Things might have been different for Erik Lamela had he been thrown into the deep end from the off and given the luxury of football rather than having to spend time worrying about driving on the wrong side of the road. His slow cameo dominated introduction felt bubble-wrapped. A £30M signing that was too fragile to risk. Okay so fair enough some players do take time to adapt not only to a new country but also to the football and the pace of the game, the physicality and the rest of it. Let's be honest, Hotspur Way this season hasn't exactly been the best of environments to settle into. Now we have news that he's out for a further six weeks. Might as well write off this season. No need to write off the next. He won't be the first or the last foreign import to have a low-key (practically non-existent) début season.
He's a young lad, he's talented and he's worth every penny of every million we've spent on him. The only concern is that he's so broken by his experience here that he's set his heart on escape. That would be the obvious story arc (the one with the most printable rhetoric for the tabloids). Franco Baldini signed him for Roma and for Tottenham, so if he leaves the club in the summer I might panic. We've got ourselves our box office super-star (ala Bale) to accompany our effective super-star in Christian Eriksen (ala Modric). All eyes on the next coach in and fingers crossed there is more decisiveness with selection in the future. If Bentaleb can be thrown into that deep etc etc
Talking of which...
Tim isn't happy. He's had a pop at Frank de Boer for touting himself for the Spurs job. Here's the quote that's still worth re-reading if you've already had the pleasure:
"It's natural I suppose, it's a big job, but I don't think I would ever tout myself about for a job when someone was already in the hot seat. But if they want to do that, that's up to them. I don't know Frank. I'm not sure. I'm relaxed about it. But it wouldn't be something I would be doing. They just want to put themselves in the frame. Obviously they are not happy with the jobs they are doing if they are touting themselves for the Tottenham job."
So are Spurs the ones touting around for prospective new coaches? Would Tim even be complaining if he was secure in his role and confident of success? One of the outstanding questions would concern his supposedly close relationship and in-house respect from others at the club including the board and the chairman. The suggestion has always been that Sherwood was being groomed for the Spurs job for some time. That his influence was far reaching. If so then he'd probably have assurances from the one that hires and fires. Maybe he does. Maybe Sherwood knows the score from top to bottom. Knows this is simply an opportunistic passage of play to take advantage of, to prove he can do a decent job and place himself into the shop window. He's been given an 18 month contract not because the club (and Levy) have given him 18 months to prove he can hold onto the job but rather as insurance for his troubles in case it goes pear-shaped.
Levy is on a win-win (let me know any given time in history when he isn't) and will replace him in the summer with a 'big name' (the aforementioned de Boer an example) or if somehow we gain Champions League qualification and there's enough positivity, he might seek to retain Sherwood's services. Whatever keeps the great unwashed momentarily happy (deluded).
There isn't commitment or longevity because we do neither at White Hart Lane. Remind yourself of Sherwood's comments right at the start of all this, just after Andre Villas-Boas was sacked/left. He was quite detached from taking the job, almost arrogantly desiring the 'right type of contract'. Always feels like there's an obstacle that sits in the way of the coach and the chairman and another one that the supporters are perpetually attempting to climb over to make sense of what's happening on the other side.
Still on Tim, best we mention his mathematics. According to the oracle of Sherwood we can afford to lose five or our remaining thirteen league games and still finish top four.
"I haven't looked at it, maths isn't my strong point"
Two things. Firstly, could he have not picked something less superfluous to discuss. How about how many games we need to win to qualify? Secondly, who cares to analyse comments like this or use them as evidence of dimness?
Isn't this just a simple (very simple) case of a football coach talking a load of BS? Some have welcomed his down to earth approach to press conferences and post-game interviews, comparing him the polar opposite to the over complicated deep thinking dimensional stream of consciousness that AVB was. Harry Redknapp spoke a load of soundbites most of the time. Hoddle scratched his head with bemusement. Jol looked like a bear had crapped in his bowl of cornflakes and had to fight the bear to gain retribution for his lost cereal. And so on. You think coaches talk nonsense, you should browse Twitter for an afternoon and just be happy someone that is qualified (marginally) is in charge of team affairs and not one of us.
Lloris left red-faced. All I know about this is that an Arsenal player (or two) indirectly (or directly, depending on the translation/tongue-in-cheek interpretation) tapped up Hugo suggesting he would have liked to or would like to join them over at the swamp. This produced an official Tottenham Hotspur article with an interview of our smiling sweeper keeper laughing off the suggestion and saying he was embarrassed about it all. I guess it's worthy of bookmarking the interview and having a second read after Hugo has signed for a club on the continent, so we can remember the hilarity of the good times we all had.
StubHub. The club, in summary, have responded with a statement about a strong stance against ticket touts, all very ironic considering the hypocrisy of the currently system in place which no doubt will be replaced with an internal system once the contract with StubHub has finished (the internal one will be defined by the data Spurs gain from the current one, data such as how much money 'outsiders' are willing to pay for tickets season ticket holders want to sell for masses of profit).
Highlights from the statement?
"StubHub is a secure platform and should not be confused with ticket touting"
Correct. It's secure because there is no necessity to walk up and down Tottenham High Road looking out for the regular spots where some block casually whispers 'tickets for the game, buy or sell' to himself. Instead, sit indoors and wait until the very last moment to see an over-inflated ticket (price) for a category A game drops down to just above face value, before you steal in. Bit like standing outside in Tottenham High Road, two minutes before kick-off.
The problem isn't StubHub, it's the supporters? Really? Well hello to planet earth. Of course the problem at hand is people. It's the people at the club, at StubHub, the supporters selling and those willing to pay out. Can hardly get rid of people, but we could make it tricky for everyone to fester in greed by not sanctioning 'official' ticket systems that more or less allow touting (just because it takes it off the streets and turns the seller into an electronic whisperer).
Maybe the people to truly blame are the ones sat on the waiting list that never buy tickets for the games where blue seats are visible around the ground. Yes, yes, we are but consumers and client reference numbers. Been here before many many times. I guess asking or hoping a modern day football club in England will treat the supporters AS the club is fantasy football. I guess the best system would be one owned by the club that works in the same way, but lets the season ticket holder sell the ticket to a club member, keeping it in the family and keeping it Tottenham. Sound familiar? Then again, your season ticket is the property of the club even though you've paid for it, so if you choose to sell it on StubHub or off it in the street or to a mate at 130% above face value, even though it's deemed unfair and unjust by many of us - the club quite obviously approve. As long as it's done via StubHub (where no money is received by THFC from transactions, just the big pay out at the start of the contract).
Good luck to Spurs tonight. Lose and we still have another four defeats to look forward to.