The Blog that's not always wrong.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Strike up the band

Soccer fans blow vuvuzelas while awaiting the start of the 2010 World Cup Group F soccer match between Paraguay and New Zealand at Peter Mokaba stadium in Polokwane June 24, 2010.       REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: SPORT SOCCER WORLD CUP)
Now far be it from me to blow my own vuvuzela but it was 'Spurs Musings' wot won it. I stuck with the Spanish boys even after they lost their opening game against the Swiss. Admittedly there was some hope in there along with the expectation. In the end football was the triumphant winner against a Dutch team that claimed to have a plan to thwart the abilities of the Spanish.

We soon saw what it was: kick the Spaniards off the pitch. Van Bommel, who has made a career out of whacking proper footballers in the back of the legs, was still inexplicably on the pitch at full time and De Jong who had been banned for the semi final somehow escaped a lifetime ban for a chest high karate kick on Xavi Alonso.

Howard Webb was suckered into trying to maintain a full complement of Dutchmen for the sake of this showpiece game. That should have been the responsibility of the Dutch team and their management and in any other game they would have been down to a maximum of nine by the end. However justice was done and the best team won and, as far as the final goes, the only team that was trying to play in a football style that reflects the 21st Century.

I have to admit Spanish connections and may have been influenced by the fact that one of my daughters' income will have been significantly improved by the continued presence of the Spanish team in the competition. But my real concern is the way the game is played. Spurs to me are in the camp of Barcelona, Spain, and, dare I say it, of the current Arsenal team who strive to play the beautiful game in a beautiful and entertaining way most of the time.

The Dutch last night, and several teams in the Premiership, threaten this whole concept and it is satisfying to see skill triumph over physicality. Ironically it was Johan Cruyff who played for and managed both Ajax and Barcelona who brought the current manager Guardiola to Barca and who the Dutch will claim brought this idea of football to Spain. He must have despaired at the tactics of his countrymen.

Last season Spurs played some entertaining football and made it to the Champions' League. Like Spain and Arsenal they can be frustrating at times but virtue was rewarded with success. Spain proved that if you play the game properly you can not only compete but win. I hope that Spurs in their best traditions of pass and move, keeping the ball on the ground, retaining possession, respecting your opponent, fair play and dignity in defeat will persevere with these noble intentions and sweep to success next season.

Tom Huddlestone and Luke Modric don't need minders like Van Bommel. They need intelligent colleagues to play with them. Rather Joe Cole than another midfield destroyer in the Palacios style who incidentally was absent when we outplayed Arsenal Chelsea and Man.City, but played in the loss to Manchester Utd. and when we capitulated in the second half against Burnley. But I'm over that now, seriously.

Palacios along with Huddlestone was a key player in our success last season but he could be so much more with a positive focus. Who do you drop for another such player? Spain can be rugged at the back but they and Barcelona apparently prosper without this kind of negativity in midfield. It's just part of the dream I have for Spurs.

How much did I make on the Spanish win? Nothing, zilch, nada, diddly squat. Mine was a purely disinterested devotion to the game devoid of all commercial considerations. I have jinxed Tottenham many times with hopeful wagers and Del Bosque had begged me not to bet on his boys, so I let them win it on their own.

Let the vuvuzela's sound, the Stadium horns buzz, the lepetata deafen to acclaim a triumph for Spain, for South Africa, and for football.


Anonymous said...

I'm hearing middle of the road things about Sandro. Hoping they are wrong. But he doesn't quite sound like someone who excels in any one particular department. A good player, will be a decent player but will never be great.

- Spooky

Anonymous said...

how can you comment on sandro when you have NEVER seen the boy play???? Div!!!

Anonymous said...

It may be that Palacios is best suited to the physical battles against the likes of Stoke, Birmingham and Blackburn, whereas the Hudd/Modric midfield combination works best against the footballing teams. Teams like Birmingham seem to just target players they cant deal with (hence serious injuries to Bale and Modric) so for those sides I'd rather protect our less robust players. Wilson did have moments/games last year where he played with more attacking/creative intent - he doesnt do that enough imo and also he needs lessons in not giving the ball away or he will be a liability against the top teams.

Anonymous said...

From the clips that I have seen Sandro looks very impressive. I think Harry will quite often opt for a two defensive midfield player set up - particularly for CL matches. I am very optimistic about the player but unfortunately we are unlikely to see him until towards the end of the year.

JimmyG2 said...

Reports indicate that Sandro is quite versatile in midfield and shows both strength and skill.
He will be coming to us after a long season and as we know with Pavlyuchenko it may take him time to settle in.
Spooky clearly says 'I'm hearing'
'Decent player' is good enough for a start. 'Greatness I'm prepared to wait for.

Tactics and formation.
This is going to be the real test for Harry this year.
I think we will have to be more flexible and perhaps could do with a hold up striker to play in a 451/4231/ or whatever.
Neither Spain nor Barcelona deploy the conventional midfield destroyers and I hope that Spurs can emulate them.

who framed ruel fox? said...

Good to have you back, Jim. A just dandy post.

You all ready for the new season? I trust you've been in talks with the Malaysians about our range of bed sheets and lamp shade covers?

Mum's the word, eh?

JimmyG2 said...


Happy new season (nearly) to you.
I think you are relying on the fact that nobody but us chickens reads Spurs Musings.
If they do the secrets out.
Did I show you the Gomes 'sleepover bedroll' covered in really cute baby octopusses?
Keep it to yourself. Doh!

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