This week has been a slow burner. With the insufferable heat, it has dragged. So much so, I'm dry mouthed and crawling on the ground, in desperation to get to the hope I can see ahead of me in the form of Test cricket and The Ashes. It's not a mirage, I know it isn't and tomorrow really needs to try a little harder in getting here. It's not football, but cricket is the saving grace whilst I struggle around my home wearing nothing more than boxer shorts, sweating more than Benteke waiting for his transfer to Spurs to conclude before his Thursday deadline.
Yesterday, Spurs kicked off their pre-season with a 1-1 draw at Swindon (predominately made up of ex-Spurs and loaned Spurs youth players). I didn't watch the game. I've seen Gareth Bale's farewell goal on his 24th birthday before he completes his move to Madrid - a very tidy powerful finish. Do I care for the result? No. It's pre-season, it's about fitness and preparation for the season ahead. That's not to say I'm completely dismissive of it. There is experimentation to be had (as pointed out to me yesterday - last season AVB played Bale in an offensive position/strikers role before the season kicked off). These friendly games also do well to bed in new blood. Paulinho with extra summer time off to recover from international duty, but of course, we await further arrivals and all live in the fantasy world where we conclude all business before the first game.
End of the day, survive any injury scares, get players back to full fitness (Sandro, Kaboul) and get the hard slog done in training and on the chalkboard. I've been left scarred for life thanks to the Ramos era pre-season that included the 5-0 demolishing of a certain Italian club at the Lane, a game where everyone had concluded that was our projected form for the season ahead and ignoring the fact that Roma had only just started their pre-season. That and the fact that once the season was to start, we'd play players out of position and birth two points from eight games.
In fact, thinking back, we've had pre-seasons where we've won all our games then started horribly. Other pre-seasons where we've hardly won and then started brightly. If you're into analysing team selections and tactics this early, you also need a little cricket in your life to help bring you back down to earth gently.
The most vital highlight from the 1-1 was Lennon's beard. Looks good. Also, beginning to really like our new shirt, even with the mismatched blue of the HP logo on the front.
My pre-season will continue to be contested in the hope of another 5-0 (this time against the Aussies). From the looks of it, Baldini is struggling to find the hidden shoe-boxes of money Levy has carefully hidden in and around Hotspur Way in the summer treasure hunt..."Find the boxes, spend the money". Get a move on please Franco.