The Blog that's not always wrong.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Problems pile up for Harry.

Being Spurs Manager is not rocket science.
It's much more difficult than that.

 The JimmyG2 Column

 What's a Manager to do? You get the team up after the Rocky Horror Show at the Emirates, they play well, dominate even, and then a lapse of concentration in the dying moments of the first half and it all begins to unwind. There were no apparent lingering hangovers from last week but Bale, Parker and Van Der Vaart, three key players, were missing.

Harry selected arguably the best eleven from the players available. You can quibble whether Defoe should have played instead of Saha or more forcefully that he should have come on earlier but these are matters of opinion and Harry's opinion takes preference. It's what he gets£4 million pounds a year for..

The Defoe problem is complicated by the fact that Harry keeps praising him but not picking him and that within minutes of coming on in the 84 th minute he lazily thumped the ball into the net from the edge of the box for our consolation goal. Harry got most things right on the day given the available staff but was slow to react to adversity.

We went 2-0 down after an hour but he waited another 20 minutes before taking decisive action or any action at all. If it's not working you need to do something: Defoe, Kranjcar or Dos Santo on for Saha; Joe Jordan for Adabeyor, anything to try to change it round. It wasn't a very impressive bench but Harry put them there  so why not use them. The 'Micawber, 'Something will turn up' option didn't work on the day but it rarely does.

We were mugged once again by Sir Alex. All week he'd been paying his respects to Harry and the boys. How he must be laughing now. They ambushed us, a classic dry gulching. They let us have the ball to play with outside the box and built a solid wall 20 yds out and allowed us to run into it. Rooney was sharper than Walker for the first, Nani sharper than Modric for the second and Young, not closed down quickly enough by Kaboul, was too good for everyone for the third.

Lennon nearly unpicked the lock but for the second time one of our strikers with 24 ft of space to aim at managed to hit one of our players on the line. They must practice that skill along with kicking balls off roofs into skips and hitting the crossbar from a dead ball situation. Ekotto demonstrated that at least this last practice had not been in vain.

The resulting goal deftly taken by Adebayor was ruled out for hand-ball. It wasn't 'deliberate' but certainly helped him control the ball and was a painful but probably correct decision. And apart from a deflected shot by Livermore which De Gea saved brilliantly and another from Adebayor that's about all there is in the 'chances' file.

When a Scot starts recommending the new England Manager it's time to make an inventory of the silverware. When he starts showing respect for our title hopes you know the safe is going to be found wide open with an acrid smell of Semtex in the air.

Clutch at straws if you like. The last time we lost two in a row at the start of the season we went on an eleven game unbeaten run but it's unlikely to happen again. Achieving third place is getting harder by the game. We have lowered our sights from title challengers, to automatic Champions' League qualification, to top four, so far.

The run in with a ten point cushion which looked 'winnable' now looks more difficult and the gap is down to 4 points and we've still got Everton and Chelsea away and Stoke, themselves no pushovers, before the 'easy ' games against teams 'scrapping for their lives' as Harry says. He must have been tearing his hair out in his dignified way as Sunday's events unfolded. Problems, problems.

On Musings we got the sacking of Villas Boas spot on. What about Mourinho? The Tottenham job is not big enough for Jose unless he fancies a proper challenge. The England job might be big enough for his ego but he might enjoy rubbing Abramovich's nose in it by going back to Chelsea. That would be their 8th manager in 9 yrs, or some such, so the lawyers will probably work on the severance pay clauses first.

My guess is that he will take on Chelsea again as Harry is on a promise for the England job and the uproar if a Non Brit. was appointed would probably cause the collapse of the Wembley arch. All the other names added to the list on a day to day basis  is only an attempt to make the Harry for England 'shoo in' just a little less obvious.

Positives from the United game.
Livermore played well, not for the first time, and though we at Musings tend towards a certain degree of football snobbery there is plenty of room at The Lane for honest individuals who give their not inconsiderable all especially if they are home grown. More than just the new O'Hara in our view.
Lennon certainly stepped up and on either wing was more than a nuisance.
Ekotto. Had a good game, not only kept Nani quiet but was good going forward too.
Modric. Subdued out on the left but still ticking over enough to catch the eye. Fell asleep for the second goal.
Ledley. Another welcome appearance just to prove Musings wrong and he wasn't our worst defender.

Carl Walker had a 'bad day at the office' as he says himself on Twitter. Rooney stole a yard on him for the crucial first. Poor clearance for the second. But he's young and learning and embodies for us the spirit of the new Spurs.

Stevenage Replay.
On a flat pitch with home advantage: Spurs 3-0. Could be the beginning of the end of the beginning if we don't win. Odds on for Defoe to start, and probably Dawson and Nelsen with Kaboul at right back. Remember you read it here first.

So from small decisions; Defoe or Saha?  Livermore or Sandro dropped for Parker against Everton? Adebayor for Spurs at the end of the season? Giving Ledley a new contract? to bigger ones; Spurs or England? Harry's life has become interestingly problematic since winning the 'Get out of Jail ' card at Southwark Crown Court. What's a Manager to do; stick or twist? Open the box or take the money?

Whichever way you look at it our loss of momentum, two wins in seven recently, adds to the problems piling up for Mr.Redknapp. If he solves the problems at Spurs then England awaits. If not he might get the chance to continue his good work at WHL.

Video Spot.
Lennon gets the spot as a reward for his performance on Sunday. Aaron gives us the lowdown on his team-mates.


Anonymous said...

How can you ignore the fact that 'Arry' in his infinite wisdom puts the best central midfielder in the league our on left wing and pretty much completely isolates him from the game ? We are of course talking about Luca Modric.

Arry showed yet again his weakness in management when his plans get scuppered. It wasn't rocket science. Sandro in for Parker Kranjcar or Dos Santos out left for Bale to give the balance needed to play 4 4 2

Apart from Liverpool and the win against the scum we've been poor against the top 6 Mugged in the 92nd min at SJP 16 goals conceded against the two anchester sides.

Arry's been great for the club and supporters. He doesn't, in my opinion have enough in his locker to keep us top 3 or indeed win the Prem or in fact go much further than the knockout stages of the C/L. He's not a winner and doesn't know how to translate that over to players when plan A fails....

Arry for England then :0)

galvinwasgod said...

a terrible 7 days with 8 goals conceded in 180 minutes of football. but perhaps were were due a slump. not sure who should hold the two central defensive positions in front of grand-brad now but as usual injuries in those positions means we wont be spoilt for choice. 3rd or 4th, and the FA cup in scotty parkers hand come mid may seems like an overly ambitious proposition right now. but not out of the question. I still think 4-5-1 with adebayor on his own and a fit and more slimline caravan right behind him is our best starting option.

Anonymous said...

Two things that we should have learned from earlier in the season.
1) Modric should play in the middle
2) We simply do not shoot enough--at least accurately. Defoe will shoot on sight of goal as will VDV but everyone else wants to tap it in or shoot all over the place

Anonymous said...

Have to agree with the above. We dont shoot anywhere enough.. Modric doesn't score anyhwere near enough goals for a player of his skill. He should, as you say only be played in the middle.

Do you remember when 'Arry' first came to the lane and he played Robbie Keane out on the left... It's decsions like those that reinforces my point that when his backs against the wall he, 'Arry' is left wanting....

Anonymous said...

Can someone tell me how many times we have scored from a direct free kick within 30 yards of the opponents goal this season and how many goals from headers we have scored?

Suspect the answers are zero and one(Bale) respectively! How does this compare to any other club in the Premiership-probably bottom of the league!
Our corners on Sunday were awful,all outswinging softly hit balls which the Manu defence just gratefully cleared or gave our main attacking player at corners Kaboul no chance to get any power on the ball

What does Harry and his much vaunted coaching staff do in training sessions? Surely dead ball situations get worked on but it would appear not jusging by the pathetic return this season

JimmyG2 said...

First Poster.
Our recent form is what is worrying me.
He might try Benny on left midfield with Rose at full back if Bale is not available.

Last Anon Poster.
Add to that how many goals do we concede from dead ball situations/headers?
Agree we need some work in these area.
Kaboul got his head to 3/4 corners but not one directed on target against Man.Utd.

Anon 3.49.
Modric never has scored many throughout his career.
'Keane on the left' aagh! I prefer to forget that.

Agree Modric should play in the middle, always.

Nil desperandum friend. A third place finish is what I dream of. Anything else is beyond us. Cup an optional extra for me.

Anonymous said...

We're 4 points clear in third, 7 points into the top 4. We've got one more unwinnable game (stamford bridge) and the other 10 games against teams outside the top 7. Man up.

Anonymous said...

champions league place (third) please, and capello as new manager after harry leaves 4 england.
a full on ebay clearout so we can buy players who will play. i really feel for dos santos and kranjcar. they should both have played more football this season.
harry picking the same first eleven with no rotation for the first half of the season is starting to catch up.
still the best season i can remember as a spurs supporter. fa cup would be a bonus.

Anonymous said...

The bottom line is if harry doesn't go back to what he's been doing in the beginning, we will keep losing. Crap management, poor selecting, much more.trying to fit squaure pegs in round holes.

Anonymous said...

Another Redknap weakness ... always picking the same players never resting them..We have one of the best squads in the Prem yet there are players who've barely kicked a ball for us.

I think missing out on C/L football this season was/is down to the same reason. Players were playing with injury. A couple of times Bale had to play with a bad back... Is Bale really that much better even with a bad back than Kranjcar or Dos Santos ?

I've said in previous post. Redknap has been great for the club and it's supporters. I dont think he has what it takes to make us champions in the Prem league or in the C/L. For that matter he wont be any better as England manager than his predecesors !

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