Drawing a Line

 

After yesterday’s (entirely justified) bloodletting and (self-inflicted) systematic, forensic exposure, the time has come to at least attempt to draw a line under the hostilities…until there is the merest hint that the other side has decided to take up cudgels again.

There are so many other interesting topics of discussion during a, so far at least, fairly quiet transfer window.

Has Vincent Janssen’s amputated toe healed sufficiently for him to be loaned out again? Will Handsome Fernando catch the eye of a Spanish or Italian mistress? Who will play back up to the back up that is Sonny when he heads off to the Asian games? Or will HK come back fresh as a daisy after the ‘pre-season’ that he has declared the World Cup to be? Will Winks be like a new signing? Will Sissoko be the new Sissoko? (I have great hopes for this, his breakthrough season).

In the meantime, the Tottenham twittersphere is going into meltdown, tempered only by a few voices of sanity. Each invented article linking a player, any player, to another club kickstarts a round of bedwetting that would drive even the most patient of mothers to commit infanticide.

Gladstone, DL’s long-serving/suffering butler, has let me know that we can expect some announcements next Tuesday to coincide with the launch of the new kit. So, see you next Tuesday on that one.

The simple fact is that, as FoF pointed out at length on a previous bloeug, this transfer window is quite the delicate balancing act unless we want to spunk millions of pounds by buying all our targets at inflated rates before selling our deadwood at reduced rates because competitors know we need to sell. Add to this balancing homegrown vs non-homegrown players and it makes it a touch more challenging than ordering a delivery from Just Eat/Deliveroo/Uber Eats (advertising coming soon!) whilst you scratch your arse on the sofa.

This is not to advocate inertia and last minute panic buying. I’m sure we’d all like to see that player or two come in (soon!) who is going to make the difference this season in our new home. I’m not going to s**t the bed if it doesn’t happen but it’s the difference between heading in with real confidence of some silverware as opposed some ‘hope’ we might win sumffink.

You know which pance you need.

Toby aims an ickle diglet

 

Toby has had more of a say on his future at Spurs, proclaiming that he wanted to prove something at the World Cup….presumably that he had regained full fitness and some form to go with it.

Anyone who watched closely could see that, despite declaring himself fit back in February for the FA Cup game vs Newport County, he was very short of form when he actually played in that game.  He then tweaked a hamstring again and was unavailable until March 9th.

Unsurprisingly after a long lay-off, particularly a hamstring injury, and subsequent set-back, the coaching staff were keen to take a very measured approach to bringing Toby back into the team…a position that was further reinforced by the fact that Davinson and Jan had been doing very nicely together in his absence.

Clearly, Toby was then raring to go towards the end of the season but was held back for whatever reason (contract shenanigans, reportedly).

Prior to the World Cup, Toby comported himself impeccably on social media, with several supportive messages aimed at his Spurs teammates as they battled for a Champions League spot and a route through the FA Cup.

Now the shackles are off, it looks like he’s making himself heard in a slightly different way:

‘I really do not know anything yet. In my head I just go to Tottenham. We will see.’

‘I was very focused on this tournament,’ he continued. ‘I wanted to prove something again. Show that the period before the tournament in which I did not play – for whatever reason – was unjustified. ‘I wanted to show that I am still the same Toby as in November.’

 

I’ve loved Toby at Spurs but it looks like his time with us has reached its natural end.  Time to get the deal done and reinvest, pronto.

 

source article:

https://www.nieuwsblad.be/cnt/dmf20180714_03614036

Gentle vivisection

First, of course I commend the lads and the managerial staff for getting as far as they did.  It was truly brilliant, thrilling and heart-warming.  We’re set up for a few tournaments to  come with goodwill, excitement and expectation.  Life has been breathed back into international football and that is no mean feat.  So Well Done everyone.

However, if we want to get this far, or further, in the future lessons need to be learned.  That is also the harsh reality of competing at the highest level.

Much of this will have been said already or re-hashed out there, so I’ll make it mercifully brief.

Where this game was lost:

  1.  Not taking our clear-cut chances in the First Half.  Not creating other clear-cut chances when we had the chance.  Not hitting the target with half-chances.  None of the Front 4 were at their highest level, and that’s where they needed to be to beat this lot (and even more so if we were going to have a chance against France).  Dele looked at 70% or so.  Harry looked tired too, trying to do too much.  Lingard and Sterling needed to be clinical with the good work they did.  Henderson’s distribution was way off.  He can spread the ball wide, but as soon as he was looking for a longer-straighter ball he was off by several yards.  He’d had a good tournament but he was off yesterday and his deficiencies exposed.
  2. Not reading the change in the game in the Second Half.  It was clear something was up within 5 mins of it starting. Dropping back to counter their Wing-Backs’ ascendancy was not the answer.  We needed to cut them off at source: Modric.  Rakatic wasn’t having a great game, so if we’d stopped Luka, we would have been ok.  It’s not like it was a surprise he started to run the game.  He’s a genuine star and had proved it previously.  This one is on Southgate.  I know it’s not easy, but you have to be flexible to what is happening.  Have Plans B & C.  Putting Delph on, Modric, and changing the shape if necessary, would have done the job.  He’s at the top of his game in terms of fitness levels (recently changed diet) and for 40 mins, he could have contained him.
  3. New defence finally blew up.  Walker was mostly fantastic last night but got found out, as did Stones and Maguire.  No shame in that, but that’s what happened.  Mandzucic was not adequately contained, just at the critical moment and BOOM! Game over.

We were in the lead in a World Cup Semi Final and we blew it.

As I said, this doesn’t take anything away from what has been a fantastic campaign but we won’t get here again if we make these kinds of errors in big games.

We’re Livewires!

We’re at our best when we’re up in their faces. No time on the ball, get it back off them quick. Then, transition quickly but with precision. These days, we can hold on to it better too, run the legs off them a bit. Gareth’s watchword is “calm”. Sounds like another top coach. We’ve got this.

England XI: Pickford, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Trippier, Young, Henderson, Alli, Lingard, Sterling, Kane

Bruxie’s Glory, Glory Bloeug

(Dedicated to Alan Gilzean, The King of White Hart Lane.)

“Aged seven years old and sitting on my Grandad’s knee watching the 1961 FA Cup Final, I thought I was watching England.

On a black and white television, Spurs appeared just like the team I had watched previously on TV. Club football was not televised in those days and England always played in white shirts.

I was told that the team in white shirts were “dirty Spurs” by my Geordie Grandad. The fact that Spurs were not playing Newcastle United probably meant that I had free rein to support whomever I pleased on this occasion. They were playing Leicester City – and that didn’t sound as good as “Spurs” or indeed, the more noble sounding “Tottenham Hotspur”. Moreover, I used to buy the Hotspur comic every week!

If that had been Newcastle playing against either Leicester or Spurs that day I would have led an altogether different football life.

My family were all avid Newcastle fans. And I am from Darlington. The Quakers were in the 4thDivision. Everyone’s team was either Newcastle or Sunderland. Manchester United were everyone’s “second” team following the tragedy in 1958, so I had my work cut out to maintain my choice.

I cannot remember however, anyone ever trying to “persuade” me to change my new found allegiance. Perhaps that’s because the Magpies were relegated in 1961 and didn’t get promoted again until the 1964- 65 season.

In any case, can you imagine trying to convince me that Spurs were not worth following and that Newcastle were the correct team to support? Spurs win the double and Newcastle are relegated. No brainer –  even at seven! I suppose I chose the successful team of the day and rejected the failures.

I have a theory that you are given a team when you are in primary school and it stays with you all of your days. That’s how it happened for me. And so I had to wait a long time to get to see Spurs live for the first time. Four and a half years! They appeared lots of times on TV playing in the European Cup – Dukla Prague and Benfica spring to mind. And of course the European Cup Winners Cup.

I particularly remember the 1961-62 FA Cup Final against Burnley when I watched for the first time, the greatest goal scorer of all time, Jimmy Greaves. I only had a few minutes to wait. Jimmy held up a pass, ran, jinked and then seemingly tapped a goal from the edge of the box with four or five around him!

Newcastle were eventually promoted and Spurs came to Toon on 23rdOctober 1965. My Uncle Tom (a regular at St James’ Park) and my non-football supporter Dad agreed to take me and we ended up in the Leazes End with me as a small eleven year old towards the front. I was near the corner flag on the left of goal looking towards the passionate and intimidating Gallowgate End.

I was to keep my mouth shut!

I remember a sunny day, huge excitement and the smell of tobacco and beer.

Jimmy Greaves was playing! And Alan Gilzean – we’d sadly lost John White the previous year and Gilzean was one of those brought in. I was disappointed not to have seen John White play, he was another hero. Kids are selfish sometimes!

Greavesie came across to take a corner. A corner for God’s sake. The fox in the box taking corners?

He looked every bit the hero. My hero! I couldn’t take my eyes off him!

“Ya stink, Greaves!” a little voice from a kid no bigger than me shouted.

“No he doesn’t – he’s great!”

I surprised even myself with the outburst and felt the immediate disdain of those around me, including my Uncle Tom.

And then, Jimmy Greaves said to me…

“Thanks, son.”

Gawp.

I am sure he did! We were only three or four yards apart. I am positive that he did! My Dad and Uncle didn’t hear it. I tried telling them afterwards that he had spoken to me. Laughter.

For the life of me, I cannot remember anything else about that game of football. It finished nil-nil and I was slightly disappointed with the result but elated with the experience.

Nobody believed me at school and I gave up trying to convince people. It is only lately, when I recount the story, that I get nods of approval.

That was the defining moment for me. No other team could or would ever supplant my obsession with Tottenham. I was a fan before that game – as much as you can be, living in the North-East – but Spurs were now the focus of my footballing future.

Years later, I met Jimmy at one of these signing events in Milton Keynes. It was the day the press announced the sale of Thierry Henry from Arsenal. We had a conversation about what good news that was for Tottenham. I didn’t mention the “Thanks, son” to him and wondered why afterwards.

You know what it’s like with heroes. Even at 50+ you go quiet!

There were 46,430 present in 1965. Strangely, when we played Newcastle United in 2011 at St. James’ Park there were only 10 people fewer in the crowd – 46,420.

Now that is an amazing statistic, considering the amount of money that has been spent on that stadium; they haven’t squeezed any more folk into the ground for a game that determined a top four place.

We should have won that game, too. Caught out in the last few minutes and Newcastle squeezed a draw.

At the time of writing, we are third. We are playing the best football in the Premier League and I am excited that we could be on the cusp of something great. The new year, 2012, beckons and we have some winnable matches early on. Could this be our best season in 50 years?

Let’s hope so!”

NB The original article was written a few years back, but the questions still stands – Ed

We’re gonna win the tie, We’re gonna win the tie

Please close your eyes.
Picture Harry Kane, in our red away kit, blue Captain’s armband, standing opposite Vladimir in exactly 12 days’ time.
No, No, Close your eyes again. I know this is tough, really tough, but stick with it.
Putin says something magnanimous and congratulatory. “Well Done, you deserve it. Especially you.”
As they parade round the pitch, there’s a moment when all of our lads are together. Kaneinho, Eric, Dele, Danny, Tripps (not you, Bonzo) and they’ve got the precious in their hands.
OK, you’re back in the room. You’re now a non-smoker and you’re absolutely going to lose that weight.
But first things first. Colombia. They are totally going to mess with our heads, but these are young heads…maybe they can’t be messed with so much (I have a concern about Harry Maguire – looks like he might get a bit riled up). Maybe there won’t be any brain freezing as there was against Iceland. They looked like they’d downed a collective Slush Puppy all in one that night.
Tonight is the night. Biggest game of their lives so far.
Ron wrote this snippet a while back about his memories of early days supporting England:
“I went up to Scotland, I was about 13 or 14. It was the early sixties; it was a gift from my Dad. Hampden, like 100,000 fans, it seemed anyway. We had 6 players picked for that day. 3 on each Scotland and England but Mackay was injured (What Bremner could never do, of all things, boils did. I never understood that anyway) Bill Brown and John White made up our Scottish contingent and Greaves, Norman and Henry our English (its a faint memory anyway). I think it was a 1-1 draw.
The empty bottles of scotch rained down on us mind you.”
It’s this kind of dewy-eyed youthful exuberance we need. A time when people really were grateful for gruel, instead of sneering at it.
We need to B E L I E V E.

Insert *Something Inspirational* here

“England expects that every man will do his duty.”

“Cry ‘Havoc’ and let slip the dogs of war! ”

“But if it be a sin to covet honour, I am the most offending soul alive.”

The red tops will start to drag out all the cliches.   God forbid we should meet the Germans at any point further into the tournament.

But for now, it’s Panama, and the narrative is already being framed that this is abattle between the fledgling, skilful heroes of England and the dastardly, rough, Masters of the Dark Arts that are Panama.

To me, they looked like a typical South American side.  Very athletic, well-drilled defensively, with the ability to break and get up the field quickly.  Just the type of side that might cause England a few problems.

The saving grace for this England squad, which might also perversely be its downfall later in the tournie, is that they are so inexperienced.  They haven’t been imbued with the fear of failing for their country as so many have been before.  The average number of caps per player, for all the squads attending the finals, is 34 (33.7 rounded). England have attained, on average, just 20.

They played with real belief for 25 mins or so against Tunisia, before retreating into their shell a little – not helped by Dele Alli being at around 50% for 60 mins of the game.  Why Southgate didn’t sub him is beyond me.

Rashford looks great to me.  Give the bloke a start and help him to build into the tournament.  He’s a game-changer.  Lingaard is frustrating: plenty of good runs but not enough end product.  Sterling is the same.  Can rip a defence part but finishing or picking the right pass is patchy at best.  I don’t like Walker at RCB but I’m happy Tripps is getting game time.

Anyway, I’ll be on here later for the game and hope to see you here.

Tasty Danish Pastry

 

Our Number 23, the metronome of our side.  Here he is playing in Red, which is an affront to all decent humans, but we wish him well all the same.

 

Let’s hope he can answer all the naysayers and critics with a MOTM performance, topping the match-winning assist he managed last time out.

 

Follow that with a nice fat contract extension and we’ll be golden.

We’re Vile!

Well, at least according to the Snowflake-in-Chief.

Meanwhile, Gareth has decided to start the diving plastic gangsta Dele…clearly hoping that he’ll do something worthwhile during the 30 minutes that Opta’s DEFINING METRIC™️ clearly demonstrates he only ever shows up for. Another mug professional manager who’s had the wool pulled over his eyes by this lazy wastrel.

Having said that, if Southgate goes with Hendo over Eric, maybe he isn’t as smart as all that. Word is, he’s also playing Ashleeeey over Roseeeey. Make of that what you will. Maybe he wants a slightly more solid base so that his Front 4 can have truly have the freedoms to attack! attack! attack!

Finally, England expects…and OneOfOurOwn will deliver. Not that he’ll get much praise for saving our arses again.

Enjoy, wherever you are.

Happy Favver’s Day

Solo Mackay

Dads, eh?

We’ve all had at least one. I had several, none of them much cop if I’m truthful. Now a stepdad to 3 and dad to 1, and also to this young pup, it’s pretty much the toughest but most worth it job I’ve had.

Anyways, wherever you are and however you’re spending today (watching football with your favourite food and booze, I hope), let me wish you a good day with some happy memories from the past and good times in the present.

You’re all good eggs from my perspective.

World Cup 2018

Who’s in? Who’s out?

How much/little do you care this time round?

I find myself with a little frisson of excitement building, not specifically about England and our chances, but more that, in amongst a lot of the dross and the boring, safe, tactical games that often plague the thing, there are almost always a few plucky teams who come to enjoy their 15 minutes of World Cup fame. These lot tend to play with a freedom that actually generates some excitement.

Blessed as I am with some form of early onset dementia, or a necessity to remember other stuff, I can rarely recall any information or statistics of the payers and teams who are in the pursuit of the Jules Rimet. Of course, there are some images seared into the psyche, but generally it all ends up being a bit of a blur.

Anyways, how are you approaching this year’s edition of ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’? With fear and loathing? Or with squeals of delight?

Ron’s Nostalgic Bloeug

 

After the almost unbearable excitement, of yesterday, it’s time to slow the pace down to one of a little dreamy nostalgia.  So here are Ron’s memories of how he became a Spurs supporter – please follow suit with your own.

Ron writes:

It was love at first breath. I barely got out of the womb,when my Dad too me to my first game, I think I was 2 and a half, It was against Newcastle at home I know that. Probably 1949 or 1950. It’s all gone Goo Goo Over there.

 

I never had a choice. My uncles on both sides were Tottenham supporters, my Dad was an avid Tottenham supporter and even though I had no idea what was taking place, I was there in the thick of it.

 

Through the mid 50’s my Dad took me to reserve games, here and there. Don’t remember it so well but I do remember my Dad telling me about the 1950 team and how he loved Eddie Bailey (he could turn on a sixpence he said) and in 1957 I went to Canada with my mum for the summer to see my uncles and one of them took us to see the two Tottenham games here. One was against Celtic and the other against an Ontario select team.   At half time against the Ontario selects, my uncle went down to the dressing room area and slipped someone a few quid I think and he let me in to see the players and I remember meeting Danny Blanchflower there and others,t hat was a thrill and really attached me even more to Tottenham.

 

In 1958 my uncle who had tickets in the old west stand was going somewhere so he gave my dad 2 tickets to the Spurs Everton game. It was Billy Nicks first game as manager and we won 10-4.  I was 11 and this was tumultuous stuff for the young Ronwol.

 

We bought Mackay and White in 1958 and our team really kicked in having a go at the league in the 1959-60 season and getting close (I think we got third place…a draw against City at home late in the season (We were winning 1-0 ) ruined our chances. I faintly remember a penalty awarded and it had to be retaken I think…anyway its a bit of a blur now. In that season, I walked from my school in Camden Town with a friend of mine, Alan Corper, who was a Gooner to Tottenham after school to see the Tottenham replay against Crewe. We were both quite short and we managed to get into the shelf area close to the Paxton road end. We were holding on to the metal barriers for dear life as it was jammed (as e.Rver game was then) We won 13-2 as you know. Both Tommy Harmer and John White played in that game, two fantastic creative players and we were fantastic.

 

All that set the stage for what was to come. My Dad bought me season ticket next to my uncle Moe in the East stand for the 60-61 season. Its possible he bought it from someone for a few seasons as we had to give it back as some point. My uncle took me to every away game that season on the Supporters club coach.  I was 13 and the season started off tremendous….We really showed what quality and balance and we were playing at a different level to any other team. I talk about flow now but for me it was born then. The movement was fantastic, the passing supreme and the end product wonderful. Danny Blanchflower marshalled our team, not just a captain in name, but controlled the pace, the defence. He was the architect. When the other team got the ball he ran a retreating defence. He would point behind him to have every marking up man to man as he snared the opposition into his web where they had nowhere to run. For the attack he would point where players should go as he ran. John White got it. He had the vision so many balls went to John who created from there. Cliff on the wing, scissors kicks and all from corners. It was the beautiful game. It was Dave Mackay, my favourite player who was the inspiration, he gave us the backbone and the confidence and the license for Danny to work his wonders.

 

We were tremendous, but in November of that season a foggy day at Sheffield Wednesday we played and lost 2-1. we went back to the coach and it was total devastation. There was fans crying, and depressed. Can you believe it. The ride back to London was totally miserable. We were unbeaten, winning I think about 13 games and drawing one and lost this one and everyone was miserable, such were our expectations.

 

We went on to win the Double in great style. That, along with the out of this world signing of Jimmy Greaves  filled my heart and soul with Tottenham and lifted my expectations for the future.

 

 

 

Ronwol196061

 

-translated from the original Ronglish

 

 

Today’s Titillating Transfer Tosh

Literally no-one seems to think we’re going for Marcelo Brozovic of Inter Milan as yet.

A central midfielder who has found playing time hard to come by at times, he’s strong in the tackle, not easily dispossessed and, crucially, seems to be able to hit a long ball accurately.

With a pass accuracy of 87% and an average length of pass of 18m, he easily matches up to the more fêted Ivan Perisic, in fact he’s markedly better in both categories.

Don’t let the fact that there hasn’t been any noise about this one as yet be a distraction. You will all know by now that I have a direct line to DL’s butler Gladstone who, after years of loyal, discreet service has decided that his story simply must be told.  He’s really an actor, you see.  Anyway, I digress.  He assured me as he was pressing the boss’s cummerbund this morning that Mauricio and Daniel were discussing this enticing prospect only last night. Of course, Daniel said, as he always does: “Money’s no problem, Mauricio, please don’t bother me with the details. Here’s a SIGNED blank cheque. Just bring me a receipt, there’s a good chap.”

Unfortunately, Marcelo is off to the World Cup with Croatia, so expect this one to be announced on the THFC website in late July after he’s taken them to the finals with a series of stellar performances.

Good news is, the fee will have already been agreed this week so we’ll be getting him for relative peanuts.

Toodle pip, my handsome little soft-boiled sybarites. If Prince Charles was making his usual choice from 7, he’d pick you for sure.

Scout, Scout, Let it all out…

…these are the players we could do without.

It’s all very well talking about this summer’s transfers, but what about the way we’re deciding who to go for?

My (admittedly limited) attention has turned to scouting and how we go about it. I was reading an article and it said at the end “blah blah blah Steve Hitchen’s extensive knowledge of Ligue 1.” My blood ran a little cold. I thought back to Stambouli, N’Jie, N’Cluedo, Aurier. Then I dug a bit deeper and discovered Steve only joined us in Feb 2017, so Stambo and Clint and Kevin-Georges (?!) didn’t apply. But Serge and Lucas Moura came under his watch. Time will tell about those two.

Nonetheless, I asked myself: Who has been responsible for the duff ones during Poch’s reign and have they learned their lesson (or been moved on)?

Please don’t mistake this as some unbalanced “We’re shit at transfers” rant. Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Toby have all been big success stories. Then there are others who’ve been perfectly adequate or better: Son, Trippier, Davies, Wanyama, Davinson.

But then you look at Janssen, Llorente, Fazio, Sissoko. Mistakes have been made. Maybe no more than any other club, but it would be good to try and improve all the same, wouldn’t it?

My take on who’s culpable for the fuck ups? Everyone.

Lewis for being a tight arse and not investing a little more

Levy for penny pinching during deals and missing out

Paul Mitchell for being totally overrated

Poch for choosing/accepting players that have turned out to be duds

Rebecca Caplethorne, Director of Football Operations, because apparently she’s in the room too.

(Steve Hitchens is on notice because of Serge)

We need a good window, lady and gentlemen of The Committee.

Sort it out.

Dastardly Defender Shenanigans

 

Something that was picked up in a piece by @dancoombs was the signing of a new 5 year deal at Barcelona by Manchester United target Samuel Umtiti.  As has been widely reported, Barça have inserted a monster 500m Euro release clause that means that Joe Lewis could easily afford to swoop but he won’t because he’s a tight-fisted scrooge.

 

More importantly, it means that Yanited are likely to turn their attentions more fully either to long-term target Toby…or perhaps to De Ligt.  Knowing what we do about Maureen, however, I think it’s fairly obvious which way he will leap on this one.  The ‘Not So Special Any More’ One is not famed for his development of young players and his patience for their growing pains.  The idea that he would make a 19yo a primary target is fantasy.

 

What it does mean is that we are looking at potential no-lose situation, IF you consider that we can do without Toby and the path to one of the best defensive prospects in the world is about to be cleared for us.  Toby goes to Yanited, De Ligt comes to us.  Or Toby stays with us and Yanited…well who gives a fajita what happens with them?

 

I expect them to come back strongly for Toby now and for Levy to hold out to as close to £75m as possible.  He’s holding the cards on this one after all.  Whether a deal for Martial will be negotiated (not as part of a swap) remains to be seen.

 

Keep it locked, Oeufers.

Titillating Target of the Day

Bonjour mes petits Oeufs au Plat and welcome to what could quite possibly become a totally unwanted new feature: Titillating Target of the Day.

The very enticingly named Blaise Bourgeouis has picked up a story from France Football saying that we have been scouting a certain Morgan Sanson for around 8 months.  Disappointingly, Blaise is a rather boring looking bloke, not a French blonde bombshell.

Sanson is a 23 year old Central Midfielder who currently plays for this year’s Europa League finalists Olympic Marseille and scored 12 goals and made 3 assists in all competitions last season. He did manage 53 appearances which suggests he could be robust. There have been no guesses at a valuation that I’ve seen, as yet.

Inevitably, there will be cries of “Who?” and a rush to Google and YouTube, so I’ve saved you the trouble by finding you this:

NB

Disclamer: I watched the 2017/18 version and it was a bit less interesting, so in the interests of totally misleading you I’ve posted his ‘exciting’ 2016/17 edit instead.

So, the challenge from here on is to find a new link to a previously unheard of player, in terms of Spurs being ‘interested’ and post ’em up.  Eventually, we will create a sweepstake of runners and riders and someone will walk away with the glory when we actually sign one of them.  Soooo much better than pretending we’ve got inside ITK at Spurs Lodge.

Idle Transfer Chat?

Morning All

After a tumultuous weekend where nothing really happened, we turn to some transfer chat and a story that seems to be gaining some traction is our pursuit of Justin Kluivert of Ajax.

Apparently, we’ve bid €25m for the ‘promising youngster/wünderkid/unproven disaster-in-waiting’ but the club are holding out for more like €30m.

If true, this could be the first test of the “Brave New Transfer Policy™️” that Poch and Daniel might or might not have firmly agreed on a couple of weeks back when the manager signed his new 5 year deal.

Even at the asking price (not gonna happen), DL could see this as at least €10m saved on last season’s supposed targets Zaha & Malcom…..and Kluivert Jr certainly ticks lots of boxes for both Chairman and Manager.

The inevitable YouTube highlights showreel exhibit a player who likes to run with the ball (apparently with his head up, which is nice), doesn’t mind getting clogged by some big defenders and can deliver a useful cross. 10 goals and 5 assists last year could translate to a PL puff of smoke or an erupting volcano. We shall see, maybe.

So what do you reckon? Is Kluivert to NWHL a done deal or are the press schmoking too much schkunk?

And if not this Dutch Master, then who is going to fill the ample boots, and shirt, of Georges-Kevin N’Koudou??

Here’s the admittedly rather padded out Amazing Skillz vid in question:

https://youtu.be/BT2FMZ7D3Tw

PLAYER REVIEW: Eric Dier

This won’t take long.  I’m talking about Eric Dier’s performances this season and where he *should* play.

At his best: majestically ruthless in the tackle, simple distribution, solid in the air, the rock on which the side is built.

At his worst: prone to looking leggy, dodgy/sloppy mid- to long-range distribution, poor defensive positioning and the ability to switch off and allow runners to breeze past him into goal-scoring positions.

What’s his best position?  I honestly don’t think it’s as a CDM or a RCB.  He thinks he’s a central midfielder, and wants to be played there exclusively, which is a concern….because a fully-fit Wanyama is a better CDM in my opinion.

For me, he was at his best on the right of a Back 3 with Walker providing cover at pace.  My belief is that Poch pushed him back to CDM this season out of necessity: Vic was injured and the loss of Walker and Rose forced a change to a Back 4…and, as I’ve said, Eric ain’t no RCB.

But enough about what I think.  What do you think about what I think?