No wonder we Tottenham fans call ourselves “the you know what Army” ! Like our Jewish friends/ancestors , we have spent many years in the wilderness !
Many seasons of false hopes… One good signing per season and sometimes two managers per season! While our friends in red down the road had the same intelligent manager and backing from David Dein in the board room, sweeping everything before them! Then Hallelujah, the penny dropped. Joe Lewis and Daniel Levy established a sensible business plan. No more changes for the sake of it.
Good experienced managers appointed/notably Redknapp. A sensible pay policy maintained, whilst investing in youthful top prospects with a good resale value. Stability and a plan. Soon the results improved..instead of near bottom or mid table finishes, we were in the top six and being mentioned again … not laughed at! Confidence breeds confidence, now the players were looking for the top four.
The most notable product of this new policy was Gareth Bale. In turn encouraged and bullied by Harry ,he became our talisman… and what pleasure and winning goals he gave us. His last gift to us was £86million ! Surprise, surprise… Harry going …presumably couldn’t accept any one, even Baldini, looking over his shoulder. But Levy wants this continental system and maybe he is right. We will have to trust him! In comes Jose’s protégé….AVB and also Baldini……They don’t seem to be doing too badly do they?
Well after a wonderful summer of trading (time flew by this year), what have we got for it? My opinion? 7 talented footballers, a much stronger team overall. Currently lying near the top of the Premier League(at least before the mugging by West Ham) Some residual problems i.e. We have a team that plays the traditional stylish Spurs way and can be a delight to watch, but it is probably too attractive and not pragmatic enough to win the title or even maybe not top four!
When I see the line up before the game ,it is mouth-watering,but after seeing the game I realise that we have problems in two areas. Up front we can pass and pass and pass because we have lots of good players
BUT we don’t appear to have finishing ability. You don’t get points for shots and corners! Last year Bale glossed over this with some fantastic shots from 30 yards! We need a 20 30 goals a season man. Soldado? Not sure yet! We could bring Adebayor back in from the cold and get him to work for his 170 grand a week wages. He is a very very good centre forward when he wants it, and could I feel form a very powerful combination with Soldado.
The second problem normally rears its head after about 60 mins into the game ,when we have passed the other team to death and its still 0..0 . The opposition starts to take heart and their grafters and workers start to go at us. Where are our choppers and ball winners? Dembele and Paulinho in front of the back four ? I dont think so ! They are two of our most stylish and creative players. Destroyers they are not! Every team needs one if not two! We do have these players now. Remember Sandro ? and Capoue?
I don’t think we can continue with just a firm back four , and then stuff the team with passers and dribblers. There is a passage in every game when you need one or two midfielders who can run and tackle till it hurts and stop the opposition getting on top of you. Fergie loved clever players..attacking football.. but his teams never went out without a Robson, Keane or Ince. Even Wenger realised he had to stop losing games he should have won. When everyone said he needed a centre half and striker ,he surprised us by bringing back a30 plus old boy to run ,harry the opposition, and encourage his team mates. Flamini.
For me now one of the toughest decisions to be taken is getting the balance right between being an attractive team, and being an attractive and tough team! Are we brave enough to sacrifice one of our talented new purchases to make space for Sandro and a bit of grit? Also ensuring that in January the two weak spots in the team are catered for ie. a capable full back to cover, and someone who knows where the net is! Remy?
It still promises to be a wonderful season. I hadn’t really seen much of Townsend before this season and I cannot believe how good he is. As quick as Lennon , can go both sides of a defender and gets the ball in dangerous areas…and he didn’t cost a penny ..did he?
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