The Blog that's not always wrong.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Who let the dogs out?

Please close the gate.

 Well it's a dog eat dog world in the Premiership as we know but, cards on the table; sleeves rolled right up to reveal nothing but arm; chrystal ball hidden under its cloth and tea leaves thrown straight into the recycling bin, I have absolutely no idea whether Luka Modric, apparently still of this parish when I last had access to the wonderful world of the web, will be a Tottenham player come 1st. Septemeber 2011.

I set off for the beautiful Azahar coast of Spain with mere rumblings and general disquiet in London. amongst the Spurs fans, to find that the pool is cool but that the promised wiffy is decidedly iffy. When it finally whirred into action I find that Luka is apparently off to Chelsea even though Dan.Levy is playing an admirable straight bat and catagorically pledging that he will not be sold under any circumstances.

This much we know. Now Luka is going to cost somebody an arm and a leg eventually and that is precisely what Chelsea's initial offer of £22 million would have got them: just the one arm and the one leg. Now the statements seem unequivical from both Harry and Levy and from Luka that he will not request a transfer.

End of story; nothing to see here; five minute wonder; move on. But of course Tottenham have form here and I have predicted for some time that any offer for Bale or Modric in the £35 million area would cause at the very least minor tremors in the Lilywhite eco-system if not a major quake and resulting transfer tsunami.

For some, including me, the selling of any of our key players but especially Modric is the litmus test of where we are today. We are not talking mere aspirations here but solid achievements over several years culminating in our thrilling Champions' Leaguer run last season.

We are in a dfifferent place now from the days of Carrick and Berbatov. To sell Modric, Bale, Van Der Vaart, Sandro, add your own 'must keeps' would be to confirm that nothing has changed and that we are still the hand maidens of the the old and new top four. Chelsea fancy our delightful Croation temptress for the Harem so send her up without delay.

Great thanks O mighty Russian oligarch. Please feel free to walk all over us; to sully our dignity; we hasten to obey; the privilege is all ours. The price? Whatever you feel able to give your Abramovichness. It's not on; it won't do and it will finally shatter the pretence that we are ready to take our place once again amongst the European elite.

Now some may argue that Modric or whomsoever are not indispensible and that the money would buy us what we really need, a top striker, and that we have midfieders enough and to spare. A 'Never mind the quality: feel the width' kind of attitude.But if you aspire to the top you need top quality players not just to get there but to stay there.

Modric is just such a player. Topping up with the Parkers of this world, decent player though he might be just doesn't cut it at this level leaving aside the message it sends to our rivals and as importantly the fans.After the pronouncments of Harry and Levy would we ever trust them again. Would it spell the end for Redknapp and ENIC as far as the fans are concerned?

I'm not sure that the scenario painted by the Modric interview rings true in any case. Did he hammer on a journalist's door to make a clear unsolicitated declaration of his love for Chelsea, his regret at leaving Spurs and his undying gratitude to Harry?

No he did not. Interviewed on holiday on a boat he responded to leading questions such as
'Would you like to play for a club that is regularly in the Champions League and is London based?
Perm any one from two here. What my legal contacts call 'leading qustions' and the inevitable spun replies. Notice the subliminal reference to 'a boat'. Doesn't that nice multi billionaire Mr. Abramovich have a boat?

Now the Internet is down again and by tomorrow we may have lost the battle already. So the pool and the beach it is and fingers crossed for later. It will be slow progress until the £35 million threshhold draws near.(Upped to £25 million today apparently. So that's another bit of Modric secured.

The attack dogs of the Premiership, and you know who you are, will have moved away for the moment to consider their positions and lick their wounds. But they can smell our fear as all dogs apparently can and will be back before long. We are relying on the integrity of Mr. Levy and hoping that his football cap takes precedence over his business bowler to keep the circling hyenas at bay.

Past events make us jittery and quite rightly so. But we don't have to sell and if we are serious about our current status we should not. Modric is already back-tracking from his interview saying that he would only move to Chelsea if Spurs negotiated such a deal. So who let the dogs out? Was Modric just seeking reassurance? Did he need to feel the love? Or was it his agent seeking a new contract?

The whole thing stinks to me of jounalistic manipulation perhaps with Chelsea's involvment but that could just be me being paranoid. Rumours are circulating of a £32 million bid. The threshhold is nigh. Did I read that Real Madrid want Sandro? And so the moving finger having writ moves on. The dogs of war come sniffing round again

Only another 2 months and 10 days to go in this window. More than enough time to buy a couple of strikers and dispense with the services of players not up to it but not Luka Modric. He is now our touchstone; our talisman and our symbol of ambition.Throw the coyotes a bone but not one of Luka's.

It's going to get worse before it gets better whatever Mr.Levy, Mr Redknapp or even Mr.Modric. say I'm afraid. The dogs are off the leash; it's open season on our key players and the two Manchesters haven't even stirred yet, just sleeping in their kennels with their noses in the water bowl and one eye open.


Dave said...

"But if you aspire to the top you need top quality players not just to get there but to stay there."

Quite. And not for all the Roubles in Russia could we attract a player of Luka's quality to the club if we let him go...not without Champions' League football. Who we keep will be far more important than who we buy in this window, as we simply don't have the pulling power to buy better players than the best we already have.

mikey said...

Very well writen, I agree with you. The Daily Mail have always writen shit about us, I think they have a Woolich wanderer working for them who enjoys stirring things up.

who framed ruel fox? said...

Very well written and thoughtful piece, Jimmy. But I wouldn't expect anything less.

'two Manchesters haven't even stirred yet, just sleeping in their kennels with their noses in the water bowl and one eye open.'

Very poignant.

What do you mean did I just skip to the end?

Bloody cheek.

IKnowAlanGilzean said...

Good one Jimmy. I think of chelsea as a mangy ker with a very pretty but stolen dog coat.

I think (perhaps arbitrarily!) only at 40 million should Levy start to twitch. But no matter how much money we have it will be very difficult (not impossible - we signed Berbatov and Modric himself, and recently Sandro)to find someone of similar quality to replace him without CL football... and having just sold our best player.

Whether we keep Luka or not, we need to find one or two more Berbatovs, Modrics, Sandros - class on the way up and just off the radar of the richer clubs.

JimmyG2 said...

Agree that who we keep is as important as who we sign.
It was touch and go this year but we cannot stand still.

He seems to be succeeding.

No problem.
I only read the comments on yours. Don't usually bother with the article.
Did I say that out loud?

Easier said than done unfortunately.

elwehbi@ibleedhotspur said...

Every player is available for a price... statement made by the Chairman or not. I just hope that price won't be Luka going to Cheatski for 20 million with D. Sturridge coming to Spurs on loan.

Deja vu?

JimmyG2 said...

They seek him here: they seek him there; they seek el whebi everywhere.

Wherever you've been el it's made you very pessimistic.
More like £35 million and Sturridge on loan wouldn't be all bad.

elwehbi@ibleedhotspur said...

I can't help it J!

It comes with age.

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