Posts Tagged ‘Harry Redknapp’

All this quiet is driving me mad!

October 7, 2011

In the midst of all this quiet due to the international break, the voices in my head are louder than ever. Screaming to be recognized, I can’t help but ignore a few of the ones sounding out with fears, hopes and dreams for our beloved THFC.

Fears

The first thing that comes to mind is the health and fitness of our players during / after the break. Bad tackles and players trying too hard to prove a point to their respective nations is never a good thing, but always seems to be the case in these competitions.

Another fear is this whole VDV et Redknapp saga doing the rounds. The fact that there isn’t any news is more than enough reason for the media to create news, and this is just that. I’m pretty confident that VDV’s words were somewhat taken out of context, but in a time when things are going well for the lilywhites, we don’t need any negativity surrounding us.

If there’s any disappointment from his side, the Dutchman needs to realize he’s part of a team and that Redknapp will always have the final say as to who remains on the pitch. There will be plenty of time for him to play and (optimistically) score many goals.

Hopes

In response to my last point, I’m hoping the international break will allow time for any issues to subside between VDV and the gaffer. Let’s drop the BS and focus on nailing 3 points away to, what appears to be, a strong Newcastle side.

Newcastle United could possibly be over-performing at this point in time. They have a good manager in Pardew, but do they really have the depth to hold onto a top 4 spot, let alone a Europa qualifying position? I’m not so sure.

No matter what, Spurs are visiting Tyneside and focus and confidence are a must.

Dreams

The dream of all dreams is to see Ledley continue to play week-in-week-out. The stats speak for themselves and simply put, we’re just a better team with him on the pitch. He has the power to elevate the quality of others around him when he’s present.

Tottenham currently are the 4th highest scoring team in the league, and this form needs to continue. Scoring goals, especially at times when we concede unnecessary ones, is absolutely crucial. I dream of a Tottenham side with forwards, midfielders and occasionally defenders (from set pieces realistically) scoring plenty of goals to aid our fight for a top spot at the end of the season.

To conclude

So there you have it. Some of those annoying voices are content and have gone off to watch England take the lead against Montenegro. At least I’ll be able to sleep somewhat peacefully tonight.

COYS!

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Are you Arsenal in disguise?

October 3, 2011

“How many hands do I have to shake”? What does Wenger have against shaking hands? It seems our Clive Allen was snubbed after the match by the Frenchman, as he’s snubbed so many others in the past. But I guess losing the NLD does leave one sour as a sour puss. Being French + sour = not so nice.

I’ll leave reviewing the match to others, instead I’ll just cover some frustrations as well as some shining stars.

Arsenal’s 5-man midfield

It looked like we were never going to break the red wall. Our only way through it was to go up the middle or to  play Crouchesque long balls. The latter was not something I wanted to see, but we tried it anyways and were left looking a bit limp tactically against the 4-5-1. Wenger’s a pretty smart man, I must say. He played his cards right, but the only thing he didn’t seem to predict was Tottenham’s pace on the counter-attack.

Adebayor not scoring

Come on… you know you wanted it to happen. Especially since Sczcesny was ranting and raving how they knew how to contain him.

Modric

He had no answers this time around. Some points where he had solid movements on the ball, but he gave away too many in the midfield; something out of character for him.

Brain fart in the defence

Ramsey, out of all players, should have never been given the opportunity to score. He was invisible most of the time and should have stayed that way. Anyone see Van Persie? Didn’t think so.

Walker brings one home

Kyle Walker’s goal left us with this beautiful moment which I’d like to share with Sczcesny and all his supporters.

Harry Redknapp’s subs

Great substitutions by the manager. No way anyone would have guessed those to be his picks. I was praying for Sandro to come on sooner because I knew if we added more muscle in the midfield, Arsenal would have a hard time coping. The additions of Livermore and Corluka turned out to be great options as well.

Parker

Left alone at times, he seemed to wander off into no-man’s land with no help from his teammates. Still, his presence in a very quick Arsenal 5-man midfield could partially be why it was hard for them to get that first goal… well him and Ledley King of course.

Controversy at the Lane

Having watched VDV’s goal again and again, I think he did use a part of his arm to bring down the ball. Still, there was no way any ref was going to rule that one out because you needed to watch the highlights repetitively in order to determine it a hand ball. Not enough conclusive evidence in my opinion, but then again, I am biased.

So there you have it folks. One NLD down and one to go. Until then, bask in the glory and enjoy it! COYS!

Aren’t you happy he’s ours?

September 24, 2011

Fickle man. That’s what you may think of me as you read through this post. Why you ask? Two words:

Scott Parker.

Like many of my white and blue brethren, at the opening and closing of each window over the past few years, I would pray to the transfer heavens that we’d pass on the signing of Monsieur Parker. I mean, did we really need any more F’ing midfielders?

Well, I would now like to take this moment to admit that I was certainly, absolutely, positively mistaken. Put aside the fact that he’s been solid from the first day he donned our shirt, could you possibly imagine him with any other team? My point exactly.

There were concerns that he wouldn’t mix well with the type of midfield we have: quick, creative and attack-minded. Okay, let me rephrase that: I didn’t think he would mix well with the type of midfield we have. Till date, none of his performances in a Spurs shirt prove my previous opinion right. He links up quite well with Modric, and it seems like he’s unfazed whether there are 3 or 4 other midfielders lining up beside him. He just wants to keep it clean, and by clean I mean wiping the floor with our opponents, throwing a body at them at all times, even if it isn’t his own.

His approach is somewhat different than what we’re used to at Tottenham. In Sandro, we have a direct replacement for Wilson Palacios (the aggressive version of Wilson, that is). Parker’s pretty much the player we haven’t had in ages but always wanted needed.

Having seen him play in person, he reminds me of a mafioso… short, stalky and by no means a pushover. Joe Pesci comes to mind. Convert any color image of Scott Parker into black & white and you’d be forgiven for thinking it was from the 1960s. Classic looks with a straightforward, hardworking classic footballer’s approach. Me likey!

With Parker comes a very simple form of football. “I play in the CM position, so I will destroy anything that crosses the center line”. His strength is what I admire most. Chances are if he decides to put a foot in, he’s coming out with the ball 90% of the time.

Like me, I’m sure many of you doubted the Football Writers Association decision to select Parker as their 2011 player of the year, but could they have been spot on? It seems his biggest champion, Harry Redknapp, could have been right all along too.

Would I be writing this post if Parker was mediocre? Nope. Would I bash him if from this point onwards if he doesn’t live up to my expectations? Yes.

Does that make me fickle?

State of rotation

September 23, 2011

There you go ‘Arry! That’s how you do it!

Is anyone else relieved with our new rotation policy? The gaffer promised in previous seasons that he would cycle through the squad and give everyone a chance to play, but he’s never actually implemented those words to this degree. If anything, I’ve felt robbed of it in the past.

So far, in each competition, we’ve used a different keeper: Friedel in the Prem, Cudicini in Europa and Gomes in the Carling Cup. It’s very clear who Harry’s number one choice is. Just by looking at his picks for each competition you can clearly tell where his priorities lie:

1) Premier League

2) Europa

3) Carling Cup

As for the FA Cup, we don’t know yet where Harry’s priorities will be placed; guess it’ll probably depend on who sits between the posts.

Another key development in our rotation policy is the manager’s use of our young ones. And it’s about time too. We now finally are able to witness the advancement of our youth in proper competitions. Previously, you rather visited the club’s official site or, in my case, Windy’s excellent blog to check on their progress. But now we get to see youngsters like Tom Carroll and Harry Kane prove their future worth to the manager and to the fans. Lovely!

Where we could really stand to benefit from the current “state of rotation” is the Premier League. The fact that our defence is being shifted around could give everyone a solid run. Credit this to the unfortunate injury of Michael Dawson or not, but Corluka has featured in the center, Bassong, and Kaboul. This not only adds much needed confidence to their game, but it gives Gallas the opportunity to fully recover instead of being rushed back in (great piece of news that). The fact that we are able to utilise these players in different competitions means we can also aim to have Ledley feature in our Prem fixtures, if his knees don’t give out. And I don’t need to argue why Ledley’s presence is absolutely crucial to us. 2 games, 2 wins, no goals conceded. Point proven.

This also applies to all other roles on the pitch. Playing time equals experience.

Finally, I can comfortably say that Harry and his team are beginning to reap the benefits from our squad depth. Something he didn’t seem to have a clue about before.

Bring on Wigan. COYS!

Luka-zade!

June 28, 2011

Luka-zade. The element that will keep us hydrated through the 2011/2012 season. A must-have if we are to challenge for anything, silverware or a top 4 push. Lose him and we would lose our edge.

Now, I know I shouldn’t be saying that one player can make all the difference, simply because I’m not from that school of thought. However, if anyone comes close to making that kind of a difference at Spurs, it’s Luka! His swashbuckling slicing and dicing of opponents is and has been a crucial component of many of our best attacking moments. Sure, those moments are left with anti-climactic “blue-ball” endings (happy endings without the “happy”), not usually his fault as our forwards are almost entirely to blame. You can point the finger and say “well, the boy just doesn’t score enough goals” but then again, is that really his role?

One thing’s for sure, Modric is a world-class player and every big bully on the school ground wants him in his click. Simply because he could be the brains behind it all… the strategist, if you will.

Modric can dictate the direction, pace, swagger, and quality of our play all with a simple pass. He is a visionary on the pitch and he can preempt things most other players won’t comprehend. So what’s going to happen? Nobody knows. All I know is we need to match the boy’s ambition with quality signings. We need a mix of fresh blood and experience.

You cannot blame Luka for wanting to be a winner. He deserves it, even if it’s not with us. Levy and Redknapp need to make key signings this summer that state Spurs’ intent on tackling the top 4… every year.

After all, a classy player needs a classy joint to hang out in.

Feelings, wheelings and dealings

June 13, 2011

Dusting off the cobwebs here at the HQ and the sight isn’t pretty. Aging furniture and curtains sure have a way of making the point that it’s been a while since I last posted. Apologies for that.

Summer has arrived and so has Brad Friedel. It seems Harry has been reading his literature textbooks again because summer symbolizes maturity and knowledge. If that’s the basis of his transfer “wheelings and dealings”, then I guess that would explain why he feels the need to sign more experienced players: Drogba, Forlan, Rio Ferdinand (if there’s any truth there), Beckham, etc.

I for one believe that it’s time that we start signing some just-maturing players in the 24 – 26 age bracket. They have a bit of experience under their belts at that age and are somewhat close to their prime, yet potentially influenced.

Defence is an area we should address quick. I’m happy to see that Gallas has become a pivotal element in our back four. The guy has really put in a lot of effort and hard work to make sure none of us question his allegiance to the cockerel. Daws will be Daws, but this season hasn’t really seen his best efforts. Bassong looks set to leave and with all honesty, he’s too shaky in his decision-making for us to rely on him. King and Woodgate require a medical team investment which could be used on new signings instead. Still, it’s great to have them on the bench and available at their doctors’ discretion.

I’m very happy with the midfield. I would be happier and more relaxed knowing we were able to retain the services of Mr. Kranjcar. I have made no secret in expressing my love for this man (neither has my wife as she is completely taken by his dashing looks), his style of play, his attitude, and his fiery shots at goal. What went wrong in that relationship with Harry is beyond me. Nonsensical.

The forward line needs a bit of work. Robbie is leaving for sure (I’d like to think), but the other three should stay. They should definitely not complain about 1st team football considering the amount of goals they collectively achieved this season. Bad year? Sure, for one guy… but not all three. No excuses boys. Still, they are skilled and I think it will be hard to find two or three good strikers out there, available for decent money and not some sort of ridiculous un-payable ransom amount (not to Man City of course).

So what happens from here we don’t know. The press seems to link us with every unknown player in the world (as always) but we supposedly have had a few bids officially rejected. Rossi would have been a great addition but I can see him and Villareal holding out for a bid from Barcelona. My message to Harry and Levy is be realistic, get us players who we know can fit the system and that will be more than capable of score goals in the Premier League… not the Chinese league. God knows we’ll need them come next season.

COYS!

Everything’s MASSIVE these days!

January 19, 2011

The zit on my forehead. The rash on my bum. Aston Villa. MASSIVE.

Darren Bent, Twitter-nymph and goal-scoring extraordinaire for any team besides Tottenham, has abruptly left the Stadium of Light for greener pastures under Houllier’s wing. Not only has he ditched Sunderland during a very positive campaign (currently 6th in the league), but he jumped ship to an ailing Aston Villa side which lies in a low 17th position. Granted, Villa definitely have enough class to pull themselves up through the table and Bent would be a welcome option at the front, especially after his goal-scoring form last season.

We’ve heard it all before from Benty. How each club is “massive” with “massive” support and “massive” appeal. For once, I’d like him to be honest and just state the reasons why he chooses to go where he goes.

Keeping in mind that this is a January transfer, Bent’s deal now makes him the most expensive English player ever. That’s… uh… err… massive.

Were we not clued in? Were the talents of Mr. Bent not utilized efficiently by Harry and the management team? Again I remind you that he is the “most expensive” English player to grace the Earth.

So Darren Bent’s excessive use of the term “massive” continues:

“Aston Villa is a massive football club”… heard that before from him.

“When I first went to Spurs, and it happened there (moving for a big transfer fee), I was so nervous… It did play a massive part in my mind and it probably got me down at times”… even the negatives are “massive” with this guy.

On a personal note, excuse the hiatus from the blogosphere… decided to take a bit of a break and just enjoy watching football again and not have to worry about coming up with stuff to write about. I’m back!

COYS!!!

NLD (Never Lose Determination)

November 20, 2010

I’m going to keep this short and straight to the point. We showed up to the Emirates and almost had our little tushees beat.

Harry made some bizarre calls. The one that really had me scratching my head was gifting William Gallas with the captain’s armband. Huh? Was Harry serious? How could he? Then I began to think, if anyone knows how to crawl under someone’s skin, the gaffer can. Was he taking the piss? A genius and unexpected move?

First half saw the Arse go up 2-nil, a sight we have been used to seeing for the past 17 years on their home ground(s). Gallas was sensational, although he and Kaboul had communication issues which resulted in our negative start.

The second half may have taken a short while to go our way, but when the pendulum swung, it came through like a wrecking ball… all over Arsenal’s parade, especially Wenger’s. 3 goals in a single half. Brilliant!

Harry may have been tactically off the mark at the start of the match (or not), but he thankfully took quick and decisive action by bringing on Defoe at the half. It changed everything and added a threat to the dimension of our game.

Van Der Vaart started the match looking off the pace and was constantly frustrated in the middle of the pitch, which was quickly rubbing off on the other players. He managed to turn it around in the 2nd half with two great assists and a goal (a penalty from a rare Fabregas mistake). Some individuals at Real Madrid must be kicking themselves.

Bale did his thing. Wasn’t dangerous out on the left flank, but when he dipped in the middle, he caused a lot of problems for the Gunners. Quality touch for his goal as he continues to score for our side.

Enough said… the curse is broken. If you hate Arsenal, stand up.

The curse of Champions League success

November 7, 2010

Will we ever leverage success in the Champions League as a catalyst for the Premier League? Okay, we did it once after beating FC Twente when we won against Aston Villa at home, but if past trends are anything to judge by, our chances look quite slim.

Hence the misery at Bolton. Many will argue that Harry’s squad selection was the main problem. 2 CDMs, Sandro and Palacios, got the nod for the start and it was the former who’s mistake handed them the opportunity to go up by 1. Message to Sandro: don’t worry kid, they were probably going to score anyways, especially Kevin Davies. Seems that’s always the case, doesn’t it?

So Harry was wrong. I was naive. We got nowhere. Had Hutton and Pav not scored those two goals, a 4-0 win for Bolton would have sounded just about right. They held us back in almost every way, and as our “triffic” manager said, we can’t always rely on Bale. How I wish that wasn’t true.

What did I learn from this match?

4-4-2 ain’t too bad of an option for Spurs. It’s not that I don’t believe that we’re not effective with a 5-man midfield, but I just think there are certain teams we would fare better against if we reverted to the system we know best. Pav had a cracker of a goal and it makes me wonder how different would the match have been had he been starting up front with Crouch.

Speaking of Crouch, he cannot play up front on his own in league matches. The only time we should ever risk it is when VDV or JD play off of him. That’s it.

It was nice to see Niko have a go, but the overall team performance will not do anything to instill some much needed confidence in the guy. He really needs to get some playing time under his belt; letting him rot is just a pure crime Harry.

5 teams are tied with 15 points. Last week, Liverpool was facing relegation but after tonight’s Chelsea-bashing-Torres-resurrection match, everything has changed. Arsenal lost to Newcastle (I want this Andy Carrol kid) and United’s win was a slimy effort as usual.

Sunderland visit the Lane on Tuesday (sheesh… another former Tottenham player seeking revenge) and if they win, they will jump us in the table. Not a sight I want to see as I’m sure you’re all thinking the same.

It’s all up for grabs and we need to pull it together quick! Otherwise, we’ll be left wondering what hit us and why we’re not in top 4 contention.

COYMFS!

 

Out of style or hopefully making a comeback?

October 6, 2010

The “fro”. Out of style or making a comeback? Niko Kranjcar. Out of form or out of favor? With the rise of one star, another must fall. In this particular circumstance, let’s hold hands and pray that’s not the case.

Van Der Vaart’s instant success (knocking on my wooden desk as I type) in the squad has been nothing short of brilliant for Spurs. And thankfully (sometimes not), history has a way of repeating itself at the Lane.

Around this same time last year, Levy and co. struck the mother of all transfer deals of the 2009 /2010 season:

Niko Kranjcar for approximately £2 million. A mouthwatering deal at the dying end of the summer transfer market.

Niko smoothly sailed into the hearts of Tottenham supporters and was rightfully greeted with open arms. At a time when we lost Modric to a terrible injury, his Croat compatriot came in and carried the duties on the left flank (a time before Bale was re-discovered). Cutting into the middle of the pitch with some of the sexiest ball control skills seen, Niko added another wild card to the mix: he could score.

In addition, Niko was able to gel with the team within weeks because he had tenure under Harry, played with Crouch and Defoe at Pompey, while also having experience playing with Modric and Corluka for the Croatian national team. It was a match made in heaven.

Kranjcar remained an integral part of the squad until he was injured in the FA Cup Semi-Final match against Portsmouth, which unfortunately ended his season. None of us honestly know how and if he has truly recovered from that setback.

The last second arrival of VDV is not something I would consider a major blow to Niko; however, the fact that the only sight we get of him is warming up on the side lines does ring a few alarms. Is he on his way out? Is he a part of Harry’s plans? January 2011 will tell all.

There’s still a long season ahead. God only knows what injuries await us. If recent trends are anything to live by, then our road to success is currently under construction. Niko will have his chance, I’m sure of that. Whatever factors result in that happening, I’m hoping are for the right reasons rather than out of necessity.

It’s hard to watch somebody as talented as Niko twiddling his thumbs on the bench. His hand in our Champions League qualification and Premier League success adds a bit of salt to the wound. But this is the game of football. You’re a hero one second… a Recaro seat-warmer the next.

This is also a different Tottenham. Qualification for the Champions League potentially signals a massive shift in momentum for our beloved Spurs, keeping in mind that we are also inching ever-so-close to a new stadium deal as well. My point being that the players we currently have who show a wealth of potential, promise and commitment, could eventually take the back seat with new exposure. New, bigger name players will be scouted and signed with hopes and promises of pushing us forward.

This does not mean that I want to see the backside of Niko. He has the exact qualities we need at Tottenham. If he’s the type of player I believe he is, he’ll put up a passionate fight until the very end. If he doesn’t, then maybe Harry has been right to keep him on the bench all this time. I’m praying for the former characteristic to shine.

There is no looking back. The pressure turned on once we tasted success. We should only want more… our players as well. Otherwise, lock the gates, remove the copper cockrel from the roof and call it quits.

[Photo Source: Tomislav Miletic/24sata]