The Blog that's not always wrong.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

It's good news week

The good news is that there isn't any bad news

 We started the window in the belief that 'no news is good news' but now that the Modric and Harry sagas have stalled we are beginning to change our attitude.

The bad news though is that there is no actual good news. All our best players are still with us; but so are all our not so best players too.

On the premise that bad news travels faster then the absence of reports could well be a good thing. However newspapers like nature abhor a vacuum especially during transfer windows and the phrase 'you couldn’t make it up' clearly does not apply to the sports pages, or to fan sites and blogs. Not to this one obviously.

But as Mark Twain said, If you don't read the newspaper, you are uninformed: if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed'.

Sports Report
However if you weigh up all the actual news then the balance is beginning to dip in our favour. Van Der Vaart made headline news in S.Africa scoring three times, two of them good strikes from free kicks. We won the trophy in a somewhat rigged tournament and like all good teams, allegedly, won the final game without really extending ourselves or playing consistently well.

.Defoe even scored a decent goal and Gomes confirmed that he was our best keeper. Rose continues to impress and Walker confirmed that he might be the next youngster to step up. That’s if Harry Kane doesn't make it to 4th striker. If they're good enough they're old enough in my view.

Elsewhere Kranjcar, Pavlyuchenko and Townsend made their marks and the squad even though not upgraded at the time of going to press is looking more than respectable. Our pre-season schedule is looking a bit thin but any kind of success is useful for squad morale and confidence

Hot news
On other news fronts we can begin to cross off some of our 'targets'. Let's start with the 'A's' . Hot off the press is the news that Aguerro has signed for City for £38 million and rising and Adebeyor wants £170.000 per week. So that's two down, some 300 to go.

Defoe doesn't fancy the Toon, but then what's the point of taking no goals to Newcastle.

Vucinic is still on the point of joining us for around £15 million. but as he begins with the letter 'V' it will take quite a long time before I get round to him. He might have signed before I do.

Court report
The judge in the Harry trial is ill and the hearing postponed until September. More delay; more time for speculation; more uncertainty, more papers to sell.

As you may know JimmyG2 is not a big fan of the endless witterings of the world of ITK. However Spurs Musings is pleased to announce that the American humourist Will Rogers who died in 1936 has been appointed our chief ITK correspondent on the strength of his comment, 'I only know what I read in the papers'.
He is more famous for the remark 'When in a hole stop digging' and is well worth looking up.
I'm sure you join with me in wishing him well in his new role as our roving ambassador of inside speculation.
His comment that 'Politics has got so expensive that it takes lots of money to even get beat with.' could just as easily be applied to the Premiership.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Window shopping

 Use your  credit card Daniel in case we have to return the goods.

The only people who benefit from window shopping are double glazing companies. But there's plenty going on around Spurs at the moment: window shopping that is. Now I like a nice shop window as much as the next man and if you ask Mrs JimmyG2 she'll tell you it's one of my favourite displacement activities. It's getting me actually into a shop that's difficult.

Eventually though you have to take out your shopping list and cruise the aisles. Harry who used to be a bit of a shopaholic has had the purse strings tightened by Daniel and their shopping basket is looking a bit threadbare at the moment.

A couple of new untried products and something out of the bargain tub are all we have to show so far for from when Harry met Danny and went shopping. They are mainly scouring the 'exotic and foreign' sections as new regulations have led to a steep rise in the price of 'home-grown' produce.

But at least we've got some football to kvetch about now which takes one's mind off all the other peripheral matters that crowd upon us: where Harry might be this time next year; where Spurs will be (league-wise and stadium- wise); where Modric will be; where all the players in the grand clearance sale will be and which two top class strikers will be arriving to help our renewed challenge for the Champions' League.

In S.Africa the team we put out in the first half against the Kaiser Chiefs were all apparently in the shop window. The problem is that if you do that everyone can see if any of the goods are faulty.. Yes I'm talking about you Robbie Keane and David Bentley, two items that are well past their 'sell by' dates. Actually the team played more like those mannequins they drape in white sheets to prevent people seeing what the special offers are before the sale.

In a cunningly arranged tournament we managed to qualify for the final without winning a game and scoring only once. All four strikers were on show and none of them managed a goal. Van Der Vaart scored direct from a free kick for the first time in over a year and some might say that he'd had plenty of practice last season. Stand by now for much more of the same this season. Bale almost repeated the trick later.

The two S African teams play off tonight for the privilege of facing their distinguished visitors in the final but don't start measuring up the trophy cabinet just yet. I wonder if we can get this qualification system up and running for the FA. and Carling Cups.

Against the Kaiser Chiefs we were dreadful and they snatched a deserved late winner. Against the Pirates we were better with a stronger team out. Rose and Walker gave me some hope for the future. Harry shrewdly made Modric captain and he had shaken off his ankle injury to show touches of class for the first 15 minutes. Van Der Vaart is clearly going to be the main man this year; Bale made some strong runs; Dawson was reliable as usual.

We were lacking in ideas and movement and played football only in patches. In the second game Orlando dominated the second half and showed us how to pass through the midfield. They were skilful and patient and might easily have won. Friedel made a one handed flap for their goal and if it had been Gomes the fan-sites would have been steaming.

How can experienced professionals earning upwards of £40,000 per week forget how to control and pass a ball?  I got on a bike for the first time in a year yesterday and didn't fall off once.

The idea that they would be unphased about losing is laughable. Most of them would red card their own kids for a foul in a kickabout on the beach. These games are also about confidence and momentum and putting yourself in the window for Harry..

Yes I know its only pre-season; that it's more about fitness than results; that it's important for Harry to look at the squad and for the lads to re-bond. Add to that the fact that pre-season performances can be a poor guide to the season. 2 points from 8 games after a decent pre-season under Ramos tells its own story. I know all that and take it on board but we were still very poor indeed and presumably not on purpose.

If our performance in these games is in inverse proportion to our league prospects we should not just be challenging for Top Four but be runaway winners of the Premiership by Xmas. We perpetrated on our hosts the old barrow boy trick of displaying all the best fruit at the front but then serving up rubbish from the back of the stall.

So we still have several previously owned items from good, non-smoking homes and careful owners, available for cash or on easy terms. Try any offer . We might be able to do you a buy one: get one free on some items especially strikers. Don't delay as there are rumours of new stock arriving soon and we need to make some space on the shelves before it arrives.

In the meantime Harry and Daniel continue to press their noses against the glass throughout the footballing world in the hope of spotting a bargain. Or if that fails, but only as a last resort, paying good money for a genuine piece of quality.

Trawl the Malls boys and shop till you drop.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Greg Meyer's Column. Bunker Mentality

Greg down in Kent looks out from his bunker to survey the scene. There is plenty going on out on the course, but nothing as yet in the court. Harry hasn't travelled but Modric has. Speculation? Not in this column. Just the facts ma'am. Just the facts.
So, if anyone's feeling under par after our opening game in S.Africa then relax with Greg.

Saturday 16 July 2011 ... A Most Important Spurs Birthday.
Le Tour ... Le Golf ... Le Modric ... and Les Birthday Celebrations.
 Fore!! Get out of there!!
Golfing parlance for duck your head quickly. Given the relentless and monotonous barrage of stories Modric this week some of regulars have decided to take in the golf down here in Kent.
The Royal St George's at Sandwich is some fifty six miles crow flying miles from our pub so long as you drive it straight . Surely just a long drive and sand wedge for some. No sign of any Croatian golfers. Probably not a big game in downtown Zagreb. A little more on the British Open shortly but first some updates on this weeks pub conversations starting with ...
Le Tour.
 Not the one currently in the Pyrenees but a little further south in Africa. Spurs in the Vodacom Challenge. Looks like most of the current squad have managed to get on the plane. Rafa and Gareth, Aaron and Jermaine, Heurelho and Sebastien, Peter and Robbie,Wilson and Disco Benny ( replete with headphones and seems to be alone in that regard). Easier to list who didn't make it. Ledley King, and Sandro overcoming surgery, and of course one man still closetted with his legal team near Southwark.
 At the risk of being hit by a flying golf club dare we mention you know who certainly boarded the plane. Verified by thirty seven newspapers and twenty six tv channels minimum. Back to ...
 Le Golf.
 Most of our number are purely classical hackers. Even our pub journalist who doesn't work for anyone named Murdoch. What a mess and set to be an enormous story. Possibly the story of 2011. Great it might keep you know what off the tabloids. No, no chance.
 One rumour here at Sandwich was the spotting of a 64 year old golf fanatic. Known for his great love of the game perhaps thats why he's not in South Africa. 
 Our lawyer has been scanning the recent Southwark Crown Court listings and no sign of The Crown vs Redknapp and Others just yet. The closest listing  early in the week was the following...
                                       Timothy J. Dale  ... with the next defendant one James W. Arthur.
 For conspiracy theorists Arthur Daley in disguise. Then again Harry has consistently denied being a wheeler dealer unlike one of our favourites from the tv classic Minder.
On the subject of Minders, our Lucre has an Iranian agent and at the risk of incurring Terry and others wrath a quick look into conversation here at the pub on the subject ...
 Le Modric.
 Our pub's unanimous view,with mine host just back from Tenerrife for the voting,remains he is not to be released. At least not for anything under forty five million.
 Ronaldo was released by Man United  for somewhere in the region of seventy million and abroad to Real Madrid.. Their key man at the time. Modric if transferred would go English and to a rival. Apparently there is a premium for "English" players. Just ask Liverpool. So Modric should be fifty million. A player well embedded in the Premier League and not going abroad. Sorry South African safaris don't count.
 Double sorry. No he's not for sale!! Hang in there Daniel. Any support needed then there's plenty ready willing and able here ...
 At A Kent Pub.
 I suppose if Pirates, Chiefs and Spurs are to your taste then plenty of armchair sports here at our pub with the team featuring on ESPN. Our banker reckons friendlies are take it or leave it fare. Still he's not a big golf fan.
 Hopefully no surprises ahead this week. A big ask with the courting of Luka to continue and the same with our Harry in a different vein and at a far less receptive venue.
 Birthday surprises today include Gareth of Bale ,still with us at age 22 years today. In the golf Adam Scott is in the hunt and turns 31. However our favourite today is the Minsk born tennis player. Anna Smashnova turns 35 today. What a name. You couldn't make it up even if you were a tabloidal hack.
Cheers ... have a smashing weekend ... Greg Meyer.           coys.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Modric and the Media Mogul

 I hate a man who always says "yes" to me. When I say "no" I like a man who also says no

 Have Daniel Levy and Sam Goldwyn ever been seen together? Exactly. They are one and the same.

'Don't pay any attention to the critics - don't even ignore them.' ( Sam Goldwyn)
And that is exactly what I am going to do after being taken to task last time for banging on about L**a M****c. But there are lessons to be learned and inferences to be drawn beyond the everyday story of a Croatian in London.

And anyway it's the only story in N17 at the moment. So, spoiler alert , this column contains flash photography, strobe lighting and references to a footballer who seems to be rapidly getting on every Spurs fans nerves.

' A verbal agreement is not worth the paper it's written on' (Sam Goldwyn)
This has to be our starting point in this seemingly endless saga. But in the Modric, Levy showdown there is a further complication because it has been described as a 'gentleman's agreement. For this to work you need a handshake between two gentlemen.

When I want your opinion, I'll give it to you. (Sam Goldwyn)
Levy's whole schtick is in being known as a hard nosed, tough negotiator. He makes no claims and has no pretensions to being a 'gentleman'. So the agreement falls at the first hurdle. We will never know exactly what was said but until this point Modric has come across as a decent, modest individual. His claims though naive and somewhat pathetic have the ring of truth.

I read part of it all the way through. (Sam Goldwyn)
This is where Luka's and his agent went off the rails when they signed his new 6yr contract last year. The virulent attacks on Luka for his about face in some ways reflect the high esteem in which he was held. Many, including me, thought that Modric, with his background in war torn Croatia and his apparent humility, was different. Shockingly to some of us he is exactly the same money grabbing mercenary las all the rest.
I'll take fifty percent efficiency to get one hundred percent loyalty'. (Sam Goldwyn)
We are dicing with death on the high wire of football and there is apparently no loyalty at the top. This is not the first example and there will be more of this to come.

Some are reflecting that this finally shows that football has gone beyond the pale. That it is dominated by obscene amounts of money and egos bigger than the size of a new stadium.

Hello. Where have you guys been for the past 20 years?. The business model of professional football is unsustainable and leagues throughout Europe are dominated in each country by a three or four very rich clubs who use their economic power to dominate the market. This is not new, it may be getting worse but it is not new.

For your information, I would like to ask a question (Sam Goldwyn)
. What does it tell us about Tottenham if Luka goes? Firstly I still believe that he will when the price reaches £35 million or above. Clearly it would demonstrate that our progress under Enic, Jol and Harry has run out of steam if we can't hang on to our key players. The line on the sandy beach will be obliterated by the falling coconuts of high finance. Hold onto that image if you can.

I can only give you definite perhaps on this' (Sam Goldwyn)
Is this a strategic pause whilst the new financial regime kicks in, or until the Harry legal situation is resolved? Nobody knows not even the most prestigious of ITK's. Although the words 'prestigious' and 'ITK' do not fit easily into the same sentence.

Spare no expense to save money on this one. (Sam Goldwyn)
The idea that Levy will let Modric 'rot on the bench' is laughable. That particular train left the station with Dimitar Berbatov aboard. I am not cynical enough to believe that this is a put up job by Luka, his agent and Daniel but I do believe that this move will be facilitated in the 'best interests of all concerned' when the threshold is reached, whatever it is.

Am I obsessed by our little Croatian? If I am I'm in good company as it dominates the Tottenham scene at the moment especially in the absence of signings that help to advance our situation. But it clearly has a significance beyond the individual player. It tells us more exactly where Tottenham under Levy are at this moment.

If Bill Nicholson were alive today, he'd turn over in his grave. (Sam Goldwyn about Roosevelt)
In these terms Modric cannot be sold. Unfortunately he doesn't come out of this too well and a bond of trust has undoubtedly been broken whatever happens. But Levy in particular backed up by Harry have declared that Modric will not be sold. In other words we are no longer a 'selling' club. Getting into the Champions' League was not a blip, but a logical result of several years of progress with a stable squad and more stable managership.

It was failing to get there this season that is the blip and incidentally the root of our current problems. Blame who you like for that failure but Modric was certainly part of it and this intensifies the hostile reaction to his expressed desire to move to Chelsea, not for the money, but because he wants to go to a 'bigger' club.

We're overpaying him, but he's worth it. ( Sam Goldwyn)
Now Chelsea are Johnny Come Latelies to the 'bigger' club scene and owe most of it to the whim of a Russian oligarch of dubious provenance. But this century they are more successful than us and are offering to more than double Luka's pay from £45.000 a week to £120.000. Try explaining to your new wife why you are turning your back on that.

Harry has distanced himself nicely from events by siding with the disappointed and confused player and Levy will get all the back wash if Modric is sold. Good cop, bad cop? Perhaps but Levy runs the risk of finally losing all credibility if this plays out how I think it will.

'You've got to learn to take the bitter with the sour' (Sam Goldwyn)
Of course it's only one player and we have done well without him at times; Van Der Vaart could play his role and we have plenty of talented midfielders on the books even now. A couple of strikers and we are good to go.Although if Kranjcar, Palacios, and Jenas move on we will be looking a little threadbare especially with Sandro out for a couple of months.
'I'm willing to admit that I'm not always right: but I'm never wrong'. (Sam Goldwyn)

The highlighted quotes are attributed to Sam Goldwyn the Movie Mogul. I'm not certain that he said them all but as he might have said himself:
'Even if he didn't say any of them, it's still a remarkable achievement. (JimmyG2)

I've said how I think it will pan out but with proviso.
Never make forecasts, especially about the future ( Sam Goldwyn)


Saturday, 9 July 2011

Greg Meyer's three men in a blog.

Yes it's the Greg Meyer column, now with pictures at no extra cost. Today he focuses on another of our stars with very little, if any, mention of 'you know who'. He who cannot be named but whose name is on all our lips and in all our thoughts, Well mine and Gregs and the regulars at 'a Kent pub' anyway.

Meanwile the Invisible Man goes unnoticed and the Forgotten Man is remembered. The Third Man cannot be named but he sneaks into one of the photo's anyway.
 The Forgotten Man .. The Invisible Man .. and The Unmentionable Man.
 Just lately it's become a little monotonous in all the media. Seems we only have one player at Spurs. Seems as though the Sky will fall in if he goes. News of the World already has. Apologies to cyclist Bradley Wiggins of Sky Racing. He did fall and is out of Le Tour. At least our second and third bets are still on. Come on Mark and Cadel.
But impending and erupting volcanoes with attendant ash clouds aside, our non smokers pub is now resigned to letting the volcanoe explode. If the unmentioned player goes for the lure of Lucre then so be it. So long as the lucre is astronomical then perhaps the message will not cause our other stars to have second thoughts.
 Our lawyer and basically our pub in entirety say refuse all overtures. Enuff said and looking at a glass half full as always surely our collective occupiers of bar stools reckon somewhere in all this we have an extraordinary squad and none more so than  ...
The Forgotten Man.... A Work of Vaart.
 Rafael Ferdinand van der Vaart born 11 Febuary 1983 ... save you the arithmetic, he's 28 years young.
 His early years were spent swerving footballs from the lounge to the kitchen. No mean feat in a caravan.His parents patience finally gave out and at age 10 he was shipped off to the famous Ajax Football Academy. He matriculated with his good mate Wesley Sneijder( another kent pub favourite) and the rest is history. Hamburg, Real Madrid and then The Lane.
 Without being exhaustive our pub have some fond reflections on our very classy Dutch son starting with his own son ... the early years ...  
           a proud father and the delightful Sylvie with Damien who arrived in May 2006
 That was during his Hamburg years which after the move to Real in 2008 culminated in the Levy signing at 4'oclock on 31 August 2010. Well done Daniel. Again it was Daniel who stitched up the unmentionable to the 6 year contract very recently. Our banker is still not convinced that Harry is with it in the big signings as opposed to the smaller used car signings. We hope this myth is well and truly shattered shortly in the transfer window. Before mention of that hard to see man back to Rafa and some photographic proof of his contentment with the Lane ...

                                   He has put on weight, Damien that is.
 Rafa is back and with a full pre season our pub reckon he will rise to greater heights.
 Given his star status the press have done just that with Rafa as regards the unmentionable man, press that is. Maintaining perfect dutch poise and diplomacy perhaps his reaction can best be summed up as ..
                                                   Again Mine host and the happy regulars are not dwelling on half glasses. Spurs are in the big league. If not why are a London rival after one of our best. Yes we need some fire power. More on that in a minute. Look if we stand firm, keep what we have and add what we all know we need then Rafa , Aaron, Gareth, Jermaine(?), and the unmentionable one , yes thats him enveloped with Spurs joy in the background plus all Spurs  will certainly challenge for top four and then some.
                            So cheers to the Van der Vart family from the Kent pub family.
 The Invisible Man.
We won't dwell too much on this subject given the invisible happenings so far. No news is normally good news. Try that on at our pub and you may well die the death of a thousand beer coasters.

 The invisible twenty goal man has yet to appear swathed in bandages and sun glasses. Thats how H. G. Wells famous film began. Later the said man ran amok.
 It's a scenario our gardener would be quite happy with. Running amok with goals galore is what we need.
 Rossi, Vucinic, Llorete and Damio are doing the tabloidal rounds. Even Jay Boothroyd has twittered in.
 Some defining moments coming up. No invisible man then the likelihood of the Unmentionable moving on next year is certain. And who would blame him. Certainly none here ...
 At A Kent Pub.
Great to see some happy photos of the Bentleys, BMW's, Range Rovers etc back at Chigwell Lodge for pre season. The drivers also looked happy. No sign of a Croation Skoda but then he was in a meeting and yet to take to the track.

 Trying times still. How you manage a possible title challenger and a tricky Court case all in the same month is debateable. Bet he'd much rather a leisurely stroll round South Africa with no committments.
 Our thoughts are with him. Certainly our lawyer has fingers crossed for Harry.
 Cheers ... forget the defining moment and reflect on our own work of Vaart ... Greg Meyer.     coys.

Friday, 8 July 2011

We're busy going nowhere

A well trodden road at the moment

We're busy doing nothing,
working the whole day through.
Trying to find lots of things
not to do.
We're busy going nowhere,
isn't it just a crime?
We'd like to be unhappy,
but we never do have the time.

From the film "A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court" (1949)

The song of the Spurs fans and bloggers during the Summer transfer window. Of course some bloggers pack their bags and head off to the sun and give it all a rest. But this silly blogger feels the weight of history on his shoulders even while baring his torso to the heat of the Mediterranean sun.

No rumour will be left unturned in the fearless pursuit of the truth. Nothing but the fiercest, unstinting forensic analysis is good enough for the devoted and loyal followers of Spurs Musings. This column ain't going nowhere partly because its already been.

Thus begins our tale of nobody going nowhere. Firstly Harry spending an away day at Southwark Crown Court much to the delight of the Southwark Tourist Board rather than going to South Africa and Modric remaining at N17 for the rest of his days; or until his head is turned by the promise of the quadrupling of his wages and non-stop Champions' League and he puts in a transfer request, encouraged by Levy once the bidding reaches £40 million.

Others famously going nowhere, allegedly, are: Cesc Fabregas, Neil Warnock, Stewart Downing, Berbatov, Michael Owen and Scott Parker. In the latter case we can but hope. In all these cases we shall see. Remember this is the blog that's not always wrong. A vast amount of cynicism doesn't go far in the world of Premiership football.

Levy has categorically stated that Modric will not under any circumstances be going anywhere. Why should we believe our esteemed leader on this occasion? He led us up the garden path over the NPD and got lost in the shrubbery over the Olympic stadium. The idea that he actually knows what he is doing seems to have gained rather more favour than JimmyG2 cares to acknowledge.

However it is now time for real bloggers to stand up and be counted. It's easy to fill a column when keepers are chucking balls into otherwise empty nets; four International strikers are failing to get 20 goals a season between them and exotic venues in Spain and Italy are on the agenda. What's not to blog about?

But what about spinning a web of the finest filibuster on the rumour hearsay and gossip which passes as ITK? 'Thanks for posting' of course. The sports journalists and the fan-sites chase themselves giddy over snippets of non- information and out of this unsubstantiated twitter, (was ever a communication system more aptly named?) we serious fans are expected to construct meaningful analysis.

Modric's agent denies the truth of a rumour which he himself probably started but which he forgot before it had left his lips. Poor old Modders doesn't know whether he is coming or going. Well actually he does: Daniel says he's staying. Stay tuned folks for hourly updates.

Van Der Vaart says that Luka is simultaneously disappointed at not being allowed to go to Chelsea and is happy to stay. This is the famous Double Dutch if ever I heard it. Harry says that Modders is confused but not unhappy. We're going to double his wages but everyone is agreed that it is not about the money. 'Premiership not about money revelation scandal'

I was 50/50 over whether Modric would be leaving before I went on holiday. Since my return I am hovering at 65/35 that he will go and the more assurances we get the more I will be convinced that he will. Harry is using the situation as leverage to get Levy to either be more realistic about valuations or to put out before we lose out.

However I stand ready to carry the flag of truth, unaided if necessary, until the last drop of significance is squeezed from the nuggets of information that fill the back pages and the fan-sites. And there friends we hit a snag. Apart from Woodgate, the most sickly of the dead wood, being given the chop, (see what I did there ?) and the lads arriving back at training there is nothing to report: nada, zilch, zero, sod all.

So Mr. Levy I dedicate the song to you and urge you to do something about appeasing Mr. Modric by at the very least least signing a striker and selling Robbie Keane. I had better get this stuff out into the blogosphere before you trump my ace and sign someone.