Rattle? What rattle? Just turn the radio up Harry
I hope the attitude in the Tottenham dressing room was not as condescending as the attitude on Tottenham fan-sites. If it was it might go some way to explaining the inexplicable loss to West Ham.. For 'inexplicable ' read 'understandable'. They wanted it more, they moved the ball more quickly, they played to their strengths and but for Hutton and Cudocini facing down their critics it could have been a lot worse.
Of course as we all know this was their 'Cup Final'. Well don't look now but they're engraving their names on the trophy and tying on the claret and blue ribbons. They had more possession, more corners, more shots on and off target and we committed more fouls. We had our most creative midfield on display but moved the ball too slowly to break them down. Bale, our best attacker was at left back: the back four was another makeshift arrangement, Crouch was awful and Lennon was poor.
We can't keep playing Premiership games with one eye on the Champions' League. We've got injuries but then which team hasn't. If we go out of the CL before Xmas and are mid-table then this is going to be a long, long season. The worms will start to turn on Harry who has enough tactical and team selection errors on his record to provide a lengthy charge sheet. He sounded as if he was more pleased for his friend Avram after the game then he was sorry for Spurs and its fans.
Saving Ledley for midweek and having to play Corluka in his place was a mistake. By Wednesday Gallas, Kaboul, or Ledley himself might be available. Sacrificing our one effective winger and playing him at full back was a mistake. If we don't have cover for Ekotto we should have remedied this in the summer. Playing without a defensive midfielder was a mistake. Playing one up front when we don't have the player to do it was.... But you get the picture.
We have eight points from six games after what everyone agreed was an easyish opening. We have lost two games to the bottom team in the league at the time. Where is the swagger of yesteryear? All of you who filled in 12 or more points on your predictions chart, and you know who you are, need to break out the Tippex.
We seem to be stuck in first gear with the engine misfiring. We've played well in patches, a half here and 20 minutes there. Van de Vaart is a find and he and Modric stood out yesterday but we had very little out wide. Up front the ball seemed to disappear into a black hole whenever we approached their penalty area.
Like the Arsenal game we could have pinched it, Huddlestone should at least have played Crouch in or scored himself. Greene's save from Modric was, ironically, England class but in truth we wouldn't have deserved it. We couldn't break them down, Noble and Parker bossed the midfield and we were reduced to shots from outside the area. More than this though this performance and others have been spiritless and what does that say for Harry's motivational skills.
Time to press the 'panic' button? No but we might be nervously fingering the 'beginning to get a little concerned' button. We have high quality factory fitted components in place with the addition of Van de Vaart, Sandro and Gallas. With the return of Jenas and Hutton from the workshop Pletikosa as back up in goal and to make up a fourth for bridge in the Croatian section of the team bus, we are undoubtedly a stronger squad. This is offset by the loss of form of Lennon and Palacios, and the probable retirement of Woodgate but Harry has plenty of available resources to cope on the three fronts left.
On Wednesday we have our first home Champions' League fixture against FC Twente. Reports that neither Ledley nor Gallas are fit and with Caulker out on loan at Bristol, which seems a curious decision, we are likely to see Bassong and Corluka fill in again at centre back. Ekotto and Gomes are expected to return. Hopefully we will see our executive limousine move smoothly through the gears and run all over them in style.. They were beaten in the Europa Cup last year by Werder Bremen. We need to drain any complacency from the tank and fill up with high octane commitment. Once again a win will wipe out any feelings of despondency and set us up for the weekend game against Aston Villa. Although I seem to remember saying that about the W. Ham game after Arsenal.
Now for all you signed up 'Harry can do no wrong, in Harry we trust`.members I have not called for Harry's head and I think changing managers would be counter productive: it nearly always is. But he needs to get a grip and address the problems as they appear before whatever momentum we have is wasted and we end up with Harry, Kevin and Joe pushing a broken down vehicle off the motorway onto the hard shoulder.
The old 'if you hear a rattle just turn the car radio up' just won't work at this level; or any level for that matter. So: don't start with Lennon, play people in their best positions, play players in form, concentrate on one match at a time, adapt the formation to the game and the players available, give Palacios or Sandro some pitch time and Harry don't take the praise when it's going well and duck the blame when it isn't. Bad workmen and all that.
How many 'blips' and 'just one of those days' make a crisis? From years of experience as a Spurs fan I know that it is never too early to have a anxiety attack.