Thursday, 31 May 2012

If players could resign...

Earlier today Paul Lambert offered up his resignation to Norwich in an attempt to force through a move to Aston Villa. Norwich of course rejected the resignation, having been in deep negotiations over compensation with Villa. So it got me thinking, if players could resign as freely as managers where would it leave us as a club? And where would it leave the Premier League?

Of course I'm not talking about Bosman transfers here as they already exist, but instead imagining a world where players can resign from their contracts when they feel disillusioned with their current clubs. I know it's not realistic and I'm thankful for that but let's have a look at how things could be so different.

Looking at departures from our current squad, at the top of the list would obviously be Luka Modric, a player that has frequently sought after a move to a Champions League Giant. If the option was available there is little doubt that he'd be handing in his P45 instantly. Another first teamer who could be tempted if a rule like this was to be enforced is Gareth Bale. He has never held the club to ransom to force his way out of the club but with reported interest from the likes of Barca it would certainly be tempting for the Welshman.

Then of course there would be the squad players discontent with their current squad status. We'd be bidding farewell to the likes of Sebastien Bassong, Vedran Corluka, Giovani Dos Santos, Niko Kranjcar and Steven Pienaar, players that simply are not getting enough games.

However on the plus side Jan Vertonghen would already have been finalised. Having expressed his desire to join us continuously and with no strong link to keep him at Ajax, the Belgian would already have his squad number and be in training for next season.

Eden Hazard would also be wearing the Lilywhite of our club if he truly meant his comments back in February regarding his future. A player of his class and composure is something that would compliment our side perfectly. A player of the class to help us form a stronger attacking threat. But of course that is all ifs and buts.

Fans always witter on of the need to have players who have the desire to perform for the club. A football world like the one I have described would make sure that the players who want to play for the club are able to and finally prove to us fans whether pride is such an important ingredient in the recipe of success.

Of course this is all hypothetical and there are positives and negatives to the idea, but with any decent player likely to leave at the drop of the hat if Man Utd or Barca show interest, clubs like ours would suffer in the long term. I guess it shows us that though football looks unfair with player power taking over, things could always be worse.

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Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Is it wrong to believe we've had a good season?

Well Scott Parker has come out today expressing his pleasure as to how the season has gone in an interview with Spurs TV. Admittedly the majority of the interview seemed to be focusing on his personal performances, but there remained an underlying feeling of satisfaction as to how the season has panned out for the side. If these comments had come a week ago, he would've been hounded by the fans, but having had a bit more time to get over the disappointment, is it still wrong to believe we've had a good season?

Some might say this is a negative viewpoint when you consider the lack of silverware coupled with failure to qualify for the Champions League. They will criticise the lack of squad rotation and drop in player performance, but is this being unrealistic?

Sitting in third for the majority of the season, having opened up a 13 point gap to Arsenal in fourth, it looked like it would take a miracle for us not to finish in the top three. However we then ran into a horrendous run of games that would have tested even the two Manchester clubs. The run included away trips to Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton and Sunderland, four teams with formidable home records and a home game against Man Utd. I'm not saying we should have written these off, but these teams all have great quality in their sides and having played Arsenal and Man Utd at the start of the run, getting battered by both, confidence was also going to be low.

Bad luck was also a contributor to our downfall with poor refereeing performances from Chris Foy (Not Hoy) to Chelsea's unbelievable Champions League campaign. In any other season 4th would have been good enough to achieve that Champions League spot, and would also have been celebrated by us Spurs fans.

Add into the mix the disarray the club was in by the end of August with the Modric situation far from clear and a lack of a defensive midfielder proving to be an issue at the time. Of course Mr Parker was the man to come into the team and benefit from this and maybe he personally has a case for claiming we've had a good season, as our average points per game whilst he's been in the team would have been good enough for third.

Of course we're all disappointed with how things ended up, but with a lack of expectations at the start of the season some might say we have overachieved with the squad we have, as what was once described as a strong squad has proven to be weaker than first thought. I could be completely wrong in agreeing with Parker but I see his argument. Plus is it hadn't been for our performances this season, could we have attracted the likes of Jan Vertonghen and Loic Remy's interests?

We didn't play for West Ham the season previous so Parker's statement could also be based on him just being happy to be a part of a team that doesn't include Julien

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Tuesday, 29 May 2012

The Enigma that is Gio Dos Santos

Numerous reports this morning claim that Giovani Dos Santos has attracted the interest of Swansea City. With Swansea splashing out on Gylfi Sigurdsson to the tune of £6.5 million, it looks more likely that any agreement will initially be for a loan of the player.

When Gio joined, he came with a reputation of having fantastic trickery and bags of potential (He came through the Barcelona Academy!). However it was also well known that he was a regular attendee on the nightclub scene and lacked the motivation to train at 100% consistently.

His first pre-season showed much promise and he looked like he'd fit straight into the team, but the sacking of Juande Ramos, replaced by Harry, seemed to stunt his development, reducing him to playing the cup games only alongside the other second choice players.

Loan spells at Ipswich, Galatasaray and Racing Santander followed, where he impressed managers and pundits, leading to Udinese tabling a £14 million bid for him, but Gio decided he'd rather hold out for his preferred move back to Spain. Now back at Spurs he featured in the squad fairly regularly towards the end of the season, but the limited substitute appearances he made seemed to justify Harry's decision to leave the Mexican out.

The main problem for me regarding Dos Santos is that he simply doesn't fit our formation. The way Spurs play favours the 4-5-1 formation with the personnel to switch to 4-4-2 should we feel it necessary. These formations do not utilise a supporting striker or wing forward, the two main positions that Gio can play.

Some have called for him to be given a chance out on the wing when Lennon or Bale have been injured, but one of the duties of a winger is to get back and support the full back when the opposition are attacking. Gio's workrate has never convinced me, or Harry clearly, that he would be ale to carry out his defensive work. Another attribute lacking for Dos Santos is in his crossing abilities. A winger needs to have at least a fairly decent cross in him to succeed at a top club and Gio's is poor to be frank.

He's showed signs of quality at times, and that is why managers still show an interest in bringing him to their clubs but realistically there is no future for him at Spurs. It's time for Dos Santos to move on for his sake and the clubs, but preferably on a permanent transfer rather than a loan so that we can use the money to improve our squad.

Come August I expect us to have waved goodbye to our enigma.

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Monday, 28 May 2012

Would Seedorf do a job?

Clarence Seedorf has played alongside some average players in his career from Johann Vogel at AC Milan to Geremi at Real Madrid. However none come even remotely close to Mike Myers whom he played alongside last night for a Rest of the World XI to raise money for Soccer Aid.

Having been released by AC Milan at the end of last season, Seedorf has refused to hang up his boots just yet and is looking to secure a contract at a club for at least one more year. His performance last night, albeit in a charity match, showed great composure and quality, with age showing little signs of catching up on him.

So with this in mind, would Seedorf make a worthwhile signing for Spurs for a season? Our midfield is packed with quality, and I'm by no means suggesting he should step straight into the first team, but with a lack of winners medals amongst our squad, Seedorf could help to develop a winning mentality and would gain instant respect from all of our players.

At the age of 36, he is younger than Scholes, who was arguably the best player in Premier League for the second half of last season. He has competed in Spain and Italy, so to complete the former top three leagues set may be something that could prove to be a huge selling point.

Back in 2005, we brought Edgar David's to the Lane, a move that many said wouldn't work because of his ageing legs. But for his first season he put in some top class performances, laughing in the face of his critics and nearly got us to the Champions League then. With the extra quality in our squad now, maybe the signing of Seedorf could be the catalyst to push us back.

Maybe I'm just going dewy-eyed over a player who has had his day, but it would be a signing of intent and carries no risk at all. And who wouldn't love to get Seedorf on the back of their Spurs shirt?

On a side note, well done to the academy lads who made it all the way to the final of the Volksbank Cup on Germany, but unfortunately losing out to Club America of Mexico on, would you believe it, penalties.

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Saturday, 26 May 2012

International Lilywhite Round-up

With the domestic season over, all eyes now turn to the European Championships. However before the action in Poland and Ukraine gets underway there are still many friendlies to be played. Spurs players were involved in yesterday's matches and are set to represent again today.

Last night Croatia, playing at home, produced an effective performance to comfortably beat Estonia 3-1. Vedran Corluka, made captain for the night, scored the opening goal before being replaced with ten minutes to go, with the score at 3-0. If he can replicate this solid, assured display in the European Championships, we can certainly expect to see his value rocket. Niko Kranjcar made a second half appearance but did not have a huge effect on the game whilst Luka Modric was rested.

Spurs target Jan Vertonghen was also in action for Belgium as they battled out a 2-2 draw against Montenegro. The Ajax captain played out the full 90 minutes looking fairly comfortable with no liability for either goal.

Tonight we have five players in international squads that may get the chance to pick up international caps. Sandro is expected to start for Brazil having played 2 of the last 3 internationals and impressing current boss, Mano Menezes. Having picked a young squad in preparation for the Olympics, on-loan youngster Bruno Uvini has also been called up to the squad but almost certainly won't start.

Rafael Van Der Vaart was named in the Dutch squad for tonight's friendly against Turkey also. Much rides on tonight's game for Rafael, with Dutch manager Bert Van Marjwik, still yet to cut down his provisional squad from his original 27 to the required 23. For this reason Van Marwijk will most likely play the players he is still not certain of for his squad, which may mean a starting berth awaits.

And finally of course England play Norway later on today with Scott Parker set to start alongside captain Steven Gerrard in the centre. A guaranteed starter under Capello and briefly Pearce, the appointment of Hodgson has left Parker's England future uncertain so he'll need to put in a good display to cement his place in the side. Jermain Defoe will also be available to Hodgson, but is likely to be on bench.

I'm sure I speak for all Tottenham fans when I wish the Spurs lads good luck ahead of tonight's games.

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Friday, 25 May 2012

Who's going to Euro 2012?

With Euro 2012 now just two weeks away, the club will have bid farewell to a number of our stars as they head off to their respective training camps. Let's have a look at who we can expect to see from our squad and who may make a significant impact on the tournament.

England's midfield general will of course be our very own Scotty Parker barring another Roy surprise. At 32, Scott has had to work hard to get his chance, despite the constant failures of the Gerrard/Lampard partnership, but Capello's call last year has inspired Parker to make one of the central midfield positions his own. One of the first names on he team sheet expect him to play every game England are involved in as long as injury doesn't ruin his tournament.

The other Spurs player to feature in Roy's England squad is Jermain Defoe, although even his staunchest supporters will struggle to envisage him getting the opportunities to make an impact. 15 goals in 47 caps is a fairly good record, especially when you consider the majority of the appearancesOu would have been substitute appearances. His reputation as a super-sub may offer him up a cameo here and there but don't expect to see too much of Jermain this summer.

Netherlands have included Van Der Vaart in their 27-man Provisional squad and he will no doubt make the cut. As the Netherland's most experienced international players, with many caps coming under current boss Van Marwijk, there is no doubt he will definitely feature this summer. However with Wesley Sneijder holding down the Attacking midfield position and Van Marjwik favouring Van Bommel as one of his central midfielders, Van Der Vaart will have to battle with Nigel De Jong and young gun Kevin Strootman to get the call for the final midfield spot.

Our Croatian trio have all been named in the Croatian squad for Euro 2012 but the country's hopes will heavily lie on the shoulder of Luka Modric in particular. In Modric, Croatia have a genuine world class player and someone who will keep the ball going forward with flair and creativity. He is without doubt the key to their chances and if he has a good tournament, Croatia could definitely cause a problem in their toy group.

Niko Kranjcar has struggled for games this year under Harry Redknapp but he still remains a key member of Slaven Bilic's team. His ability to pop up with key goals is something that has proven to be a regular occurrence and no doubt playing alongside Modric at club level will provide a deep understanding that Croatia would be mad not to utilise. Like Modric expect to see him feature heavily. Vedran Corluka's spell at Bayer Leverkusen last season seems to have helped him regain some form, but he would've been Croatia's right back anyway due to the little competition for the position. With 53 caps under his belt at the age of 26 he will provide lots of experience something that may be needed when facing the likes of Spain and Italy. With both set to leave Spurs this summer, this could be a great opportunity to add a few million onto their price tags.

Unfortunately for Younes Kaboul and Kyle Walker injury has cost them their tournament places, just when both were beginning to establish themselves as first choice in their respective positions. As long as we don't see further injuries to our players involved this summer, the summer looks set to keep us Spurs fans interested, no matter who you support.

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Thursday, 24 May 2012

It's all gone quiet over there

A week ago it looked a nailed on certainty that Jan Vertonghen would be wearing the Lilywhite of our club next season. We were hearing quotes that he was desperate to join us and that it was purely the transfer fee which needed sorting, but there was very little in the difference between the two clubs valuation of the player. However in the last few days very little information has been released and no doubt many of us will be getting fairly antsy about this.

This morning rumours of a move for Jonas Olsson have been rife and widespread, a player who plays at centre back and left back, the same positions as Vertonghen. Olsson is a fairly decent player, and has stood out in the West Brom team over the last few seasons but there must be a reason why none of the other top clubs have even looked at him, let alone bid for.

Of course it could just be an unfounded rumour that has been blown up by the various media outlets because of a lack of transfer movement. And it could be putting 2 and 2 together and coming up with 5 to think that Olsson may be a target chosen because Vertonghen now looks an unlikely deal. But as a Spurs fan we are used to the disappointment of getting so close to a top signing and then ending up with the booby prize, so it can't help but bring about scepticism and pessimism.

AC Milan have also been linked with Vertonghen, and our hard negotiating may prove to be our downfall on this occasion if we end up losing out on him. We need to realise that we cannot offer Champions League football next year and therefore if we don't get in early offers for the top players, we won't be able to compete when the big guns come calling.

I'll continue to trust Levy's judgement for now as I understand that there is no solid evidence that any of the rumours are true. Let's just hope that come August we have picked up the Star rather than the Turkey.

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Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Bale - Will he stay or will he go?

This morning both The Sun and The Mail are reporting that Gareth Bale has expressed his desire to stay at the club. A Spurs insider told The Sun: 'Gareth wants to stay for next season. To say he is happy at the club right now is a bit of an understatement.'

The news may please many Spurs fans, but I'm not totally convinced that we're finished with this saga. For a start the articles don't include any quotes directly from Bale, and an unnamed source always takes my mind back to rumours of the arrivals of Rivaldo, Kaka, Cannavaro etc... unfounded journalistic guesswork that we've been subjected to over the years. Secondly it's a quote from The Sun so it can hardly be treated as gospel.

So will Bale stay or go? Let's look at the argument for staying. Over the last two years Bale has come on leaps and bounds under our setup, establishing himself as one of the first names on the team sheet and part of the credit must surely go to the training methods that have allowed him to improve his game. Whilst at Spurs, barring an incredulous drop in from, Bale will always be guaranteed to start games. His style of play is complimented by the way we play, where he receives the ball regularly and is given creative license. Is there any guarantee that the likes of Barca and Man City could guarantee him time on the ball or even week in, week out appearances?

Maturity has always been evident in Bale from interview's and a lack of personal life media coverage shows that he's more interested in getting on with his career than picking up headlines. Therefore he may view at least another season at Spurs as key to his future development, with money unlikely to be the most important factor. His left sided partnership with Assou-Ekotto proved to be the most effective in the Premier League for the first half of the season bringing the best out of both, something that he may struggle to replicate at another club.

However there is no doubt that right now he is one of the best left wingers in the world and a player of his quality should be playing in the Champions League, something that Gareth has outlined a desire to do in the press recently. Having narrowly missed out this year under unfortunate circumstances we cannot sadly offer this as a selling point, but hopefully the potential for next year will prove enough.

Whilst Modric has always received backing from the club, Bale went through a period of hell at Spurs. Isolated from the first team after poor form and injuries, there were rumours of Nottingham Forest taking him back to the Championship. In hindsight it's ridiculous to think this was even being considered, but such was the lack of support for Bale at the time it seemed the most reasonable conclusion. You could understand there being a bitterness in Gareth at his treatment but he put his head down and through hard work forced his way back in. Bale owes us nothing, if anything we owe him in this case for ever doubting his abilities.

There's no certainty as to where Gareth's future lies but when you also add into the mix the 3 years left on his contract and Levy's reluctance to sell both Modric and Bale, if either is going to go it looks unlikely to be Bale. What's certain is that if we start September without the Welshman we'll have a task on our hands to match, or better, last seasons efforts.

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Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Youth Academy as good as it's been for a while

With news slow surrounding Spurs this morning I thought I'd make a change from my usual entries and write about the players coming through from our youth academy and look at their potential development plans for next season.

We'll start with 20 year old Steven Caulker, a lad who in his first season in the Premier League, on loan at Swansea City, has looked calm, assured and perfectly suited to this level. Loan spells at Yeovil Town and Bristol City proved fruitful with the centre back playing a key role with their battles to stay clear of the relegation zone. His best attributes are similar to Spurs Legend Ledley with pace, power and composure on the ball key aspects to his game. Having shown his class last season, he may find first team opportunities arising more often.

With 15 minutes to go against Fulham, Younes Kaboul's injury brought about the introduction of Adam Smith making his first league appearance at the age of 21. Smith has had loan spells at various clubs to aid his development across League Two, League One and more recently the Championship with Leeds United, and at every level has performed to a high standard. There is no doubt that Smith is unfortunate in that he plays at Right Back, a position we have congested over the last few years, making it very tough for Smith to get a chance. However with Corluka looking like he's played his last game for us and Hutton gone, Smith may get more of a chance next season, particularly in the cup competitions. If given the chance I believe he will continue to show his quality as a player and add to the squad.

Andros Townsend is another player to have taken advantage of the loan system having played his trade at multiple Football League clubs over the last 3 years culminating in his most recent spell at Birmingham City. In his spell at Birmingham Chris Hughton clearly seemed to have seen something in him, with Townsend becoming a first team regular. His style of play is very similar to Aaron Lennon, using his blistering pace and trickery to his advantage but he still needs to work on his delivery which is not currently up to Premier League standards. Another loan at a Championship/Lower Premiership club beckons, and it could be make or break for Townsend's Spurs career.

The Europa League brought about the introduction of many youth players to the first team but none stood out as much as young Tom Carroll. Impressive performances against PAOK Salonika, Rubin Kazan and Shamrock Rovers had us Spurs fans drooling at his potential, but a loan spell at Derby County seems to have held him back, with appearances a rarity due to his key attributes unnecessary for the Derby style of play. He's still some way off establishing himself at Spurs, so another loan spell at a more free flowing Championship side will definitely aid his development.

At the start of the season it looked like we had a new superstar striker in Harry Kane, with the striker having an impressive goalscoring record for the academy. A prolific pre-season further increased our hopes with 8 goals scored in just 6 appearances but his performances in the Europa League didn't live up to the high expectations. However we mustn't forget that the lad is only 18 years old still and his loan spell at Millwall brought a renewed confidence to his game and the goals have been flowing. With another Championship spell next season Kane could find his abilities improve further.

I've highlighted these five as they are the most likely to break through but with an academy also including David Button, Ryan Fredericks, Jake Nicholson, Massimo Luongo, Dean Parrett, Ryan Mason, Cameron Lancaster & Alex Pritchard, it looks like the future could be bright for the Spurs if the potential is reached.

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Monday, 21 May 2012

Ade permanent deal closer to completion?

"Loved my spell at Tottenham. We are working hard with the chairman to make it permanent. Will keep you informed!" was the message from Adebayor's twitter page published this morning.

So it looks like there really is a chance that Ade could be returning to the Lane next year potentially on a permanent deal, with talks taking place which is a positive sign of the clubs intent for the summer at least.

Some will still believe that the deal is unlikely due to the high wages he currently earns but the quote definitely shows a desire to play for the club. He has recently been bombarding us with his positive thoughts of his time with Spurs and he will be desperate to get out of City where he simply will not get the games that a player of his ilk should be getting.

With our wage cap around the £85,000 mark he must be aware that he will not be getting anywhere near his reported £170,000 but his love for London and for the club may just swing negotiations in our favour.

It is a sign of the progress made by the club that we can attract players willing to take a cut in wages to join us and this loyalty to our club will be gratefully received by the fans. Love him or hate him, he's efficient and his goalscoring and assist statistics speak for themselves. From those strikers realistically available to us, Ade is one of the better ones.

Could this be the start of a busy summer of transfers or yet another damp squib to get our hopes up once again and ultimately sample them back down into the ground?

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Sunday, 20 May 2012

The fallout from the night before

So I've finally managed to pull myself together to write this entry. As all of you reading this will no doubt agree last night was truly galling and went from the highs to the lows quicker than you could say Didier Drogba.

At 1-0 with 5 minutes to go it looked like Spurs were heading into next years Champions League. It wasn't to be. 3-2 up in the penalty shoot out and again it looked like Bayern could not fail to secure the trophy. But it simply wasn't to be.

So sadly we are condemned once again to the Europa League. There is no doubt that it is now a high quality competition with the likes of Inter Milan, Lyon and Athletico Madrid, to name a few, also participating in next years competition but having been so close to qualifying for the big one it's left a feeling not far off the disappointment of a relegation.

We now have to look at what ramifications this has for our pre-season. Last night's game may have swung the future of four top quality players that could have potentially all been at the Lane next year. Modric has been airing his displeasure with playing for the club and it now looks almost certain that he is on his way whilst Bale could have his head turned with interest coming from all over Europe.

These would undoubtedly be huge losses to the club as would the failure to sign Jan Vertonghen of Ajax and Loic Remy of Marseille. It has been claimed through various media sources that the deals for these two were subject to us qualifying for the Champions League, but without this to offer neither signing may come to fruition. Lack of Champions League may also eliminate other transfer options as our wage cap means money is not an attraction to the majority of top players.

There is even a chance that Redknapp may not still be at the club come August with reports linking him with the vacant Chelsea manager job, and Daniel Levy is likely to unimpressed with the mid-season collapse which left us dependant on yesterday's result.

Fans will no doubt point to the bad luck we have received over the season combined with Chelsea's good luck but we've had our chances to secure Champions League football and in the typical Spurs way we've managed to mess things up for ourselves once again.

Get ready, I fear a very depressing Pre-season. Let's just hope I'm wrong on this.

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Saturday, 19 May 2012

Make or Break Time

Well the day is finally upon us. By this time tomorrow we will know whether we'll be mixing it with the big boys or slipping back into the second best Europa League.

The worry is the central defence for Bayern and they will no doubt be heavily tested if Drogba is on his game. The loss of Badstuber in the centre will be tough to replace and with Gustavo also suspended it looks like it may come down to Kroos playing a deeper role or the ageing Tymoschuk getting the call.

However Bayern are not alone in missing key members of their defence with Chelsea without Terry, Ivanovic and Ramires through suspension. Add into that Luiz and Cahill only just returning from injuries and Chelsea suddenly look very vulnerable. Baring these suspensions in mind it looks as if the game should naturally take a open stance and Bayern excelled when their semi final took that course at the Bernabeu.

Bayern's front three is arguably the most deadly strikeforce across Europe as a collective unit and they will need to be on top form if they are to be victorious for them and us. Gomez has scored 26 in 33 games across all competitions and Robben has scored 12 in just 18 games. Ribery has been a key contributor to many of these goals with 12 assists in 32 alongside 12 goals for himself also.

Whilst Bayern look more favourable on paper, Chelsea sadly cannot be written off with their semi versus Barca showing they have a lot of grit about them. The Bayern flag is already flying high in my household, so don your lederhosen and get the Bratwurst in. Tonight we are German.

On a side note, good luck to Blackpool today, hopefully they'll be able to join us next year in the Premiership and condemn West Ham to another season in the Championship.

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Friday, 18 May 2012

Ade declares love for Spurs

Very few players have split Spurs fans opinions like Emmanuel Adebayor has done this season. His previous links to Arsenal is something some cannot forgive and to many Spurs fans his form has been too inconsistent to be worthy of investing.

Ade yesterday came out declaring his love for the club stating that “I am a huge fan of Tottenham now and I love the club. If I am not at the club in the future, I will be following their games and wishing them luck". For a player like Adebayor who has always been seen as somewhat of a mercenary, these comments may surprise some but it seems there is no doubt as to his loyalties.

Ade's stats for this season read Played 33, Scored 17, Assists 11. For most these stats would be excellent as a contribution to 28 goals in 33 games is obviously going to include key goals that have helped us to 4th this season, but he has frustrated at times.

There are a few reasons why it seems unlikely there will be a return to the club, with a huge wage being the main stumbling block. Add on to this the likelihood that Man City would want a transfer fee, even if minimal and the costs are rising. I guess the argument could be made that if Ade wanted to rejoin us he'd take a wage cut but even so would this be enough to fit our wage cap?

For a player to declare his love for our club is nice to see, especially in the wake of Luka Modric's comments regarding holding off a decision on where he's going to be next season. He's wasteful at times but when he's playing at his best he's a match for any defender in the world, and could definitely strengthen our squad next year. We now just have to wait and see what will happen.

He may be gone (for now) but it will be a long time til he's forgotten.

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Thursday, 17 May 2012

Luka at it again

After last years summer of endless speculation over Luka Modric's future it seemed that Luka had put it all behind him, performing to a fantastically high standard and playing a key part in our rise back into the top four. His flair in midfield combined with his composure on the ball is a huge trait of the free flowing football the team plays and when he's on form he really is unstoppable.

However it appears Modric is holding the club hostage once again according to many reports, telling the Mirror that “I will decide about my future after the Euros". Well I've got news for you Luka; your chairman is Daniel Levy and I think you'll find that he'll decide where you are after the Euro's especially with four years left to run on your contract.

Of course football is filled with mercenaries in this day and age with little care for the clubs they play for, but for a player who was fairly unknown before Spurs picked him up at a risky price of £16.5 million, Modric is showing the club a massive lack of respect.

There is the argument that you should never keep a player who is unhappy as they will bring the team spirit down. However that wasn't evident at the beginning of the season, with Luka's return to the team bringing us the best football we've seen at the lane for arguably the last 20 years.

If he were to move on options to fill his role tend to be defensive with Livermore, Huddlestone or Sandro likely to partner Parker if the worst scenario came to fruition. Whilst all good players they do not possess the creativity and subtlety of the Croatian dynamo. There is the argument that Van Der Vaart could slip back into Modric's position as he does for the Dutch team, but we'd then have to fill his role.

Recent twitter rumours have suggested Redknapp & co have made a move for Fulham's Moussa Dembele and this could suggest forward planning ahead of the potential departure of Modric.

Whilst he is a very good player and most Spurs fans would struggle to disagree that his loss would be weakening the team, the club has to make a stance. No player is bigger than our club.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

England squad barren of Aaron

First of all congratulations must go out to Scotty Parker and Jermain Defoe for their call ups to the England squad for the Euro's in Poland and Ukraine next month. Parker has been excellent for us this season, and if Roy has any sense will start with him, and Jermain has an excellent goals per minute ratio in the Premier League.

However once again Aaron Lennon has been left out of the squad with Hodgson preferring Oxlade-Chamberlain and Downing as wing options.

It seems that Lennon has been made a constant scapegoat for the failures of the last World Cup having failed to perform to his usual high standard but he was of course not the only player to under-perform. Despite this it seems every other failed English player from England's South Africa campaign will be making the trip yet again.

The return of Lennon to our side brought about a return to our form of earlier in the season and added a dangerous extra attacking source to the side, one that without a doubt England could utilise effectively.

Instead a player with no goals and no assists and another player with less appearances than Jake Livermore this season shall be busy this summer showing England as the mediocre side they can be under yet another average manager.

England's loss is Spurs gain and positives can be taken as it means that he shall be coming back from pre-season fit and ready to go fingers crossed, much like Kaboul and Walker who miss the Euro's through injury. With decision like Hodgson has made it almost makes you pine for the return of Capello!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Loanees return

So With the season now having come to an end, Messrs Corluka, Jenas, Naughton, Pienaar, Bassong, Falque and Townsend all return. But what can we expect for these 6 over the next few months.

We'll start with our returning right backs. In his first two seasons Vedran was somewhat of a fans favourite and seemed to complement Lennon perfectly on the right side of the pitch. However it seemed that the purchases of Walker & Naughton seemed to coincide with a drop in form and possibly confidence and his performances disappointed. Fed up of playing 2nd fiddle to Walker he went out on loan to Bayer Leverkusen and by all reports has done Ok, but hasn't pulled up any tree's. With Walker securely holding the right back position and Naughton returning it would be no surprise to see Corluka go as I think sadly the club have now outgrown him and his lack of pace is worrying. Naughton is desperate for games and has voiced that he wants first team football next year but there is no doubt the boy has talent and if he is willing to stay can take some of the pressure off young Walker.

Bassong has been waning ever since his first season and just doesn't look like he has he quality or consistency to hold down a place in the Spurs squad now and it wouldn't come as a surprise to see him leave with the return of Caulker and potentially the Vertonghen deal in the pipeline. Plenty of French clubs will no doubt be interested and we'll most likely have to take a loss on our investment here.

Pienaar is a tricky one. There's no doubting he's a fantastically talented player as he's shown in his loan spell back at former club Everton but the problem lies in the fact that he plays in the same position as Bale or Van Der Vaart, arguably two of our best players. If Pienaar is happy to stay and battle for his place it would be a delight to have him. But one can't help but feel his heart is elsewhere, especially having seen his tearful goodbye at Goodison on Sunday and it may be mutually agreed that Pienaar's future lies elsewhere. Right now we haven't reached the point as a club where players are happy to be second choice if they are of Pienaar's quality so an offer of around £6 million will most likely put an end to his brief spell at the club.

Right now the strongest position for depth in our squad is without doubt the central midfield and this could spell the end for Jermaine Jenas. With Parker, Sandro, Modric, Huddlestone, Livermore and VDV all able to play the position Jenas is unlikely to want to continue to stagnate at an age where players are considered to be hitting their prime. He's served the club well with the last minute goal against Arsenal in the 2-2 draw back in 2007 coming to mind in particular but if a club comes in with interest towards him it's probably best for both club and player to part ways.

Falque and Townsend pose arguably the toughest decisions of the lot, both no longer teenage prospects. The management will need to have a look at the pair and decide whether they are likely to have an impact in the future for the club or if it's time to let them go. Townsend has been playing regularly for Birmingham and Chris Hughton clearly rates him fairly highly so it's unlikely that he'll be let go this season having only just turned 20 but Falque's limited appearances for the Saints is worrying to say the least as a decent prospect should be getting games for a Championship sides.

Whatever happens it's sure to be a busy pre-season for player departures and these six will need to prove their commitment to the cause and ability to still be a part of the squad come August.

Monday, 14 May 2012

End of Jermain's second spell?

I'd just like to start off this post with a huge message of congratulations for reaching the top 10 of our top goalscorers in the history of our proud club. In typical Jermain fashion the goal was a great piece of instinctive work latching onto the loose ball and tucking it away clinically, something he's done so many times over the years.

Sadly however, if rumours are to be believed, it looks like Jermain is considering moving on to a club that will give him a chance to start more games. There's no doubt that the 4-5-1 has hindered his personal progress at the club with Adebayor playing the lone striker role and has therefore limited his chances.

Jermain can't be faulted for his work rate and dedication to the Tottenham cause but he's an ambitious guys, and a rare breed of footballer in these modern times who will put playing before the money. It now appears that he is unlikely to get the regular starts a player of his quality deserves for Spurs and no doubt plenty of clubs will be after his signature, especially if he gets the call for the Euro's this summer.

If this is the last we see of Jermain at the Lane in a Lilywhite shirt, then a massive thank you should go out for the service he has given and I wish him the best of luck for his future. Whatever he decides to do next he has already written his name into the clubs legend list.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Good things come to those who wait?

Sunday 13th May, 4:20 and even the most pessimistic of Spurs fans must have thought Champions League football was booked in to return to the Lane.

Fast forward two hours and a sense of Deja vu creeps in as the realism that once again Arsenal have pulled off the unlikely and pipped us potentially to a Champions League spot once again, and all the more fitting it would come from the errors of one of our former players.

So now the wait begins until the evening Of Saturday 19th May when our White half of North London will either be celebrating or mourning the end of a momentous season. Really our place should have been sewn up by the beginning of May but of course that's not the Spurs way and the fingernails remain at threat.

As one of the pessimists amongst us I can't get my hopes up, but it looks like Chelsea will be hampered by huge defensive issues with Terry and Ivanovic suspended and Luiz and Cahill not guaranteed to make it. Not that that will matter though, Chelsea played 9 at the back against Barca so they'll have options to draft in. Along with this a hammering for Bayern over the weekend hardly breeds confidence but they'll be up for this one in their own backyard.

It feels strange to start this blog with discussion of Chelsea but strangely the most important match of our season is not one of our own. As of now, until Sunday 20th May we become Germans.