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Saturday, 1 September 2012


...Nope. The emotional rollercoaster has finished its prolonged ride. We rode as high as a kite at times, plunged in fear at others and, by the time the coaster's elapsed time had ceased, the majority were satisfied. We had our spine ripped from inside us this summer. Replacing it was key. We signed many great additions to the side, but struggled to bring in that key man in which our play can flow through. A man to take control in midfield and run the show. 

AVB has a system. At both Porto and Chelsea he opted to stick a *que FM quote* "deep-lying playmaker" in front of the back four and carry the ball forward. With Modric turning his nose up at our new under-armour shirt (apparently he liked the colour, just not the badge), AVB chose to stick Sandro & Livermore in CM. He (we) all wanted Moutinho. I estimated about 97.2% of the Twitter guys and gals I follow were on thir knees, crossed fingers and toes praying that he'd be pulled out the bag. I assume the deal collapsed because of either time or a number of factors. I'd even heard it was because of a 15% players rights stake owned by a third party. Levy's not an idiot, he knew the reliance we'd have had on a player such as him. Unfortunately, purchasing players isn't as easy or simple as it is on both FIFA '03 and FM '06. 

But, in the end, it was Dempsey's face who was pulled out. Shock. Yes. Again, another great addition. What we have certainly added -  I hope - are goals from midfield. Easing the reliance on the forwards was a target for this year; well, in my eyes anyway. Although, I do believe Dempsey has been brought in as a forward. The addition of Dembele I think is one we've cried out for, for a while now. Pace, power, technique. He has the attributes to challenge Lennon and the versatility to slot into a number of positions. Like Dempsey, I hope that these two don't end up mirroring Pienaar's short stint at Spurs. A fantastic player, versatile, but just not clicking with us.

What I appreciate is the faith Levy has put into AVB. It was both a shock and an incredible surprise to see this, ahem, "player revolt" not quite take its' due course but for only Rafa to be, arguably, the one player leaving we probably fancied would stay. We've taken a big gamble bringing in AVB, we may as well give him every chance to succeed at Spurs. We've left this transfer window in the green after all and come out of it with a refreshed squad with strength in depth.

We are, in my opinon for what it's worth, a playmaker short. An out-and-out centre midfielder. But, in life (and football) you have to compromise. Only time will tell if we've made the right choices or not. I still see this as a season of transition. On reflection it's been a good window, but times will be tough considering we've lost our best player and one of our most influential. In terms of vdv, my heart speaks of missing him, his passion, his undisputed love for Spurs, but my head tells me it was probably a good deal for both parties. All the best to him.

A club can only get so far without Champions League football and I feel we've adapted well. We've wanted a target man, at a good age with much promise, for years, but we'll struggle to find our perfect fit until we barricade ourselves in and amongst the top 4 positions of the Premier League. 4th may not be a nail on the head, but what is guaranteed is, as ever, we'll be one of the most entertaining sides to watch. The wealth of forward-thinking players we have at our disposal is sublime. 

What we now must focus on is doing what we do best, and support the boys that ARE in lilywhite. I sense there will be a lot of desire in that dressing room to play for the shirt and that's what we want.

Ben Alfrey. 

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