The Blog that's not always wrong.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Levy or Modric: Who's the Dirty rat?

Who are you calling a 'Dirty Rat?'

 The JimmyG2 Column

So it's back to business as usual this week. That is, no business as usual. The difference this year is that we have prudently banked a new manager and a couple of decent , very decent, players. None of the 'dead wood' has been cleared and the Olympics and pre-season games are complicating some of the issues.

Depressingly we seem to be having a re-run of the Modric saga which can only end in tears for all concerned. Daniel is not going to get anywhere near his £40 million and we are not going to keep a player who doesn't want to stay. Modric can go if the price is right but a ridiculous valuation is just not playing the game.

Clearly none of us know the full background story but I wouldn't be surprised if Mr. Levy has once again ratted, if you'll pardon the pun, on a so-called 'gentleman's agreement'. So the question arises who is the 'dirty rat' here. On top of that the theory that Modric should put his career on hold because Levy's wife is ill is pure emotional blackmail and nauseating rubbish.

The broad outlines of the deal are clear and if our CEO can't handle it for the moment for whatever reason then he needs to step away and nominate someone else to conduct the matter. Even Mickey Mouse had Minnie and Pluto as backup.

If we can get Moutino in as a replacement and make £5/10 million on the deal let's get it done early and move on. And here I speak as Honorary Vice Chairman of the Kent Pub Modric Appreciation Society. Modric is widely described by fed up Spurs fans as a 'rodent faced refusenik' but lovers of the genus 'rattus rattus' will know that if you corner a rat it will be desperate to escape and may do something reckless.

It's all very unseemly and we seem to be putting ourselves beyond the pale for the sake of Daniel Levy's ego and reputation. Hanging out for an extra £5 million until the new season begins makes no sense in either economic or football terms. Real Madrid won't hang around for ever and have the money for other options and it would be to our advantage if Modric went abroad and soon.

Player power seems to have gone far beyond what is reasonable and sensible but it's pay back for the dominance of clubs over players for many years through the 50's and 60 's when footballers were held in virtual wage slavery. Even after Johnny Haynes became the first £100 per week player with the lifting of the £20 per week things moived slowly for a couple of decades.

In 1984 the average First Division wage was £25.000 per year, about three times the average national wage. In 2010 it was over a million pounds, 46 times more and the average national wage had gone up by a factor of three.

 Bankers and Financial Services are not included in these statistics for obvious reasons. These are basic wages and take no account of all the other add-ons and bonuses by which players can inflate their earnings

Sustainable clearly not but after Bosman opened the flood gates we can only hope that the new fair play rules can stem the tide. In the meantime Modric can more than double his wages whatever Spurs can offer him and after four years of loyal service even after last year's Chelsea fandango we should not begrudge him his promotion to the top ranks. He has graced WHL and will surely grace the Bernabeu.

But enough of this descent into the weird and wonderful order of rodentia. The lads are out in the USA with a squad of 24 with twice as many goalkeepers as strikers. Adebayor has been seen in America but is still officially a Man.City player. Defoe and Harry Kane are entrusted with putting the ball in the net. Let's hope our fortunes are 'Reborn in the USA'.

The squad includes Huddlestone, Dawson, Vertonghen, Sigurdsson, Jenas, Bentley, Carroll and Livermore but no Parker (injured, no return date according to Physio Room ) or Sandro (Olympics). Modric is missing obviously so the midfield set up should be an interesting puzzle for AVB to sort out.

The game against Liverpool on Saturday may give us a better indication of our situation than the games against LA Galaxy in the early hours of Wednesday morning and the New York Red Bulls next Tuesday.
If I ever sort out how to sign up for the free Spurs TV offer to members I may even watch them. But the official web-site is defeating me so far even with my special code password.

The return Big Tom Huddlestone as opposed to Little Tom Carroll may well save us £20 million or so in the transfer market and don't be surprised to see Jenas emerge as a leading squad player. He may not have fulfilled his promise but he is good enough for a disciplined role as midfield back up if he stays fit.

I hope Gomes gets a chance before he is sold and in that department Lloris I'm told is more or less 'done'. So that's another haggle fest for our distracted Chairman. But as my correspondants repeatedly tell me what we really need is another top quality striker, two if the Adebayor deal falls through and the thought of the Modric money must be burning a virtual hole in AVB's pocket.

Pause for thought.
  As Lily Tomlin, American actress and comedian once said. 'Even if you win the rat race, you're still a rat.

Video Spot:
Here's another taster to get you in the mood. I don't know what the fan at the end is on but I'll have some of whatever he's having. Again thanks to the Spurs Community video thread. Such nice people. Live link on the right hand side. Well worth a look.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Luka's letter to his agent

Dear Mr. Mamic, weather fine, food lovely
I wish I was here.
Greg's climbed back aboard the Musings tandem, thank God. I don't think we'll ever catch that Bradley Wiggins now. Ade's transfer has stalled, Ledley's bowed to the inevitable, Luka's 'psychologically' unfit to train according to the Spanish press. But are we down-hearted? We certainly are not. Two pre-season matches, two wins, Siggy scores, no sign of the AVB squat: what's not to like?

 The Greg Meyer Column

 Thursday 19 July 2012   Some Very Famous Names At The Birthday Table.
  A King Abdicates ... A Letter From Luka.
 It's almost a year to the day when the now famous Luka Modric Transfer Request emerged. You remember it. The one about no like chicken badge,no understand word triffic, no like wages, no like play with tall circus man and so it went. My how times have changed. Well in many ways yes but it seems the Modric family coffee table is dominated by Spanish travel brochures. Travel remains firmly on our little Luka's agenda.
A missive seemingly posted from a deckchair of Spanish manufacture handily placed on a beach of very Spanish origin.Whilst Mrs Luka is off at the waters edge ensuring littlest Luka, Ivan actually, is not attempting to swim back to London (North London do a great line in very early years school prep), Luka is tapping away at his laptop.
So in this day of email communication it was not of great surprise that he had double clicked and the following arrived here at The Luka Modric Appreciation Society inbox.Nice to be on Luka's list of contacts however accidental it might be.
A quick scan of Luka's inbox would have revealed some fascinating names and none more so frequent than Mario Mamic. Football agent to our one time Croatian triumvirate and very hard at work on Luka's travel itinerary. And so to that mail ....
Dear Mario,
        Hvala from your biggest money spinner. Only having beach joke of course. Remember last year we were on Russian super yacht Eclipse enjoying too much vodka and lots of deck tennis. Well so as there is no slip ups again I thought I would help by setting out a leetle list to help you in your chats with Senor Special.Please excuse my Croatian English. No help from Ivan as he is too busy practising his long distance swimming.
No like Russian front ...
Niko has left for Dynamo Kyiv in the Ukraine. Vedran is now serving time with LoKomotiv Moscow. Strong and proud Croatian upbringing will get them through the winter. Mrs Luka says London is as low as she will go . Very happy with Madrid weather forecast.
Still no like little stadium ...
Eighty five thousand fans pack into Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. Daniel still working on plans for new Lane. With both Niko and Charlie gone Luka lonely. Not lonely at Bernabeu.
Like John Terry's lawyer ...
Maybe miracle worker could work on Luka's case.My escape problem much easier than John's. Much more black and white. Surely simple gentleman's agreement between me and Daniel can be sorted by Mr. George Carter-Stephenson. Anyone with a name that long must be good.
Long like Andre ...
After all he did his best to get me to Russian club last summer. Shame that now Andre is at chicken club and you Mario say I should go. Surely nothing to do with roubles or pesetas.
Just one little comment on Andre ...
No like raincoat ...
In fact have not met anyone who does. Yes apart from his Joana Maria(Mrs AVB), little Benedita (nearly 3) and Carolina( nearly2). If your family won't support your dress sense who will.
Never did see John or Frank in raincoats at Russian club. Even Ray Wilkins only wore his famous tee shirts.Remember Ray?
No like missing Eastenders in Spain ...
No problems with being home on Thursday nights. Real have night off. Seems will have to go online and watch. What is Spanish broadband like Mario?
Hope this helps Mario. As you know nothing wrong with chicken club except for wages, no Big league, no other Croatians there, and now no Harry. No triffic word either.
Must rush as Mrs Luka not good swimmer and Ivan will be well on way back to England unless I borrow speed boat and pick him up. Loves White Hart Primary School.
           Luka, Mrs Luka and littlest Croatian Olympic swimmer.
 .Meanwhile At A Kent Pub.
Mine Host has gone all sentimental with the drinks on him. Not every day a legend retires.
              Ledley Brenton King ... truly a Rolls Royce.
Just before we go that birthday table.
                                                      Nelson Mandela(94) provides the sheer power of humanity and will to overcome.Richard Branson(62) certainly sits easily next to him and alongside is Nick Faldo(55). Very appropriate with a certain Open just started. Finally and where we are seated is Priyanka Chopra(30). Nothing to with the fact she was Miss World of 2000 and is taking Bollywood by storm.
Cheers ... albeit a sad and joyful day .. Ledley leaves but I bet his knees might feel better ... Greg Meyer.      coys.
Video Spot
A fitting tribute toThe King. One club man, will we ever see his like again? Includes the famous tackle on Robben. Content excellent, film quality not quite so excellent. It will be a brave man that puts on the 26 shirt. I hope they save it for someone really good.
With thanks to those lovely people over at Spurs Community for permission to 'share'. (Live link in the Recommended Reads  section)

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Virgin territory

I know it's pre-season but
 this is virgin' on the ridiculous Jimmy.

The JimmyG2 Column

Let's face it everything has been going worryingly smoothly. Every day a new announcement about players or back room staff and the players have barely reported back for training and located their pegs in the changing rooms.
'Yours is the one with the picture of the waffle Jan, and Siggy, look for the volcano under a big black cloud'.

Now news of Adebayor coming to us for £5 million, plus plenty of add-ons no doubt, which sounds unlikely but even the most unlikely rumours are coming true at the moment so who knows. Talks are continuing as we speak.

 The appointment of Sigmund Freund as Assistant Coach should help with the mental strength side of things and give us the psychological boost that we have allegedly lacked for years. (Editor: I should check that Jimmy if I were you).

It looks as if the wage ceiling will be well and truly breached this season, rumours of  £100,000 p.w. abound and this might help to lure one or two reluctant millionaires our way. The DOF structure seems to include Daniel himself as chief negotiator It all seems to be on a much more professional basis after the days of Harry, Kevin and Joe. Time will tell.

At the time of writing Modric is still poised to leave us but Van Der Vaart apparently not, much to the disgust of several journo's who are trying to offload him to the UAR or Hamburg or anybody. The manager's insists that he wants to keep him but sport's journalists rarely let the facts get in the way of a good demolition job. I think that he would make a good captain.

So we are in what we ITK's* call 'virgin' territory: virgin' on the start of a new season and perhaps a new era; virgin' on the point of selling Defoe, Bentley, JJ and Gio; virgin' on the point of buying a dozen exciting forwards, several midfielders and a couple of goalkeepers whose combined age is less than that of Brad Friedel.

In truth it's been a slow week after the excitement of a new manager and two top class players. We have got our first pre-season game under our belt, the Academy lads beating a grown up assortment of Kinstonians 2-1. All the coaching staff were there and active; Ryan Mason was captain and scored a good individual goal and might feature again in the first team squad.

The lads have been snapped smiling in training and the new boss does good banter according to reports. Not a humanoid football construct then after all. Things will get trickier no doubt but all is well so far.

And now for a new feature on Musings: Out and About

Things that would be funny if they weren't so sad:

John Terry's successful defence that his repetition of Ferdinand's words were just sarcasm. Some top lawyers are making a good living getting players (and managers) off what look like open and shut cases for the prosecution.

The support for Terry of 'choc-ice' Cole comes into the same category.

Things that would be sad if they weren't so funny:

The attempt of Liverpool to offload recent £35 million signing Andy Carroll back to Newcastle for £15 million. I think that the owners of Liverpool need to have a closer look at their business plan. They must have it upside down.

Madonna making her name singing 'Like a Virgin' fits neatly in here.

The good news for one is bad news for another, spot
The appointment of Fabio Capello as manager of Russia is bad news for Harry but good news for Roman 'Am I safe to stop fucking running about a bit now?' Pavlyuchenko.Fabio seems to be blighting Harry's career in more ways than one lately.

ITK* roughly translates as 'It's total kobblers.'

Video Spot.
With thanks to the members of Spurs Community who have compiled a treasure trove of Spurs videos. Just to get us in the mood this a good reminder of things past and hopefully things to come. If this doesn't get the throat catching and the tear ducts welling then you're on the wrong blog. Enjoy.

It's all yours for the moment AVB, but it's only on loan. Treat it with care and respect.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Arrivals and departures.

Relax, it's not that Crouch that's returning

The JimmyG2 Column

 Can it possibly be only three weeks since Harry left? It seems a lot longer. It must be that time warp that Spurs fans exist in separated by several centuries from the one in which Daniel Levy seems to operate. Everything in Levyland seems to happen in ultra slow motion, deals take years to complete and are overtaken by melting glaciers. In the meantime fans die foaming at the mouth from a forced fed diet of ITK.

But in Spurs time this appointment of our new 'Coach' rather than a 'Manager' moved at the speed of light. We will now proceed to DL's preferred structure with a DOF or something, possibly Sherwood so the wires hum to me, which was put on hold when Harry held all the aces (2 from eight)on his appointment. 

Putting  the Head Coach in first with his DOF to cover the areas delegated by the top man  makes good sense and Harry was probably wrong to reject it. The problem comes when  the Head Coach is sackedbut some flexibility should be built into the system when appointing the DOF or Technical Director or Head Coach Support Operative or whatever name he is given.

Anyway it is only three weeks and we have a new 'manager', some Portuguese guy who did a few months at Chelsea until he was mugged one dark night by the notorious Terry gang. Now just where did this appointment spring from?  Who knew? Who saw that coming?  My dog had the story but I ignored him

Straight down to work and the first signing completed within 24 hrs of Gylfi known only by his first name because no-one can spell Siggi...Sigurs..Saggy...Sogiss.. Is that two ss's and one g or two gg's and one s? Anyway smart work by the new boss. I'm warming to him already. If he gets Vertonghen by the end of the week he will already have established his status as a legend.

Young, progressive, a tactical football philosopher, hates Chelsea. What's not to like? Players are clearly lining up to join as opposed to walking out of the door. Perhaps Modric would have stayed but we've already blown his contribution to the transfer kitty. Estimated between £40 and £100 million by those knowledgeable sports journalists.

He and Daniel will speak more or less the same language which was part of the problem with Harry. You can take the man out of W.Ham but you cant take the W Ham out of the man. AVB as he is cryptically known will have learned his lesson at Chelsea and be desperate to succeed at Spurs.

He will have the full backing of Levy unlike Abramovich at Chelsea who, when the kitchen over heated, sacked the Head Chef and kept the waiters. Levy has been here before with the sacking of Jol and the hiring and firing of Juande Ramos but his reputation stands or falls with that of Andres Villas Boas. Neither of them can withstand another disaster

Papers are full of the likely impact of a Portuguese coach because, and whisper it softly, they speak Portuguese in Brazil. So there is a block booking on Brazil Airways for eager recruits to the Tottenham project as it has not yet been called

Gomes will be back as number one choice in goal; Sandro will be captain; and Leandro, Damiao, and Oscar the 'boy wonder' will be packing their suitcases. Leandro Damiao has been the go for so long I now think of him as two players. Perhaps they are Siamese twins, which would give the FA a problem when counting team and squad numbers.

Anyway expect Samba soccer if not instant success. Mid-table next season, some quality arrivals, a new approach, an emphasis on youth (sorry Brad,Willy and Ryan) and a new era. I'm excited already, though to be fair I would have been excited if Coco the Clown had been appointed. Let's just hope that he hasn't been.

He will need time and support especially when times are hard. Let's not just sing when we're winning. The Press already have an anti AVB agenda partly in support of Harry but mainly because it's a good story if 'Crouching Andres' fails again.

We need to maintain a solid front against the barrage of hostility which will be generated if things start badly. Harry will snipe in a mock supportive way from the sidelines predicting a top four finish with the 'excellent squad I left him' but ignore all these outsiders.

That doesn't mean that the 'Musings ' will not criticise when appropriate but hopefully in a positive way. We're sure gonna try our best and let's hope everyone else does too.

Video Spot. 
It's OK he's signed. Let's hope he can show the same passion and involvement at Spurs and that the Chelsea experience hasn't damaged him for ever. He's rumoured to have taken an £11  million hit to come to us and he'll only just cover that in his first three year stretch. Clearly thinking long term.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Done deals

  Have you seen this man? And who the heck is he?

 The JimmyG2 Column,

'What's the point of a blog if you are going to tell us that nothing has happened'. You may well ask and it is certainly a good question and it definitely is a question that needs answering. But friends that is the art of the Blogger. Any fool can write a blog when events tumble and jostle with one another to make the front page.

Key players leaving, transfer requests tendered; exciting arrivals pictured on the pitch at WHL, in the shirt, next to the manager (Oops) sorry the Chairman, complete with scarf; new International managers, takeovers by Americans; stadium announcements; Naming Rights, the whole business.

None of this has happened as you all rightly pointed out But to weave a magical web out of nothing is a gift granted to few people, your current host included. But practice makes perfect so I'll press on. I daren't check but I think I wrote this column last year and the year before that.

I was going to blag this last week. That's a typo but it's a pretty good indication of the blogging world so I'll leave it in. Anyway I put it off in the hope that I would have exciting Spurs related revelations to er.. reveal. Then I thought ' publish and be damned ' and you might be first with the news that hasn't quite happened. That doesn't seem to have worked either.

A week ago the appointment of Andras Villas Boas was widely predicted to be imminent. July 1st was the suggested even promised,date. Unfortunately that was a nice rounded date but it was a Sunday. It is now Monday July 2nd and it hasn't happened. I would have noticed if it had.

AVB is considered fair game by the gentlemen of the press during the extended honeymoon now to be enjoyed by Roy Hodgeson until at least our next game. A queue of players is apparently forming to walk out of WHL the moment AVB's appointment is announced. Bentley and Jenas are at the head of the queue followed by Corluka and Krancjar.

They would have been first but have already left. None of the players were regulars under Harry so they are picking on the wrong guy. No mention is made of Van Der Vaart, Walker, Sandro, Ekotto, Friedel, Kaboul, Ledley or any of our regular first team squad. Modric tried to leave a year ago before AVB had even arrived at Chelsea.

Obviously Sports Writers are not regarded by themselves or others as Proper Journalists and exempt from considerations of truth and honesty so everyone and anyone can be lied to and lied about But was ever thus and if you are prone to believe the stuff you read about our boys then don't read it in the first place.

The signing of Vertonghen was also 'done' some weeks ago but apparently finalisation has hit a snag. They are haggling whether he gets the peg nearest the showers currently enjoyed by Modric. Everything else has been agreed including fee, wages, image rights, and all the other minor stumbling points. He won't sign until Modric goes because otherwise that peg is unavailable.

His agent rejects the proviso that this be preceded by the words 'in the event of Luka leaving' as being 'disrespectful'. They don't earn millions for nothing these guys. Modric being shorter offered to take the bottom hook in the meantime but that too was rejected.

If the deal takes much longer he will be entitled to a testimonial before he even plays his first game. Negotiations over which may prolong his signing even further..

Gylfi Sigurdsson was the subject of our video spot last week as that was another 'done deal'. The moment he reviewed his undoubted talents on the 'Musings' he had second thoughts and is thinking of going to Liverpool under his ex Swansea boss Rodgers. OK I promise no more videos of prospective signings.

The departure of Modric has been widely reported to both Man.Utd and Real Madrid including the lodging of a transfer request within days. That was two weeks ago but weeks are composed of days after all. He has been seen at both Barajas and Manchester airports heavily disguised as a tourist. He may get away with that in Madrid but Manchester I think not.

Something I can definitely report is that the 'boring Spain' label has been put back in the draw following their comprehensive defeat of Italy. They played exactly as they always do but took the precaution of closing down Pirlo.

In the adrenaline induced atmosphere they played at a higher tempo and took all their chances. Achieving for the first time ever three Championship wins in a row finally convinced the World's press that they might just be the best team ever. Adios aburrida Espana.  Hola mejor del Mundo.

So that wasn't hard was it? A web of nothingness. Why do we fall for this every year at Spurs?
It's like waiting for a cancelled train. I bet the moment I press the 'publish' button Villas Boas and Vertonghen will appear at a joint Press Conference.

Go on Jimmy, I dare you.

Video spot.
5 minutes of pure Spanish joy. I've spared you the English commentary. An object lesson in staying onside and timing the pass. Three of the four goalscorers play in the Premiership but that is about as close as we can come from claiming any shared joy or credit. Manager makes two substitutions and both score within minutes of coming on. How lucky is that?

Too late, UEFA have scotched that one. Try Andres Iniesta for size. Player of the tournament. His signature move looks easy enough but don't try this at home without medical help at hand. Stanley Mathews only had one trick but it worked every time.