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

 

 

We’re Live!

The inaugural (and quite probably only) Flat Oeuf World Cup sweepstake draw will take place in approximately 30 minutes time and you can follow all the action, as it happens, right here.

Of the 32 teams that are taking part in the competition, 24 will be randomly allocated — two each — to the following 12 people who have entered the sweepstake: Caspurs, DAVID, Flat Oeuf, Freund or Foe, McG, Ronwol, SpurAndy, SpursNut, Spurstacus/Jonspur/Fat Bertha/Jonjo Spurvy/Whateverthehellelsehedecidestocallhimself, StillNilNil*, Superspoz and Unkle Taff.

The eight teams not initially allocated will be held back and distributed at the conclusion of the group stages so that those unfortunate enough to have drawn a pair of duds during the group stage will (barring a freakish set of results) still have an interest in the knockout stages. Obviously, if any of those eight teams doesn’t make it through the group stage then they will not be allocated for the knockout stage. Priority for this secondary draw will be given to those participants who have seen both their teams knocked out during the group stage.

No participant can have more than two teams at any one time and the trading of teams is strictly prohibited.

So, talk amongst yourselves for a bit whilst the final preparations are taking place. Kick-off is at 11am (GMT).

* Whilst StillNilNil didn’t actually enter the competition, I needed to make the numbers up to 12 and, knowing how much he loves international football (and the World Cup in particular), it would have been plain wrong to have left him out of the fun.

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.

It’s Just Simple Maffs, Love

It’s amazing how news of Harry Kane’s bumper new contract wiped previous rumblings from memory.

“There’s loadsamoney” quickly turned into “Where is all this money going to come from?”

Did Levy rob a bank?

Have we already agreed to sell half the squad to pay for Kane’s rise?

Has Uncle Joe finally realised how completely unfair it is of him to deny us fans his hard earned wealth?

I’m sorry to disappoint, but the truth is rather dull, simple maffs.

Well run football clubs try to maintain a wages to turnover ratio of around 50%. If a clubs revenue increases, this means the the wage bill can increase too.

That’s it. Rather simple, rather boring.

Tottenham Hotspur Football Club’s results for the financial year ending June 16 were as follows:

Total revenue £209.8mil

Total wages £100mil

This gave wages to revenue ratio of around 48%

 

The end of financial year June 17, and the most recent record shows the following results:

Total revenue £306.3mil

Total wages £126.9mil

This gave wages to revenue ratio of around 41.5%

As you can see, a massive increase in revenue, and a year on year increase in wages of £27 million, yet a DECREASE in wages to revenue ratio from 48% to 41.5%.

What this means in essence is that, if we were to maintain a wages to revenue ratio of 48%, as per the previous year, there is a surplus of available wages totalling around £20million.

Harry Kane’s new contract is worth an extra 5.2mil per year, so around a quarter of the surplus as explained above. Comfortably affordable, and plenty spare for other player/staff contract increases (such as the new contracts for Poch, Jesus and the gang).

But it doesn’t stop there……

The above results and calculations are based on financial year ending June 2017, and it’s now June 2018. Since then, we have played every home game at Wembley which will no doubt show a huge increase in matchday revenue, especially as the last year at WHL was with a reduced capacity. Then there’s the extra money earned for our exploits in the CL, compared to the previous year. Plus the new Nike deal, and no doubt other increases in commercial deals.

Our revenue increase from year ending June 16 to year ending June 17 was a whopping 46%. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a similar increase when the next results are published, but lets be pessimistic (for a change) and suggest that our revenue only increased by 20%. This would mean the following:

Suggested revenue year ending June 18 £367.6mil

If we maintain a healthy 48% wages to revenue ratio, our wage bill would be around £176.4mil

That means an increase of £49.5mil in available wages.

£49.5mil.

Kane’s new contract £5.2mil.

It looks tight, but I reckon we can just about get away with it.

 

 

 

World Cup sweepstake

Okay. Who’s up for this? Just post a comment (any comment) in this bloeug and I’ll take that as a sign you’re in. A completely impartial and random draw (I promise) will take place early next week and participants will be informed of their allocated teams in good time.

I have to say I’m looking forward to this forthcoming World Cup more than I have done for a long time. Maybe it’s to do with so many of the loathsome players that routinely made up the competition squads no longer being present, or maybe it has something to do with the thought that we might actually achieve something of note this time round.

The two recent friendlies were full of promise and so long as Southgate can see what (pretty much) the rest of the county can see (i.e. pairing Rashford with Kane up front) and a Quarter Finals place (at the very least) could be on the cards. Germany aside I really don’t think there is an outstanding team at this year’s tournament and it looks like it could be one of the most open competitions for a long time.

The Taff shekels will be going on Germany and if that doesn’t put the mockers on their chances nothing will.

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

Square Poch, Round Real

Let me start by clearly stating that I have no ITK, no idea about buy-out clauses, no inside info on whether Real Madrid’s interest in our Poch is…er….real.

I do, however, have a good idea about what Poch brings to a team under his management, as do all of you. It’s a philosophy based on bloody hard work, ultimate fitness and technique, and bringing a feeling of togetherness and a real team ethic amongst what in essence is a bunch of overpaid kids.

What I don’t get, is how that translates to being a manager of Real Madrid, the ultimate in overpaid, narcissistic prima-dona’s, where managers have to gain the ultimate success or are shown the exit door.

We know that Poch operates a “my way, or the highway” management style. The exits of Ade, Kaboul and Lennon early in his tenure prove that he doesn’t care about experience or ego’s, he cares about his philosophy, and if players don’t toe the line, they are out.

I can just imagine the first day at the training ground.

“Cristiano, we defend as a team.”

“Benzema, I expect you to chase down defenders at every opportunity.”

“Ramos, Marcelo, you will hold your shape, defensive duties come first. Especially you Sergio, no more runs into attacking positions that leave massive holes in our defence”.

We’ve all heard the stories, existing and ex-players talking of running until they are sick, the most intense training sessions they’ve ever experienced.

Rickie Lambert sums it up pretty well.

“It wasn’t the [training on] Fridays that was a shock, it was the Mondays when I’d played 90 minutes [at the weekend],” Lambert told BBC Radio Solent.

“We would come in and to everyone else it was just a three-quarter kind of pace, like a jog to three-quarter pace, we used to do 12 horseshoes.

“But to me it was three-quarters and above, I was like ‘what on earth is going in here’ I just could not cope.”

Shocked by the intensity at which Pochettino had his players working after a matchday, Lambert and former Saints defender Jos Hooiveld looked to persuade their manager to change his ways.

“I thought, it was me and Jos Hooiveld who actually had the bottle to go into his [Pochettino’s] room and pull him to one side, very respectfully.

“I said ‘Mauricio listen, I understand what you’re trying to do but I just think you’re pushing us too much on a Monday and you need to calm it down, we’re not used to it so maybe build it up a bit later.’

“Mauricio was dead polite he said ‘yes, that’s fine I understand’ – we shook hands, I went out and we went back to the lads made up thinking ‘yep, just done it for you boys, next Monday gonna be sorted.

“So, played the game [the next weekend], 90 minutes again, come in Monday, not only did we do 12, we did 24 runs – 24 runs and I just knew, I was running around laughing and almost crying and I knew what he was doing, he was breaking me and he did, he broke me.”

How on earth will the Galactico’s of Real Madrid react to that kind of treatment?

Then there’s new signings. You only have to spend 5 mins on Google to see the kind of players RM are interested in.

“Welcome to Real Madrid, Neymar. We are very pleased to have you here, but remember, you sign for this club to train, I decide if you play or not based on your efforts.”

And why the hell has Zinedine Zidane left Real Madrid? One of the original Galactico’s, he holds the club dear to his heart, and has just won 3 CL’s on the bounce. We all know that RM managers don’t choose the players they sign, have hardly anything to do with contracts of existing stars, and most of the time have less power than players like Ronaldo and Ramos.

Does any of this sound like a club that is a perfect fit for our Poch?

I’m guessing not. I’m hoping not. We’ll soon find out.

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.

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?

Ronwoeul196061’s Bloeug. Oh yeah.

I wanted to write an article, pick a subject or a point and go for it and thought about it and realised that the most important situation in the Tottenham world is Poch bring forward this plan, this manifesto for Levy, on the last game of our season. A week later Poch and Levy had signed a deal that will keep Poch at Spurs till 2013.

I was really feeling that there was a kind on chaos happening. Is Poch staying and if he leaves will all the main players leave? What does that leave us with?  It seemed Poch had thrown the gauntlet down.

To be honest that wasn’t as much a shock as Levy and Poch both signing an agreement so quick after the demands (a little choreography perhaps?)

I started to write in true Ronglish fashion about the Argentinian wearing his bandana and offering a manifesto, that looked like a threat. But now wonder how long his conversation was with Levy. I mean Levy doesn’t seem the most approachable owner in the world. So I wonder what happened and how we can find some focus in all of this as we really don’t know what they are going to do. If they say we will find younger players and continue the project…we wonder well what is going to happen now. It makes sense to secure the future of all the players we want to keep but how can we improve now?

I ask myself did Poch sell out too cheap. I mean how much of a conversation could they have had? Until the agreement was announced there was a certain amount of anxiety about what was to be (and what was Toby too) and all we really know is that Poch and Levy seem to be on the same page.

Nothing is easy at Tottenham, not even an agreement.  Liverpool go out and buy a defender for 75 million.  They don’t have to create manifestos and public demand stuff.  They just do it.  Pep with so many creative players in his team thinks he is void a few.  He will go out and buy them.  Bale Schmale, if Mourinho wants him, he will go out and buy him.  New manager at Arse ok so here is a few bucks go out and buy what you need but we need manifestos.

What the hell did Levy and Poch talk about apart from Pochs wages and his time and his buy out clause etc.  Really we have no idea.  We do know that Levy doesn’t want to spend his own money, but he did spend all the Bale money like a drunken sailor in three minutes.  So he has got loose at times.

 

Here we are building the stadium.  Its a marquee of sorts and they could really do with a marquee signing.  Gareth Bale would do it no doubt.  Unleash the Turbo and it wouldn’t be easy to buy any ticket for a game.  That’s the marquee.  But does Poch really want that.  Bale is 28 years old, even at cut price would cost a fortune, even wages cut would cost a fortune. But marquee players don’t come cheap at the best of times.  And this would be one that we know has been successful with us and without us.  So go for it.

But we have more shoes to fill.  I think a CM is about as big as they come.  A player who can meld the defence with attack and can guide us and dictate our next move.  We see Modric do it.  Can Eriksen do that?  He may be on the fringes of it as this season I’ve seen him really start controlling the ball for more than a highlight shot and now proactive in passing instead of the sideways and back passing we were used to.  If we can get a strong player who can play the ball well and be a bit more direct when it comes developing the play to the opposition goal and not like Dembele who is strong and talented and had great footwork but who desire is more in protecting the ball than assaulting the goal.

We have a million backs but mostly mediocre quality.  Aurier has desire and guts but is also reckless at times.  Trippier is stuck between PL and Championship quality.  Davies is frustrating at times.  When he has a good game its really good but then he becomes totally invisible  occasionally melding into the background when we need something from the only space we have at times on the wing.  Most want to see the back of Rose but I want to see Rose back where he was as one of our best players.  Maybe he was or is full of himself but he has shown he has been one of our best backs and that was before his injuries (the one on his leg and the other in his brain).  He is not fit even now.

Sanchez oh how I loved the kid when he came.  Got right into it.  Smooth operator.  Of course he had Toby on one side of his and Verts on the other.  Toby gets injured and the kids becomes a pinball wizard not…I saw him as a future legend. But right now he is stuck between at peace with the world and being paranoid about passing the ball as they come along with being occasionally a little reckless as well.  I still believe on this one though.

Verts got out of his blue period a year or two ago now he seems at his best. Capitain Verts  please!

Lamela, Dele, Moura, Eriksen and Kane.  Where is the room for Bale coming? Too many cooks but only a few chefs so far.

The DM position.  Well they both have their days don’t they?   So who do you pick?  I almost would pick Dembele to play the role if we can get a great CM to expand our game or the only other thing is Eriksen taking on the Modric role (I think he is still a year away from that).

 

So we need to upgrade.  We need to find other ways to get to goal apart from the counter. Better, more incise passing…getting the ball up quicker while still keeping a good amount of possession.  So we do need some more ball players.  Moura I hope will add to the mix but we need some more higher level players.  If Toby goes we need a younger head but also an older hand to cool it down when need be.

I am not completely happy with Poch.  His subs, his lack of options tactically have not given me the total belief I would like.  But his results do not lie.  I have thought at times it was a bit hodge podge, quite a few borefests that I wanted to run from.  But again the results don’t lie.

Can we build on it this season.  Can he learn?  It remains to be seen.  Can Levy change his spots, it too remains to be seen.  Can we flow a little better with more constancy to our actual play? (we can eke out results even if we are mediocre that’s something we never did before)

I hope if he has to over the next few weeks, Poch keeps bringing out the manifesto occasionally to remind Levy what we need.  Well will things really change?  Or is it manufactured hope?

 

 

Ronwol196061

 

-translated from the original Ronglish

 

 

McG’s McBloeug

Who do we keep, who do we sell, who to swap??!

Morning all, before we go any further, have a great bank holiday everyone!! These were my thoughts/hopes regarding this summer’s transfer activities…

My choices below are based solely on squad strength for next season, nothing more. I’ve no interest in depleting resale values, age, or whether I think this player is a better person off field than that. It’s simply down to how best we strengthen given our constraints.

I’ll start with one of my favourites; Dembele. For me he stays, no doubt in my mind whatsoever. I appreciate he’s ageing, that he may require wrapping in cotton wool, but the stats don’t lie. His average pass completion last season was 92.7%, phenomenal.  Mousa played vs Madrid, Juve, Man U, Liverpool, Goons & Chavs, big game player, one of our more experienced too. Until we find an adequate replacement, give him the three year extension (we can still sell in a season’s time if we decide) where’s the problem? This campaign he managed 2214 minutes having recovered from an ankle operation. Putting that into perspective; on average over the last six seasons, he’s managed 2300 mins per season. Why keep? It’s quite simple: are we stronger or weaker without him? For me, weaker. So until we find an adequate replacement, he stays. At 30 years of age, there’s still a few miles in the tank, he’s not quite a 35 year old Ya Ya yet.

Jugs (another of my fav’s). This is a tough tough call. In an ideal world I’d say keep without doubt! It’s not an ideal world, & we have to sell players to raise funds for new purchases. 40/50/60 mil for a 29 year old who won’t sign, how do we turn that down? Defensively, we’ve just had one of our best seasons for decades, mostly without his involvement. Previously I’ve enjoyed 3 at the back, but having sold Walker, & with Rose’s injury, I thought we were better playing a back 4, allowing for an additional attack minded player. Currently we have Verts, Sanchez, Dier, Davies & 4th that can play CB. One cheap replacement & utilise the proceeds to strengthen elsewhere would be my preference. My one stipulation for departure would be that we sell abroad. I’m loving Verts & I’m loving Sanchez btw!

Wanyama, keep, the guy was a monster before his injury. We wouldn’t get top dollar for him after last season, & again I couldn’t see us bringing in a stronger replacement for the money. When at his best, I prefer him to Dier at DM.

This one will no doubt raise a few eyebrows, but I’d have rid of Trippier. Yeah he can cross, but he doesn’t have the pace or ability to be a truly great player. Do I see us winning the prem or champions league with this guy in our side? No. Time & again I’ve watched him get skinned, Sane ripping him a new one last season was enough for me. Harsh, but we’d get good money to buy an upgrade.

What about Aurier??! I’d give him one more season on the bench & see if Poch can get a tune. We won’t get anywhere near the funds we’d receive for Tripps.

Coco (ol’ snake hips), another we should retain imho. Can’t see anyone paying a fair price given his recent injuries, & how do you upgrade without spending north of 50mil? I love his attitude & work rate, & have not forgotten the player we had just before this hipster  injury. I want quality options from the bench, a player capable of pushing for 1st team action, here he is.

Sissy, ta ta pal! I’m not a hater, his attitude has been decent, he puts in a shift, just not good enough, especially at 90k p/wk.

Llorente, again bye bye, nothing really needs saying. Nice guy, doesn’t suit our style of play…

Davies or Rose? I’d keep Rose & sell Davies, based purely on footballing ability (more raised eyebrows). Jose ain’t interested in Davies & there’s good reason for that. I hope Rose lives up to his word, knuckles down & works hard to regain his place, he’s a player.

 

Outs:

Toby, Sissy, Trips, Davies, Llorente, NK-Done, Janssen.

Ins:

Sessegnon, Kovacic (bed him in for a year, then move Dembele on), Martial, Evans & Vrsaljko.

 

Our 1st team squad would now look like:

GK: Hugo, Vorm, Gazza

Defence: Rose, Sessegnon, Verts, Sanchez, Evans, 4th, Vrsaljko, KWP, Aurier

Midfield: Dembele, Kovacic, Dier, Wanyama, Lamela, Eriksen, Alli, Son, Moura, Winks.

CF: King Kane & Martial.

That’s 24 players & would leave room for a couple of youngsters from the crappy academy.

If Levy were to sanction an additional 60/70 mil to player sales, I wouldn’t call this the impossible dream!!

 

So, that’s what I’d like to see happen, I’d be interested to hear what everyone else thinks & their hopes/aspirations for this coming window….

PS, If anyone disagrees with any of the above, they automatically incur a lifetime blog ban!!

 

PPS No, they won’t (Flat Oeuf)

 

Caspurs Debut Bloeug…and it’s a cracker

Is this the summer of our discontent/content?

Since the arrival of a certain Mr Botchmeister, we have had to witness the decline of our once great club, Chick King Hotspurs.  Where once we revelled in the security and comfort of our annual 5th placed finish and a Ropey league berth, we now find ourselves having to suffer the indignity of being consigned to the wastelands of the Champions League, and for a third straight year at that, pfft!

Back in the real world, Poch (yes it’s Poch, not Pooch!) has overseen the transformation of our club from one that seemed happy with its lot, content with finishing 5th or 6th each year, to one that aspires to achieve. There is a renewed pride, where we can see the players now play for both the manager and the club. Is it just me, dunno, but this latest transfer window has the feeling that it’s possibly the most important so far in the Pochmeister’s tenure?

Our resurgence has in large part been down to a core of players who have largely been ever present during Poch’s time, does the club need new (quality) blood to reinvigorate and help push the team onto greater heights?  Competition is fierce, and with our rivals seemingly getting their act together and spending large sums on players, where does that leave Spurs, raising the question, how important is this summer transfer window, and how should the club proceed regarding player acquisitions?

Have we reached a tipping point, where to move the club on our esteemed Monsieur Levy will have to break the habit of a lifetime, and relinquish his vice-like grip on the purse strings…is that even possible?  If Levy really wants to the club to join Europe’s elite, then I feel his propensity to negotiate the life and soul out of a deal needs to change, he needs to show that Spurs really value a potential target, and that isn’t achieved by continually submitting low ball offers, there is a time and a place to play hard ball, just recognise when and where is appropriate tizzall.

Personally I think we’ve reached a point where the club should be actively seeking to secure players who will improve the first team, and not as a means of merely supplementing the squad. Perhaps now it’s a case of less is more, i.e  quality over quantity? Whether that is achieved by pursuing a policy of scouting the best young talent (worldwide), or signing established stars, either way, now is the time to be proactive, and to not dither over the minutiae of every deal.

SpurAndy’s pffFFP bloeug

I’ve seen this reported this morning concerning the new FFP proposals, apparently called ‘Fair Play 2.0’. These are to be debated tomorrow I believe.

Essentially they bar clubs from exceeding a negative net spend limit of €100m per season, substantially impacting the transfer policy of the European Superclubs. In addition they also plan to limit the maximum squad size to 25 players which would majorly impact clubs like Chelski and Citeh from having huge volumes of youngsters on loan.

Difficult to see how UEFA can shoe horn this in without upsetting the super clubs big time and potentially bringing their breakaway from UEFA closer.

More deets here:

http://insights.hksport.law/post/102eol3/financial-fair-play-2-0

Martial? What on earth is all the fuss about?

From what I’ve seen, he routinely runs into dead-ends and blasts shots into Row Z.  His crossing is worse than Kyle’s was (at his worst).

Now, I’m fully aware that Mourinho is The Talent Destroyer™️.  He couldn’t be worse at developing young players if he tried, which he doesn’t.

So is Martial a confidence player who’s wilted under the challenge set to him by The Surly One?  If so, I’d say he might not have the minerals to make it in the big time, full stop.

He can dribble a bit and has good feet, but his decision-making has been poor when he’s got into dangerous positions.  Frankly, I’d rather see Lucas Moura given a lot more of an opportunity and save the cash.  And that’s not a sleight on Moura, I think he looks like he could be a gem.

Martial?  Not for me, fanks.

PLAYER REVIEW: Harry Kane

 

Hola Flat Oeufers

I trust you’ve got over the excitement?  It was quite a special day, wasn’t it?  Certainly one that will last long in my memory.  I’m talking of course about the long-awaited final commencement of the decline and fall of Jose ‘Chewing a Wasp’ Mourinho.  Well, we can hope anyway.

I thought it would be interesting over the coming months to kick off a series of Player Reviews…nothing too exacting necessarily, just a snapshot as to where we see a player in his current development, value and meaning to the team and, perhaps what the future holds.

So Harry Kane, HK10, Kaneinho, OneofOurOwn.

He’s bloody brilliant, eh?  You can’t fault him.  30 goals this season, an improvement on his 29 last year (although in 7 more games).  He scored 7 goals in the CL which, considering the opposition, is a great return.

Harry scored 0.81 goals per match as opposed to Salah’s 0.67.

His shooting accuracy was 41%, whereas Salah’s was 44%

But…..but……one Stat that really stood out for me is Assists:  2   (Salah had 11)

We all know a Striker has to have a selfish streak, but this is one area of his game that he needs to improve.  The sight of Dier (!) throwing his hands up as Kaneinho tried to Cruyff that Leicester defender instead of simply squaring the ball to a better placed teammate (there were others) was emblematic of something we’ve seen quite a few times this season…a tunnel vision that at times damages the team’s chances of scoring important goals.

As to the future for this ‘Spurs man through and through’, I believe we have at least 2 more seasons to start winning things before HK might start to consider whether he may have to move to fulfil all his ambitions.

But what do you think of him?  Am I being over-critical, or is this a flaw that needs ironing out?

The Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune

Toby or not Toby? That is the question.

I should preface this ramble by saying that nothing you are about to (hopefully) read is based on fact. Continue at your own risk.

Toby Alderweireld is, apparently, on (a measly) £50,000 a week. Levy. What a b*stard, eh? Well no, actually. First of all, Alderweireld was clearly happy to agree to those terms at the time he signed his contract. No one put a gun to his head. But why shouldn’t he have been happy? The club has clearly demonstrated (in the cases of Kane and Alli) that if your performances merit it, existing terms can (and will) be improved on a regular basis. If he could have matched the levels of performance displayed by the two players I’ve mentioned there’s every reason to expect he would have received similar treatment.

But the bottom line is that, in this fan’s eyes, Toby Alderweireld has had just one really good year at Tottenham. The season before last his displays (coupled with a lengthy injury absence) fell some way short of his debut year. Last season (the one just finished) he took another step backwards (not helped, again, by another lengthy injury). On the final day of the season he was part of a defence that shipped four goals. To Leicester.

If the latest story is to be believed he has rejected a new contract worth £120,000 a week. This would have given him parity status with all the top defenders in the league (bar van Dijk, who is, apparently, on truly obscene money). He has therefore been offered at the very least the “going rate” for a player of his ability and he has said “no”.

When, some time before the end of last season, Kyle Walker informed the club of his decision to leave, he was effectively taken off first-team duties and Kieran Tripper was promoted to take his place. The argument put forward here was “if you don’t want to be part of our future you have no place in our present”. It’s a bold approach and one which I unreservedly applaud (helped, admittedly in Alderweireld’s case, by our having Sanchez and the extremely promising Foyth on our books).

It’s looking increasingly likely that Toby Alderweireld wants no part of our future. Therefore, in my view, the club has little option but to cash in on him while they still can. I genuinely don’t think he’ll be missed as much as people seem to think he will be.

FoF’s Guest Bloeug

 

An(nu)al Review
It’s that time of year again when we’re all checking into New Snow, desperately waiting for Poch’s pen to paper, confirmation on Kovacic, terrific news on Tobes. Before we all fall headlong into harm, I’d like to offer my assessment of the season, if only to delay the pain for a few minutes.
Wembley, bloody Wembley. Unmitigated disaster, they said. Will cost us a Champions League spot, they said. Cup final for every visiting team, they said. It’s a 16 hour walk from the nearest tube station, they said.
There’s no doubt that it had an effect, especially early doors, but we soon found our feet and it became a home from home. Or maybe a holiday home, like a timeshare you invested in because you got free tickets to Disneyworld, but then only used for the first few years and spent the next 23 years paying for the privilege.
Stats suggest we didn’t cope quite as well:
2016/17- Won 17, Drew 2, Lost 0, Goals for 47, Goals against 9, Points 53
2017/18- Won 13, Drew 4, Lost 2, Goals for 40, Goals against 16, Points 43
Quite a difference in fortunes, whether that is all down to the Wembley factor, or possibly our form/bedding in new players/injuries/form of other teams, I couldn’t honestly say. Maybe a bit of all of the above.
There wasn’t too much in it, comparing our away form:
2016/17- Won 9, Drew 6, Lost 4, Goals for 39, Goals against 17, Points 33
2017/18- Won 10, Drew 4, Lost 5, Goals for 34, Goals against 30, Points 34
So overall in the league, compared to last season, we were 9 points worse off, 12 goals scored down, and conceded 20 goals more.
Champions League though, eh chaps? Group of death. It’ll be an embarrassment. We’ll be lucky to finish 3rd.
No, we bloody well arrived.
Group stages:
2016/17- Won 2, Drew 1, Lost 3, Goals for 6, Goals against 6, Points 7
2017/18- Won 5, Drew 1, Lost 0, Goals for 15, Goals against 4, points 16
The dramatic improvement was all the more impressive, considering the opponents. 9 points better off, up 9 goals, conceded 2 goals less.
In the League Cup, we achieved the same in both seasons, losing to Liverpool in 16/17, and West Ham in 17/18. That West Ham defeat stung, for sure.
We fared better in the FA Cup, going out in the 5th round to Crystal Palace in 16/17, and losing to Manure in the 17/18 semi-final.
So what is my conclusion?
I’m relatively happy. There’s no doubt that we didn’t reach the same heights in the league as last year, but the CL more than made up for it, for me. Looking at the above stats, it’s clear that in the league we conceded too many goals. We went from the best defence, to the 3rd best defence. Kyle Walker, brainfarts and all, was for me a big loss, as was having Tobes missing for a good portion of the season. Love Sanchez, he’s got some mistakes in him, but I have no doubt he’ll prove to be one of the signings of the decade. It would have been nice to bed him in slowly rather than him being a near ever-present.
No trophies, of course (in case anyone hadn’t noticed), and I firmly believe that the losses to Juve and Manure really hurt Poch and the players. I think they believed they could win both the CL and the FA Cup, as did I, and I think this had an impact on our end of season form.
I’d be lying if I said I don’t care about the trophies, of course I do, we all want success for our club. But honestly, football for me is about moments and memories, and we’ve had our fair share of them this season.
Making the all conquering Liverpool look rather silly at Wembley.
Wanyama’s goal and the controversy around Kane’s penalty at the return game at Anfield (speshley the reaction from Pooh fans).
Winning at the Bridge for the first time in Tony Adams years.
Leicester game, meeting up with the guys beforehand, and me and Cas shaking each other quite vigorously when Kane scored the winner. I love a vigorous shake.
All the CL games, but especially that night at Wembley against Madrid, which I will cherish forever.