Sunday, 20 May 2012

Small Margins

So there you have it. Chelsea beat Bayern on penalties in the Champions League Final and every Tottenham supporter died a little inside.

Not only did we have to watch one of most hated opponents, and the abomination that is John Terry, lift the famous trophy, but we lost our place in the 2012/13 tournament.

We all know that it shouldn't have come to this though. It was a ridiculous situation to find ourselves in; our most important game of the season, and it didn't even involve our team. The truth is we have no one to blame but ourselves. Letting the lead we had over Arsenal slip in the manner that we did is inexcusable.

The sad part for Spurs fans, is that the players that failed to perform in our run of poor form are likely to look for a way out of the Club now. We can expect to have a summer of speculation over the future's of Modric, Bale, Sandro possibly even Walker. Those four players could strengthen any team in the world. They will have plenty of admirers.

Modric and Bale are likely to make the most noise. Chelsea may look at Modric again, Manchester City and United could both attempt a move too. Trying to look at this objectively, i think the Croat would be a perfect fit for Sir Alex's team. He's in the Scholes mould; he can dictate the tempo of a game and make a team tick. Scholes can't go on forever, he's the perfect replacement.

Daniel Levy, as we all know, is a tough negotiator. If our chairman says he's staying, I think he will. But two seasons without Champions League football is not good enough for a world class player, so I can understand his frustration. But I hope he realises that had his own form been better, we might have got the extra couple of points we needed to get third place.

Bale has allegedly been a target for Spain's big two; Real Madrid and Barcelona. Despite his own desire to come inside and become a more complete player, I think he's a long way from being good enough to play in the Barca team. Madrid could be a better fit for him, as they are more likely to play with an orthodox winger. But how long before Mourinho became frustrated with his constant drifting, which with the exception of the Norwich away game, has been a failed experiment. An experiment that has gone on for far too long.

Sandro, in my opinion, has the potential to be one of the best players in the world. His desire and passion are unrivalled. He reminds me a bit of a dog chasing a car when he's closing down opponents; I wonder if he'll know what to do with the ball once he gets it. He does though, he has the ability to beat a man and burst into the penalty area. He showed against Chelsea last season that he has a mean shot on him too. One to watch for sure. I hope he'll go on to become a Spurs legend and play hundreds of games for our great club. But modern football doesn't contain much loyalty or passion from players anymore, so he's likely to stay at least one more season, hopefully playing a much bigger part, and possibly be off next summer or the following one.

Kyle Walker has gone from strength to strength since joining Tottenham. Loan spells at old club Sheffield United, Q.P.R. and Aston Villa saw him develop massively and he slotted into the team with ease last August. His pace and desire to overlap down the right wing has been a joy to watch this season. He's missed out on an England place thanks to an injury, which could be a blessing in disguise for Spurs. A string of fine performances at the Euros could have seen his stock continue to rise and his suitors would have been swarming around him.

Hopefully, having signed another contract extension, Kyle will be sticking around for a few years yet. When he's spoken in interviews he's seemed a grounded young man with a desire to learn and improve. He even spoke about playing 'The Tottenham Way' in a recent sound bite. His goal against Arsenal and his free kick against Blackburn have been individual highlights, alongside his rampaging performance down our right side at Ewood Park earlier in the season. I hope Kyle is here next season, alongside his namesake Naughton, to provide competition and be rotated with Walker to avoid a repeat of this seasons injury due to burnout.

I'll be doing another blog about transfer targets, or even replacements for those players who could be on their way out, in the next few days. But I'll leave you wondering what could have been. Had we got the result we deserved at Chelsea. Or at Stoke. Or had Defoe reached Bale's cross at the Etihad.

Small margins. Story of our lives.

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.


  1. Good's so often is about small margins! I'm not sure if that makes me feel better...or worse!
    I think you're right about Sandro too. I know they're different players but assuming Luka goes Sandro could become a real vital cog in the machine.
    hope you don't mind - My own blog on the end of season feeling...

  2. well said. love the name of the blog. since the chav's (non-)performance on saturday i've had this quote and Danny Blancflower's ringing in my head.