The Blog that's not always wrong.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Signed sealed delivered, he's ours.

Boy holding present

An oven ready, time served, Champions' League, International, top player arrived by special late delivery. A man who finished the recent World Cup Final on the losing side but with the Captain's armband; a man of impeccable credentials with a fine goalscoring record throughout his career at every level; a man that will bring distinction and quality and take a lot of pressure off Modric and Huddlestone and along with Sandro, if he is half the player his advance publicity leads us to believe, a midfield to savour.

Daniel was left counting his fingers as the transfer window 'slammed shut' at the 12th hour and counting. How we got him at that price and in what circumstances is a matter of dispute between Real Madrid.Interesting how the transfer window doesn't just close. It used to be that letters were lost in the post; then the Armstrad fax wasn't functioning; now the server is down. Soon it will be standard practise to teleport the transferred player to pitchside in full kit to confirm his transfer. If he doesn't appear check the other galaxies

Just a word of thanks to all those ITK's who gave us the head's up on this one. Not a very long list to be fair; in fact not a list at all. Never mind fellas not long until January. Close the coffin lids for a month or two. But even without their help this has been a vintage window, more a sort of Elizabethan mullioned classic than a common PVC replacement.

Sandro, whose fine reputation precedes him and who will be helped integrate by his Portugeuse speaking compatriot Gomes: Gallas who will want to prove his doubters wrong: Pletikosa as back up in goal;: a young striker from Honduras who may help Palacios to focus but at 17 is hardly likely to step up straight away. All positions that needed strengthening

The elephant in the room, or rather not in the room, is the failure to land a striker who gives us something different from those we already have. Crounch and Pavlyuchenko can't play the holding role up front whatever other qualities they have. Neither have the control or strength to give us the tactical flexibilty which might be useful away in the Premiership or in the Champions' League.

Keane prospers in a partnership and is better as a second striker. He lacks the tactical discipline to play on his own in any case. Defoe is not interested in the role; he likes to play on the shoulder and is concerned only to score, not to set others up or hold up play for the midfielders to get up in support. A commendable strikers attribute but it does not offer us the variety that Harry might prefer.

Now these four quality strikers, all proven International, would be coveted by most clubs but you need players who can fulfil the roles we need whilst pusuing four strands this year. We are going to play a lot of games under varying circumstances and pressures and only the lack of a strong holding striker might prove a weakness. Not that we didn't try. We were 'chasing', I use the term loosely, up to ten world class strikers from Fabiano to Ruud Van Nistelroy. However they all proved too elusive for us despite our new found status.

But the signing of Rafael Van de Vaart is perhaps the third bonus of this transfer window. The first is that we kept all our main players despite unwelcome attention from elsewhere particularly, alledgedly, on Bale. The second is that none of the players who might well be pushed to the margins by our new signings wanted to leave.Kranjcar welcomes the arrival of his new Dutch team-mate and he could well be one of those to suffer. The third is the signing of another world class player which might just give others pause for thought. We even kept one or two we didn't really want and I would imagine that the loan circus will swing into town soon.

Our real Achilles Heel however might be the limitations of Harry. Recent games indicate a rigidity of appraoich in team selection and tactics. 442 away against Young Boys was a surprise formation that unfortunately backfired. The team against Wigan could have done with a little freshening up.
Harry doesn't do rotation and is loathe to change a winning team which is one of those pearls of wisdom from the past best left in the oyster.

Now I am not ignoring our achievements under Harry or indeed our general improvement since the days of Martin Jol, with one or two blips , and at least one self inflicted wound notwithstanding.
Harry has done us proud and taken us to the inner ring of achievement, further than I and many others expected. But too hit the bull's eye we need to deploy our resources more cleverly and Ha rry is going to have to think more quickly on his feet.

If Van de Vaart is not the marquee signing we have been craving then I'm a tent peg. This has been a frustrating window but the window cleaner has been and the outlook is brighter and clearer and from where I am sitting on the window seat the peaks of the Champions' League are quite sharp in this new dawn.

Here in Madrid there is no gossip to suggest this was anything other than a good player surplus to requirements after the August signings of Ozil and others brought them to the new squad limits. And despite some doubters questioning whether we need another midfielder I just say, along with Marks and Spencers, 'this is not just another midfielder'. As Danny Blanchflower replied when the value of Glen Hoddle was questioned,
' Hoddle a luxury? It's the bad players that are a luxury'.


Anonymous said...

Not surprised that zero ITK came with info on this player. Infact the ITK's in general are losers except POTL who is a NONCE and a loser !

Anonymous said...

Although ITK can make for an interesting read it is nice to have a signing come out of the blue once in a while,and boy was this a lighting strike and half.


Darbinho said...

I'll try again as my last post hasn't appeared. Who is this mystery 17 yr old Columbian striker that is going to help our Honduran Midfielder Palacios?

Anonymous said...

Good article. Rafael Van de Vaart is an excellent signing but not one that anyone at the club actually planned for. It's not as if Harry had a specific role for him in mind and I do hope that the inevitable experiments to 'shoe horn' him in the team do not cost us too many points.

Anonymous said...

Yes, im with Darbinho, who is this mystery 17 year old that you talk of? i've searched and all the other forums and havn't found anything?

lilywhitemike said...

i dont get why everyone is saying we have to find a way of squeezing him into the team? apart from a striker, he's just what we need someone who scores goals from midfield! drop one of our rubbish forwards, stick him in the hole to create and score. can wait to see him play!!

Anonymous said...

I have pointed out after our last season failures specially to win against defensive playing teams the shortcomings of HR in applying the right tactics for each game or changing tactics during a game which doesn't go well for our team ( instead he changes only players). An obvious mistake also was the 4-4-2 against YB. It was at least naive in an away CL game with a second leg game at WHL to let our 4 defenders, placed in one line, to go as far as the middle line and been exposed to balls playing behind them. On the other hand he is excellent in dealing with the players and of course he has achieved placing the team for the CL.

Anonymous said...

Wish I had read down a bit to Anonymous (4) to see that he had already checked the forums and sites in search of this mystery and elusive 17yo Columbian striker cos I just spent a fruitless 20mins or so doing exactly the same. So Jimmy tell us WHO is this guy? and Where is he please?

JimmyG2 said...

I meant Honduran. He is Anthony Lozano a 17 yr old You tube star. Announced that he had signed and appears on Wiki (!)as a Spurs player.
But I am also told he is still on trial and has not signed. Can't get any confirmation either way.
Stand by your computers, I'm on it.

JimmyG2 said...

Re Anthony Lozano
Wiki backed up by the Sun. Oh dear!
No confirmation on THFC website. This one will run and run.
Any one know for definate either way? Or am I on my own here?

Anonymous said...

Nice one JG2.


Hazard's Band Aid said...

Good article. The downer is that there is still no killer forward, all the ones we have seem to have as many weaknesses as strengths. VDV may well supply the spark that's missing but who goes to accommodate him? Palacios yes, but not Modric as well. The only way to do it is to pull Bale back to LB, and put Modric on the left. Drop Lennon and use Dos Santos behind Crouch. And I'm hoping that Gallas becomes the leader that's badly lacking at the moment.

LemonadeMoney said...

Have faith people, I think Harry proved last year that he learns from his mistakes. He maybe went a bit gung ho against YBs away and should have freshened up after the return leg, but SAF took 3 years to get to grips with the CL.

JimmyG2 said...

Menwhile back in the real world.

Hazard's Band Aid
You only hint at the possibilities to come. It's a bit like that new flavours for Crisps they ran recently.
Modric and Vaart or Palacios and Huddlestone.
No it's not really is it.
Harry has a fine palette, does he have the experience and flair to use it?

Lemonade Money.
As you say surprised us last year and may welll do so again.

That's who he is but no clue as to where he is.
Anthony if you are reading this please get in touch.
What? He might be.

I agree there is no problem fitting him, he would be one of my first half dozen names on the team sheet..Bentley Jenas....sorry, wrong list
Gomes, Bale, Modric, Huddlestone, King, VdeV. but they can't all play all the time, that's my point.

Anonymous said...

Jimmy,could you drop by the Triffic Tottenham forum if you find out anything regarding this Honduran lad?
Much appreciated.


JimmyG2 said...

Foggy re Anthony Lozano
have left message.
Thread on Glory Glory which seems to confirm that he has signed having completed successful trial.
In Honduras packing his gear and is returning to WHL shortly.

IKnowAlanGilzean said...

I may have remembered this wrong, but I thought Pavlyuchenko play up front on his own for Russia in the 2008 Euros, with Arshavin off him? Pav was very good for much of that tournament.

His attempts at leading the line for Spurs have not been of that quality but still, perhaps VdV, like Arshavin, could unlock this qulaity in our Pav?

Of course, my memory may be faulty.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jimmy I have written a blog as you requested although we don't have much information on him,feel free to pop over anytime for a chat.

Oh and LemonadeMoney I love the user name mate makes me think of my younger days,great stuff.


JimmyG2 said...

Yes I think you're right. Wasn't that why we were after both of them?
Well we know what happened there.

I think the demands in the Premiership are different from International football.

The success of Pavlyuchenko and Crouch at International level seems to show this though I am a great fan of Pav.If he gets a run of games he will come good again.

IKnowAlanGilzean said...

Yes, fair point about the demands in the Premiership being different from International football.

I think Pav is excellent, too.

Jack McInroy II said...

Lovely quote from Blanchflower at the end.

elwehbi@ibleedhotspur said...

What I love about this signing, other than the price of course, is that he can score goals. Mod and Hudd are a fantastic pairing in the midfield, but their lack of scoring doesn't help our forwards at all. Play all 3 in the midfield and we could be in for a passing orgy!

TOY said...

Nice summary - have to say did have a good chuckle reading the so called ITK section on SC especially the Fabiano saga how some people can be so gullible is beyond me.
I do think the lack of a 'hold the ball up' type striker will bite us on the arse but overall a decent window. Even if Jenas and Pavlova are still around to rob the club blind on a weekly basis :o)

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