Jimmy Ruffin was not singing about Spurs but it does apply to us ! Jimmy Ruffin (short for Ruffian) was born in the shadows of a dark and evil place whose name we don’t dare to mention (Highbury), a recording of his feelings when Spurs won the double. He was not born in Collinsville Mississippi -oh okay you can make up your own mind ! Is brokenhearted really one word ? I do feel a little broken and hearted. Is hearted a word ? Is that why brokenhearted a word ?

We are going through a terrible phase right now. A few seasons back we had gotten used to this kind of form, but not with the new resurgent talented Spurs not Pochettino’s Spurs….. but here we are, have we peaked too early, we beat the mighty Real Madrid, slaughtered the Reds, both at Wembley – our bogey ground (supposedly) but, a few games later, with shocking results against WBA, Leicester and Watford, we have drifted so much so that 2nd place is out of sight. Where did all that promise and exhilaration go ? I will try to explain, in no particular order (thanks Tess ! – btw if strictly results are in “no particular order” how is it that I can guess, with 90+% accuracy, who is in and who is out in the right order ?) :

  1. Wanyama – his bright energetic play in front of our defense is badly missed. When we play the better teams, his destroying play, alongside Dier, in front of Vertonghen, Alderweireld (and Sanchez), is the concrete base to build from. Last season this made it very very difficult to score against us. This season no Victor has been challenging for us. Neither Dembele or the developing Winks can fill in for him – or anywhere near.
  2. Dembele – I love his balance, his strength his ability to let the ball roll across his body, or to beat a man from a standing start, is fantastic ! But, I should say BUT, because it is a “big” but (don’t mention my wife’s butt) – his inability to influence a game makes him a luxury we can no longer afford. No goals, all too few assists, too many stray passes, too many senseless fouls. He is no longer a player that I want at Spurs. I would rather Sissoko stay and Dembele goes ! At least Sissoko is getting better.
  3. v– wtf is going on with his contract ? Paul “F*ck off” Merson says “They’re missing Toby Alderweireld, who is the best centre-back in the world.” Why haven’t we given him a new contract (Toby not the w*anky Merson), or, does Merson (the tw*t) know something we don’t – is he going to the Arse ? Sort it out ASAP – it is imperative.
  4. Alderweireld – ever since Tobes (Toe – biz) got injured we have been shite ! Except against Dortmund (who are suffering their own loss of identity). Merse is right ! Good ole Paul has his finger on the pulse (or is he just a c*nt ? Merson not Toby !) – Toby is vital to us – he is our current Ledders King, our Gary Mabs, our Mike England, our Maurice Norman – all defenders but more importantly he seems to gel this team like Alan Mullery, Dave Mackay, Graham Roberts, Stevie Perryman or Richard Gough (is it okay to write his name ?). Anyway, the point is that Toby has been phenomenal in that position since the day we bought him and his injury has made it so that, more often than not, Dier drops into the back three in our preferred formation. That leaves Winks or Dembele in front of the back three which doesn’t work. Alderweireld and Wanyama both being injured leaves us in trouble. Either one on their own is problematic but together quite debilitating.
  5. Winks – Harry Winks is doing really well and he is a bright young star in the making. But he is just a developing star, he needs time and patience, his role is not as a screen to the back three but as a lively midfielder not in the number 10 role or Eriksen role, he hasn’t got the skill of Deli Alli nor the destroying capability of Dier or Wanyama, but he is a good foil in between Dier/Wanyama and the front players. However we cannot rely on him (not yet).
  6. Others – yes Harry has had injury niggles and has been out of sorts, yes Eriksen has disappointed of late and yes Deli Alli is not scoring enough – but he is great on the ball. How solid has Sonny been for us ? – very is the answer ! Erik Lamela’s return is most welcome and when he gets up to speed (after Christmas) he will start to make a positive difference. I agree that Davies runs like a white Welshman with a stick up his arse, but more relevantly he is a liability in defense, too easily skinned, whereas Trips gets caught too far up field and hasn’t got the recovery speed required to get back. Sanchez has done brilliantly well considering that hes has been thrown in at the deep end, little time to adjust and now with opposition keying in on closing down when he gets the ball it is difficult for him.
  7. Transfer Market – I understand that Rose must go/will go and I think we all agree that Trippier and Davies are not as potent as Walker and Rose but that’s life. I guess having to pick two from Aurier, Trippier, Davies, Shaw and Walker Peters is not too bad !! (once we buy Shaw and offload Broadway anyway !). I would also offload Dembele and Sissoko but not without some purchases. Barkley ? I guess that deal may be already done. How about raiding Dortmund whilst they are struggling ! Aubameyang would be a prize worth having ! If only our wage structure would allow us to be less profit orientated !

So there you are – problem explained – solutions investigated and bollocks written…. I must go back to arguing with my wife – reality has a painful bitter sting ! Not as painful as falling behind the Arse and yes Merson can fuck off ! I even prefer “Whose got a big fat wife ?*” to Merson who must be still brain damaged.

Mark Norris

*Ian Wright, Ian Wright he’s got a big fat wife – sung to who ate all the pies !! For anyone who has not been to a Spurs game in the last 26 years


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