The Blog that's not always wrong.

Friday, 30 September 2011

All going according to plan


1-0 down but Harry's not worried
Read on to find out why.

Committee for match fixtures and fittings
Europa Division.

Dear Mr. Redknapp,

Just a courtesy note to you which I have copied to Mr. O'Neill. The two Chairman , Messrs Roche and Levy have now agreed in consultation with their respective PR departments the general outline of the Europa League game at your ground on Thursday.

There is of course an established template for such games and in broad outline the Chairman have agreed to follow general precedent (Template 1) on this occasion.

Consideration has been given to the undertaking by your Chairman that essentially your second squad will start the game with the exception of Mr. Lennon who is returning from injury

In view of your bad start in the Premiership and your unfortunate exit from the Carling Cup Mr. Levy has insisted that Tottenham should win the game.
In view of your large squad and the need to give everyone a chance and the greater television audience anticipated if Tottenham rather than Shamrock Rovers progress the Committee have agreed to this submission.

Mr Roche argued that template two, the 'giantkiller' option should be permitted but in view of the return game being available for upsets this was declined. By the time of this game Tottenham may well have qualified and the Committee will consider the possibility of allowing template two closer to the game.

In view of this agreement it was thought that allowing Rovers to score the first goal, in keeping with the well established Hotspur tradition, would be a nice gesture to the visitors and enhance the excitement and tension of the game for Channel Five viewers.

Of course it is up to you and Mr.O'Neill to choreograph the actual events but may we suggest the a free kick within striking range could enable Rovers the best opportunity as they will mainly be concerned with containment. If Mr Gomez is in goal some sort of error might be engineered. This may or may not be be more difficult if Mr. Cudocini plays.

There was complete agreement that no injuries should be sustained during the game especially in the event that Mr. Bale or Mr. Modric should appear as substitutes.

Mr. Levy asked for consideration to be given to two players who might be subject to transfer listing in the new year and argued strongly that if they got on the score-sheet their value would be enhanced.

The Committee reluctantly agreed to this as normally financial considerations are only allowed under special circumstances. The claims of another player who is hoping to further his International career was also allowed.

The Shamrock keeper will be permitted under the normal Template 1 rules to play, 'an absolute blinder' as stipulated in the regulations for this kind of fixture.

Both Chairman agreed to the general concept of the match as a clash of the Plucky Underdogs against European Royalty. Channel Five have agreed to limit crowd shots to the Shamrock Rovers supporters.

May we thank you in advance for your co-operation.

All the goals as usual:


Monday, 26 September 2011

Great Expectations

 Anybody seen my eye patch?


You settle down to celebrate the bi-centenary of Dickens' birth for a pleasant hour or two with 'Great Expectations' and discover to your horror that you have picked up Stevenson's 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by mistake.

You know the one where you perform like monsters for half an hour and then revert to normality and ordinariness, showing both facets of the team at a single sitting.

We began at Wigan where we left off at Liverpool: quick passing, retaining possession scoring two early goals and the promise of more and then relaxing or in the case of Sandro and Van Der Vaart, both returning from injury, fading away.

Adebayor claiming an injured eye brought out the old school ruthlessness in Harry which he has shown before with Gomes, Bale, Lennon and others, who declared him fit to continue probably with the words, 'You've got two, use the other one'.

Apparently he requested an eye patch which Harry turned down on the grounds that it would make him look like Johnny Depp, leading to too much swash and not enough buckle. Actually Harry hasn't seen 'Pirates of the Caribbean' 1,2, 3 or 4 because he doesn't wear one in any of these films.

I think it was a premonition of Ade in an eye-patch that led me to take to the lifeboat earlier in the season. He set up Van Der Vaart in some style after only 3 minutes after some charitable defending by Wigan.

They scored from one of their few meaningful attacks from a defensive muddle initiated by Ekotto but aided by Ledley, Kaboul and Parker, Diame finding the corner on 50 minutes to give us the once familiar tenterhooked run in.

In the end we had 65% possession and a dozen shots to their 4 which sounds comfortable but was only so in retrospect. A similar defensive muddle was evident at Liverpool too but on that occasion Suarez was correctly ruled offside.

I do not subscribe to the theory that as long as you get the three points all is well. Better teams will punish this occasional lack of certainty across the back four. This was Ledley's third consecutive game and three consecutive wins to boot. Coincidence obviously.

Bale the 'unstoppable force' who I made MOM, is getting back to his best and for the second week running had his full back sent off for two yellow cards. He scored from a near post header from one of our nine corners mostly well taken by Modric who was subdued after being taken away from the centre of midfield.

Parker again played well especially in the first half; Van Der Vaart took his goal well and Walker is a super de luxe version of Hutton but needs covering when he rampages forward. Kaboul rattled the bar with a deflected free kick and looks a strong pairing with King. But then who doesn't?

This week we have Shamrock Rovers and Arsenal, both highly winnable though I expect the NLD to end in a draw, they often do whatever the current form of the two clubs. We won't underestimate Shamrock but our second strings should tie this one up on Thursday.
(See it on Channel 5)

In our occasional 'Where are they now?' feature we find Peter Crouch at Stoke ending Man.Utd's winning run with a proper header of a kind rarely seen at Spurs. It gives me great pleasure to watch him now mainly because he is playing for someone else.

The guy in charge of marketing at Spurs, Charlie Wijerata, who has barely been in the job a year and is probably on £100.000 or more has decided that our history, tradition, and reputation for good football are our key branding points.

I would have told THFC that for nothing. What else is there for a football club? Billionaire owner? Racist fans? Mercenary players? Whoever can I be thinking of?

I'll even let them have the JimmyG2 slogan free of charge:
'Good football before success:
Success through good football'.

A small levy on all Spurs tattoo logos, which are the new 'branding', should produce squillions. Eye patches with the cockerel motif available now in the Club shop.

And now here's our unique Highlight and Goals service, completely free of charge.

Watch it now before it gets taken down.



Friday, 23 September 2011

The Greg Meyer Column: Happy Returns all round.

Greg's back to wish Mickey and Wayne Rooney 'Happy Birthday; to welcome the return of Sandro, the return to scoring form of Defoe and Luka and the revival of the ancient Spurs tradition of passing in triangles. Prodigal Croatians; Elephants in Togo; train crashes in Manchester; bananas in Wigan. It's all here folks: read and enjoy.


 Friday 23 September 2011 ... Rooney's Birthday.
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The Return Of A Prodigal Croation  ... The Sound Of An Elephant Clapping In Togo.
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 The two early train crashes on the Manchester line now seem more a signals problem than a lack of quality and class from the training squad of twenty five players.
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 Our prodigal son Luka of Modric certainly seems to have recovered his head and the somewhat unnatural letting off of high powered steam has seen two powerful strikes  bring goals. The Croatian game and of course his prodigious strike against Liverpool. Most unlike Luka but a new found facet of his game we could easily embrace wholeheartedly.
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 Emmanuel Adebayor of couse was not on either the United or City train trips. And how it has showed since just where we went wrong last season. Adebayor and a born again Defoe ( he is the religious Jermaine with the other, he of Jenas, now in a different congregation on loan at Villa) are giving our pub real hope and entertainment. We've always had the first but the second was not turning up as much as your Spurs fan expects. 
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 So ahead of a very winnable away trip to the Wigan Pier just some of the conversations overheard this week ...
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 At A Kent Pub.
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 A Geometric Progression ...
                                        not sure if it has been generally spotted but our lawyer , a great one for figures of a different kind, those with curves predominating, cannot recall seeing Spurs play the triangles fast,sometimes furious and always precise , usually adjacent to the touchline in confined spaces by our players lately. Quite often involving Adebayor, Parker, even Benny. But not just restricted to them. Seemed very obvious in the Wolves game and was happening again versus Pool. There it was Bale, Modric and others.
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 Now we know they are reputed not to practise penalties , seem not to practise set pieces ( judging by our lack of success come gametime) but this triangular possession surely was born at Chigwell Lodge. Not Barcelonesque but it is heading that way in philosophy. Deny the other mob possession, control the tempo, and just generally ooze confidence. At times late in the Liverpool game it was indeed a training exercise. Perhaps a new found emergence of arrogance in the nicest possible way. The way where we win very regularly.
Might be our pub's imagination or too many libatory ales but seems to be working.
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Never, Ever Look Back ...
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                                    without harping on it our pub still recall that horrible Crouch miss against City. You know the one where our Welsh wonder delivers a Welsh wondercross. Well Peter has gone but he was at it again for Stoke against us in the MM Cup. Even Mrs Disney would have scored. Again what great business allowing him his dream move to Stoke. No hard feelings even if he did score his penalty in the shootout.
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 So imagine the rumblings when Jermaine the Religious missed that sitter just after half time on Sunday. Still karma is karma and he did make amends in great style not long after. Jermaine is a keeper, thank goodness. Reverse karma perhaps.
And Whilst We Are On The Subject Of Karma ...
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                                                                       Charlie Adam got away with one on Gareth Bale last year at the Lane. Put Bale's ankle out for the rest of the season. A pleasant surprise to see the footballing gods don't miss much. Charlie was at it again but saw red this time after the eyes for the man lunge on Parker.To his credit he did not protest. Perhaps he believes in karma as well. Buddhism on Merseyside? Hmm.
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 Haircuts Are In The News ...
                                        Sandro looked great on tuesday. Great that he was back on a football pitch and out of the barbershop. Our brickie thought the new colour scheme looked great. Perhaps not what you might see regularly on his building site but hey ... he's back.
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 Elsewhere Wayne Rooney told the Mirror, yes he of the new found tonsorial elegance, that he shared a barber with our own Jermaine Defoe. Wayne's new hair apparently cost north of thirty thousand pounds. Its only money.
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 Somewhat uncharitably our banker reckons Wayne needs all the assistance he can get regards the looks department. Certainly needs no help on the goalscoring front.
By the by his look alike namesake, Mickey Rooney,the actor, tuns 91 today.
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 Cheers ... hopefully no bananas on sale at the Wigan Pier ... Greg Meyer.             coys.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

The boys done good.


But the men done better


Highlights of the Europa game and all four (yes four) goals against Liverpool
( yes Liverpool) at the end of the blog.


The boys,and I mean the boys, done good, But the men done better. First the Europa cup entree. The PAOK supporters lived up to their reputation even if the team did not. They have won 8 consecutive matches at home but one has to ask, who on earth were they playing? The wooden horse left behind the goal at the start proved to be empty.

It was Dwight D Eisenhower who said that he would rather have a 'lucky general than a smart general' and Daniel D Levy might well agree with him. Harry fielded a distinctly second tier side pleading injury and an important game against Liverpool coming up and got away with it

We came unstuck against Arsenal last year in the Carling Cup by playing too many youngsters at the same time and we could easily have done the same again here but PAOK allowed us the time and space to settle into the game and Livermore, Carroll, Falque and Townsend used the breathing space well.

In the second half they put us under the pressure that they could and should have done from the start and could easily have won it. Cudocini made two superb saves to earn my MOM award and they hit the bar when it was probably easier to score.

Generally speaking the Seniors, whatever Joe Jordon might pretend, did not pull their weight. Pavlychenko had several goal attempts one of which was almost close. The rest are still in orbit..

Bassong who was within a couple of hours of leaving last month was made captain and fluffed his chance to impress. He was hesitant and his passing was poor on occasions.

Livermore was outstanding and Carroll not far behind. Walker was a little 'gung ho' for my liking and Corluka the best of the older players covered well on several occasions.

Falque showed promise and should have scored when he was brilliantly set up by Livermore, the only shot on target that I can remember apart from a weak header by Kane. Falque came close in the second half .

Giovani tried hard to impress, he is clearly pacey and talented but apart from a couple of spirited tackles and some good passes must learn, like Townsend, to release the ball more quickly.

They had a penalty disallowed on a pure technicality and missed the second attempt. Kane should have been awarded a spot kick but even with an official behind the goal the contact was missed.

Next week the boys are back in town for the Stoke game, though I doubt that Harry will throw quite so many youngster on this time as Gallas, Huddlestone, Piennar and others who need some pitch time, might be available

But the main course was on Sunday. 63% possession and 18 shots to 3 pretty much tells the story. Liverpool pressed the self destruct button and Adams who has a nasty streak as we know from last year was sent off before the half hour mark. But even before Modric had scored for the second time in a fortnight from 25 yds on 7 minutes, both Adebayor and Defoe had had chances and we already had things under control.

Adebayor scored two on his home debut and he and Defoe have scored 5 in two games. I make that 5 clean sheets in 7 games. We also managed a 50 pass move before Walker decided to give the ball back in case they broke down in tears.

Statistics don't tell you everything though. In addition to this we played with some panache from the off. This was our fifth consecutive victory over Liverpool. Can we play you every week? We finished with four goals, a classic by Defoe and two well taken goals by Adebayor. Liverpool were down to nine at the end.

If Luka is sulking I hope he keeps the hump for the rest of the season.

Confessions and Apologies
There are several types of Spurs fans. There is the 'In Harry we trust; Levy is an evil genius; we're gonna win the league, the cup and several other competitions we haven’t even qualified for, lot. I am not one of those.

There is the ' We're doomed; we're going down; no good will come of it; Jenas scored three but can he do it every week? contingent and I think that I feel happier in their company.

But as the Blog says 'I am not always wrong' and therefor 'not always right'.
I was wrong to abandon all hope and take to the lifeboat. It looks as if it's all gonna be OK. and I'm back on board although I'm not looking everyone squarely in the eye just yet.

I could be wrong about Parker too. He does the simple things quickly and efficiently and holds the middle together while others make the play. It was lovely stuff on Sunday with Bale starting to fizz and Modric and Van Der Vaart feeding off Parker.

But a note of caution. Heed the philosopher’s reply to his companion as they gazed from the train window at a field of sheep.
'I see the sheep have been shorn 'said the companion.
After some thought the philosopher replied,
'It would appear to be so from this side'

I didn't get to be Secretary of the Spurs Curmudgeonly Supporters Group without serving my time you know. 

Come on you Spurs. I just love it when you prove me wrong.

Highlights and goals below.

PAOK: Europa League






Liverpool: Premiership

This video seems to have been taken down by the FA after about 4 days, for copyright reasons.
Another reason to read Spurs Musings at the earliest opportunity!

Here's the few highlights of the Carling Cup game at Stoke with the penalty shoot-out instead.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Steady as she goes.

Press Conference video at the end.

'Two points from eight: two points from eight'
  The nightmare postponed for another season.
 
Alone,alone,all,all alone,
Alone on a wide wide sea!
And never a saint took pity on
My soul in agony.' 
(From the Rime of the Ancient Tottenham supporter)
 
Now this isn't strictly true as Greg and his friends from Kent aboard the good ship 'Hope' have taken pity on me and are waving to me from the rails and offering to throw me a lifeline to enable me to climb aboard again.

'More than you deserve' I hear you say but over the years many of my hopes have been dashed and I have been shipwrecked many times and left up the creek without a paddle on numerous occasions.

We have been becalmed for several weeks weeks whilst most of our rivals made full sail. However although I abandoned ship when we were heading towards the Rocks of Disappointment after our disastrous sailing from Manchester I didn't just jump into the water. That would have been silly.

No, I took to the lifeboat to ride out the storm as the ship appeared to founder. I was ready and willing to pick up any survivors. The immediate storm has passed but there are still forecasts of tempests ahead and for the moment I'm staying put hedging my bets.
We put in at Wolverhampton and took on vital supplies for the journey: three points and a clean sheet which has almost put a smile even on my face.

The crew performed well especially the two newly articled members: Leading Seaman Adebeyor and Midshipman Parker who himself was rescued recently from a sinking vessel and is keen not to repeat the experience. He is hoping that Spurs offers him a safe harbour in which to see out his career.

Our experienced Mate Mr, Ledley King returned to the Quarter deck under Captain Redknapp to give renewed confidence at the stern. Very Able Seaman Modric, recently keel hauled by the owners for an attempted mutiny buckled down and bent his back to the oars showing no tendency to malinger despite his failure to secure a new posting.

The sea was a little choppy to begin with, as seasoned travelers will recall, in the Wolverhampton Reaches but after both our Leading Seaman, Adebeyor and Defoe found their sea legs in the bow the successful completion of this section of our round the UK trip was never in doubt. 
 
Very few squalls were experienced during this section and apart from Senior Cadet Bale who experienced a bout of sea-sickness to which he has been prone lately this was an excellent performance by the whole crew every man Jack of them.

They helped steer the ship into calm waters and anchored us safely outside the Relegation Zone. That's another season safe from the Captain's parrot screeching
'Two points from eight: two points from eight'.

This week we sail to Greece on a special mission on the trail of hidden Europa gold or silverware at least. A reserve crew is being assembled to enable the regular contingent to gets some well earned R&R before the Liverpool boys attempt to board ship.

The sick bay below decks will be scoured for any seaman who can be returned to able bodied status. Three young Cadets:, Walker, Livermore and Dos Santos were pressed into service on Saturday and may be joined by others on Thursday.

 Young Giovani may have enough time on this occasion to at least give us a wave. I have attached the lifeboat to the stern ropes and by Sunday night might feel able to let the Kent Pub boys haul me aboard.

Steady as she goes boys, steady as she goes.

Below is an 11minute video of Harry's press conference for Press Bureau TV.
Wolves, Champions' League hopes, Beckham, Crouchy, Abbey, Adebeyor, Modric, Parker and all. And the boys training too. 
You've read the spin now see it and judge Harry's words for yourself.




Tottenham vs Wolves from Press Bureau Tv on Vimeo.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

'No like share room with John Terry' ; The Greg Meyer column.

 Greg's in the loop and is acting as go-between for missives from Luka Modric.
He is letting us in in the correspondance and we at Spurs Musings are grateful for his powerful connections. No chicken-hearted reactions at Wolves today we hope and with any luck any feathers that fly will be theirs.
Note from Editor. This isn't really working Jimmy: Wolves, feathers flying?
Cut straight to Greg if I was you,
Ok. Take it away Greg, Kent Pub and your very own (just) Luka Modric.
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September 9,  2011 Happy Birthday to a Spurs Striking Legend.


 A Letter From Luka.


You may recall our recent letter to Luka of Modric containing some helpful advice over his purported Transfer Request. The one first brought to light by the world famous Harry Hotspur.


Unbelievable news. Not so much that he is still with us but arriving at the Pub in a brown paper envelope replete with curious stamps ,verified as Croatian by our resident philatelist, was the following document. You'll no doubt recall his list of no likes. Behold an update by Luka with some comment  included where appropriate by some of our pub regulars.



Dear Kent Pub Luka Modric Appreciation Society,


        Hvala,sorry will stick to your english, thank you for your triffic support and helpful advice. Since Luka, Mrs Luka, and littlest Luka first met nice Russian rich man on his big yacht in summer, things have been a little upside down especially with Luka's head.


       Fortunately head now getting back to right place nearly. As well now have new list which works much better than old one. Would very much like to share with you.


       Now like chicken badge...


      Scottie Parker has joined club and says he has loved chicken ever since he did chicken ad for McDonalds long time ago. He says chicken good for you. Also whilst on international holiday this week with Niko and Vedran they both reminded me of how we listened to Chickenman radio( wireless in Croatia) show after training on Thursday nights in Zagreb. Much better than Eastenders.


      No like share room with John Terry....


     Mrs Luka upset if Luka learn bad habits. She not sure if John a family man after a cup of tea with Mrs Bridge. Besides she think monkeys rather cute. Another cup of tea, this time with Mrs Bale. She like Croatian style mothers club.


     No need to play with tall circus man.


     My new found close personal friend, Daniel, has offloaded Peter to Stoke. Mrs Short Circus Man wife not happy with move from London . Abby a good looker and really don't blame her. Still Peter says some lovely people in Stoke with long throws tossed in. Sorry.


     Kent pub also very happy with this move. How could he ever play for Spurs again after that miss. Particularly after the sensational cross by Gareth Bale.


    No like play with rush goalie...


    No need to now since Brad Friedal arrived. Only concern is goals now rushing in even when goalie not rushing.


    Our pub think Friedel to continue but Heurelho is certainly looking more interested lately.


    Still no understand glory glory song ...


    But now discover lots of others the same as me. Disco Benny never listens as usually has walkman on high.He has trouble making huddle which is usually on at same time as glory song.Basically none of players can remember back that far to glory days.


   Now like threaten Luka...


   New found cpf Chairman Danny has threatened to increase my wages next month. Harry has said so on radio. Must be true. Mrs Luka very happy and going shopping with other mothers club members.


  So Luka now new man. Look at my 25 yard thunderbolt for Croatia this week. Never done that before. Much looking forward to seeing all my friends from the Kent pub at the Lane on Sunday 18 September at my favourite little stadium.


        Yours

                    Luka, Mrs Luka and littlest Luka.



Cheers .... Frederic Kanoute is 34 today ... Greg Meyer.                       coys.
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(And now just to show that there are no hard feelings here is Luka's goal against Israel.
More of the same please Mr.Modric. Help keep the Wolves from the door. JimmyG2)

 And as so many of you asked, here is a picture of Vanja and little Luka.
The blog that likes to say 'yes'










Friday, 9 September 2011

What can possibly go wrong?


The Man: stripped for action

Video: see end of blog.

So once more our season begins. The statistical apologists will argue that the first two games don't count as we didn't win them last year and we didn't win them this year either Nothing to see here move on.

If we beat Wolves we will in fact be better off than last year by two points, poised in their logical minds, no doubt, to challenge for honours before the leaves fall off the trees.

Beat Wolves, who are up and running whilst we are not. Beat Wolves which we failed to do last year at their place. Beat Wolves who are 7 points ahead and 15 league places above us with a distinctly better goal difference.

Now clearly this all follows from the cancellation of the Everton game due to local urban regeneration projects and the fact that we have played our first two games against the probable top two in the league at the end of the season.

Place your bets now folks but accept the possible fact that with Liverpool and Arsenal to come and distractions in cup competitions, we may be still mired in the bottom reaches of the Premiership in October.

Of course beat Wolves and we could, other results permitting, be almost out of the bottom third. So here we have the proverbial 'must win' game which will soon be explained away if by any chance we should lose it by those that can prove statistically that being bottom gives us a firm launching pad for the Champions' League.

What is missing from the analysis are the concepts of confidence and momentum which are so important when you are on a winning run and entirely irrelevant apparently, when you are losing.

Too early to panic? The time to panic is before the disaster occurs not after so I like to get my panic in early: always have. With our new signings and the possible appearance of King we could and probably will beat Wolves so that by Saturday night the crises will be over. Crisis? What crisis?

Lots of hopes are placed on Adebayor whose fragile temperement may either crumble under the pressure, or rise to the occasion and carry all before him. He usually starts well so he may just lift us at least for Saturday or for long enough to provoke Defoe and Pavlyuchenko into form.

It's just that this season doesn't seem to be progressing as smoothly as I would like. Pre-season was dogged by the Modric affair; the limited success of our incoming transfers ; the upgrading of all our rivals and this all conspires to dampen my natural enthusiasm for the new season and heighten my fall back 'grumpy old man' position

So Spurs you can right all these wrongs, and probably do a power of good for Global Warming, World Peace, and the Economic Downturn by simply beating Wolves at Molineux on Saturday. Give us all a break boys and let's just beat Wolves.


And now for the video of what the man can do against us.





Is there any reason why he can't do the same in our favour preferably starting at 3 o/c on Saturday 10th September? Adebayor up front, Friedel in goal, and Parker in midfield, What can possibly go wrong ?



Friday, 2 September 2011

The Dead Wood stage


'Oh the Deadwood stage is a'comin on over the hill'

(Now with videos. See end of blog)
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 That stagecoach sure looks pretty dang full up on top pardner. One or two have return tickets but may get drygulched up in them there Northern hills. Yee Ha!

So the window closes and it gets better the more I think about it. We were seduced by the promises of exotic arrivals and expectations were raised, so it's not as good as I had hoped but not as bad as I feared especially with 24hrs to go.

Modric is still with us though whether this will turn out to be a good thing remains to be seen. Certainly things will never be quite the same and in his head he is at Stamford Bridge. But the Chairman has made his point and Luka can go at in January and everyone can hold their heads up high.

The £40 million offer I'm pretty sure was never made and if it had been then I am equally certain that Levy would not have turned it down.The only evidence we have for it is from the mouth of Harry and even he is not certain. He could have bought several 'top top' players with that.

The arrivals are less than game changers. Friedel at 40 has a limited shelf life; Parker is over hyped on the basis of his Football writers Premiership Player of the year. That's those same football writers who we daily ridicule for their ignorance and prejudice who seem to know as little about writing as they do about football. 'Cliches are US': 'Nonsense to go Inc'.

Parker is one paced, one footed, not literally obviously, and lacks vision. We have managed to avoid him s couple of times in the last 6yrs when he chose the money at Chelsea and Newcastle rather than us. He got himself relegated last year and I hope he doesn't repeat the trick.

Apparently he delivers a mean half time pep talk and is a leader in the dressing room. A bit like Robbie Keane then.. Within the month he will be anointed captain` I am told. You read it here first remember.

He may turn out to be another 'meh' Piennar buy, and both may sit atop the annual Deadwood Stage in a couple of years time. Along with Gallas, King, Corluka, Kaboul, Friedel, Defoe, Pavlyuchenko and Dos Santo. I will be delighted to be proved wrong. He has my full support now that he has signed. I have always done the same for JJ after all.

How some of these departees passed their medicals is a worrying feature of the revolving door charade. Jenas has been injured for the past 18 months and Palacios has a serious knee injury. But who are we to question the verdicts of private medicines finest. They are probably the same outfits that grade applicants for fitness to work benefits. Just get to the medical and you're good to go.

But at least as the whip cracks away and the sweating horses toil up the into the Black Hills of Stoke we have freed up the squad a little with the departure of Keane, Bentley, Jenas, Palacios, Crouch and Hutton. Some fans' birthdays all arriving at the same time.

What Abbey will make of Stoke is anybody's guess though Peter will feel at home in the land of tall structures that have largely outlived their usefulness. It has certainly changed since the days of Arnold Bennett but remains a city best seen at night. It is regarded as the premier spot for night life in Staffordshire so perhaps they will survive.

We may have gone about this the wrong way as Delap and Crouchie may form a deadly partnership. Perhaps we would have been better off buying Delap. There is always another way even if it is not the Tottenham way.

I hope that Sandro's progress won't be blocked by Parker.  Sandro who is the greatest thing since Wilson who was the greatest arrival since the 'Mighty White' which  also bitten the dust I'm told. Pavlyuchenko and Gio two of the likeliest occupants of the stagecoach roof at one stage (sorry) are still with us and since Defoe and Ade can't do it all they may get more game time or in Gio's case some game time.

Adebayor is a very good player with a strike rate approaching 1 in 2. But he comes with temperamental and even psychological baggage and since we are a striker light may need to be a very busy boy indeed. He is on a one year loan and with his wage expectations is hardly likely to remain longer.

I don't think that we have improved our chances of a top four finish as Arsenal made some good signings on the last day and Liverpool who did their deals early and have made a good start to the season look to join the Manchesters and Chelsea for the top five places.

We have Sandro out for a couple of months; Huddlestone to return to full match fitness,; Lennon and Van out for a couple of weeks, still no sign of King or Gallas; Modric now an unknown quantity and poor start not least in terms of goal difference.. At least we are top of the league in the 'Physio-room stats table.

I am sticking to my forecast of a 6th place finish. We needed to make better use of the window if we were to make progress against our main rivals and have at best stood still. Adebeyor for Crouch is an upgrade but Parker is another stop gap purchase and in a couple of years the 'dead wood' pile may be just as high.

For those that would like to listen to the song 'The Deadwood stage' by Doris Day from the film 'Calamity Jane' courtesy of Youtube click on the arrow.

Oh please yourselves. You can take a horse to water......