Now the revolving doors have stopped spinning

The fax machines have all been turned off, the Sky Sports men (and women) at the training ground have gone back into their shells, The kids waving dildos behind them have gone home for their tea and the silly rumour season has booked itself a little mid-season holiday to the brothels and nightclubs of Manchester, Liverpool and London in search of some souvenir photos to use to embarrass some witless professional. Yep the Transfer window is over and we all know what we have to work with for the next few months.

It is at this time of the year that a new breed of football afficionado emerges from their IP addresses to unleash their venom. It’s the season of the lesser spotted (or in some cases spotty) championship manager. We all know them – they have studied every single player on the planet, digested every single statistic generated by geeky students (so desperate for any form of paid work they spend hours counting passes, headers, assists, goals and probably even farts, of every player for the pittance that the likes Opta might throw them as a reward). They have overdosed on the gospel that is twitter and now they want to give us their opinion, for free, and so often that football forums up and down the country are bursting at the seams with newbies that know more about the game than any manager that has ever walked the planet football.

We should have signed a striker, We should have signed a defender, we should have kept that midfielder with rickets, we should have spent million on the next 10 year old Wayne Rooney, we should have saved all the money so we can subsidise the chairman’s half time buffet.

And let’s be honest – we all have our opinions and will often overstate our case to attempt to prove we know more about our respective teams than the people that are entrusted with choosing their squads and who work every single day with these players . people that talk to their players and know exactly what happens on a wet Tuesday morning in December on some frozen or muddy (and often both) training pitch but we know better despite our only contact with these players being through watching them get it wrong once or twice a week. If we are lucky they prove us right but more often than not we are searching Google for Jamie Oliver’s recipe for Humble Pie.

At the end of the day we have to trust the people that have spent their whole working lives in the circus that is professional football and know what they want and know what players they think will help them to achieve that. Buying twelve superstars is not always possible and is no guarantee of success. If you are new to a team and trying to implement a new philosophy surely what is more important is to get the players that you already have to buy into that philosophy and then tinker with what you have over a period of time until you get it right. Not always easy when the internet warriors that think they run the game get on your back the moment a new signing / manager chairman gets a decision wrong or makes a mistake.

These things take time but in this modern world of instant gratification money breeds success, TV money and rich oligarchs tend to dictate who gets that success (and when they get to watch it), the authorities are toothless in the face of that TV / Billionaire Sugar Daddy money and simply cannot enforce any of their rules designed to combat it and the whole transfer activity in the game has been compressed into a huge TV media event twice a year. Meanwhile we the fans pay ever more expensive money to witness all of this.

The window is over – I do not necessarily like or agree with all of the signings or departures but there are reasons for these signings and sales that people that know a lot more about the game than I ever will have made. Hopefully they have made the right decisions and for the right reasons, and maybe not signing someone simply because they were being touted round by their agents will prove in the long term to have been very astute.

Some signings work, some don’t but if your manager says he is happy to work with what he has who are we to question him? Results will tell a story come May and even that may not be the whole story. It might only be the first chapter but in this day and age the long novels are out of fashion – they don’t sell papers or make good TV and if everything was perfect just what the hell would ITKs tweet about to get their 15 minutes of infamy?

 

 

 

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Expectations too high maybe?

There was a lot of expectation around the Lane today amid a game that was certainly going to be the first real test of the Pochettino era. Some of that expectation was probably far too high given that we have only really played some pretty poor teams thus far. There was also the fear that there would be a massive knee jerk if the result was a heavy defeat for a team unchanged from the one that defeated Queens Park rangers with some style.

Liverpool, without Suarez would surely be a weakened side was one thought , totally ignoring the return of Balotelli but also ignoring the fact that this is a Tottenham way that is only a couple of months old. Not a couple of seasons in the case of the Rodgers method already a subject of its own book.

Early in the game we made the sort of defensive errors that we should all be used to by now. Fortunately, Super Mario had left his shooting boots on the continent but more defensive frailties allowed Liverpool to take the lead when Sterling put the ball in the net on 21 minutes. The signs were not good but against the odds Spurs found some of their fluency and could easily have been level, or even ahead, but for Adebayors header going over and a cruel bounce in front of Nacer Chadli just as he lined up to strike the ball.

At Half time there was a consensus in my part of the ground that we could get a result of some sort but it all went wrong very early in the second half. Joe Allen burst into the box, Eric Dier stuck out an arm and Joe Allen went down to be granted the softest penalty you are likely to see this season.. For me it was indicative of how the cheats in the game have won the battle with weak referees in that the merest of touches elicits a theatrical tumble to gain a foul whilst later on in the game (after it was well and truly lost it must be said) cheating of a different nature went unpunished as Adebayor had his shirt nearly ripped off his back as he jumped for a header in the Liverpool penalty area.

The penalty against us knocked any fight we might have had out of us and the introduction of Andros Townsend could not stop Alberto Moreno dispossessing him (with the aid of another slight tug of the shirt) and marauding unchallenged for half the length of the pitch to shoot low past Lloris in the Spurs goal.

A 3-0 defeat then and what appears at first glance to be a display of our limitations but for twenty minutes at the end of the first half we matched Liverpool and created good chances but Liverpool have been playing this system a lot longer than us. The European factor has not kicked in for them yet (and I still think that will be a significant factor in their season) and some players were playing as if they were unsure of who they will be playing their next game for. Tomorrow night we will know the shape of the squads and Pochettino will know what he actually have to work with until January. Dier will learn that he will have to be careful of who he touches when defending and we as supporters may learn not to expect too much this early in reign of our new regime.

Let’s at least see what tomorrow brings before the knees start jerking too much.

 

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