Archive for September, 2012

So what is all the AVB hate from the media all about? Never before have I seen such a co-ordinated collusion to have a man’s character rubbished so deeply as to advocate a hope of failure in what he does next so that the laughing can continue. It is bullyboy tactics at its worst and everybody seems to be subscribing to it. Before the game against Reading even the mighty Glenn Hoddle himself was saying “I’ve spoken to a lot of spurs fans and they’re worried, and so am I’.

But why? Wherefore cometh all this dislike? What has this man actually done wrong?

He was one of the most sought after managers in the game less than two seasons ago. So much so that Roman “mega wad” Abramovich, shelled out a mighty fortune to snag him before any one else did. Following a season (2010-11) where Chelsea finshed second in the premiership, got to the quarter finals of the Champions League and got knocked out of both domestic cups early, it was felt by many that a new broom was needed. That the club was going stale. So in came AVB with his broom and his project bestowed on him from up high and when the senior pros that seemingly run the club put up resistance, Mr Mega Wad hung him out to dry; promoted another three letter named manager in RDM and promptly won both Champions League and FA cup by playing some of the most boring football in Chelsea’s history and riding a mighty wave of luck in the process. But it’s a results business and who cares about anything else? This is precisely why AVB is a failure because RDM showed the world how it should be done. Really?

So now he is at Spurs where his other problem is that he has taken over from the overly media friendly Harry Redknapp. The journos are clearly aggrieved at the loss of their hyper active media cheeky chappy that kept them all sweet, so they were always going to ensure that the follow up act did not get an easy ride in his new appointment. Of course Spurs were employing the “hapless” one from Chelsea. The one who screwed things up as proven by “RDM Footballing Genius”! So now we are faced with “AVB hasn’t got a clue” both on radio (Talk Sport Adrian Durham – professional wind up merchant) and on TV (Sky Sports Paul Merson – former alcoholic, gooner and failed football manager).

We’ve also got people commenting on AVB’s man management because of course buying Hugo Lloris and not playing him immediately means that Lloris wants to go home to France already, so therefore AVB is just annoying players. Far be it from a manager to buy a player, allow him to settle and fight for his place in the team, which is what Sir Alex and others would no doubt have been credited with. But no this is another example of AVB annoying the hell out of his squad. And by the way I wonder how they’d spin it if he did actually drop Friedel and play Lloris?

Of course theres cheeky chappy Harry in the background with his newspaper column. (A feat in itself for one who can’t spell or turn on a computer. Perhaps Rosie is helping him out). Football shouldn’t be over complicated apparently. Well no you are right, it shouldn’t be and especially not if you still live in 1960’s England just around the time when the W M formation converted to 442 and stayed there for an eternity. Don’t get me wrong HR did some good stuff for Spurs but he also contributed to some pretty bad stuff too. Kyle Walker stated on Soccer AM recently that the new managers training is different and he hopes to improve from it. The old manager concentrated on defensive and attacking drills and a match after apparently! (Not saying that was old skool but there was always that long commute to the south coast to eat into the day I suppose).

Even Seb Bassong, a player that has since left Spurs and has no need to say the right thing has praised AVB training methods; Jermaine Defoe has said that the manager has been good for the club (and so far has been good for him after playing for a manager that appears to pick his team on merit for a change). Brad Friedel has spoken positively about AVB and rubbished the Lloris being unhappy rumours and yet no one out there appears to be listening. Knives are still being sharpened at every opportunity and three games into a season AVB apparently has three games left to secure his job! This is where we are with today’s agenda filled media.

Give the guy a chance. OK perhaps his press conferences are overly intellectual for some. Using words bigger than “triffik” seems to baffle some of our media. Remember that English is not his first language and in Europe, and unlike in England where education has been dumbed down for years, they learn English properly overseas. OK perhaps he has to compute the word in Portuguese first before using the English equivalent? People just have to deal with it and try and understand what he means rather than what he doesn’t..

Then there is the Chelsea fan. The bitter twisted ones that still hasn’t forgiven AVB for upsetting his beloved Frank, JT and Didier and this view seems to be embodied by one Andy Jacobs on Talk Sport. Get over it mate. Move on! You won the Champions League. Show some class. Should we spurs fans really still be spitting nails at Ramos and Christian Gross?

The fact is I suppose that only results will shut people up and buy AVB some time so hopefully the results will come. He is the current spurs manager so I will support him. If he makes mistakes then I will say so. But one thing is for sure and that is I want him to succeed because if he does then so does my club. I will not buy into all these agendas. I will not fall into line with the rest of the media. I will judge only by what he does at Spurs and not by what has gone on before.  I am Spurs and for now, so is AVB.

Windows 12

So another transfer window is closed, or “slammed shut” as the media like to inform us (it’s a wonder that there aren’t shards of shattered glass coming out of our TV’s, radios and newspapers!). Only it isn’t really a window is it? It’s more like a chasm. One great big gaping hole of hope, despair, anticipation and generally disappointment of one form or another. Throw in bucket loads of cash and what you get at the end of it is a massive hangover of “the morning after the night before” proportions. A hangover of reflection, realism, defiant and/or reluctant acceptance of what went on before and then ultimate recovery and refocus on the season that lies ahead.

How simple the days gone by were. Many of today’s fans will not have experienced their club purchasing a player at any stage of the season. That’s right. Purchase. None of this try before you buy stuff of season long loans with a view….. But then with the kind of sums involved in acquiring players today this seems likely to become the natural order of things. There never used to be this pressure to buy or add to the squad. If you had any issues to address you negotiated with another club for as long as you needed to and you solved your problem at a mutually agreeable time and price.

Now everything gets condensed inside the closing stages of a pre determined trading period that tests the poker playing skills of club executives, football agents and players alike. Bluff, counter bluff, strategy all come into play and it’s all about who isn’t caught with their trousers down when the spotlight is on.

So what has a Transfer Window done for football? Well firstly it has made adjusting squads a national sport in itself. It has given the media something to write about or report on and has made celebrities of some. Even “Transfer Deadline Day” is becoming a national holiday for some as fans await the newsreader Jim White on Sky Sports News to spontaneously combust with excitement on our TV’s. Yes people he is just a newsreader and he often reports things that have in any case been discussed on Twitter some 15 or 20 minutes earlier!

The Transfer Window has heightened the profile of many purporting to be “In The Know” or “ITK’s” and whereas they used to frequent supporter message boards, they now proliferate Twitter world. Many accounts are fake and used just to wind people up but many have a cult following as they have got certain things right and established a bit of a track record. Then again if you throw enough excrement some of it will stick I suppose but that’s just a little cynicism for you. We all fall for it though. We hang on to every word because we want to know what is about to happen before it does. Club allegiance is inexplicable in its hold over our lives. It satisfies the human need for belonging and provides escapism from the harshness of life like nothing else and as a part of that “community” we demand to know what is going on. Information sharing is instantaneous now a days. There is no more waking up one morning and finding out through printed media that your club has bought a player as I used to when I was younger!

And of course we all await the “nailed on” transactions to happen. Except they don’t. M’Villa was nailed on for Arsenal, Moutinho was nailed on for Spurs, Dempsey was nailed on for Liverpool, Baines was nailed on for Man U and Modric was nailed on for Real Madrid……oh well one out of five ain’t bad I suppose!

The Transfer Window has also trivialised the way clubs spend money. Sometimes money that they can ill afford, or were it not for a billionaire benefactor, in no way would be able to spend. Yet the Sky Sports News channel informs us on a regular basis of the total spend through it’s “Totaliser” as if we were raising money for charity in Comic Relief or Children in Need style. They should in fact be displaying their “Totaliser” figure with a clear warning “This figure is likely to mean that your club ticket prices will increase next season and many of you will no longer be able to attend matches. Sky Sports accepts no liability on where this money ends up although much of it will be in the pockets of players and agents”.

So how was it for your club?

At Chelsea, Roman Abramovich got bored at just having won the Champions League and FA Cup last year so he blew another £70m because he can; Man City got bored of doing nothing so bought 5 players on transfer deadline day; Liverpool blew a lot of hot air and didn’t do much, Arsenal stood back and watched whilst their best player left yet again although they added a couple of players early on; Villa bought players from the lower leagues which doesn’t bode well; Stoke purchased yet another hatchet man ……..and then there’s my club Spurs.

Spurs lost some very good players in Modric and Van Der Vaart and added some that are just good. Whether they will be better off only time will tell, however they missed out on their number one target and didn’t buy the additional striker that they needed. The chairman Daniel Levy was once again playing dare with all the clubs in Europe and if nothing else you can guarantee that Spurs will complicate as many transfers as possible right up to the very last moment of each window. The club manages to get linked with marquee players every time and never quite manages to sign one (Remy, Moutinho, Llorente, M’Villa, Damiao, Willian). Who said being a Spurs fan was easy?

But at least that is now over. Well until January anyway. The media and ITK’s will be resting their keyboard weary fingers for a short while until, once recovered, the cycle will start again. And we will all get excited by it once more, because as fans that is what we do. Then we’ll hit another transfer deadline day when Sky Sports News will station reporters at all the premier league club training grounds from the crack of dawn. And they’ll be surrounded by under age kids that ought to be tucked up in bed come night fall, pulling silly faces and making grunting noises probably due to the fact that they have yet to master the art of English. And we will all wake up the following morning with the same reality checks and feelings of disappointment and occasional elation and we will realise that in fact the only thing that really matters is supporting your team, regardless of who wears the shirt.