4th place, nailed on, right?
My season ticket has arrived. Less than 50 days before yet another anti-climatic season of football kicks off. One or two Spurs fans are excited by the prospect of the 2009 season, believing that after the dip from two 5th spot places to 11th, we are all set to challenge again for the little mini-league outside of the top 4. Why do we always wish to mug ourselves off in this manner? It's tradition I suppose. It's what you expect from the Spurs fans. Always offering a good larf to the opposing fans. Considering we have never achieved anything in the Premiership, we still commit ourselves to such unrealistic/impossible goals. Typical Spurs fans and their hearts on their sleeves mentality. Saying Spurs will ‘challenge’ is a bit like offering Amy Winehouse a 5 album deal and paying her upfront. It’s absolute fucking loopy madness. But there's no fun in stating 'I think we will finish mid-table this year'. That won't exactly make for a cracking atmosphere will it? If Carlsberg did delusions of grandeur, Spurs would become the first club side ever to win the World Cup.
Yes, we’ve signed a world class midfielder in Modric. We don’t use that word often down at the Lane. Apart from it being Berbatov’s middle name. And of course, Taarabt is potentially world class. And Robbie Keane is just below world-class. But Modric – as talented as he is – will need something a little bit more than Zokora lending him a hand in the middle of the part. Maybe a Rhinoceros in a pair of Puma V1.08 football boots will do the trick. At least we'll get better movement from the Rhino. And first touch. And he'd scrub up well with the tackles and lawful shoulder-charges. The markerting department would lap up all the merchandising. Rhinho face masks will go down a storm. Just sign the fucking Rhino for £12M and be done with it already.
Dos Santos claims he is a ‘number 10’, a player suited to pushing forward from behind the front two – rather than being lost out on the wing. Easy there tiger. One step at a time. A hat-trick against a crap La Liga team means you'll probably achieve the same thing against West Ham, but one game here and there is what we get from Lennon. So unless you plan to shave one of your eyebrows and buy yourself a Ferrari, I'd take some time to climatise before asking for the number on your shirt.
'Lost' by the way, is the best way to describe his past season at Barcelona. I just don’t think young kids like this are the right type of players to be placing our hopes on. Yes, he has sensational close control. But to expect something of him in his first season is asking too much. Just look at that boy Lennon for all the proof you need. The development of Dos Santos is far more important than the gimmick of seeing him play for the sake of it. Same goes for Taarabt, who should go out on loan because that's the best way for everyone to see just how good (average) he is. Gomes isn’t too shabby a signing. But anyone would be a vast improvement on Robinson so best to wait and see how this one pans out. Robbo, bless him, is more or less testament to our hiccups of progression and backwards steps. When he was good, he was good – but not brilliant, as incorrectly suggested by the Park Lane end and those endless cringe-worthy renditions of 'Englands Number One'. When he hit a deep dark hole of bad form he failed to crawl his way out of it. Probably because there were loads and loads of cup-cakes and donuts down there. Management are partly to blame. Should have been dropped immediately and not 5 months later. No doubt, he'll reclaim genius form and his place in Fabio's first eleven 10 months from now as Villa's number one.
Spurs still require a bit more than just a midfielder and a young kid who hasn't been used often enough in his rightful position. There’s still no true ballsy DM – but summer isn’t over yet. Still time for the Rhino to be spotted at Heathrow with Comolli, tucking into a burger whilst signing a pre-contract in full view of a fan capturing the momentous exclusive on his mobile. Only to then produce a blurry image when posting it in a thread on a Spurs forum, where he's then shouted down in a caps lock frenzy, with various suggestions that there's more chance of us signing Dean Whitehead.
Let's not forget about the centre-back issue also. Another essential signing if this wet dream of competing at the top is going to leave us in ecstasy. The Berbatov situation has the potential to ruin everything. No doubt he is itching to leave, but if the transfer happens towards the start of the season and no replacement is lined-up in time then let’s all give a warm welcome to our wonderful and trustworthy friend; panic. Rasiak available on a cheeky loan?
Talk of wingers too. Although doubt we would ever purchase a true left-winger, based on the fact Spurs message boards are bandwidth dependent on discussing possible targets for this much maligned position. Wouldn’t have much to talk about during the off-season, would we? Bentley however is a rumour that won’t go away. Please please go away. Although that's for the right hand side. Althogether a different kettle of fish. Bentley, an ex-goon. How delightful it will be to see Spurs fans putting pen to paper, creating clever little chants and songs in praise for him (if) he signs.
And then we have the dead wood. YPL is gone (I think). Chimbonda to follow soon. Rocha has also left. Although I'm not really sure he was ever here. Along with a number of other players who just don’t cut it. Not even as squad players. You can take a guess at the guilty ones. You've got a 75% chance of scoring with the first name that comes out of your mouth.
Having Bale back in the squad will be like a new signing. Maybe he’ll get to play on the left-wing? Gunter will hopefully be more involved too. And that CB signing we need will play a massive part if King fails to retain fitness. Might need another CB to cover Woodgate. Just going on past history with that one. All dependent on how many hairdresser appointments he books when he's meant to be training.
Stepping away from all the ‘we need X type of player’ discussions, the most important aspect is whether Mr Ramos gels the team together mentality and tactically. Granted, it doesn’t really take that much of an effort to finish 5th. About 5 teams or so can give it a go for the best part of the season. It's about claiming 5th spot and then pushing away from 6th - not for one season but for the next three, successfully. And then waiting for one of the top 4 to falter. That's the sad tragic honest truth of the matter. Everyone is lagging behind and lagging badly.
But gloriously failing to finish 4th is what we are all about, so anything less than that will be deemed a failure by the WHL masses.
Going on last season, we played two or three great games and won a Cup. We were gush in the league.
So all eyes on Ramos. No pressure.