Wednesday, 16 May 2012

It's all over. Or is it?

So there you have it, the season is finished, technically. We all know there’s the small matter of a Champions League final still to be played, that due to our own failings, will decide a massive amount of how this summer will feel for everyone associated with Tottenham Hotspur.

How I long to be writing a similar sentence this time next season, with the small exception of our great club being one of the teams in the final. I can dream eh?
So, Fulham, Martin Jol, a banana skin. It wasn’t to be for my favourite manager of my years supporting Spurs. Comfortable, is that the word? Routine, maybe a better one.
We knew we had to do our job, and hope for a favour from West Brom. Adebayor got us off to the best possible start, playing a great one-two with van der Vaart and passing coolly under Mark Schwarzer after less than two minutes.

From there I hoped we would go on and really put on a show. We didn’t. We consolidated, held on, and Jermain Defoe came off the bench in the second half to guarantee the win.

Events at The Hawthornes were much more gripping. Arsenal match our early lead, but then get pegged back. Now they’re behind.  Could it be, will we reclaim third place? No. At 2-2 we’re still in pole position, but they force a third blunder from Martin Fulop, yes, ex-Tottenham goalkeeper Martin Fulop, and take the lead. So close, no cigar.
It was an odd end to the season, knowing Arsenal were winning, there was nothing else we could do, except get injured apparently. Younes Kaboul went down with a knee injury, which we’re led to believe is quite serious, and Younes now misses Euro 2012. It’s a big blow for Kaboul who, when most others have fallen around him, has been the picture of consistency in the centre of defence.

Kyle Walker also hobbled off, Ryan Nelsen his replacement, which was odd. Adam Smith got his debut eventually, after Kaboul was forced off too. Smith looked solid, and his teammates were keen to get him on the ball to make him comfortable, which led me to wonder, if his teammates trust him, why doesn’t Harry? Your right back is injured, bring on another right back, no? No. Bring on a centre back and shift the defence around. Only to have to shift around again after Kaboul’s injury again.

We’ll learn today if Walker misses Euro 2012 too, and possibly Scott Parker who missed our season finale. I’m torn. I’m not English, but I’ll support them in these tournaments. But as a Spurs fan, I don’t mind our players getting the summer off.

I saw someone on twitter mention the Fulham game as an audition/trail for Moussa Dembele and also saw a great comparison made; a mobile Huddlestone. I’m a big Tom Huddlestone fan, he’s the closest thing I’ve seen to Hoddle in my life time, and I think those that question his mobility are unfair. He’s 6’3”, around 15 stone, he plays sport for a living, how immobile could he be?

Dembele is a talent, no doubt about that. Would he fit in at Spurs? Would he be happy playing second or third fiddle to Modric and van der Vaart? Then again, we wake this morning to questions over Modric’s future. Surely we can’t be set for another 3 and a half months of the media trying to sell our Croatian magician to every club with a bigger stadium than White Hart Lane?

Vertonghen, we are led to believe, was at The Lane on Sunday. Terms have been agreed, allegedly, but the fee is yet to be.

Remy, at the training ground yesterday? Apparently so. But he’s waiting to see the result of the Champions League final. Understandable.
I’m a bit pessimistic. Spurs don’t do business early. I’ll read all the hype but won’t believe it until they’re holding the new kit with Harry.

Speaking of the new kit, the ‘leaked’ images have gone into over drive the past few days. Some nice, some not so nice. The latest, showing all three kits has good points and bad points. I’m not a fan of the collar on the home kit. Not a fan of any collar on a kit. This years collar was horrible and floppy and ruined a very nice, plain, simple kit.
The away kit seems to be most people’s favourite. I agree, simple, navy, no baby blue or lilac, two colours that wouldn’t strike fear into many home teams. The third kit has got a bit of stick. I’m a fan. Not sure who we’ll wear it against though. We’ll only wear our navy kit against a few teams, and of those, only Newcastle would clash with both home and away kits. But the third kit is black and white. Confused? You bet.

I’m planning a few more blogs over the next few days. Reviews of the season, individual player ratings, transfer comings and goings, those sorts of things.
I’ll leave you with a haunting possibility, another season on Channel 5 and itv4. Horrible I know.

Come on Bayern!

It is better to fail aiming high than succeeding aiming low. And we at Spurs have set our sights very high, so high in fact that even failure will have in it an echo of glory” Bill Nicholson.

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