The Blog that's not always wrong.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Modric: An Italian Solution

 The Greg Meyer Column

 Stay right where you are Mr.Modric, everything is under control.
The Mountain will be with you shortly

Greg's been doing some hard thinking about the Modric conundrum from his viewpoint on the top of the highest hill in Kent, not a seriously steep climb by all accounts but still. This train of thought leads him to ponder on the possibility of the mountain coming to Mahomet and not vica versa. Seems obvious when you think about it. Though why Luka would even want to go to Chelsea when if we win today we will be level on points with a game in hand is beyond me. Funny how the smallest words can have such a big impact. Muse on Mr.Meyer, you're in the right place after all: and may all your mountains be small ones.

 Maradona .. Fifty One on Sunday 30 October 2011.

Modric Future Solved ... That Job Interview.
An elegant Italian looking gentleman sits in a plush leather lounge adjacent to an impressive looking oaken door . The sign on the door unmissable. Daniel Levy .. Chairman

The recumbent 52 year old sits nervously fidgeting with an embossed leather briefcase bearing the initials C.A. Inside the briefcase a fascinating assemblage of testimonials and the like. Nothing from a certain Roman Abramovich however. Understandably so?

Peeking out the top of the Armani suit breast pocket a glimpse of an expensive looking envelope. Therein lies the secret behind the ex Chelsea managers appointment.

So whats in the letter ...

                                  Dear Daniel,

                                                   Rumours of my wish to retourno to il calcio engleesh are well founded. Without wishing to be how you say molto pushy I too have read lots of Harry's possible arrivederci. Of course I too am sadly familiar with the arriverderci thanks to Roman's brutissimo judgement in May this year. Et tu ,Roman. Si Carlo.

My great English pal Senor Ray Wilkins and I are currently running a T-Shirt business doing very well. " Bring Back Ray." is still selling well. After Chelsea's bad luck lately we expect that one still has some legs in it. The John Terry line unfortunately seems to be slipping (pun intended). Particularly at about 85minutes into the unfortunate game at Stamford Bridge.

But Daniel I digress. Back to the subject of arriverderci and might I offer my congratulazione on your handling of the Modrico affair. Keeping el bambino Luka longer term is vital. So comme hai fatto? Scusa! So how do you do it?

Ole.I have the perfect solution. With Harry going sooner then if you don't want to let Luka go to Chelsea then bring Chelsea to Luka. Carlo to the Lane. 

I look forward to the opportunity to discuss my grand plans with you in more detail,



 The Contents of the Briefcase.

The usual and not so easily obtainable paraphanalia. Great playing record, great managerial career in Italy including the European Cup as player and manager.

On our home front he did the double in the English Premier with Chelsea in 2010.

Russian Champions League ambitions being thwarted led to his obvious downfall when he was ignomiously sacked in May 2011 by Roman Abromovich.

Lots of other glowing references but should matters go belly up for Harry at the Southwark County Court, presumably to be heard before the turn of this century, then is he welcome at the Lane. Certainly a talking and drinking point this week ...

 At A Kent Pub.

Our banker reckons the stats are in his favour. Whilst at Chelsea and in the process of winning the League his team scored goals galore. Their 103 goals was only the second time the 100 mark had been passed in a season. The team to have done it first. Spurs, naturally, in 1962.

His appointment would signal continued ambition by Spurs. His credentials as a man manager are proven and says our lawyer he does seem to speak English even if it is italian english at times. Mind the conversation as to Carlo or otherwise continues.

Coming back to proverbial turf later today a London derby last played when Carlo was probably still playing. Some of our number are going albeit maps and directions will  be needed. Seems a long time since we were last at home.

Success today really does put us into the upper echelons. Level with Chelsea (sorry Carlo) and still ahead of you know who and Liverpool. Surely no bananas or altitude sickness to be seen.

 Cheers ... our pub would rather keep both Harry and Luka at this stage ... Greg Meyer.
Video time:
'River Deep Mountain High'. But remember mountains can be moved.
Tell it like it is Tina.
'Do we love you' Mr.Modric? ' My Oh My'
'If we lost you, would we cry?


Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Any Questions?

 JimmyG2 takes his message to the streets.

And so once more gentle readers we come to the age old dilemma: would we rather outplay the opposition as we did frequently last season and yet fail to take our chances and draw or even lose the game? Or would you rather we played poorly and won?

We are unbeaten in ten in all games and won 5 of the last six in the Premiership. It's like asking City fans whether they have any qualms about buying their victory over Utd to win 6-1 at Old Trafford and going to the top of the league.

Not a question to be asked today perhaps but in the long run it's not a sustainable blueprint for success. The worldwide banking and financial crises was brought about by the naked pursuit of success through money and football has gone down the same route and will eventually implode in the same way.

Mind you I've been saying that for a couple of years. But trust me: ' The End of the World is near' and that includes football. But at least we should  have more players in the 'Angels' team than in the 'Devils'.

Similarly, playing poorly, will not, in the long term, take us into the top four. Blackburn, now bottom of the league, were by no means second best in any area of the game except the one that mattered; putting the ball in the net. For that we have to thank Van Der Vaart who is not even an out and out striker.

He was our leading scorer last year and is once again in the same position in the Premiership this season. It is difficult to believe that last week Spurs fans were discussing whether he should be dropped for Defoe, who doesn't score as many goals and does very little else. Apparently some think that he unbalances the team.What's that old quote about good players not being a luxury?

Perhaps this debate can be put to bed for the moment as I read that Rafa covered more ground than any other player against Blackburn. So much for fitness and work-rate.

People are even asserting that Modric played poorly. I wish that some other members of the team played as poorly. At one stage yesterday I kept praying that Luka got on the ball because at least he rarely gives it away. In fact the commentators remarked on it when he actually did so on one occasion.

I also counted three runs from midfield ending in shots which brought good saves from Robinson. To say that he didn't play as well as usual is not to say that he played badly. Had Van not scored two beautifully taken goals Modric would have been my MOM.

The run from Walker to set up the first was so quick that in the Guardian review of the game they attributed the assist to Lennon. An easy mistake to make in the circumstances except that Lennon rarely makes such runs anymore.

Had Blackburn been as good as Newcastle it might have ended the same way, but they're not and it didn't. Were we lucky? Not unless it's lucky to have one of the best players in the Premiership knocking them in and to be playing against a team with limited and predictable options. The table after ten games doesn't entirely misrepresent the truth; and we've only played nine.

We are averaging two points per game again despite having played five of our first nine games away from home and won four of them. We are on a run of games against opposition in the lower reaches of the Premiership and though not playing as well as we might like,we are doing as well as most fans can remember.

Parker, Lennon, Bale, Adebayor, Kaboul, and Bassong were not at their best but we still won. Adabeyor is either still carrying an injury or is bored with us already. He seems to have been taking lessons from Defoe in avoiding the offside trap. Five times aginst Blackburn. But who's counting except me? Kaboul and Bassong almost wilted under the long high ball attack and Bale only played in patches.

Parker, captain for the day, panicked when given the opportunity to run in on goal and gave away the free kick from which they scored. But he stuck to his midfield breaking up play schtick reasonably well. With Sandro still injured I would have liked to see Livermore on at 2-1. Harry disagreed and we won, but it seemed like a close run thing for the last half hour.

But all you Tottenham fans out there remember it could be much worse. You could be a Manchester United supporter. It's nice to think that for once in their lives they know how we feel quite often though not as frequently as we have in the past.

Their ability to re-invent themselves and the back up talent available makes me think that they will soon recover from this setback as we did after a similar, though not quite as bad, defeat at City's hands. Does it put our defeat into perspective? Yes but it doesn't ease the pain really.

And now for yet another new feature on Spurs Musings: 
5 Questions we no longer ask.
  1. How long before Parker is made captain?
  2. Is it worth giving Ledley another contract?
  3. Should Van Der Vaart start when fit?
  4. Is Harry the right man for the Tottenham job?
  5. Are we going to miss Peter Crouch?
Next time, if I remember:
5 questions that still need to be answered
All contributions welcome.

Your starter for ten:
When will the new stadium be completed?
And now 2mins.29secs of homage to the man of the moment:
Rafael Van Der Vaart. Should he start?  Should he start?
What my grandchildren call a 'no brainer' I believe.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Modric: the cheer that was heard around the world

The Greg Meyer Column
Modric and Sandro: together, united can never be defeated

It doesn't take much to cheer them up at a Kent Pub. Modric appearing in the 73rd minute of a Europa tie is enough to get the Appreciation Society on its feet. Anyway we're all agreed that it's three points for the taking tomorrow. No disrespect intended but, even away, this is one of the games we should win. I'm on record as forcasting a two goal margin victory, Greg is more cagey. And for the record I remember Winifred Atwell.

Saturday 22 October 2011.

 Modric In Europe ... A Good News Week All Over.

 Well he finally made it at the 73rd minute. Onto White Hart Lane and into Europe trotted our littlest Croation midfield general against Rubin Kazan. The cheer here at our pub could have been heard around the world.

Does that mean he is cup tied for the January window. Probably doesn't matter in any event. Our Daniel is not letting him go anytime soon whatever the cup or competition. No we have our Luka back and if the football ghods co-operate and deliver fourth then the long term looks secure.

The Luka Modric Appreciation Society moved many a round in felicitious celebration of our patron. Indeed with Mine host just back from Teneriffe things got a little good natured to say the least. So much so another Society was born.

 The Sandro Raniere Guimaraes Cordeiro Appreciation Society.

 Simply Sandro at 22 years is bound for greatness. Our Daniel has more work on his hands come the end of the season. The work load has doubled. If we retain him then another Spurs legend is born. Rumours of Milan sniffing in the summer just gone are entirely credible.

The Brazilian midfield will be built around this decisive defensive midfielder. Just 22 yet tackles with amazing clinical efficiency. That combined with a tremendous engine all adds up to something special. May yet turn out to be one of our best buys ever. Takes a Brazilian says our lawyer to bring back the Dave McKay spirit to a Spurs side otherwise sprinkled with class.

Don't worry the little formerly spindly one is still up there with our pub. However following the philosphy of one Jose Mourinho you do need two for each position. Think we have the Appreciation Society covered .

 And To The Good News.

 Our Ledley may be back sooner. Last  year he was gone 7 months. This time the medicos have put an early return date on it Sounds promising given last year they were not brave enough to even quote on any date.

Another win to the kids in Europe. The littlest sports car started even if he was on the wrong side. Surely if he can recover confidence then the Van der Lennon show will prove useful and lethal in the big time.Two into ninety minutes means goals and mayhem.

And the really good news. We play the bottom team this week. Not a banana skin in sight. Plenty of chickens but with our boy back in love with the chicken badge then a productive three points.

I know , I know the old Spurs would skid on anything and buggar this Sunday up. Nope the new Spurs with backbone courtesy of Parker, Sandro, a definitely hungry Kaboul and our Mr Cool, Benny, should prevail. Twitter tells us he made the plane for Blackburn. Should round off a very good news week ...

At A Kent Pub.

 Conversations here were very bouyant as you can gather this week. The Brazilian flavour continues tommorrow. Pele turns 70. Still a spring chicken says Luka.

Stuart Atwell, his grandmother was Winifred Atwell, takes charge. Winifred played a mean piano about the time Scottie Parkers' haircut was invented. Still go Scotty. Mind no smiling either.

Cheers ... with the week we've had we can even wish Arsene many happy returns ... 62 today ... mind hope Stoke spoil the birthday party ... Greg Meyer.   coys. 
 And now, especially for Arsene, tomorrow's referee's grandma playing one of her biggest hits  from the 50's. Entertainment at it's very best. Well it was just after World War 2. I bet Harry remembers it too.

Friday, 21 October 2011

From Russia with love

Welcome to Aeroflot Mr.Pavlyuchenko. Just the single ticket?

Six English players took the field for Spurs last night with an average age of 22.5 and an average height of 5ft. 8in. They saw off a spirited performance once again by more experienced opposition in the Europa cup to head their section on the verge of qualification for the next stage. The future's bright.

We won a game we might well have lost courtesy of Roman Pavlyuchenko's superb free kick on the half hour. The rest was a tale of dour defending and poor finishing by Rubin Kazan. The re-appearance of Gomes proved crucial and he was many people's MOM. A vociferous minority are clamouring for his reinstatement as 'numero uno'.100.000 signatures on an e-petition is enough apparently.

The build up from the back was a little slow and too many passes went astray but this was an excellent result for Harry's second eleven. He was forced to bring on the cavalry towards the end as Rubin threatened to over-run us.

Livermore did ok playing out of position at centre back in our current crisis: Ledley,Gallas, Dawson and Corluka are all injured. At 6ft.2in he is the tallest of our young Englich players, Carroll(19 and 5ft.7in.) one of the youngest and shortest again impressed,

Walker(5ft.10in and 21) buccaneered down the right from full back and Rose( 5ft.8in and also 21) attempted to do the same down the left with less success.Giovani (5ft.9 and 22) tried but was not influential because he hasn't worked out yet when to release the ball.

They gave us too much of the ball, defending from the half way line as PAOK had done and once again allowed our youngsters time to settle and play themselves in. But they attacked with pace and skill and stretched us at times.

Conspiracy theorists put Pavlyuchenko's( 29 and 6ft.2in)performance down to the fact that he was trying to impress his Russian colleagues with a view to repatriation after Xmas. He not only scored but also went close, his control was verging on decent and he certainly ran about more than a bit.

He has not been seen since the end of the match and Harry is scouring Aeroflot passenger lists. Free abductions? Not on his watch.

We even put an end to the Martins' hoodoo. He has scored four times running against us at Newcastle. So a good night all round before a somewhat sparse WHL crowd. Overpriced tickets perhaps(£30) for virtually a reserve fixture in a competition which has been downgraded by Harry, and of course it was all on Channel Five.

New Stadium not needed?

Some have even srgued that it proves we don't need to blow £400 million odd on a new stadium but this seems an application of logic too far. With the ending of the legal challenge and rumours of meetings in corridors of power and broom cupboards of influence I expect to hear any day that the NPD is once again 'viable.' If the new stadium is so vital to our income how much does each day of delay cost I wonder?

On Sunday we visit Blackburn and if form is any indication we should win by a hatful with the reappearance of our more or less full squad. A 'hatful' is a pretty vague estimate but say by two clear goals. Friedel/ Walker/ Kaboul/ Bassong/ Ekotto/ Parker/ Sandro/ Modric/ Bale/ Van/ Adebayor/.

I make that 8 changes from the starting line against Rubin. Kaboul was like an escaped wild beast  last night and was lucky not to have been shot by the Ohio rangers.

Anyone who has read 'Vertigo' by John Crace will know that this 'two clear goals' kind of talk leads to, nay causes, disaster. Mr Crace is clearly an extreme case but there are varying amounts of the Crace DNA in all Spurs fans. An interesting, self deprecating, almost morbid look at a year in the life of a Spurs fan which is well worth the £6.99 outlay at Amazon..

Digested read, digested.
                      Supporting Spurs has done my head in.

And now the goal, with authentic Russian commentary. Harry nearly smiles and almost gets out of his seat.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Out of Toon

 Which number did he say Gareth?

A disappointing, somewhat staccato, not to say atonal performance at Newcastle where some members barely got tuned up. In the first movement the high spot was a solo, awarded by the conductor after some hesitation, to Adebayor. Rafael Van Der Vaart, who knows the score well took it(edit) on with some distinction. This raised the hopes of the traveling cognoscenti just before the interval.

In the second movement the tempo improved but too many players remained out of tune and apparently under the impression that this was a (edit) recital rather than than a symphony. Some made little contribution to the ensemble. All of us need to sing from the same hymn sheet in future.

Only Younis Kaboul was outstanding, particularly when the Leader, Ledley King, was forced to retire and perhaps Luka Modric in the second half when he finally grasped the melody and improvised upon it.

But rarely can so many of the band have been off key at once: Gareth Bale, Rafael Van der Vaart, Scott Parker, Emanuel Adebayor, and young Jake Livermore all failed to hit the high notes at times.

However in front of a hostile audience playing a traditionally difficult piece we managed to complete the venue without lasting damage to our reputation or falling off a clef.

Maestro Sir Harold Redknapp interviewed immediately after the performance said that after an hour he was confident of a triumphant outcome but conceded that finally he was pleased to emerge without too much damage to our growing esteem.

The absence of our young Brazilian Sandro probably contributed to our failure to maintain the rhythm in the central movements. Some players seemed tired after traveling to Europe for International guest appearances during the week.

The playing was most uneven in the first movement but improved after the interval. Luka Modric, who was to attack the piece with some virtuosity later, fluffed his initial entry with the movement barely begun. There was some confusion with young Kyle Walker as to whose turn it was to undertake the next passage in the libretto.They clearly misread the script or dropped the hymn book

Part time soloist Defoe made an important contribution as soon as he was introduced but later failed to engage with his fellow players and allow them equal prominence as they moved towards the final movement.

The piece proceeded well until the finale approached when once again the music became ragged and harmony broke down. The final reception was muted but our stature was just about maintained.We didn't play well but under the circumstances didn't entirely lose the plot.The hallmark of a successful combo I understand.

We embark now on a series of less demanding appearances until we welcome the famous Chelsea All Stars Ensemble in December. By then we should have re-established ourselves as a Premier force both at home and abroad with trips to Ireland and Russian on the itinerary of our Europa Tour.

Other Musical notes:

The THFC quoir has again been reprimanded for its failure to maintain high standards in its choral performances at WHL and Sir Harold has again quite rightly admonished the members for their lack of judgment and taste in their selection of outdated and offensive lyrics.

Members are requested to reflect on the negative impact which these performances have on our reputation for integrity built up over many years. Some of the events referred to are more anciant history than current controversy.

May harmony be restored at the earliest opportunity.

And now for our Brazilian contingent, currently not playing, something to cheer them up.
The Stan Getz Quintet playing 'Desfinado' ('Out of tune' in Portuguese).
An ironic title if you like jazz: a bit like Spurs on Sunday if you don't

Friday, 14 October 2011

Greg Meyer: Scaling the Heights.

 Whatever you do lads, don't look down!

For those that haven't been and who won't be going on Sunday here's a Spurs eye view from the top of the Newcastle Stadium. Greg's making the trip so that you don't have to. At  A Kent Pub they are not as confident as last week: Mine Host must have watered down the beer. Only joking fella, only joking.
 Friday 14 October  2011 ... Mr. H. Webb's Birthday ... Not The One You Think.

The View Is Worth The Climb ... Mountaineering At St James Park.
 Essential equipment in the away Spurs fan's kitbag on an expedition to St James Park includes, climbing boots, a set of pitons, oxygen mask and 2 miles of rope. Quite a climb to the heady heights of the away section at Newcastle.

Oops sorry add a pair of binocculars to those mandatory items. Helps in confirming the match below has kicked off.
So once you are comfortably settled in at 30,000 feet then whats to expect this Sunday in the late show televised around the world.
Newcastle versus Spurs.
Sir Hilary Redknapp's team are flying high lately but still stand below the Barcodes in the table. Argueably Spurs have had the more difficult climbs lately , particularly Liverpool and that local clifface known as the NLD.

Fortunately the team have recovered from some early horrendous falls down those two Mancurian crevasses, United and City.
Some considerable "ifs" make forecasting with precision a lost science. Adebayour in, alls well. Sandro in, helps too. With Emmanuel A. out then we rely on the littlest Jermaine up top. Hmm says our lawyer.
 Our pub have gone off Pav markedly since the Togolese arrival shows what touch, control, hold up, and clinical finishing is all about.
 Midfield is interesting. Our plan A of Sandro and Parker away may not happen. Still as a certain obnoxious Arsenal midfielder( currently sidelined for 4 months) tweeted last week .. class is ... 

Our banker reckons Modric, VDV, Bale and Parker are quality plus class. Tiote , Cabaye and Gutierrez are not in the same er class albeit they have a great work ethic. Surely little Scotty can knock one in against his old side.
 Our pub are finding it hard to drum up the same anticipation and expectation that foreshadowed that last derby. Still a win here means if we sneak a look ahead at the upcoming fixtures then ...
The Climb Is Worth The View.

Yep if we keep climbing then Christmas could be scary.Top four and perhaps a realistic tilt at third.
Backburn (a),QPR (h),Fulham(a),Villa(h),Brom (a),Bolton(h),Stoke(a),Sunderland(h), Chelsea (h), and Norwich on 27 December is our run to the higher echelons. A lot of winnable games there. 
Our cabbie reckons if our main man up front stays fit as well as most of the others then very achievable. Mine host has promised "Oxygen Masks" cockeraltails all round for our New Years Eve at the pub. The recipe is secret at present but sounds explosive.
Wildly optimistic or just plain sensible ... one of many viewpoints doing the rounds this week ...
At A Kent Pub  ... Just Before I Grab My Hat.
Cliff Richard born Harry Webb turns 71 today. Not sure how old Howard Webb is and frankly we couldn't care less here. Thirty nine year old Lee Probert does the St James clash on Sunday. Our pub's jury is still out on him. It could be worse. Lee Mason is the fourth official.
 One man who is a cult hero here is of course Disco Benny. Great article in the Standard today. Yes a common thread here to a lot of our regulars who train home from work in part on the Tube.

Before you know it you could be sharing a seat with Benny or as he sometimes tells people, Benoit Assou-Ekottu's little brother. A regular on the Tube with his prized Oyster Card.
Cheers ... a breath of fresh air our Benny ... Greg Meyer.                       coys.

And here in case you've forgotten is the beginning
of the legend that is Benoit Assou- Ekotto

Monday, 10 October 2011

Scotty Parker and me.

Just the way Harry likes 'em. Our very own Brylcreem boy

 Those that tuned in expecting or hoping for intimate revelations of a 'True Confessions' nature will be disappointed. Scotty Parker I think not. I like Scott Parker in an old fashioned sort of way. Harry certainly thinks he brings responsibility and solidity to the team, on and off the pitch.

Which is why I think he will be made team captain quite soon. Can you imagine him turning up to training with a blue Mohican? Or attending matches in ripped jeans with his 'arse hanging out'?

The latest criteria for a favourable judgment is the fact that he still wears black boots. Now in my day there wasn't any choice once the old traditional brown leather ones had been replaced.The Addidas introduction of three white stripes was the ultimate in sophistication.

The feeling was that wearing, say, white boots exposed only but the very best to ridicule. And it still does in certain sections of most football grounds. You need to be more than just good to play in them. But Scotty eschews the peacock trend as befits his character.

Lime green boots would draw unnecessary attention to his whereabouts and prevent him from cruising about in midfield like a cruising shark, imposing himself on the opposition whilst pretending not to be there. So black boots and a side parting it is.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not fully converted yet. When I saw him playing as well as anyone against Montenegro, though that wasn't a particularly high bar, I didn't automatically get that knot of pride and spasm of concern that I usually get when Spurs players turn out for their country: concern for their physical safety and fear that they might do something silly.

Why? Because he hasn't quite become a True Spur for me, although I acknowledge that he has played well, so far, I haven't completely adopted him as one of our own. It will be some time before I dub him a 'Yiddo' an accolade that we are too quick to bestow on occasions.

Why this reluctance on my part? Well for a start he has turned us down at least twice at Chelsea and Newcastle when it suited him to chase trophies and the money. Now having failed to save W.Ham he is looking for a final pay day in N.17.

So it's a mixture of hurt pride, West Hamism; the sight of Karen Brady sucking up to Siralan; the Olympic Stadium debacle; the dopey duo in their furry hats and general all round prejudice not all of which can be laid at Mr.Parker's door admittedly.

More importantly I judged that he was not good enough for us as we once more aspire to the heights, and the wrong side of 30, (31 this week) to be anything more than another stop gap in the Gallas mould.

Now I have been rightly crucified for suggesting that he was no better than O'Hara who at least had the merit of being home grown. In my defence I will say that this was before he had turned out for us and being a fair man I have revised though not quite reversed my opinion.

He can do a job for us in midfield especially in the absence of Sandro. Now I am not a fully paid up member of the 'Just what we've been missing since Dave Mackay left us' brigade.

We said that about Wilson who went from being the best thing since sliced bread to toast in next to no time at all as his limitations were exposed. We have burdened the boy Sandro with the same hype but he is good enough and young enough to support the acclaim.

I think that a couple of decades of under achievement have deeper underlying causes than just the presence of Jermaine Jenas in midfield. Changing manager every 18months prior to the arrival of Martin Jol for a start.

These players; Sandro Palacios and Parker all 'like a tackle', as David Pleat once said of Spurs and are designated the long lost midfield destroyer whose lack has been the cause of all our recent failures. But Parker's experience and positional discipline makes him for the moment a key component in the team.

I'm certainly warming to him and my period of hair shirt, flagellation and sackcloth and ashes to which I was sentenced after my intial doubts will soon expire. He needs to stop that strange going round in a circle manouevre, score a goal, and smile just occasionally before I clasp him completely to my bosom. A visit to Sandro's or Bennie's barber might help too, though that's probably a step too far.

And now for some footage of the boy himself and the more I watch it the more I am convinced.Though remember this is not what he does best and not why we bought him.
His career scoring record is only half that of Luka's, but it's certainly the jam on the 'wholemeal' bread.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Taxi for Modric: cancelled!

Wait if you like mate. But it could be quite a while.

The Greg Meyer Column: 

Greg's back with tears of joy filling his eyes and running down his cheeks onto his keyboard. As he says this makes it very difficult to type but not one to shirk his responsibilities here are his reflections on recent events including the possible return of David Pleat for the fifth time, now as a scout. He can't possibly do much damage from there surely.
Is there a taxi driver at a Kent Pub? It sounds as if there might be a good living to be had in that line of business. Unless of course you're relying on Luka to phone.

Friday 7 October 2011.

Taxi For Sagna .. No Room For Maicon.

Without breaking stride he received the ball with a welcoming caress, 3 yards behind Carl Jenkinson,8 yards later he was 3 yards past and the gap increasing at an alarming rate.Therefter chaos in the Arsenal defence.

Earlier,midway into the enemies half he carried the ball up to a bemused Per Mertesacker, the German international stood mesmerised as the Welsh turbo (only in second gear at this stage) engaged third, then he was gone.

Barcary Sagna was next, normally looks no slouch, but the Welsh sports car sped on. Embarrassment came next for the Frenchman. He was but an image in Gareth's rear mirror. Only a repeat as to what had happened around 31 minutes in with Barcary and Bale. And so it went.

Gareth Bale. Worth the admission fee alone and then some.

The list calling for a cab doesn't end there of course. Still the way our Gareth ripped apart poor old Carl Jenkinson just in from Charlton, had you feeling sorry for the Arsenal rookie almost. It was a derby after all.

Gareth Bale. Almost back to his Maicon best. Exhilarating pace,exemplary close control and most important the confidence to use his amazing attributes. Contrast that with his old Southampton room-mate and good friend, Theo Walcott. In the first minutes of the derby with the opportunity to use his undoubted pace and take on our Benny Assou-Ekotto Theo shirked the issue. Confidence is a great motivator.

Gareth Bale in full flight just naturally set us to pondering on that confidence factor. Something we here at the pub loosely termed ...

The Modric Factor.

The flow on effect or in Gareth's case, the flew on effect, of Luka staying on is subliminal, is obvious,and is emphatic. The presence of a now valued 40 million pound midfield general is catalysing confidence and belief throughout the squad.

Compare that to a shellshocked Arsenal devoid of Fabregasp, the departure of Nasri, and the arrival of Arteta. The spaniard is useful but hardly a Fabregasp. Jack Obnoxious will come of age as a footballer in due course but is a least three months away. As to growing up as a person after his latest rant regards our favourite son Glenn then that may be three decades away.

Back to the Modric factor. Yes a less than stellar derby but who else stepped up to the mark. A lot that might not have been there if Levy had not stood firm. The likes of Adebayour, Van der Vaart, Parker and of course Bale. Modric staying was all a factor in some not going and indeed some joining a club perceived to be going places.

And so to that intangible. The confidence factor also called team spirit and belief. The resistance to Russian bully boy tactics epitomised by the Daniel Levy line drawn in the sand said ... Spurs are not a feeder club any longer.

The effect of Luka's retention breeds a bon homie about the club and fans indeed. Smiles are everywhere, not the least in our new Togolese striker. Team belief is everywhere. All we need now is our littlest sports car back, fit , rearing to go, and taking on full backs like he used to. C'mon Aaron. Gareth is doing it on the other side.

More taxis anyone.

Two Other Derby Heroes.

He does seem to have a certain panache about him. A knack for saying the right things, quite apart from scoring derby goals. A lovely wife who does go to the Lane with young Damien. His goal celebration was ecstatic, his post game beamings pronounced. Post match it continued and in two words he neatly summed up Arsene Wenger. "Stop whinging."

Yes there were other derby heroes but a favourite here at our pub continued to demonstrate why in less than two years he will be proven world class.

Our lawyer felt relieved and self assured when he ran on to the pitch in that six feet plus athletic Brazilian way. The effect was immediate.A flagging dutchman gone but the looming danger on our right side dissipated.

Of course his contribution was not confined to defensive duties. It was his run and collect which led to the Kyle Walker possession which led to... the rest is NLD history.Very obviously going to be a great. Milan already know. They apparently bid for him in the summer. Brazilian beer might yet make the menu ...

At A Kent Pub .... Before You Go.

The good news ...

                          the rise and rise of a certain North London football club. Sorry Arsene.

The bad news ...

                         just when we thought it was safe to walk the streets comes news that David Pleat may be returning to Spurs as a scout. Best known for his lunchcutting of a Kent pub ghod, Glenn of Hoddle,surely not.

Finally gathered around the birthday table today what a conversation they will have . Jermaine Defoe will talk religion with Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Simon Cowell will talk about his new showbiz project on Russian tv with Vladimir Putin. That leaves Clive James to resurrect his tv critic column. Happy birthday all.

Cheers favourite quote of the week ... " Wenger has thrown Merteseker up top. He's turning us into Blackburn Rovers.".... Cheers Greg Meyer     coys.

And in case you've forgotten the genius of David Pleat here is his commentary on a previous NLD fixture from 2007. 

Monday, 3 October 2011

More than just a victory

'Two Bob' and The Great handshake Scandal

There’s nothing better than going into the two week International break with a win . Actually there is: going into a two week International break with a win over Arsenal.

Of course the opposite is also true but doesn't apply on this occasion. Two weeks to savor our 4th win in a row. To enjoy it; roll it round your mouth and suck out the juice; relish not only the importance of the win in terms of bragging rights but in maintaining our upward journey, our confidence and momentum.

This wasn't just a win. As Marks and Spencers would say; this is not just a victory. This is nourishment, nurturing, wholesome and sustaining. Another happy occasion to file carefully away in the memory bank to be drawn upon when times are hard.

The fact that we didn't play that well somehow makes it even better. It's a measure of how far Arsenal have fallen. Even Lee Dixon predicts that they will struggle to make the Europa this season. But then if you sell your best players what do you expect?

Harry has been criticised for playing 442 but a manager has to play the percentages. Is it more risky to concede the centre of the pitch and trust that they don't make the most of their chances, if any? This allows us to play an extra striker who might make the difference but in the event it meant that Modric was crowded out.

Or would have been safer to play Sandro, if fit, with Parker, square up the midfield as we did for the last 20 minutes and take a chance on Van or Bale supporting Adebayor?

Harry chose the first option: we were at home and Arsenal's defence is suspect so a viable option. But there is no way a manager can anticipate that Adebayor and Defoe were not as sharp as they might have been. Or that Gervinho would miss a chance to score and probably alter the course of the match?

In my view Harry chose the wrong option: the percentages favoured playing Sandro with Parker. But we won anyway; Van Der Vaart scored and neither of the strikers did though both were essential in the build up to the goal.

That probably explains why Harry is the manager and the most successful one in a long time, arguably the best in living memory even for me, and I am just a Spurs blogger.

But see it from Arsene's Wenger's viewpoint: Van Der Vaart handled before scoring and Walker got lucky. Actually the more I watch Van Der Vaart's opener the more I agree. Fortunately the referree has only one look. It's funny the things that Arsene sees and the things he misses. He didn't see Clive Allen's hand after the match for which he was dubbed 'two bob'.

For the benefit our our International following this is Cockney Rhyming slang for two bob bit...shit. Two bob is old money for two shillings or 10p. Poor old Clive a Spurs legend who has obviously never recovered from being transferred to us from Arsenal without ever playing a match for them. Don't take it out on Arsene mate, he's got plenty of problems of his own.

Don't ask; it's a long story with rumours of intrigue; double dealing; white slavers; drug smuggling and gun running. Well it's a long story anyway.

Curiously we feel victim for the third game running to the curse of the 50th minute goal.  Actually in this game it was the 51st but allow me to stretch a point. It must be something to do with Harry's wise words or the beverages served at half time.

A word on Ledley King. Four consecutive matches, (anybody know when that last happened?) But more: four consecutive wins and his pairing with Kaboul looks as solid as anything we have seen since he was last paired with someone else. And two weeks to recover so it might just get longer and better.

Goals here.
Oddly reversed. Try looking at it through a mirror.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Greg Meyer's Derby Day preview.

Greg's up with the lark this fine Sunday morning to cast his eye on the runners and riders for the North London Derby. He's been touring the betting shops on our behalf and comes to the conclusion that we can definately win this one even if we are favourites. 

Enjoy the video of Arsene's disgraceful attack on an innocent water bottle last time out. 
Let's join with Greg in hoping for more of the same later today.

North London Derby Day 2011.
A Dangerous Derby.
 Danger looms everywhere today in North London. Nothing to do with street riots. No the danger emanates from those genteel establishments bearing such logos as Paddy Power, William Hill, and the like. Apparently the bookies have installed Spurs as favourites for the running of the 39th or thereabouts North London Derby, Premier League style.
Our pub collective of self proclaimed "experts" galore have a look at  some dangerous ideas and thoughts ahead of a classic clash starting with ...
 A Dangerous Striker.
A clear cut favourite for the tag. Robin van Persie wins by a street. Last year without him Arsenal looked shaky. Upon his return they looked back to their dangerous self and so it is this season. Perhaps even more so as with no Nasri, no Fabregas, and even no Bendtner then they are seemingly stretched. Alright Bendtner is a miss for us.
Filling the void are Gervinho (at this stage Gervinwho), long name Chamberlain, Walcott, Arshavin and assorted others. Somehow not yet or ever to be in the class of your average Thierry Henri or our own Emmanuel Adebayour. Yes marvellous how the football wheel turns.
The pivotal clash says our pub is Ledley King keeping van Persie quiet. Somehow with our Rolls Royce playing then the bookies may even be right. Not to say that van Persie is the only dangerous striker featuring. No as mentioned a man as equally dangerous is our Emmanuel.
Have a listen some remarkable comments from the Arsenal goalkeeper. Is he having a bob each way?
 Dangerous Quotes.
 Wojcieh ( the W stands for "Winker" after his eyeball antics at the Lane last season) Szczesny fronted the press ahead of the derby. The Polish keeper, speaking fluent english with a nice line in english accents, commented on the Adebayour danger. Telegraph source.
" Ade's a really great striker but we know how dangerous he is ... but we know how to deal with him. I'm not going to say now because it will be our little secret." Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.
Yet elsewhere in the same fluent style he seems to perform a volte-face saying ...
"Of course we know he's a good player but we won't pay any extra attention to him."
Our pub hope he takes that confusion to the Lane today. Perhaps the little secret he was referring to is the switch from zonal to man marking to be used by Arsenal.
More Dangerous Quotes.
Well more the misplaced, egotistical, gallic murmurings of a well credentialled manager definitely under fire.Even so his job is not in danger says owner Stan Kroenke.
"We were interested in Modric ... I'm not surprised how well he has done."  Telegraph.
So what happened to the he'll never make it, he's too lightweight references. Perhaps Arsene was previously misquoted. One things for sure our little lightweight will be a very dangerous man this afternoon where you can bet there will be ...
Dangerous Liasons Galore.
Do we see a second dangerous van on the pitch. Surely it is Van der Start to feature after his heriocs in last seasons derbies. Mind it does imbalance things according to some. Harry will sort it of course.
Bale and Sagna are a likely pairing. Our journalist would prefer it to be Santos but thats just being greedy. Wallcott and Assou-Ekotto is another. We can only hope dangerous moments a la Wigan have been banished by Benny.
With the midfield vital our banker certainly won't miss Jack Obnoxious. Aaron Ramsey is certainly less antagonistic but his clash with Parker is another vital pairing. Just one of many discussions overheard this week ...
At A Kent Pub.
Always the match our pub looks forward to every season. Arsenal at the Lane. No exception this year but with no Robbie Keane up front to rely upon and with the hope of footballs oldest curse coming to pass hopes are high it will be a grand and very late night tonight here and at your place.
 Dangerous to tempt fate I agree but here's hoping we see dangerous objects taking to the air at about 6 pm. Flying waterbottles once owned by Monsieur Wenger.
Cheers ... Adebayour to Score ... Greg Meyer.               coys.