The Blog that's not always wrong.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Money, and Crisis, Talks

Pity Gareth didn't get one this year.

The JimmyG2 Column

The main difference on Saturday against Chelsea was that they had better players on higher wages as a result  of having greater financial resources. In short, money. This is a very uneven playing field which the fair play provisions are unlikely to remedy. Once Bale and Dempsey were ruled out then the writing was on the wall. It's a bit blurred but I think it says, 'identify the key players you require and go out and buy them'.

The Chelsea attack, Torres, Hazard, Mata and Oscar cost more than the whole Tottenham squad put together. Now money can't you everything but generally it can buy you top quality equipment and ultimately success. Chelsea's new arrivals have settled in quickly and have revived Torres and allowed Mata to play to play to his full potential.

Mata, who Harry 'looked at' as he revealed on Match of the Day in a pundit performance which made Alan Shearer look like an analyst from Zonal Marking, was our chief tormentor once again. It is well documented that Cahill who scored the opener yesterday was seconds away from signing in the Summer except for the small matter of about £30 thousand pounds a week in wages.

But it's not simply about money: it's about money well spent. Sensible investment my personal financial advisor down at Cash Converters calls it. With the late withdrawal of Bale ( no innuendo intended Gareth but there's a lesson in there somewhere) and Dembele our Modric lite replacement  you had the makings of an impending disaster which we avoided with a spirited display marred by individual errors. We had chances but put most of them straight at Cech

The early signing of Sigurdsson who has yet to convince Musings which enabled us to sell Van Der Vaart looks like a bad deal at the moment. So AVB's complete restoration in everybody's eyes and especially his own failed to materialise as we went down in a performance which ultimately lacked sufficient all round quality. We conceded our first defeat at WHL to any London rival for considerably longer than you might imagine.

Cahill scored on 17 minutes with an impressive volley from a Gallas misplaced defensive header and it was not until just after half time that Willy made amends by scoring the equaliser from a Huddlestone free kick enterprisingly kept in play by that man Vertonghen. Hopes were raised when Defoe diverted a Lennon, our MOM (Tottenham Section),  mishit shot, into the net and we were ahead.

 But the good news ended there and slowly but surely with Juan  ( ' Harry had a look at me' ) Mata becoming increasingly prominent we were caught and overhauled. Mata scored twice and set up Sturridge for the fourth goal which rather flattered them.

This came as the result of Walker becoming too personally involved with Mata which left Kyle flat on his face and the goal exposed. We can all relax now because the 'accident waiting to happen'  has happened. He lacks judgment rather than confidence and a quiet spell of reflection, if Kyle Naughton or Adam Smith can step up for the next couple of games, might do him good.
. Another candidate for a rest is Gallas who unkind supporters say was partly responsible for the first three goals and scored his first goal for Spurs with his hand. We have never been great admirers of the man and wouldn't argue too strongly against much of that. He has played well at times including last week at Old Trafford but he is inconsistent and slow. Ironically two of the main reasons why Dawson isn't playing.

 If Kyle Naughton is available next week then Vertonghen can return to his preferred position with Caulker and the Ledley King succession can begin. Lloris should start too though perhaps he should have started against Chelsea and then the Lloris/Friedel debate could have been put to rest and we could have all got on with our lives. He might have saved the first and at least flung himself at the second but let's leave the blame with Gallas.

AVB might have missed a trick in not playing Townsend as a direct replacement place for Bale. Dempsey hasn't done anything yet to suggest he can fit into anyone's shoes let alone those of Van Der Vaart. Sigurdsson flattered to deceive at Swansea and in pre-season. We can but hope that the real Gylfi stands up soon.

 He was even taken off dead ball duties by Huddlestone having failed to beat the first defender twice running. Although Gallas, it's that man again, should have scored in the opening minutes from a cunning free kick by our favourite Icelander, apart from Bjork.

 Selling our two key creative players without sufficient re-investment makes neither business nor footballing sense. Dempsey was a typical Tottenham last minute bargain bucket buy. I am not asking for the arrival  of a life-long Spurs Billionaire to save us. We don't need saving or savings. We finished in the top four last year ahead of Chelsea and our record over the past several seasons given our financial restraints has been impressive.

It wasn't lack of money that buggered us up last year. Let's do it the hard way and enjoy the achievement not just go out on a shopping spree and buy buy buy. That's not football management, that's soccer shopaholicism.

In fact we are still fifth, clear of Arsenal, Liverpool and last years high flyers Newcastle with only Everton and a single point between us and the CL places. This was our first defeat in 10 and we nearly pulled it off with five senior players missing. Kaboul, Parker, Ekotto, Bale and Dembele.

We hosted another great game for the neutrals and made first spot on MOTD. Harry agreed with himself that with this squad a top four finish is tantamount to failure. Are you listening Andres? Chelsea are a good team and are playing well.  But at full strength we would have been more than a match for them.

 Do the sums guys, you've all got enough fingers. No babies during the season. We just can't afford it.

Bale's Baby. Its a girl! But they're calling it Ryan anyway.
I think AVB has handled this very well as this game meant probably more to him than even the fans. . A tricky situation well handled once again by AVB. A  brave public face but I bet he was shattered in private. What's the Portuguese for 'Oh for fucks sake'?

Ade want's out and is having talks with AVB. But as he has been injured until now and missed pre-season this is another drama got up by the press. It's a wonder the lads get any training done, they seem to spend most of their time, according to the papers, in Andres' office having crisis talks.

Strange but True (New Feature)
Spurs have played 8 games and have 14 points exactly the same as Real Madrid.

Jimmy's Video Spot;
In fairness to Kyle Walker here is 4 minutes of what he can do, has done and hopefully will do again.
Concentrate, keep cool and lay off twitter for a while.


Anonymous said...

Siggurdsson was bought before AVB arrived so he can't be blamed for how poor the player is in his system. I really want Tottenham to sign Eriksen, he's young, creative and friends with Jan so he'd surely settle in quickly. I also hope we'll act on the partnership between us and Real Madrid and attempt to sign Higuain. At least then if they say no, we can tell them to do one when they eventually come calling for Bale.

Anonymous said...

And the difference between Spurs and midtable sides is . . . money?

Ed Moloney said...

I think we should have a discussion about Bale's absence, given that it probably had an adverse psychological and performance effect on the game. Ask yourself, when you heard he wasn't playing didn't you conclude right away the game was probably unwinnable?
When it was announced, I assumed that birth was imminent and there might even be problems with his wife, i.e. that there were acceptable elements of urgency attached to the story. But that quickly proved not to be the case. And in fact his baby was not born until the following day, over 24 hours after the match. He gets paid a fortune. He should have turned up.
Not so long ago a player could be fined for failing to play because of a birth, the reasoning being that receiving such big money brings with it a responsibility to justify it. I would have been happy had Bale's wife given birth that afternoon or if there were medical problems, but neither applied in this case.
It leaves the feeling that there is one rule for the rich and famous and another for the rest, and a feeling also that such stars as Bale have to be pampered and indulged otherwise they might run off to join their Croatian mates in Madrid. It is above all else a symptom of a deeper malaise in football caused by the excess of money, one of whose symptoms is the total absence of any loyalty to the club or the fanbase which makes the turnstiles sing and their bank accounts zing!
I have to say I was angry as hell when the details became known. This is just not right. It has to end.

IKnowAlanGilzean said...

Calm, authoritative and insightful Jimmy. A good read.

When I was a younger I was jealous of Liverpool and later Forest & Villa, then more recently Man Utd and at times even Arsenal as they won the very big prizes and in one or two cases with some style, unlike Chelsea, of whom I'm not in the least bit envious of Chelsea or their fans (the many new and few old; in fact I'm a little sad for them.

I was disappointed with the Lloris decision. I think it was a bad one. I also feel the Dempsey/Sigi being played leftwards in the game was something Harry would have done, putting "senior"/costly players in roles they are not comfortable in, just to have them in the side. Rather than playing the fella best suited to come in to Bale's vacant position: as you say, Townsend.

It's one thing shoehorning the brilliant Modric or VdV in and quite another doing so for Dempsey or Sigi. Still, I like AVB and am pleased overall, I knew it was going to take time and some ebbs as well as flows.

They're a good, potentially very good side, Chelsea, and they have spent "their" dirty money well recently. Rudolf Hess will be thrilled. But depleted as we were we made them shake like leafs for 15 mins in the second half. They were the better side overall but we were all over the shop defensively at times and made so many defensive errors, which to be fair they punished well.

Disappointing, but I think we're on the right track for a good 2-3 seasons, at least.

Being at the birth of a child is much more important than playing in a football match, no matter how impt. Indeed in this day and age of the all singing dancing cash-gorged monolith that is the premier league it's quite refreshing.

It does seem, however, that with hindsight and in the cooler light of the day, that it could have been managed better, so that all parties benefited and could safely be in the "right" places at the necessary times. But maybe Bale was in no mental state to play, who knows. Not me.

JimmyG2 said...

First Anon.
Rather have Benzema and it's certainly a cunning plan. I didn't blame AVB.

Anon 19.42
Yes. The bigger the club the more they can pay for players and the more they can pay them.
There is astep change when you get to CL contenders and another when you get to chelsea and Man.City.

Ed Moloney.
Ed, Ed, Ed get a grip friend. The matter was not handled well as you and IKAG say but child-births are notoriously unpredictable and his first duty is to his partner and family nomatter how much he is being paid.
In fact Bale has been quite loyal and we have been good to him and for him.
Perhaps he will remember all this when Real come knocking
I'm not holding my breath though.

We seem to be singing from the same hymn sheet

Ed Moloney said...

i'm sorry jimmy, i disagree. these days pregnancies are almost completely predictable and controllable and pre-natal difficulties are invariably diagnosable well in advance. the last minute (apparently) departure to hobbit land from WHL gave the impression of an unforeseen emergency, whereas the reality was quite different. i mean he did know in advance that his wife was pregnant, yes? he is perhaps the most important player on the team, yes? would it not then have been prudent and sensible to have at least discussed all this well in advance so that both needs, the team's and his, could have been met - especially with the Chelski game coming up? and isn't it interesting to have such provocative issues to debate and disagree about compared to the drivel that appears on other THFC sites. i mean if you want to see a really boring, predictable and conventional site go to Cartilage Free Captain. It's gross. Just be glad you have such talented, witty and challenging contributors like me and IKAG writing for you!

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