Posts Tagged ‘Midfield’

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?

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.


The case for a new captain?

September 30, 2010

That was more like it, eh? Fighting spirit and determination. From the manager, players and fans alike. Electric.

We’re a different team when King and Gomes reside at the back. The defence felt like it had a purpose; a jump in confidence. A healthy Dawson’s return can’t come soon enough.

Bale came off the West Ham slump and dug deep to put in a fantastic performance, rewarded with a goal to add to his career. What gave me a laugh was when he missed a clear passing opportunity to Van Der Vaart on a counter-attack, leaving the Dutchman fuming and lifting his shorts almost exposing his privates to Bale with disgust.

Which brings me to the point of this post. Could we be witnessing the rise of a potential new captain? We’ve had quality in the midfield before. We’ve had players who can create in the midfield as well. But you feel that with Van Der Vaart, everyone wants to prove something. When he is unhappy, he lets them hear it. Bale even had to explain himself – during another counter-attacking run, mind you – because VDV thought he wasn’t covered; Bale was pointing wildly at him letting him know he was marked. Isn’t that what a captain does?

He clearly has the hunger for it. Ok, maybe a bit too much with that unnecessary foul which now sees VDV missing the Inter match. But the hunger can be viral and infectious.

The man wants the ball on every play. He seems to see an opening in every move forward and is not afraid to risk it. In terms of the “flair” Harry wants, he gets it with the Dutchman. Unapologetic flair. So a bit of poetic justice for Van Der Vaart last night? Totally. He rallied the cry for war from the beginning of the match with his commanding of the midfield; missing a penalty; returning after the half to get revenge; was fierce on the pitch; paid for it; but his dismissal made the team even more determined to pull off a win. We were actually better one man down. Fighting for the cause.

Could VDV be a new captain in the making? I don’t mean tomorrow or even this season, but I can’t help but think he definitely has the right qualities for the job. A captain’s presence in the midfield might be better for us than on the back line, considering we are experiencing technical difficulties up front when it comes to scoring. This should not be an overnight decision. However, if the man continues to perform like this on a consistent basis, the armband could be the only reward imaginable.