The Blog that's not always wrong.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Where there is Discord AVB must bring Harmony.

'All the right notes but not necessarily in the right order'

The JimmyG2 Column.
There's nothing like losing at the Emirates to help get our ambitions into perspective. A win would have taken us to joint top with a resurgent Liverpool and got another hoodoo monkey off our back early in the season.

On the very same day that Gareth Bale finally bid farewell having financed an incredible buying spree which saw seven quality signings arrive with still another full day to go we failed yet again to beat Arsenal.

Perhaps playing so many new arrivals at once was the error. Even Townsend is a new boy. This is clearly an upgraded squad but it will need some careful integration and time on the practice pitch before it functions as it should. Holtby, Sigurdsson or even Tom Carroll might have started.

The squad is undeniably stronger and yet still managed to lose to Arsenal who have been virtually inactive in the transfer window until the last minute signing of Ozil from Real Madrid for £32 million. Continuity took the prize on this occasion.

Of course the Premiership is a marathon not a sprint and there are no prizes for being ahead at the mile marker. But it still hurts.

Real Madrid have recouped £75 million of their outlay on Bale with the sale of Ozil and Higuan. A pity Levy didn't wait another 24hrs having stalled for so long to sign off on the deal and put a spanner in the works of the Arsenal transaction.
For the third Premiership game running we failed to engineer a goal in open play. We hoped or even expected this rapidly assembled scratch orchestra to be on the same page and on song instantly but it didn't happen and nor is it likely to.

Patience, not a virtue in abundance amongst football fans, is the key to our success this season. AVB is going to need time to fine tune this talented bunch and will need the goodwill of the audience perhaps until Xmas or the boo boys will be the only chorus in town .

We dominated the possession on Sunday, itself unusual at the Emirates, but once again failed to be inventive enough in the final third to create enough clear-cut chances. It's always an ominous sign when Lloris is the MOM by some margin.

I predicted that we'd play cagey and let them come on to us as they usually do and hit them on the break. In fact the reverse happened. Arsenal refused to come out to play and we pressed and they eventually hit us on the break instead. Nobody had told Dawson that the high line had to be straight.

We might have got a draw but didn't really deserve it as our approach play was sluggish and tentative and although we have only conceded one goal in five outings it was a crucial and telling strike against us.

The injury to Capoue is not as bad as first feared, a month apparently but I would guess that this is on the optimistic side of hopeful. His position is covered by the welcome return of the original and authentic beast, Sandro, half man half grizzly bear.

Arsenal have a formidable set of attacking midfielders with Cazorla, Wilshire, Rosicky and now Ozil. We seem to have cornered the market in more defensive players and between us could mount a pretty effective side. No chance of a merger and ground share I suppose. No I thought not.

That is what passes for humour on Musings but as always there is a serious point in there somewhere. As Danny Blanchflower once remarked you can't have too many good players; its the bad players that are the problem. We've got plenty of good players but not necessarily in the right order.. 

We are a little threadbare at left back and up front, and as much as I like Michael Dawson he is going to get more games than is good for him and us in the absence of Capoue and the lingering doubts over Kaboul's fitness. Vlad may usurp him when he settles in. Jan may have to fill in at left back on occasion too.

Arsenal and Liverpool with Suarez to come back and ourselves are going to be in the mix of six teams vying for the top four and unless we can get it together  quickly even with our much improved squad we may find ourselves losing out once again.

Man City have already shown that a plethora of talent doesn't necessarily blend into an effective team and I stick by my pre-season prediction that without Bale we will struggle to finish in the top four.

In midweek we finished off the routine Europa qualification with a 3-0 victory over Tbilisi. Defoe got a couple and MOM Holtby got another. He was everywhere and might well have started against Arsenal. Carroll impressed too.

Scored a beauty and was MOM in the Europa against Tbilisi.
 ( Graphic courtesy of Conrete Don from Spurs Community)

The crazy rumour that Tom was to go on loan to Ajax as part of the Eriksen deal has hit the ground with a bump.  He is now joining Harry, along with Benny at QPR. I have a feeling that this is not going to be good for either of their careers.

Harry always does what is best for Harry and that might just not be what is best for young Tom. But he says he is going to play through the boy and with luck he will be as good as his word.

Jimmy's Video Spot:
It's safe to post this Eriksen video now. Has an eye for goal, better than 1/5 in the last two seasons at Ajax, but more importantly for us might supply those creative touches around the penalty area that could release the talents of Soldado.


Anonymous said...

You are only as strong as your weak parts and ours are the two full backs

MrCookiebun said...

It's safe to post this Eriksen video now. Has an eye for goal, better than 1/5 in the last two seasons at Ajax, but more importantly for us might supply those creative touches around the penalty area that could release the talents of Soldado, Paulinho and Lamela.

Anonymous said...

Too many boring functional players in midfield.

Too many mediocre buys under AVB: Sigurdsson, Dembele, Paulinho, Chadli, Capoue, Dempsey.

Loaning Tom Carroll to the championship is a tragedy.

If Spurs can get a new manager, who appreciates creative players, then the new Spurs can be based around Carroll, Eriksen, Pritchard, Lamela and Holtby.

Cheshuntboy said...

Towards the end of last season, I posted (somewhere - can't remember where!) that selling Bale and strengthening the team would be better than grimly hanging-on to a reluctant player, Modric-style. I ought then to be congratulating Levy and AVB for taking my advice, but I can't help feeling that the money could have been much better spent, ideally on three or four REALLY good players, rather than the mixture of midfield frighteners and unproven Fancy Dans that we seem to have ended up with. The way some people talk, you'd think AVB inherited a train-wreck rather than a team than made Top Four two seasons out of three, but he's certainly dismantled Redknapp's legacy in double-quick time, and I've got serious doubts that we'll be troubling the Champions' League for a while yet.

Anonymous said...

At the minute we need to feed soldado as he will score with a supply but he cannot be our only threat or we are too predictable. I have high hopes for erickson and lamela based on their records and videos to answer this problem. Need time to blend together so workfor avb after international week.worried about the left back situation despite efforts of danny rose and dawson lack of pace exposed in quick breaks.But a much superior squad and lets hope defoe gives another option.we are now a big side and need to capitalise on this in set play.

Anonymous said...

I hope our most expensive ever signing, Lamela, finds his best position sooner rather than later, and starts to justify that price tag. The worry is he looks a little fragile and perhaps over awed (at first glance). He reminds me a bit of Tom Carroll, who we've shipped off to QPR to toughen up and hone playmaking skills under gool ol' Harry. The pressure is definitely and immediately on Lamela it is for Eriksen (another youngster) who is supposed to be the immediate answer to our long standing playmaking question. These guys are KEY ..not just for Soldado, who is going to be reliant on creative midfield work providing his chances, but for orchestrating the power guys in midfield and allowing them time to steamroller all opposition. Or is it the reverse? I'm looking forward to seeing how Paulinho, Capoue, and even Sandro and Dembele, develop ..once AVB has sorted out our best system. I can't help thinking, however, that our balance is still not right in the squad, and hasn't been since Modric left. Bale masked that concern for much of last season, but now he's gone our team HAS to be balanced for most of this season (strong or not)..if we're to hit that top four spot.
Final footnote ..look at the number of playmakers that Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, City and Man U have got. Worrying isn't it ..for a flair club like ours?

Anonymous said...

what a difference a few days make!...

on the day we signed 3 players everyone was posting that we were going to win the league - now after a loss to the scum, coupled with us not signing anyone on deadline day and loaning out a couple of players, people are calling for AVB`s head - really?

yes we have a weakness at left back, and yes we have a lack of ball passing flair players, but this hasn`t happened overnight AVB`s way is to build a team round players like Paulinho, Dembele, Capoue, Sandro...all players that can tackle, hold the ball, run with it and then release quickly rather than trying to connect to the striker with a longer pass(IMO that`s why we have not scored a goal on open play this season)

it`s early days yet, let`s get behind the team and hope lamela & eriksen can provide that bit of unpredictability & guile we need to feed soldado - don`t forget home to norwich next game & if we win that`s 9 points from 12, not a bad start in anyone`s book


IKnowAlanGilzean said...

We'll be fine, though I think making a EL spot through the league placings is a fine and good season, much as I ache for the CL spots.

Chelsea and Arsenal have been very fragile for 2 seasons, but they are stronger now. I felt last season and the one before we may have missed the CL boat for a bit, and LFC are a threat again.

Bale so wanted to go and given his attitude at the end, it's unlikely he would replicate, or be interested in replicating, last season's heroics. We've spent as well as we can imo, given we have no CL to offer and cannot pay the wages that some can, though I'd have kept BAE and Caulker and Carroll.

I do think AVB is a little cautious and this may be his and our undoing this year, in terms of CL spots.

Anonymous said...

tell me this, if ozil is so great, as the arsenal-biased media keep telling us (like, 'buy of the transfer window', 'wenger's genius', etc) how come real madrid let him go? just a question.

JimmyG2 said...

Last anon./
Ozil was unsettled by the arrival of Modric and was often subbed for him. Now that Modric has possibly moved up in the pecking order he may feel that Bale is the last straw.
Seems out of favour with the new manager. Top class player without a doubt but not one that Arsenal really need with Cazorla, and Wilshire in place and Ramsey back to fitness and form.

Happy new season. We will be pushed to make 5th this year. Could be between us, Liverpool and Utd for the spot.

Anon 18:50/18:36
Good posts.
Could be another year of transition but the football with Soldado, Eriksen and Lamala should be better.

But the squad is undoubtedly better, no?

Agree about Tom Carroll.

Anonymous said...

Lets be optimistic and believe the jan 2014 midseason summary
Spurs finally sell adebayor the one season wonder to anyone
Soldado already has 16 goals scored

Lamela scoring 10 goals and has made the wing postion on the right his own
The change agent was Erickson who initiates quick moving attacking fotball and he scores 6
Since Capoue returned at the beginning of October spurs are unbeaten
Lewis Holtby surprises Avb with high qualityfootball especially in Europa league
Spurs in 5th position and sign striker in January window
Speculation that the new team have jelled and are likely to win Europa league, league cup and finish in 3rd position and qualify for champions league
Wecando it,
Spurred onto greater things

JimmyG2 said...

Last poster.
I like your optimism but many years of supporting Spurs tell me that at Tottenham what can go wrong will go wrong.
Lamala and Eriksen are young and may take time to settle.
Dembele is clearly injured and Kaboul not quite there yet. Capoue will take longer to recover than they are saying.
Then again you could be on to something, or on something more like.

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