The Blog that's not always wrong.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Clutching at straws

The three of us can reckon
That the Champions' League would beckon
If we could only score some goals.

How many straws can you clutch at the same time? And how many straws if successfully clutched will keep you afloat? There are plenty of straws in the wind, but some are more elusive than others.

The first straw was that if we won all three of our last fixtures everything would magically come good and we would not be punished for our failure to beat the bottom six clubs. That straw disappeared on Tuesday night at Eastlands. Crouch the hero last year in this fixture was fittingly the villain of the piece with an own goal. Somebody up there hates us.

We had more shots and more possession but as they only needed a draw this was not surprising.  Lennon set up two gilt edged chances but Modric missed his and Piennar's was very well saved. They had good chances too and two excellent saves by Cudocini and a saving header by the hobbling Gallas kept us in with a chance.

Our next fixture is away against Liverpool our rivals for 5th and Europa league soccer for next year. Whoever arranges these fixture has a nice sense of timing.. So let's clutch again and ponder a victory against a resurgent Liverpool for the first time since 1985. They may well knock the stuffing out of us on Sunday.

The third straw is the forlorn hope that one of our strikers, anyone will do lads, paper, scissors, stone to decide , we don't care. Sorry where was I? Oh yes pondering the box of straws....that one of our strikers would suddenly and miraculously start putting them away. Defoe has threatened to once or twice but basically that's another straw down the drain.

The fourth straw was that Gareth Bale, no pun intended, oh go on then, magically restored to full fitness would return and recapture his Milan form and lead us to 4th. Well he hasn't been anywhere near fit and Charlie Adams crushed that particular straw and kicked it neatly into the waste basket.

Let's take another straw from the box. This one has Palacios returning to link up again with Sandro as they did so well at Milan. This one had a hole in it before half time at Man. City. Another player returning too soon from injury and out for the rest of the season.

Harry is in the process of convincing himself and us that it was 'the money wot won it'. Another clutch another let-down I'm afraid. Money in the form of investment is always handy but it wasn't the Man. City billions that got them to fourth but our one win in 10 finish to the season recently in the Premiership and our failure to put away the bottom teams. The bottom teams are bottom for the very good reason that they are not as good as the top teams.

The final straw is that we will qualify for Europe via the Fair Play League. This one actually has more substance than the others. Ironically we have all but convinced ourselves that we don't want to qualify anyway to give ourselves a clear run at the Top Four.

But if we aim to play in Europe at whatever level we have to learn to cope with midweek fixtures and learn to deploy the squad better. The Europa will give us this opportunity. I am not so sure that we are in a position to pick and choose. One man's short straw is another man's golden chance.

So: no new Stadium to generate income; no billionaire to indulge his hobby; no fat wages or transfer fees to attract the top mercenaries. But we got into the top four without any of these and my personal straw is that we can do it again. Let's hope that our heroes turn out to be more than one season wonders and that the ' the men of straw can turn themselves into 'Iron Man' clones.

.We need to to sort the wheat from the chaff in the summer but mass clear-outs seldom happen and rarely work, either of players or managers. A straw poll of Spurs fans would probably show that Harry has done more than enough to earn another season despite the noise made by his minority of detractors.

The straw that they are clutching is that ending our season with 3 consecutive losses will provoke Levy into sacking Harry and that Ancellotti or Mourinho will arrive to replace him. This is not so much a straw as a wet paper tissue and though you might just about build a raft with straws the chances of building one with wet paper tissues are nil.

We have had ample opportunity to clinch 4th or even higher but our form in the last third of the season has just not been good enough. Billions are not the only reason for success. Ask Birmingham who we play in our last game and who are as close to relegation as your average billionaire can endure.

New stadiums generate income but not necessarily the atmosphere of White Hart Lane. Top money doesn't always produce better players: Dzeko and Chamakh anyone? I am sure that you can all nominate plenty of players for the 'Most Expensive Flop' of all time award. I'll give you Torres for a starter.

Let's exploit what we have, including our youngsters. The re-emergence of Rose is a straw in the wind at least. Caulker, Townsend and Walker are shaping up and hope never actually killed anyone despite what they say.


Anonymous said...

Jimmy if you new me has a peson you would no i don't talk bull shit i live twelve miles from Liverpool and god knows i to;d you why there was so many shocks. You choose to disbelieve me even though Paddy Kenny a goalkeeper Kolo Toure both failed a drugs test for drugs that makes you tackle all day and save all day . You mentioned Liverpool well they are the team who i discovered using lets say methods that can make them play like they have lately not like the West Ham and West Brom games but Newcastle and Fulham games . I wont mention names but this is common in the north an north west and Everton and Liverpool surging up the table did not surprise me one bit. This was all down to Max Bernstien who was Man CITY EX CHAIRMAN When he took over the FA against all the odds we where sunk because when Toure failed a drugs test for energy drugs and he blamed is wife we where sunk and this is why we drew against teams desperate for points and i new City would claim fourth. lIVERPOOL are not back they are just energised like Everton West brom even Man UTD joined in and i am sorry to say its rife where i come from even in teams who dont get paid , So please dont qoute Liverpool where i am because i no wher they get there stamona from and like Jay Spearing said its not from hard training but Toure top up

Anonymous said...

A significant generalisation but most of these Spurs blogs are crap. This article, however, is accurate, insightful and entertaining. More to the point, I agree with it. Well done sir.

Anonymous said...

for goodness sake. the bottom 6 six clubs are a couple of points behind the next 6 clubs. what difference does it make? when we got 6 points from villa, they were in bottom six, but you ignore that. if you swapped the results vs the bottom 6 with the results vs the next 6, we'd still have the same number of points.... does it make any difference? no. Liverpool are above us, but have a worse record against bottom half than we do. city are not much better than us at that. nor arsenal. stop ignoring it and accept that playing in the CL is hard, and that cost us 4th place. Spurs has never played in it before. Harry and Levy are new to it. And nearly every player at the club is new to it. we expected tough season and got it

Anonymous said...

22:56 The point is perfectly valid. Redknapp blames it squarely on the money. It is not City's investment that cost us dropped points against Wigan, West Ham, Blackpool etc. It is undeniable that Spurs have still not shaken off our penchant for lowest-common-denominator football...raising our game to more than match some of the world's best club sides and then lowering it to the standard of the Premiership's dross the following week. THAT is what has cost us a Champions' League place in a season when it has never been more there for the taking.

Anonymous said...

The responsibility has to be with Redknapp. When we are going well he boasted that we had the strongest squad in the country, and we certainly have one of the largest. It is his inability to manage these resources effectively that has cost us dear. His team selections and substitutions have been inconsistent and baffling, constantly tinkering with all areas. He now has to face up to the fact that the squad is not a strong as he thought and get rid of the dross, including the permanently injured passengers.

Anonymous said...

Aside from the debate about whether Redknapp is a good manager or we could do better, I cant stand the bloke personally and would be delighted if he departed, pref to ruin Chelsea, alternatively removed by the Courts or if not by Levy.

I think he is an embarassment to the club with his constant seeking of attention and willingness to comment on anything football related, self promotion, spinning the truth etc.

All he cares about is Harry Redknapp, his image and making as much money as possible.

He has no genuine feeling for the club, its fans and its history (Ie winning the UEFA Cup and even the 5th place finishes under Jol or the actual piece of silverware under Ramos).

Now he calls anyone who doesnt subscribe to the 'Harry is the best thing that ever happened to Tottnham' bullshit as an idiot.

Oh for the plain speaking honesty (and achievement!) of Burkinshaw or the quiet dignity and love of the club of Jol.

The clown ought to accept that if he wants the glory of our top 4 finish and CL run he can also take the blame for our pathetic run of form.

JimmyG2 said...

Anon 09:59
Totally agree that if he wants the glory he has to accept the shame.
Fans are forever, managers, players and even owners are temporary.

Anon 23:47-
I don't disagree with you but we have done quite well under Harry.

Anon 22:36
I'm just taking the bottom six at any time as the poorest teams in the league that we should find easier to beat then Arsenal or Milan.
The fact that we don´t is a puzzle.
It used to be attributed to lack of 'mental strength', then to the lack of 'winners' in the team.

I have never said that you were wrong but I repeat if you have any evidence then present it to the relevant authorities.
Aren't all teams randomly drugs tested at frequent intervals?

Anon 22:51

Agreed. Thankyou.

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