Bruxie’s Two Pennies Worth

My frustration has subsided.
I was never angry about yesterday. I felt it coming when I saw the team sheet.
Looking at the whole situation at this point in the season, we are in a reasonably good place. We have a decent league position considering our lack of a proper home. We’re still in the UCL and have a hold on a coveted top 4 place.
Arse would swap with us in a heartbeat.
We should remember where we were 4-5 years ago.
However. There’s a glaring gap in quality between our first team and squad players.
We are short of two full backs, a class midfielder and a striker.
Not an earth-shattering revelation, I know. And not one that would cost more than we could afford if we go for the up and coming prospects out there.
The main outlay would be the midfielder. We need a top, top midfielder with a presence and leadership qualities.
We seem to have a gap in the development of young players. Those that have been given a chance this season seem “not quite ready” when we should be able to slot them in more smoothly. We are unfortunate in the sense that they are just a year off the pace.
Skipp is just too young at present and more suited to a spell on loan at a good Championship side. And KWP is in need of more starts or a loan spell too.
Other than the two cups, when can anyone see them starting a game unless we are down to the bare bones?
The performances yesterday highlighted the lack of depth. A missed penalty and a glaring miss from a fringe player did the rest.

Our fixtures are now mapped out. No replays, no away games against cloggers and decent gaps between games.

There are positives to losing yesterday. Not many, but there are some.

So, what is the answer to life, the universe, and everything Hotspurs?

 

I posted previously that I, as have others would not object to seeing either Tripps or Davies, or even both being replaced, and as controversial as it sounds, even Rose. My mad ramblings was initially going to be a more considered response to my previous thoughts about our fullback situation, and as such was intended to be just another comment on the last bloeug.

Not anymore. Mwahaha…

We have a very good team who on their day can beat anyone, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. We are now regularly competing at the highest level, and in doing so our expectation as fans has been raised accordingly. The majority of our squad has been together for several years now, and in that time they have provided great memories and taken us on a journey that I doubt any of us were expecting. In my opinion (the only one that counts..) the team needs freshening up, I understand the argument that the team are settled, this is very true but, it is possible to be too settled as well. New signings should not be viewed by the players as a negative, resulting in their positions in the team being threatened, quite the opposite, it can help foster new positive challenges for the squad, and something I believe our players would actually welcome. For me the challenge our club now faces is a difficult but not insurmountable one. Considering the level we are now competing at, does the squad really need a host of ‘very good’ players or is it time to focused our efforts on trying to sign one or two exceptional players.

So then, back to that old chestnut, our fullbacks: I’m not entirely sold on the virtues of Davies or Trippier, not because of the utd result (other results are available), on any other day we would have won that game by a considerable margin. Neither are blessed with pace which doesn’t help when playing a high line, Davies is the better defender, but offensively his contribution is negligible, Trippier on the other hand is better offensively (to a point), but is often found wanting when it comes to his defensive duties. The fullback positions in modern football are now more important than ever to how teams aim to create space and chances in the attacking third, ideally you would hope to have players proficient in both roles i.e. attack and defence, do Tripps and Davies tick those boxes? No not for me. These though are the fine margins we now have to consider, given the quality of the team as a whole.

Another vital position we are about to have a vacancy for is deep midfield. We are about to lose Dembele (sadly) who under Poch has been an exceptional player for us, I know some think he could have done better i.e. scoring goals but, his role in the team has been to act as the conduit between defence and attack. Dembele provided defensive cover when needed, and also a platform which allowed us to initiate our attack from a deep midfield position, that he has done over the years with aplomb. So where do we (the club) look next to fill that void, a very good player, or an exceptional player? For me it would be the latter, partly because it’s a vital position within the team, it also shows the players, the fans, and also other potential future signings that we really do have ambitions to compete at the highest level and win silverware. I appreciate we are not as wealthy as the other clubs we compete with, and I am not advocating a wholesale change in the clubs transfer policy to spend as they do, rather, I see it as a case of less is more, why buy 3 good players when one exceptional player may be all we need.

I may use the term ‘exceptional player’ but I’m not daft enough (yet) to think we can sign who ever we want, that is simply not the case. I do however believe we can and should be able to attract the best young talent, especially when we consider what we have in our favour, we compete at the highest level, have one of the best managers around, and who’s reputation is based partly on giving young players a chance. I am aware that we have to be mindful of certain constraints such as the quota on foreign players, and yes we have a very good academy (which I think is great), but if the chance arises to sign the odd exceptional foreign player, then I say go ferret,

So does the idea of signing top young talent really stack up when we have a giant Lilywhite elephant to pay for? With the cost of the new stadium it goes without saying the club is going to have to be financially prudent, spending vast sums of money on players is not an option, but as far as I can ascertain it is not the ‘financial’ the millstone around the clubs neck that everyone purports it to be. As it stands the debt is I believe currently around £550m, with an interest rate on that debt at 2.5 – 3%, so that equates to about half an hour with FoF on a Friday night, or roughly £15-20m per annum. I do not believe this figure is prohibitive to the club signing players, definitely not, but what will be a key factor in how the club moves forward financially, is that it will need to remain financially healthy for the next 5 years in order to be in a favourable position to refinance the debt at that point. Do I think these financial constraints should hold us back? No. The money available nowadays compared to when Arsenal built their little oddity are vastly different. What we have to do is box clever, cleverer than all the rest, and that is something I’m absolutely sure we can do.

The End.

Other notable publications by this author include:                                                         Five go mad in Broadmoor

 

This is no time for deck chairs on the beach.

 

Todays game is as important as any other (maybe more so), we’ll need to be on our game to ensure we get the result we all want, 3 luverly points!

I would love Bournemouth indoors to be another demolition job, we could very well do so but, this season those plucky seasiders haven’t been all that bad at all. They may not have had the best of times in recent games but Eddie Howe has done a decent job so far this season.

Provided we’re not hungover and bloated from our toffee turkey feast t’other day, we should have more than enough to get the job done. We all know the big games are important, but it’s a run of games like we have ahead of us where we need to show our credentials and stamp our authority on the opposition, put pressure on the teams above us, and take away any hope of catching us for the teams below.

COYS!!!!

Tonights hit squad

So here we are again (except Bruxie, he’s over there).

It’s Wednesday! It’s five to five. It’s Crackerjack!! Ok, I know, it’s not Friday, and it isnt’  five to five, but hey, lettuce hope we have a Crackerjack evening. Tonights venue is again the state aid stadium, this time for another round of the caramel coupe.

These are our brave lads who will decimate tonight’s unwashed adversaries.

COYS!!!

They’re cobblers I tellya, cobblers!

It’s Saturday art’noon footynatics, and yes, we actually have a 3pm kick off for a change.

Today’s foray takes us to a land where the wooden wheel has only recently been invented (so they say), and where there’s always trouble at t’mill, Huddersfield!

So what awaits us at the end of our travels, besides 6’ of snow and torrential rain? Three bloody points is what, nothing else will suffice!

Who are the plucky chaps who will wear the famous Lily white today, and provide goal fest for our delectation I hear you say?

So with no further a do, I give you todays victors!

COYS!!!!

Fakkydoodledandy Spurs..

 

So here we are again, waiting for our hero’s to zero’s to take to the field again in a bid to turn around a run of eminently avoidable defeats, can we do it?

A day at the seaside normally means a fun day out, being mugged by the arcade slot machines, rotting our teeth with a stick of rock, and braving a not so scenic walk along a pebble strewn beach, marvelling at how brown and dirty the sea looks, but not today.

Today we take on a Brighton team buoyed by a sense of self belief (and some good results) and no end of ‘pride’… To get a result today I feel we will have to match their energy, and passion which we know they have, and show a level of confidence and clarity, if we are to walk away with all three points.

We have all had our say on what we’ve seen in the previous three games, unfamiliar formations, bizarre substitutions and a general lack of concentration, which to be fair is something we haven’t seen to much of in recent years.

Personally I would like to see Kane given a rest, he looks like he’s wading through treacle at the moment (saucy minx), struggling to keep up with play, when he get’s a chance he want’s too much time or an extra touch to make sure, that’s not the Kane we’ve come to know and love. Perhaps it’s time for Poch to give a front three of Son. Lamela and Moura a try, with Eriksen-sen-sen-sen playing just behind? A front three would mean we play a back four, am I bothered? No. To play a back three the wingbacks become integral to the system, and for me neither Trippier nor Davies have the pace to maximise that benefits of that formation. Some bright spark (bloody upstart!) on the ere bloeug suggested Trippier play in the middle, using his passing ability in the centre of the park, not a bad idea, and one I’ve also considered, I’m not sure, mainly because of his lack of height and ability to win arial duels.

This is all conjecture on my part, and whatever team Poch puts out will have my full support, if we approach this game with the right attitude, and look to set the tempo (and not dawdle) I see no reason why the cockerel shouldn’t be crowing LOUDLY this evening!

Come on you Fakkydoodledandy Spurs!!!!!

 

 

Scrap Heap Challenge

 

After reading recent comments I decided it was time to peruse the Exchange and Mart to see whether it was time to trade in our prized vintage Daimler, or is it a knackered broken down Trabant, I’m really not sure. So, I decided a closer examination of our Tobes service history was in order.

So what exactly is it we have in the garage? The refined furnishings that can only be found in a luxury vintage automobile that continues to appreciate in value? Or, maybe it really is an unreliable scrapper with one working door, broken springs, and a bonnet that’s rarely closed?

It would seem the populous are somewhat divided when it comes to our Tobes. Has he run his race, behaved like a scoundrel, or has he remained professional throughout, ready to now to perform as he has in the past, with distinction?

Injuries have been cited as one reason to upgrade, he’s injury prone, has a dodgy hammy, it won’t get better because he’s too old. Personally I’m not too sure, I don’t hear the same things said about Vert’s, he’s two years older than Tobes and looks as good, if not better than ever. Before last season’s hammytastrophe, (and let’s be fair a bad injury can happen to any player), Tobes injury record was better than our Vert’s. Since signing in 2015 Tobes had only missed 9 games, whereas Vert’s had missed 16. So what about our Tobes, is he a true disciple of the Hammy house of Horrors, can we expect more gory tales from the physio room? According to Tranfermarket.co.uk, Tobes has only had one bad hammy prior to last season (2014/15), which put him out of action for 6 weeks.

I know Sanchez will be an excellent defender, but I’m not sure he’s quite the finished article yet, Tobes I believe still has much to offer, both for the team and in helping Sanchez to realise his potential. Last season we conceded more goals (36) than the year before (26), I appreciate stats don’t tell the whole story, but when Tobes and Vert’s play together I feel they read the game better, and spot potential danger earlier. Since Tobes arrival, Spurs have averaged 2.1 points per game, and only conceded an average of 0.82 goals per game.

Before last seasons injury and subsequent contract demands (the facts of which none of us are privy to), he was destined to go into the history books as a Spurs legend. Whatever dispute or falling out with Poch our Tobes had, I have never heard or read anything from Tobes other than support for the team, so if Poch is willing to clean the slate and start afresh then that’s good enough for me, you never know, maybe Tobes will have a change of heart and sign a new deal? I know I would certainly welcome news of that ilk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sat Nav says Turn Letf…

 

So here we are, we’ve played two, won two and now find ourselves at the summit of our World Cup group, how very quare.

Tonight we go into our last game of the group stage against the mighty waffleites, and it’s winner takes, er, well all apparently. Both Engerland and Belgium find themselves in a position that can only be described as bizarre, whichever team tops the group by the end of play this evening will find themselves having the tougher route to the final. This just simply isn’t cricket!

All week we’ve heard from the players and managers of both camps claiming a win is imperative, whilst simultaneously justifying why neither will play their strongest teams. Speculation has been rife all week that both managers could make anything up to ten changes each for this eve’s veritable football extravaganza, this just confirms what I’ve always known, the plaudits of coming first are greatly exaggerated.

It’s at this point things start to take on a somewhat comical element, you first Sir, no please, you go first I insist, I couldn’t possibly, please be my guest, no no I insist, you first… If this scenario wasn’t strange enough in itself, we have the added ingredient of yellow cards accrued by each team, we’re currently winning this by one booking, or are we losing? Damned if I know.

So what type of game are we likely to witness this evening? Who knows. I can’t remember a scenario such as this before, where both teams are saying all the right things, yet appear to be doing their best to find a way to finish second in the group.

The build up to this game and the various permutations at play, could make this game an intriguing if not surreal affair, we’ll see this evening I guess.

COYS!! (the Belgium ones, no, er, wait, the English ones? Oh buggerit, I don’t know…

Dr Hugo Jekyll or Mr Lloris Hyde?

 

So here we are again, the football season is over and we find ourselves once again in the hall of mirrors reflecting on the heroes and villains of seasons past. So who is the man wearing the gloves? Dr Hugo Jekyll or Mr Lloris Hyde?

Over the course of the season we have seen Dr Hugo Jekyll perform miracles between the sticks, yet at other times we’ve found ourselves witnessing the maleficent antics of a certain Mr Lloris Hyde. Personally I think he’s equipped himself adequately this season, to say he’s been fantastic might be pushing the bounds of reality just a tad.

Our Hugo has been much maligned by a number of our fans, I’m not so sure he deserves all the criticism he receives. Yes he has been prone to poor judgement at times, occasionally believing he’s an outfield player (causing multiple panic attacks). I would probably say he’s been pretty consistent over the last couple of seasons, we have come to know what to expect, and prepare for.

Mostly we see the usual impeccable bed side manner of Dr Hugo Jekyll keeping our goal safe and healthy, but we all know somewhere inside the gloved man there is a battle raging, where on occasion the mischievous Mr Lloris Hyde prevails.

With all personalities considered, I feel we are in safer hands (pun intended) with our conflicted French ball handler in goal than not. It’s all too easy for some to focus on the mistakes he’s made, yes there have been a few, but he has kept us in more games, than he has lost for us.