Morning. How's everyone feeling? Aside from freezing cold (if you're unlucky to be living in Blightly). We're about to hit the minus temps. Everyone going to the Lane this evening, don't forget your long-johns. I wont be there but will be present for the Europa League 'decider' next Thursday, somewhere in block 32 (where 1882 has been allocated) to see us hopefully not just beat the Greeks but also match their relentless support from start to finish. As for tonight, I'll be watching from the comfort of an illegal stream, hoping for more of the same attacking intent against a side that will be far better than the pish West Ham managed to display on Sunday.
Before I look at Liverpool, been scanning recent interviews relating to Spurs. Have enjoyed what I've read.
Dempsey explaining how he discussed his form with Andre Villas-Boas and ways to improve and aid with the bedding in period. Easy to forget that we signed him on deadline day and regardless of his Fulham success he hardly slotted into the team with early perfection. No pre-season with us and familiarity lacking with team mates. Takes time. It's still taking time, but he looked far more assured against West Ham, taking up positions of comfort that allowed him to be instrumental in build up play (assisted goals) and was unlucky not to score.
He's not a like for like replacement for van der Vaart. But will be (in terms of goals) once he starts scoring. Rafa offered a genius spark every so often whereas Dempsey has a more consistent work rate. Both very good players and in terms of fitness, the Yank probably bests the Dutchmen.
Sorry to bore you with it again, but the fact still remains that our time-line of progression has suffered. New coach, new beginning...we started off slow then found a groove then lost it again due to Dembele's injury. This illustrates lack of depth but we can't do anything about that for another month. Other injuries also mean we have players out of position (Vertonghen at left-back) and erraticness elsewhere (with the keeper situation and Adebayor in and out of the side). It's not all too bad considering. Biggest problem by far has been the loss of Modric. Dembele will drive us forward and shape our midfield to be more dynamic in possession but Luka's recycling of possession and a lot of his less glamorous deep-lying responsibilities are sorely missed.
This is still Tottenham at 60%. Players back in, we'll be at 80%. If AVB is backed and allowed to sign the players he wants and needs - then we're be smashing our way through the 90%'s.
All about the long term. If the the short term is bumpy, then buckle yourself in until we're out of the country lanes and onto the motorway.
What is interesting with Dempsey is the insight that AVB gave the green-light for Levy to sign him. I guess off the back of the Moutinho deal collapsing we had little choice so late in the day. But the suggestion of unity between chairman and coach looks to be good. Along with Villas-Boas recognising the player's first 90 minute performance. Our coach has remained loyal with his selection, patiently waiting. Shock horror, AVB knows more about football than we do.
Also been enjoying the rumours relating to Defoe and QPR. Yes, JD will really want to leave Spurs and go to a club that is likely to be relegated and play under a manager that has history with signing him and then leaving him on the bench. The logic there is undeniable.
The logic that Defoe is on par with Falcao? I think that's more of a colourful exaggeration. Might sound ridiculous to us, but I'm sure its a great confidence booster for Jermain. Keep him on form and focused until Adebayor returns. Worth mentioning again, even with all the backing off the WH players did, his goal on Sunday was a brilliant piece of play.
AVB also explaining about Lloris and the whole swap and change ethos behind the goal-keeping conundrum.
“We’ve been shifting the keepers not on bad performances but on good performances. We want to give them a run of continuity for them to feel stabilized. It’s important for them and for the team too.” - Villas-Boas
Wanted to keep Brad happy, slowly introduce Hugo until a time where one of the two would be undroppable. It was always going to end up with Lloris as our number one. Better footballer, better distribution. Needed to be selected so that the understanding between him and defenders/midfielders would grow in strength as there's so much you can do on a training pitch.
We're continuing to bed in new players and new ideas. We're still at a very early stage. Once Kaboul is back and Vert can shift into the middle when Benny returns, the defence will take a more consistent shape. The midfield and forward positions is where we still have one of two fixes to implement.
Will get to Liverpool shortly.