently.
Jenas. nuff said.

I thought that the Doyle suggestion would get more abuse.

TMWNN said...

JimmyG2

Dos Santos has not really had a fair crack of the whip yet, has he?

Depending on who you believe, he was apparently a bit overly partial to the grape, hence his reservation on the midnight express out of London.

I'd like him to stay, but it looks to me as though it's just one of those situations that isn't (for a number of reasons) going to work out.

LemonadeMoney said...

Jimmy, thanks for keeping us level headed and fearing the best over the last season.
Bobby Zamora?
Prem experience, tick.
European experience, tick.
Strong target man, tick.
Used to play for Spurs, tick.

JimmG2 said...

LemonadeMoney.
This is a logical and sensible suggestion which did occur to me but I just dismissed it but can't explain exactly why I did so.
In classic 'manager' mode I just don't fancy him.
Probably because of the memories of his former career at Tottenham.
As you say he ticks all the boxes.

LemonadeMoney said...

Yep, it was slightly tongue in cheek, but I have been really impressed with his performances in europe this season. A truely world class player who I think could be within our reach (because of age), who I would like to see at the Lane is Clarence Seedorf.

JimmyG2 said...

LemonadeMoney
Stop it now.
You are trying to tempt me into transfer speculation and as you well know I just don't do it. Never have, never will.
But since you ask he's 34 for goodness sake and hasn't been that brilliant in the last couple of years.
One time great but now? Do we need the 'Davids' effect now that we have a developing and cohesive squad? Could it be more disruptive than an advantage? I'm speculating but I have my doubts.

galvin was god said...

'But they won't come to us yet so we need to bide our time and make progress'. I get the sense we've been biding our time for long enough ( a quarter of a century approximately). do we want to participate in the champions league - or compete ? we should be stalking the players mentioned to the point of a restraining order- you could add bellamy and tevez to the list too if you like. to hell with mediocrity - our time is now.

JimmyG2 said...

Galvin wgs
I feel your need man BUT now is not the time.
Tevez won't come, wages, promises from Mancini etc. The Manchester situation too, he won't let Sir Alec have the last laugh.
Bellamy is a scumbag, good player but too disruptive, too old, too injury prone as well.

We do not have a mediocre squad and are not actively pursuing average players if we are actually pursuing anyone in particular.
We've waited this long lets do it right.

I'd have Tevez like a shot.

galvin was god said...

Ok jimmy I hear you I'm not saying we have a mediocre squad I've actually got time for all of them aside from Keane who was unforgivably discourteous about us when he left for liverpool and for that reason alone should be shown the door - permanently. the truth is we were down to the bare bones at a crucial point of the season without european involvement. if we are serious about winning silverware over the next 2/3 years and if the funds are available we have to buy players that are either as good as , or better than, the players we already have. the real nightmare scenario is that a year from now we are back where we were a year ago. keep up the good work.

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