MF’s Season Preview: Goalkeepers – Defenders

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Heurelho Gomes - Tottenham Hotspur news

The big kick-off has been postponed and as a result we’re spared for a few more days before we discover whether blind hope is to be either speared by reality or carried forth on the shoulders of cockerel emblazoned heroes.

I suspect most of us have only limited expectations for 2011/12 at the moment. None of the holes in the side appear to have been adequately plugged and our rejects either aren’t wanted or are overpriced meaning that there is more cash in a Currys shop till than there is burning a hole in Levy’s back pocket.

The lack of player turnover means not only that the club has been spared the cost of a pre-season photo shoot (they can use last year’s team snaps with Orgasma photoshopped on to the shirts) but also that we’re in danger of being stuck on the grid whilst the newly pimped up rides of the scouse, mancs and chavs speed towards the first corner.

So what can we expect in the coming months? What is the view from the rose-tinted spectacle wearing optimist and how much cold water can the world weary cynic reasonably poor on his hopes?

Goalkeeper

Gomes wasn’t good enough last season. There were too many blunders especially in the big games.

Mr Optimistic

The Octopus will be well aware of his failings of last season and after a few weeks with Tony Parks will be back on his game for 2011/12. Welcome back the player of the year 2009/10. And we’ve got backup. In Friedel we have a man who realises he’s potentially been handed the gloves of glory and will prove that he is more than just a insert-your-own-scary-baldy-bloke-here lookey likey and is living proof that keepers only get better with alopecia. Sorry, ‘with age’.

Mr Cynical

Even if Gomes had spent the summer having shots and crosses fired at him and a cattle prod being applied every time he dropped or flapped at one it wouldn’t be enough. He’s lost it. In the second half at Stamford Bridge he was more jellyfish than Octopus. Brad just ups our count of competent but blunder prone keepers to three, no more than that.

Full back

Arguably our best stocked area with Bale and Rose providing cover for Assou-Ekotto on the left and Corluka fighting off competition from Walker and maybe Kaboul on the right. Don’t mention Hutton.

Mr ThingsCouldBeWorse

On the left, Assou-Ekotto will have another strong injury-free season and will perfect a whipped in cross that is as stylish as his afro. On the right, much as I’m a fan of Charlie’s work, it’d be great if Walker’s apparent determination to succeed is matched by his efforts on the pitch and some much needed Road Runner type support is given to Lennon.

Mr IsThatAllThereIs

Benny’s cult status as the king of the shoulder shrug continues to grow whilst on the right Walker gets a few starts only to hurl himself into one charge forward too many and end up out until January. Corluka takes over and changes the soundtrack from Dick Dale back to Heart FM.

Centre back

Dawson, Gallas & King. If all are fit and keen that’s a trio to be reckoned with, don’t hold your breath though. Kaboul and Bassong provide the main backup. Merge the two and the resulting being might just have enough brain cells to concentrate for 90 minutes.

Mr GlassHalfFull

King playing more than the odd cameo is fantasy rather than a hope. The truth is that he’s only months away from hanging up his crutches. Keeping in touch with reality, Kaboul seems to have most if not all the qualities needed to become a top player. This is his breakthrough season; he & Dawson could end up combining as a formidable partnership with Gallas providing more than adequate cover.

Mr GlassHalfEmpty

Gallas to get given a game alongside Dawson as soon as he’s fit but that won’t be for long. Dawson will once again be the mainstay with the others rotating in and out, depending on suspensions, injuries and Harry’s whim.

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1 COMMENT

  1. ok firstly gomes was not the only player to struggle this season i believe there were worse players in the squad this season defoe, bassong (terrible defender)jenas (what does he ever do anyway).While i agree i really want to see kyle walker step up and show he is capable im a big big fan of the charlie lennon combination in particular those little through balls charlie slips inside the full back which lennon always gets on creates havock.Iam really starting to warm to ekotto he is fantastic on his day 1 of the best around but he needs to concentrate for 90 mins as usually if he does make a mistake it costs us dear.OK now im probably going to upset a few spurs fans i dont think dawson has been that good over the last season i think he is outstanding when he plays alongside king but lately he has been making alot of sloppy mistakes and passes have been going astray and i think kaboul should be playing every week he has turned into a fine defender who also has attacking qualities.We always perform better with king in the team and in a time when loyalty is hard to come by from players i think we should surely show this guy some he has been a great player for us and deserves better than to just be tossed away.my back 5 on our 1st game would be gomes,corluka,kaboul,king,assou ekotto if all fit and available

  2. Good post Paul. I agree with everything you've said, but have a small comment on the centre backs.

    I think we really need to be establishing a partnership between Kabul and Dawson because they are the medium and long term options for us. The best centre back partnerships usually consist of two players with complementary but different styles: One who attacks the ball (Dawson, Vidic, Terry) and one who reads the game and mops up (King, Ferdinand, _ ). In that respect we need Dawson as he is the centre back we have who really attacks the ball and is dominant in the air; and thus I think Dawson+1 is the way forward.

    I agree with your noting of Kabul's ability to bring the ball out like King. Hopefully we will have a more settled defence this season – playing behind different centre backs each week can not have helped Gomes either.

    • yes i agree with you there im just a little dissappointed because i have seen how good dawson can be and he never loses a header and that i do love him for he just did'nt seem his usual up for it self last year and yes your probably right in your assumption that not having a regular partner like kaboul or king next to him maybe affected him (not to say gallas did bad for us alot of credit has to got to him he battled through injury for us last year)but if dawson plays we need a good reader of the game with pace next to him and i belive if king is not fit kaboul should be playing.And for the gomes issue i have to say i really feel sorry for this guy when he first came he struggled and made bad mistakes and was roasted by the media and fans alike but never got the credit when he turned it around and truthfully pulled of some amazing saves that i as a 25 year old spurs fan would never of seen any of our other keepers pull off especially the season we came 4th he was great and now he has another hard time and everybody is on his case is it any wonder he struggles with confidence when he gets treated the way he does even by some spurs fans. Mocking wont help him shouting as loud as you can when he pulls off 1 of those saves will.Sorry for going on i just love talking tottenham i should really join up in a forum lol

      • Agreed. Gomes has looked the pick of the keepers in pre-season too. He'd still be my number 1. With a bit of luck the added competition from brad might help his focus and concentration. Failing that, perhaps we can just slip him some ritalin.

  3. lol i do believe friedel will provide the competition that gomes and tottenham need in that area im expecting better from gomes this season and hopefully a settled defence also what are your views on the formation and the vdv situation

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