Category Archives: The modern game

Cheer The Fuck Up

Can a Spurs fan actually effect anything that happens at the club? No.

What is exactly constant negativity going to gain? Where’s the fun in thinking that we’ll have to liquidate the club in morning? What are you going to gain from constant negativity? Nothing. What are you going to gain from constant positivity? Nothing.

All the constant negativity achieves is that it makes everyone so fucking miserable. That’s all. I choose positivity over negativity. Normally, you’d expect that most people would be the same but then you remember that they love giving themselves self-righteous hard-ons.

I’m not calling for blind optimism that everything will come good or for blind faith in the club. I’m just calling for giving the benefit of the doubt. Instead of assuming this season will be a train-wreck, assume that we’ll achieve our goals.

It’s not going to make a blind bit of difference either way, so I choose to be positive. You should do the same.

This isn’t a cold, coherent analysis of what we’re doing wrong. This is me imploring the Spurs fanbase to stop choosing to be so fucking negative. Why is it that we’re not allowed have nice things? Because we would prefer to not have nice  things.

When we have nice things in front of us, we prefer to focus  on all the negativity. After Hull, we didn’t focus on the fact that Paulinho and Vertonghen back or the fact that Hull beat Liverpool, our main competitor for top four at the KC, or that we’re only 3 points off fourth place or that we got a point in a game where we had our balls handed to us numerous times

This isn’t a cold, coherent analysis of what we’re doing wrong. This is me imploring Spurs fans to stop choosing to be so fucking negative. Why is it that we’re not allowed have nice things? Because Spurs fans would prefer to not have nice things. 

We’re going to get Top Four:

Why? Because I said so.

United. Just forget about them.

Liverpool. Their defense. Against West Brom, it was Kolo Touré & Martin Skrtel in the centre and Aly Cissokho and John Flanagan out wide. Steven Gerrard has to roam the pitch on a zimmer-frame and Jordan Henderson’s running style is weird.

Everton. They are without Lukaku and will now have to start Lacina Traoré. He’s just awful. He’s played 453 minutes of football this season. He hasn’t assisted or scored a goal since July. That is 6 and a half months. You watch us beat them this Sunday.

Tottenham. We have been without the best footballer under 21 last season for a month. We have been without the best defensive midfielder in the Premier League since the beginning of time. Vertonghen and Kaboul are still to come back. Throw in Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, Paulinho and Christian Eriksen. And then remember that you forgot the world class keeper you have. That’s one bloody good team. Oh and a motivated Adebayor. We have a manager who selected his line-ups based upon the opponent. I cannot stress in words how important this will prove.

To put this in no uncertain terms, what I have written is not explicit of my cold, unbiased opinion. It is just what I choose to believe.

Why? Because it’s more fun than believing Paulinho is the Brazilian Jenas or Adebayor is a mercenary or Walker has the brain size of a tadpole.

We’re going to win the Europa League

Let’s not forget that we have a brilliant chance of winning a trophy this season. We’re playing a team that I only know about because two psychopathic murderers were from the same town. Why can’t we beat them?

ScreenHunter_50 Feb. 02 18.14

Who do we fear here? Juventus obviously,  but don’t even know if they will be in the mix. And this season Juventus have been absolutely atrocious in Europe.

There will be no mass exodus

This one is just irrational. Players leave after playing well. You never see a player moving up after a bad season.

If the players play well or even close to what they are capable of, we’ll achieve top four and/or win the Europa League. Nobody will want to leave.

If the players don’t play well, there will be no suitors for them. Teams that are considered above us in terms of quality will go for good players not mediocre players.. Just because they can. Nobody will be able to leave.

The only reason someone would think that there will be a mass exodus from Spurs is they’re hysteric, which as a fanbase, we’re very much adept at being.

I don’t know if we’ll win the Europa League or get Top Four or if there’ll be a mass exodus. Either do you. Nobody does. I just choose to be positive about them because it’s more enjoyable.

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Don’t judge a striker on goals alone

It’s oft stated that a striker ulterior job is to score goals. It was, but it no longer is.

Since the days of Duncan Ferguson, Clive Allen the place in a team of a true no. 9 has dwindled.  Even as recently as Mario Gomez, there is a prime example of the slow, pernicious death death of a true no. 9. I view it as the death nail of the man whose jobs it was to score goalsgoalsgoals and nothing more.

Its-a Mario. No not that one:

The death of the true no. 9 has two protagonists, both named Mario.

Mario Gomez signed for Bayern Munich for somewhere in between 30-35 million. After some teething problems in 09/10, he was amazing. He scored a combine 93  goals in two seasons. He was brilliant at finishing the chances that others made for him, one of the best in the business at it.

Gomez’s link-up play was truly, truly abysmal. In 10/11, Gomez averaged a horrendous 14.3 passes per match. That is indescribably poor link-up play.

In 11/12, he was slightly better and averaged 15.4 passes passes per game. But, still, that is truly abysmal.

He was still scoring goals. As I said, he scored 93 goals in these two seasons. He was almost undroppable. But all was not rosy beneath the surface. It took a big man in Jupp Heynckes to drop Gomez for Mario Mandzukic in his second season. With the aid of a few shrewd acquisitions in Dante and Javi Martinez, Bayern Munich went onto to complete the treble.

Mandzukic wasn’t exactly in prolific goal-scoring form. He scored only 18 goals in the whole season. That pales in comparison to what Gomez’s return of goals was but he was still the better player for the team. As an individual, he wasn’t near Gomez’s ability but he was better for the team. Mandzukic’s thankless work in running the channels, holding-up play, come short for a ball, occasionally going wide made the unit better as a whole. It allowed Franck Ribery to get to the stage where he surpasses Andres Iniesta and is nominated for the Ballon d’Or, it allowed Arjen Robben to go from a laughing stock after the Champion’s League final in 2012 to the best right winger in the world in one year. Mandzukic opened the game up because when Mario Gomez wasn’t scoring, Bayern were essentially playing with 10 men. I think that dovetails it nicely.

Mario Gomez is unlucky in that he’s the right player at the wrong time. If Gomez was born in the 1960’s and played his football in the 1980’s/1990’s, then I would be looking back at him now as the best true no.9 of that era. His unwillingness to adapt was ultimately his downfall.

There are three teams that play with striker that I’d describe as true no.9’s in the Premier League. Crystal Palace (but Tony Pulis doesn’t striker as the most up-to-date with modern tactics), Sunderland and Hull. In some cases even Hull don’t play with a true no. 9, Yannick Sagbo is quite prone to link-up play but when Danny Graham plays, they do.

Lastly, to put a finish to this particular blog, take a look at the players nominated for the FIFpro FIFA World XI

Name Current Club
Sergio Aguero Manchester City
Mario Balotelli AC Milan
Edinson Cavani Paris Saint-Germain
Diego Costa Atletico Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid
Didier Drogba Galatasaray
Radamel Falcao Monaco
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Paris Saint-Germain
Robert Lewandowski Borussia Dortmund
Mario Mandzukic Bayern Munich
Lionel Messi Barcelona
Neymar Barcelona
Robin van Persie Manchester United
Wayne Rooney Manchester United
Luis Suarez Liverpool

LOL @ Balotelli and Drogba making the shortlist but how many of those players would you say don’t hold-up play, link-up play or get involved in chance creation?

In fact, I’d say that 7 out of those 15 nominations are the most creative player on their individual teams.

This is my obituary to true no.9’s

R.I.P true no.9’s

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Filed under Tactics, The modern game

Success or Pride?

Out for a run this morning. Listening to a podcast of BBC Radio 5 Live. The question came up; “Would you prefer Stoke to play beautiful football and be in the Championship or play turgid football and be in the Premier League?” Premier League with turgid football was unequivocally the answer.

BALLS, BALLS, BALLS.

I say this is wrong on so many levels that I cannot begin to comprehend it. I know why the Stoke fan said so, the value of immediate results has spiralled out of control. Clubs and fans lose track of the long term future all too quickly.

The values of the game I grew up to love are now dispensable in the voyage for results. Footballers are now being exploited and automaton-ised (I’m 1000% certain that isn’t a word), anyone that has; I AM THE SECRET FOOTBALLER will know. In short, the author hasn’t had a weekend with his mates in 12 years, wasn’t able to attend his best friend’s wedding and wasn’t able to attend many funerals of loved ones, all in search of immediate results. I’d go as far to say these are basic human rights. And then people complain about Andros Townsend having some banter…..

Back to the point of the post.

I must be able to condone what the team I support, be it England, Ireland (my background is complicated) Spurs, is doing before I can support them. I mean that 100% literally. I haven’t been able to support Ireland for the last 5 years while Giovanni Trappatoni has been in charge. Trappatoni employed a system with long balls, hard work and, worst of all, a complete disregard for anybody with something approaching technical skill. Trappatoni has had a successful tenure, all in all, He got us to the Euros, he should have gotten us to the World Cup but Thierry Henry is [insert-multiple-explicit-derogatory-terms].

I could not care less.

Trappatoni’s tenure has been excruciating and I want to forget as fast as possible. He won us games at home and didn’t lose for 30-odd games (26, I think) away from home but he did it through nefarious means. The means is more important than the end in football because you only experience the end for a fleeting moment, you have to endure the means for the rest of the game. I could never be proud of any victory.

If Tottenham were taken over by Tony Pulis and we started playing long-ball football. I would not be able to support Tottenham, I would watch them but strictly as a neutral. I couldn’t condone our actions during the game, even if it won us the Champion’s League. I’ll reiterate, the end doesn’t justify the means even in this hyperbole.

As an extension to this, I wouldn’t ever welcome Luis Suarez, if he were to sign for Spurs. I couldn’t justify his presence at the club even if he scored 100 goals for is 10 games.

If I were a Barcelona fan, I wouldn’t be able to support Barcelona if they failed to Éric Abidal’s when he was suffering from Liver cancer.

If I were a Swindon Town fan, I wouldn’t be able to support the employers of Nile Ranger.

If I were a Birmingham City fan, I wouldn’t be able to condone their employment of Marlon King.

In fact, I’m taking a long and hard look at myself in the mirror. I’m seriously struggling to condone the actions of a club that has boycotted an anti-homophobia campaign because no prior consultation, It’s coloured laces. What consultation do you need. Or a club that still hasn’t given Darren Anderton or Ledley King a memorial.

That club is none other than our very own Tottenham Hotspur.

Luckily, those are isolated incidents.

The point is this, I must be proud of the team before I can be proud of it’s successes.

If I ran for mayor of London and got there. But I got there by murdering, extorting and corrupting anyone who stood in my way. I couldn’t condone my actions and I wouldn’t be proud of my successes.

If Tottenham won the Champion’s League by similarly deplorable  means, I wouldn’t be proud of it.

I’m machiavellian in my belief that the end justifies the mean but not when the end is so fleeting.

Follow me @ImmenDimensions.

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