Spurs in South Africa

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The lull in World Cup action seems as good a time as any to crack open a beer, kick back with friends, put on a cigar (the three activities combined to be known as doing an ‘Azza’ from now on) and contemplate, from a Spurs angle, the goings on of the last few weeks in South Africa.

Where better to start than England? We had the biggest representation in the squad of any English club & Spurs players could at the outset have been expected to play a large part in the campaign, successful or otherwise. In the end, only one of our ‘Five Lions’ played a full game, Aaron Lennon against the US, and only Jermain Defoe featured in the decisive game in Bloemfontein last Sunday. Whilst it wasn’t the little fella’s best of games, England wouldn’t have been there at all without his shinned effort against Slovenia. Ledley, Dawson and Crouch were all peripheral figures with King’s most notable act being to (allegedly) take the picture splashed all over the papers during the week, the one that gave those making calls for a public flogging for the players something more to lose perspective over.

As well as the game against the US, Lennon played for an hour against Algeria and overall was nowhere near as bad as people have made out. Whilst he wasn’t the game-changing, match-winning player we see at WHL, he was careful in possession and contrary to popular belief did sling in some dangerous crosses. Alan Shearer’s TV analysis of Lennon’s performances prior to the Germany game was particularly woeful as he tried to perpetuate the myth that the winger has ‘no final ball’. Total cock. The only definition of a good cross is apparently one which is delivered by Saint Becks or one that ends up being diverted into the back of the net. I don’t think so.

Few countries had a worse World Cup than England when measuring performance against expectations but Cameroon were probably one of them. Sebastien Bassong and Benoit Assou-Ekotto were two relative newcomers in an experienced squad that went nowhere close to justifying their pre-tournament billing as Africa’s best hope of making an impression at the continent’s first World Cup. All three of their group games ended in defeat. Bassong played in the whole of the loss to Japan and most of the one to Denmark. Benny showcased his new hairdo (it’s all about containment) in all of three of Cameroon’s games. Both players will hopefully have learnt something from the experience not the least of which is that their decision to ignore the land of their birth and opt out of the possibility of being involved in the French debacle was a good one.

Speaking of France, one of the most enjoyable games so far has been Mexico’s demolition of the Gooners on tour in their group game. Mexico’s last sixteen, spirited loss to Argentina and the referee means that Giovani dos Santos has also packed his trunk and headed for warmer climes. To me he looked stylish but lightweight, like a lot of his teammates. He’s only a kid but I’d be surprised if he’s done enough to change Harry’s mind about him.

Honduras were one of the smallest countries in South Africa and will be disappointed not to have scored, but on the other hand they got a point and only conceded three to two of the tournament’s best teams, Spain and Chile. Their performances were more muscular than skilful but they never embarrassed themselves. Wilson played in all their games and (what a shocker!) was booked in two of them. He looked what he is, a non-stop runner who led by example in terms of  ‘they shall not pass’ type commitment. The sort of player that England could’ve done with for example.

We started with ten players in the competition overall, but only one is left. The magnificent Heurelho Gomes played most of Brazil’s warm up game against Zimbabwe and all of the friendly against Tanzania where he was given the man of the match award in many reports despite Brazil’s 5-1 win! Julio Cesar is back in nets for the tournament favourites now, but Gomes is well placed to become the first Spurs player to win a World Cup winners medal whilst at the club since, well I’m not sure to be honest, but my guess would be Jimmy Greaves. Good luck to him I say.

By MF

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13 COMMENTS

    • Not initially, but he got it in the end. It was presented to him in 2009 after a campaign by the FA to award all squad members a medal whether they featured or not.

  1. Am I the only one who noticed Lennon playing more inside for England Vs the US than he does for Tottenham? He was obviously told to come inside to give the team more balance with the right-footed Milner (later substituted for the right-footed Wright-Phillips) doing the same on the left flank.. And to accomodate the attacking fullbacks. This seemed like a crazy decision to me.. Bocanegra is a tall, lumbering, fumbling sack of spuds. Lennon would have torn him up had he hugged the touchline like he does for the Yids.

    Ah well. Hindsight and what ifs, I suppose.

    Keep Capello or show him the door?

  2. Could not agree more about Lennon.All the rave things said about Milner for only one decent cross.is a typical English press and so called experts.Other than that Milner was a total disaster,he had no pace what so ever and very limited technical ability.If City offer 28million to the Villa for him,Villa should take it up,I am sure O'Neill would find a better replacement with that kind of money available,and at a more decent price.I don't wish to be tom harsh on Milner as he is industrious but 28m.You have to be joking.

  3. Could not agree more about Lennon.All the rave things said about Milner for only one decent cross.is a typical English press and so called experts.Other than that Milner was a total disaster,he had no pace what so ever and very limited technical ability.If City offer 28million to the Villa for him,Villa should take it up,I am sure O'Neill would find a better replacement with that kind of money available,and at a more decent price.I don't wish to be tom harsh on Milner as he is industrious but 28m.You have to be joking.

  4. Could not agree more about Lennon.All the rave things said about Milner for only one decent cross.is a typical English press and so called experts.Other than that Milner was a total disaster,he had no pace what so ever and very limited technical ability.If City offer 28million to the Villa for him,Villa should take it up,I am sure O'Neill would find a better replacement with that kind of money available,and at a more decent price.I don't wish to be tom harsh on Milner as he is industrious but 28m.You have to be joking.

  5. Could not agree more about Lennon.All the rave things said about Milner for only one decent cross.is a typical English press and so called experts.Other than that Milner was a total disaster,he had no pace what so ever and very limited technical ability.If City offer 28million to the Villa for him,Villa should take it up,I am sure O'Neill would find a better replacement with that kind of money available,and at a more decent price.I don't wish to be tom harsh on Milner as he is industrious but 28m.You have to be joking.

  6. Could not agree more about Lennon.All the rave things said about Milner for only one decent cross.is a typical English press and so called experts.Other than that Milner was a total disaster,he had no pace what so ever and very limited technical ability.If City offer 28million to the Villa for him,Villa should take it up,I am sure O'Neill would find a better replacement with that kind of money available,and at a more decent price.I don't wish to be tom harsh on Milner as he is industrious but 28m.You have to be joking.

  7. I think Glen Johnson may have something to do with Lennon not being the player we see at WHL. In the USA game, I saw Lennon back defending 5 or 6 times because of Johnson's I'm-gonna-be-a-hero type runs and leaving the back right exposed. I'm suprised we didn't see more of Crouch, especially paired up with Defoe but then again, us Spurs fans would've got so much stick if we didn't win.

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