OK so I need to get my blogging hat back on. Three months of enforced silence due to pressures of work (and life in general) means that I have neglected my duties to literature and deprived you all of my thoughts. “Bovvered” i hear you say? Well read on in any case and you shall be enlightened (as this is a free read there will be no refunds if disappointed).

My leaning is for Spurs and here is where today’s blog shall start. My last blog in September referred to the media ridicule and castigation of AVB and the hard time he was being given not just by said media but also by certain sections of the Spurs support who in my opinion were falling for the media message and some of whom were still harbouring love for the recently departed Harry Redknapp. Of course by now AVB should have been sacked given the way people had predicted his abject failure at Spurs and how that would mirror his “failure” at Chelsea. After all RDM had showed everyone how football management should be done as he led Chelsea to a Champions League win last season, (albeit with the most humungous slice of good fortune ever). But then you only need look at who’s in a job now and who isn’t?

And for all of the doubters, Spurs currently sit in fourth place on equal points with Chelsea and two points ahead of Arsenal and all this whilst having to cope with long term injuries to half of their regular back four (Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto), and also to Scott Parker. Emmanuel Adebayor was absent for the initial part of the season and Spurs were without Mousa Dembele for a prolonged period also. Add to that the fact that they had to bed in a new goalkeeper, some new signings (especially after the loss of the quality of both Modric and Van Der Vaart), then you can see that progress is indeed being made. It’s funny how in all the media conversations and analysis that have been had about THFC no one has referred to the level of injuries and absences and instead constant comparisons have been made with “Harry’s team”. Well Harry’s team included (on a regular basis) – Modric, Van Der Vaart, Parker, Kaboul, BAE, Dawson, King and Adebayor. That is EIGHT players that AVB has not been able to rely on regularly so far this season.

In terms of results, there has been some frustrating dropping of points in the latter stages of games and one can only hope that this is not a trait that will continue. OK there was a 5-2 defeat away at local rivals Arsenal but that was a game dominated by Spurs in the early stages but the game plan sadly went awry following the dismissal of the overly enthusiastic Adebayor. Not that it is a justification but doubters should remember that Redknapp lost by the same score at The Emirates last season with a markedly stronger team and a 2-0 lead! (Not the first second half collapse of that particular tenure I should add).

All in all it’s steady as she goes at Spurs. Out of the Capital One Cup (again to late goals) but in the last 32 of the Europa League and with players returning from injury and a transfer window about to open, it could very well be that things are moving in the right direction. AVB seems to have the backing of the players and the board this time, unlike his time at Chelsea. All we need now is for the Spurs supporters to leave doubting aside in the hope that unity strengthens progress further. Booing players off the pitch should be a distant memory. AVB has responded with some tactical tweaks to the team formation that seem to be working and although Spurs do not appear to have rediscovered the free flowing swagger that they had for spells under Redknapp, i think you can sense that it will come in time.

If AVB does manage to secure a top four finish in his first season then it would have been a very successful start indeed. Time will hopefully tell but the challenge remains a difficult one. Aside from the two Manchester clubs that have opened up a significant gap on the rest, it seems that Chelsea will be moving in a positive direction since the appointment of Rafael Benitez to replace Di Matteo, this despite the ridiculous protests of some Chelsea fans. I had thought that Chelsea would implode due to his appointment as a result of the fans division, but a week away in Japan has done their squad unity good and the fans will fall in to line quickly on the bakc of positive results. Arsenal on the other hand are like a bad smell that won’t shift. Despite their “problems” and Wenger’s similar unpopularity amongst his own fans, they just wont go away. They may have inadvertently found a formula that works in the recent game against Reading, however it was only Reading who are as poor a team as i have seen in the Premiership. Everton too will offer stiff competition for a top four spot and no disrespect to WBA it seems like four teams chasing two places at the moment. Liverpool have shown progress lately but I feel that they have too much catching up to do at the moment. Rodgers needs money to spend.

So the second half of the season will be a massive test for AVB and his relatively young Spurs squad. One thing is for sure if he pulls it off then all of his doubters will be silenced to deafening proportions.

 

 

 

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