More ground clearance for redevelopment in Tottenham
Plenty of exciting news on the Tottenham front this week. Unfortunately none of it about the football or the football club. On the up side that means that Luka is still with us: on the down side that we haven't signed a new striker or sold any of the many not entirely indispensable.
Now be honest, when you saw the headline 'Tottenham riots' you immediately assumed that Luka had been sold especially after the reception he received on Saturday. Like me you were relieved to see that it was just parts of London going up in flames and that once again it was a first for Tottenham
Blinkered? I think not; this is a football blog after all. If you want socio-politico-economic analysis buy The Guardian or watch Newsnight. Football repercussions from the turmoil don't affect us yet though London fixtures at W.Ham and Charlton and the friendly International, 3 days before the start of the season have been canceled. TKO to the mob.
It remains to be seen whether the Everton game on Saturday will survive or be switched to Goodison. Interesting fact (from the Guardian, natch) no team in the past 15yrs since Man.Utd, in 1995/6 has lost its first fixture in the Premiership and gone on to win the league.
I'm not certain whether I am concerned about this statistic just at the moment. However it gives an extra edge to the Everton game though. Lose it and we might just as well pack our bags and take an extended break.
If I had any money I would put it on Man.Utd for the title after their comeback in the Community Shield on Saturday. Some performance, with Nani outstanding, three youngsters put on despite being 2-0 down at half-time and Rooney prowling like a rioter approaching JD sports.. Man.City got lucky with their goals and looked disorganised.
On another day at least two of their players would have been sent off. If Dawson had fouled up like Kompany in extra time; or Gomes let in Dzeko's shot from 30 yards then the hanging debate would have taken an alarming turn. But then like all fans we take our errors much more seriously than perhaps we should.
But enough of this idle chatter. Tottenham played and beat a good looking Bilbao side on Saturday evening and I could see nothing in our second half performance to cause the mayhem that followed in the evening. At half time perhaps because Bilbao gave us the runaround and we looked on enviously as Llorente, one of our 'targets', though not quite as tall as Crouch, showed power and a deft touch. Cliche alert. Good touch for a big man.,
In the end it was not so much a game of two halves as one of two squads. The arrival of Bale, Walker,and Kaboul gave us a lot more speed and power. We pressed higher up the pitch and within ten minutes Crouch and Defoe both scored well taken goals. With Harry's. Instructions to 'get in their faces' ringing in their ears they faced down a slick Bilbao side that had us chasing shadows in the first half. With no defensive midfielders on show we had attack as our only option
Kranjcar could have had two goals apart from the penalty which he missed and Lennon demonstrated his willingness to stretch his legs from the start. Both goals were from goal line pull backs by the wingers and Bilbao 1-0 up probably thought they had done enough.
At Brighton we had found the template from last year, coming from behind to win, and duly did so again. Huddlestone failed to catch fire and Jenas spluttered into life early on and then
went out like a burning building with the arrival of the Fire Brigade. Modric on early for Piennar who is now out for six weeks after a groin operation, gradually settled into his vital role in midfield.
So a decent pre-season though an unambitious one. We have several injuries especially to midfielders (Van Der Vaart,Piennar, Palacios, Sandro) and Gallas and Ledley have yet to appear. Palacios is reportedly off to Stoke which seems premature in the absence of Sandro and the failure to sign Diarra from Real Madrid. Another ITK 'done deal' that seems to have come undone at the time of writing.
I hope that Teresa, George and David remembered to tick the insurance box on the Easyjet booking form rather than adopt the 'William's in charge, what can possibly go wrong?' approach as I might have done. Next year it might be cheaper for the members of the government to take half a dozen 'hoodies' away with them than to leave them kicking their heels in the asphalt jungle that is WHL.
I expect the rioting to die down until the shops re-stock and whether the sight of burnt out buildings so close to the Olympic sites will benefit us remains to be seen. The Club's letter pledging support for the local area was timely and politically apt even if we are still trying to move down the road to Stratford. Perhaps they will have forgotten that in the excitement.
Do I condone the violence and looting.? No of course not but everything has a cause and a reason.
The vandals are not 'mindless' but just because they don't all fully understand why they are doing it does not mean that there are no underlying grievances to address.
Some are opportunistic theives; some feel they have no stake in society and so 'what the hell'; some have resentment against the police or the school or the social services, but if we are all in this together why are some more in it than others?
Their destruction of their own neighborhoods is misconceived and wrong As my Mum used to say, 'Never shit on your own doorstep'. Don't mistake my flippant tone for lack of concern. Hopefully all about the football next time.