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Wednesday, 27 June 2012

The great player revolt.

I'm currently writing this on my phone having found myself locked outside my Aunts house with her return seeming indefinite. Apologies in advance for grammatical and/or spelling mistakes.

So Twitter informed me three points regarding Tottenham today, with the greatest news coming in the latter end of the day. Bale has signed on. No, not in the typical Liverpudlian sense of the word, but a contract extension tying him down for another 4 years. Or, in today's terms, ensuring we get a bigger transfer fee when he gets itchy feet after another disappointing end to next season.

See what I did there, I'm trying to jinx it.

But how Gareth gave us a tease. After publicly declaring he'd assess his options should we not make the Champions League, it's good to see that this appeared genuine and, clearly, staying at Spurs was his preferred option. What a nice man he is (until he leaves).

This extension can go someway to declaring intent to any other targets that we don't intend to bend over and revert to a 6th place side but we'll seek to keep our best players and build on last years unfortunate 4th place finish; Luka, by the day, seemingly becoming the anomaly here.

"All your best players will leave" they said. The ignorant masses that couldn't look past a newspaper article or see the fine details behind the Redknapp dismissal. I guess they're true. You can't replace the looks that Niko brought to our bench, or the style and sophistication that Charlie brought whilst making a toddler looking like a world champion sprinter.

If Jenas and Pienaar left we'd face relegation.

I assume this is the player revolt that the masses were laughing and chatting about at our expense because, minus Luka, I struggle to pick out any of our first XI that are scratching at the exit door because godfather Arry left.

Luckily for us, I hear Levy's a Spurs fan.


Sunday, 24 June 2012

Guest Post: Another Spoonful of Sugar?

Whatever the long term effects of Harry Redknapp’s departure may be, two things seem already to have happened.    If reports are to be believed, Luka Modric has decided to leave Spurs.     That was predictable when you remember that Modric declined to sign an extended contract because of the uncertainty about Redknapp’s future when it was thought that he would be the next England manager.     The deal to sign Jan Vertonghen is now suspended until Spurs appoint another manager.    That may not worry the management too much because it will probably give the opportunity for some other club to sign him, and that will save money – which seems to be the form in these matters.

The story was that Spurs had offered £10m for Vertonghen, Ajax wanted £12m.     What happened after that we don’t know but the logical compromise would have been to offer £11m.     Yes, a million pounds is still a lot of money and we have been reminded that Spurs want to build a new stadium.    The people who say that could themselves be reminded that Coventry City built a new stadium, not all that long ago, and now it’s likely to be one of the best in League One.   A million pounds, in the current situation, would have been an investment, a statement to some star players who may be thinking of leaving that Spurs can still attract other stars.

The strategy should now be to tell want away players that we can make a challenge for the League Title.    If we are inflicted with the Europa League we can do what we did last season – use it to give experience to some of the younger players and not worry too much if we go out.    With other top four rivals committed to the Champions League we surely have a good chance
As regards the Champions League, Spurs qualified by reaching the top four and the rule that says we lose our place because Chelsea won the trophy is surely one that could and should be challenged.   It would probably be too much to expect for the FA to protest that English football is being penalised for being successful but remember when the FA wanted to deduct points from Spurs and bar us from the FA Cup because of offences by a previous regime?   The then Chairman Alan Sugar negotiated with the FA and they changed their minds.    This time there has not been a whimper.

When Sugar brought Klinsmann to White Hart Lane he said that when you have a problem, you throw some money at it, and there can be no doubt that we have a problem now.    It can be summed up as keeping together what some people saw as the best Spurs side ever and it won’t be done by dithering and haggling over every last penny.    If the current management aspire to be financial experts, they should know that the worst thing in financial dealings is indecision.
As far as Modric is concerned, the familiar process began last week.    Manchester United were reported to have bid £22m for the Croatian, who has been rated at £40m.    Undeterred by financial logic, a gentleman in The Sun followed this up by telling his readers that Modric was on his way to United.    This is how it often goes.   I once laughed out loud when a sportswriter innocently wrote that a player attracting similar attention “was bound to be unsettled by all this speculation.”    Isn’t that why it’s done?

The disappointment of Spurs fans is not simply that we’ve lost the Champions League place that the team fairly won Arsenal won their last match 3 – 2 and stayed above us, with all three goals due to errors by a reserve goalkeeper.    We were beating them at the Emirates and our second goal was from a penalty conceded by the goalkeeper.   Against current practice he stayed on but had Arsenal been reduced to ten men they would never have come back and beaten us.   One goal in any of several games would have given Spurs the points they needed to take third place.    So very near and yet so far.  The management should recognise this and respond to our support with decisive action.

The great Australian athlete Herb Elliot once said that the British press is the most vicious in the world and their attitude to any sportsman who appeared to be struggling with this career is, “That bloke’s on the way down – I’m going to kick him down and keep him there.”

I’ve yet to meet anyone who disagreed with that and already one football writer has said that the only way Spurs can now go is down.    There seems to me a strong possibility that he might be proved right – which should provide the strongest possible motivation to prove him wrong.    I suspect that like me, a lot of other long term supporters are tired of waiting for action, tired of being told that signings are about to be made, only to hear no more until it’s announced that the players concerned have gone to other clubs or have decided to stay where they were.   In the latter case, it’s probably because they feel less than flattered by the desperate haggling over a relatively small amount of money.

Arsenal and Chelsea have already strengthened their squads while all that Spurs have done is sell Ryan Nelsen and Niko Kranjcar.    In the latter case, Kranjcar was bought from Portsmouth when Luka Modric was injured in an early match and he proved a very able deputy.    Wouldn’t it have been prudent to keep him until we know what’s going to happen with Modric?
Well, stop press news is that the Vertonghen deal is still deadlocked, Villas-Boas has denied reports that he’s about to take over – which may not mean that it won’t happened – and after similar speculation about Blanc nothing more has been heard.    As somebody says at the end of Hamlet, “The rest is silence.”

Ah well, there are probably quite a few League One managers who we could get on the cheap, particularly if there’s one who has just been sacked, so if we’re going to act like small operators, why not do the job properly?

By Colin Kendell.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Harry forced his way out.

So, no doubt you'd have already (more than likely) read many opinions regarding the Redknapp situation   so I appreciate you coming on here to have a read of mine.

Those that know me know that I was always incredibly split with Redknapp. If I had to make a choice though, I was definitely more in favour of him than not; *Que thousands of page closes at this point.* For me, it was always about maintaining a motivated and settled squad with Harry drawing a vast level of respect from the playing staff. But yet, I remained sat on a large rustic fence, contemplating most weeks how I felt about the man leading Tottenham.

The fact that Redknapp split most opinion was unhealthy in itself. After most fixtures had passed us by, the post-game discussion amongst us - I found - was that the subject of Redknapp would eventually rise and the inevitable question of "has he taken us as far as he could?" would always worm its way into conversation. If Redknapp genuinely believed we could win the league, it wouldn't ever have happened under his leadership. A great man manager, as Redknapp showed, can get you very far. It did us wonders. But a title winner requires a tactical prowess for when things aren't going right; turning a draw into a win. Taking us to 'the next level.' Sometimes it may require "long boring tactical speeches," sorry Rafa.

Of course, one of Harry's major downfalls was his mouth. Aside from it being a saggy and wrinkly old thing, he didn't know that, sometimes, it's best to leave some questions unanswered. His recent grilling from Lineker when on the BBC panel illustrated this and Harry failed to cover himself in any glory when answering. I admired his honesty to some extent, but rolling around with the old England girl again really didn't do us, or himself, any good. It's almost like having your missus getting close to another bloke only for the bloke to reject her and for the old tart to come crawling back to you with her tail almost stuck between her legs. It's never quite the same after.

So, who to draft in? Opinions remain just as split over who we want to take the reigns and guide the Tottenham horse back into the top 4 places next year, so to speak. I'm playing with a double-edged sword, but here goes.

I must be brutally honest and say Moyes isn't my number one. Moyes has done a fantastic job building an organised Everton side and, no disrespect to him, but I feel we need someone with experience in handling 'bigger' players, large egos and is used to battling for Champions League places. If we can, we should look to maintain the momentum and seek to continue progressing as a club otherwise we could find ourselves stuck in another few years of transition. Everton organise themselves impeccably, but I feel  putting defence first may impact our flair going forward. Just my opinion. It's also no hiding away from the fact that Everton are susceptible to a usually slow start to their season.

Another name (or initials) touted has been AVB. An obvious long-term solution but my fear and reservations with this appointment would be whether we'd realistically be willing to stick it out with him if he had a similarly slow start with us as he did with Chelsea. I couldn't see it. Capello's age will probably halt any deal which leads me to Benitez. Once more, very split. The Liverpool side under Benitez was a sound force to be reckoned with. A far-cry from what Liverpool fans are having to witness of late. He bought well and was known for getting a great deal out of his squad. 2 La Liga's, a Uefa Cup, a Champions League and an FA Cup marked a fairly successful spell in England. Although, his dismal spell at Inter may have dented his reputation and one does have to question why he's been out of work since December 2010.

Of course, as fans, we'll remain incredibly split. Opinions do this, naturally. The line between hope and expectation will become more of a grey area as new names are flung into the frame with every passing day. I can't help but feel Levy will have someone more or less lined up. But, whoever it is, they'll have our full backing and, you never know, they may even turn down an interview here or there.

Onwards and upwards.

In the end, it's all John Terry's fault.