Harry checking the credentials of our striker recruits
Two points from nine but only one defeat in the last eleven Premiership games. Statistics are easy to present but it's the conclusions that you can draw from them that are difficult. Another striker blank sheet to put on the pile which at the moment you need a small stepladder to access. I'm getting the lightweight extending aluminium one out of the garage just in case.
In the Premiership our four strikers have scored between them; all together that is; adding all their contributions up; combined as it were, the same as Bale and less than Van der Vaart. Our four nominal front men have scored 7 goals between them in the Premiership; five of them by Pavlyuchenko. I know, I know, strikers are not just about scoring goals but it's not a bad starting point for assessing their qualities.
Lennon saved our proverbial streaky at Newcastle with a late equaliser. Darren 'the tweet' Bent made the weekend less gloomy by scoring on his debut, again, to give Villa a narrow victory over City. He was 'over the moon' apparently. Seems to spend a lot of the time on the Dark Side that boy.
We are still in touch but if Chelsea win on Monday we are in danger of slowly slipping off the ledge, sliding soundlessly below the waters, and generally disappearing from the limelight back to the edges of mid-table mediocraty from whence we came. We are a single point ahead of Sunderland. We are 4th in the form table over the past six games but of our rivals only Chelsea are below us. We seem to be at a point of delicate balance at the moment.
Harry,' I'm not a wheeler dealer' Redknapp is in the process of swapping Kranjcar for Piennar. To what end I wonder. Perhaps we might make a million on the deal but in playing terms is there much to choose between them.? On yesterday's showing not a lot. In my view it was a mistake to put him straight on ahead of Kranjcar after so little time to acclimatise to his new club. But he did alright and hopefully will improve.
In the light of yesterday's results Arsenal and Man.Utd look to be the title contenders both winning with ease. At the moment we are only 'possibles' for top four. We might have to set our sights on winning the Europa Cup next season if we don't win the Champions' League this. However with 16 matches to go anything can happen but the trends are so-so.
The extent of Bale's injury or Ekotto's are unknown at the moment but this could seriously limit our ambitions if their absence is prolonged. These two have been almost ever present in the team for the past two seasons. You could argue that Bale has been overplayed as he has been struggling with the back problem for several weeks according to Harry. We're back to judicious rotation again.
Lennon made the switch to left wing yesterday and his quick burst inside, which is normally his quick burst outside on the right, cut out two Newcastle defenders trying to show him down the line and set him up for an equaliser which found the very corner of the goal. That’s his second late, late intervention this season; he scored the winner at Liverpool in injury time and he seems to be getting back to form.
Neither Pavlyuchenko nor Keane were on the bench, leading ITK's to begin musing on possible departures. Keane has been in 'left luggage' so long we might have to pay a penalty charge to get him out. Crouch came on as sub for the last 10 minutes and had a hand, a head actually, in the move that produced the goal. He headed on Dawson's long ball to Defoe who passed to Lennon who scored. I think that's called an assist, once removed.
Jenas and Hutton will receive their usual abuse but both played reasonably well. Cudocini should have saved the goal but made two match savers late on and again gave a decent overall performance. Defoe was cleverly set up by a Van Der Vaart flick just before half time but Harper saved well.
Their goal was the result of a fine cross-field ball by Guthrie, extremely well taken down and finished by Collocini, a centre back who suddenly appeared on the left wing. Hutton haters will blame him for the goal. The most surprising statistic from yesterday's game was that not one yellow card was shown, not even to a somewhat 'over enthusiastic' Newcastle side.
On the transfer front with only a week to go the targets continue to mount up. Most are a tribute to the ingenuity of the media and the gullibility of the so called 'In The Knows': Suarez, Forlan. Fabiano,Van Nistelrooy, Pele, Lassana Diarra and Benzema in the last couple of days alone. Some of these are over 30 and with little chance of any pay back are unlikely to interest Daniel Levy. They are also mostly on more than Harry a week which is just not on. I slipped one in the list to see if you are awake.
Now I appreciate that the members of the 'In Harry we Trust' society will assume I'm calling for Harry's head again which I am not. I'm just looking at our situation as objectively as I can. If you want adulation of Mr. Redknapp I'm sure he has a website where you can register your complete satisfaction with the way the team is being managed.
I forecast that the fans would start getting more than restless if we lost three consecutive games but at the moment it has taken only one loss, two draws and the injury to Bale to get people on the boil. Perhaps it's the tension over the Stratford bid that's making people edgy.
What I respect Harry for above all is that he loves good football. This is what makes him a good fit for Spurs.His adulation of Modric, which I share; his delight in watching good players play, which I share; and his endorsement of the idea that good football is the route to success. This is the basis of Spurs Musings attitude too. Compare our foul count with our opponents in most matches for a concrete example of this attitude in practise.
For all this I will forgive Harry almost anything. Changing managers give a brief boost sometimes; the new manager bounce, but usually achieves little in the long run, The replacement of Benitez by Hodgson who ticked all the right boxes at Liverpool, to be in turn replaced by King Kenny is a case in point. We will have to wait and see on that one.
JimmyG2 award for the 'Silliest Transfer Window story' of the week:
Woodgate to go on loan to Arsenal. This has been firmly quashed but how could anyone have invented it in the first place?